Monday, December 7, 2009

Bin Laden . . . the New "Snowball?"

George Orwell, wherever he is now residing, has probably noticed a resemblance between the ANIMAL FARM character "Snowball" in exile and Osama Bin Laden. And he may be laughing.

Today's "Oregonian" ran an Associated Press article that says, in part:

"Osama bin Laden may be slipping back and forth from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Or the U.S. might not have a clue, more than eight years after the al-Quaida leader masterminded the terrorist attacks on America."

Recall that "Snowball" the pig was one of two faction leaders in the book ANIMAL FARM after the farm animals declared their independence and became self-governing; the other was the boar, "Napoleon." "Napoleon" staged a coup and drove "Snowball" out of the barnyard and the Animal Farm boundaries. Nothing was seen of "Snowball" after his narrow escape from "Napoleon's" attack dogs but thereafter he was conjured up to explain every mishap, theft or problem to occur on the farm. Because he was such a useful bogeyman and scapegoat, no serious attempt was ever made to hunt him down or to capture him.

We're far beyond 1984, but we find ourselves in a future drearily reminiscent of a literary past we should have learned from.

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