The International Writers Magazine: Comment
No Sympathy For The Devil
The people complaining about disrespectful treatment of Osama bin Laden’s corpse are in outer space. Hell, bin Laden never respected anybody else’s person – cutting heads and blowing up innocent people was the order of the day for that guy. He got off too easily, if you ask me.
Go back to 329 BC, when Alexander the Great defeated the Persian caliphate and chased the Persian king, Bessus, all the way across Afghanistan into what is now Tajikistan. When he caught Bessus, he didn’t just execute him. He stripped him naked, cut off his ears and nose, put him in a heavy wooden stock and marched him all the way back to Persia, where he impaled the king on a pike.
Osama bin Laden understood that kind of logic. That’s what he would have been glad to do to Obama if the position had been reversed. Bin Laden’s plans for western civilization included hundreds of millions dead from bombs, gas, anthrax and radioactive poisoning from dirty bombs.
On the day of 9/11, I was working at 39 Broadway, two blocks away from Ground Zero. I saw the whole thing up-close and live. I had to walk uptown through that mess. I was in shock like everybody else, but I remember thinking that, whatever it took, including atomic bombs and World War III all over again, we had to eradicate the fucking bastards that caused the whole catastrophe.
OK, I’m a freakin moron. Barack Obama set me straight when he said, “We’re better than that. We don’t engage in that kind of behavior”. I’ll buy that. I’m always prepared to learn from somebody who’s smarter than I am. Of course, when I was Obama’s age, I bought into that kind of reasoning too. Now I’m closer to freakin Cheney, and I’m ready to get out my Elmer Fudd shotgun.
Meanwhile, the Republicans are taking bin Laden’s assassination worse than al Qaeda, who had come to consider him too soft (try to wrap your mind around that!). Obama is now one of the greatest macho presidents in American history, right up there with Teddy Roosevelt. Now the whole Republican strategy has to be recalibrated to account for Barack Obama’s immense prestige for killing bin Laden.
You can’t overestimate the political impact of Obama’s victory over al Qaeda. If he wanted to, he could have had a tickertape parade up Broadway, like Eisenhower. Instead he handled it like St. Francis, with hugs for family members and first responders at Ground Zero. The Republicans are in such disarray that they have already abandoned their showcase proposal to eviscerate Medicare. They are livid that Barack Obama has pulled off the Coup of the Century and consigned them to a small walk-on role, if that. Obama invited both Bush and Giuliani to join him at the Ground Zero commemorative ceremony and they both refused, because they wouldn’t be able to stomach the spectacle of seeing him sweep all the chips off the table.
Remember, the Republicans have long been promoting themselves as realist macho men and the Democrats as pathetic, cowardly wimps. It’s all Madison Avenue advertising, but here is a case of what happens when you come to believe your own publicity. Along comes a skinny liberal Democrat intellectual, and he clears the table!
This is yet another example of the ascendancy of Chicago politics taking the world by storm. Chicago has always been a very tough place, but it has been held back by the low wattage of its intellectual brainpower. I was born in Chicago, right in Barack Obama’s district. I always felt that Chicagoans had the edge in terms of toughness. They are vastly tougher than New Yorkers, where I live now. It took an outsider by way of Honolulu, New York and Cambridge, Barack Obama, to put together a combination toughness and intellectual lucidity to take to world by storm.
The one slender thread that the Republicans are using to justify their role in the assassination of bin Laden is the waterboarding of Guantanamo detainees, but that doesn’t hold up either. According to the reports, the intelligence analysts didn’t focus on bin Laden’s courier because of anything the prisoners gave up under torture, but precisely because they wouldn’t talk about him.
George Bush was a moron. He was warned about possible terrorist plans to use airliners as flying bombs at an intelligence briefing on Aug. 23, 2001, to which he flippantly responded, “I’m not here to swat flies”. His “War on Terror”, which included the useless invasion of Iraq, was a pathetic comedy of shooting himself (and us) in the foot. It took a liberal Democrat from Chicago to get to the heart of things and apply logic combined with physical application.
© Dean Borok May 2011
see Apprenticeships Needed in New York