Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Osama Raid, Ver. 4.1

There are so versions of the “Raid” story, it’s hard to keep up anymore. The president and his staff were watching. The president and his staff weren’t watching. The raid took 45 minutes. The raid was over and Osama was killed in mere moments. Osama went down like a man, firing away at the SEALs. Osama poked his head out of the bedroom door, then hid behind his wife like a girl. Osama threw his wife at the SEALs and was reaching for his AK-47. The SEALs had him down on the ground and then killed him.

So did Osama die a coward’s death or a martyr’s death? Was he scared? I sure hope so. I would certainly think he would be with the SEALs’ weapons pointed at his head and nowhere to go, trapped like an animal in its lair. It might have been possible that, like a trapped animal, he made one last lunge. Or maybe, if the latest story is true, he quivered like a schoolgirl. But if he was quivering that badly, and feared for his life so, then wouldn’t he have surrendered?

The White House ought to quit while it’s behind. The varying versions are soon going to become a joke. Trying to convince his followers that their leader died like a coward won’t impress them much. Most of them are cowards. Oh, they put up a good front, shaking their AK-47s and snarling into the video camera, like KSM. But if it looks like they’re losing, they’ll cut and run like cockroaches. That’s why they resort to sneak attacks and suicide bombings. Rumor has it Al Qaeda has to juice its suicide volunteers up before they go off on their final mission. Who in their right mind would kill themselves?

In the end, Osama’s bodyguards did not kill him. If he even had any, the SEALs took care of them directly. Nor did he kill himself before the infidels could dispatch him. Some accounts say he didn’t even have time to surrender. But that may just be Liberals trying to make America look bad. On the other hand, not many Americans would lose any sleep if they thought the SEALs went in as an execution squad.

The whole thing is very strange. Why didn’t they just leave the story as it was? The president and his team watched the 40-minute raid from the Situation Room. There was a big firefight, with Osama blazing his way to paradise. The SEALs capped him, allowed him a proper Muslim funeral, then threw him overboard. The End.

Why leave all these unanswered questions, conflicting statements, and dangling threads over the terrorist of the century’s death? Was Wikileaks about to reveal the government’s knowledge of Osama’s location ahead of schedule and Obama felt he had to get him now, before Osama cut and run? Actually, that would make sense.

Really, this is almost as sensational as the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald.

As for Obama’s photo op today, while it actually was a nice gesture and not overdone, he and the Libs deserve every criticism since they bashed Bush incessantly for legitimately wanting to participate in the 9/11 anniversary observances. Unlike Obama, Bush was the president during 9/11. He had a right to be there and he was treated contemptuously by the Democrats, especially in New York. That he was banned from Ground Zero was the most outrageous disgrace and insult.

Just as Sunday was Osama’s comeuppance, today was payback time for Obama and the Democrats. How does it feel, Obama, to be accused of politicizing a tragedy, of creating a mere photo op in order to further your political career?

Yup. Payback sucks.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

When the Wrong Man Does the Right Thing

Today, as I sat in the atrium eating my lunch, I looked out the window at the sunny sky with puffs of clouds marching eastward with the cold, spring wind.  My office is only about 20 miles from Ground Zero; they’d be having the same weather as we were.  As I watched Old Glory waving in the sunshine, I found myself thinking first not about Osama or Obama, or Lying Libs or Consternated Conservatives, but about the nearly 3,000 9/11 victims and the wreath the president would be laying at the center of Ground Zero.

Maybe it was the silence of the atrium at that moment (I took an early lunch because I had noontime call and a photo op afterwards) that made me think it’s not, or shouldn’t be about political campaigns or undeniably egotistical presidents.  The Media promised that all he would do is lay the wreath on the ground.  No speeches; only a meeting with some 9/11 families (but only a select group of 9/11 families, it’s rumored, who are favorable to Obama).

I don’t know whose idea the wreath-laying was, but it was a good idea.  I wish it could have been anyone but Obama laying the wreath.  I also recollected how opposed he and the Democrats were to the Guantanamo interrogations (actually they were done by the CIA in their own, unidentified prisons) and trials, how then Pres. Bush was banned by the Liberals from setting foot on Ground Zero at the subsequent 9/11 anniversaries, even though he was the President of the United States at the time, and how they blamed Pres. Bush, quite wrongly for the 9/11 attacks.

