I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Some random thoughts I had about the news

tn_bruceplanetterrorHoly shit, so he really was still alive? I kinda figured he got blown up a long time ago.

So it was a mansion he was in? When Obama said “compound” I pictured some kind of fortified bunker. Now I’m picturing it more like Scarface’s compound.

I wonder what he was doing when they showed up? I bet he was chillin by the pool in a beach chair.
I wonder if he was easy to recognize? I bet he had a soul patch and bangs, skinny jeans, all that shit. If you think about it those videos he used to make are mostly late ’90s, early 2000s. Fashions have really changed.

Man, it fuckin figures! Motherfucker living in the suburbs. Spreading these rumors that he’s out in a cave, roughing it, turns out he’s living in a 3 story mansion. To be fair he had no internet. But he was living more comfortably than me. I bet he had an xbox and shit, he just can’t play online. Boohoo. Probly had a bunch of blu-rays, one of those fancy beds with the “sleep number”…

What if you lived in that neighborhood and didn’t know? I knew somebody in a suburb of Seattle, found out there was a cockfighting circle down the street, they had no idea. This would be even weirder.

Damn, what if Mouth was there? He probly shouldn’t say so in the comments on my websight. So I’ll just assume he was there even if he denies it.

Oh, I guess Bruce Willis didn’t do it. That’s gonna change PLANET TERROR.

Hmmm. This might slow down the FAST FIVE thread.

Let’s keep our thoughts and prayers with Geraldo during all this. He really wanted to bronze that guy’s head.

That’s crazy if there were only 4 other people that got killed. How’d they keep him alive all that time if he wasn’t under crazy lockdown? Alot of rappers have bigger entourages than that.

Who were the other guys that killed? Were they his roommates?

mp_usseals2I’m glad it was special ops, though. They didn’t send in planes and bomb the whole neighborhood. Just a small group of highly trained bad motherfuckers. That’s how this shit should be done.

It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t bring anybody back, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating death, even when it’s scum of the earth like bin Laden… but also I gotta admit it sounds kinda awesome. 40 minutes! They said it took about 40 minutes. They practiced the raid a couple times and then they did it. You gotta appreciate that, that’s some serious professionals.

That woulda been funny if it happened during the royal wedding. Reporters wouldn’t know what to do, they’d just start fainting and bleeding from their noses and shit.

When I first heard the rumor I tried to find news on Google and the first thing that came up was TMZ. I thought that was funny. TMZ has the inside shit on everybody. They’ll know first if Lindsey’s in rehab or if Osama got his clock punched.

I don’t agree with everything Obama has done with all these wars he’s inherited and got involved in, but it seems like you gotta give him some credit on this one. This isn’t just happening to be president at the right time. Going into Pakistan and getting bin Laden was one of his campaign promises. It’s weird to see it actually work out though. I remember him talking about it in a debate or something, it made sense in the abstract but wow, now it’s reality.

I feel a little embarrassed about these drunk kids celebrating on TV. I get it, but then I picture the footage we see on our news of people in other countries chanting and screaming about “death to America” or whatever. I hope this doesn’t come off wrong. I’m not sure how “We Are the Champions” translates.

For some reason it reminded me of when Ted Bundy was executed. He killed alot of people around here so it was big news. People were outside of the prison holding jokey signs, celebrating and all that. And yeah, I agree, fuck that guy, but I don’t feel comfortable having a party about it. Should we put it on a cake? Should we have balloons? Kinda feels like the old west when they hang a guy. At least let’s open up some brothels then.

I don’t know man. As an American it’s alot of complicated emotions. It’s a surprise, it’s amazing, it’s exciting. But makes you think of sad things that can’t be erased. There is definitely some sense of victory and revenge and closure and “he got what’s coming to him,” but mixed with the feeling that it doesn’t repair the broken families, doesn’t bring back the people who died in all these wars, that I haven’t been scared of bin Laden for a long damn time so it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna change anything, it’s not gonna stop those assholes, it might even encourage some mean fuckers to blow themselves up in public or behead some innocent people. It’s just another dead guy. Just one real significant death in the endless loop.

I’m really in awe of the skills of the Navy SEALS and everybody that was involved, and fascinated with this story. I want to know everything that happened. I’d buy them all a drink, I’d high five them like they were Hulk Hogan, but do I want to dance in the streets to celebrate an asshole getting a bullet in his head? If they had thrown the body in the crowd at Ground Zero instead of the ocean would everybody have torn it to pieces, and at what point should we feel uncomfortable with that? Where do we draw the line between what’s a normal amount of excitement and what makes us fucking barbarians? I’m not making a judgment I’m just wondering.

Personally I’m more comfortable with a morbid fascination with the mission and everything that happened than with a full-on party in the streets. I did that for “yes we can!” but it feels a little creepy for “we killed a guy!” I am a positive individual I guess.

And I mean I can understand that everybody’s excited, but let’s try not to let this overshadow National Postcard Week.

Sorry this is a bunch of scattered bullshit… thought I should write something though. More stupid reviews coming soon. It’s still me, after all.

–Vern

p.s. in case it’s unclear this is all about bin Laden getting killed, not UFC 129

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 3:11 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog), Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

98 Responses to “Some random thoughts I had about the news”

  1. one guy from andromeda

    May 2nd, 2011 at 3:23 am

    who knows what really happened…

  2. Vern, as you said, this doesn’t change anything. Unless we’re talking about Obama’s campaign, that is. Let’s just hope it really was him, and not some look-a-like (or dead body they’ve had on ice for ten years). I bet there’s already a conspiracy theory out there concerning the fact that they buried the body at sea so quickly after the shooting.

  3. Oh man the next South Park is gonna be awesome.

    The dude who capped Bin Laden’s arse is gonna get as much muff as he can handle, and more power to him I say. What an excellent weekend for news, the world gains a sexy princess and loses a despicable shit. Nice work.

  4. Agree completely, on the uncomfortableness of the whole thing and on bringing brothels back.

    It’s just damn weird and kind of sickening seeing these pictures of whole crowds of people celebrating a guys death, like after all these years and trillions of dollars and multiple never ending wars we’re stuck in and turning america into a place where torture and indefinite detention without charge and warrantless wiretapping is acceptable, well it turns out it was worth it because we finally found and killed an old man on dialysis.

  5. What makes me REALLY sick, are those pictures of his bloody corpse, that they even showed here on TV during breakfast time. I mean, really? You show horror and action movies deep in the night, with all violence edited out but then show a close up of a real corpse in the morning, when kids are watching and other are enjoying their breakfast before they go to work? That’s just fucked up and sad.

