Inexplicable drunken reveling all makes sense now

Last night I was furious about noisy fireworks (which included visible mortars) which erupted in the neighborhood at midnight. Coco is extremely sensitive to that noise and it is one of the few things that gets her really freaked out. What irritated me to no end was that there was absolutely no occasion which might justify fireworks.

So I thought. I was watching a DVD and not online, so of course there was nothing to put me on notice that there had been a major announcement just an hour before, and this not only explained the fireworks, but the seemingly bizarre cheering. Some of the people were screaming "AMERICA!" and it wasn't the Fourth of July, or Memorial Day, or anything. 

So I just went to bed really pissed off at the drunken and boorish rudeness of some people.

This morning I learned that I might have been wrong. 

I was delighted to read that Osama bin Laden is dead after being killed in a successful raid by Navy SEALS, God bless them. Not that I have anything to add (and of course there is something anticlimactic about his death after all these years and of course the war still goes on), but it is great, great news:

Osama Bin Laden was killed not by a drone strike, but up close during a firefight with U.S. troops Sunday. He was not living in a cave when he died, but in a million-dollar mansion with twelve-foot walls less than 100 miles from the Pakistani capital.

The U.S. had been monitoring the compound in Abbottabad for months after receiving a tip in August that Bin Laden might be seeking shelter there. He had long been said to be in the mountainous region along the Afghanistan, Pakistan border, hiding in a cave as the U.S. sought to kill him with drone strikes from above. Instead, he was in a house eight times larger than its neighbors, with walls more than 12 feet tall and valued at $1 million. The house had no phone or television and the residents burned their trash. The house had high windows and few points of access, and U.S. officials concluded it had been built to hide someone.

According to U.S. officials, two U.S. helicopters flew in low from Afghanistan and swept into the compound late Sunday night Pakistan time, or Sunday afternoon Washington time. Twenty to 25 U.S. Navy SEALs under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command in cooperation with the CIA stormed the compound and engaged Bin Laden and his men in a firefight, and killed Bin Laden and all those with him.

There were spontaneous celebrations like the one that I stupidly didn't "get" all around the country.

And in unfortunate but not surprising news, Pakistanis are said to be "stunned and angered." The hell with them.

I wish I knew how to explain last night's celebrations to Coco. Had I simply gone online or turned on a news channel, I'd have gone to bed happy instead of angry.

You'd think that by now I would have learned never to assume anything.

MORE: Glenn Reynolds has this roundup of reactions and links to additional analyses.

posted by Eric on 05.02.11 at 09:40 AM


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