On Bloodlust

We take immense satisfaction in knowing that Osama bin Laden met a violent demise at the hand of American commandos.

This, apparently, is a controversial statement. At least in some quarters.

Before we continue, let’s excuse a few folks from the room. People of deep faith or deep conscience, who object to the celebration of any death, no matter how damned the soul, may take their leave. People who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, or in the wars that ill-advisedly followed, and who prefer not to mark the occasion of Bin Laden’s passing with brutal joy, may also go in peace.

Glenn Greenwald, however, may want to stick around:

It’s been a long time since Americans felt this good and strong about themselves — nothing like putting bullets in someone’s skull and dumping their corpse into an ocean to rejuvenate that can-do American sense of optimism.

Thanks, but we have plenty of other reasons to feel good and strong about ourself. And our long-held dark judgments about our fellow citizens remain unchanged.

But yes: Nothing like putting bullets in someone’s skull and dumping their corpse into an ocean. We’ll happily cop to that. And if you want to tack on something about the smell of napalm in the morning, we won’t duck.

Because we’re not going to bother justifying our satisfaction. Some moments, and this is one of them, we rediscover a surprising fact about ourself:

We’re human.

Shocking, we know. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it.

But apparently our humanity concerns NPR, a network that habitually runs for the fallout shelters whenever a voice is raised. For only NPR could ask this question: Is It Wrong To Celebrate Bin Laden’s Death?

Well, depends on whom you ask. NPR asks a campus Catholic minister, for example, but we’ve already granted absolution to faithy types who have their own consciences to tend to. Y’all are free to behold us with dismay, no hard feelings.

No, where we get uppity is with a premise like this:

And the question remains: Is there moral philosophical justification for rejoicing over the demise of someone like bin Laden?

Yes. Yes there is. In the seminar room, it goes something like this: We’re fucking human. Sod off.

NPR is free to quote us on that. We have a masters degree in philosophy, after all.

But NPR instead quotes “Christine Korsgaard, a philosophy professor at Harvard University” who says—

Hey, you know what? We don’t give a fuck what she says. Her credentials permit her to teach philosophy, not sit in judgment. Philosophy is not an authority. It has no truths to bestow. Philosophy is a practice, a habit of mind. It has no answers. But done right, it can lead you to ask better questions. And answer them yourself.

And that’s it. Philosophy cannot provide a moral justification for or against rejoicing in the blood of the wicked, because philosophy has no authority to do so.

There is, in fact, one, and only one, moral authority in the world: You. It’s a terrible responsibility, we know. And you didn’t ask for it.

But it’s your own damn fault for being born.

And this is why we are not ashamed in taking immense satisfaction in knowing that Osama bin Laden met a violent demise at the hand of American commandos. Because we own it. That’s all the justification we, or anyone, need.


No point in chanting or screaming “USA!”like more than a few people on TV have, but I sure don’t feel bad OBL is dead and sleeping with the fishes.

If there is any regret and sadness I feel, it’s for what came after. The awful and the stupid decisions made by the US America leadership (W and his neocon boobs) and those that enabled it (those among the US electorate who believed Iraq had something to do with it and the US media types) and the lives lost, nation destroyed and so on.

Not sure why but I’m feeling uplifted.

It’s fascinating how the left in particular has gone all pursed-lipped about this. And I write as a man who won’t watch team sports because I think it’s bad for us to get tribal and wish for victory in that way. I know, I am that insufferable. But really. What’s not to be happy about? Plus, our president and sec of state have behaved impeccably: no gloating.

The issue is of course made hugely complicated by the unnecessary and wicked invasion of Iraq. But that’s a separate issue, isn’t it? Of course, we’re not going to live our lives going “Osama’s dead. Woo hoo!” But I think a little celebrating was in order. Particularly for those of who were there that day. Who saw what happened.

Excellent alt text. Oh and plus, there is an element of unconscious classism in the deploring of types like Glenn Greenwald. That the celebrants should be so… uncouth. But I’m told it’s the custom at Houses of Sport when the winning team scores a touchdown in the basket thingy for the ‘fans’ to chant USA, USA. I wouldn’t know.

BTW. The helicopter that stalled: since we spend fucking trillions on these things can’t we expect them to work at least as well as a Pinto?

