UPDATE V: Atavism On the Streets of America (THE UNIT)

Foreign Policy,Homeland Security,John McCain,Justice,Middle East,Military,Terrorism,The State,War


Today Barack Obama just about guaranteed his reelection by offering up the blood, guts and gore Americans seem to crave. Like Bush before him, the president and his advisers know that to keep the American people tuned-out, they have to keep them turned-on. Killing and carnage turns too many Americans on; makes them like animals in perpetual estrous (on heat). It’s just the way it is.

I wager it’s quite possible that the body of the slain Osama bin Laden will be put on display, much as the Bush administration proudly exhibited the horribly mutilated bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons.

Some Americans streamed into the streets of the Capital and gathered at Ground Zero, New York, in jubilation over the bin Laden kill, much as the Arab Street erupts after their Americans or Israeli enemies are murdered. (To their credit, I have not seen Israelis throng to Rabin Square to celebrate similar occurrences, although I’ve seen them form human chains from Tel-Aviv to Haifa to stop a war.)

How different are we from our Arab adversaries? Not much, or so it would seem. That vulgarist Geraldo Rivera surrounded himself with hysterical reptilian brains—students who were behaving as on a spring break. Or in a fashion that would do any primitive tribe proud.

Except that a primitive tribe generally wages war only on imminent enemies, and confines the battle to the home front. Had such a precision operation been undertaken and achieved after 9/11, without wasting trillions of dollars, destroying at least two countries along the way, and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, to say nothing of the American economy, the travel industry, on and on—it would be worth celebrating. But not now.

And not in this manner. A civilized people doesn’t dance in the streets in celebration of the enemy’s death; barbarians do.

First to die today at the hands of NATO (purportedly “Danish airmen possibly in an F16 bomber”) were members of the Gaddafi family, when their compound was hit on the weekend. The Libyan government reported that Gaddafi’s “second youngest son, 29-year old Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren under 12” were murdered. What had they done to anybody?

Nevertheless, barbarism booster John McCain rattled his old bones in a jolly jig, with nary a thought for the kids killed:

“We should be taking out his command and control. If he is killed or injured because of that, that’s fine.”

UPDATE I: TOO LATE FOR PAC MEN OF THE UNIVERSE. Nobody disputes that OBL needed killing. It ought to have been done by precision pac men: highly select, special-ops soldiers, and not by lumbering standing armies that scooped up in their dragnet entire countries and economies (ours). The state can’t do anything right. I said as much in 2002. I made recommendations against the “military’s clodhopper’s traipse around the world” in “Facing the Onslaught of Jihad”:

Professional killers get high on blood and can be put to good use as the Pac-Men of the universe. Paid by contract, the mercenary is far more motivated than a poorly paid soldier.
GI Joe, moreover, has little incentive to avoid killing civilians. Punishment for carelessness is infrequent and responsibility for mishaps is collectivized. Litigating against the employees of an all-powerful superpower can be Kafkaesque. Ultimately, the people who pay for the soldier’s excesses are the taxpayers.
The mercenary contractor, on the other hand, will incur liability for “collateral damage,” the euphemism for killing innocents. For the mercenary, stray bullets mean strained budgets. Above all, like any private contractor, mercenaries are paid in full only on delivering the Bin properly Laden with goods.

UPDATE II: HE WENT DOWN FIRING: “U.S. official says Osama bin Laden went down firing at the Navy SEALs who stormed his compound.” OBL refused to surrender.

UPDATE III: STORY CHANGES. Now the custodians of the allowable information claim that OBL “Hid Behind One of His Wives During Firefight.” This is just a wild guess: The stories will vary depending on the circumstances and the politician weaving the yarn. I also hazard that the general direction will to demean the enemy.

I can offer a historic perspective on the enemy’s evolving courage. During the Six-Day War, in 1967, Egyptians were often mocked in Israel for their cowardice. Piles of shoes were left in the desert, as the Egyptian soldiers fled from the Israelis. They removed their shoes and ran. (Google seems to have scrubbed these famous images from their search.) But that has changed. The Jihadis are cowards in as much as their “military” strategy is to go after defenseless civilians. But are they cowards in death? I doubt it.

UPDATE IV: MURDER IN LIBYA. “There were no obvious signs of military command and control facilities, but there were signs that the buildings were being used as a residence,” reports the Star Tribune. “In a kitchen, rice, pasta, fish and stuffed peppers were on a stove, with a wall clock stopped at 8:08 p.m., the time of the attack. In the building, which took a direct hit, women’s dresses were buried in the concrete debris.”

