Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden is killed - but will the nightmares go away?

The killing of Osama Bin Laden has been met with some triumphal and patriotic celebrations in the US, which I admit I find a bit bemusing. Here in the UK, some writers are commenting on this reaction, asking "what happened to being magnanimous in your successes?".

An area of interest for me over the years, especially since 9/11, is the way our politicians have encouraged us to think about terrorists, enemies, and the threat posed by them. The "Power of Nightmares" documentary produced by the BBC explained eloquently how, when politicians claim they can protect us against terror/invasion/the bogeyman, it shores up their authority over us. We, the frightened children, are made to feel protected by the powerful, aggressive leaders (Bush & Blair in particular)... whose narcissistic supply is also boosted as part of the deal.

Now that the big bogeyman Osama is dead, what will become of this symbiosis? You'll notice that we still have enemies to fear and fight (these days they are called 'insurgents' or something similar), but they have much less potency as a threat to us on home soil.
So how, in the post-9/11, post-Bin-Laden world, will our politicians shore up their authority? It will be interesting to see what unfolds...


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