Thursday, May 05, 2005

So Why Haven't The Yanks Found Bin Laden Yet? (Sly Know-It-All Smile)

It took the authorities of several countries over 21 years to catch Carlos the Jackel.

It took the FBI 18 years to capture the Unabomber.

It took over three years to make an arrest in the murder of a Cape Cod writer.

When Timothy McVeigh was taken in by an Oklahoma Patrol officer within hours of the Oklahoma City bombing, it was totally by accident.

D B Cooper has never been captured.

I mention these examples as it turns out that, among the pieces of good news from Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq, was nearly caught in an undeveloped western border region, while Al Qaeda's number three leader has been captured for real.

One of the main "arguments" used to bash Bush, his administration, and/or America has been to sneer or spit out the question, how come they haven't captured Osama Ben Laden yet, with the suggestion that it is all a conspiracy.

This is related to similar demands that, if American forces don't leave Iraq immediately after the fall of Baghdad, the war is a sham; if elections do not occur immediately after the end of the war, Iraqi democracy is a sham; if the Iraqis do not turn out to be opposed to Uncle Sam, their country is a sham; and (most recently) if the Iraqis do not choose a government immediately after the unprecedented elections, the elections are a sham.

Further afield, statements in a similar smarter-than-you vein try to find all kinds of (dark) symbolism in the fact that, say, the 9/11 anniversary is the same as Allende's overthrow, or to ask, if you took out Iraq, why not Iran, or North Korea, etc…

Every time, some presupposition is set up that, if not fulfilled, supposedly shows sine qua non that some perfidy (or treachery or stupidity) is afoot. And no other possible answer is entertained. To take Carlos, why should he have been captured in 1994 rather than two/12/20 years earlier? Maybe the answer has less to do with odious strings being pulled than with the fact that (with the help of allies, it is true) he did all he could to stay out of jail.

These statements are linked to people's belief in what the Washington Post's Michael Kinsley once called "the central committee of the universe", where everything is somehow controlled and taken care of. (This, in turn, is not unrelated to people's support for a across-the-board birth-to-cradle social security and for their awe for the United Nations, and the new world that would/will ensue if/when such dreams finally come to fruition.)

Right now, unfortunately (in the minds of the utopists), uncouth, greedy, blood-thirsty, clueless demagogues are either in charge of that committee or, because of their blinding greed, they are preventing a plethora of visionary, generous, lucid, and gentle beings from acceding to power in that committee and in turn making life a paradise on Earth for everyone.

The only problem, of course, is that in life, not everything can be calculated, or prepared for, and intangibles are constantly cropping up. In other words, the world will never be perfect. Indeed, trying to make it perfect has often resulted in far greater bloodshed and far more gnashing of teeth and far more shedding of tears than allegedly was the case before.

There is a reason — a perfectly logical one — why the great spiritual leaders have all told their followers to turn within, away from the world. That is simply because perfection can not be found there, and never will.

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