Thursday , February 29 2024
So this Bin Laden thing got Dad wondering. Why did they have to blow the guy away?

A World War II Vet’s Take on What Happened to Osama Bin Laden

My father is a World War Two veteran. He is in a wheelchair now, courtesy of a stroke and nothing to do with the war. He is very sharp and watches the news, Dancing with the Stars, and even iCarly (which pleases my daughter very much). Being an astute observer of things comes naturally to him, so of course he would have something to say about the death of Osama Bin Laden. As always, he says what he thinks and it makes a great deal of sense to me.

During the war Dad disarmed bombs. It was not a job most people wanted to do. Not only did he want to do it, but he was damned good at it. His success rate was astounding, but he had a few “accidents” along the way (causing him to lose the hearing in one ear in the worst miscue). I couldn’t get him to watch Hurt Locker, and maybe it’s better that way. It might have been too close to home for him.

Anyway, he says that the guys (his buddies during the war) all talked about getting Hitler. I guess it makes sense that the top bad guy is the one with the target on his nose. Dad (and probably every other GI) dreamt of cornering the mustachioed tyrant in a room with a .45, but instead of blowing him away, my father said he would have tied him up. What would be better than dragging his butt through the streets of New York to jail? Probably not an actually possible scenario, but a pretty cool daydream anyway.

So this Bin Laden thing got Dad wondering. Why did they have to blow the guy away? Maybe there is more to the story. Maybe we will never know. I kind of liked Dad’s daydream and would apply it here; nothing would have made me happier than to see Bin Laden dragged to Ground Zero and put in a glass cage. He could have stood trial in New York (we New Yorkers would make sure he got as fair a shake as possible, right?).

My daughter even had a better idea. Why not lock him in a room and make him watch episodes of Barney all day: like 23 hours a day of “I love you; you love me.” Perhaps the off hour he could watch “Elmo’s World” from Sesame Street – all day every day – for the rest of his life. Never anything else, except maybe once as a special treat, the warden could pump in a recording of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” for a twenty-four hour period. Forget waterboarding; this would have been ideal.

Alas, we will never know. I have heard Hitler liked watching King Kong and identified with the big ape. Similarly, I am sure that Bin Laden could have eventually seen himself as a purple dinosaur. He would want to give everyone hugs and invite them over to his house. Unfortunately, there would be no visitors to his cell, but someone could have given him a Baby Bop doll to make his days complete.

We’ll never know what could have been, but now “he sleeps with the fishes” like right out of a good old American movie. I just hope he’s not disappointed when he gets to the other side, sees the 72 virgins, and finds out there is no Viagra over there. I guess that’s what hell is all about anyway.


Photo Credits:
Hitler –
Barney –

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His new novel, 'Unicorn: A Love Story,' is available as an e-book and in print.

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