FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Big Wedding

“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”

– George W. Bush, 9/13/01

“I am truly not that concerned about him.”

– George W. Bush, answering a question about where bin Laden was hiding. (3/13/02)

Spring did not return at the end of April, the time poets love; nor, as T. S. Eliot hoped, did we experience rebirth from the womb of suffering. Quite the opposite occurred for more than 300 people who died when tornadoes struck their homes in southern states.

Love and poetry did find a dramatic antithesis at the royal British wedding. One wit described the ceremony as offering the real meaning of “white trash.” The world’s most spiritually vapid family nonetheless gets millions to cheer ? mostly on TV ? while spending tens of millions of the public’s money to show off new dresses and hats to accentuate their weak chins.

As one cynic remarked, “So much attention to a vestigial institution whose real legacy is kinkiness. They, of course, do have occasional straight sex since they must ? sigh, what a bore ? reproduce their parasitic specie.” Simultaneously, the British government announced it would lay off some 1 million government workers. I wonder if any of them enjoyed the lavish display staged for the royal nuptials.

In that same week, the equally un-poetic assassination of Osama bin Laden took place. U.S. Navy Seals assassinated ? they lacked training in kidnapping ? bin Laden and three others, including one woman (possibly one of his wives).

Osama, the equivalent of Chair of the Muslim terrorist version of the Ford Foundation ? financing worthwhile anti-Western jihad projects, backed the now-famous 9/11 proposal. He risked less than $1 million on the unlikely success of a group of suicidal men with box cutters. Osama gained the reputation of a one man terror machine able to provoke the world’s greatest empire into spending itself into deep debt.

Joseph Stiglitz estimated the response to bin Laden’s deadly caper to have cost more than $4 trillion ? the Iraq War alone pushing over $3 trillion; Afghanistan ? another trillion. Add the massive spending on so-called homeland security since 9/11 and you’re looking at real money.

Little debate occurred around the legality of the action, starting with sending U.S. armed forces into a foreign country without permission, or the order to murder one man, and kill others en route if needed. Illegal? Hell no! Those kinds of deeds are what made America special: we don’t have to ask permission and since we answer only to God ? our God who chose us. We have different standards.

The U.S. President can order the assassination of a head of state or anyone else he thinks merits it. So what that the nutty despot Qaddafi lost a kid and some grandchildren? We had every right to try to assassinate him because we were acting under the law. As Richard Nixon said, “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.” (Frost-Nixon CBS 1977)

Nixon was one of our Founding Fathers ? wasn’t he? Anyway, George W. Bush also said it and so did Condoleezza Rice. The President, a great legal scholar, should know. But did anyone on the White House staff ask: doesn’t this set a precedent? When one leader of a country targets another for assassination, doesn’t this justify any leader targeting any other?

The U.S. public celebrated outside the White House, as people do when their team wins the World Series. Obama announced: justice had been done. Killing bad guys is justice, not vengeance, like in the movies. Legal? Who cares? The crowds chanted their clever nuanced slogan: “USA USA.”

Who recalls Osama’s CIA days? He helped the Agency get the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The Agency knew Bin Laden didn’t care about the Cold War. He hated Westernism ? epitomized by the USA. But he proved useful against the infidel Soviet Communists whose man governed from Kabul.

History? Bunk! On May 1, Obama crowed: “…tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history?our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.” The poetry of spring!

But how will we live without bin Laden? Will the national security casting directors soon find the appropriate national enemy before the 2012 elections, a black hat to justify spending trillions for defense that doesn’t defend us and for homeland security that makes us anxious? Our democratic trajectory has taken us from the post World War II Nuremburg trials of the Nazi war criminals to assassinating unarmed scoundrels!

Not to worry. Obama will soon quote Martin Luther King: “We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.” (Beyond Vietnam)

But the real response from the White House with public approval is GERONIMO!

Saul Landau, an Institute for Policy Studies Fellow released his new film WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP (Cinema Libre Studio ? distributor). Counterpunch published his BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD.

 

More articles by:

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail