Killing Osama bin Laden was like squashing an aged infertile spider long after it had already spawned thousands of genetic copies of itself to keep the toxin spreading. While I'm happy that this monster no longer draws breath, neither am I dancing in the streets and waving the American flag. I am glad if survivors and relatives of 9/11 victims are able to find closure today. I'll be really glad if the President uses the occasion to declare "Mission Accomplished: the troops are coming home!" -- but we know that's not gonna happen.
While I was awaiting the President's speech last night, I endured Wolf Blitzer and John King's pontifications on the Most Important Day Ever, in the History of the Entire Universe. During a lull, Wolf conducted a telephone interview with a New York City firefighter who spent days at Ground Zero and subsequently developed cancer, probably from breathing in all those toxins the EPA blithely assured us were all perfectly innocuous. The exchange ended like this (No transcript - I am paraphrasing).
Firefighter: "And now that we finally got him, I hope that we can bring the troops home from Afghani-"
Blitzer: "Back to you, John! I see since our cameras lit up the scene in front of the White House, thousands are gathering and singing The Star Spangled Banner!"
Cynic that I am, I have to wonder about that massive compound surrounded by razor wire, practically right next door to Pakistan's version of West Point, going unnoticed all these years. Doesn't the CIA have Google Earth? Didn't they talk to the neighbors, who have noticed for a long time that the occupants of the compound never brought out any freaking garbage? Does the timing have anything to do with the killing of K-Daffy's grandkids by a NATO strike getting all that bad press? Did they think Osama's death would cancel out that collateral damage?
I don't know. Meanwhile, let's forget all about this week's congressional deregulation of the financial industry and the Treasury's plan to exempt trillions of dollars of foreign exchange trades from any pesky oversight. Let's pretend there is not 25 percent real unemployment and show the nervous markets how confident we all feel. Let's all go shopping and take in a Broadway show.