04 May 2011

The Liberal’s Guide to the Death of Osama bin Laden

The death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last weekend has left many American liberals prey to conflicting emotions and uncertain how to respond. With a view to helping my fellow Americans, I have devised the following handy diagnostic quiz.

Quiz, Part 1:
The death of Osama bin Laden has left me feeling [choose one]

(1.) Elated and ready to party!

(2.) Relieved that the world is rid of a very bad man.

(3.) That justice has been done.

(4) Neither happy nor sad, because in the long run it won’t change anything, but I’m certainly not sorry he’s gone, either.

(5.) Appalled by the violence, after so much blood has been spilt already.

Part 2:
There is no Part 2! Scroll down to analyze your answers to Part 1!

If you answered (1.)
You should be ashamed of yourself! This was a monstrously brutal act by what amounts to an elite team of government assassins — the United States government! This is what your tax dollars are paying for, instead of funding for education, health care, and relief for America’s poorest citizens. It’s only going to increase public support for America’s imperialistic (and violent) wars in the Middle East. And yet you’re ready to party like it’s 1999? Have you no shame?

If you answered (2.)
You should be ashamed of yourself! Did you ever meet Osama bin Laden? For all you know, he had some very positive qualities. After all, a great many people in underprivileged nations (our favorite kind!) looked up to him. Sure, he did a few bad things, but who among us has not? Have you no shame?

If you answered (3.)
You should be ashamed of yourself! This isn’t justice, it’s eye-for-an-eye vendetta of the most primitive kind! Where was the courtroom, the highly paid team of attorneys, and the wise Latina woman to judge him? Where was the jury of his peers? Is this the idea of American justice we want to present to the rest of the world? Have you no shame?

If you answered (4.)
You should be ashamed of yourself! This is exactly the kind of wishy-washy attitude that costs us elections! You probably don’t even call yourself a “liberal” anymore — you probably call yourself a “progressive,” you passive oaf. Have you no shame?

If you answered (5.)
You should be ashamed of yourself! This man was directly responsible for the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, as well as other attacks on some of our closest allies, some of whom permit gays to marry and who promote the teaching of Spanish in public schools! And yet you’re too lily-livered show a little patriotic pride in your country for squashing Osama like a bug! Really, have you no shame?

Ultimately, of course, there are only two correct liberal responses to the death of Osama bin Laden. The first is to let someone else respond — that is, to make up a wise-sounding quotation from a respected, deceased thinker such as Martin Luther King, Jr., or even Mark Twain. Nobody is going to argue with them — and even if they do want to argue, they won’t be arguing with you, so you’re completely safe.*

The second correct response is to insist that it’s all a government hoax, a P.R. stunt designed to boost support for our Great National Disappointment (a.k.a. President Obama) and for America’s military-industrial complex. Think up the wackiest conspiracy theory you can, then spread it around. Why should the crazies on the right have all the fun?

I hope I’ve been of assistance to you today. Thank you.

You don’t really think it was a coincidence that the announcement came on May Day — a workers’ holiday — do you?

*NOTE: Or anyway, you’re safe at least until someone from The Atlantic magazine figures out that your quotation was made-up.


Anne said...

Guilty as charged! As someone who seems to come out as a 4.5, I AM ASHAMED OF MYSELF. But...do you think it is a coincidence that the announcement on Bin Laden came on the anniversary of Bush's 2003 "Mission Accomplished" speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the one where he declared the end to major combat operations in Iraq? I want the US out of Afghanistan, and if this Bin Laden "caper"(tell me the movie isn't already in the works!) makes Obama look strong enough on defence to do it, and cut back the Pentagon budget while I'm dreaming here, GREAT!

Wes said...

Mark Twain saved me on this one.

Wuthering Lows said...

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF! Mocking everyone's reaactions. Have you no shame?

Anonymous said...

For liberals it's always a question of who/whom rather than a consistent, coherent principle. With all due respect, I doubt you would tolerate any ambiguity about the execution of Adolf Eichmann, even though the arrest and trial of that scoundrel violated many well-established precepts of international law.

-- Rick

William V. Madison said...

Well, Rick, as Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "You just can't win with some people."

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that resolves all of the legal, political, ethical, and philosophical questions that were on my mind.

-- Rick

Michael Leddy said...

Bill, your post hits nail on head.