  6. I also wonder if his mansion was built by the Bluth Company.

  7. And the photo wasn’t even real!

  8. Vern, I respectfully disagree, I don’t find anything disturbing about people celebrating in the streets, I wish I could have been there with them

    you have to understand, 9/11 is the defining moment of my generation, I was 11 years old when it happened, I remember being terrified, I thought the world was ending, I watched live as the second plane hit the tower and I’ll never forget sitting in the apartment I lived in at the time watching it unfold with my mom, dad and uncle who was living with us at the time

    I still think about it a lot, it still makes me sad to think about it and interestingly enough just the other day I was feeling nostalgic for the late 90’s/ pre 9/11 early 00’s, it seemed like a much more optimistic time and all that ended with 9/11 and when I think of all the aftermath of 9/11 it makes wish I could go back in time and prevent it from happening

    so yeah, Bin Laden’s death might technically just be another death, but I think it provides symbolic closure to people as we get close to 9/11’s 10th anniversary, maybe this is the beginning of a new era, maybe we can move on to a new decade and a new era of optimism, I pray to God that that is the case

    and Vern, I find it so funny that you mention Grindhouse, because I admit that Bruce Willis in Planet Terror crossed my mind after hearing the news

  9. I’ll wait till Obama releases the Long Form Death Certificate.

    Wait, he was in the Suburbs? So…Bin Laden=Tim Robbins in Arlington Road?

  10. Thanks Vern, that`s the first sensible article I`ve read about the death of Bin Laden all day (it`s late afternoon on my side of the globe)

    But fake photos and a hasty burial at sea is kind of weird, though. Just saying…

  11. Yes, Osama getting killed is big news, but what I’m really interested in are your thoughts on the EVEN BIGGER news that came out days ago. I am talking of course about the news that there will be a Universal Soldier part 4, directed by John Hyams, starring JCVD, Lundgren and Scott Adkins! They’ve got a Facebook page and everything.
    Or was this already talked about in another comment thread? In that case, apologies.

  12. Certainly captures some of my own thoughts on the weirdly celebratory tone. I can certainly understand people being pleased, but wouldn’t capture have been preferable too?

    When I’m bored on long bus journeys, I’ve been gradually working my way through the full archive on this site. It’s still interesting to read a lot of your older pieces about the anti-war demos and so forth. I’d certainly be keen to read an up to date “Vern tells it like it is” piece on how you think a lot of those things have played out. Now seems like a good catalyst.

  13. They even incorporated the news into the WWE Extreme Rules PPV after the cameras stopped rolling, as John Cena won back the WWE Championship about the same time the news broke:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qdvM6bgFUQ
    Yeah, but why didn’t THE MARINE, John Triton sort this all out years ago?

  14. Unfortunately, we may never find out the identity of the badasses that pulled this off. To protect their families from retaliation.

    But somebody’s gotta get some greasepaint and wigs and dayglo plastic toy guns and do a fantasy version of how things played out. To “The Delta Force” music, with cutaways of Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin spliced in at the appropriate points. Put that shitty yet passionate homage up on Youtube at least.

  15. billydeethrilliams

    May 2nd, 2011 at 5:14 am

    It was Charlie Sheen’s character from Hot Shots. That killed Bin Laden I mean.

  16. Well said. I also agree with Parker above: let’s not let Osama’s death justify a decade of breaking the law. Of course, I’m glad we finally got him, even if I don’t think acting like it’s New Years Eve is the best way to show it.

  17. I’m really out of it. I learned that Bin Laden died on Vern websight.

  18. I can’t wait for Mouth’s opinions on this, whether allowed or not.

    Is it too soon for us to speculate or can we already dish up the political ramifications of this major PR victory for Obama?

    (I trust most of you have already seen that JPG w/ Obama wearing shades: “Sorry I took so long releasing my birth certificate. I was too busy killing Osama Bin Laden.”)

    ~Trump ’12 is officially dead.

  19. Did not like those people celebrating in the streets. That wasn’t cool. There will be more Bin Ladens, and we’ve made ourselves look about as bad as we could in our response.

    On the good side, it WAS a major blow to Al Queda; and Obama pretty much has that second term locked up now, doesn’t he?

  20. Obama better gets his 2nd term! I mean, George W got his one, just because he accidently was president during 9/11.

  21. Miguel Sancho

    May 2nd, 2011 at 9:03 am

    As the great Warren Oates said in a great film, “I’ve got nothing to celebrate.”

  22. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Vern. I echo the sentiment that this is the first sensible commentary I’ve read so far.

    It feels weird to be happy about anyone’s death, just like I feel weird about people getting really sad when some celebrity they never met dies. And to me it really seems like it doesn’t matter if we ever got him, because there will always be someone ready to occupy that role. This is really about revenge at its basest level. So yeah, it’s certainly not ‘bad news’, but I personally don’t get why it’s such a big deal, although I can certainly appreciate Griff’s perspective on this. 9/11 was a major experience for me too, even though I was in my late 20s, but I never felt like bin Laden’s death would provide closure for that whole episode. If it has for anyone else, then I’m glad for them.

    Also- I hadn’t realized that getting the guy was a campaign promise made by Obama- for him to run again with a successful assassination as a feather in his cap seems pretty weird to me. I’d rather he accomplished any number of other goals first.

  23. Between this and getting to bitch-slap Trump on live t.v., Saturday was probably the best Obama has felt during his entire Presidency.

    How is it that The Rock tweeted about Bin Laden a good 45 minutes before the news broke? Who does the Rock know?

    The sad thing is that the next Bin Laden is out there. He was a 10 year old kid in Iraq standing there covered in what was left of his parents, and he’s decided to go Batman on our asses until the day he dies. Watch out, he coming, and he’s got legitimate beef.

  24. Yeah, I can’t get too excited about this either, and not just because it squicks me out to celebrate the death of a human being. Basically, Osama got everything he wanted: he ruined America’s reputation around the world, turned us against each other, and got us to waste all of our money on unwinnable wars. And now he’s a martyr. Hardly a flawless victory.

    But if Mouth was the one who put one in his computer (Where has he been lately? Didn’t he mention he had some top-secret shit to do before he signed off? I assumed it was Asian triplets but now I’m not so sure) I hope he’ll be able to tell us in code that only true fans of the badass arts will be able to decipher.

  25. It’s tough to talk about the emotional part, because so many people have grieved for so long, and for once there is some kind of release.

  26. I’m not old enough to remember but did people take to the streets in celebration when Hitler died? This seems like a comparable moment to me. The man epitomized evil for an entire generation of Americans. I mean we killed the boogey man last night, that’s a good thing. Do we really need to worry about the message it sends to extremists that already hate us anyway?

    I only wish I lived in a bigger city where I could have taken to the streets last night. Not drunkenly, mind you. But I felt like waving a god damn flag and chanting USA USA USA. And that’s a mood that almost never strikes me.

    I’ve already heard rumors of Kathryn Bigelow turning the raid on the compound into a movie. BRING THAT SHIT ON. I can’t think of any military action that sounds as cinematic as the late night raid on that compound could be, ending of course with a bullet in that cunts eye.

