Monday, May 02, 2011

NYT on Bin Laden's Death

I hate to say it, but I can identify with how Giulliani feels about the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. He said, in Politico, "I feel satisfaction and some emotional relief, but I don't feel great elation. I watch a lot of the celebrating and it makes me feel a little strange, I don't know. Nothing erases the loss of all those lives."

I fee relieved and ecstatic and proud, of course, but I and I assume many others have been going back over images and stories that I haven't experienced in many years, and they still conjure the same mix of very strong emotions. So I feel a bit unsettled, a bit less high-fivey than I might.

But, that's neither here nor there, whatever that means.

The New York Times has what I have to call, at the risk of being excited over the pure narrative of it, a riveting account of the events leading up to and surrounding the killing of Bin Laden in Pakistan. It's really thrilling reading, like we don't often get in major sources of journalism.

"Sixteen hours later, he had made up his mind. Early the next morning, four top aides were summoned to the White House Diplomatic Room. Before they could brief the president, he cut them off. “It’s a go,” he said."


"The commando team had raced into the Pakistani night from a base in Jalalabad, just across the border in Afghanistan. The goal was to get in and get out before Pakistani authorities detected the breach of their territory by what were to them unknown forces and reacted with possibly violent results."

It's a long one, but it's really good. Amid the sea of articles and opinions, don't miss this gem.

This is reason to celebrate, though it feels strange to do so. It's a time to be proud and to think about our place and role in the world.

It's also a time to think about the casualties of not only 9/11 but the "war on terror" that ensued, whatever your opinion of it. As one image that really struck me had it, in a note left at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site on Vesey Street near ground zero on Monday, "Dedicated to all those who fought, suffered, and died to bring us this moment. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten."

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