TRICK QUESTIONS  10:50 pm May 5, 2011

What Is ‘America,’ Anyway?

by Riley Waggaman

How dare ye ask such a question!Why did America’s young people “take it to the streets” on May 1st? Were they angry about all the illegal wars? Were they frustrated because undocumented immigrants pay more taxes than our largest corporations? Perhaps all the young, patriotic Americans protested in the streets because we have “less than five percent of the world’s population, but almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners”? Or because “the richest one percent of Americans now take home almost twenty-four percent of income,” just like in a Banana Republic? Don’t be silly! America’s young people emerged from their condos to celebrate Death. Too bad Leni Riefenstahl wasn’t there with her Flip Cam. Speaking of Nazis, do you know who else died on May First? Hitler! Unfortunately we weren’t able to shoot Adolf Hitler in the head and then dump him in the ocean, for Justice — but most of the high-ranking Nazi monsters were still tried and convicted in a court of law. We probably would have killed every member of the Nazi High Command immediately without a proper trial, if they had committed the unconscionable act of murdering 3,000 people.

Actually, a lot of Nazi war criminals were recruited by our nation’s intelligence agencies, to help us build space rockets and torture communists. But that’s a different story, for a different time.

***********************

Let’s talk about those Dead Osama Photographs, and how Barack Obama doesn’t want to “spike the football,” because he’s very humble about sending war helicopters into a sovereign nation, shooting an unarmed human in the face and then dumping the dead body into the ocean.

Some Americans are opposed to releasing these photographs, since making these photos publicly available is what Sarah Palin wants, on Twitter, or something.

There’s actually only one good reason to release a photograph of Osama’s mutilated corpse, but it’s reason enough.

The people of Afghanistan need to see this photo. They need to see this photograph more than anyone — more than the families of 9/11 victims.

Every mother in Afghanistan should be able to sit down with her children, and point at that photo.

“Do you see this photograph, children? This is the mangled corpse of Osama bin Laden. The Americans invaded our country ten years ago because they said we were protecting him, that he was hiding here. They found Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. They shot him in the head. He was unarmed. The Americans are still unsatisfied, though. They want more. And that is why they are still occupying our country.”

Every mother in Afghanistan should be able to point at that gruesome photograph, and say to her child, “The Americans still want more.”

But we guess that is what’s commonly referred to as “inciting jihad” or “putting the troops in harm’s way.” Strange times we’re livin’ in.

Reminds us of something Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, about America’s insatiable appetite for revenge. He wrote, “The ‘Get Tough America’ policy, the spirit of revenge, the approbation of all destruction and killing, has earned us a name for obscene brutality.” That’s a quotation from a short piece called “Wailing Shall Be In The Streets.” It’s an essay about the Dresden firebombing, which turned 100,000 German civilians into charcoal. And that was during World War II — the good war, the war where it was clear that we were Good and they were Evil.

Is anyone prepared to argue that it’s still so clear today? Is anyone prepared to argue that The War On Terror is more noble than fighting a fascist regime that conquered entire continents, slaughtered 6,000,000 human beings and had tentative plans for world domination? If so, we would love to hear from you: riley@wonkette.com. Subject: “America #1.”

(Here’s just One Example: The United States is currently harboring Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist and former CIA asset who blew up a Cuban airliner. What would happen if Cuba sent a few helicopters into U.S. airspace and “brought Carriles to justice”? We would probably carpet-bomb Cuba into the Stone Age. Then we would reoccupy Cuba. And then we would rebuild all the crooked casinos in Havana, for Freedom.)

And are we supposed to believe that 3,000 American lives are more important than the hundreds of thousands of innocents who have been killed or maimed as a result of our ongoing military adventures? And are we certain that 3,000 American lives are more valuable than the lives of the countless millions who now live in violent war zones, just so we could have the satisfaction of shooting an unarmed Muslim in the face? Because if that’s what the American people really believe, well, there’s a name for that sort of belief system.

And if you’re still butthurt by the idea of releasing these photos, fine. Here’s the alternative:

End the wars. All of them. Every American in Afghanistan needs to be shipped home. Today. Ditto in Iraq. Every American solider and sketchy mercenary must leave. Now. The robot-bombing of Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya must also end. Every CIA rape prison must be dismantled. Gitmo must be closed forever. Same with Bagram. We also need to stop murdering Gaddafi’s infant grandchildren, if there’s any left unmurdered.

If you disagree, what you’re essentially saying is that 3,000 American lives are still “unavenged,” even after we invaded two countries, continue to bomb a half-dozen more, and shot the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks in the face. That’s excluding (of course) all of the Extraordinary Rendition and torture that our government condones, every single day. Oh noes — did we just criticize Barack Obama? We must be a Birther/Deather/Racist KKK James O’Keefe Breitbart YouTube Dance Remix!

If we don’t stop with all of the mind-boggling bullshit — if Endless War continues — photographs of Osama bin Laden’s gaping head wound should be released immediately, so that the world can fully appreciate just how bloodthirsty we’ve become.

It’s probably too late to save our crumbling fake Democracy, but maybe not. What’s to be done?

Communist hippie John Lennon said it best, of course: “There’s many ways of promoting peace. Do everything for peace. Piss for peace. Or smile for peace. Or go to school for peace. Or don’t go to school for peace. Whatever you do, just do it for peace.”

What is America, anyway?

 
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{ 252 comments }

iburl May 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

democracynow.org

SayItWithWookies May 6, 2011 at 1:18 am

somedemocracynowmaybealittlebitmorelaterifyoureallydeserveit.org

evan7257 May 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Great, now I'm sad.

undeterredbyreality May 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Ken–

You gotta take this poor kid out and get him drunk and/or laid. Otherwise, you're responsible.

horsedreamer_1 May 6, 2011 at 10:09 am

Hell, this is the plan. Riley is the kinder, gentler Ken Lay.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

What the hell are you sad about? You've got a "p" value of 139.

mayor_quimby May 6, 2011 at 12:22 am

That's definitely the biggest p-ness I've ever seen

evan7257 May 6, 2011 at 12:26 am

If it is large enough, do I automatically get a job?

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

Nope, but you get fisted.

It really is the small things.

Nothingisamiss May 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I love you, Riley.

No snark. (For the moment.)

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Well done Riley

Dashboard_Jesus May 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

ditto, definitely Riley's best moment, I could not have expressed the same feelings better myself…well done indeed, and now won't SOMEONE stop the madness!

Lascauxcaveman May 6, 2011 at 2:02 am

At first, I thought it was Ken who was hand-wringing, but then I realized; no, not quite hysterical enough.

I've always maintained George W. Bush was worse than OBL, but only because he had more resources at hand; he was just plain able to do more damage. It's a matter of quantity, and means, not quality and motives. By extension, sadly, my assessment of Hopey is sliding in that direction, too.

Congrats on bagging your big trophy, Mr Obama. I hope you plan to use this as an excuse to start winding down this counter productive and evil two-war shitstorm you inherited and and have personally continued for far, far too long.

You are officially re-electable now. Big ups, big guy. Pat on the back. You better have one hell of a second term or I'm gonna be pretty disappointed.

rocktonsam May 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm

which america are you talking about?

DahBoner May 6, 2011 at 1:00 am

America (75% Reality-Based, 24% Opposite World, 1% Teabagger Artificial Flavor)…

OhHellToTheNo May 6, 2011 at 6:06 am

The default response to this question, regardless of topic is "not MY America!"

BTWBFDIMHO May 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Wow, great posting!

Beanball May 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Feeling a little down, Waggers? Well me, too. As for an answer to your question, I haven't a clue and I'm fresh out of jokes. As for Obama and his buddies, I told you so.

