Monday, May 02, 2011

A Blow for Civilization

I decided to check my e-mail accounts one more time just before bed last night, and saw the no-extra-charge news feed that fronts the opening page of one of the accounts. That's how I found out that a certain mortal enemy of Western civilization -- make that civilization, period -- had been dispatched by the skill and valor of the U.S. armed forces yesterday.

At first I thought it was a speculative story, along the lines of "an unnamed source with ties to Pakistani intelligence officials says that Osama bin Laden reportedly slipped on a bar of soap in 2005 and died from complications of the fall. He was secretly buried in a secret location, according to the anonymous source." You know, one of those not-really-news items.

But no. It was the real deal. I'm a little sorry that I wasn't watching TV or listening to the radio, so I could see or hear a regularly scheduled program interrupted. But then again I guess "We interrupt this program..." is passé anyway.

Though I had much else to do today, I made some time to read about the event. Leon Wieseltier, who was at Lafayette Park in Washington last night, wrote astutely in The New Republic today: "This crowd burned nobody in effigy, nobody’s flag, nobody’s books. It had assembled to celebrate an entirely defensible act, whose justice could be proven on more than merely nationalistic grounds.

"After all, Osama bin Laden killed even more Muslims than Americans, and represented one of the most poisonous ideas of our time: the restoration, by means of sanctified violence, of a human world without rights. There is no decent man or woman anywhere... who does not wish to see this armed political theology defeated. If any death justifies rejoicing, the death of Osama bin Laden does."



Post a Comment

<< Home