After further thought, considering the death & destruction brought upon people who had nothing to do with 9/11 in the time between the attacks and killing Bin Laden, it’s interesting that the attack that killed him was as targeted as it was. Two surprisingly non cynical (yet contrarian in one way or another) points about that:
-He had been suspected of being in the territorial grey area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Instead he was up the street from a Pakistani military academy. Whether you chalk it up to double-dealing or to the U.S. government simply being too busy torturing goat-herders to be bothered with decent information at the time, it’s actually a good thing that he was found in such an unambiguously Pakistani-government controlled area of Pakistan. Bombs and predator drone strikes on civilian populated areas, though morally abhorrent, are politically easy. Such a strike that goes astray and takes out a few Pakistani military members…not so much. The location actually prompted a measure of restraint that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
-As someone opposed to states as a concept, my obvious preference is for a world where global military dominance, both in fact and even in idea, does not exist. But again, with regard to how everything else went, if the default stance is “HULK SMASH!!” then this instance of a compact force dropping in, whacking a clearly legitimate target, then fucking off with the body is pretty much the cleanest example of a filthy practice you could come up with. While there’s the myriad questions about what this means for future foreign relations (the military aid should stop regardless, btw), and about having set a precedent (it might sound Tin-Foil Hat at the moment, but concern about watering down the future criteria for someone being hit like this will be an issue, watch), this strike ironically reveals the usual bleatings about the sanctity of a damn near trillion dollar
defense war department as wankery on stilts. Eighteen guys with boxcutters kill 3000 people, then enough guys to form a basketball team kill the guy that ordered it: bookends to the falsehood of size equaling security.