The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 August 2003

"I'm not quite dead yet"

We get another crummy C-60 ostensibly from Osama, and the world goes spastic once more.

Is it real? According to Venomous Kate, it may not matter:

[W]hether OBL is dead or alive isn't really the issue, is it? The crux is whether extremist Muslims believe he's alive, and every al-Qaeda related terror attack certainly indicates they very much believe this.

But what if he isn't — does it matter? Bin Laden — as a concept, not a person — will remain a major player in international politics and events long after his body is worm food. He is but one head on this Hydra: slay him, and two more will take his place.

How do you kill a beast of such mythic proportions?

Heracles, presented with exactly this task, called upon an ally: Iolaus, his charioteer, who stood off to the side with a torch. When Heracles lopped off a head, Iolaus was there to burn the stump to prevent regrowth. The last head, it is said, was immortal, so Heracles buried it beneath a boulder.

And just to prove that this ancient tale has contemporary resonance: Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, for whom Heracles had performed this task and nine others as ordered, refused to release Heracles from his bond: not only did Heracles actually get help with dealing with the Hydra, but he had tried to turn a profit on the cleaning of the Augean stables.

The beast can be — will be — killed. But don't expect to meet cost projections, or to garner more than perfunctory support, along the way.

Posted at 7:55 AM to Dyssynergy


the last i heard about the bin laden hunt:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030804fa_fact

Posted by: aldahlia at 9:45 AM on 19 August 2003

For some reason, I read "OBL" as "ODB" at first glance.

My thought, of course, was "Ol' Dirty Bastard is dead?"

It's been a long day.

Posted by: Jeff at 5:58 PM on 19 August 2003

"Someone help me! I'm still alive, only I'm very badly burned..."
/Austin Powers

Osama must have messed up his pretty face, or he'd be releasing video like he did before. And that's if these audio tapes are actually him. Which they probably aren't.

But the Islamists thought Saddam was a hero for losing the Gulf War, so even if we did kil OBL I doubt it would make an impression. They would just remember that for a few moments Bin Laden had America in tears.

Posted by: surlybird at 7:04 PM on 19 August 2003

Bin Laden is just a cog in a wheel, and they mean to drive over us with whatever they have.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:58 PM on 20 August 2003