July 5, 2011 § 23 Comments
Check out the initial reaction which was extended into a longer form. Also, a… response? … from Christopher Hitchens and, if you like, George Scialabba on Hitchens on Chomsky.
How anyone could say that is was wrong for the military to kill the terrorist who has killed thousands of innocent people is beyond me. Even if he had been kept alive and put on trial, he still would have been hanged in the end either way. If this situation had happened back when the Trade Centers had been attacked people would have much different opinions about his murder. By law it is the right thing to given him a fair trial, but since when does it give anyone the right to murder other human beings. OBL was a good leader and knew how to reach out to people just as Hitler was back during WWII. He was inspirational and knew how to convince people that what he believed was the right. Without even murdering someone first hand, he still made people believe that they could be a suicide bomber and be rewarded in their after life.
Although the Muslim society does not agree with how we handled the situation I believe it is very contradictory of US citizens to say how we killed him was unjust. It has always been our goal to capture terrorists and kill them. We have been told that he was unarmed and unprotected, but to know the facts of what really happened will never be known unless we were there. What the media presents to us is never 100% true so it is hard to say that what they did was wrong when we weren’t there. I will not go against the men who are overseas day after day fighting to protect our country. I give the navy all my support and know that without them, we would never have found Osama bin Laden.
Chomsky article claims the Osama bin laden was clearly assassinate by the Navy Seals that seized his compound and unceremonious throw his body to sea, which is against international law. Yes his claim stand to reason those events could be interpreted as assassination carry out by our own country, but what was the alternative? Chomsky said that bin laden was never proven guilty of any crime and the evidences against him were questionable at best. Sure I could agree with this reason the evidences is lacking but it court and juror that decide the creditability not the mere public thought the media. Then to close the article Chomsky talks about imperial mentality in the western world that had no reason in his article except to provoke anger towards our country was uncalled for.
Let’s humor Chomsky by claiming we brought bin laden in alive and were going to bring him to court for a fair trial how would this scenario play out. Well first the government and military would fight over that fact that the trial should not be civil and put into a military court. So that would take a year. Let say civil won, how do we pick a fair jurors that are a part of his peers, or what do we charge him with, who would defend him? These are questions that would spend too much money and energy of our government that we should not spend. So maybe it was unjust decision, but it was the best to one we could make when facing the alternative.
Chomsky’s articles claims that the attack- “assassination” on Bin Laden and the undeserved tossing of his body into the ocean which is against the international laws. From an objective, point of view and perhaps even a subjective one he is valid in his claim. A good way of reasoning that claim was how he asked the question; what if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic? Of course, one would say that would be unjust. Additionally, how he used similar historical events where a person or persons broke international laws to help strengthen his original claim.
However, I feel where his reasoning lacks is evidence. Just as he claimed we lacked true evidence to why we killed Bin Laden unjustly, he lacks true evidence in his reasoning. He does not even give an option or options on how we were suppose to handle the situation he just keeps down playing what we did do. The main purpose of the article is to give another point of view of the situation, but the way he goes about it only will anger the American public. Therefore, even though he claim is valid there is no real substance to it to make it strong enough to sway readers.
Chomsky is arguing that the government’s premeditative plan to kill Osama bin Laden was unjust and that they should have taken him alive. By law, everyone has a right to fair trial and officials can only shoot criminals in self-defense. The government’s decision violated both of those laws, without a doubt, it is unlawful. However, unlike law, there is no written set of instructions telling us what is morally and ethically right or wrong. Like those who believe in capital punishment, one could justify Bin Laden’s assassination by saying the death of one man will save the lives of thousands. Conversely, it is believed that everyone has the right to life. No matter how “objectively” we try to perceive this situation, our morals can only be seen as subjective. This decision might have been made to satisfy the American public or as a cover for a government conspiracy. Whatever the case may be, the damage is done. We can choose to support the government’s decision or argue against it but whether or not it was morally correct will never be agreed upon.