Maybe when the last of my baby boomer fuckwit generation finally kicks the bucket, the field will be clear for a better nation.

Jesus Christ, I certainly hope so.

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

it'll be far too late by then

Dashboard_Jesus May 5, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Amen!

Ohforcripessake May 6, 2011 at 3:59 am

It's already too late I'm afraid.

Gopherit May 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm

This is not the Rileysnark we were looking for.

undeterredbyreality May 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Needz moar innocence. And fondling.

mumbly_joe May 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Soooo… Riley's been drinking too, is what I'm getting from this.

I can tell, because he sounds like I sound, only to the Internet, instead of to my roommate who really doesn't care.

Bonzos_Bed_Time May 6, 2011 at 12:23 am

And he types real pretty-like.

Gopherit May 6, 2011 at 1:46 am

replace that with cat and ditto.

politics_nerd May 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Happiness is a warm gun?

HempDogbane May 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Give piss a chance.

emmelemm May 6, 2011 at 12:52 am

Bang bang shoot shoot.

trondant May 6, 2011 at 6:23 am

A warm gunt, but you were close.

finallyhappy May 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm

The Nazis murdered more than 6,000,000- I am Jewish so when I say it is isn't anti-semitism.

LetUsBray May 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Naw, you're just accusing wonkette of being a Birther/Deather/Racist KKK James O’Keefe Breitbart YouTube Dance Remix, because you didn't agree that the prez is morally weak.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:18 am

Six million? + 25,000,000 Slavs. I'm both.
I'm just rolling with a sad, but important, thread.

trampndirtdown May 6, 2011 at 12:43 am

I dunno why we're digging this ditch brother, the man said dig a ditch so here we are.
Plenty of my Bohemian brethren were there.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 1:02 am

Blame it on Riley. Go Riley.

Dashboard_Jesus May 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm

America’s young people emerged from their *parent's basements* to celebrate Death

/fixed

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm

we celebrated a victory. its our only chance since we lost all the wars

CalamityJames May 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Perhaps I misread, or am slightly triggled, but even in the midst of all the pretty words about dead muslins and how we need to kill more dead muslins, I found what I considered the meat of this post: the country is fucked. The top1% are fucking us daily. We are warring with nations simply because we can. Our social system is so fucked up that we imprison first-time drug offenders, which inevitably leads them to second-time, third-time, or hell, even first-time killers.

And the only thing that will get us to put down our Code-red Mtn Dews, shut down our fap-boxes, put on some deodorant, get a little amped and actually do something is the death of a 9-foot tall diabetic who died years ago when we decided that regardless of who actually did it, we're going after Saddam.

Osama's death is no more a victory for us than Truman's was for Japan.

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

we are fucked. the olds are only getting older and crazier. by the time they don't control elections anymore, it will be too late to fix things.

even if we get the economy on track somehow, global warming is a matter of time, and it will be worse than we think

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

WOOHOO!!!!

HAPPY SEXTO DE MAYO EVERYONE!!!!!!

!

horsedreamer_1 May 6, 2011 at 10:11 am

Nine feet tall? Was Osama a Jihadi, or was he St. Christopher?

Dashboard_Jesus May 7, 2011 at 1:20 am

well said, pretty much sums up the sorry state of affairs quite nicely (and in only 2 short paragraphs!) *golf clap*

politics_nerd May 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm

oh.

memzilla May 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Riley, there goes your shot at a Faux News contract. Well done.

Doktor Zoom May 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm

OK, so when are you guys going to announce that Wonkette is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of SuicideBooths.com?

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm

wonkette is the place that refuses to ignore actual reality

BTWBFDIMHO May 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Refuse to ignore it? You mean, Wonkette is just another reality show?

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

wonkette ignores neither reality nor reality tv

deanbooth May 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

You're soaking in it.

MittsHairHelmet May 6, 2011 at 12:06 am

you're right. i can't help it. in my 25 years, i've only seen disappointment. also, i'm drunk

UpFistTroll May 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

Geez, you're 25? It took until at least 30 before I hit that level of disillusionment. Okay, 27. Wait, when did my dad die… I was 26…

Okay, never mind.

nedbeaumontjr May 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

I'm buying Soylent Green stock!

undeterredbyreality May 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Geez, Riley–the debate wasn't profound enough for you?

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Something I was contemplating earlier today – Americans are all against the notion that it would be OK to torture a confession out of your run-of-the-mill murder suspect. Take out 3,000 people and several buildings, however, and they rip up the Constitution and generally go apeshit. Is there some magic number of victimes, where the rules change?

HistoriCat May 5, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Well it depends – is it us or them getting blown up or tortured?

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Imagine if Timothy McVeigh had had a driver, and we'd captured that guy instead of McVeigh. OK to waterboard the guy to find out where McVeigh might be at?

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:20 am

It's all legal Mr. Cheney.

mayor_quimby May 6, 2011 at 12:26 am

Oy, why you gotta be all serious and shit?

Biel_ze_Bubba May 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

Rhetorical question. Let the pro-torture crowd worry about it.

OhHellToTheNo May 6, 2011 at 6:09 am

But we did think McVeigh was a "Arab guy" for a few hours or so. Which I believe justifies everything that would have happened in an alternate reality…because, as Historicat said, we're very US v Them.

HistoriCat May 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

You didn't giveh enough information – is the driver brown-skinned? If so, then yes, torture is acceptable.

OhHellToTheNo May 6, 2011 at 6:10 am

I believe this was all settled in the landmark Court of American Opinion case "Us v Them".

zhubajie May 6, 2011 at 12:36 am

"Americans are all against the notion that it would be OK to torture a confession out of your run-of-the-mill murder suspect."

I'm not so sure of that. I suspect that before long the Gtmo type trial will be the standard, while the old-fashioned trial will be reserved for rich people like Madoff.

trampndirtdown May 6, 2011 at 12:45 am

If he wasn't guilty then why did they arrest him hmmh?

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 1:26 am

"I suspect that before long the Gtmo type trial will be the standard, while the old-fashioned trial will be reserved for rich people like Madoff."

…ummm…

Biel_ze_Bubba May 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm

"Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" seems to be the "justice" system favored by some wingtards — usually the same cretins who claim to be defending the sanctity of the Constitution. (Which could induce severe cognitive dissonance … if they had cognitive skills.)

Zvi_Bleindmeis May 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I could not discern any references to boobs, poop, or anal sex in that posting, so it must have been really subtle and obscure, and especially funny. You're a genius, Mr. W.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:20 am

What, no tongue punching fart boxes??!?

ttommyunger May 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

I saw a lot of it, but that's just me.

Buzz Feedback May 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Look at the pelican. Gooooo pelican!

Fukui_sanYesOta May 6, 2011 at 1:16 am

Pelicans eat pigeons

J Rbt. Oppenheiner May 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

We still haven't brought our troops home from WW fucking two yet… there are 68000 still in Germany for Chrissakes..

nedbeaumontjr May 6, 2011 at 7:21 am

Gotta watch out for them Zombie Nazis.

Crank_Tango May 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

That reminds me, is Allison Brie the hottest jewish girl out there? I think so. I googled it, but they said natalie portman was number one, and I don't really think so.

AddHomonym May 6, 2011 at 12:05 am

All of them, Cranky!

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:21 am

Pam Gellar?

mayor_quimby May 6, 2011 at 12:28 am

I vote for Ms. Brie, good thing I had my briss..

undeterredbyreality May 6, 2011 at 12:30 am

Allison is cute enough, but Natalie wins on Jewishness (born in Jerusalem v LA).

