Bear Baiting

    Well, the rabble rousers are at it again. Talk radio, and therefore very likely a high percentage of the American public want to see the photos. They want to see the pics of bin Laden with part of his head blown away; not of course to confirm that he is truly dead, but simply to satisfy their morbid curiosity–more of the pornography of violence that I have written about before.  Sadly, the truth be told, I almost clicked on the virus infested video posted on Facebook the day after the raid that purported to show bin Laden’s death. I inhibited my prurient urges, not because I wasn’t curious, but because I was suspicious. Nevertheless, I think all but the craziest of conspiracy theorists believe that he is indeed dead–deader than a doornail, deader even than JFK or Elvis.

   I am not a fan of President Obama but I think in refusing to release the photos he’s making a Trumanesque “the buck stops here” decision.  He is giving us more credit for decency than we deserve when he says, “this is not who we are” and that we don’t need to “spike the football.”  I also think Obama made the right (and difficult) decision in sending in a Seal team to decapitate bin Laden face to face, as opposed to a smart bomb launched many miles away blowing him to smithereens. I do not believe they knew with 100% certainty that it was bin Laden in the compound and they certainly didn’t know that the raid would be almost flawlessly carried out. So many things could have gone wrong and left both our nation and Obama hopelessly embarrassed.

    The professionalism of the CIA and the Seal team is in marked contrast to the chaotic managing of the narrative by Team Obama. The incompetence of the people he has surrounded himself with is stunning–Hilary, Panetta and the info czar Jay Carney are not just not on the same page, they are not even in the same library. The story of what really happened in bin Laden’s compound changes dramatically with each briefing. It will be those inconsistencies that will fuel a thousand conspiracy theories.

    The really disheartening aspect for me has been the absolute refusal of some on the right to give Obama even an ounce of credit. The vituperations of Limbaugh have been particularly vicious. He cannot stand to see Obama succeed at anything, even when our country stands to gain.  And the mindlessly perseverative Sean Hannity said in effect “We paid for this and we want to see the pictures.” It reduces out nation’s honor to some free-market commodity.

    It was Victorian essayist Thomas Macaulay who said that the Puritans opposed bear-baiting not because it harmed the bear but because it gave the spectators pleasure. Well, for me, that’s reason enough not to release the photos, but beyond that the fact is there are just some things we don’t need to see. This is particularly true if we purport to be followers of Jesus–and if we take what He said seriously enough to consider ourselves works in progress toward sanctification.


About diospsytrek

I am a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. I am also the author of four books. The books have to do with coping with depression and other mood disorders, and the nexus of psychological problems and spiritual warfare.
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One Response to Bear Baiting

  1. Pamela Johnson says:

    As one who has a tendency to entertain conspiray theories, I have wondered if the man identified as Bin Ladin was the “real Bin Ladin.” I have read on multiple sites that he has been dead for some years. I believe that others may be suspicious also and that may be part of the reason his photographs have been requested; they need to confirm his identity.

    However, whatever the reason for wanting to see his photograph, I personally am sick of hearing about it. For the past several weeks, one can’t turn on the television without seeing a discussion of Ben Ladin’s death and the expected reactions which might be expected from the Muslim community. With the 10th year landmark of 9/11 coming up soon, the real or concocted death of this man will surely whip up our patriotic ferver and give out president a more positive image. After all, he was president when Ben Ladin was killed on his watch. Or maybe we are due for another focus on the “terrorist issue” so we can remember that we are living in a world that is not safe. Of course, most people don’t need to be reminded of this.

    While Ben Ladin may have been a evil man, I have to wonder about our rejoicing in his death. We are comanded to not delight in our enemy’s hurt. Ther media’s focusing on Bin Ladin each and every day for weeks is becoming a carnival-like scenario. Why can’t we just drop and subject and move on to more important issues like the authenticity of the President’s birth certificate.

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