Strange day. When I woke up to the news that Osama Bin Laden had kicked the bucket with a little help from American special forces, I guess I was hoping to feel something more than surprise. Instead, I find myself far more interested in the circumstances surrounding his capture, execution and subsequent burial at sea than in the outpouring of joy or relief that seems to be taking place around the world. It didn't help that Tanesco sprang a surprise day-long cut on the neighborhood, so I have been outside of the newsloop for the day. I appreciated the quiet, and to be honest one hour of international outlet footage has pretty much suggested that this is not a complex story with any nuances to be had (yet).
Osama bin Laden has been the most infamous international villain of our recent times, a man who clearly reveled in having the blood of innocents on his hands. That pretty much spells EVIL in any language. I regret that I did not study his grievances against the world in great detail. The particular insanities of despots and powermongers aren't my favorite reading material, but still- information is always good to have. If nothing else, some insight into his politics would have been handy.
I do find it gratifying that someone welched on bin Laden- finally! Impressive as the secrecy around his whereabouts has been, to be honest I was beginning to wonder if he had quietly perished somewhere and was being "kept alive" by judicious al-Qaeda militants for PR purposes. As a pacifist, I can't say that I approve of his execution- I do prefer trials followed by life in jail so that despots can savor the bitter fall from power - but I can't seem to care about the matter. Whatever.
The details that really intrigue me are:
1. He was close to the elite Pakistani military training base? Talk about a diplomatic disaster. There is no way in hell Pakistan's authorities can pretend they didn't know about his presence there with any credibility. The implications are veeeeery interesting (stroking double chin).
2. I wonder who got the thirty pieces of silver, and why now. I wonder about their safety and that of their family. And, like, do they have to pay taxes on that?
3. Okay: special forces, a bullet through the skull and burial at sea- talk about no loose ends. The burial at sea? Now that's interesting. I can understand the wisdom of denying his supporters a grave or a body to turn into a pilgrimage point. He's been fed to the fishes, mafia-style. Whether he was actually buried according to the tenets of his faith? That's something for the US military's PR department to handle...
The message being sent today by America is a strong one: we won't rest until you're a dead enemy of the state, legalities be damned. Well, Osama did want to die in battle and I see that he and the US were able to accommodate each other in the matter of his demise. I get the sense that no one is going to quibble because, seriously? Yeah. Is his death "a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world" as the international press is reporting? That remains to be seen. But I have a feeling that we're not out of the woods. Yet. And to be honest again, that's what I really care about, in the end.