  27. Waking up to this today I had mixed feelings. Once again, people have been killed and, as much as I hated Bin Laden, I can’t cheer his death. A bit like the Saddam Hussein trial and execution, the blood-baying was too much for me. Yes, I wanted to see punishment, but not vengeance.

    Alive or dead, Bin Laden will endure as a figurehead of hatred and someone is no doubt readying to take his place.

    A major question raised is, did the Pakistan Govt. know of his whereabouts? It seems odd that such a huge compound could be built and no-one noticed.

    For now, all we can do is hope that those whose lives he affected get some measure of closure today. That’s pretty much the only positive thing coming out of this that I can see.

  28. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    May 2nd, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I felt uncomfortable watching a bunch of kids having a party like a bunch of Ewoks at the end of Return of The Jedi. Show some class people. It all gets to close to Team America for my British stiff upper lip.

    It is grim that once the news brakes that Bin Laden is dead, global security is put on high alert. Now he’s dead its like he’s turned into Freddy or Jason.

  29. I’m with you guys. I knew people that died that day. I had great sentiment towards a lot of what happened that day. It truly was a horror to witness as a resident of NYC.

    This morning walking by 42nd st on the way to get breakfast just made me lose some hope in humanity. He was beyond scum but jesus christ man the whole popping bottles and doing the macarena shit was a bit too much. At the end of the day you’re celebrating the fact that

    1) Shit is about to get realer for us as a nation in terms of the threats & actions we’re about to face on the part of the extremists now.

    2) Not only are you toasting the taking of a fellow human’s life regardless of how repugnant the schmuck was. He was given what he wanted instead of facing real justice. You “liberated” him in the eyes of his fucked up ideals.

    This pitifully shitty cocksucker was ready to be celebrated as a martyr for his pathetic cause. That shit did us no real favors really. Had he just been seized and brought back and tortured for life I’d have been more satisfied. It was too easy.

    Also It’s crazy that the same jackasses who rightfully weeped and felt disgusted when these ingrates celebrated murder on TV go around and do the same. Way to be the better man Americans.

  30. With all that said though I do think the main culprit deserves every fucking medal that is awarded to the SEALs even if I don’t really agree with the way it was all pulled through. Oh and yeah Obama’s approval rating will get a gargantuan spike. I think he’s got the re-election in the can like I could even seriously see tea party members now voting for him and shit.

  31. You know what creeped me out about Obama’s speech? The part where he said bin Laden was killed “after” a firefight, rather than “during.” Like the shooting was all over and then somebody just walked up and executed him in cold blood. That’s not cool.

    If that’s the case, then we know it’s not Mouth because he’s been itching to knife a guy and that seems like it would be the perfect opportunity. Hell, the whole unit might as well get a couple stabs in, Julius Caesar style.

  32. Seems like maybe a new IQ test… you can sorta tell how intelligent a person is by watching or listening to their reaction to this news. Right?

  33. SirVincealotThere

    May 2nd, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Unless he was shot in the commotion, whoever shot him is scrubbing toilets in Alaska right now. First rule of extraction for a political enemy: You capture alive. The more connected he is, the more the rest of his organization is still viable, the more alive you want him.

    Which is probably what happened. “Buried at sea” my shiny metal arse. The spin came so quick after the last cap plinked on the floor I thought I was in a washing machine.

    It is only human to reduce this enormous, contingent mess on the head of one man. It’s also myopic and foolishly dangerous. There is nothing to celebrate *although* a dignified moment of peaceful release and closure is certainly called for.

  34. I thought this summed things up nicely:

    http://www.explosm.net/comics/2409/

  35. Meh, I agree with you guys about the reaction being a bit tasteless, but unfortunately that’s human beings. In all of their complicated good-and-bad ways.

    And the “shot dead” part is bad. You want a captive, not a martyr.

    I give it five years at most before we get a B-movie about “Zombie Bin Laden”. Probably less. That’ll be when you know that the catharsis has finally taken hold.

  36. For some reason I’d like to think the guy who shot Bin Laden also loves The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and goes around saying “Bin Laden? I fucked him. Ooooo” Then gets surrounded by chicks.

    In reality, these Navy SEALS most likely don’t brag about this kind of thing.

  37. Broddie, there is a huge difference between people burning American flags and getting excited about the death of 1000s than people waving the American flag while being excited about the death of one man that masterminded the death of 1000s. All things considering I think American’s are being really classy.

  38. “Seems like maybe a new IQ test… you can sorta tell how intelligent a person is by watching or listening to their reaction to this news. Right?”

    care to elaborate on this grading scale for those of us who might not be the intellectual heavyweights that you are?

  39. Is this the only rational website on the internet? Certainly feels like it sometimes, great respect to Vern and contributors…

  40. Sternshein – My point is really that we look just as moronic as those bozos even if it is just one guy who happens to be a genocidal beast. It’s all about context, in the end we’re still celebrating murder like a bunch of lunatics just like those fools; and as a country with our kick ass ethics I just think we should be above that shit. It puts us on a level as low as there’s in my eyes as an American so I can’t even imagine how the rest of the world looks at us when they see that. It seems hypocritical as fuck is all and makes us look far more barbaric than we actually are especially for a Christian nation (I’m not religious but still that shit is like anti-christ behavior).

    We should be better than that and I say that as someone who lost people whom I cherished back in 9/11. Then again I guess I could be too much of a pacifist at times. I blame my years of heavy buddah smoking and personal philosophical pilgrimages for that.

  41. Y’know I have to say, I also thought it would be better to catch him alive so he could stand trial and rot in a cell, until my girlfriend pointed out to me that the American taxpayers would be paying to keep the fucker, which I thought was a pretty good point.

  42. Dieselboy – well, I’m sure my personal reaction (“Zombie Bin Laden!”) puts me in the low seventies, at best. And I’d always regarded myself as reasonably intelligent…

  43. Talking of which, I just checked in on AICN and they’ve got an article about which film-maker will be the first to do the story of how Bin Laden was killed. No word on the B-movie zombie adaptation though.

  44. ebonic_plague

    May 2nd, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Could there be a better choice to play Obama than Denzel?

    And for the role of Osama Bin Laden, in an Oscar-bait comeback performance, under the same kind of make-up that RDJ had in Tropic Thunder and with a once in a lifetime blank-check for going full-Mega: Nic Cage.

  45. Well The Rock on WWE Raw has just given the most awesome Pledge of Allegiance ever.

    This was worth it.

  46. I’m not here to argue the positive or negative aspects of celebrating the demise of a repugnant individual. I will just say this, bin Laden represents a great multitude of things to many people. His death will reverberate throughout world culture both immediately obvious and in more subtle ways which will only be apparent in years to come.

