Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Few things..

There are few things from back home that I genuinely miss to the point where I get a little teary about it. Hammocks. Friday Night Fish Fry. Grandma. Taking Grandma out for Friday night fish fry. But now a little light has come back into my life. That's right, our 65 channels of pretty TV include "The Daily Show." Alison and I have watched it and laughed our respective heads off for the past two nights, much to the bemusement of Lisa, who doesn't quite get it yet.

But on a more serious note, the Metro, bastion of comprehensive reporting journalism, tells me that Osama bin Laden might be dead. The mainstream newspapers haven't picked it up beyond the second page, so I was forced to check out BBC.co.uk. Apparently a leaked report from France says that bin Laden may have died from typhoid fever in August.

This is sort of a disquieting idea. Is he dead? Is he still out there? Will we know either way? The disturbing/annoying thing about bin Laden is there's no end to his story yet. Unlike other figures of evil, his legend is continuing to grow. And if he did die--well, what's to stop him from moving into the realm of the mythological? Until his real death becomes no more than a footnote and his symbolism becomes more important. Even Napoleon, caged on Elba, had a coda to his life. I know that bin Laden isn't solely responsible for all the terrorism that's in the world today, but just as he has become a symbol for extremists, he's become a symbol to those who would stop them. We need to capture him, the same way we would capture a battle standard, in order to shake the determination of his followers. I can't stop putting it in perspective of historical figures, but I try to remember that this is a new war. Would we know peace if he was captured? Or is it already too late?

1 comment:

Laura said...

Woa, i just posted on your last post, clicked back and this new one was here. Osama may be dead, huh? well, that would really upset my tiny inner medieval system of justice.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," taped Friday and aired Sunday, former President Clinton told interviewer Tim Russert that the biggest problem confronting the world today is "the illusion that our differences matter more than our common humanity."

"That's what's driving the terrorism," he said. "It's not just that there's an unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict. Osama Bin Laden and Dr. al-Zawahiri can convince young Sunni Arab men, who have _ and some women _ who have despairing conditions in their lives, that they get a one-way ticket to heaven in a hurry if they kill a lot of innocent people who don't share their reality."

So I see what you mean about him being a symbol. Unfortunately it's hard to get people to focus on issues that distract people from becoming terrorists int he first place - like giving the whole world clean drinking water, and a living wage.