Monday, May 2, 2011
Accidentally very Not Like a Martyr.
So of course he was holed up in a million-dollar compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan less than two miles from a military academy.
Of course he wasn't roughing it on the lam, tramping from cave to cave like he was Bear Grylls or something. He was a silver-spoon kid who funded terror for other people to do. When they came to get him, he was desperate not to surrender, and yet, he used a woman as a human shield. His wife. (EDIT: Or this could be bullshit.)
That is pretty damn ignoble, I don't care who you are.
So what it looks like to me is that he had friends in high places who protected his cowardly, evil behind, and when he had the opportunity to go out with something like dignity--he did not. His death means very little, symbolically. If his death breaks the spine of al-Qaeda, so be it--but what, really, were they accomplishing anyway? What was the end goal of so much violence, other than destruction and fear? For some, his death may mark a symbolic closure to the era of global terror that he personified, but he was already a bit like a ghost. The Arab spring started to show people that more could be accomplished with hope than fear.
In the end, he was gunned down in a way not much different from the gunning down of any common criminal because he had done very bad things, and he had to answer for them. The words that served him in his boastful tapes were gone. What was left? Answering for his crimes against so many human beings? (Answering for why and how he was there, in a million-dollar compound?)
Perhaps he did not know how to answer for it--any of it. Perhaps he only knew how to shock with violence, and think that he accomplished something. And so he has--a very bad end.