    I think there is a discussion to be had about how this may impact the film industry. American audiences have shown little interest in military stories set in the Middle-East. Aside from a few outliers (THE HURT LOCKER, RESTREPO) they haven’t had much of an impact on the culture. It seems the audience didn’t want to hear about what is going on over there, every time we did it made us feel bad. It made us think about the lives lost, the vast sums of money we’ve spent, the nebulous lack of clear results. I think bin Laden’s death changes that.

    You can argue the actual military benefit of killing him but there is clearly a large psychological effect at work here. Is the public going to begin supporting more aggressive military fiction in film?

  47. Broddie

    I’m not beholden to his folklore. I’m fairly certain he wasn’t “freed” so much as he…stopped existing, entirely. Forever. So, the “getting what he wants” angle only makes sense insofar as you take 2000 year old books of folklore at face value.

    As for a captive. That would be politically inefficient and problematic. We couldn’t really try him in the States. We’d have to turn him over to Saudi Arabia, or some other nation. Also, there is the issue of the way in which he was captured…how legal was that, to say nothing of the ethics. And if you can’t try him in the USA, you have hundreds of millions of pissed off Americans.

    It served and important purpose to catch Saddam alive. It served no purpose to catch Osama alive, especially because we already declared that we wanted him, “Dead or Alive”…which in my understanding pretty much always means dead.

    We buried him at sea for several reasons. 1: As far as I know, we tried to return him to Saudi Arabia and they said, “No.” 2: Muslim tradition requires he be buried within 24 hours. 3: His body was on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean. If we kept his body and showed it off, that would be desecration of a corpse. Do you really think it serves any purpose to desecrate the corpse of an enemy leader? I think we took the moral high ground.

  48. Mel Gibson could play Osama. He grew an Osama beard during Apocalypto.

  49. I don’t really buy that this means Obama gets re-elected, but it will definitely make him more popular for a while.

  50. “care to elaborate on this grading scale for those of us who might not be the intellectual heavyweights that you are?”

    Sure. I just meant that, from what I’ve seen and heard over the past 24 hours (both in the media and just in my personal life), it seems like the more thoughtful and intelligent I perceive someone to be, the less jubilant they are about the news of bin Laden’s death. More specifically, I’m not commenting on MY intelligence at all, as you seem to be implying. Instead, I just know there are certain people I think are pretty smart, like Vern for instance, and in my opinion the smarter ones seem to be a lot less Gung Ho about this than the dumber ones.

    Certainly, it’s a relief and a load off. But what does it really mean?

    And no, Paul… I wasn’t talking about jokes, though I don’t personally find “Zombie bin Laden” particularly funny… I’m sure it would be hilarious if we found the right guy to play Osama.

    Anyway, to sum it up for you, dieselboy: You are D-U-M-B dumb.

    ;)

  51. Yes. See. ebonic_plague is on to something. Nic Cage could totally pull off a Zombie bin Laden. I might even Netflix it someday.

  52. So anyone here watch Celebrity Apprentice? I know people have already made jokes about Obama indirectly fucking Donald Trump over last night by cutting off the end of his show, which is kind of hilarious. But anyway, I started watching obviously just to see Gary Busey, but stuck around after his elimination because it truly is a good show – it’s fascinating to see these celebrities butting heads, gaining respect by working together, outwitting each other, etc. etc.

    Weirdly, the show really did make me like Donald Trump (or at least his on-air persona) – he’s tough yet fair, supportive yet demands excellence. He’s warmer than you’d expect, like a tough-love dad. And watching him act as a defacto father figure to Gary Busey, telling him to clean up his act, is bizarre and kind of touching. Which is why it’s really too bad he squandered all that goodwill on this birther nonsense.

  53. I feel the same way, Vern. It feels like any feeling of happiness that he’s finally been found and killed is muted by the events of the past ten years. It doesn’t feel like a victory which is why I can’t see how it’s a reason to celebrate. It just is.

    The present state of the US makes it feel like we might have won the battle but lost the war.

  54. Vern – imagine the primaries when Romney goes off about Obama’s softness on national security or whatever bullshit in the debates. “My administration did what your party failed to do: Kill Osama Bin Laden. We avenged 9/11. You all were too distracted by Iraq and dropped the ball. My troop surge in Afghanistan has succeeded and” BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    Of course Romney inevitably choking on RomneyCare, that should be fun. GOP get their own Kerry ’04.

  55. Well, don’t get cocky yet. Things change fast, and people get stuck on stupid shit. A year before Obama was elected the conventional wisdom was that he had no chance. The day before the last Republican convention nobody in the world could’ve predicted Sarah Palin being a major figure in American politics and pop culture – not even Mike Judge. And if you had told me a couple years ago that one of the big issues today would be people who are AGAINST having better health care, I would not have believed it. In fact, I know that it’s true, and I still don’t believe it.

    I mean this is a huge historic event and everything. There will definitely be some good books about it. But I think it’s a little silly how many bold conclusions are jumped to as soon as it happens. The thinking on this will be totally different even a month from now. I don’t believe Harry’s theory that this will have an effect on the popularity of CAPTAIN AMERICA, or everybody who thinks there will be 27 different movies about it, or that the guy who tweeted about hearing helicopters will get his own movie. These same people probly thought there would be a mini-series about Captain Sullie and a video game about Elian Gonzales.

    Remember, after 9-11 some people thought we would no longer see Hollywood movies where famous landmarks get destroyed. It wasn’t that long before Roland Emmerich made one where the entire world got wrecked.

  56. How I feel is that this is an actual completion of a mission that was begun 10 years ago, and abandoned for a good 8 of those years. Doesn’t make anything better, or even different. It just concludes something. We should have had the discussion of whether the mission should have begun in the first place in October, 2001, so at this point it’s either you finish the mission or you don’t.

    I also thought it would have been nice to capture him and put him on trial, but I guess that’s not what we do anymore. Obama even said he’d “find and kill” bin Laden in his campaign. I remember thinking, “Really? We’re just going to kill him? And we’re all okay with that? I mean, I personally don’t mind, but when did everyone unanimously support the death penalty?”

    Thank you for the points of view on how a bin Laden trial/prison sentence would burden America. That makes good sense.

    If Obama somehow loses re-election, then I really don’t understand politics, PR, social media or anything. I mean, even if you still believe his birth certificate is fate, that he’s a communist and makes terrorist fist bumps, you can’t spin “Caught and killed bin Laden” against him. Although I guess we’ll see how they try.

  57. Thank you vern for your very reasonable thoughts.

    Over here only the People chanting in the streets make the News and to an Outsider that doesn’t Look much different then the Pictures of arabs cheering After Terrorist attacks. Both of course does not represent all the People on either side. So its extra nice comming here and Reading so much reasonable comments. I miss your vern tells it like it is pieces, think i enjoyed those Even more then your awesome Reviews. But i understand its also Kind of Personal so i’ll have to wait for those Hulk-out Moments.

