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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.

Radiation warnings send mobs of shoppers into stores, start hasty evacuations in Tokyo

Radiation warnings and a gentle but potentially deadly wind blowing towards Tokyo from the general direction of the melting-down Japanese nuclear power plants has caused panic shopping and hasty evacuations in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The line for the door was getting crowded as major corporations, foreign embassies, and visiting tourists hustled to get out of dodge before the 21st Century’s version of Godzilla got to the subways of Tokyo.

Everyone in Japan is “on the Beach” now. This is getting brutal.

One area of consensus, this accident has moved past Three Mile Island in the press’ opinion. It’s now the “worst accident since Chernobyl”. Nice. That’s encouraging.

The situation is quickly getting out of control and will be soon impacting the global environment and economy in ways we can hardly imagine from our current vantage point.

Fasten your seatbelts. And get some iodine pills.

UPDATE: New Reports from on the ground in Tokyo.

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