I’m a little divided on my opinion of this article. Chomsky is stating that the assassination of Osama Bin Laden was against the law and unfair and the tossing of his body into the ocean was unnecessary. While I can’t argue with the fact that yes it might have been unlawful to not give him a fair trial, I can say that this circumstance might call for a different way of looking at things. I just can’t say that killing a terrorist who killed many Americans was the wrong thing to do and while I understand what Chomsky is trying to argue I still can’t believe that he is arguing it. The time alone that it would take to go through a trial for Bin Laden would have been so unnecessary especially since the outcome most definitely would have been the same. I’m all about being just and fair but in this situation it’s just too controversial to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.
First of all laws are created for a reason, without them we might as well be animals. According to Article 18 of the The international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings, nothing in this convention entitles a state party to undertake in the territory of another state party the exercise of jurisdiction and performance of functions which are exclusively reserved for the authorities of that other state party by its domestic law. It was unlawful for America to enter into Pakistan without the express consent of the government. Secondly Justice is relative, one may think it was just for Bin Laden to be executed without a trial but others may view Obama/Bush as the criminal like Chomsky points out. They have similar crimes, Bin Laden killed thousands of Americans, Bush killed million people from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Also according to Article 8c of The convention to prevent and punish the acts of terrorism taking the form of crimes against persons and related extortion that are of international significance concluded at Washington on 2 February 1971, to cooperate in preventing and punishing the crimes contemplated in article 3 of this convention, the contracting states accept the following obligation to guarantee to every deprived person his freedom through the application of this convention every right to defend himself. Bin Laden was never given that opportunity, he was shot like a dog in the back of the head and I am supposed to believe that is some kind of self defense. The law is the law regardless of what one perceives to be justice.
P1: In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial
P2: bin Laden is a suspect because up to date, there is no hard proof that bin Laden actually planned the 9/11 accident
C: bin Laden should be attempted to be apprehended.
However, there appears to have been no attempt. The mission seemed to be clear that they want bin Laden dead.
Also, Chomsky pointed out that all our evidences/beliefs are based on bin Laden’s ‘confession’ which, in his opinion, is more of a boast. Since Osama perceived 9/11 as a great achievement, he tended to take credit instead of running away from the accident as his crime. Therefore, his ‘confession’ is not reliable at all.
Chomsky proposed the hypothesis that the same assassination plan was directed against Bush to require the audience to reconsider the reaction toward the death while, at the same time, reminding the main difference between Osama as a ‘suspect’ and Bush as a ‘decider’.
He showed his doubt over the improvement between Chomsky two article between ten years, especially the phrase “turning to the facts” by offering questions on Chomsky reliable source of information.
He criticized Chomsky’s inconsistency with other’s analysis and factions stating that 9/11 is a hoax. Hitchen claimed that Chomsky provided an unstated and self-evident premise which is “that the United States richly deserved the assault on its citizens and its civil society”.
As a response to Chomsky’s hypothesis, Hitchen affirmed that ex-president assassination would be as legally justified.
This is a tough subject to approach because the initial reactions of most people are going to be that America was justified in assassinating Osama Bin Laden. I think however that Chomsky is trying to argue that America thinks it has the ability to decide when to follow or disobey laws. People think because they knew the outcome of a possible trial that America had the right to kill and unarmed man. To add more insult America gave him to bullets to the back of the head and then dumped his body in the ocean. I think we should be setting examples for other countries and this behavior is not helping our cause. I think he should not have been assassinated and been given a fair trial. Obviously the outcome of the trial would have put him to death. This proves that America is impatient and so what if we were searching for him for many years. Waiting a couple more months to see this man finally put to rest is not too much to ask for. Finally, he should not have been assassinated because we broke international codes and laws by doing this. America needs to set the example, and this cannot be done by braking laws.
These three articles both show a great deal of opinions surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden. However, the one of Hitchens tends to be more subjective because I feel like he criticized the credibility of Chomsky and apply it on the subject matter than discussing objectively of the assassination. Giving that, the third article of Scialaba also criticized Hitchens rather than giving a fair view of the subject matter. I do not value the last two articles much because they made this topic seems like a debate on the news.
So, I will concentrate on the main article. These are a few things I got back from this article, objectively: The assassination of Osama Bin Laden is unlawful according to the Muslim law and international Law. The author mentioned a lot about this kind of assassination in the Muslim world, such as the one with Fadlalla, would only create terror in this countries and hatreds of Muslim towards America. Also, there is a very interesting point which is “the American won’t be proud” of this death. As a non-American, I am very curious to know if this is true because I assume this is his opinion.
