Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden's hideout compares to Colorado Springs

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Osama bin Laden
  • Osama bin Laden

Abbottabad? Osama bin Laden?

Run a quick search, and what do you find?

A perfect candidate to become Colorado Springs’ next sister city. According to Wikipedia, “The city is well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high standard educational institutions and military establishments. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, 50 kilometres (31 mi) northeast of Islamabad and 150 kilometres (93 mi) east of Peshawar at an altitude of 4,120 feet (1,260 m) and is the capital of the Abbottabad Distric. It remains a major hub for tourism…”

A photograph of the compound, which featured high walls and a pleasant interior garden, reveals an unadorned concrete structure, which could be the residence of a rich family in any troubled subtropical country. Not exactly The Broadmoor, nor Puerto Vallarta - more northern Mexico.

And one wonders what OBL did to pass the time, with no phone, no Internet connection, and only the most tenuous connection to the outside world. Did one of his couriers bring him in an IPad loaded with Angry Birds? Did he watch porno? Did he write bad poetry, as did Saddam Hussein?

But one thing is certain: Bin Laden’s death at the hands of Navy Seals, in an operation that displays America’s competence, tenacity, and reach, is cause for celebration. Bin Laden may have been operationally irrelevant, but he remained a powerful symbol of American impotence, thumbing his nose at this country and gloating over the death of innocents.

Whether he was Charles Manson magnified, or Hitler diminished, doesn’t matter. He died as did his victims, at a time not of his choosing.

Judging from FB/Twitter streams, this bright morning is one of renewed patriotism, diminished partisanship, and a kind of hopeful optimism about the future that had almost disappeared from our political dialogue.

Will it have any long-lasting effect?

Locally, will the new era of good feelings affect the mayoral election?

Probably not, unless there are thousands of undecided/leaning-to-Steve Bach folks who are so swept up in the national euphoria that they forget to vote - or, on the other hand, vote for Richard Skorman as a way of atoning for once-rabid, anti-Obama sentiments. My guess is that turnout may increase, as, guided by a renewed appreciation for our country, for the competence of our leaders, and for the courage of our military, we do our duty as citizens, and vote. Whoever wins will be further legitimized by higher turnout, and that’s good news.

Democracy - ain’t it grand?

And here’s a sentence I’ve wanted to write for almost 10 years:

Osama sleeps with the fishes.



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