Crank_Tango May 6, 2011 at 1:00 am

LOL I believe I was going for hottest jewish girl, not jewishest hot girl, but sure. also, mila kunis, hello. when is that friggin black swan disk getting here…

DaRooster May 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

Would that not be "Jewiest"?

('Cuz I can't pronounce Jewishest… I have no idea why I can pronounce Jewiest though)

Bonzos_Bed_Time May 6, 2011 at 12:32 am

You can say that in the presence of Sara Benincasa?

imissopus May 6, 2011 at 1:11 am

Oh man, Allison Brie superseded Natalie and Mila for me some time ago. Mila can look like a bit of a burnout and Natalie got herself knocked up by some douchey French ballerina and is going to have a shotgun wedding. I got ten bucks says he runs off with one of the nurses in the delivery room.

But Allison…'scuse me, gotta run.

TheSheriffsNear May 6, 2011 at 10:27 am

I'll grant you she's got it going on, but my vote is still with Rachel Weisz.

Ansnarkist May 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Annie's Boobs is the best part about Community.

waitforsugar May 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Beautifully said Riley.

Slightly pervy hugs to you.

Gopherit May 6, 2011 at 1:48 am

he is used to that…..from breitbart.

SayItWithWookies May 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I would love for President Obama to end the wars in Afghanistan and especially Iraq in one fell swoop — but hell, I can't blame him entirely in this climate of insanity. When the Republican response to killing Osama is to excoriate him for thinking about it for 16 hours before approving the plan, to say he's tooting his own horn when he went to the WTC site today, to yell at him for releasing/not releasing the corpse photos — yeah, it seems like a simple and obvious thing to do, but with this Congress and this military and this political climate it must be like swimming through molasses.

trampndirtdown May 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Oh you and your reasonableness.

RavenRant May 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

'Tooting his own horn?' Beck said he was slimy, obscene and disgusting. And there's worse out there.

All that Dixie Chick said was that she was embarrassed to be from Texas, and that was good for a couple years of record burning and death threats.

IOKIYAR. And if the CiC is brown.

trampndirtdown May 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm

The Dixie Chicks got off easy, they made Steve Earle's hair fall out.

RavenRant May 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

The horror!

SayItWithWookies May 6, 2011 at 12:01 am

Yeah imagine if President Obama had landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier, wearing a flightsuit and proceeded to strut around for an hour before giving a speech.
And come to think of it, that's really what the GOP is mad about concerning this commemoration — Obama's celebrating something he actually accomplished, as opposed to something he thought he accomplished and which took him six more years before he woke up to the fact that he didn't accomplish it. It's bad form to show up a previous president in such a brazenly arrogant way.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

And be black while doing it.

trampndirtdown May 6, 2011 at 12:09 am

Especially that.

SayItWithWookies May 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

Yeah, first I was gonna put it like "and the help should know not to show up massa in front of the guests," but thought I'd ease up on the horrible little rats for some reason. Out of misplaced generosity or some other liberal moral failure.

imissopus May 6, 2011 at 1:41 am

Can't even say he's "celebrating." If there's one public figure who hasn't been celebrating, it's Obama. He laid a wreath and had a private lunch with some NYC firefighters. He's been beyond dignified the last three days.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 3:07 am

No kidding. That's why my favorite teatard headline so far is "Obama Administration takes victory lap in clown car" by Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller. It's hilarious, but only because teatards form such a narrow slice of the voting pie chart.

DaRooster May 6, 2011 at 10:44 am

What FOOL would ever do that kinda shit… just ridiculous.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:28 am

Wooks, the sick, SICK, part of this whole thing is the Repug response that torture is the reason we caught ol' what's his name. Give credit to BushCheney and their torture industry. The torture argument is resurrected. What. The. Fuck.

SayItWithWookies May 6, 2011 at 12:49 am

Well, the Republicans are the party of ideas. Thoroughly repudiated ideas, but ideas nonetheless.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 1:25 am

They had rats placed on their abdomens and covered them with metal bowls that were slowly heated. In response, the vermin would gnaw into the victim’s intestinal cavity to escape the heat. What did innocent people do to receive such justice? Merely claiming that the earth revolves around the sun or a neighbor accused them of reading an unauthorized book, i.e. the bible. The sanctioning body, of course, was the Catholic Church.
I am not feeling well tonight.
Martini's and Joy Division.

BarryOPotter May 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

Martini's and Joy Division.

Hello? Are you me?

Failure_Artist May 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

Yeah, if you believe torture works, then you must also believe that witches exist. After all, they confessed to have magical powers under torture or threat of torture.

mumbly_joe May 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

Not just resurrected, but it's come back as some glittery fucking vampire. Remember how the "torture argument" used to be "ticking time bomb/critical information to prevent an imminent attack/unable to get through other means"? Yeah, well now the argument is that torture is vindicated, because information supposedly gleaned through torture (but actually, in real life, not), when combined with other information, might lead to the capture or killing of a bad guy who may or may not be little more than a figurehead, nearly a fucking decade later.

That's so far down he slippery slope it's pretty much off the goddamn cliff, and it's pretty much exactly what us torture opponents (why is that even a political "camp", in America?) said would happen once people started carving out any rationale for torture at all. We were right, and in less than ten years.

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2011 at 9:40 am

You know, it's uncool to like Elliot Spitzer's show, (I hit the wrong button on my DVR and thought I was watching "The Good Wife") but he had Torture Memo author John Yu on his show last night. Yu is apparently the designated Bush regime apologist/Obama-criticizer this week. Disgustingly, he tried to second guess the size and scope of the OBL operation with all his vast military knowledge, as well as claim that the tactic formerly known as torture led to the OBL lead. Spitzer totally eviscerated the guy.

horsedreamer_1 May 6, 2011 at 10:16 am

If only Spitz would have been content to self-pollute….

LetUsBray May 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

Needz moar somehow self-satisfied despair.

mayor_quimby May 6, 2011 at 12:46 am

I think he is trying to set the molasses on fire with JDAMs, wait for it to burn down to sugar and walk out of the pit of leftover shit and give them the finger.

BTWBFDIMHO May 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Win.

gullywompr May 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Had to delete it because it didn't fit with Riley's post, i.e. what I wrote was funny.

axmxz May 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Oh come on, now I have to know!

rileywaggs May 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Awwww c'mon :(

gullywompr May 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

To be fair, it was also almost, but not completely, off topic. Sorry for the petulance.

But is was funny. Hope I get the chance to use it later.

donner_froh May 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Riley–beautifully written. Despite the white hot anger and (if I may) concern you also hit so many of the high points: torture, rendition, continued occupation of Central Asian nations, illegal, undeclared war.

There is, however, a significant amount of discussion, reflection and debate over the summary execution of bin Laden although much of it is taking place among human rights and international law advocates and with thoughtful citizens who don't weren't among the raucous crowds the other night.

So while I share your dismal outlook on the future of this country there are many who are not quite as pessimistic–although they are probably wrong.

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm

OBL declared his "war", and he got what was coming to him on that score; like any general of any hostile army, he was fair game. But as a man without a country, he was eternally on "third party" soil, and that's where it gets dicey. Obama did have the option of telling Pakistan where he was and asking for rendition — so far as I know, that was the only "legal" option he had — and it would have been the more principled thing to do.
But let's face it: in the real world, it would have been political suicide for Obama if, as seems likely, Pakistan "somehow" let OBL escape. What's at stake is not just Obama's career: losing his leadership would send the US down the road to perdition. When I look at the GOP's wingnut lineup for 2012, I thank Obama for doing what he did.