As the clouds sailed by, I remembered that cloudless morning nearly ten years ago.  I remembered the first picture I saw of the attack – the first plane ramming into the North Tower.  I remember the video, just replaying, of the second plane and of the fireball it created.  I remembered how I thought with horror of all those people on those floors and in those planes and what it must have been like for them.  I remembered the pictures of the people jumping out of the windows.  I remembered how my co-workers wept for the unknown workers in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon – just people.

I remembered my boss frantically trying to dial his friend in one of the Towers.  I remembered Mary coming in to say both towers were gone.  I remember seeing the television shot of the remaining tower standing abandoned in the dust and finally falling, it’s antenna tipping from side to side before righting itself.  I remembered seeing the pictures of the men who caused the calamity and how my hair stood on end just looking at them and how I thought I was going to be sick.

Two of the three are gone now.  With Osama’s death, a breath of peace seems to be passing overhead; the sky sighs with relief.  In a few days, the weather will be warm again (it’s been strangely cold here in the Northeast).  The flowers will resume blooming.  Justice has at long last been served, even if it was at the hands of the last man in the world we would have wanted to see take credit for it, a man who has time and again proven himself to be an enemy of America.

Thanks to our military and our intelligence agency, who were at last unshackled to do their job (probably out of political expediency of one kind or another), American can put 9/11 largely to rest.  There is still the trial of KSM to get through and the great likelihood that Osama’s mourners will try to avenge his death.  Even now, his followers are turning his last home into a shrine.  The Muslims can keep their Arab Spring.  Today, it is American Spring.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Poor Excuse for an Executive Decision

Citing an upcoming interview on CBS’ Sixty Minutes, the White House announced today that Pres. Obama has decided not to make public the gruesome death photos of Osama Bin Laden. He and the National Security team decided releasing the photos would be too risky and would inflame passions against the United States, that they would become “icons to rally” our enemies.

Very true.

He said that Obama was not “a trophy” to be displayed. Isn’t he? Obama's already gearing up for his next presidential campaign, running on the "I Got Osama" ticket.  “That’s not the way we do things here in America.” No, it certainly isn’t and probably shouldn’t be. Still, Americans remember all too well the Black Hawk Down incident, when the body of at least one American soldier was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, during the Clinton Administration.

Say, rather, that we’ve seen enough of Bin Laden to last a lifetime. He’s gone and we’ll all be glad that we will never see or hear from him again. My former boss, whose good friend died in one of the Twin Towers on 9/11, doesn’t want to see the death pictures. In fact, he doesn’t want to see any pictures of Bin Laden at all. He gave me the headlined newspaper from Monday.

“Take it away!” he exclaimed. “I don’t even want to look at him!”

Frankly, I don’t care whether it would inflame people in the Middle East. In fact, that would be the best reason in the world to run the photos, if it would make them angry, let them see how it feels. Get a taste of their own medicine.

Pres. Obama observed that that’s not the kind of people we are,” and in any case, some of us don’t want to see him. The sight “of OBL frankly gave me a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and made my skin crawl – and that was alive and whole. Every time I looked at his photos, I got that same creepy feeling. But now that he’s dead, I don’t get that feeling anymore.

Personally, I don’t need to see his morgue photos. I don’t need to see the bloodbath. I trust the government and the military when it says it got him. I don’t need to see pictures of him in life. I hope once the news dies down, that we’ll never see his picture again. I hope Wikileaks doesn’t produce any new and astonishing photos of him, either.

However, at last count, a Fox News poll found that 55 percent of Americans want to see the photos. As Rush Limbaugh observed, the Muslims want to see the photos. He says the Administration is stringing us along because some very bad economic news is coming up and Obama wants to distract us. The question is: which will turn your stomach more? The mess Seal Team Six made of Osama? Or the mess Team Obama has made of our economy?

