The Death of Osama, or: Birthers turn into Deathers

You’d think that the news was all around good, and self-evident.  The President of the United States, using good CIA intelligence, ordered one of America’s most elite strike teams, the Navy Seals, to raid the suspected compound of Osama Bin Laden (a.k.a. public enemy no. 1).  No Americans were injured, and the only instance of “collateral damage”, one of Osama’s wives, was killed because the bastard hid behind her.  On top of that, the military performed an Islamic burial on Osama at sea, fulfilling the Islamic requirement to bury the body as soon as possible.

Conservatives and liberals all have something to be happy about, besides the obvious fact that one of the most dangerous and elusive America-hating maniacs was taken out.  The conservatives got a decisive move from their President to finally “git’m” (and not just “smoke’m out”) using the full brawn, skill, and technological prowess of American military might.  Liberals got a low-damage, surgical-style operation that did not involve bombs (and the resulting ubiquitous bloody innocents on the news), plus the multicultural, religious sensitivity to give even our worst enemy a ceremony befitting his religious customs.

A slam dunk, right?

Of course not.  Not here, where everyone has their own spin on the story.  Some are saying it was an illegal assassination – a kind of instant death penalty imposed at the moment of capture; some say it was immoral – that he should have been captured and put on trial at all costs; some are even saying the burial was not up to (Islamic) snuff.

But for every somewhat reasonable, informed critical voice in our society, there are hundreds of uninformed, unreasonable ones.  So how will the ignorant, unabashed fringes react?

Forget Obama Birthers, here come the Osama Deathers.  As has become vividly clear in the last ten years, Americans in the political margins love a good conspiracy theory.

Since President Obama squashed the embarrassing Birther movement with one flash of the long-form, many of the obdurate anti-Obama crowd might be looking for some new, equally outlandish, paranoid story to tell themselves.  Deathers will weave themselves an elaborate tale of deception, government propaganda, and might possibly fit the marriage of William and Kate into the mix as well.

Because the body was buried so quickly and photos (as of yet) have not been released, Deathers will have a “reason” to tell themselves that Obama faked it.  Of course this will require ignoring all evidence to the contrary: the DNA match between Osama and his sister, one of Osama’s wives IDing the body, the fact that one of Osama’s daughters witnessed her father’s death, the intelligence goldmine discovered at the house, and all the holiday family update letters that the rest of the Bin Ladens will be missing every year from now on.

“Show us the birth cer… er, I mean the body!…er, at least the gruesome death photo!” will be the new cry of the ridiculous right.

Or maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe they won’t care so much about this one – perhaps I’m overestimating the level of general anti-government paranoia within the Birthers.

Maybe they were simply being racists after all.


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