  58. Newbs-Thank you for literally spelling it out for me :)

  59. I just want to say I wouldn’t normally celebrate ANYONE’S death. But Osama dedicated his entire adult life to thinking up the most effective ways if killing innocent civilians to push his fucked up ideology. The man was my generations boogeyman. Seeing people celebrate in the streets to celebrate his death just seems incomparable to seeing people celebrate terrorist attacks, that result in the loss if innocent life. It’s not a small difference between the two. One group is celebrating the fact that someone who was literally trying to kill them and their families is now deceased. The fanatics are celebrating the deaths of innocent so-called “non-believers”. It’s a small distinction but I would hope rational thinking people would be able to discern the subtleties.

  60. There’s a lot of superb commentary here (zombie Bin Laden! Ewoks!) and I’ll just add that those people who celebrated in the streets? They threw away their dignity.

  61. I agree that there is a difference between celebrating the death of Bin Laden, a mass murderer, and celebrating the death of the innocent people who died on September 11th. (I still can’t get behind the orgasmic celebration of death, even if it was deserved). However, this simple dichotomy between how we celebrate and how “they” celebrate doesn’t break down so easily.

    What about the celebration in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 over the death of four Blackwater military personnel. These individuals were not civilians, and from the perspective of the insurgents in Iraq they were an invading force. Granted, these individuals may not have been directly responsible for the death of innocent people in the same manner as Bin Laden, but low estimates of civilian casualties as the result of the Iraq War come out to around 100,000 people. For a while, Iraq was experience the equivalent of one 9/11 per month. How different is their celebration than ours?

    I’m not trying to say that these situations are 100% analogous, but I do think that there is a danger of falling into the viewpoint that “our” celebration of death is patriotic, while “their” celebration of death is barbaric. Thinking back to the kind of vitriol and calls for revenge that came about during the run up to the Iraq War, I know for certain that some Americans are perfectly capable of seeing civilian deaths as necessary, if it serves their own ends.

  62. There are a lot of intelligent thought-provoking comments being made here (as always). On the subject of Americans ‘celebrating’ the death of bin Laden: No matter who he was or what he’d done, for your emotional reaction to the news of his death to be one of joy seems very odd to me. This obviously does not hold true for anyone who felt that he A) was personally responsible for the death of a loved one, or B) posed a very real and direct threat to your safety or the safety of a loved one. When I found out, my reaction was pretty much, “oh. okay.” I just don’t think his death affects my life much, nor the lives of most Americans, really. For all we know today, this will end up costing more American lives than if he’s lived another 40 years. We’ll never know either way.

    The military personnel involved have every right to be proud of a mission accomplished successfully. I won’t begrudge them that. Nice one, fellas!

    I don’t think this will have much impact on next year’s election. The people who would’ve voted Republican but will end up voting for Obama because of this? Well, they would definitely fail Newbs’ IQ test, and I’d prefer they stay home watching tv on election day. Nobody’s going to vote AGAINST Obama specifically for this.

    Vern, I do look forward to you telling it like it is once in a while next year during this upcoming madness. You gave me a lot to think about last time, as well as during the Bush years.

  63. Its all a matter of perspective. A poor farmer who lost some family through a drone attack thinks of americans as nothing else as terrorists.

  64. Celebrating the death of a hated enemy is a natural human reaction. Feeling a bit uneasy about that reaction (either in ourselves or in others) is a normal consequence of how civilized we’ve become. I find it hard to get that upset about a momentary lapse in taste.

  65. Atzfratz:

    Terrorists? Fuck that noise! Clearly we’re Skynet.

  66. I demand you guys give the Munchkin people just as much shit over throwing a parade when the Wicked Witch died in THE WIZARD OF OZ.

  67. Newbs – You may not think Zombie Bin Laden is funny when I say it, but WAIT UNTIL THE MOVIE. We’ll see who’s laughing then! (Hint: everybody is!)

    Anyway, my (serious) point was that people are people are people. You can analyse this to death but they won’t change because of it. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective, I guess.

    There are three ways to take people: 1) Go off on your own and cry at how obviously doomed we are. 2) Delude yourself into thinking that we’re all good and pure at heart. 3) Accept them for the flawed beings that they are, and try not to take it personally when they disappoint you.

    Personally I’m trying for a healthy mixture of (1) and (3).

  68. I prefer Stephen Colbert’s idea of a radioactive shark eating Bin Laden’s body, and the two fuse together to make FIN LADEN. I’m sure the SYFY Channel are already working on it.

  69. Glad there was a discussion forum put up for this. After reading all the comments and thoughts I confess I have not much to add, other then I agree with others who have said that this is one of the better and more accessible talkbacks on the web. There is a very interesting mix of ages/races/nationalities floating around here and it’s refreshing to read through here without running into a dozen people just vying for the title of turd in the punch bowl.

    Also, while I felt no need to celebrate in the streets, or even in my home, I don’t hold anything against those who did, and neither do I feel the need to say stupid shit like ‘they threw away their dignity’. It’s not my place and it shouldn’t be any of yours, but hey, the internet is for opinions not what should or shouldn’t be said right.

    Lastly, in response to Obama stating that bin Laden had been killed ‘following’ a firefight as opposed to during, I really don’t care. The reports state that he took two bullets above his left eye, and honestly, I hope he was in a position to see that coming and fear it. As much as I don’t believe and don’t want our military to be a bunch of cold blooded assassins I would not be uncomfortable with the notion that after the dust settled, one of those SEALS walked up to a still breathing bin Laden and calmly put those two bullets in his head. Church.

    JSixFingers Out.

  70. It’s war, man. Noone’s ever on the right side of this shit.

  71. The syntax of “killed following a firefight” is only confusing to people who WANT it to be confusing. A gunfight occurred, climaxing with the assassination (oooh! loaded term!) of Bin Laden.

  72. They now say that he was unarmed, and we know he was in poor health. Should have been possible to take him alive then, shouldn’t it?

  73. Maybe I have my facts skewed here, but didn’t Bin Laden use one of his wives as a human shield to save his ass only to get killed anyway?

    If this is true, then I would hope that even his followers will see what a cowardly douche he really was. (Though they probably won’t) Maybe instead of finding new way to kill infidels, he should have read and understood what “Don’t Be Ellis” means. He would have been executed for sure, but at least he could have died a martyr. Instead he dies the sniveling coward that he was. Justice has been served.

  74. It’s one thing to win the war – to win the peace you have to be better than your enemy.

  75. Osama did NOT use a human shield. His wife rushed the Navy Seals and was shot in the leg (not killed). Before this, a woman was caught in the crossfire downstairs, she died. The human shield thing came from avarice and unprofessional speculation on the part of journalists looking for a juicy angle on the story.

  76. “It’s one thing to win the war – to win the peace you have to be better than your enemy.”

    Wise words indeed.