They’ve changed the story of the raid several times now, which only makes the claim of Bin Laden’s death all the more dubious. If people didn’t care before, with all these different versions coming out, people are going to demand to see these pictures. Remember: Obama was once adamant about many things: closing Gitmo, holding the 9/11 trial in New York City. He flipped on all of them. Or someone holding the strings of the Soros Surrogate flipped him.

In my profession, when someone says “I don’t want my picture taken” and they refuse to sign the photo release, we can’t publish the picture. I don’t think Osama had time to sign or decline any photo releases. At any rate, he was a public figure, so anyone can publish a photo of him if they want to. The government happens to own these pictures. They can declare it a matter of national security. But the politicizing has already begun. Obama is going to take his first bows at Ground Zero tomorrow for ordering Seal Team Six to capture or kill him.

It’s hard to say how the Muslims will take this, if and when they get photographic confirmation. They may decide to nuke the Statue of Liberty, or blow up one or all of the bridges into Manhattan. They might try to blow up the Capitol. Or perhaps they have in mind a West Coast target.

Or they might decide to make it “personal.” The Muslims are the “eye-for-an-eye” type. If they view this as an assassination, whoever takes the bow for the deed is going to be wearing a big, red target. Maybe that’s why the president is reluctant to release the photos. I would be.

To release or not to release; that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of conspiracy theorists, both American and Muslim, who will forever believe that Bin Laden, like Elvis, is still alive because they haven’t seen proof enough to satisfy them.

Or risk further retaliation by the hot-headed Islamic radicals and the deaths of innocent people. Incidentally, I wonder if anyone has told the bad news to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

If You See Something, Say Something

Critics complain that Americans have been overly-jubilant and decidedly un-Christian in their revelry over Osama Bin Laden’s demise. Yet, I don’t see any effigies of the late terrorist mastermind being hung or burnt, stuffed with ham, or boiled in grease. They haven’t been burning anyone’s flags, only waving their own. They didn’t parade down the streets of the Muslim sections of any American city, breaking windows and threatening the residents. All they’ve done is celebrate the fact that America regained a little of her pride and, after ten years, brought Bin Laden to justice (as best they could).

The reaction from the Arab street seems to be a little too quiet. The silence is rather ominous. Yes, the imam of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem has vowed revenge. But we haven’t seen many videos of demonstrations; only one or two. Security officials say the lack of response is a sign that Bin Laden had lost his stature among Muslims.

I’m not so sure about that. Yes, we had a victory Sunday. But the terrorists are very sore losers. So are their cheerleaders, the Arab street. Are they remaining silent because organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood have told them that the way to power is through politics, not violence. That now that “democracy” as at hand, they have no more need of violence.

Or are they just biding their time, waiting like a coiled-up snake for the right time to strike? The word from Guantanamo is that KSM vowed nuclear retaliation if Osama was captured or killed. KSM will prevaricate. He’ll play games with his handlers over details. He’ll posture, pose, and mock. But it’s unlikely that he’ll ever lie about a threat. He just won’t send you an engraved invitation.

Which means we have to help the authorities out as best we can, keeping our eyes and ears open, and our cell phones ready to make that call, or take that photo (as long as you’re at a safe distance so you won’t get hurt). They really do hate having their pictures taken and usually will run like cockroaches. That’s the first tip-off that something’s wrong.

New Yorkers in particular have to change their attitude. They have a tendency to walk straight ahead and not look around them, like horses with blinders on. If they don’t want a successful Times Square incident, they’re going to have to start paying a little better attention. It’s dangerous, I know; I worked in the city. There are a lot of crazy people in New York and like vicious dogs, the worst thing you can do is look them in the eye; doing so can get you injured or even killed.

Terrorists are masters of disguises. They can look like ordinary people. Or they can dress themselves up in some sort of uniform: janitor, waitress, busboy, delivery driver construction worker. What you have to look out for is the unusual, out-of-place behavior – for instance, a construction worker leaning on his shovel, not doing anything. Despite all the jokes, hardhats really do work hard, and if you see one not working, especially for a long period of time, something’s wrong.

A guy standing out in the middle of the road taking photos of a fast-food place or someone taking photos of an embassy or a factory or a store, or some other building that really doesn’t have landmark status.

