Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Is Dead: Requiem for a Terrorist

Osama bin Laden is dead.

Last week, a man who has been a plague on mankind was put out of our misery by some US Navy Seals via a gunshot to the head; if I hear correctly, Osama had been using a woman as a human shield at the time.  It was a fitting end -- Osama wanted a culture that would require women to wear nothing but burka and veil, an outfit that would make a Catholic nun look like she was wearing a slinky dress in comparison, and he died hiding behind a woman.

At the very end, the man went out showing his true colors.  He could send the poor, the desparate, the starving, and the mildly insane to their deaths, but he couldn't try for a standup fight with soldiers.  Considering he came in at the last minute of the Soviet war with Afghanistan, and made himself into the John Kerry of the Talbian ("I fought in Afghanistan against the first Great Satan!"  When he fired a few rounds at the Soviet's retreating backs).  In the end, he went out like a cowardly movie villain, and the noble hero gets to make an impressive killshot.

Osama bin Laden is dead .... Now what?

To start with?  There are going to be numerous thriller authors in mourning, seeking a new bad guy. The fiction post-Saddam Hussein went into a tailspin, trying to come up with someone else to beat up on.

After that, there's a little issue of where he was found: in a mansion, in a city just outside of Islamabad.  A town filled with miltary personnel.  Conflicting reports state that the Pakistanis were in on the kill, others state that they were informed after the fact.  In either event, the man was living there for at least six months. Someone is going to want to explain that.  I suspect there will be several some bodies on the ground, with their heads in a separate corner of the room.

I am a little sad that Osama is dead.  Why?  Because I think there will be people who will use Osama's death to say "Great, the war on Terror is over, let's go home and pretend this never happened."  Which would be nice if Osama didn't have, you know, an entire terrorist network.  And if Osama has really been a figurehead for years, as some have suggested, then the work isn't over.  It's a good start though.

Also, I'm even more worried about the intelligence issue.  If I were in charge of intelligence on this, the press release about Osama's death would be ... premature.  I would have sent in SEALS with orders to capture bin Laden alive, then ship him off to one of the fabled "Black Sites," where he could be interrogated for as long as possible.  There are that state that the interrogated would lie through their teeth; to start with, perhaps, but that's why (again, if I were running things) I would say Osama was dead, so that everyone he knows personally would feel safe and secure knowing that Osama couldn't talk to anyone. Facts could be corroborated, and then repeat the process until the truth comes out.  If this were the case, I would have released photos of Osama "dead," covered with Hollywood makeup.  And frozen in place with a hint of curare.
But that would be me.  I don't mean to spread conspiracy theories.  I'm probably ahead of the curve on the tinfoil hat brigade.  And if they aren't there yet, they have a conspiracy, gratis.  That he's dead means that we would have to rely on whatever paperwork was lying around in his immediate vicinity.  I'm not encouraged, but I may just be a pessimist.

Now, there have been philosophers who have argued there must be a Hell, if only because there are some crimes so insidious that it cries out for justice.  If there weren't an afterlife, the sheer horror of these crimes would create one, just for those particular bastards.

I believe that Osama is in for a surprise.  Not even for a Christian deity.  But for something else. 

Looking at the Koran a moment, there is Sura 81, “When the girl, buried alive, is asked what what crime she is slain … ” and it goes on for a very long while. Sura 81 is “the Cessations,” and deals with the punishment of the wicked on Judgment day … and it has nothing to do with Skynet.

I've read that particular verse (Sura 81: 8-9) interpreted by a mullah as being a matter of "God will punish the murderer of children, for children have committed no crime." In Sura 5, “the Table”, that those who fight against God or "His Apostle," thereby bringing disorder to the world should be exiled, or be crucified. Considering how many Islamofacist terrorists have butchered plenty of children, and their fellow coreligionists, if they were to be looking at the whole thing literally, Osama would have been nailed to a set of 2x4s by his own people.  And does inviting the United States military to come down on parts of the Middle East like the hand of God count as spreading disorder?

But, at the end of the day, Osama was just a guy conveniently clipping lines from the Koran for his own convenience.  He didn't like Western Culture.  And the way he went about it, if anyone were honest, would have gotten him killed under the culture he claimed to fight for.

If atheists are right, Osama is nothingness now.  If believers are right, he is either in a purgatory for the insane, or in Hell.  Unless he discovered a sudden desire for forgiveness before the end.  It's possible.

Though I doubt it.

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