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
- King Tut had overbite, club foot because his parents were brother and sister
- Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees
- Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots
- Highlights of the recent Oral History Association Meeting
- Rick Perlstein response to Sam Tanenhaus's complaint that he's an aggregator
- Thai historian faces charges for daring to challenge a story about a royal king
- It's Rick Perlstein vs. Judith Stein in a Three Round Fight
- Park Honan, a Biographer of Authors, Is Dead at 86