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[personal profile] flewellyn
So, apparently, Osama bin Laden is dead. That's interesting, and I suppose it marks some symbolic victory, but what have we gained?

Our hyped up state of fear of the rest of the world, particularly the Muslim world, is not going to vanish overnight. Our excessive and unnecessary curtailing of civil liberties, resurgence of paranoid right-wing reactionaries, and broadening of the "national security state" will not be stopped by this.

We have killed a terrorist leader, but only after being terrorized by his specter for ten years. And let's not pretend that the worst elements of our own society, which have cynically used the (overblown, post-9/11) threat of bin Laden to gain power and influence, will simply go back to the margins like they should. The overt racism and religious bigotry, the rampant resurgence of overt misogyny, all galvanized by "us or them" thinking on the part of our leaders and fed by an extreme right-wing that has been seeking an excuse for years if not decades, these things will not fade away.

Nor will the paranoid overbroadening of police powers disappear. We still have Gitmo, the use of torture against civilians, two wars, warantless wiretapping and surveillance, and the overall abandonment of our moral high ground on the subject of human and civil rights on our national conscience. We have, these past ten years, fought monsters so hard that we have become monsters.

In the final analysis, Osama bin Laden has won. So why are we celebrating?

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flewellyn

July 2014

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