HempDogbane May 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Isn't what Riley wrote what Tim Pawlenty has been trying to say to us all recently, albeit in a slightly more muscular tone?

aguacatero May 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Compelling post, Riley.

gullywompr May 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm

God damn it! How's a lib supposed to do funny snark against a backdrop like that? Curse you, Riley Waggaman!

axmxz May 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm

That is the most pathetic rhetorical effort I've seen on Wonkette yet. The best part was the cri de coeur imploring us all to "stop murdering Gaddafi’s infant grandchildren". Yes, obviously NATO should really stop doing that thing with the bombs that it's doing for some completely irrelevant to you personally reason. Because OMG THINK OF GADDHAFI'S CHILDREN!12!! Ever wonder why you don't hear much about *the other side's children*, Riley? Their parents don't control state televisions, so they just die, without getting on your TV.

I'm actually in agreement with the point about withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan that you buried somewhere in that mammoth-sized wad of pink hippie slobber, but oh, if only you knew how many paragraphs of snark I forced myself to delete from this comment before posting. If this essay were entered into a competition for Most Libtardy Thing, it would win bronze and immediately cede its spot on the podium to the fourth-place entry because it came from an underprivileged background.

LetUsBray May 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

I'm a little ashamed of myself for saying "Thank you!" for this. But: Thank you!

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 12:45 am

Just felt like interrupting this thread of paeans with a buzzer sound for a moment.

Fukui_sanYesOta May 6, 2011 at 12:59 am

Thanks from me too. There's something to it, but it stuck in my craw as the worst kind of hand-wringing.

imissopus May 6, 2011 at 1:34 am

I think it was the repeated references to shooting an unarmed Muslim in the face that got me. Come on, that unarmed Muslim was Osama bin Laden! I only wish we'd shot him in the face ten years ago, then maybe we wouldn't be up to our eyeballs in all these other messes.

My main objection to releasing those photos is that they would only feed the bloodlust orgy some of the American public has indulged in the last few days. That orgy alone told the world all it needed to know (as if it didn't know it already.) But by all means let's release the photos so that Riley can stop being all butthurt about some of us being butthurt.

Christ. I mean, I agree with the sentiments and want all the troops to come home yesterday (and that includes that shiksa Benincasa's man even though it means she will not need some penguin comfort when she's feeling lonely) but I could probably write about ten thousand words picking the logic here apart.

Fuck Toad May 6, 2011 at 1:11 am

I'll make sure to remember that it's OK for NATO to blow up children with bombs as long as Moammar fucking Gaddafi is doing it too.

Seriously? Do you really have to be told that criticizing one party's behavior in a conflict isn't equivalent to condoning the behavior of the other?

I honestly have no idea whether Libya would be better off under the current regime or the new one. Thousands of years of recorded history suggest that even the cruelest dictator, overthrown by the noblest freedom fighters, can be followed by an even greater bloodbath.

All I want is for maybe less of that blood to be spilled by bombs I pay for.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 1:22 am

If Gaddafi's adult children don't have the brains to send their kids away so that they don't *all* die with Crazy Old Granpa, then you know what? Dead kids are going to happen. You and Riley ascribe some sort of baby-killing intentionality to NATO. That's a bit like blaming a cop for accidentally shooting a hostage in a firefight to take down the hostage taker. It's tragic, but it's not exactly a clarion call to spill out into the streets chanting "Shame on the child-killer cop!"

BTWBFDIMHO May 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Hey! Today someone else wrote about a Cuban command coming to kill Posada Carriles (in Spanish): http://puedecolaborar.blogspot.com/2011/05/el-dia

DownFist Troll May 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm

What is America? Why it's a modern day Wiemar Germany. Except our brownshirts aren't goosestepping around, they ride rascals instead.

vulpes82 May 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

We're in no way fun enough for Weimar Germany.

mumbly_joe May 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

Didn't Weimar Germany manage to pass single payer? Yeah, I'd say you're right.

vulpes82 May 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

Forget single payer, where are my goddamn cabarets?!?

karen May 6, 2011 at 9:07 am

Auf Wiedersehen, Mein Herr!

HogeyeGrex May 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Tomorrow Belongs To Tea…

Arken May 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm

People always dis Yoko but without her there would be no Ballad of John and Yoko and that song is awesome.

Lascauxcaveman May 6, 2011 at 2:07 am

Eh, i never saw the attraction, but then again, I'm not John Lennon.

Not my place to second-guess the guy.

Arken May 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Christ, you know it ain't easy.

Papa_Uniform May 5, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Huge sigh Riley.

RavenRant May 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm

When war profiteers figured out that NOT winning wars was more profitable than winning them, eternal war was inevitable.

MittsHairHelmet May 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm

war is peace

axmxz May 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

More like war is status quo. You know what would fix this right quick? Consolidating the arms industry so that all ten thousand parts of a fighter jet aren't assembled in ten different southern states. You know what's never going to get through Congress? That.

MittsHairHelmet May 6, 2011 at 12:01 am

yea i don't think the people who control the world are interested in giving that up

SilverFox May 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

Absolutely. Where I think we all are in some agreement is that this country and our elected officials are entirely too good at and too eager to make war at the expense of sound domestic and foreign policy. And as demonstrated by the mostly mindless cheering on Sunday night at the White House by GW students hopped up on Red Bull and adderall, our supposedly progressive-minded, anti-establishment youth are happy to play along.

RavenRant May 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

‘1984’ has ceased to be a cautionary tale, and has become an instruction manual. Also, we have always been at war with Eastasia.

sati_demise May 6, 2011 at 12:05 am

Tora!
Bora!

RavenRant May 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Speaking of Tora Bora, how dare we fail to to give Bush full credit for taking out OBL? Ingrates, all of us.

LetUsBray May 6, 2011 at 12:29 am

This I fear will lead off our nation's epitaph.

glamourdammerung May 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Why are people not asking Keanu Reeves about his opinion on the issue since asking Sarah Palin for her opinion shows that someone obviously care about the uninformed celebrity stance on this important issue?

RavenRant May 6, 2011 at 1:19 am

Has Snooki weighed in?

pinkocommi May 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I only regret that Osama had but one life to lose for my country.

BZ1 May 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

…it's no resolution but the men and women in harm's way need to come home… fighting an endless succession of wars in far-off lands is essentially an untenable strategy…. and gains no one anything except animosity, fear and hatred…

SarahsBush May 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm

High fives all around to Riley for this one. I don't personally need to see the photos, but I do need to see these wars put to an end. There are ways we can help rebuild without occupation and killing.

pinkocommi May 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Why not cut off Osama Bin Laden's head and parade it on the end of a stick around America for good measure? Or we could stick it in a jar, but maybe we only do that with fetuses?

MittsHairHelmet May 6, 2011 at 12:01 am

releasing the photo would be the 2011 equivalent

OhHellToTheNo May 6, 2011 at 6:19 am

Because then George W and Jeb would run around with his head in a jar and then, yet again, Barbara Bush would have to explain what the hell was going on and how they got the jar with Bin Laden's head.

GuanoFaucet May 5, 2011 at 11:58 pm

What is 'America,' anyway?

The world's most fertile moron farm?

ifthethunderdontgetya May 6, 2011 at 12:16 am

USA! USA! USA!

(I won't bother reposting the idiot with the guns and the 4-wheeler, because y'all know where it's at.)
~

RavenRant May 6, 2011 at 12:20 am

Outa my way, stupid flag! Cain't you se I'm trying to shoot here?

fuflans May 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

well it's about goddamned time we invaded cuba again.

Fukui_sanYesOta May 6, 2011 at 1:18 am

Banana daiquiris all round!

Terry May 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

Except this time around, the cheerleaders in Miami will be parading with walkers and scooters.

finallyhappy May 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

What happened with normalizing relations there? I was going to go with a humanitarian group and thier permit(or authority- whatever) got cancelled.

