There are those who keep repeating that Osama Bin Laden’s death is essentially meaningless. They are right in the respect that terror organizations like AQ are organized in decentralized cells. So leadership becomes local on the tactical level. One the other hand you have to remember this about war. If there is one person responsible for a devastating attack, one vainglorious sacrosanct leader who hits you over the head with it like a ball peen hammer and helps to create fear and dissent, and if you believe that ultimately military force is necessary, then there is something to celebrate in this. Bold attacks beget bold counter attacks. They took their time and were tenacious. We took our time and were tenacious. As Ron White might put it, you kill us, we’ll kill ya’ right back.
The fact of the matter is that the decade of Osama Bin Laden has been about the worst turn for America since the Civil War. We have no more Fourth Amendment. With no probable cause and no recourse, TSA agents can take your computer and copy the contents. With no reason other than a hunch, cops can stop you and look through your car to find something to convict you with. We have no more Due process. We have no more Eighth Amendment, unless waterboarding is no longer cruel and unusual. We are put through humiliating rituals at the airport that mean nothing for safety, and like the lemmings we are, we put up with it. We have lost posse comitatus. We have lost habeas corpus. We have made the President a sort of military commissar and monarch with the power to assassinate foreign leaders on their own soil, and detain people and torture them away from any constitutional protections and order wholesale combined military operations with little consent from Congress.
I mean if you just look at how we have collectively lost our minds and our civil liberties and our courage, then Osama Bin Laden got what he was looking for.
He made everyday life in America more difficult. He drew us into multiple military front in a global war we are leading the world in, and it is bankrupting us if it already hasn’t. Our armies are worn down, equipment needs replacing, soldiers need better care, but if Americans are suffering in general, the real beneficiaries to actions of OBN are the defense industry. Not only have we created a true empire building industry, we have now surrounded it with a largely bureaucratic matrix of defense analysts and intelligence analysts and the entire military budget is so big, few can get their heads around it. Few can answer
how many bases we have around the world. The cumulative debt aggregated just to gear up for the War on Terror has us teetering on the edge of meltdown. The other pernicious effect of the WOT is that the move to the right in the country brought with it more long-term illnesses, like virtual corporate control of the government. Corporations now have a much larger voice than the general population. Congressional seats are so valuable to the Congressman that it takes millions to win one, not exactly what the founding fathers had in mind with the notion that citizens would governor the country. We settled this country in part to move away from a multiclass society, where privilege tends to reward loyalty and money and power over policy.
And the news coverage of the death of Osama Bin Laden was Orwellian. People dancing in the streets ten years later, gleeful at the mans death, and hardly mindful of the price we paid just to see it done. “Next…we’ll share new details in how the SEALs trained to kill Bin Laden….” The 24/7 blandishments on our armed forces from the cable news networks are predictable and oddly a little sad. It’s just one big cheer leading all asking the exact same unimportant questions and little analysis or perspective.
So the harassment at the airport, the loss of civil liberties, all these forces really didn’t come from outside the country. They came from within. They came from the same cabal of corporate interests that bought Congress, stacked the decks in their favor all for unfettered capitalism, rule of fear, the dismantling of the Bill of Rights and the social welfare network that has served this country so well.
No, Osama Bin Laden didn’t do this to us. We did this to us.