Daily Archives: May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden: Stand and Cheer

OK. I wasn’t going to opine today on the fact that Osama bin Laden is now sleeping with the fishes. I missed the announcement last night by the Prez, and the reports via by BlackBerry and websites pointed to a major story and certainly one that every other pundit would be warbling about in dead tree publications and online.

So as I took to the keyboard at around 4 a.m. I finished a really trivial post about Pippa — “Her Royal Hotness” — and made my way to the gym to chase the treadmill for an hour and watch TV.

And wow. On every screen — from every cable network — came pictures of celebrations in New York, Washington, Columbus at Ohio State and elsewhere. And mostly it was young people singing the national anthem, wrapping themselves in the American flag, shouting U.S.A., U.S.A.

I’m not sure killing bin Laden brings closure to 9/11. That strikes me as a personal decision on the part of the families who lost friends and loved ones on that day. And for the families — and members of the military — who have sacrificed so much during the past decade as we have slogged it out in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I go to D.C. every few months on business. And on the return flight from Reagan National to Cleveland the gate attendant offers members of the military the option of boarding the flight first. And on several occasions, immediately following that announcement, the other passengers stood and cheered.

We’re cheering now not just for the death of the terrorist bin Laden. Although that is reason enough. But we’re cheering for the members of our military who take great risks to keep us safe and to make sure that the bad guys can run, but ultimately they can’t hide. And we’re cheering for a country that still believes in freedom — and isn’t afraid to make some tough calls to make sure that others don’t forget that fact.

And I know this country has big problems. But we still manage to get things right most of the time.

And when I see streets full of young people chanting U.S.A. and waving the American flag — and there is no football game involved — then all of us can rest easy. We’re going to be OK.

Just sayin’.

Her Royal Hotness: Pippa

Wow. I kind of got blown away by the media and public frenzy surrounding the royal nuptials. And yeah. Like any journalist, I consider it my professional responsibility to find out whether Pippa was wearing underwear during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

But alas. There are bigger fish to fry. So I’ll leave it to others to follow closely any breaking details about that cover-up — or not.

Here’s from Sabotage Times:

After the Royal Wedding everyone’s talking about one arse – and amazingly it’s not Prince Philip.

Well said.

OK. On to other matters.

The head sleds at NATO say they are not targeting individuals or civilians in their military missions. Yet bombs launched from planes at high altitudes somehow manage to fly down the chimney of whatever house Mad Dog Gadhafi and family are staying. Go figure. And it strikes me that the USA is about to sign a long-term lease on property in Tripoli — matching the timeshares we can’t unload in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And members of Congress return this week from an Easter recess to deal with the federal debt limit, the 2012 budget, taxes, entitlements and so on. I know. Alert the militia — and get the women and children off the streets. It’s gonna be nasty.

Oh well. At least we’ll have some other asses to concentrate on.

And there’s nothing that I can add about the death of Osama bin Laden. So I won’t even try. I missed the TV announcement by the Prez last night — long after I was sound asleep. And I first learned about the story early this a.m. when I checked my BlackBerry and several WSJ messages greeted me with the good news.

Still, of the many stories I’ve read and seen, this one may have captured the most memorable moment. It’s from Mediate, “White House Crowd Breaks Out In National Anthem To Celebrate Bin Laden Death.”

On the heels of the blockbuster revelation that Osama bin Laden is dead, CNN cameras at the White House captured a spontaneous celebration just outside the North fence of the White House. As anchor Wolf Blitzer tossed to a live shot of the gathering crowd, which Blitzer said had been chanting “USA! USA!”, the crowd broke into a spontaneous rendition of The Star Spangled Banner that could become an iconic image in American history.

The contrived nature of much of modern TV news coverage makes this clip all the more remarkable. While bin Laden’s death doesn’t come close to restoring what was lost on September 11, 2001, it is obviously an important milestone in the national psyche, and a just, if too long delayed, result.