KeepFnThatChicken May 6, 2011 at 12:05 am

Two things: Be thankful we don't have all those non-violent offenders on the streets, or the unemployment numbers would really be impressive.

Second, Daddy always said "women should stay home." Think about how good the hiring would be if them womens had just listened.

Lastly, don't downfist on tongue-in-cheek, please.

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi May 6, 2011 at 12:06 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT2BJKhzaTE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA2LgJviH9w

operation regime change in effect
note the subtle media movement
both political parties
may it stay peaceful

CountryClubJihadi May 6, 2011 at 12:06 am

W♥rd.

Sassomatic May 6, 2011 at 12:08 am

Today, we are all gruesome photographs.

CrankyLttlCamperette May 6, 2011 at 12:16 am

Totes Awesome! Now I can blame something other than the booze for sobbing myself to sleep tonight!

donner_froh May 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

There has been a lot of coverage/hand-wringing over the party like reaction of OBL's death and I have missed most of it but–weren't many of the demonstrators/party animals actually drunken college students?

If that is the case the viewing with alarm is an overreaction–undergrads finding a reason to get plastered and stagger around in the streets isn't really a political response to anything.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 12:32 am

That, and also, OBL to them was like the proverbial boogeyman – a scary formless entity that haunted the back of their minds and fucked with them in airports. Killing him was sort of like killing Lord Voldemort. It's a tall order to ask them to think of him as an ailing grandfather first and a mass murderer second.

SayItWithWookies May 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

That, and he can't be used to instill fear. You think anyone's afraid that Ayman al-Zawahiri's gonna get them? He's the Oates of terrorism.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 1:25 am

Besides, at least they could pronounce "Osama bin Laden." It's hard to be scared of a tongue-twister.

horsedreamer_1 May 6, 2011 at 10:18 am

He's the Oates of Terrorism

I'm dying over here.

Ayman's eyes, they're watching me…

OhHellToTheNo May 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

Plus, was anything even set on fire? That's how drunk college kids get riled-up for sports teams and this is far more serious than a sports team. So, I agree with you.

Still, I think that there could have been a silent (for lack o a better word) political reaction, where the Us vs. Them mentality still does not allow people to realize that some people look different from us or worship differently than us and they DON'T want to kill us. I mean, last week (and still) there are people who think the president is a secret muslim terrorist, so it's not a stretch to be concerned by an uptick in "fuck yeah, America!" But I don't think that this is necessarily tied to the celebrations, as much as what is going on in the minds of racist assholes.

dox[acted] May 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

Next you'll expect me to believe that their love of Cinco de Mayo isn't an indication of this generation's deep appreciation of Mexican culture.

HateMachine May 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

Let me put it this way: upon seeing the waiting list at our Mexican restaurant of choice (and realizing it would be as bad elsewhere) my friends and I purchased some tequila at the liquor store and drank it in a sushi restaurant.

Don't you dare suggest that the Mexican way of life is not ingrained on our very souls.

NOTE: this may come as a surprise for some, but you get some weird looks yelling "VIVA MEXICO!" in an Asian restaurant.

user-of-owls May 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

Isn't it past your bedtime?

trampndirtdown May 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

Definitely goodnight.

Bonzos_Bed_Time May 6, 2011 at 12:21 am

My all-time fave Vonnegut quote: *

zhubajie May 6, 2011 at 12:39 am

"a [sort of] fascist regime that conquered entire continents, slaughtered [at least] 6,000,000 human beings and had tentative plans for world domination"

Sounds like the US since the Cold War started.

RadioGroundZero May 6, 2011 at 12:45 am

No domino shall fall.

Negropolis May 6, 2011 at 12:47 am

Too. Many. Words. Does not compute.

EDIT: Ken, quit posting under Riley's name, already. Riley, if I didn't know any better, I'd swear you don't approve of what went down on Monday.

You know what/who else went down on Monday?

donner_froh May 6, 2011 at 1:02 am

Adolph Hitler in 1945? (Hitler always a good answer to Wonkette questions)

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 1:48 am
Lascauxcaveman May 6, 2011 at 2:38 am

The Bangles went down on Monday? Down to Liverpool to do nothing? Down Under? Down on the Titanic?

They certainly didn't go down on me.

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 2:50 am

Man, my snark runs deep, so deep, puts Wonks to sleep.

Yeah, I was reaching a bit. But as you can tell from the above…

Ah fuck it, where's the banhammer, I'll do it myself.

emmelemm May 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

Well said, sir, although you make me sad.

Bumper sticker sez: War IS Terrorism. Bumper sticker is right.

frostbitefalls May 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

Riley, I forgive you for flirting with Breitbart.

Fuck Toad May 6, 2011 at 1:06 am

Thanks, Waggs.

Negropolis May 6, 2011 at 1:36 am

Today, we are all morally weak.

What is America? America is a deeply (but not fatally) flawed nation of ideas working towards a more perfect union, in theory, that does the heavy lifting the rest of the world can't or won't do. That's America. Suck on that.

Bring our troops home. Yes, all of them, Katie. NOW. But goddamn, if this wasn't a fucking bridge too far.

That's it. Fold 'er up, boys. Let's give the world over to the morally superior Chinese, already. If we can't do everything, and do everything to perfection, we musn't do anything at all.

fartknocker May 6, 2011 at 1:47 am

Riley, thanks for your honesty and candor. It was refreshing but I still love you for your analysis of the Palin family values. Yes downfister glory hole bitch, I mentioned one of your saviours.

In the mean time we still have Boehner who decided that shit PX90ZX (whatever it was) Ryan fucked with old people (I am about there) Medicare they paid into and its politically dead. And in the interim, our current president, a nice Black fellow with a valid and certified birth certificate, directed well trained, focused and disciplined soldiers to eliminate a threat.

Riley, you brought the focus back to the beginning by recognizing that the middle class is fighting a difficult fight. It was the same with Bin Laden- he lost because he was an evil man who was an asshole like Tammy Fay and her husband praying for his Jesus and taking money. Your icon is not relevant to me. But killing people over your belief never fit into any religion I studied.

I just wish I had some special forces OPS specialist, a lobbyist, and a congressman (here that shitsack Lloyd Doggett) listening to the constituents

Fuck you troll downfister. Sorry for my lack of snark fellow Wonketters.

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 2:23 am

MORE fucking words?

fartknocker May 6, 2011 at 2:32 am

I won't apologize for being verbous. In the world of members of Twatter, Facebook and Linkedin, we have numerous numbnuts who can not conjugate a sentence and live for the Blackberry spell check.

You missed the message. I and you are facing a real progression against we the people who concern themselves with lobbyists. I think the Wonkette editors are offering a perspective that is a check and balance.

And yes, more fucking words. If I misinterpreted your message, do tell me so.

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 2:43 am

Snark redtracted.

fartknocker May 6, 2011 at 3:01 am

Thanks Calamity James. You have a good weekend and smile this fine day. We're all upright and vertical- I hope.

natl_indecency_cmdr May 6, 2011 at 1:56 am

america is where we live. if we are upset about it, we should work for change. this rhetoric masturbation into the t.p. of the internet doesn't count.

Laughitoff22 May 6, 2011 at 1:57 am

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

MadBrahms May 6, 2011 at 2:20 am

I don't disagree with you as to the unjust results of America's wars, but I am a little alarmed at how frame the logic behind them . Our entanglements in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are about many things – economic interests, exceptionalist empire-building (sometimes with a sincere if misguided belief in democracy American-style), and perhaps more importantly, a vague sense of fear and uncertainty regarding America's place in an ever-smaller world, manifested in xenophobic paranoia.

