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Posts Tagged ‘Mission Accomplished’

Newspaper covers hang on a wall near the World Trade Center site the day after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (Photo: Marcus Yam / The New York Times)

Now What?

Wednesday 4 May 2011
by: William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

“We need to counteract the shockwave of the evil-doer by having individual rate cuts accelerated, and by thinking about tax rebates.”

– George W. Bush, October 2001

There is something fundamentally crazy-making about the fact that Osama bin Laden, damned murderer of thousands, met his demise on the anniversary of the day George W. Bush, damned murderer of thousands, pulled his infamous “Mission Accomplished” stunt on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. I suspect that, had Mr. Bush managed to back up his big talk and actually bag bin Laden before his second term expired, we would have seen him jump out of an attack helicopter at Ground Zero wearing a SEAL uniform – complete with night-vision scope and even larger codpiece – under a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished II.”

You just know Bush would have done it, too. The core of his greatest strength was his utter and complete lack of shame. The fact that he said, “I don’t know where he is. Nor do I – you know, I just don’t spend that much time on him to be honest with you,” in 2002 would not have fazed him one bit. He would have smirked his way through it, and the mainstream media would have cooed over his masculinity and awesome presidential excellence.

So, at least, we were spared that madness. Thank God for small favors. Seems like that’s all we get these days.

I wanted to celebrate the death of bin Laden, and in my own way, I did. I didn’t dance in the streets or wave a flag or shout “USA! USA! USA!” But I definitely smiled, and I don’t apologize for it. There an old joke about a man who would buy a newspaper every day from a paperboy, scan the front page, and then throw the paper away in disgust. After a while, the paperboy asked him why he kept throwing the paper away. “I’m looking for someone in the obituaries,” the man replied. “But, sir,” said the paperboy, “the obituaries aren’t on the front page.” The man looked at him and said, “When the son of a bitch I’m looking for dies, he’ll be on the front page.”

Or, in the immortal words of Mark Twain, “I never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” That’s about right, and that’s enough about that.

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A poet once wrote: “When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble. Give a whistle. And this’ll help things turn out for the best.” This famous Python ditty appears to be the government, BP and media spin on the oil disaster at this point, and it could be the biggest display of wishful thinking, denial and deception in the face of a serious crisis since Chris Matthews and G. Gordon Liddy swooned over President Bush’s crotch bulge aboard the U.S.S. Lincoln when the Iraq war was apparently “over.”

For several weeks now, the traditional media, and especially cable news, has been wondering, “Where’s all the oil?” as if to suggest the biggest water-based oil disaster in history is over and the oil is gone. And while it’s easy to pick on the press, its short attention span and the superficial reporting typical of TV news, it’s only right to underscore who specifically is to blame for downplaying the size and scope of the disaster.

Remember the first time this “where’s the oil?” question was raised? Back on May 16, Brit Hume asked, “Where’s the oil?” on Fox News Sunday. Days later, the oil washed ashore and no one dared repeat the same question. Until now.

Patient zero in the most recent “where’s the oil?” analysis appears to be Thad Allen:

“What we’re trying to figure out is where is all the oil at and what can we do about it,” said US spill response chief Thad Allen.

Coincidentally, my next book is titled: Where Is All The Oil At? (And What Can We Do About It). I’m joking, of course, because we know precisely where the oil is. And there’s very little we can do about it, other than to stop candy-coating the post-kill status of the disaster.

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