In addition, in a larger picture, I am concerned about the disclose of government to the public towards sensitive issues like economics, military, etc because I have seen and read many articles saying that the government filtered information giving to the public and/or even fake it. Can we really believe in the government (not only of the US but also of the world) ?
Chomsky claims the government’s “planned assassination” was unjust and against the international law, which means the Navy should keep him alive in order to be responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center. However, I cannot relate the above ideas with another point that appears in the article, that is, the Navy expropriated Osama Bin Laden’s right of how to deal with his body after he died. In my understanding, everyone has the right to decide how to deal his/her body, but how can you held a grant funeral for a guy that killed thousands of people and brought a huge terrorist crisis to the whole world? I cannot say this is wrong in moral area, but I didn’t find enough evidence from the article in order to persuade myself that Chomsky is right. This is just like he gave us some weak premises and a conclusion, maybe the conclusion is definitely right, no matter from which situation, however, we still need more believable evidences so that we can have a comprehensive realize of the relationship between the Navy’s assassination, Osama Bin Laden’s dead and the real human right.
I think Chomsky makes a valid point. We never really did validate that Osama had killed all those people in the 9/11 attacks. However, he had taken credit for the attacks and stood as representation against the American people. Due to his actions American lives were cost, either during the world trade center attacks or during the war against terror which was directly in sighted by his acceptance of the attacks. The attack and killing of Osama was justified and a necessary action by the American people. The Pakistani disdain should be disregarded. We fund the building of their infrastructure and they should be cooperating in any effort we have against terrorist organizations/ individuals. In my view America had taken the right action that should be repeated given the opportunity.
Maybe Chomsky’s points are valid; international law was broken when Osama bin Laden was killed by planned assassination by the United States. Who cares though? Okay, yes there are people that care very much and international laws are there for a reason, but the assassination shouldn’t be taken as an, “F U, we’re the US and we’ll do what we want,” because that’s not how it felt as a citizen when we got the news. Nearing on the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks it felt like justice. I understand Chomsky was saying that justice could have been carried out in a lawful way, not two shots to the back of the head and a sea burial. But do you know what else was unlawful? Approximately 3000 deaths on September 11, 2001. Yes, it affected the country and it affected the world, but when your classmate’s parent was never found it makes a difference. Chomsky can try to be impartial and play devil’s advocate, but this is an extremely sensitive and emotional issue, and most people believe Osama bin Laden has a special place in Hell. Also, it was unnerving that he brought the Muslim world into discussion, bin Laden’s death had nothing to do with the faith and will have nothing to do with it- they are unrelated. It also cannot be compared to our feelings with Hitler and Stalin, they never came on our soil and we came into that war incredibly late. I’m not saying their crimes were any less than bin Laden’s, but comparing them doesn’t help the argument.
This article brings up a topic I find very interesting. The topic of cultural perception. Everywhere around the world people have different customs, different social interactions and also people within a specific culture have all shared in a dramatic national experience. Our recent major dramatic national experience for the United States would be the 9/11 attack (not forgetting hurricane Katrina). As Americans we have been begging for closure, someone to punish for the crimes against our nation. Osama bin Laden just so happens to be that person our society choose to blame. After one understands the stance the American people have taken, it is very hard to criticize how the Obama administration found our justice. As an American citizen old enough to remember that day the towers went down I must clap when I’m told the “man responsible” was killed. Because you see as the years have past me and every other red blooded American has been convinced by our media, by our gov’t and by each other that bin Laden was the man that did it. We’ve been socialized to believe that justice can only be achieved by finding and killing him. Is that right? Do we have the right to kill bin Laden without a trial? Well I suppose it depends on who your asking. Chomsky says at one point that some nations are looking at this assassination in disgusted toward the US. I say ask my friend Steve who’s father was killed on 9/11, do you think looks at the killing in disgusted? Doubtful, if anything he may now feel some closure. Yes it is very easy for the rest of the world to sit back and hate on the US’ decision to kill bin Laden. But they didn’t have there sky-rises knocked down to rubble and if they did, wouldn’t they want the man who has proudly declared war on their country and thought to be responsible come to justice? And if that justice ended up in death, how remorseful would they feel?
