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May 02, 2011


Given that the U.S. did about exactly what bin Laden wanted every day for the past ten years, yesterday must have come as a surprise.

P.S. Will Shetterly says: "I suspect on the list of things he wanted was dying as a martyr." I don't know, maybe. He definitely wanted to be thought of as the kind of guy who wanted to die a martyr, but hiding out for years in a walled mansion suggests you also have a keen interest in staying alive.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at May 2, 2011 06:10 AM

On your second point, I think you are correct, he was trying to stay alive. It is very frustrating to hear form conspiracy people insisting he was already dead. I made a video which links to the motives as I show Obama's speech (with interactive transcript) Obama Speech: Osama Bin Laden Killed. Shot Dead in Pakistan

The other point I think isn't really accurate because what I think he wanted was the US to stop the unjust foreign policies in the Middle East.

Posted by: Tom Murphy at May 2, 2011 07:03 AM

Yeah, I don't know if he wanted the US to stop its unjust policies that much more than Bush wanted bin Laden to stop attacking the US. Right-wing psychos are generally lost without real grievances to catapult them to prominence.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at May 2, 2011 07:51 AM

I see, Jonathan, that you describe OBL as a right-wing psycho. Others might describe him as a great leader, and someone willing to employ the necessarily messy tools of statecraft to do God's work in the struggle against the Great Satan.

May the Creative Forces of the Universe be with us all, and have mercy on our souls, if any.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at May 2, 2011 09:32 AM

They say he was buried at sea. So no one could see? To increase the faith of those whose faith was not yet strong enough?

Posted by: Dredd at May 2, 2011 09:46 AM

Eh, it seems unlikely to me that he's not dead at this point. If you claim someone is dead, and they aren't, they can easily put egg on your face just by holding up a newspaper and taking a photo. That makes him at least in custody, and as good as dead.

Posted by: saurabh at May 2, 2011 01:19 PM

I'm waiting for the story to break that actually it was some other guy with a beard who was shot in the eye, because once the DNA results get a closer look I know they're going to apologize for shooting the wrong guy and take it all back. Anyway, that'll teach that guy for hanging around with a woman who was about to become reported to be OBL's tenth wife.

Never mind. I'm going to go read some Mark Twain.

Posted by: N E at May 2, 2011 05:03 PM

He definitely wanted to be thought of as the kind of guy who wanted to die a martyr, but hiding out for years in a walled mansion suggests you also have a keen interest in staying alive.

Disagreed; there's a difference between wanting to die a martyr when you die, and wanting to off yourself right here and now.

In this as in so many other things, bin Laden won.

Posted by: John Caruso at May 3, 2011 01:09 PM

just like emanuel goldstein won

Posted by: N E at May 5, 2011 11:11 PM