No wonder “U.S., British and Italian embassies were attacked and burned by angry mobs in the Libyan capital Sunday, hours after a NATO airstrike was reported to have killed one of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons and three of his grandchildren.”

UPDATE V: THE UNIT. I can see how the operation executed by “the specially trained and highly mythologized SEAL Team Six, officially called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, but known even to the locals at their home base Dam Neck in Virginia as just DevGru,” will make for a good episode of “The Unit.” Yes, I confess; I watch it. It’s one of the more tolerable action drama series on TV, because it features … action, good acting, and very few women pretending to be as strong or as capable on the battle field as men. I’m allergic to those. (If there is a skinny, annoying fem, weighing 80 pounds, and chasing bad guys in stilettos, I change the channel.) Although “The Unit” has elements of “Jack Bauer: Federal Zombie,” which I simply hated, beggars can’t be choosy.

21 thoughts on “UPDATE V: Atavism On the Streets of America (THE UNIT)

  1. Greg

    I just woke up at 5:00am Monday morning and turned on the local news. I was shocked to hear that Bin Laden has been killed. The celebrations I saw were disgusting. The celebrants looked like a crowd of college students who had been drinking too much. How sad for this country. The killing of Gadaffis son and grand children is nothing to celebrate either. Great post Ilana. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. james huggins

    If I had been in New York last night I would have joined the cheering throngs. Nobody in their right mind would think that killing this camel stealing thug will solve anything but it needed to be done, and a long time ago. Good riddance. I just hope that the American people are ready for the onslaught of fanatical terrorism that will probably follow. We’re in a battle to the death for western civilization and the sooner the people realize this the better. Maybe we’re not the deep thinkers that some are but most of our deep thinkers are anti-American psuedo Marxists lodged in our universities, newspaper offices, movie studios and, of course, the studio audience of the Oprah show. USA all the way.

  3. Stephen Bernier

    This is picky, however, an F16 is not a bomber per se. It is fighter that can carry bombs. A bomber, at least in the USAF terminology carries the B designation, as in B52, B1B, B2. The article mentioned a missile and not a bomb. A missile has a propulsion system, where as a bomb does not. A bomb once released can and will go essentially anywhere within a certain radius. In other words, it is not accurate. A missile can be controlled and is more accurate than a bomb. Although it doesn’t discriminate between military and civilian either.

    I read Lindsey Grahams quote;He is a militaristic moron? I am trying to be charitable.

    I fear for our nation, because every time we do something like this, we suffer. We never learn. Same murderous intents, same murderous outcome.

  4. sunny black

    I agree with your point of view and most of what you wrote, but I disagree with your analysis at the start. Obama’s reelection won’t be guaranteed by this event. There’s far too much time and distance between now and November 2012, and Obama never ran on some single-minded zeal to kill Bin Laden.

    Obama’s reelection will be guaranteed around the time unemployment drops dramatically to 7.9% (!!) and the price of gas begins to trickle back down. And the media will celebrate these events with declarations that “The Comeback Kid is Back!”

    Was anyone else surprised to see so many young (Obama voters?) people out and about celebrating as if the US had just won the World Cup? Where does one get so many large U.S. flag that late at night?? I noticed Al Jazeera’s coverage highlighting the response of America. And by America I mean 20something college kids from GWU, American University, and random tourists on the streets of Manhattan; I thought the youths were the one’s who were against violence and would’ve been more in favor of a trial? Sometimes these Obama voters really make no sense to me. It should be pointed out that last nights celebration reflected how less than 1% of America physically acknowledged UBL’s death.

    BTW…it sounds as if Bin Laden’s body has already been lost to the sea (bon apetit, sea life!), however I recall the CIA took some Jesus-like photos of El Che on the slab before his body was buried in an unmarked plot in Bolivia.

  5. Roy Bleckert

    IM- “Today Barack Obama just about guaranteed his reelection”

    You Got It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Michael

    It remains a mystery as to where those flags originated from. I presume Amazon could overnight from Kansas or Nevada or wherever so I could adorn my abode, too. But, where do so many obtain such a significant number with so little notice? Do hot dog vendors sell flags on Pennsylvania Avenue?

  7. Steve Hogan

    I find the chants of “USA, USA!” to be quite unseemly. To be relieved that such an odious figure is dead is one thing; to be celebrating someone’s demise is kind of creepy. What kind of nation cheers the death of an individual?

  8. Frank Brady

    Either the entire “Osama is dead and we buried him at sea” story is a lie–or the Obama administration is even more stupid that I believed possible.

    According to a Zogby poll, 70% of Americans already harbor doubt about the official 9-11 story, not to mention a gazillion Muslims. To announce that Osama has been killed with steps taken to make examination of the body completely impossible is beyond outrageous!

