I’m starting to hear people bemoan the fact that Osama bin Laden was shot when unarmed; that he wasn’t captured alive and tried for all eight zillion of his crimes against humanity, thus allowing mankind to witness due process and then ultimately his death either strapped to a gurney drifting off to that big sleep or dangling in that “tell-tell way” from some gallows near The Hague. So, he wasn’t armed…so what? Did just under three thousand innocent souls at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon have anti-aircraft artillery at their disposal when they were killed on a balmy September Tuesday ten years ago?
If a man ever needed dyin’, he did —Singer/Songwriter Lobo, from his 1971 hit, “Indiana Wants Me”
This was justice; swift street justice. Short and sweet. The ultimate (and literal) eye for an eye. Osama bin Laden lived by the Soviet assault rifle, it was fitting he died by an American one.
What scares me is this sinking feeling I have and have had since news broke that Osama had been killed. I fear that Osama’s death will become one gigantic recruiting tool for al Qaeda. Everyone in DC knows this; hell everyone on the planet knows this. As I see it, killing Osama in retaliation for 9/11 and a host of other bloody terrorist attacks is as much psychological as it is anything else. For Americans, anyway. But outside our borders? Well, I don’t foresee this show of intel, fire power and precision marksmanship doing much to restore our global reputation. In fact, I fear it’s already accomplishing the contrary. Osama’s death is incendiary and will be on many levels for some time to come in the extremist’s world. In ordering Osama’s death, I fear this decision will place more innocent people in the crosshairs of every radical, West loathing Muslim extremist on the planet. And really, will this help Obama politically?
Ask Bush to regale you with his memories of bombing Bagdad on his own accord and then ask him about approval points domestic and globally after that. I fear we have cut ourselves off at the knees even further in the Arab world and that fear, grows larger everyday. Sure, there are sleeper cells in this country and Obama with his ridiculous open border policy has in effect, continues to welcome them with open arms. But my biggest concern are those homegrown sympathizers who can figure out how to rig a nail and shrapnel-filled backpack to explode via a timer or remote control in a crowded mall….on a busy subway platform….at a packed NBA playoff game this summer.
Many folks on both sides of the political fence are thinking this will do nothing but elevate the President in the eyes of his fellow Americans–something he’s desperately needed. Let’s take a look at this, shall we??? The Osama body dump means and Obama ratings bump. We’re talking something like 13 points and an average presidential bump lasts about an average of 22 weeks. The experts say the Osama lead Obama bump will probably run through next year BUT ONLY if the economy improves, offering a one/two punch of good presidential tidings. I can’t blame Obama for using this as I know he will; as his sword of Oval Office righteousness…even as a means to convince the Right that he’s a no-nonsense, stick to his work kind of guy who just happened to accomplish in three years in office what George W. Bush couldn’t in eight.
Some question the timing in all of this. In all honesty, I don’t. I suppose it was all a matter of having to act NOW. Obama probably had one rock solid opportunity to get this man and he needed to execute the plans based on that intel, which as we all know, is fleeting and often flawed. But right or wrong, that opportunity was Sunday, May 1st and it was a risky chance Obama took. I’ll give him that much because come on…let’s face it: Osama was an elusive little bugger. He also made a gutsy call to shoot as opposed to bomb. Kudos for his choice of precision, but as for making this out to be ALL about politics and more specifically timing? Frankly, I don’t see how timing comes into play, especially since Obama would have been much better served had the Navy Seals delivered a stiff, room temperature Osama bin Laden, a little bit closer to the first Tuesday in November of 2012.
So, there you go. Political ploys and political highs never last. Bush 41 had it, enjoyed it….then lost it. Clinton had it….and lost it as did Bush 43 in the weeks and months following 9/11. The reality is, we’re too devoted to our political affiliations; to the point we’re unwavering and we’re too critical of our presidents to allow them to rest on their laurels for any length of time.
But really, it’s more than that. You see, Osama bin Laden’s death is big now; but what will its magnitude be in about 17 months from now? Sure, what happened on September 11th will never leave our collective consciousness, nor should it, but I assure you, unless you lost a friend or family member in the terror attacks or in the military lead firefights that followed it, 9/11 won’t be in the forefront of our daily thoughts. The man who’s been out of work for 23 months isn’t going to care much about bin Laden’s death or who ordered it. He only cares about feeding his family. The educated single mother of three in Cleveland, a prime example of the country’s working poor, doesn’t qualify for federal assistance, because as broke as she is, still makes too much. She won’t care one iota whether bin Laden is dead or alive, nor will the family of a cancer patient in Tacoma who had to wait way too long for what amounts to socialized medicine to kick in to get chemo. His malignancies killed him before that ever happened.
“It’s the economy stupid.”
And yes, it is.
In the grand scheme of things, presidential bumps don’t matter and they never have when the American people are struggling. And we are. People often vote with their pocketbooks, which these days are empty. The economy is horrible and Obama promised to fix it and he hasn’t and he won’t–and no, not even this magical, mystical dark skin Jinn can, not with all that AND the GOP’s “Deficit Reduction” (economic growth inhibiting) strategy nipping at his heals. In Obama’s defense, I don’ think anyone can repair much of anything at all. I hate feeling this jaded, but that’s where I am.
In closing, the reality is Bin Laden is dead, which truly is great and all, but can this euphoria last long enough “to matter” politically?
By November 2012, I doubt seriously if anyone will give a damn.