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Oddly Ambivalent

This describes my feelings (or lack thereof) about the Bin Laden killing on Sunday. On Monday I chalked up my inexplicable numbness to shock, but I find myself at a loss to explain my lack of strong emotions three days later.

I’ve been reading and watching the reactions of Americans across the country for the past three days, and I find myself reacting to the reactions more than I do to the event itself. I suppose this has helped me to discover what I know I don’t feel.

I don’t feel compelled to condemn those who celebrate. I especially don’t feel the need to condemn the celebratory mood of Americans that were directly affected on 9/11. If you lost a family member or worse (in my opinion), have to live with the memory of watching people jump out of the twin towers, I don’t feel the right to deny you the satisfaction or healing that this may give you. Who the fuck am I to judge your pain?

I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of joy either. I don’t feel compelled to celebrate Bin Laden’s death. I also don’t feel a moral superiority over anyone that is celebrating. I don’t feel the need to diminish anyone else’s feelings with a pompous tweet or Facebook update designed to display my moral or humanitarian superiority.

Here’s the really weird one; I don’t feel compelled to use this event as a political tool. I don’t feel like lashing out at W (if someone can explain that one to me, I’d be eternally grateful). He was incompetent and worthless. We already knew that because there’s a mound of evidence proving it. George W Bush is a fucking jackass that ruined everything he ever touched, but I don’t feel like piling this failure on top of a mound that’s already taller than twin towers will accomplish anything new.

Conversely, I do feel angry when I hear anyone giving Bush credit for Bin Laden’s demise. He doesn’t deserve an ounce of credit, and telling me that he does is an assault on reason and logic. And assaulting reason and logic makes me mad. I will concede that it’s inconceivable to assert that nothing that happened during Bush’s tenure, led to the events of Sunday night. That simply doesn’t make sense. Everything that led to Bin Laden’s demise couldn’t possible have started after January 20, 2009. That’s just stupid. And if you believe this to be true, you’re unspeakably stupid. But I do know that any valuable information that was collected during Bush’s tenure, was never leveraged by the Bush administration to get the job done. We’ve seen a long history of the Bush administration’s manipulation, misunderstanding, and misuse of intelligence gathering. Bush didn’t get Bin Laden because he didn’t care to, and because he was incapable of doing it. Period. The facts speak for themselves; Bush didn’t get it done. With all that said, I’m more angry over the assault on my intelligence than I am the actual fake credit being given to Bush.

I do feel angry when people try and diminish or dismiss President Obama’s accomplishment here. It really takes a special kind of asshole to do that. You really have to be a little dead inside to be wound so tightly into a partisan knot. When your “team” mentality supersedes any kind genuine, visceral emotion, you’re just fucked up beyond what I can comprehend. I honestly don’t believe that I would have negated the very same accomplishment if it were Bush that had gotten it done. I judge people on each individual accomplishment or fuck up, independent of past accomplishments and fuck ups. We like to paint with broad brushes and either lionize or demonize across the board because doing so is easier than thinking. George W Bush is as close to a complete and total fucking loser, as any president we’ve ever seen in the history of the world. I still capable of giving him credit for not fucking up the North Korea situation. I can do this because I’m not a simpleton, and I don’t need for situations to all be black or white in order for my world view to work. If you can’t give Obama the credit he’s due, then fuck you.

My feelings all seem to be centered on issues that are ancillary to the actual event, and I’m mildly disturbed by that. So I’m going to go to ground zero tomorrow, in the hope that some of what everyone else is feeling will seep into me by osmosis.

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Moral Clarity

In my experience, people that have moral clarity when it comes to politics or world affairs are ignorant, insufferable simpletons. I offer that observation in order to explain why I have not yet sorted out my thoughts in the Bin Laden situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think the world is a better place with one less lunatic extremist. But pragmatically speaking, his death is more of a emotional victory for America than anything else. It makes Americans that crave revenge feel good. It gives friends and family members of 9/11 victims closure. I’m not minimizing the value of these things, since they’re obviously important to Americans.

