Death of a scarecrow

Some say it was a historical day. The burst of joy resounding in the streets of a whole country covered with flags and painted faces would presumably support this as a fact. But I have to say I do not agree. Of course, I understand the relief among the families of those who died, I can see that since last sunday night their grief can finally be a little lighter, and I sympathize with them, once again (I will always do). But as for the others, the colorful, Superbowl-like collective buzz was only there to show once more the narrow-mindedness of a huge portion of the American people, and their absolute ignorance of the outside world.

That of Osama bin Laden was indeed a twisted mind, and his views of the world, of what Islam should be, of how the Evil West should be fought, a serious threat, to any of us in the Western countries, and even more so to the dozens of millions in those Muslim countries that didn’t conform to his views. There is no doubt that the world is a safer place without him. But he was not the one and absolute Evil, not the only serious threat to the world’s security and peace. Those who think this will always be weaker and unprepared in preventing any further attacks similar to the ones al Qaeda perpetrated, or in fighting the very ideas behind them.

And by the way, have those who’ve been waving the stars and stripes these past few days already forgotten that the war triggered by Mr Bush’s, Cheney’s, and Rumsfeld’s madness – on the basis of pure lies – has caused tens of thousands of deaths, including thouse of countless civilians? Do they intentionally neglect this? Or do they just not care?

Most analysts agree on the fact that bin Laden’s influence has only but declined in the years following that mid-September morning that shook the US and the entire planet ten years ago. Some even say the long-bearded once-icon of Terror failed on all grounds, and above all in his attempt of gathering support from the public opinion at large in the Muslim countries. The ways the whole picture has evolved throughout the region in the years following 9/11 – and up to the totally unprecedented events of the Arab Spring – seem to confirm this. And the appeasing words spoken by Barack Obama at Cairo University in 2009 have had way more beneficial effects in keeping the American people safe than Mr Bush’s bullets or Mr Huntington’s overrated (and close-to-delirious) warnings.

I don’t see all this big historical thrill, about what happened the other day. No huge buzz, other than a merely psychological one. Nothing more than the death of a scarecrow. Probably the one that was casting around (or believed to be casting) the spookiest shadow of all. And yet, a scarecrow.

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