So of course when I woke up this morning the media was buzzing with the news that Osama, and in couple of cases Obama, has been killed by US forces.
Politically this is great news for Obama (or if you believe the other story Osama); beyond that I’m a bit baffled by the excitement. As Richard Herring tweeted:
Let’s all celebrate wildly. I can see no possible negative repercussions from this news.
Which shows a great deal more perspective than the uncharacteristically naïve twitterings of William Hague around the same time, who said:
Visited Tahrir Square & spoke about death of Bin Laden. Democratic change is the future in the Middle East. Terrorism will fail & be defeated
Perhaps this merely demonstrates the folly of squeezing a speech into 140 characters, but too many politicians still want us to believe that the nebulous thing that is ‘terrorism’ can be defeated in the same way as a nation or a football team, and too many people seem happy to believe it. I’m told there was a 9/11 family member on Today saying that she was so relieved that no other family would ever have to lose anyone to terrorism again, which shows a deeply flawed understanding of human beings, let alone Al Qaeda.
It reminded me of a short story I wrote last year, which I imagine is more entertaining than a lengthy rant by me about the dangers of martyring a terrorist leader and the fact that you can’t cut off the head of a terrorist organisation that has no central leadership. So I’ve put it online here.