Monday, May 2, 2011

How Bin Laden's Death Proves America's Masculinity Is Safe

What are we supposed to do with a White House press briefing that tells us Osama bin Laden tried to hide behind women before the death squad that came for him finished him off? I guess this has meant to tell us that he wasn't a "real man", like a "red-blooded American", because American men, faced with heavily armed assassins would stand out in the open, chest out, like Rambo or Chuck Norris or Arnie and shout "Come and get me, you bastards!" Personally, hat kind of behaviour just seems stupid to me but then, I'm a cowardly pinko who wants to live.
But in the end, that's what this ten year war on terror is all about: America's manhood was hurt by the destruction of the WTC. It wasn't ultimately about foreign policy or past wrongs or anything that we could critically examine. Nope, it was just about some dude giving us a sucker punch in front of our woman and our friends. We couldn't be men again till we got him back in a, uh, fair fight where he was out-manned and out-gunned. I imagine that in bars across America tonight, there will be men belly-bumping and raising beers to the death of EEEVIL and the victory of righteous America. There'll probably be a fair amount of the same in Canada, no doubt and in a few other countries.
Hopefully, there will be a few people who will see the bravado for what it is: a cover for the utter failure of the war on terror to deliver a renewed Pax Americana. The US ruling class can encourage all the chest-thumping that it wants. But that won't win the war in Afghanistan and it won't stop the wave of revolutions in the Middle East. It won't reverse the decline of the USA relative to China and the rest of the world, or the loss of hegemony in Latin America. It won't bring back the dead - not the dead from the World Trade Center nor those hundreds of thousands killed by US guns and bombs as the empire sought to rejuvenate its manhood. And it won't stop the resentment and anger that generated support for al-Qaeda in the first place.
In my own opinion, revolution in the Middle East has meant that al-Qaeda's model has been superceded and marginalized. Killing bin Laden is like putting out a fire in a garbage can when the whole neighbourhood is going up in flames. It might make America feel good but it's still pointless. And tomorrow the hangovers will hurt just as much as they always do.

White House: Bin Laden tried to hide behind women during battle - The Globe and Mail
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