@Benedick HRH KFC: I really want to start a website called “You, On the Left: You’re Not Helping.” It might get predictable though — it would be filled with handwringing from NPR. The organizational handwringing is about as irritating as commenters on NPR stories or people who write letters into All Things Considered who get so upset that such a high brow establishment would stoop to have stories dealing with popular culture and what not.

@rptrcub: ‘President fulfills campaign pledge and scores unexpected victory which completely undercuts his opponents’ claims that he is weak and indecisive: What Went Wrong?’

Discuss on Salon.

I’m glad he’s dead. And it doesn’t trouble me that two women got shot — I think the message to Al Queda ought to be that our military is so ruthless that, if you strike at us, we will come and put a bullet in your eye, no matter what or when. I’m sorry the Russians didn’t get to Hitler and Goebbels and that we didn’t have an atomic bomb ready to drop on Germany before they folded.

@Dodgerblue: I defer to Vonnegut on the question of Germany. And in doing so, I’m glad I didn’t have to make Truman’s Choice. You have to balance the Bomb against the Invasion, and against the potential efficacy of a Demonstration Drop instead of a live example. It’s too easy to sit in casual judgment at a distance of decades.

Dalai Lama on the killing of Bin Laden: “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.”

@Dodgerblue: Click that link at your own risk – he’s wearing a U$C hat in the photo.

Thank you. If I read one more (fake) MLK quote on facebook, I’m going to hurl. Of course, I’m the woman who, when her alcoholic, abusive asshole of a grandfather finally died, threw a “Ding, Dong the Mean Old Dick is Dead” party–sushi and champagne. It was a blast.

There’s no half measures when it comes to smiting:

“And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.” II Kings 13:18-19

“And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.” II Kings 6:18

@rptrcub: I would support that effort.

@redmanlaw: Hey, I saw the senior staffer for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is pissed off that the CIA used “Geronimo” as the code name for OBL. That seemed rather tone deaf on the CIA’s part. Especially given all the whackadoodle names our military and intelligence agencies normally come up with for operations. Gollom or Sauron would have been good code names…

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: If you really want some comic relief: John Ashcroft is Blackwater’s Xe’s new Ethics Chief.

bwaaaa ha ha ha ha ha

@SanFranLefty: I saw the old bumper sticker with the photo of — Geronimo maybe? — on the way to the Remote Office this morning. Caption: “Fighting Terrorism Since 1492”.

ADD: I’m pretty sure RML scouted that for me some time back, but lord knows what post I used it for.

ADD2: Bingo! Same photo, different layout.

@SanFranLefty: I think they’re still sorting it out on whether Geronimo was the operation or the target. If it’s the operation and and not OBL, then a lot of people who were getting all huffy on FB will be wearing some egg on their faces.

@redmanlaw: One of the SEALs saying “Geronimo EKIA” when OBL was shot might indicate that Geronimo was the target.

@Benedick HRH KFC: The picture of the entire family at the grocery store with three shopping carts is adorable.

@mellbell & Benedick HRH KFC: Something got in my eye when I was reading that article…

@SanFranLefty: They should have called it Operation Bulger No. 1 because it’s much more fun to piss off the Irish and the Massholes.

Pissing off the Indians isn’t really sporting because 1) most don’t have time for this shit and 2) nobody cares. The Irish will make time to be PO’d and cause enough destruction to make you care.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I wholly assent to revising the historical record to make Osama’s code word “Peter King”.

@nojo: “Trump’s Hair.” We could have fun with this.

@Dodgerblue: “Operation Big Girl’s Blouse.”

@SanFranLefty: @mellbell: Isn’t it touching?

What’s infuriating is that ultimately Osama’s death is irrelevant. Yes, he was a terrible, evil person, but he was a criminal who should have been handled by the criminal justice system.

Instead, we murdered a million innocent people, enthusiastically embraced torture and endless detention without charges or trials, jacked up war profiteering to the point that a financial collapse is inevitable, and shredded the Constitution, thus ending privacy and civil liberties, not to mention the wholesale jettisoning of basic human fucking decency. We abandoned all of the principles, laws and values that were once the hallmarks of the greatest country in history the very instant that they became inconvenient.

