Go ahead, make a mistake, you’re human

You’ve probably noticed for yourself that whenever someone says “make no mistake,” there’s a high probability that whatever he or she says next is going to be dubious.  If it was certain or near-certain before the speaker pointed it out, it probably won’t be afterward.

Today’s example at Mondoweiss – the first line from “The dangers of the nationalistic fever and bloodlust over Osama bin Laden’s death” – is too disconnected from generally shared human reality, too much an irruption entirely within Weissoreality, for likelihood even to be an issue:

Make no mistake: the assassination of Osama Bin Laden will be used to continue and potentially escalate the so-called “Global War on Terror.”

I guess Brian Van Slyke never got the message that there is no longer, as there hasn’t been for years now, a “Global War on Terror.”  There’s no one “so-calling” anything the GWOT except, possibly, those so firmly ensconced within their ideological bubbles and internet echo chambers that common knowledge on their topics of choice never penetrates.

Make no mistake, the rest of Van Slyke’s post continues in the same vein.  He’s certain that “the Ghost of Osama will keep the eternal ‘Global War On Terror’ (GWOT) and the mass killings (perpetuated primarily by the United States) going and going”:

[T]here is one impending and already manifesting danger even greater than the retaliations from Osama-allies that our politicians and media outlets are fomenting fear over: the immediate explosion of nationalistic fever and bloodlust that swept across the nation directly following the announcement of bin Laden’s assassination. I direct your attention to the short clip above of students celebrating on the University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus – which is fairly representative of the simultaneous celebrations engulfing the nation well into the early morning of May 2nd.

I may be wrong, but I think the celebrations had rather more in common – if on a much smaller, non-“engulfing” scale – with the VJ Day celebrations I posted on earlier.  In my observation – as goes without saying, influenced by my own prejudices and inclinations – the “Ding-Dong Osama’s Dead” effusions seemed motivated by, and seemed to express, a sense of closure and relief, not any palpable interest in commencing another decade-long marathon, this time chasing after a “ghost.”  The joy and satisfaction struck many observers, even some non-denizens of Mondounreal, as unseemly, but in Mondoreal we remain a war-like race and people, we admire feats of arms, we take pride and pleasure in our Vs, and we much prefer them to the alternatives and therefore will want to encourage more of them.

No one knows what will happen next, and after next, in the real mondo, but the operation and the nationally cathartic moment seem to me as likely to support and even accelerate already-existing plans for withdrawal from and de-escalation in Afghanistan and other outposts of the former GWOT.  As for the all of the corpses piled up under that defunct acronym, here I do agree with Van Slyke that few Americans wish to be held accountable for them, or even to think about them, but that doesn’t mean we’re truly unaware of them.  Without attempting to perform an authentic accounting, seeking the extraterrestrial Archimedean point from which we could accurately and justly assign and apportion degrees of responsibility, I think we can acknowledge that a general desire to escape the shadow of the 21st Century’s first decade adds to the psychological, strategic, and economic imperatives not just encouraging but over-determining a new departure.

5 comments on “Go ahead, make a mistake, you’re human

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  1. Brian Van Slyke is just a kid and is spakething as one.

    the war against AQ and anti-Western terrorist groups will continue but will not escalate. there isn’t any way for it to escalate. it can only flare up as targets are identified (or identify themselves) and then quiet again.

  2. @ fuster:
    The only way the fight would escalate would be if those seeking it possess or acquire much greater capabilities than they seem currently to possess… if they really can do additional “9/11″‘s or operations experienced that way. But it won’t be because “we” – as represented by the celebrants or by our current political and military leadership – want it.

    I’m happy to forgive Mr. Van Slyke for being an overly earnest young ultra-lefty. What’s the rest of MW’s excuse (dissenters notwithstanding)?

  3. Ismail Haniya: Let me reassure you, brothers and sisters, that the occupation has no future on the land of Palestine. When I say “the land of Palestine,” I am not referring [only] to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem. When I say that the occupation has no future on the land of Palestine, I refer to Palestine from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, and from Rosh Hanikra to Rafah.

    The occupation will not survive on this land. Never!


    jnslater May 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    If eee’s quote from Haniyeh is correct, I wouldn’t deny it is quite depressing. Nonetheless, it does not follow that Israel and the U.S. should not offer to meet with Hamas–or with a joint Fatah/Hamas government–and place a legitimate two-state offer on the table. Then–and only then–we can see what would happen, whether it is the pragmatic or the extremist side of Hamas that would prevail, once put to the test.

    slater has a vision of Hamas that’s harder to dent than depleted uranium.

    how many times must the US make the offer?

    the offer was made repeatedly to Hamas after it won the one-and-only election.

    when the Obama admin came in, it coupled the offer with an offer of reconstruction money for Gaza.
    when they turned down the offer from Kerry, SoS Clinton repeated it publicly and said the offer was open.

    comes a point when you ain’t offering, you’re begging.

    not a good or useful tactic or idea.

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