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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Spike the Football, Please

    By Kyle | May 4, 2011

    The President says he doesn’t want to release photos of Bin Laden because there is no need to “spike the football.” Well.
    Tell me, what is the amount of marginal humiliation involved in releasing photos (or, for that matter, of bringing the body back to the US before burial at sea) of someone you have just had shot in the head after spending 10 years hunting him down, using waterboarding, rendition, many thousands of troops and billions of dollars? The American people spent a lot of money finding this man. Let’s see what we bought. The jihadists will be furious — but then, they’re always furious. They were furious that Salman Rushdie wrote a novel. They were furious that Danish cartoonists published cartoons. They were furious that an inanimate object was burned in Florida. They’re furious that our women don’t walk around in tents. They’re furious that we’re rich. Fury is their business. Worrying about the marginal fury that attaches to releasing the photo is like dropping a bomb and fretting that it made too much noise.
    Look at it this way — everybody in the US military wants to see that photo. They’ve put in a lot of work along the way. Are you more concerned about their morale, or that of the jihadists?

    Topics: Barack Obama, Bin Laden dead | 10 Comments »

    10 Responses to “Spike the Football, Please”

    1. KS Says:
      May 4th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      The $170 million inauguration was spiking the football.

    2. James Frazier Says:
      May 4th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      I curious about the reasoning that says photos that show Americans abusing prisoners is OK, but those showing those of the body of an enemy that the government readily admits to killing is not.

    3. kishke Says:
      May 4th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      I don’t care about the jihadists getting angry, but I agree that we don’t need to spike the football. Killing Binny is just us taking out the trash. Let them see how little his life means to us.

    4. Kyle Says:
      May 4th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      The only good reasoning I can see to not releasing the photo is to drive the Islamists crazy with not knowing, create a leadership scramble between those who insist he is still alive and the rest, etc. Let’s not give them closure, maybe. I haven’t heard that argument from the administration yet. And anyway the Islamists wouldn’t believe us even if we did show the photo.

    5. yankeefan Says:
      May 5th, 2011 at 8:11 am

      That’s a compelling reason, Kyle, but not the kind of thing shrewd diplomats would announce publicly. I imagine there are a variety of reasons for not releasing the photos, some copped to, some not, and that as with any administration, there’s no unanimity on the matter.

      And yes, the “deathers” wouldn’t be persuaded by the photo. Evidence just further proves the depth and malevolence of the conspiracy.

    6. kishke Says:
      May 5th, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Who cares whether or not the Muslims are convinced?

    7. Kyle Says:
      May 5th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      @Yankeefan, but my idea is essentially, “Let’s mess with these bastards.” The White House has been, since day one and long before that, of a mindset that says “Let’s be respectful of their traditions, let’s honor differences, let’s conciliate,” etc. Total opposite.

    8. kishke Says:
      May 5th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      “Let’s mess with these bastards.”

      Now, that I agree with. They should have taken a picture of the corpse with a pork roll stuffed in his mouth and posted it on drudge.

    9. yankeefan Says:
      May 5th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      >>>>The White House has been, since day one and long before that, of a mindset that says “Let’s be respectful of their traditions, let’s honor differences, let’s conciliate,” etc.

      ….All the while dramatically increasing drone strikes on Al Qaeda and the Taliban in what has been a relentless, ruthless assault. The number and ferocity of those strikes increased significantly when Obama took office.

      The “Let’s be respectful” rhetoric is aimed, wisely, at moderate Muslims and non-terrorists.

      This isn’t necessarily a retort to your point, but the fact is the Obama administration has been ruthless in its pursuit and killing of the very Muslim extremists — in AQ and the Taliban — who would threaten Americans. The talk is public relations for the remainder of the Muslim world.

      There’s a lot of good cop/bad cop going on here. Or, one hand open, one iron fist.

    10. lh Says:
      May 6th, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Using the phrase “to spike the football” in a such a dismissive tone is curious. Why is this his metaphor for over-the-top in your face disrespectful celebration versusse just a normal (albeit male) expression of the thrill of victory. “Spiking the football” isn’t a universally offensive act, is it? Sounds to me like the prim and snooty schoolmarms in his administration wrote that for him.