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Black Hawk Rising

Hey, remember that time Barack Obama shot Osama bin Laden in the face? That was pretty awesome, right? It also brought clarity to the Obama doctrine and remade America. What will the Republicans do now?

Black Hawk Rising

Jim Blanchard

If a Republican were in office right now, Osama bin Laden would still be in his compound, burning trash and slowly dying of old age. The Republican pundits who credit George W. Bush for Bin Laden’s death are peddling 100 percent bullshit. Bush, you might remember, wasn’t even looking in the right country. Not that he cared much about finding Bin Laden anyway. In a press conference on March 13, 2002, Bush said: “I don’t know where [Bin Laden] is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him… to be honest with you… I truly am not that concerned about him.” Six years later, in a July 2008 interview, Larry King asked then presidential candidate John McCain whether he would send U.S. troops into Pakistan "if you knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan." McCain said, "I'm not going to go there and here's why: because Pakistan is a sovereign nation.”

Obama never even told Pakistan we were coming.

Now Obama’s potential rivals for 2012 are struggling to figure out how to deal with the moment. Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann didn’t even mention the office of the president in their tersely worded press releases. Mitt Romney dropped the president’s title—but not his name—in what amounted to a halfhearted mumble at the end of a sentence. Only two deigned to mention the president by name: the boring former governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, and poor, bitch-slapped Donald Trump, who praised his better to the skies for a “job well done.”

The jokes Obama made at Trump’s expense at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night had taken on a different meaning by Sunday night. Obama put the irrelevance of Trump’s experience into perspective by straight-facedly reporting the climax of a recent episode of Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice: “You, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meat Loaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled.”

What none of us knew at the time was that the president had just ordered the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. He probably knew he would be addressing the nation again soon. What he couldn’t have known was whether he’d be announcing the successful resolution of a strategic military operation the likes of which had bedeviled his predecessor for seven years, or a Bay of Pigs–style disaster resulting in the deaths of American soldiers and the escape once again of America’s boogeyman into the world at large. Even as he stood onstage mocking Trump’s tiny little life—a mocking that ruffled Trump’s feathers—Obama had bigger things in mind. Much bigger. How can Trump look anything but ridiculous after that?

Let’s be clear: This was Barack Obama’s victory. It was his cooperative-yet-firm foreign policy with Pakistan that led to the intelligence on Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. It was he who said in 2008, in a debate with John McCain: “If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out.” It was Obama who insisted on a surgical strike instead of a bombing in order to confirm Bin Laden’s identity should he be killed, it was Obama’s ground forces who crafted the strategy to get into the compound, and it was Obama’s order to strike.

President Obama revealed the entire Bush team to be the incompetents and dolts we always knew they were, and in doing so single-handedly destroyed the myth that Democrats are soft on national security. What will Republicans do with that? Try to run on an anti-war platform? Isolationist teabaggers may give that a whirl, but it’s more likely that mainstream Republican candidates will proceed directly to James Carville’s 1992 “It’s the economy, stupid” mantra, ignoring the foreign policy sphere for a steady diet of domestic issues. The problem there is that the Republican rallying flag—Representative Paul Ryan’s budget—shaves Medicare and Medicaid down to a nub and rewrites the American contract into something completely different than what every living American citizen has ever known. Senior citizens and left-leaning centrists won’t be comfortable with this radical agenda, and there’s simply no clear path for a Republican president without those two groups.

After Bin Laden’s death, Ben Hammersley asked on Twitter, “Ok. So *now* can we start the 21st century?” It’s a simple truth that not every president gets an opportunity to remake America. When he announced the death of Bin Laden, Obama shifted the way an entire generation of Americans view ourselves and, in so doing, provided a clear ending-point for one of the darkest decades in American history.

We understand that terrorist attacks will almost definitely happen in the future. We know that the Middle East is still a complicated and perilous place. But Obama proved that America can still do the job—and that a thoughtful progressive is as competent or better leading the military than a reactionary right-winger. Pundits had been complaining that Obama provided no coherent foreign policy or national defense strategy, that he was simply operating on a meeker version of the dunderheaded Bush doctrine. After last weekend, the Obama doctrine is becoming clearer. In sum: Don’t be an incompetent motherfucker. It’s going to be hard for any Republican to argue with that, but you can be sure that they’re gonna try.

