“The Bid Laden Decade”

Michael Hastings explained his relationship with Bin Laden, from September 11th to his first embeds in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not since Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand, setting off World War I, has a conspiracy undertaken by so few been felt by so many.

And such an apparently insane and inconsequential event, at that. On the eve of World War I, Europe was poised to strike, anyways. Nationalist fervor and a desperate sentiment to invade other countries and proclaim a new empire were the norm. In exactly the way that they are not today, in the West.

My hope — and it is not one I have much hope in — is that our political leaders will use bin Laden’s death to put an end to the madness he provoked.

Like we all hope, I think. Those of us who’ve been for the war and foreign intervention since day one, even them yes, are rewinding now that Bin Laden’s dead and drawing a blank on just why the fuck we’re still Over There.

And to take us back to the beginning:

We may never know how many innocent civilians were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, but estimates suggest that more than 160,000 have died so far. Al Qaeda, by contrast, has lost very few operatives in the worldwide conflagration — perhaps only “scores,” as President Obama said this month.

Yes, that matters. No one deserves to have bombs and rice dropped on their homes in schizophrenic succession for the sin of having been born in the dirty armpit of the ancient world.

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