They won’t necessarily be carrying big, long lens cameras. Those things draw attention. It’s when they take a photo of something unusual, looking surreptitiously around to see if any authorities are watching, pull the camera out of pocket, snap the photo, then shove the camera back in the pocket and walk away quickly.

Then of course, there are the characters who drop bags on city sidewalks, sometimes to test the city’s response level. They’ll do it amidst a large crowd of people, where the drop can’t be noticed and they disappear in the throng (with people tripping over the bag and cursing). If you hear an unusual amount of cursing (for the Big Apple that is), dial 911. Only kidding.

Most buildings have their own security and by now they should know what to do. All over the country, workers in the transportation and travel industries have been taught what to look out for in terms of suspicious behavior.  Even in small towns like mine, where our granite hills are the site of former iron mines from the colonial days, people need to be vigilant.  Mohammed Atta was probably our town's most notorious visitor.

So keep an eye out and ask God’s help in looking for signs of trouble. Bin Laden’s dead, but terrorism isn’t.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Ding! Dong! Bin Laden's Dead!

The day has come most of us were beginning to doubt would ever arrive – master Islamic terrorist Osama Bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals, directed to their target by the CIA, early Sunday morning in a little town called Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In a forty-minute firefight, the SEALs rappelled down into a fortified compound a mere thousand feet from a Pakistani military academy, as the president and his staff watched from the White House Situation Room. One helicopter developed mechanical difficulty and landed hard, but safely. The 24-member team then engaged what forces there were in the compound. Bin Laden, cornered in his third-story bedroom, refused to surrender, using one of his wives as shield.

The SEALs gave him one opportunity to surrender. He refused and the SEALs fired, killing Bin Laden and the woman, as well as three others. The SEALs put his body onto a support chopper and headed towards the Arabian Sea. There, much to the consternation of Americans, he was given a proper Muslim funeral and dumped into the sea.

Not a single American life was lost during the mission, though the team had to destroy the disabled helicopter. God bless the Navy SEALs and the CIA, all those brave, courageous souls who put their lives on the rapel lines to rid the world of this dangerous man.

The reaction across America was jubilation. College students, and others, converged upon the White House and New York’s Ground Zero to celebrate. Cadets at West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy poured out of their barracks onto their courtyards to cheer and sing.

More mature people found such behavior distasteful, celebrating the death of another human being. They felt such displays made Americans seem like the thronging, angry mobs of the Middle East celebrating the deaths of Jews and Christians after a bombing. There is where the difference lies: they were cheering the deaths of innocents. Our young people were cheering the death of someone who brought about those deaths.

I always said if Osama were to ever meet his fate, as well as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, I would ring my bells – that is my chimes. Coat-wrack chimes, as they’re called, are a funny instrument. First, you have to be tall enough to reach the tops of the bars and still hold down the sustaining pedal.

Secondly, you have to strike them the right way. Strike them the right way and they’ll peal beautifully. The right way is to strike them on the top of the molded edge. Friends and I were having an argument about how to do it. They wanted me to strike them flat, on the tube itself. I demonstrated for them what it sounded like; they agreed then that I knew what I was doing.

Strike chimes the wrong way and they sound something like boots clanging on metal grating. Clang, clang, clang, clang, clang, clang! We all have our 9/11 stories and mine has to do with clanging. It’s a sound I’ll personally always associate with 9/11.

I didn’t have access to my chimes last night, obviously. I heard the news as I was getting ready for bed. I was about to take a shower around 10:30 and Geraldo Rivera was saying that a statement from the White House was imminent. At that hour, on a Sunday night, I thought? I figured they were going to announce that Gaddafi had been killed. Now if they announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead, that would be something! But when I was through and came back to the living room, there was the announcement – Osama Bin Laden was dead. I couldn’t believe it. Where are a set of chimes when you really need them?

But alas, at that hour, my neighbors would have complained even if I had them, so I took the news with grim satisfaction and laughed at the crowds of young people chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and the baseball fans interrupting the Mets-Phillies game to cheer the news, just as I always knew they would in the event of the notorious terrorist’s demise.