Revenge certainly plays a role, but I think you're greatly overplaying it. The US is engaged in a "perpetual war for perpetual peace" (to steal Gore Vidal's phrasing), pursuing a utopian vision that has resulted in a real-time nightmare. "Securing the future" is as much a part of America's wartime rhetoric as retribution for past wrongs. This is not – nor has it ever been – simply about the past.

Negropolis May 6, 2011 at 2:30 am

Our entanglements in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are about many things…

This point is important, because I've seen time and time again the false narrative that we turned the world upside down for no other reason but revenge, and not only is that a bold-faced misrepresentation and oversimplification, but it's a vile and demeaning lie for its crudeness and laziness.

I hate these wars like no other, and each one of them is wrong for many nasty reasons, but I think we must get right why they are wrong, and stop pandering to the very easy and intellectually lazy belief that hunreds of thousands of people are dead by the hands of the American government in West Asia and the Middle East for little other reason than a careless hunting trip for, and vendetta against, Bin Laden. If we can't even get that right, we're going to have a problem.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 3:00 am

Riley is quite young and still all heart about these things, not terribly sensitive to nuance. And this isn't a venue for nuanced policy debates, anyway. Still, this sort of hand-wringing is a bad habit to get into.

Negropolis May 6, 2011 at 7:24 am

I'm a youngin (20-something), myself, and have been known to do a bit of hand-wringing in my time, but I just think there are far less credible world powers on this spinning than America. Fuck, we've got our problems and some deadly bad habits, but the pickins are slim to say the least. I simply don't subscribe to the belief and rhetoric put out there by, say, the likes of Iran, that the United States is the cause of most of the world's problems or that the motives of an Al Qaeda and the American government are about equally the same.

How the destruction of Bin Laden – of all the fuckin' things in this world – has drawn out such dark pessimism and such bitter and soul-crushing fatalism is totally beyond me. I'm not some mindless "patriot" chanting USA! USA! in the streets, but it blows my mind that some take this particular event to try to drag the reset of us down to utter dispair and hopelessness.

Good god, my friends! This event of all events should give us an incredible sense or urgency and hope. Hope that this event makes it harder for us to explain our overextended military. Hope that it gives us a good out in that region. Hope that the coming Arab Spring coupled with the symbolic crippling of Al Qaeda – and organization that had already been disrupted like hell, operationally – will lead to a new age of enlightment.

I swear, for far too many people I share a location with on the ideological spectrum, it is a crime to feel even the most mild and guarded emotion of relief, let alone genuine contentment and joy.

To be glad and breath a sigh of relief that someone like Bin Laden is dead, that he has been killed, is not mutually exclusive of also feeling that we have lots of work to do to move our policy in line with a more harmonious world. It just isn't, and I resent being told, or it being implied, that a person like myself betrays my ideological kin by taking a positive note that a man so singularly and gleefully focused on murdering civilians can no longer carry out his plans.

starfanglednut May 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Wow! You young wonketeers are impressive. When I was in my 20's, the only thing that pissed me off was that the liquor store was closed on sundays, or if my dealer went to rehab.

Karma_Suture May 6, 2011 at 3:05 am

hear here!
Thank you.

iburl May 6, 2011 at 2:30 am

“It doesn't happen. The struggle goes on. The victory is in the struggle, for me. And I accepted that a long time ago.”
Al Lewis

zappadoo76 May 6, 2011 at 3:01 am

Tour de force, Riley.

Beck_is_Trig May 6, 2011 at 3:24 am

Yeah I dunno…I think we're departing here. In the interest of not promoting groupthink, I'm going to oppose the tenor of this post. Not every part of it, mind you because there's a lot I agree with. I do agree that permanent war needs to end, I do agree we shouldn't be in the middle east but pardon me for not feeling the least amount of compassion or remorse for Osama Bin Laden. I'll go ahead and make my case now. I am proof that you can be in favor of Bin Laden dying while still opposing the military campaigns, you're too black and white, Riley.

All moral equivolency aside, UBL deserved to die, the Cuban terrorist we harbor, deserves to die, too. This is the problem when you indulge in absolutes, you forget there is a principled position which doesn't approve of forever wars, doesn't equate this war to the Nazi's and doesn't believe terrorists whether they are agreed with by much of the country or not should be allowed to walk free. I'm running out of room so I'll continue this on the next comment, but I think you're making an analytical mistake and an astonishing one at that.

Beck_is_Trig May 6, 2011 at 3:52 am

Here's the error you're assuming: people in glass houses shouldn't toss stones; that's not how the world works. If it worked that way we'd all be hypocrits, all the time. The fact is, the current state of Afghanistan harkens back to a civil war that began because the Afghan equivolent of the religious right freaked out over the secular government and decided to start killing people which created conflict. So, while I agree that this occupation is stupid, I'm not going to sit here without giving my opinion over this broad brush you're painting with. There is no such thing as absolutes, a person can commit a heroic act one moment and be a complete monster the next. What drives me nuts though is the contrarianism practiced by some on the left; you're nearly as bad as teabaggers. Obama CAMPAIGNED on what he's doing now; back then we were all about the hope and change. Yet here and now he's done what he said he would do and we're moralizing as if there's some honor to be had in war when there's no such thing. Stop dealing in absolutes, is my larger point and I'm too tired to continue.

Terry May 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

I'd double fist if I could.

I won't cry a tear for OBL, but I won't celebrate his death either. I wish he could have been dumped at The Hague for trial (yeah, we'd have tried to do it in NYC, but he needed to answer for Nairobi, Dar es Salam, London, Madrid, Bali, NYC, DC, and Shanksville, all of them and more. The international community should handle stuff like this.)

What I want to see now is an acknowledgement that the foundational reason for our being in Afghanistan is gone. Time to pack up and come home. Sure, it can't be done in a day but publish a reasonable timetable for leaving and stick to it. Aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan should be greatly reduced and what we do give should be closely tracked. No more handing people great sacks of money with which they walk out into the desert. Strictly humanitarian and basic developmental aid that has well defined outcomes and tight tracking. Iraq, quit pretending we pulled out of there and really do it. Same comment about aid, as I had for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I also greatly agree with you about Obama. He's not an ultra liberal, never has been. I actually still do agree with most of what he's done, except a laundry list related to the war on terror or whatever they're calling it these days: Gitmo, torture, lots of crap in the Patriot Act. Now that OBL is gone, let's review those points of contention.

BarackMyWorld May 6, 2011 at 4:03 am
Ohforcripessake May 6, 2011 at 4:21 am

Riley, I'm afraid it's too late. I think it actually happened quite some time ago. When JFK was shot perhaps? I can't figure out if it's some mad world-domination scheme or the quest for profit at any cost but I'm leaning toward the latter.

Angry_Marmot May 6, 2011 at 6:45 am

It's the "logic of empire" that becomes imperative (see what I did there?) in spite of a culture's best intentions.

chascates May 6, 2011 at 4:40 am

I'm afraid war is the only way the right can easily profit and influence people. After all, we're the most exceptional country ever, God gives us the right to tell the rest of the world what to do, and besides, they have things we want!

We're living a Greek tragedy.

SaintRond May 6, 2011 at 4:42 am

Me, I left a long time ago. No laying little eggie weggies for the Koch brothers for this buckeroo. I just come by to vent residual spleen over those long past memories of bad sex, bad food, forced corn syrup feedings and the drug war.

And with that in mind, because it's very late, I'm going to go wake up my Aztec princess and bang her until she's begging me to stop already and while I'm doing it I'm going to ruminate about how glad I am to be thousands of miles away from the asshole of the universe.

