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Jewish World Review Dec. 10, 2001 / 25 Kislev, 5762

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Consumer Reports


What if Catching bin Laden is in dispute?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com -- THE most wanted man in the world is still out there, cave-hopping, with a twenty-five million dollar bounty over his head. While we wait with baited breath for his capture or his, tsk-tsk, obliteration, it might make sense to prepare for what could be an onslaught of legal claims from those declaring that they alone were the ones who actually caught the invaluable Osama. I mean, if we're going to court to decide the ownership of Barry Bond's record-setting 73rd home run ball, what will the battle for Osama be like?

San Franciscan Alex Popov is shown in a home video catching the record-breaking ball. He spent the next moments buried under a bevy of disarming fans, all attempting to disarm and de-ball Mr. Popov. Ever spend time at the bottom of a pile of football player grasping for a fumbled ball? Okay, I never have, but I've heard John Madden describe it enough times to know that it's murder down there.

Out of the pile came Patrick Hayashi clutching the gold followed almost immediately by Mr. Hayashi's attorney, declaring that his client had gotten hold of the ball fair and square. Popov's attorney says otherwise...that his client had been mugged.

We now move somewhere into the near future, into the classic confines of PacBell's Al Qaeda Stadium. Salvos are being hit right and left out of the park. Bombs that make bin Laden's capture all the more likely. The crowds are gathering in every spot the trophy is likely to be hit. Northern Alliance rebels, CIA operatives, Amanpour, Rivera, Popov and Hayashi, all staking their territory, hoping upon hope that Osama will we find a way into their heart...and wallet.

President Bush steps to the plate. The crowd roars. Anticipation run rampant. This could be the one. Dubya points to the stands, inadvertently pointing to the stands in foul territory. Coach Andy Card runs out and redirects the 90% favorable-rated slugger. Cameras flash, preparatory to what could be the biggest catch since Weisenthal and friends landed the wonderful Mr. Eichmann in the glass booth.

The crowd quiets as the U.S. Military winds up and delivers. Almost in slow motion we see Osama twist towards the plate (I think it was a curve ball), cameras catching every stitch in his beard. George W. swings from the tops of his oxfords. BAM! Bush sends Osama deep toward centerfield. Back-back-back. Centerfielder Tony Blair races back to the wall ready to leap. But the Prime Minister is no match for the Bushman's power as George 43 goes yard!

Osama rises over the wall and into the stands, disappearing into the ocean of waiting fans. The Northern Alliance wanting his head, the CIA wanting his information, Rivera and Amanpour wanting his interview. Popov and Hayashi just happy for the 25 mil'. Braving injury and certain lawsuit, they all dive into the pile, hoping to come up with the Osama-prize.

Who gets it, if anyone, is beyond anyone, even Chris's Matthews or Berman's' procrastination. One thing is certain. As sure as there is an America who will come out a winner, so will the attorney representing the one is going to make out big time...for his client and himself, while creating a convoluted mess for the courts. And when the ACLU and Rush Limbaugh add their two cents, will we ever hear the end of it.

So what say we set precedent now. Define what Osama-in-the-grasp constitutes; how long do you have to have hold of bin Laden before he is considered down; whether instant replay can be used for disputed calls. Let's not throw something this important to the courts. Look what they did in the last election.

We have do it now. Before the messy battle over Osama's head and other parts of his body. Before the inescapable scratching and clawing in the scramble under the heap of humanity. Humanity except for Osama. And most important, we should so this before the lawyers mess up what could be a wonderful celebration over the capture or (yippee) worse, of Sir Disgusting Piece Of Garbage.



JWR contributor Steve Young, contributing editor of the Writers Guild Of America's "Written By" magazine, is a Prism Award winner and Humanitas nominee for his writing on the accurate depiction alcohol use and addiction in a television comedy episode. Comment by clicking here.

11/30/01: Back to normal...too bad
11/16/01: Osama not enough for some
11/09/01: Networks at war!
11/05/01: Bridges Over Troubled Water
10/29/01: The other terrorists
10/16/01: Diary Of A Young Defense Department Comedy Writer
10/01/01: Playlands, burgers, and family sanity
09/25/01: Dissent is walking on red, white and blue egg shells
09/21/01: OPEN LETTER THE MOST HIGH (RE: Falwell and Robertson comments)
09/17/01: Gary, we miss ya
09/10/01: Smelling out a real hero
09/04/01: Don't give up on that dream!
08/24/01: Pitch day at the Mouse
08/21/01: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Unlimited" Is
08/06/01: IN OPEN LETTER FROM THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS AND TALK SHOWS OF AMERICA

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© 2001, Steve Young