9/11 Nightmare Finally Concludes with Death of bin Laden

Echoing the impulse that got many of us into blogging in the first place.

By , Editor
As the world collectively held its breath and the clock in the eastern U.S. approached midnight on May 1, President Obama announced the looming, vulpine figure that had reached leeringly out of Western, in particular American, nightmares for a decade, had been made real and eradicated. Bin Laden had seemed to move imperviously about the realm of the living, dispensing death and impenetrable proclamations from the shadows, a smokey whisp of pure malevolence mocking our every effort to bring him to justice and end his reign of terror.

"No Johnny, Osama bin Laden is not hiding in your closet - please go back to sleep." But maybe he WAS in some closet or under some bed - he had to be somewhere.

But with the inexorable plotting of a VERY extended crime show, intelligence efforts continued apace year after year, finally congealing into tangibility in a fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the opaque menace made vulnerable flesh and blood, and destroyed.

One pictures the grotesque but viscerally satisfying scene from Tarantino's WWll revenge fantasy Inglourious Basterds, where one of the avenging American Jews empties hundreds of bullets into the disintegrating corpse of Adoph Hitler - the anguish of millions of unjust deaths focused on a single point.

For practical and aesthetic purposes, all involved in the bin Laden operation, reportedly involving Navy Seals, knew the order to "capture or kill" was really only about the latter, the assault squad seeking a broken trophy not a captive. It neither could nor should have ended any other way.

While President Obama called bin Laden's death "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda," it was really much more personal and meaningful than that - his tangible remains awakening a people from an extended, debilitating nightmare.

Awakened and avenged, may we move ahead with wisdom and grace.

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Eric Olsen is a career media professional and serial entrepreneur who has written influentially on a vast array of topics for periodicals, books, TV, radio, and the Internet. Olsen founded and published award winning online magazine Blogcritics.org and oversaw creation of the original content organization…

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