I will try to find a solution to the comment archives in some way. But yesterday was a jinx day: for as if to compound things a server connected to another task went down. Vexed by the momentary paralysis of my cyber-life, I dusted my palms and proclaimed in frustration “that this means war” and went down to the neighborhood theater to watch Zero Dark Thirty. About three hours later I returned home and realized that the movie’s message was in fact that “it doesn’t mean war”.

The raids, the surveillance, the bureaucratic infighting, even the coercive interrogation but most especially the Lamborghini purchase scene all shouted “let’s get along”. Someone probably figured it was the better part of valor not to ask why he was stashed half a mile from the Pakistani military academy. That not asking was part of the ‘solution’ too. Maybe that’s what it comes down to: cultures, bureaucracies and individuals squeeze past each other in the corridors of history on their way to wherever. Osama Bin Laden created a disturbance in the symbolism of the system. Somehow September 11 had to be squared and his death was necessary to balance the terms in some political algebra. Not that anything was really squared but sorta was thought to be good enough. Maybe the most important thing OBL ever did was to die and provide an excuse to restart the music.

Perhaps that’s the most important thing the first generation of stars did too.

Then the server started up again and I reflected that we often wind up achieving a slightly different goal from the one we set out to achieve; as if condemned never quite climb that peak glimpsed through clouds but always another a little off to one side.

Maybe that’s how it was with Osama. He wanted to lead the jihad and finished up instead as a step on somebody’s ladder. Someone needed his carbon to make a little star of their own. And where does that new ladder lead? Who knows? But probably not where they think it does.

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The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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