Sunday, June 20, 2010

Davids and Goliaths

Since I was a nipper it’s captivated me. The biblical story of David and Goliath, that is [1]. In which the underdog little guy knocking over the top dog big guy. Even ignoring its religious versus pagan connotations, it’s a romantic tale. And allegorical too. With David, well equipped with slingshot and lithely unencumbered by armour, more than a match for his opponent. The allegory’s modern day descendant’s asymmetric warfare [2]– wherein the ‘weaker’ combatant uses strategy to offset its resource deficiency. In the 8¾ years since 9/11, no-one – including the USA with its mighty resources – has captured or killed Osama Bin Laden despite a US$25M bounty. So whatever’s been done has failed. Enter Gary Brooks Faulker (pictured) [3], a Colorado carpenter. Last Tuesday Brooks – carrying a pistol, a sword, night-vision gear, Christian religious books and hashish – was arrested by police in Pakistan who said he was on a 1-man mission to personally hunt down and kill Bin Laden. I don’t know why he was arrested. An Age article [4] lampoons Faulkner, but the NYT takes him more seriously [5]. Me? I can’t find any evidence his mission wouldn’t have succeeded. Except that maybe Bin Laden’s in Iran and not Pakistan or Afghanistan [6]. But perhaps an unarrested Faulkner would’ve become a modern day David. And if so, wouldn’t that be delicious – for him to have slain Bin Laden who positions himself as a jihadist David.

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