Jim Sleeper: Osama Bin Dustbin?
Jim Sleeper is a lecturer in politics at Yale University.
There's something valid in "great man" versions of history, including those focusing on the diabolically great: Without Adolph Hitler, it's unlikely that German racism, especially anti-Semitism, would have become as shattering and unspeakable as it did. Without Osama bin Laden, Islamicist terrorism probably wouldn't have become as maniacally effective and widespread as it has.
But while these men had tremendous catalytic or poisoning effects on the societies they touched, that was partly because they were channeling and intensifying dark, swift undercurrents already running in their societies. And it's partly for that reason that the damage such leaders do in harnessing such dark undercurrents outlasts their deaths.
Learning of Osama bin Laden's demise, I can't help but recall Paul Bremer III's announcing in Baghdad the capture of Saddam Hussein: "Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him!" And our troubles in Iraq were over, right?...
comments powered by Disqus
- Iraq’s Long-Lost Mythical Temple Has Been Found…and Is In Danger of Disappearing Again
- CBS features in-depth coverage of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights law
- Archive of WW II war crimes made public
- They tried to kill Hitler. Now they’re heroes.
- ‘Clinton Inc.’ Author Dishes on Monica Lewinsky and the Blue Dress
- Ukrainian Leaders Are Using David Barton's Theocratic Pseudo-History To Build Their Nation
- John D’Emilio, renowned professor of gay studies, retires
- It’s Martin Kramer vs. Ari Shavit vs. Benny Morris
- It's official: 2014 AHA election results are in