I feel no relief at the assassination of Osama bin Laden. I thought I would – his leading role in the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11 nearly killed my wife who was attending a conference in the South Tower. Instead I feel more like Robert Browning’s tortured anti-hero version of the legendary Roland who, after navigating paths of horror to fulfill his quest for the “dark tower” found only ghosts and phantoms, and had only strength to lift his slughorn and blow “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.”
Three-quarters of a million dead in Iraq with a U.S.-military-dependent government no less corrupt than Saddam Hussein’s.
On the same weekend Osama bin Laden is killed, British and Italian planes kill Muammar Gadaffi’s son and three grandchildren. Supposedly in support of a democratic rebellion, the acts engender furious Libyan crowds storming Italian and British missions.
An estimated 50,000 Afghans, mostly civilians, have been killed in the Afghan war. Meanwhile another of General Petraeus’ famous multi-million-dollar counter-insurgency construction projects is exposed to have dumped most of the money on “contractors” who were really Taliban insurgents.
The Middle East wars have aggravated, not ameliorated, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Prospects for peace are getting worse, not better.
Democratic uprisings are spreading throughout the Middle East. Peoples are exhausted at the dictatorships, monarchies, oil despots, ex-Cold-War thugs and other criminal elements who have thrived on corrupt relations with the U.S. military and the oil interests they have focused on “protecting,” and turned the entire region into a hellish cauldron of instability and war and religious fanaticism.
Its time, Mr. President, to declare victory and make godspeed homeward!!! Whatever hopes for peace and security there may be in the post-Osama Mid-East world, the absence of the U.S. military will hasten their progress and resolution. You have kept your promise to bring bin Laden to justice. Now keep your promise to leave Iraq AND Afghanistan ON SCHEDULE.
What goes around comes around. We need no more imperialistic karma to come back and kill us. Desist forever from the quest for the “dark tower” of U.S. empire and domination. Do not rest your presidency on blowing a futile horn at a landscape of death.