I found it increasingly hard to read this article the further down the page I went. At several points it seemed that Chomsky was defending Osama. He states that we didn’t ‘know’ if Osama really did it or if he was boasting about it. He then goes on to state that every suspect has a right to a fair trial. However, if Osama were to go to trial, he would obviously state that he did a great act for his religion and claim that he did it. He already said he did do it. Now, whether or not he did it, in our court systems, if he says he did it, he will be found guilty (more or less.) By eliminating a hostile target and leader of the Taliban, a known terrorist organization, we avoided a trial that would waste tax payer dollars and halted a terrorist organization that may have been poised to strike again. The big issue about this article was the fact that Chomsky didn’t even try to acknowledge the opposing view point; a view point that an overwhelming majority of American’s hold. Chomsky’s response to the death of Osama highlights a big issue with the political world. While most international acts of crime is a big pointing fingers game, you can’t let morals, laws, and ‘regulations’ get in the way of protecting innocent lives. This reminds me of the terrorist attack on Pam Am Flight 103. it took them years to find the man behind it and put him behind bars. However, several years ago, doctors diagnosed him with cancer and they released him from prison so that he can live his ‘last 6 months’ with his family. Unfortunately, the guy is still alive and doesn’t seem to be going anytime soon. With extreme acts of cruelty against humanity, moral’s and mercy are no longer allowable.
Osama bin Laden was a terrorist and in my opinion there is no getting around that. Chomsky seems to believe that it is not proven that he was behind the attack and that he should have been put on trial for his “supposed” crimes. I feel the way things played out was for the best having him killed the way he was and the way they took care of the body after he was killed to keep the Muslim rituals of burial. Chomsky also believes that international law was broken in the way that they US went into Pakistan to kill Osama. But I don’t hear any complaints coming from anyone so I am just going to assume that that is not true. But if it is I would definitely be okay with breaking international laws to kill the worlds biggest terrorist.
If the situation would have played out the way Chomsky would have wanted we would now be discussing the jury process and that would be kind of difficult to find an impartial jury to hear this case. I am not familiar with all the different kinds of courts, so I do not think you can use a jury. The way the situation was handled made it a lot less complicated. But the only problem that was left is there are people out there who do not think that he is dead, their point of view is that they want proof and I do not think that they going to get to see that body.
To start, I do appreciate Chomsky’s analogies when it comes to “Iraqi Commandos” storming the white house or even the nuremburg trials, which I believe offers a level playing field to start from. Although somewhat exaggeratory comparisons,I do agree to the point that what was done on the day was vastly illegal, both in US law and international law. We could’ve easily captured Bin Laden and had him on trial or, better yet, never found us in the position in the first place because we should not have been in Pakistan according to international law. At this point, I find it prudent to explain that in no way do I necessarily argue that the killing was unwarranted. After all, this is a man who has killed thousands of innocent civilians. Yet again I refer back to Chomsky to suggest that we do not have clean hands either. Whether we look at the war crimes of Kissinger to Bush Jr, it appears to me that it is within our best interest not to play judge, jury, and executioner: you never know when it’ll come back to haunt you.
I also wanted to spend some time on the responses to Chomsky. Essentially, I found the response a blown opportunity of an article, something that the third article reflected on. There is certainly a lot wrong with Chomsky’s article, particularly with his comparisons (after all, citing the nuremburg trials as legal precedent, as if it were yesterday, is a little outdated and inaccurate), however the criticisms cited seemed to be a knee jerk reactions to arguments that Chomsky never made (9/11 was justified, Osama was innocent, etc). It seemed to me as though it was a poor exercise of arguement and reason the likes of O’Reilly.
