The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

White House: Osama Bin Laden Is Dead.

May 2, 2011

POTUS speaking to the nation this evening:

11:40: “They took care to avoid civilian casualties.” Hmm. No word as to whether they succeeded.

11:41: “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims.” That was good.

11:43: “Today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of the American people.” I see. Killing this individual is on par with walking on the moon. We can all be very proud. The “war” will continue.

My immediate take: they’ve done a masterful job at playing the media and making a huge story and enormous nationalistic success out of a single operation in a vast and endless war, that apparently will have no impact on our foreign policy.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.