  9. Nebojsa Malic

    No head-on-spike moment for OBL; he’s reportedly been dumped into the sea. According to the gov’t, no country would have his corpse, and he had to be disposed of within 24 hours, to avoid offending Muslim religious sensibilities. It boggles the mind…

  10. Myron Pauli

    Well, the grandchildren were just collateral damage and that doesn’t count because the pilots or cruise missiles from far away were very brave – and besides, they MIGHT have grown to be (eeeek) terrorists and can you prove that they would never ever ever get bombs …. and don’t forget Hitler and Munich and [FILL IN THE BLANK] and his supporters and relatives and tribesment (1) are worse than Hitler and (2) might have WMD and (3) might cause massacres and (4) we are bringing them democracy and (5) they will welcome us with flowers (6) Munich! Munich! ….. ad tedium ad barfium

    BOMBS AWAY for freedom and democracy!

  11. Myron Pauli

    Well, now that Osama is dead, do we get to LEAVE Afghanistan and Pakistan???

    And while we are in the “leaving” business – how about leaving Iraq (Saddam dead), Italy (Mussolini muerto),
    German (Hitler ist kaput), Japan (Tojo
    – sayonara).

  12. Michael Marks

    First of all greetings from tornado ravaged Alabama. We were truly blessed beyond measure, no injuries and no property damage. Our electric service returned last night a little after midnight CDT, just in time to hear the news about Osama bin Laden. I shed no tears at his death. I wish we would have gotten him sooner.

    [So glad you are all okay; I did not know you lived in Alabama. My heart (and a donation) goes out to the people there.]

    However, I do not believe that the killing of Osama bin Laden seals the deal for President Obama’s re-election. By all accounts Bush-41 was very popular after Desert Storm. Unfortunately for Mr. Bush his domestic policies kept him from capitalizing on this short lived wave of popularity.

    The question will become, in the absence of some horrible terrorist attack or other foreign daliance, what is the unemployment rate and what is the price of gas?

  13. Sioux

    Disagree completely with all of this assessment – our FedGovt is using this bloody street theater to create the continued chaos to rob us of more freedoms — the will of the American people was abrogated a long time ago. This is all BS about Bin Laden. No photos, brain extracted, body thrown out to sea to honor “islamic law” to be buried within 24 hours of death. HAH! IF this was UBL, none of this makes sense. If it was someone else, then this all makes perfect sense.

    The treasonous traitor scam artist is at it again, and the Gullibles are sucking it up.

  14. William

    Emotions run high today, but it won’t take long for five dollar a gallon gas to make Bin Laden’s death as blurry as Lady Gaga’s meat apparel.

  15. Contemplationist

    One of the great underexplored topics in the libertarian blogosphere is the quashing of the privateers by the state navy cartels. Privateers used to hunt pirates, ensure the passage of merchant ships and more far more cheaply and efficiently than modern behemoth state owned navies.

  16. Michael Marks


    Thank your for your kindness, care, and concern for the people of Alabama. There have been many good stories of people stepping up and doing the right thing in the middle of this disaster.

  17. Andy

    If you want to see just how far away Establishment Conservatism is from the Austro-libertarian, constitutionalist perspective than take a little trip over to National Reviews site and click on today’s editorial. If you happen to be an anti-statist you may need an empty container with which to dispose of your previous meal. “Ten years is not too long to wait for a fitting end.” Oh great! I’m glad that thousands of young Americans could die in pointless, shameful wars and occupations so that NRO could wait around for the killing of one muslem patsy.

  18. Dan Jeffreys

    One of the things that troubles me is the talk of, “Watch out! Al Qaeda will attack us now for killing Osama!” What, Al Qaeda has been holding back up to this point to avoid escalating the conflict? I’m hoping the stage is not being set for a “terrorist attack” later this year to rally the idiocracy around the flag.

  19. CompassionateFascist

    Good riddance to Bin Laden, also to the Khaddafi clan. Don’t know whether BL had much to do with 9/11, but he orchestrated other massacres and got the death he deserved…as to MK, he ordered the Lockerbie bombing, PanAm 103 I seem to recall. You muder other peoples’ children, you lose your own. Perfect justice in am imperfect world. As to the wars, of course they’ll go on. At this point, they’re little more than violent globalization aimed at propping up the US National Security State and the attendant take-down of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I have to say that, on a a 100-scale of Presidential Excellence, Zero has risen in my estimation to about a “3”…he’ll soon be up there with Franklin Pierce.

  20. Richard


    You’re right. It will take a lot more than killing OBL to get Obama re-elected. I think he has lost 20-25% of the white vote which will cost him the next election.

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