Saturday, May 07, 2011
Hardship didn't crush you
Ezra, there’s a mighty big sand dune behind you. Calverts Beach, March 2011.
First of all, I have no need or desire to see snuff photographs or videos of Mr Bin Laden. However, I will confess to being bemused by the White House’s comment of “We don't trot out this stuff as trophies”, given the pep rally-like glee that this particular extrajudicial killing has generated. It strikes me that the passionate response to this week’s events very much resembles a trophy hunt. As it has been for ten years now…
What confuses me is the American leadership’s sudden coyness when it comes to the precise details of the killing. While assassinations are always a messy business, they’d not exactly hidden that such an outcome was welcome for this particular odious fellow. Welcome to the world of asymmetric warfare!
The legal interpretations will continue for some time, and as with all things that involve the law, will never be resolved. What struck me though was the fact that the initial reports clearly intended to paint this operation as anything but a targeted assassination. The fact that they’ve backtracked already makes the whole thing seem even more sordid than it already worse (from a purely ethical point of view).
How very timid! How many drone strikes have we seen under this very President? Drone strikes are nothing more than a mechanism to kill someone thousands of miles away. The use of drones by their very nature precludes any chance of surrender, so why sudden get all shy about the bloody detail. I guess that killing someone who is in the same room is just a little more complicated.
Up on Top, by Olav H. Hauge
After stumbling a long time over impossible trails
you are up on top.
Hardship didn't crush you, you trod it
down, climbed higher.
That's how you see it. After life has tossed you
away, and you ended up on top
like a one-legged wooden horse on a dump.
Life is merciful, it blinds and provides illusions,
and destiny takes on our burden:
foolishness and arrogance become mountains and marshy places,
hate and resentment become wounds from enemy arrows,
and the doubt always with us becomes cold dry
You go in the door.
The pot lies upside down in the hearth,
it sprawls with hostile black feet.