  77. Celebrating the death of an idea is one thing, celebrating another human beings death is just despicable. Not that i feel sorry for Bin laden, he certainly has caused a lot of grief. it´s just i have a hard time celebrating death

    Having said that, I strongly belive the “ideas” ( well Usama´s ideas, not mine..) will live on. People still need an excuse to blow shit up ( and I don´t mean feaces..) and religion is a damn fine excuse to some people.Here in Europe we use soccer as an excuse to beat the shit out of each other and that is just as stupid.

  78. Oh wow, you guys. Thanks for thinking of me. Like my ego needed a boost.

    Just got home, and my house sitter, who somewhat shares my appreciation for this websight but is too shy to comment, tells me there’s been a small outcry for my words on this matter. Of course I read every word posted here, so I see the love. While it’s true I’ve been on a business trip the last couple weeks, and while I’d like to believe that my recent movement in the region was akin to the brilliant strategic distraction of Operation Mincemeat during WWII, my lawyer says I have to deny any direct involvement in the operation to shoot Osama bin Laden in the face. That ought to put to rest any of Vern’s suspicions.

    Truth is, I was in country to testify at kind of a trial and sentencing hearing for this one gang of assholes we detained like 2 years ago, and then I flew around to help a few outposts & structures update their electrical & comms connectivity. I didn’t even chamber a round during this mini-deployment.

    Y’all wanna hear some cool shit, though? Where to start? I reckon I’ll start at the beginning: (to be continued. . .)

  79. So there I was, sitting in the belly of a cargo aircraft, static on a runway in the territory formerly known to us in the biz as OsamaLand. The engines had been running for 20-30 minutes since I had boarded. Either the other 5 or so passengers and I were early or the pilots had changed their flight schedule, but I didn’t much care as long as I had my towel-pillow and my ear plugs. (I learned many moons ago that any time you’re on the job but in a situation where it’s impossible to be productive, that’s nap time.) I might have dozed off a couple times, but I was having trouble staying asleep.

    A few other guys walked up the open ramp in the rear of the aircraft and buckled in at the seats protruding from the skin of the aircraft & scattered around the palletized equipment and big boxes that were cargo-netted & tied to the floor. One of the guys took a call on his satphone. He used his teeth to remove one of his gloves, then used a finger to plug his free ear; he looked like he was trying too hard to hear the caller over the absurd volume of the engines.

    The safety officer made his last checks in the darkness at ground level, turned off his flashlight, instructed an airman to remove 2 safety cones from the runway, joined us in the cargo area, and gave the thumbs up to lift the ramp. Takeoff is always impossible for me to sleep through, and I was at this point suffering from that annoying, pervasive awareness of strangers in my midst. They were in civilian clothes, so I inconspicuously focused my vision on their necks & chests to see if I could spot dog tag chains or ID lanyards. Though it was to be a short flight, I adjusted my posture and did some light leg stretching & flexing to prepare for being uncomfortably seated for an extended period.

    I continued to read the lips of the man on the phone. “What? Confirm! No shit? What time? Roger, I’ll be at [unintelligible], four five mikes!” Then, as the safety officer approached him with the obvious intent to tell him to end his call, he yelled into the phone, “Roger, out here!” The airman in charge of finalizing & confirming takeoff readiness bent to exchange a few words with the man. Then the airman keyed the button attached to his uniform near his pelvis to initiate a transmission on the crew’s internal comms. Mister satphone rose from his seat. The two men then walked toward the cockpit and disappeared. Three minutes later, mister satphone returned to his seat and buckled in again. We took off. (to be continued. . . )

  80. Just for the record, I think we probably ought to be thanking our lucky starts that things went down this way. It really doesn’t matter exactly how much strategic value Bin Laden had, if killing him would make the world safer, etc. Hell, in all likihood he didn’t even have much to do with the 9/11 attacks directly. But he’s the face that got associated with it, and that was his doing as much as ours. He got what he wanted, which was a decade of America bankrupting itself and banging out head into a brick wall trying to find him; we got what we wanted, which was an easy place to pin the blame for a complex problem. Once we started that narrative there was no way to finish it that didn’t involve one party dead.

    Well, now Bin Laden’s dead. We’re not really safer, we expended thousands of lives of trillions of dollars and got involved in a ever-thickening knot of problems which have no solution, and we’ve become a nation of paranoid maniacs all too happy to throw away our comfort, privacy, and rights in chasing some forever-lost sense of security.

    We didn’t win. But at least it’s over. And it’s over as cleanly and professionally as it could possibly have been, vastly more so than anything we might have dared hope in this messy, sickening fight against a phantom enemy which changes its own form as often as we change it’s meaning.

    It’s not a victory. But it’s a relief. And it’s an opportunity for us to really rethink the things which are important to us and the way we’ve reshaped ourselves and our world. This is something which needed to happen, something unavoidable, and, for once, something definite, something concrete. Bin Laden was a loose end which has been neatly and definatively tied. If ever there was a time to turn a corner and try to put this whole mess behind us instead of digging deeper, it was now.

    I truly hope we can seize it.

  81. Two minutes after achieving altitude & leveling off presumably for the next 25 minutes of the flight, one of the flight crew, wearing a full-cover helmet & a parachute, appeared at the front of the cargo area. He was holding either a large clipboard or a small whiteboard. Not all the passengers could see him, so he made his way to the aft portion of the aircraft.

    (Note: Standard practice during loud flights when the passengers are not on internal comms is to pass around a clipboard/waxboard/markerboard with important information or FRAGOs so that everyone can see the new info clearly. This can also be a professional courtesy that mitigates reliance on the telephone game or forcing the commander to somehow address each guy individually. Often, the new info is an updated timeline or, in my experience, an explanation to operators/paratroopers that they are missing TOT because winds are too strong to jump during a training exercise. Maybe the most notorious in-flight clipboard moment for airborne forces was when Clinton had ordered a bunch of 82nd guys to Haiti, only to have the Haitian leader finally cave to demands and choose peace literally while those paratroopers were minutes away from dropping in to fuck his shit up; the birds turned around to RTB to Bragg/Pope, and most of the guys crammed into those C-130s supposedly figured out what had happened because they read it on the clipboard being passed around. Most of them were pissed the mission got cancelled.)

    Where was I? Oh yeah. . . to be concluded. . .

  82. The airman got to where he could see all the passengers, examined his markerboard, and made a little arm gesture toward one of my dozing teammates, signaling that he should pay attention. He touched the button just above his utility belt and nodded his head. Faint green bulbs throughout the rear of the cargo area suddenly lit up. He straightened his arms in front of his neck and held up his board. In big dark letters, I read these words:

    “ETA no change.
    Report: JSOC AASLT,
    shot Ace of Spades in the face”

    I had never woken up from my runway nap. This wasn’t real. This was a dream.

