The Corner

Devils with Dirty Faces

Nothing became Osama bin Laden’s life more than his leaving of it. And he left it not as some holy warrior, but as a gangster on the lam from the cops who finally tracked him down. No glorious shoot-out for the big fella; it’s richly satisfying that the last thing he saw was an American serviceman, about to put two in the brain.  

It’s going to be tough for the jihadis to spin this one. Osama’s death did not come heroically in battle, but rather like that of a trapped rat who’d been in hiding for nearly ten years. All the braggadocio and bluster were long gone and in their place came only periodic bleats of boilerplate jihad.   

Osama was nothing like, say, Tony Camonte in Howard Hawks’ Scarface, shouting imprecations down at the coppers and merrily blasting away with his tommy gun. This is how a tough guy is supposed to go out:

Wonder if he had a memorable valediction? We’ll probably never know and, in any case, he now sleeps with the fishes. 

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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