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.