Lazy Media May 6, 2011 at 5:35 am

So, what I'm getting from this is that war is bad, and war only occurs because America. If America would just get rid of its military, there would be no war ever. Mkay. Ask the Afghans if they want us to leave. People have, recently. 70 percent said, no, the "war" there is better than life under the Taliban. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8448930.stm

Oh, and Hitler didn't die on May 1; his death was announced on May 1. He shot himself (in the face!) on April 30. Osama bin Laden died on May 2, but his death was announced on May 1 in the U.S.

b[redact]opple May 6, 2011 at 6:24 am

This is amazing, Intern Riley.

Angry_Marmot May 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.
Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn;
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.
Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.
You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty
Political hatreds.
Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.
(Robinson Jeffers)

crybabyboehner May 6, 2011 at 6:50 am

Jeez Riley are you some kind of Peacenik or something?

WordSaladNation May 6, 2011 at 7:17 am

When I try to teach my middle-school students about "persuasive writing," this is what I try to teach them. Somewhere, Riley, your middle school English teacher is beaming.

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

I'm going to take that as 7-level snark.

WordSaladNation May 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

No snark at all. I think it's great.

Mort_Sinclair May 6, 2011 at 7:26 am

Outstanding. Thank you. Sincerely.

neiltheblaze May 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

Riley – you're making me think way too early in the morning.

This was very well done, and it reinforces the strange awareness I've already been grappling with of my own complete moral schizophrenia over this event.

Thanks – I think.

mileslarboy May 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

As profound as your regular posts are hysterical. Good job, Riley.

Terry May 6, 2011 at 8:24 am

"Unfortunately we weren’t able to shoot Adolf Hilter in the head and then dump him in the ocean, for Justice "

He killed himself before they could shoot him in the head. But burning the corpse and hiding the remaining bits of bones deep in Soviet Russia is a fairly close approximation to dumping him in the ocean, but without the sea spray and all.

SnarkoMarx May 6, 2011 at 8:24 am

Dear Riley,

You have a real future as a writer. Not to mention a fine human being.

Nice job.

iburl May 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

Yes we can (elect somebody who campaigned as a progressive but actually just wants to be Ronald Reagan)

dox[acted] May 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

Damn Riley, I wanted to keep the photos back because I didn't want to give war-engorged dipshits (so lacking in imagination that they can't think of another way to say fuck Osama in the eye other than literally looking at an image of a bloody corpse, pointing and laughing) the satisfaction of fap-material.

CrunchyKnee May 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

Riley, well played, sir.

riverside68 May 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

Part II

Thanks for caring Riley, and thanks for putting your cares out there for all to see, you made this day a little brighter for this person.

Now can we get back to buttsex and sweater puppies on a horse?

undeterredbyreality May 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

[Ok. My "Intense Debate" went down last night or this would have been posted long ago. After reflection and upon obtaining hangover status, I've decided to post it anyway.]

"What is America, anyway?"

"In America, you'll have food to eat,
Won't have to run through the jungle and scuff up your feet,
You'll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day–
It's great to be an American."

Sorry Riley, I know I'm a bit of a downer, but you have to really get over this "idealism" thing (yes, those are scare quotes) you seem to be enamored with. It will only turn you into a 50's-something depressed alcoholic who is just waiting for the day when you can open your front door and yell "Get off my lawn." Stop now while you still can. Take Bob's advice:

Build me a cabin in Utah,
Marry me a wife,
Catch rainbow trout.
Have a bunch of kids who call me Pa.
That must be what it's all about.
That must be what it's all about.

The America you are thinking of has never been and never will be. It’s an illusion. A dream, an idealized version of reality–and it’s okay to have dreams, and never let reality get in the way of pursuing those dreams.

One final quote, this from Jon Stewart on why we should show the photos:

"Maybe we should always show pictures. Bin Laden, pictures of our wounded service people, pictures of maimed innocent civilians. We can only make decisions about war if we see what war actually is — and not as a video game where bodies quickly disappear leaving behind a shiny gold coin."

I'm convinced that seeing the horrors of Viet Nam daily as narrated by Walter Cronkite–with guns, death, bodies and caskets, while having dinner with the 'rents–contributed more to the anit-war sentiment that finally got us out of there than any intellectual argument against it.

Naked_Bunny May 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

Demanding that Americans hold to a higher standard, Riley? That we not be bloodthirsty murderers like the terrorists we so hate? That we set a positive example and divert our enormous resources to constructive ends?

I'm told that wanting better — rather than celebrating a symbolic revenge killing — is "making a religion of cynicism". Welcome to the Church of Wanting People to Suck Less.

littlebigdaddy May 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

Geez, time of the month or what Riley?

DaRooster May 6, 2011 at 10:45 am

"Then we would reoccupy Cuba. And then we would rebuild all the crooked casinos in Havana, for Freedom…"

There's the reason for "Trump 2012"!!

proudgrampa May 6, 2011 at 10:49 am

My dear boy –

Thank you for one of the most eloquent essays I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Your thoughts on Afghanistan, Iraq, and all the rest are, in my humble opinion, very well stated: we need to get our troops out of the Middle East and stop our forms of terror against brown people.

I fear that your implication about America is correct, though: we have become a blood-thirsty, revenge-seeking tribe.

Bless you, Riley.

Your Proud Grampa

US Troops Out Of The Middle East! Now!

ttommyunger May 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

I love my Country. I try to do my part as an active citizen, but I keep a valid Passport handy.

__kth__ May 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

As one who has had occasion to find Wonkette's politics and policy takes naive and not especially astute, I want to say:

Bravo. Keep saying this. I'll vote a straight D ticket the rest of my life, but it's not the job of the satirist to put me at ease with the lesser of evils. The job of the satirist is to say: this is stupid, this is wrong, this is evil, all the more if it's a matter of pundit consensus or regarded as politically untenable to oppose.

lulzmonger May 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm

That headshot photo won't get out unless it's a (real) leak – not because it's agitprop for jihadis, but because nothing kills the classic male pubescent bloodlust-boner quite like a big full-color dose of the Real Deal.

For the next few decades, resource wars are going to be getting bigger than Lolcats, Gaga & Bieber put together: the Owners of America need its youngs kept innocent & stupid enough to sign up for killin' duty, no matter how nakedly idiotic or loathsome the pretext for "kicking ass" may be, & only fake epic videogame violence (along with high unemployment & shitloads of harsh training) can turn off their frontal lobes enough to Git 'Er Done.

This message brought to you by Halliburton.
Halliburton – Where America's Blood Money Goes To Die.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming … OR ELSE.

Sheesko May 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Marry me, damn it. Marry me NOW!

Beanball May 6, 2011 at 1:47 am

Osama Bin Laden was our creature; the CIA invented him and al Qaeda as well. Many of those "terrorists" we're after were actually trained on American soil, by YOUR national security state.

Grow up. Butchers are running this country and we're going to hell for it.

OhHellToTheNo May 6, 2011 at 6:14 am

Yes. And, haven't we (people who wanted everyone to stop discriminating peaceful Muslims, the overwhelming majority) been emphasizing that Bin Laden was Muslim in name only and he perverted the religion. So, why are we taking a step backward and associating him with peaceful Muslims. He wasn't.. He fucking wasn't.

WABishop May 6, 2011 at 9:11 am

I agree with many of the points here on both sides, but I think as soon as someone goes ahead with a plan to use a passenger airliner as a weapon against an office building, they've got to know that being shot in the face is one of the better ways they can hope to end their life.

Preferred Customer May 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

This.

I mean, I have a lot of problems with the way America has handled its various adventures overseas for the last always (though at least we're consistent with the way we handled our domestic adventures, amiright Pequot Indians?), and I don't think that the drunken rowdiness of the Caps loss/Osamakill exactly covered our nation in glory, but come. The. Fuck. On.