    The airman touched his comms button again. He unzipped his breast pocket and removed a marker. He used his sleeve to erase his cruel, dreamy gibberish. He scribbled on the markerboard. He lifted the front of his helmet from his face. He was smiling. He lifted the board again.

    “in Pakistan. OBL = KIA,
    no reported friendly KIA”

    Smiles all around. We were all dreaming. This wasn’t real.

    We tentatively deciphered what the board was telling us, then we collectively realized it was true. Smiles all around. It suddenly occurred to me that mister satphone had been suppressing joyous laughter since takeoff.

    “Obama speaks in T- ?
    about to be all over news”

    Then he lowered his markerboard, patted his helmet back in place, and began to walk toward the front of the aircraft. Much like the first time I met Michael Jai White, I paused my applause and we exchanged a fist bump as he walked by.

  83. For what it’s worth though, UFC 129 was a pretty fantastic card other than the main event. Christ, GSP is a real boring-ass bitch these days.

  84. Man, it’s been a good week. The joy & catharsis among my Bragg brethren is indescribable, but where I work it’s supposed to be subdued by our commitment to professionalism, etc., but fuck that, we’re popping champagne at my place tomorrow. I’ll probably go watch FAST 5, too! U-S-A! U-S-A!

    But how much can we really celebrate when it took us 10 fucking years to find him and shoot him in the face? Also, we’re a little jealous our JSOC pals, who occasionally share training facilities & assets with us and whose compound I’ve driven by or jogged past or tried not to ruckmarch too close to thousands of times, got the call and not somebody in Group. Dude, I can do an air assault! Oh well, maybe we’ll get the call for the next one.

    SEALs are beyond badass, though. Remember when Obama sent a SEAL team across the world to the middle of the sea and they parachuted into the middle of the sea and got on that boat and identified those 3 dickhead Somalian pirates and called in that there was a threat to the life of that badass Captain who was the hostage and so that matched Obama’s kill criterion and so then the SEALs put on their nightvision scopes and delivered 3 shots for 3 kills? Yeah, I couldn’t do that.

    I see not everyone in this forum considers the pirate hit or the Osama hit such an amazing turn of events. Personally, I think both operations were awesome. As I catch up on the last few days of journalists’ reporting and reflect on my understanding of war policy, I realize there is cause for both celebration & outrage.

    This was a team effort. A lot of guys have spent full careers gathering intel from a lot of sources in a lot of fucked up places. At least one awesome guy I know spent much of 2009 and bits & pieces of 2010-2011 marching & flying all over FAfuckingTA, Wazirifuckingstan, and the better part of central to northern Afghanifuckingstan to respond to SIGINT chatter hits, investigate cave heat patterns, eliminate old Soviet weapons caches, set up friendly communications devices, and scout & plot helo LZ/PZs. Isn’t that just adorable? Little guy probably never even realized he & his buddies were looking in the wrong goddamn country.

    There’s also this one devastatingly handsome combat/commo expert I know whose mission in OEF the last few years happened to involve establishing & refining several remote FM/UHF RXMT points, a couple of which just happen to be altitudinally & latitudinally positioned and signally strong enough to reach & relay any transmissions from any, oh I don’t know, any helicopters that may have recently been traveling along the probable flight path to a certain, oh I don’t know, a certain million dollar compound in a certain suburb of a certain neighboring country’s capital city. I’m just saying. This gorgeous, uberintelligent hunk of a man I know might not have been at the OBJ Monday morning, but he was there in more than just spirit.

    Also, a lot of local guys must have helped with the mock ups of the OBL compound & other practice materials to make this happen, to make it a success, to facilitate the shooting of Osama bin Laden’s face with a bullet from the gun of a Navy SEAL sent to shoot Osama bin Laden in the face. (You’re right, Mr. Majestyk, that’s how we know I wasn’t there. Although, maybe if that one helicopter hadn’t stalled, there would have been time for a good knifing. Instead, they were in a hurry so they shot Osama bin Laden in the face.)

    In terms of my contribution to this JSOC success, I’ll use the first similetaphor that comes to mind and say that I feel like maybe, at best, I’m like the guy who worked his ass off for years to apply the adhesive on one of the little plasticky things at the ends of a shoelace, and then someone else cultivated the rubber to make the soles, and then someone else imported the rubber to the shoe factory, and then someone else put together the sole & the ankle support & the eyelets, and then someone much more skilled than me put those parts together, and the shoelaces I helped finish somehow ended up in a pair of very nice sneakers, and then somehow Lebron James bought those sneakers and went out and played a great game in those sneakers and got a triple-double and then went to Osama bin Laden’s house and shot Osama bin Laden in the face.

    So, you see, it was a team effort.

  85. Scotty Abraham

    May 4th, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Hey Vern, great, reasonable, honest, funny, sincere piece. A lot of my post-911 memories are strongly tied to reading your “Tell’s It Like It Is” columns so it was really huge to read your thoughts on this. I miss your political/current events pieces and I hope you find time to do more of them in the future.

  86. I know this is technically off topic but since Vern kinda brought it up at the very end…Steven Seagal was mentoring Lyoto Machida in UFC 129 and supposedly was partially responsible for helping him with the straight-outta-Karate Kid crane kick he pulled on Randy Couture. So…that’s kinda awesome.

    Also, I can’t help but feel like all these years we’ve given Bin Laden too much credit for being some evil mastermind when really he’s the Saudi equivalent of a backwoods psychopath. So it’s kind of unfortunate when we finally take the bastard out and have a bunch of people behaving in a manner that is also somewhat akin to backwoods psychopaths…cracking open a beer and cheering for a dude’s death like it’s the Super Bowl. I’m glad we got him too but just as a matter of form, you don’t see Paul Kersey or Beatrix Kiddo or Clint in any of his incarnations pumping fists over their arch rival. Quiet dignity is the real American way, man.

    But anyway, Lyoto Machida is the real Karate Kid and Steven Seagal is apparently Mr. Miyagi.

  87. If it helps, Dale, I also celebrated like a barbarian back in February 2010, when the good guys captured Mullah Baradar in Qarachi. Unfortunately, I was wrong to get so excited at the time about a possible change in policy that would let us perform more & more surgical hits on the ground in P-stan.

    Now, I’m smiling & excited again b/c there’s been zero meaningful backlash against this latest toe-dipping in the waters of doing whatever the fuck we feel like doing unilaterally within the borders of P-stani cities.

  88. I just can`t find the joy in myself to celebrate Osamas death. Maybe it is some sort of a closure for the last decade, but it doesn`t feel so. 9/11 was horrible, but how politicions reacted afterwards, was even worse. My country is still run by a right-wing goverment, who won the election right after 9/11 and has been using the fear and hatred towards muslims to stay in power ever since. What`s really tragic about 9/11, in my openion, was the western worlds reaction to it. Celebrating Osamas death is sort of a continuation of that reaction, which is properbly why is saddens me.