Another dig Obama made at Trump during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner had to do with the birther conspiracies that Trump had recently reinvigorated. “But no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald,” the president said. “And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened at Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

It turned out to be a prescient joke. Already, the Republican Party, with miserable choad Andrew Breitbart in the lead, is showing signs that it doesn’t believe Bin Laden is dead. These “deathers”—most of whom were probably birthers just over a week ago—are symptoms of a deep-seated rot in the Republican Party. They are people committed to gut feelings and scare tactics over facts. The real reason George W. Bush was so uninterested in catching Osama bin Laden was because the Qaeda leader was a useful concept for conservatives, a fright mask to slip on when the American people needed to be put back in their place. Dick Cheney wore the Bin Laden mask at every opportunity, hinting at secret disasters that were always right around the corner if Democrats ever took a leading role in government again. Bush would tell spooky Bin Laden stories to get what he wanted from the American people. So now Republicans are trying to dig Bin Laden out of the grave and wheel his corpse around, Weekend at Bernie’s–style. It’s the only trick they have left.

There will always be people gullible enough to eat whatever plate of horseshit the Republican media will feed them, of course. And some people are racist enough to deny any accomplishment to a successful black president, no matter how tortured the logic gets. But when Obama successfully nabbed Bin Laden, he sapped the power from the scary campfire stories that Republicans tell. It marked the end of a very particular war of terror perpetrated against America over the last 10 years. recommended

 

Comments (122) RSS

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schmacky 1
Great riff. Thanks, Paul.
Posted by schmacky on May 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM · Report this
seatackled 2
The Republicans are going to cite Obama's lack of military experience, that's what they're running on. Just listen to how they're minimizing the CIC's authorial role in the mission and focusing on the troops as heroes.

Now let's see if he starts pushing the Republicans around like we've wanted him to.
Posted by seatackled on May 3, 2011 at 1:01 PM · Report this
3
Spot on target, Paul. Very well said.

B~
Posted by bobbelieu on May 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this
4
"That fact of the matter is that if a Republican..."

Did your copy editor nod off in the very first sentence?
Posted by bigyaz on May 3, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 5
Per the NYT:

"It wasn’t until after 2002, when the agency began rounding up Qaeda operatives — and subjecting them to hours of brutal interrogation sessions in secret overseas prisons — that they finally began filling in the gaps about the foot soldiers, couriers and money men Bin Laden relied on."

aka extraordinary rendition and torture

Guess Bush & Co. were right… Can we please start that program again now???

Sounds to me like he wouldn't be dead if we hadn't had Bush...
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on May 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM · Report this
6
in what universe are you qualified to make any of these opinions?

stick to comic books
Posted by Swearengen on May 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Greenwood 7
Nicely put. Better than most of the articles I've read in Slate, the Daily Beast, etc.
Posted by Greenwood on May 3, 2011 at 1:17 PM · Report this
8
There will always be people gullible enough to eat whatever plate of horseshit ANY media will feed them, of course. Republican or Democrat.

I don't know of a single expert on the Middle East, terrorism in general, or Al Qaeda in particular who wouldn't chuckle at the childish notion that killing bin Laden marked the end of anything other than a hunt for bin Laden, let alone "a very particular war of terror perpetrated against America over the last 10 years" (I'm not even sure what that means).

And to suggest that killing bin Laden "remade America" should be embarrassing to anyone with an elementary understanding of U.S. history and foreign policy. It's the kind of shallow, meaningless rhetoric one expects to find at Red State and Free Republic. But, sadly, these are the intellectually stunting effects of reflexive political loyalism.

This is partisan cheer-leading at its least mature from a person who wishes everyone would just ignore the fact that Obama has been destroying innocent lives by supporting and implementing foreign and national security policies that are explicitly endorsed by neo-conservative leaders.

If only we could all forget that Obama is prosecuting government whistle-blowers at the highest rate in decades, while shielding Bush administration officials from any criminal investigations.

If someone is interested in the effects of bin Laden's death beyond what it means for the continuous inanity that is national political sports, there are a variety of sources available.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/20…

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_…
More...
Posted by LJM on May 3, 2011 at 1:19 PM · Report this
9
just excellent. great, great piece.
Posted by Adrian Ryan on May 3, 2011 at 1:24 PM · Report this
10
I hate having to defend McCain, but for crying out loud, that's some bullshit out of context journalism there.

McCain said "Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself. But I want to assure you I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States and I will bring him to justice no matter what it takes."

It is clear in the interview that the "there" McCain was referring to was not the geographical location, but the semantic "not going to go there" as in he wasn't going to publicly telegraph his willingness to order an operation of foreign non-enemy sovereign soil. Whether or not this result was made more or less likely by the election of Obama or McCain is probably impossible to calculate. To claim that this in any way "suggests we never would have caught bin Laden if we had kept Republicans in power" is a gross misappropriation of your soap box.

The only thing you can say definitively is that Obama did order the operation that captured and killed OBL on foreign non-enemy sovereign soil. Any rational person who might have had doubts that this was possible will need to re-evaluate their assumptions. As for the irrational ones, they will have to further justify their twisted logic with even more twisted logic.
Posted by Valpey on May 3, 2011 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 11
That portrait is lovely and reverent. Aren't there any sweaty mugshots we can choose from in the future?
Posted by Michael of the Green on May 3, 2011 at 1:32 PM · Report this
12
@4 -- Good catch! The copyeditor in question has been killed and eaten. Meanwhile, we just decided to get rid of that whole clunky phrase.
Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on May 3, 2011 at 1:36 PM · Report this
WeeblesWobble 13
Well said, Mr. Constant.