If there was one person in the world that we were absolutely, positively, in NO DOUBT justified in killing, it was Osama freaking bin Ladin. We can argue all day about standards of evidence that should apply to some random dude who may have been a terrorist mastermind or may have been a simple goat farmer from the suburbs of Kandahar, but there comes a point when a) someone announces that they plan to kill you, b) actually tries to kill you, c) succeeds in killing some of you, repeatedly, over and over, d) displays every intention of continuing to want to kill you, constantly, and e) appears to have the means to keep killing you, that you are perfectly justified in saying, you know what? Fuck this guy. Fuck this guy, and fuck the people who are living with him in his compound. Goodnight, shit weed.

Is that dehumanizing the enemy? No. It's recognizing that even in a world awash in shades of grey, there are still some spots of absolute black. We can be all fancy with our nuance, but we musn't lose sight of the fact that sometimes (no matter what you've done elsewhere, no matter which governments you've overthrown, or madmen you've funded, or wars you've started over oil or diamonds or rapeseed oil or beaver pelts or who knows what else) it is perfectly OK to take a stand and say "this is a bad person. His continued consumption of oxygen is a threat not just to me, but to the very concept of civilization, and it must be stopped."

Unless you are legitimately a pacifist that really believes that there is never a time where it is moral to use force, even to save your own life, this just isn't a tough call.

axmxz May 6, 2011 at 1:50 am

Just because CIA and Al Qaida have used each other in the past for their own distinct but partially coinciding purposes doesn't mean they are now twinsies and BFFs forever. German intelligence services may have at one point sponsored Lenin but that doesn't make them a leading cause of the 1917 Revolution. And if the Libyan rebels we are supporting today decide to organize a terror state to shame Muammar's the day after deposing him, it's not a blotch on the American character to have supported them right now with the information available to us.

Beanball May 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

In point of fact Operation Paperclip not only brought German rocket scientists into the US, it also brought Nazi spies, who basically helped invent the CIA and the national security state.

Shooting unarmed men is barbaric and I don't give a crap about 9/11, Obama has NO AUTHORITY to assassinate anyone anywhere at any time for any reason.

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW, not to mention the Constitution, and just to throw in Reagan here, his Executive Order 12333, which bans any agent or employee of the US government from assassinating anybody. Period.

We are not in a state of war and further, by killing Osama the CIA effectively eliminated the most valuable intelligence asset on the planet, so the act was idiotically and massively stupid, to boot..

Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you people?.

CalamityJames May 6, 2011 at 2:11 am

"As early as 1998, this proscription against assassination was reinterpreted, and relaxed, for targets who are classified by the United States as connected to terrorism"

I went and did a 2-minute search on Wikipedia on EO 12333 and came up with this tidbit.

imissopus May 6, 2011 at 3:31 am

"Grow up," says the person whose argument against my original post is to talk about the CIA and bin Laden working together thirty fucking years ago, when the world looked a hell of a lot different. Grow up? You're aware geopolitics have radically changed since the Church Committee, right?

Saying we are not in a state of war is ridiculous. That's exactly what we're engaged in in that part of the world (whether we should be is a much wider argument and actually irrelevant here), and Pakistan, for better of for worse, is part of the theater. And Osama, through his actions and his words, had declared himself a combatant. He was not a head of state or part of a foreign government. This was not Diem in Vietnam, or Castro, or Idi Amin. Making himself a combatant in a war moots the assassination argument.

Also if he was such a valuable intelligence asset, what should we have done if we'd taken him alive? Dropped him in a hole for a few years while we debriefed him? Pardon me, but I thought we were opposed to indefinite detentions around here.

But feel free to keep arguing about it with a bunch of smartasses on a political satire blog, that's sure constructive.

finallyhappy May 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

Wow, so you must be a really brilliant strategist somewhere. hey, guess what- I would have shot an unarmed Osama, an unarmed Hitler or an unarmed person who at some time in the past harmed my family. I don't own a gun but i swore if someone raped or killed one of my kids- I would have found a way to kill that person.

Beanball May 6, 2011 at 4:05 am

This: "I think it was the repeated references to shooting an unarmed Muslim in the face that got me. Come on, that unarmed Muslim was Osama bin Laden! I only wish we'd shot him in the face ten years ago, then maybe we wouldn't be up to our eyeballs in all these other messes."

lrn2history.

Just wow.

Edit: Actually, Chris Floyd calls.your condition "moral schizophrenia" and traces it's origin to the arrival on the scene of Dear Leader Obama..

Fukui_sanYesOta May 6, 2011 at 4:20 am

"its"

How can one have moral schizophrenia about always having wished a progenitor of mass murder dead?

Who the fuck is Chris Floyd, anyway?

imissopus May 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Oh well if "Glenn Greenwald Lite" said it then I'll ignore your inability to actually respond to my argument with anything beyond "just wow" and turn in my liberal membership card at the next ice cream social.

My point about the "unarmed Muslim" comments, BTW, was that the repetition of the phrase seemed designed to in some way humanize OBL. Except I think that ship sailed years ago.

Beanball May 6, 2011 at 5:03 am
starfanglednut May 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Oops, I thought he said pink Floyd, and was feeling quite confused.

Fukui_sanYesOta May 6, 2011 at 5:20 am

Oh. Ok.

Beanball May 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Expanding on "just wow":

1) You're aware geopolitics have radically changed since the Church Committee, right?

In point of fact, geopolitics have not changed one iota since Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. There was a short breather after the Soviet Union collapsed, and then the USA continued, perhaps redoubled, its Wilsonisn and myopic policies to run the world by presidential fiat and the national security apparatus. See Garry Wills, http://www.brennancenter.org/blog/archives/16493/… also Chris Hedges, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_corporate

2) Saying we are not in a state of war is ridiculous. That's exactly what we're engaged in…Pakistan is part of the theatre…

Wrong. We are engaged in an (at least two, probably three) illegal invasions and two occupations, contrary to the laws of nations, laws of war and the US Constitution, which requires Congress to declare when we are at war, unitary presidential / neo-liberal / authoritarian arguments be damned. If we are not a nation of laws, we are nothing. ("There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution" – U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor)

3) Making himself a combatant in a war moots the assassination argument.

My rebuttal to Point 2) above invalidates that argument. Further, if unlawful detainment is unconstitutional (habeas corpus), then assassination by presidential fiat is surely just as unconstitutional. (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, others)

4) Also if he was such a valuable intelligence asset, what should we have done if we'd taken him alive? Dropped him in a hole for a few years while we debriefed him?

Yes. He should have been tracked down and arrested by law enforcement years ago, and publicly debriefed, a la a new Church Committee, special counsel, etc. That, however, would open up many cans of worms about America's secret government, and especially the activities of the CIA, and required Obama to revisit the policies and actions of previous governments, esp. Bush and his neo-liberal thugs. Unfortunately, "the telos of the detective story, the pursuit of truth and justice, however partial, has been renounced by Obama in favor of "looking forward, not backward." But the logic of the uncanny tells us that the past inevitably returns, and the ghosts of Abu Ghraib are waiting for us in the future." ~ W. J. T. Mitchell, http://pressblog.uchicago.edu/2010/12/05/traffic_

This Manichean viewpoint that someone can arbitrarily be shot because they "deserve to die" is part of the cancer that is killing the American republic.

There's a lot more one could say on this subject, but as you point out, this is a satire blog, so I'll just close by saying that Obama is, indeed, morally weak.

Negropolis May 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I don't drink, so I got 99 problems, but a drink ain't one.

BTW, why in the world is this post not getting bumped when people reply to it like normal posts do?

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