A tangible community of hate

02May11

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13257628

White House crowds cheer Bin Laden death

US President Barack Obama has announced that US forces killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in an operation in Pakistan.

The crowds started gathering outside the White House even before President Obama delivered the news.

Word spread quickly as US television networks gave advance warning of what he was going to say.

People were running towards Lafayette Square, the park outside the White House, to join the celebrations.

Some climbed into the trees outside, stringing US flags – the Stars and Stripes – between the branches.

Chants of “USA, USA, USA” surged from the growing crowd.

‘Closure’Until now, President Obama and most other US politicians barely mentioned Osama Bin Laden’s name, trying to play down his importance, and not wanting to draw attention to the fact he had not been found.

But there was no doubting how Americans see him – as their public enemy number one. His death is hugely symbolic.

There was a mood of euphoria and relief in the square.

People said they wanted to be there for this moment. They remembered where they were on 11 September 2001. They said they would remember this moment in the same way.

It represents “closure”, said one woman.

The crowd was mostly young people, many of them students from Washington colleges and universities.

Someone had found an old campaign poster for the last occupants of the White House, holding aloft the words Bush-Cheney – the men who started the hunt for Bin Laden.

Behind the iron fence around the White House, extra secret service agents looked on.

But amid the celebrations there were also plenty of sober voices – worried at what comes next.

Many spoke of fears of al-Qaeda’s response. Osama Bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri is still believed to be in hiding.

President Obama reflected that caution in his statement.

But for him this is already being seen as a huge personal triumph.

And in the crowd there were chants of four more years for Obama.

Perhaps the practice of sacrifice has disappeared from the earth because it was not able to be sufficiently charged with this element of hate and disgust, without which it appears in our eyes as servitude. 

– Georges Bataille.

Perhaps Bataille would change his mind if he was around today. Follow the link for a terrifying video of the adulated crowds. Dizzy and enraptured by the empty death of the figurehead who, in all likelihood, has never exerted much in the way of control over Al Qaeda.

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One Response to “A tangible community of hate”

  1. What was that line from Shakespeare abut the “crashing of cymbals…”


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