Today we are a nation that will not spike the football and show the world that the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a trophy.
It wasn't always that way. After Saddam Hussein was captured on Dember 14, 2003, the 9mm pistol he had on his person was recovered. Somehow, that gun ended up in the Oval office of President Bush. It later went on display at the future site of the Bush Institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Saddam’s Gun A Symbol That Bush ‘Disarmed Him Literally’
“It represents this Texas notion of the white hats taking out the black hats and keeping the trophy,” Rice University history professor Douglas Brinkley said, referring to Saddam’s pistol. “It’s a True West magazine kind of pulp western mentality. For President Bush, this pistol represents his greatest moment of triumph, like the F.B.I. keeping Dillinger’s gun. He wants people generations from now to see the gun and say, ‘He got the bad guy.’”
Earlier that year, Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay were killed. Those pictures made their way into major newspapers around the world. I always thought they were leaked. It turns out - I was mistaken. It was quite deliberate from our government. From the Guardian, July 24, 2003: (warning the death pictures are at this link.)
A spokesman for the US-led civil authority in Iraq said that journalists would be allowed to film the bodies for themselves tomorrow to dispel any doubts that the photographs were authentic. .....
The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, said yesterday that the release of the photos could undermine guerrilla groups committed to restoring the old regime.
Less than a year later, we would learn of the brutal death of 4 contractors
in the city of Falluja, an area that had remained loyal to Saddam Hussein. Those men were ambushed and murdered and then were filmed as their charred bodies were dragged through the streets and over the Euphrates River.
Yesterday, President Obama told Steve Kroft of 60 minutes that the pictures of Bin Laden will not be released
"It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool," said the president.
"That’s not who we are. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies," Mr. Obama added. "The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received."
Today in America, this is actually who we are. We are a people that no longer needs to see snuff pictures for proof that a mass-murderer has been rightfully removed from the face of this planet. Some things should
stay taboo, not just for the us as a people, but also for the Muslim and Arab culture. It is time for such a taboo to return to our culture. Tehran bureau wrote an opinion piece over at PBS
yesterday, "Disrespecting the dead, no matter the identity of the deceased, is taboo in Muslim and Arab culture. At best, it comes across as crass and offensive. ...In the words of one, who considered joining the army to demonstrate her approval of the war, "It says we're vulgar."
There will always be those who won't believe he is dead, or believe that he died years ago. For me, I believe it when we are told he was killed. I believe that our troops did the job they were assigned to do. It is insulting to them to believe otherwise, but that is another discussion for another time....
Today, when President Obama visits Ground Zero, the situation will be treated with the reverence and seriousness it deserves. It has been 10 long years, but justice was served. He knows the Government doesn't need to grandstand. No Drama Obama indeed. Our nation is violent enough. I for one am glad that today, this is who we NOW are. No more cowboys, no more snuff pictures. As the President said, this is not the time to spike the football. This is about an America who has decided not to further humiliate a culture by seizing a trophy. This is about justice. It was done. Now let's wrap this one up, and get the hell out of Afghanistan.