Though some might think it unseemly, not to mention impractical, and despite Glenn Beck’s humorous celebration tonight, I think the heroes of the raid should be given a ticker tape parade down Broadway to Ground Zero. Only we can’t, because it’s too dangerous for them and while this is a great victory, the war isn’t over by any means. We may celebrate today, only to find ourselves facing the threat KSM promised if Bin Laden was ever killed.

Still, I mean not to be deterred in my own celebration of justice. I won’t see my chimes until Wednesday night rehearsal (assuming I make it to rehearsal that evening). We have nearly a half hour’s time to tune up. Since my instruments obviously don’t need tuning, I’ll be free to let my chimes peal wildly, up and down, in “celebration” of the triumph of freedom, liberty, justice – and hope. Evil can be turned aside and even made to flee, even if it never yields to good.

God bless the U.S. military. A line of gratitude to Pres. Obama for making the right decision (I only suspect that Gen. Petraeus is not being given his due credit). May all of Osama Bin Laden’s many, many victims over these long years, since I first read about him in the late 1980’s, rest in peace.

God bless America and forgive us if we seem jubilant at this news; it’s been a long, dark journey without any justice since 9/11, especially for the survivors and the families affected by that tragedy, and there’s still a long, treacherous road ahead of us; the snake lays hidden in the underbrush, we know, ready to strike. This was simply a respite for us, a release from nearly a decade of doubt and despair. If we didn’t let our enemies hear us rejoice at a victory, we’d lose heart completely and then they would destroy more than our buildings or even our lives; they’d destroy our spirit and then their victory would be complete.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Battle of the Morons

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness.” Barack Hussein Obama, April 27,, 2011

“Trump has shown the acumen of a future president, from firing Gary Busey on a recent episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ to focusing so much time on conspiracy theories about my birthplace.” Barack Hussein Obama, White House Correspondents’ Dinner, April 30, 2011

I was beginning to have some respect for Donald Trump for standing up to our Tyrant-in-Chief and demanding that he provide a proper birth certificate. The Donald would obviously have to take some guff from the Liberals when the certificate turned out to be authentic – which I had no doubt it would be.

But then Trump began spewing profanities at his resort in Las Vegas. As far as concerned citizens were concerned, he’d won. Obama was forced to disclose the certificate ahead of schedule.

Obama then invited Trump to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night, with the purpose of skewering him. Obama, not being all that funny himself, hired a stand-in from Saturday Night Live to do the actual roasting, calling Trump’s candidacy a joke. Ba-da-ba-doom. Why where have I heard that joke before? But then again, as far as these Liberal adolescents are concerned, Republicans shouldn’t even bother running at all.

Still, I can’t help thinking that smart businessman Trump knew exactly what he was doing. The Libs can yuk it up all they want. Let them hyperventilate with laughter from now until the election. Trump should continue on with his candidacy. In spite of all the Saturday Night Live adolescent jesting, adult Americans might just get tired of our country being run into the ground by the real fool, Obama, and vote Trump in.

If anyone has the guts to take Obama on, it’s Donald Trump.

Super Jerk

Superman must have gotten a bad batch of Kryptonite. Or maybe Lex Luthor invented a machine to vacuum out Superman’s brains. But last week, Superman’s current handlers announced that the Man of Steel is renouncing his U.S. citizenship. The Man of Steel has decided he wants to be a “man of the world.” Man of Jello is more like it.

He wasn’t born here, although his adoptive parents brought him up American, passing him off as their adopted nephew. For years he stood for truth, justice, and the American way – freedom. If he’s renounced freedom and liberty, who needs him?

This isn’t the first time he’s let us (and Lois Lane) down, only to come to his senses and return. Sounds like he was kidnapped by enemy agents, and a Superman double agent was sent in his place to destroy the greatest country on Earth – the United States of America.

Where was Superman, anyway, on September 11, 2001? At least Spiderman tried to make it. What was Superman doing? Making a speech to the Muslims about how it’s all one big happy world? Apologizing for standing up for Israel and freedom?

The Man of Steel ought to remember the tale of The Man Without a Country. Once he left, there was no returning. No matter how he longed for his native country, he couldn’t return. No one else would have a traitor and he sailed from port to port.

America can always find another superhero. Superman will never find another America.