It would only make sense that I am traveling on a day when I would much rather prefer a stationary location directly in front of a television. While the rest of the nation is decidedly on the ground, I am a few thousand feet in the air, taking in every written word I can, most of which focusing specifically on the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Earlier this morning, on a connecting flight, I spent the majority of my 45 minutes absorbing the obituary which had been penned in the New York Times. While the majority of Bin Laden’s story had been well-documented to this point, I could not help but pick out certain items that not only raised an eyebrow individually, but even more so as they began to pile up.
The following are line-items quoted directly from the Times piece:
“Osama — the name means “young lion.”
“He summoned reporters to a cave in Afghanistan when he needed to get his message out, but like the most controlling of C.E.O.’s he insisted on receiving written questions in advance.”
“The world’s most threatening terrorist, he was also known to submit to frequent dressings down by his mother.”
“He created training camps for his foot soldiers, a media office to spread his word, and even “shuras,” or councils, to approve his military plans and his fatwas. [...] Bin Laden had established new training camps in Sudan, but he became a man without a country”
“Bin Laden would say in retrospect that he was always aware who his enemies were.”
“In an interview with Time magazine that December, he brushed aside President Clinton’s threats against him, and referred to himself in the third person, as if recognizing or encouraging the notion that he had become larger than life.”
After tweeting several of the passages above, I know that I’m not alone in the eerily similar references. Obviously, under no circumstances do I feel that the two men in question (the other, you can decide for yourself) are even mentionable within the same frame of mind when it comes to being a person. But as a Clevelander, as a sports fan who also happens to be a contributing editor on this very blog, I felt that I would be remiss if I did not share them with you all.
Do with it what you will.