I really don’t think that Chomsky was defending Osama, rather I feel as if he was pointing out how badly we handled his “assassination”. Even though his actions led to many Americans dying, it goes against American law to kill someone without a fair trial. I completely understand what he did do was completely unmoral and it really did hurt a lot of Americans. But the fact that we killed him in such an unjust way. I really feel like we acted in such a way that he would. In today’s society its not an eye for an eye, or a few thousands of lives for someone else’s. We are supposed to be just and civil and in my mind we really weren’t.You also say that a court would waste Americans tax dollars but how many tax dollars did we spend trying to find him? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have spent all that money rather why not spend a little more to act civil. Americans leaders really weren’t the best role models in the way they acted handling this.Basically what they are showed us is that if someone does something malicious to you, then you are allowed to act in the same way back towards them. I mean we have been fighting to find the guy for the past almost 10 years now. End all be all, I feel like justice was served but I feel like we let our emotions overtake us and our leaders were terrible role models doing so.
What does a person think when they hear the name, Osama Bin Laden? Does terrorism come to mind? Most likely it is 9/11 which is one of the most awful days in American history. Reading Chomsky’s article, he brings up a very interesting point about Bin Laden’s death and what it actually meant.When I first heard Osama Bin Laden died I did not jump for joy. I didn’t go out and celebrate and shoot off fireworks. While his death might have marked the end of a very violent and terrible person it certainly does not erase September 11th or any of the people who perished that day or any other event that Bin Laden might have carried out.
But to continue on what Chomsky talked about, he describes Bin Laden’s death as an assassination. Well it clearly was an assassination and that was explained and proven to be true to the American public. Chomsky argues that this was unjust and broke many international rules and I agree with him, but I also agree with President Obama and his decision to have this mission carried out. I do not think that the capturing of Osama Bin Laden would have been a good idea. Where would he have been taken? What would have been done to him? Think about when Saddam Hussein was captured, remember how quickly he was tried and just sentenced to death. Would that have been the same way for Osama Bin Laden? Reading Chomsky’s article I don’t really find any solid evidence making his argument clear or strong. Obviously America violated many rules, but so what? Capturing Osama Bin Laden alive would have caused more issues and potentially more unnecessary deaths and his trial would have gone on for years. A woman was just found convicted of deaths in the Rwandan genocide that happened almost eighteen years ago, http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110624/wl_africa_afp/rwandagenocideuncourt. Would Bin Laden’s trial lasted this long? Killing him was really the only option that was available to us.
Chomsky also comments on the name of the operation, being Operation Geronimo and how the helicopters were named Apache and Tomahawk. I don’t find bringing this up relevant at all to this argument. So what if the Operation was named after a Native American? What does that title have anything to do what was carried out? The amount of High Schools, Colleges, and other buildings named after Native Americans and have Indian mascots is enormous here in the U.S. Do you see anyone complaining about that? Overall, I see what Chomsky is getting at, but I don’t find his argument strong enough. Bin Laden did indeed do terrible things and having him dead was an easier decision. By no means does his death mark the end of Al Qaeda or terrorism, but it does mark the death of one of the group’s most influential leaders and puts many people at peace knowing such a violent person is dead.
I never had a strong opinion on the assassination of Osama bin Laden, and I tried my best to read Chomsky’s article with a levelheaded approach. I thought he articulated some good points, but I also found some of the ideas he put forth to be questionable.
Chomsky argues that bin Laden was given his death sentence before the trial, and subsequent conviction, that should have taken place first. This makes sense to me – as angry as America was about 9-11 and bin Laden’s confessed involvement in the planning of the attacks, it is hypocritical for us to extend the privileges of our justice system to even our most heinous criminals… except for this one. If our government felt so strongly the need to kill him for his involvement, they should have been willing and eager to be righteous and justify it beforehand in a court of law for the world to see. Certainly, the added trouble of a trial would have at least left America with a clearer conscience, and it would not have fanned the lames of anti-American sentiment within Pakistan as much as this did. Maybe Obama was worried that it was too much of a risk to leave bin Laden’s fate in the hands of the legal system? That thought definitely makes me queasy.
I did not agree with every point in Chomsky’s article, though. He criticizes Operation Geronimo for never considering trying to take bin Laden alive. How can he be sure that this was the first time we located bin Laden, and that previous attempts to apprehend him peacefully did not end with him eluding capture? Also, we know that American forces frequently encounter ambushes and other unexpected danger; even if he was not holding a weapon, it seems ridiculous to propose that we should have understood bin Laden posed no “virtually no opposition” or threat. I would argue that he could have been extremely dangerous — or at least that it was not unreasonable for our soldiers to think that would be the case.
