Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fresh New Take on an Age-Old Question:
Just Where the Hell is Osama bin Laden?

'Where is Osama bin Laden? I only ask because he's been on the run for years now, and despite the best efforts of the World's Top Power--its heat sensors and attack dogs, its agents and bounty hunters--they seem no nearer to capturing him than five or even 10 years ago. After 9/11 bin Laden footage was a staple for building up our crusading zeal. There he was: the beardie bogeyman, moving with leisurely awkwardness between the rocky defiles of an Afghan moonscape. A stick insect of a man with a Kalashnikov in lieu of a cane, his aquiline--yet bilous--face lean beneath his turban. They seek him here! we cried. They seek him there! They seek him bloody well everywhere! Is he in heaven? Is he in hell? That damned elusive orchestrator of worldwide terror! The consensus among informed commentators is that bin Laden and Al-Qaeda never really functioned in quite the manner that we'd like. Despite his appearance--straight out of central casting--this softly spoken fanatic was and is no Dr. No, his sensitive fingers poised to activate thousands of loyal henchmen, but instead a kind of venture capitalist of terrorism. If you want to spread anthrax on the metro or port an incendiary backpack, you can apply to the bin Laden organization for funding and technical know-how. Befitting his background as a scion of a Saudia Arabian construction dynasty, bin Laden is a money rather than an ideas man.'
--from Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place.


At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

bin Laden is hiding in a foreclosed house. We only need a couple billion to end THIS war.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Just think of all the ways that money would have been better spent? I must admit that at one time I felt that the infamous bumper sticker that asked why we need to hold bake sales for schools while the Pentagon gets all the money it needs for weapons was a tad silly. But now posing that question makes complete sense to me.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Cleveland Carole Cohen 3C said...

The absurdity of war and diplomacy, or in the case of this Admn, no diplomacy I guess. Until I read this John, I hadn't stopped to realize recently anyway, just how long it has been since the hunt began.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Carole, it is kind of amazing how long he's evaded the dragnet. It can't help but become almost an ongoing parable about the limits of so-called "modern" nations and their technical sophistication. As long as he evades detection, he implicitly mocks that modernism.


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