Personally, I wish we’d gotten him alive. I want to know what he knew.

His death doesn’t change anything in the world. It doesn’t topple the giant, superfucking scary terrorist network known as Al Qaeda because al qaeda was never what it was made out to be. I never bought into the narrative that al qaeda was this huge organization with tentacles all around the world. Not because I didn’t want to, but because common sense told me otherwise. When we learned that 100% of the 9/11 hijackers were from the same country, we should have all recognized that this was a small operation. If they were far reaching and organized, those hijackers would have been from all over the world. Shit, Cirque Du Soleil has longer tentacles than al qaeda!

The foiled terrorism attempt in the UK in 2006 confirmed my belief that al qaeda was a small operation since again, all involved were (or descendants of) from one single country; Pakistan. Again, this would have been more of a multicultural plot if al qaeda were as big as we’re supposed to believe they are.

In addition to confirming how small al qaeda really was, the UK plot told me something else; Bin Laden moved to Pakistan. When you’re a lunatic with a small number of followers, you recruit and radicalize in your own backyard because you don’t have the means to reach people that are physically very far from you. It was reported for years, that Bin Laden was in Waziristan, on the Pakistan/Afghan border. That sounded credible to me, based on the fact that the UK plotters all had ties to Pakistan. He definitely wasn’t going to hang out in Afghanistan after we went in, no matter how incompetent the Bush administration was.

So in 2007, when candidate Obama declared that he wouldn’t hesitate to go into Pakistan if he felt it was necessary, I was the only liberal on the planet that wasn’t outraged. OF COURSE we had to go into Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s dictator at the time, wasn’t doing a fucking thing to help us get Bin Laden. I wasn’t thrilled when Obama ultimately took the drone route into Pakistan. Nothing turns people against you more effectively than if you kill one of their family members, who was just out on a slurpee run to 7-eleven, with an unarmed drone. I would have preferred he taken a more “intelligence” and policing route, you know, the way we catch serial killers and pedophiles. But this isn’t the first time this president has done something I wanted him to do in a way that I completely disagree with. I’m fairly certain it won’t be the last.

Both parties built up al qaedamania so that they could dole billions of dollars in government contracts out to their donors, in a vomitous display of exploitation. Bush was the worst of the worst, since he used this fear to do everything from invading Iraq, to stripping us of our rights to privacy, to taking away the fundamental right to habeas corpus, to a whole host of other bullshit that you’re all familiar with by now.

The one thing about Bin Laden’s death that I do have clarity about is that the GOP won’t give Obama an ounce of credit for effectively executing it. They lorded his death over our heads for eight long years in an effort to scare us into voting for them. And now that it’s finally happened, they are utterly classless. They’ve spent all morning crediting the troops that they fuck over every chance they get and the intelligence community they spent 8 years marginalizing for Bin Laden’s assassination, with no mention of Obama at all. Their minions in the right wing press are coming up with batshit crazy ways to demonstrate that Obama doesn’t deserve credit. Assertions that Bush’s wars have toughened him up, since he obviously wouldn’t have had the stomach for this type of assassination two years ago. Fantasies about how “harsh interrogation techniques helped nail Bin Laden”. Please spare me this assault on logic and reason.

Your party couldn’t get the job done. In fact, I can’t remember the last time your party got anything done for Americans. So if you show some class, then just shut the fuck up. Really, I’m sick of your bullshit.

Readers of this blog know that I hate democrats. But at least once every decade, they throw me a crumb like giving me COBRA, or repealing hateful practices like “don’t ask don’t tell”. This republican party on the other hand, does nothing but debase my country, pick my pocket to enrich their self entitled asshat donors, and crap on days like this when most Americans are proud.

Fuck you, and your “moral clarity”.


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