Also, although I was not enamored with George W. Bush or his foreign policy while he was in office, Chomsky’s comparisons between him and Hitler left a bad taste in my mouth. Bush’s number one responsibility as our elected President was to ensure the security of U.S. citizens, and in 2001, I was one of those who preferred that he be proactive rather than reactive. Although it is easy to criticize him for the way he went about doing that, I do not understand how Chomsky could reasonably compare the Iraqi invasion to the genocide that Hitler perpetrated for years, seemingly based on little more than religious intolerance and general disregard for human life.
I think it is difficult for Americans to think about the assassination of Osama bin Laden objectively. Ten years ago, his organization took credit for the Sept 11 attacks and for the past ten years American soldiers have been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan looking for him. It’s an emotionally charged subject which a lot of Americans are also very opinionated on. Chomsky presented another side to the argument, which a lot of people don’t seem to agree with. I can understand why but I agreed with Chomsky in his article. American’s are not guiltless. Throughout our history as a nation, we have murdered to get land as Chomsky pointed out with the names of our weapons, and yet we would probably react harshly if German military aircrafts were christened Jew or Gypsy. Our goal was never to capture Osama, as evidenced by the excessive amount of Navy Seals used to take on one man is a couple wives. His trial would not have taken any more time and resources than we allow rapists and murders currently in our prisons, why do they deserve a fair trial? We tout ourselves as a morally just nation but when it comes to personal vengeance we think of ourselves as above the very laws we enforce other nations to keep. That is the point I think Chomsky was trying to make.
If truth be told, the capture and prompt assassination of Osama Bin Laden was far more symbolic than it was just. The United States carried out the complicated, risky and potentially disastrous procedure to rid the earth of the OBL for many reasons, a few of which are; 1st, To send a message to the rest of the terrorist world and all of the United States’ enemies, they will be brought to justice; 2nd, the US is capable and wiling to enforce their opinion and will on anyone at anytime, anywhere in the world, no matter the circumstances, in this case they decided that OBL needed to be killed, and so that’s what happened; And 3rd, Obama needed some extra votes to win himself a second term. While the reasons I just explained may not be entirely true or exact, the gist of them is what I am trying to get across; OBL was killed for political reasons, not because he posed a threat to the world or because justice needed to be served. In my opinion, while Chomsky might be a little bit extreme and harsh in his opinions, he is not too far from the truth. While OBL may indeed have been guilty of many heinous and unforgivable crimes against the US and other nations, I also believe that the US govt’ and each individual cabinet in power at the time milked OBL, the “terrorist world” and “weapons of mass destruction” among other things, for all they were worth and more in order to secure the backing of the American public as they carried out their political and financial motives. The assassination of OBL was no different. So while Chomsky could have been more patriotic and sensitive in the way that he aired his beliefs, I do believe that what he wrote was not far from the truth and he is entitled to his opinion; he might even believe that airing his opinion and holding America “accountable” is his way of being patriotic rather than providing blind support.
Chomsky agruement about osama’s death before a trial is somewhat of a unreasonable expectation. This was a military operation, where the goal is not civil liberaties but more on the lines of survival. How would you even have a fair and imparrshall trial. Who would be the peers?
I also do not agree with the notion that the Iraqi invasion was like Hitler in WWII. Bush from what I could tell was acting under the notion of protecting American security. Now that everything is over is very easy to agrue what his true intentions where but at the same time, its very easy to see it wasn’t strictly an imperial one.
I think Chomsky’s arguments are somewhat extreme. I am not an American citizen, hence, my opinion can be more objective than those of my classmates. Personally, I think that the true story behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11 will always remain uncertain. However, the fact that Bin Laden was a common threat among many countries is indisputable. If we try to take a “politically correct” stance towards the assassination of Osama, most will agree that things could have been handled differently. Most people’s discontent comes from the fact that every aspect of this event remains uncertain to many- where’s the body? how did it all happened?
I am from Honduras and my country recently went through a coup d’etat and we were highly criticized by many nations around the world who didn’t even knowing the truth and reasons behind what had happened. In the end, government will always do what they have to do, and this is just what the American Government had to do.
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