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Osama Bin Laden is Dead

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Ten years ago, this September, was the date of one of the biggest terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Osama Bin laden was behind it, and then-President Bush promised no stone would left unturned until this man was brought to justice. However, as we all know – even though all intelligence pointed to Bin Laden hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, Bush sent hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers to go look under rocks in Iraq. And so we got into that all-new Vietnam, a sandy Hell we have yet to extract our servicemen and women from.

Today, President Obama announced that Bin laden had been killed, in military operation, in the mountainous region of Abbottabad… which is in Pakistan.  Intelligence (of the at-long-last intelligent kind) led U.S. forces to a small compound where Bin Laden was hiding. A small group of U.S. military shot and killed Bin Laden and, according to sources, are in possession of his body.

Without going into all the reasons for poor Western World-Arab world relationships going back to The Crusades, it could be said that we didn’t start this fight, ten years ago. That it was brought to our doorsteps on September 11, 2001, when four jets were hijacked and two of them flown into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one was brought down in a field in PA by the actions of the heroic passengers. When we went into Afghanistan, we had the moral high ground, as well as most of the world’s sympathy, behind us. We had a reason to be there, and we were all promised justice after the 9/11 attacks.

We know, also, how ex-President Bush squandered that good will by attacking Iraq for no more reason than a Bush/Bin Laden family feud and Dick Cheney’s lust for Iraqi oil fields. We know how many soldiers have died in a war so stupid, so pointless, even Bush’s father President Bush I wasn’t arrogant enough to get bogged-down in. And we know, through all this, Bin Laden was still alive, still broadcasting defiant messages to the West.

Here is the big question, beneath all the muscle-flexing and street-dancing most Americans are doing right now, many fully justified: should we celebrate the death of Bin Laden? It wouldn’t undo what he has done, nor all that has been done in his name, or done with the word “revenge” printed on it, in the name of “bringing him to justice.”

I can’t answer those questions. Perhaps victims of the 9/11 attacks, or the survivors, or the families of both victims and survivors, are the only ones with the right to answer the big questions. Bin Laden’s death doesn’t make the last 10 years not have happened. It won’t break al Queda, or make it go away. Lord and Allah knows, it will probably encourage al Queda to greater efforts in the name of a man now martyred, as they see it. It doesn’t bring any of the dead, from either (or any) side back.

It does, however, change things politically here at home. President Obama has a shiny victory, a foreign-policy gold ring that will be of great use in the 2012 elections. Honestly, I can’t wait to see how Fox News tries to spin this in an effort to not give the standing President credit for this. But all that is for tomorrow’s speculation. Tonight, let’s have a moment of silence, for all the people killed, all of them, as a result of every action from 9/11 up until now. Let’s take time to honor the dead, and not the revenge.

Today, the hunt for Bin Laden, is finally over. Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Tornadoes Slam Alabama

Filed under: Breaking News,Disasters,National,Weather — Tags: , , , , , — Positronic Dave @ 1:22 pm April 28, 2011

Thunderstorms and a series of tornadoes rode down hard on Alabama yesterday,  killing at least 175 people, across Alabama and at least 4 other states, including Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The brutal weather took out most of its fury on Alabama where the greater portion of the deaths occurred, where the death toll has been set at 128 so far. The City of Tuscaloosa, by itself, accounted for over 30 of the deaths. In one heart-breaking story from Mississippi, an off-duty police officer was killed when he used his body to protect his little girl from a tree that had been knocked over during the storm.

Infrastructure is gone.  The heart of the city has been leveled. They have lost the trucks and equipment needed even to start digging themselves out of this mess. There is no way to move the rubble and clear the wreckage. Meanwhile, citizens may be trapped and/or in need of medical care that is being frustrated by the number of roads that are completely impassable.

Check out this video of the tornado, estimated to be one-and-a-half miles wide:

President Obama has declared the region under a State of Emergency and the National Guard has been dispatched to the most critical areas in the northern part of the state. Shelters are being opened all over the area to accommodate those left homeless by the storms.

Our thoughts and prayers go out tonight to those affected by the storm, their families and friends. And also, to the Police, Fire & Emergency personnel and National Guardsmen and other rescue/relief workers, placing themselves in harm’s way in order to help. Against that power, tornadoes cannot win.

 

 

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