Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Obligatory Bin Laden Post

Yes, the title isn't even original. I saw it yesterday somewhere, and when I googled it, many more turned up. It's not clear to me that I have much to add to what's being said.

As far as global strategy goes, most of the possible analyses have been given. If I'm not going to comment on something, I usually like to provide analyses that I've found worthwhile, but I'm unimpressed so far. Osama had become less important to his now-franchised al Qaeda, and the young people in the Arab uprisings have other agendas.

The TSA isn't going away and will insist that you be x-rayed, your liquids and gels limited, and your shoes off, just like a convict, just like yesterday and the day before.

It does seem that the Republicans have lost some political purchase. No longer can they accuse a Democratic president of fecklessness, his having gotten the man that their president gave up on. I'm wondering if this will set them back enough that they become slightly more rational in issues like the debt ceiling, but they, like Osama are true believers to whom anything like reasonableness is a defeat.

Pakistan may have some rethinking and explaining to do, but it looks like the US and Pakistan have decided to try to ignore the more uncomfortable facts for a while.

I guess I ceased to think of the search for Osama bin Laden as being meaningful some long time back. I've never been impressed with the "great man" theories of history, and I never thought al Qaeda to be the existential threat that some desired. It's mostly a relief to have that box checked, off the agenda, so that we can move on.

Good job by everyone involved: the national security group in that photo that's making the rounds, and all the military and CIA involved in the operation.

Afterthought: Another thing that isn't going to change, might get worse, is that The Terrists Will Attack Us. With WMD. Their desire may increase, but their capability is likely to go down, particularly now that Osama's computer is in US hands. Now that the Armchair Generalist has gone silent, I may have to polish up my snark for this sort of thing. I'm particularly disappointed that this warning came from Richard Lugar, who has been a voice for sense on nuclear weapons.
Sigger's Law: "As any discussion on terrorism grows longer, the probability of attributing terrorists with nuclear weapons (or similar destructive capabilities) approaches 1." Corollary to Sigger's Law: "Once such an observation is made, the discussion is finished and whoever mentioned terrorist possession of nuclear weapons has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress."

3 comments:

Fred said...

Hey Cheryl, talking sense as usual, but I think you're missing the point on this one. Forget about the imponderable implications, stay in the moment!

What I'm thinking about the last couple of days are the three thousand completely innocent people who died in fiery horror on 9/11. Even if you take a "small man" "police matter" view of history, those deaths were the direct responsibility of OBL. Those murders have been avenged. I'm bloody-minded enough to find that intensely meaningful.

Cheryl Rofer said...

Hi Fred -

I'm not into revenge, and I think it's not a good basis for foreign policy.

I recognize that that aspect of 9/11 was whipped up by those in power at the time for the purpose of justifying wars and repression at home. I also recognize that it's a factor for some people. I'm not going to condemn the cheering, but I'm hoping that it represents an end to this part of America's emotional response.

Peter said...

To keep things in perspective, Fred, George W. Bush's escapade in Iraq directly led to the deaths of far more innocent people than OBL's plots.