7 Comments

  1. I just assumed you posted this because Bush is, surprisingly, on the money here. Sure he’s lying when be says he’s not fussed about catching him, but he’s telling the truth when he says OBL had been rendered a marginal figure… and this was a long time ago. Now he has gone from marginal to martyr and regained much of his power to inspire. Look what violent deaths did to Jesus and Che.

    1. Well, yes and no. OBL was a symbol of the uselessness of US might and a major failure of the War On Terror (TM) (‘they can’t even catch Osama!’ etc) and he seemed uncatchable, invulnerable – so that aspect of his myth is through, at least, and the US has its symbolic balls back for now.

      It was also a team strike that took him out, not a bomb or drone, or a hit at a funeral or something, which I would hope should limit the martyr potential (though that’s not a call I can make well since I never really saw his hero appeal either).

      A genuine Intelligence success should help to make up for/distract from the Gitmo kerfuffle, too. That’s gotta be of value to the Administration, at least.

      1. Oh it’s definitely of value to the administration. What president wouldn’t want crowds cheering outside their window? But will it less or more people being killed? Will it stem the flow of new jihadist recruits?

        Don’t get me wrong, when they tracked him down, Obama had no choice to make. Kind of ironic if this is what wins him a second term, a revenge killing rather than healthcare… a secondhand goal.

      2. I look at this another way. Sure, it’s symbolic, sure, maybe OBL was a marginalized figure in the larger scheme of things, sure, we may have had more important things to do – but – he didn’t deserve his freedom, and he didn’t deserve to live in luxury like he did. For ten years, we think he is hiding in caves. When they found Saddam Hussein in a “spider hole,” come out looking all mangy, checking his teeth, and all this talk of “we’ve got him on the run.” Well, sitting rather comfortably in a mansion without a care in the world, it seems, not on the run, not in a cave, not being smoked out. He went on videos and taunted us that we would never find him and never capture him. He knew he was in a comfortable place, and he had no reason to worry. Why would he be hiding in caves?

        I don’t really look at it as vengeance at all. He’s a criminal and just because you capture someone or execute them doesn’t mean there won’t be others. We captured and executed Saddam Hussein and that didn’t end the war either. But that doesn’t mean we should stop looking for and capturing violent criminals and heads of violent networks. If it happens to look good for you to do it, if it happens to have positive effects on your popularity to have accomplished at least one major, visible political goal in your administration, so be it. At least, I think, most can agree, if they are not too blinded by racism and suspicion of Obama, this is something both parties wanted to happen and wanted to see done, by someone, eventually. Osama bin Laden did not deserve to be free.

  2. I think the death of OBL is a big psychological blow to Al Qaida and their imitators. He wasn’t living as an humble hermit warrior in a cave. He was livin’ large in a fancy mansion in Pakistan. US troops got up close and personal and shot him in the damn face.

    It’s also a psychological boost for the US (obviously) and will take a lot of stress off everyone that was worried about him. Americans weren’t his only choice of targets.

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