Obama Whacks Osama: Aspects Of The 24 Factor

And that, folks, is how it’s done in Chicago. Simply, coldly. It’s not personal; it’s strictly justice, Osama. And a kill-shot to the face. If you thought of the Keifer Sutherland series 24 as you tried to take in this news, you’re not alone. Mary Lynn Rajskub, who played Chloe O’Brien, became a bit of a sensation on Twitter after she heard the news and replied that she and Jack Bauer were indeed having a post-operation drink on a lovely beach. I thought it was funny.

And yet….it really did go down a bit like one of those “ops” that always seem unreasonably complex when done for series TV, didn’t it? And President Obama along with core advisors watching it all “in real time” from the altogether real, honest-to-God Situation Room. Somewhere, Dennis Haysbert had to be smiling, too. I maintain that 24 is by no means a pro-Bush series; in fact, there are some pretty prescient observations in those scripts, commentaries about the dangers of misusing power. Watching entire seasons, I’ve been impressed.

Now, let’s remember that Dubya could have done this. The problem? No actionable intelligence? I tend to think Bush simply did not care about the man he’d earlier promised to hunt down “dead or alive.” It seems unfathomable but possible; remember he said that he “really didn’t think about him that much.”

Well, George, we were.

But Obama kept a promise to bring bin Laden to justice. It took some well-trained and courageous people on the SEAL team, and a workable plan, but now it’s done. If Ayman and Omar ever get a decent night’s sleep again, I’ll be very surprised. Obama proved that black ops can have value in extraordinary situations such as this.

Will Osama’s death end terrorism? Of course not. Somebody else will step in. But bin Laden had charisma, and he had money, two things his lieutenants happily lack. Al-Qaeda wasn’t killed, and most likely there will be some sort of retaliation, as usual on their timetable and not the rest of the world’s. For all that, I still think we should never, never give in to fear. Challenge it in others; challenge those same tendencies in yourself whenever possible.

We can be sure, though, that Osama will not haunt us anymore. Obama had his own timetable too, didn’t he? He waited, and when he gave the order it was with apparent certainty OBL was in that walled compound.

And the next night after giving the order, he went to the Correspondents’ Dinner where he took out a little payback on “The Donald.” That was rich. The President had this, of all things, in his hip pocket as he spoke. That, folks, is the epitome of coolness under pressure.

As I say, actions have consequences, and we should expect some kind of retaliation or attempt thereat. However, I have decidedly more confidence in Obama’s team to protect American citizens than I could ever find for the hapless, witness GWB. All I know is, from now on when I pass through TSA’s screening procedure, I’ll gladly take my shoes off, even flex my toes into the carpeting a bit, and pretend I’m wiping off my feet on OBL’s obliterated face. He’s cost the world a great deal, and personally I have no problem if people take a just measure of relief that this has finally happened.

I will. And then will move along.


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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