    But, I`m not sure how I would actually react if Osama had attacked my country, though…

    – mouth

    That was a great read. I`m looking forward to your memoirs.

    I almost wish that there would be some threat dedicated to written stories of the users of this site. It`s always great to read whatever Vern writes, but sometimes the comments are almost as interesting and entertaining as the reviews. Good work, fellas!

  89. That’s exactly the point of Terrorist actions, DNA.

    You strike fear into the hearts of the foreign nation, which makes them aware of your political perspective. Then, they react by pushing further to the right and starting/fighting wars in your homeland. These wars push the local people toward your ideology so that you can recruit new members because the invading nation will prove right your initial statements about the enemy government.

    It’s all about mind games and the mind games go several layers deep. The “War on Terror” could only have been won in one way; in the days after 9/11 Bush should have stood up and said something like,

    “The villains who attacked us want to destroy us. They hate our way of life. They hate our religious freedom. They hate our respect for women. They hate our respect for Jews. They hate our respect for Christians of all types. They even hate our many Muslim brothers and sisters. They hate everything that makes our nation the greatest nation on earth. Inside many of our hearts, even within my own heart, there is a great sadness tonight. And a deep anger. A thirst for blood even.

    But bloodshed cannot win this battle.

    We’re hurting, but we’re unafraid. Americans have stood up this week to help our neighbors, to donate our blood, to donate our time. Without concern for the risk, hundreds of New Yorkers have begun to dig through the remains of the twin towers, searching desperately for those still alive within the wreckage.

    This is how we will win; we will prove to our enemies and even to ourselves exactly why we are the greatest nation on earth. We will rebuild, stronger than before. We will rebuild the Towers. We will rebuild our highways. We will rebuild our schools. Redouble our infrastructure and make our nation stronger. They want to destroy our economy and our way of life, but we won’t let them. Instead, we will take this as a challenge to make ourselves even better.

    If you want to win this war, go to your local homeless shelter and volunteer this weekend. Donate time to Habitat for Humanity. Take time to talk to your neighbors. Buy American, but take time to learn about a new culture, one different from your own. The only way to win this war is to prove that we are morally, ethically, and culturally superior to those who would wish us harm. Take these feelings of rage and sadness and turn them into something productive. If we stand together, stand united, we can overcome our enemies through sheer, undeniable goodness. Let us be as that city on a hill, an inspiration to the whole of the world and a beacon of hope for all those who suffer oppression.

    This is not to say that America is weak, far from it. Make no mistake, we will find the men responsible for this atrocity and they shall pay dearly for their crimes. But we will not play their games. We will not fall into their traps. The men who assaulted us on September 11th want us to return in kind. They want us to launch our missiles. They want us to destroy their cities. They want the opportunity to use women and children as human shields. They want us to lower ourselves to their barbaric level. That is how they intend to win.

    This is a war of culture. And only by being better than our enemies can we be victorious. And this is not a war we can afford to lose. We will not tie, we will not falter, and we will not fail.

    Thank you, and G-d bless America.”

    But you know, where’s the profit for Haliburton in all that?

  90. If Dubaya had said all that in one sitting, I guess the demands for proof that it’s really him would have overshadowed the message. Birth certificate, drivers licence and breathalizer, thank you! Can you walk in a straight line while you’re touching your nose with your left testicle, mr W?

  91. As to why they didn’t bother with taking him alive, I imagine it was to avoid the lose-lose situation they’d find themselves in had they caught him alive only to have a some terrorists take hostages and demand his release.

    Even if there’s some attempt at revenge for his death they can continue the flag waving while proclaming “The war on terror goes on”, insted of looking like assholes if they sacrificed a bunch of hostages cause they wouldn’t let him go in the very likely event that someone would try to force his release.

    Just a thought.

  92. – Hunter D

    Amen!

  93. “We will rebuild the Towers”.

    …You know, this is what I have been saying for 10 years now. USA should have re-built the towers immediately – Only a little bit higher than the old ones.

    That would have been the ultimate “Fuck off” to all the terrorists in the world. Everyone would have seen, that it would be no use to attack America, because you guys would just shrug it off and show that you’re more badass than anyone else. The names of the people who died that day could have been plated on the walls, so it would have also been an amazing, glorious, respectful monument to all the victims of the original WTC towers.

    But instead the Bush administration created a shrine for terrorism, right in the middle of New York. And so the “war on terror” was lost before it even begun.

  94. Hey Mouth

    If the Pakistanis start blowing up American conveys, call on their Chinese allies for support, and World War III begins in the Middle East, is that considered backlash?

  95. Can we get a new Potpourri thread? The other one will no longer load for me on Firefox or Safari.

  96. Good times.

    I’m glad JD (just above) turned out to be barking up a nothing tree, especially since what he/she suggested would’ve been the stupidest possible thing the Pakis and/or Chinese could’ve done. Then again, unilateral (or possibly UN-backed, maybe) asswhooping would’ve been severe, and oddly, perversely beneficial to the American economy [once we asserted dominance over China’s (and, barely secondarily, Taiwan & Tibet’s) holdings via military force].
    (Helluvan interesting, potentially efficient way to eliminate one country’s fiscal debt to another, and to convert all Yuan financial holdings into $USD. Ron Paul would immediately shut the fuck up forever about gold if this happened, theoretically.)

    So, I am pro-shooting-Osama-in-the-face, though I see the benefits of other courses of action.

    Vern’s old post here is just the right countermeasure to my over-the-top hawkishness, yet it is also a celebration of my beautiful, just-right hawkishness.

    Anyway, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om-0uFFqzdA

    and my boy Joe Biden, the most qualified potential C-in-C we’ve had in our time:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn1ETksE9qc

    But no more politics. Bottom line, this is a day for happiness, for pure celebration, for the marking of the grand achievement of an objective. Military work is a results-oriented business, and today is the 1st anniversary of unequivocally successfully achieving one helluva lofty goal — shooting Ace of Spades in the face. D vs. R, it no matter, today is a good day.

  97. Oh by the way, in case it’s unclear, right now is the precise +365 day moment I heard the news of UBL’s death by bullet to the face, in another time zone while on some random transport bird in OEF-land. I understand East Coast US received this news around 9-10 p.m. EST on 01 May 2011.

    I don’t get emotional over much of anything, but this is the one thing that my team & I worked to make happen for the better part of at least 2 years, devoting so many resources & so many hours of manpower to this, so. . . it’s all like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GL6LH6ufhM

  98. Ooooohhh, me next! I get all hinky & succulent mimicking these spambots:

    “Having explored your blog commensurate to a midget wallowing through the bonsai tree forest, I recommend this movie critical venture capital to all those seeking affordable cellphone plans. May you text with Buddha as your sidekick, and dial long distance into the void without the sound of one hand clapping interrupting your call. Peace be with you, and om”.

    I dare say I missed my calling.

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