At best Osama’s death was a hollow victory–an act of revenge that solves nothing.

@redmanlaw: It’s always easier to have to move a lot of clothing out of the way, right?

@IanJ: “‘Scuse me while I whip this out.”

@Benedick HRH KFC: I would think HRH, in case her numbskull son got out of line.

@Benedick HRH KFC: They used to wear pee bottles strapped to their legs under the gowns for all those hours standing around after all those cups of tea with chockie bickies. Or, in the case of the late Queen Mum, G&Ts. Don’t know if that’s still part of the luggage.

@Benedick HRH KFC: I think it is an abomination – an offense to my sense of morality.

The 3 iPads, I mean.

@redmanlaw: Ding, ding, ding.

@¡Andrew!: Capturing him alive was probably the stated objective, but as I agreed with myself this morning while shaving, there’s no way in a hell full of 72 Virgils he ever would have been tried on American soil. UBL rotting at Gitmo? I’m glad they got him, and “happy” (relative) that it happened under Black Eagle’s watch and with a double tap to the cranium, no less.

We own these senseless wars now, like it or not, but one saving grace out of this shuffling of the Public Enemy No. 1 deck is that the combination of the Mahgreb Spring and bin Laden’s departure may very well provide for sufficient cover to help us get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

@Dodgerblue: and a Pirates-Yankees World Series (but my daughter will settle for a puppy).

@nojo: heh. I stole mine from somebody’s FB post (KarenMarie?).

@nojo: @Nabisco: Excellent, gentlemen. Stinque Team Quibble.

@Nabisco: I recommend a pug. I know a good breeder.

@Benedick HRH KFC: From the looks of her dress, I’d say it was Pippa.

@Mistress Cynica: buddy ebsen aka jed clampitt once said: if you are a son of a bitch when you are alive, when you die you’ll be a dead son of a bitch.

i absolutely despise tv commercials and those who make them (except mayhem who was the best actor on hbo’s oz). i reserve special condemnation for loud tv commercials. i don’t miss billie mays.

@redmanlaw: i like the one where somebody smote somebody else with the jaw bone of an ass. now that’s an ass whuppin’.

@Benedick HRH KFC:
and i claim “deathers” as well.
really, i get no respect around here, i tell ya.

@baked: Nobody can claim Deathers or Death Certificate. There was a mad Internet scrum for both Sunday night.

@baked: Word, and I gave you props for it then.

@baked: I have a tenuous claim to “Plugz”, but can’t prove it…

yes, i know…but i wrote it here before that!! quibble quibble quibble
i can haz Virgils noge?

@baked: I’ll grant you Virgils. Passes the Non-Obvious Test.

@Nabisco: I honestly don’t recall who came up with Plugz. And with Cynics Party long since having met its own Virgils, there’s no way to research it.

thank you fearless leader. and now to drag the rat out of his office to watch Dr. Phil with me about cheaters. yes, there will be brow beating.

@nojo: My memory is that Nabisco was the source of Plugz and I was the source of Unicorn, RML the source for Black Eagle. But it’s been a long time.

Can’t we all just get along?

@baked: You never listen to your mother. Did I tell you they’d walk all over you or what? Darling, you’re so gorgeous I can’t look at you. These people are nothing.

OH, HELL NO! I came up with “Plugz”! Jesus. Leave for awhile, and people try to steal your shit.

I’m down with a field trip to go pee in the ocean.

Can’t confirm Plugz via a quickie Google — too common an expression — but I did turn up the Very Dusty Cynics Party Facebook Page. Speaking of things that should be put out of their misery.

@nojo: Ha!

Shit. Just take my word for it. It’s the only nickname I’ve used that stuck. If we were using LOLDisqusSucksAss at the time, I might be able to date stamp that shit.

Oh, man. I found this:

@Ewalda: Oh, Paula. Those kinds of dreams are lovely and sad — it’s like you wake up thinking the dream is true and that the past x years and past x experiences were the real dream, but they were real.When you realize the dream was a dream, you’re crestfallen at first but still happy that you had it because of the wash of emotions you felt while you were sleeping. If you’re lucky, those feelings linger for awhile.

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