A basic tenant of Islamic law/religion: convert, subjugate or kill. The premise filled my thoughts as I treadmilled this morning. In front of me hangs a wonderful pen and ink of New York City circa 1983 and in the right hand corner stand the majestic twin towers. It serves as a daily reminder of times past.
Now Osama bin Laden has reared his head once more to taunt us as the 9/11 anniversary approaches. There has been little on the Sunday talk shows except analysis of the "meaning" behind the tape. Frances Townsend, Bush's Security Advisor, labeled him as "virtually impotent". Fred Thompson said he "was more symbolism than anything else".
Does Hitler ring a bell? Or closer to home, a David Koresh and his Branch Dividians or Jim Jones and his Kool Ade swilling followers? Charismatic mind benders all. Cheers to those who deem him still a very potent threat. He is the icon for those who believe as he does. It would serve us well to remember that as much as we do not believe the way the Islamic militants believe; they believe in the teachings of their deities just as much if not more than many of us believe in the teachings of ours. In many respects it's because their religion and their laws are so culturally intertwined.
The threat is why we can't travel overseas without the Feds knowing everything about us there is to know. It is why we can't travel in our own country without being suspect and treated the same.
If the administration had pursued bin Laden with the passion they now have in trying to sustain the war in Iraq maybe we'd be done with him. They did not and we are paying the price.
I do not believe for a moment the man in the grainy image is obsolete. Symbolic? Oh yes. He is the rallying point. Ineffective cave dweller? Well, his runners get those videos out to Al Jazeera TV and get the Grecian Formula back to the cave!