@5: Missed it by a mile.
Posted by WeeblesWobble http://lipidlove.blogspot.com/2011/02/pointing-out-obvious.html on May 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM · Report this
14
About as good as it gets!
Posted by clint on May 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM · Report this
15
@10 -- Context has been added to that sentence for clarity.
Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on May 3, 2011 at 1:54 PM · Report this
16
End of the Republican reign of terror?
Posted by Name on May 3, 2011 at 2:04 PM · Report this
17
The surest way to incite more party-line drivel is to participate in it.
Posted by marcelebrate on May 3, 2011 at 2:17 PM · Report this
18
Wow! That had to be the most satisfying rim job Obama has ever gotten. Nice work!
Posted by Root on May 3, 2011 at 2:20 PM · Report this
20
I find it very fishy that bin laden was buried at sea. Very FISHY indeed.
Posted by marroon on May 3, 2011 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 21
"... the entire Bush team to be the incompetents and dolts we always knew they were..."

This was precisely because the Bush team was staffed with the retard rump of the Nixon team. An amazing collection of morons by any measure, and not strong on ethics, either.
Posted by Sir Vic on May 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Cui Bono 22
Can Obama do anything RIGHT? Has there been anything that the president has done over the past three years that, while you maybe did not necessarily agree, you found he couldn't have done any better? I can think of things I wish he did better: ENDA, oil subsizies, the Bush tax cuts, but there I go, BUSH.

If BUSH had been the one to have found bin Laden and ordered him killed, this country wouldn've erupted in the greatest right-wing blowbang since Goldwater got the nomination at the RNC in '64 and folks started screaming and smashing their chairs at the Cow Palace.

If this thing had been a failure, that would've been the end of the president. No one would have let him live it down if bin Laden had escaped or if any one the special forces members involved were killed.

Now all the same crazy people who hate the president because of things like his wife begging folks not to make their kids so fat are just turning around and making it look like something HORRIBLE has happened. Yeah, he did it, but it was only through torture, and other gross indignities counter to basic respect for human life and common decency. Yeah, he did, but where's the body? Couldn't we have just posed bin Laden's body so he was cradling the president's birth certificate in his hands? Killed two birds with one stone?

If you support the troops, you support their Commander-in-Chief, too. For crying out loud, will Americans NEVER come together about ANYTHING ever again? What good is it doing you people to have such a polarized, knee-jerk-reacting point of view? Why do you hate reality?
Posted by Cui Bono on May 3, 2011 at 3:17 PM · Report this
23
doesn't it seem a bit of a gun-jump to say that this event has "remade america?"

Posted by gi on May 3, 2011 at 3:23 PM · Report this
Dances with Marmots 24
@Swearengen, comment #6

Thanks for your astute and specific criticism of numerous points Paul made in this Stranger article. Your attention to the main tenets of his argument is well-conceived and I'm eager to hear more of your opinions. Thanks!
Posted by Dances with Marmots on May 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
25
@8:

I believe that the "very particular war of terror perpetrated against America over the last 10 years," is a reference to the Republican Party's scare tactics - not a description of a military campaign waged against terrorist organizations. Mr. Constant is having fun with words.
Posted by clarification on May 3, 2011 at 3:32 PM · Report this
26
@22 Now all the same crazy people who hate the president because of things like his wife begging folks not to make their kids so fat are just turning around and making it look like something HORRIBLE has happened.

Those people don't matter and should be ignored. There are a lot of sane people who refuse to support the president because he acts mostly like a neo-conservative, which means he's been destroying the lives of a lot of innocent people, at home and abroad.

This fact, however, doesn't matter to Republican or Democratic loyalists. Winning elections is the be-all and end-all, while lives destroyed are merely eggs in the victory omelette.
Posted by LJM on May 3, 2011 at 3:37 PM · Report this
27
@25, if that's what Mr. Constant meant, it still doesn't make sense, in the context of this piece. The scare tactics used by Republicans were mostly approved of by Democrats before 2009. And afterwards, those tactics were essentially adopted by the Obama administration.

Democrats are every bit as guilty as Republicans of waging that "very particular war."
Posted by LJM on May 3, 2011 at 3:41 PM · Report this
sheiler 28
in what universe are you qualified to make any of these opinions?


In what universe are you qualified to request qualifications for an opinion?
Posted by sheiler http://sheilerama.com on May 3, 2011 at 3:41 PM · Report this
29
bull shit ! this is the usual stumping for that loser of a president barac hussain obama . do you really think four more years of loser ville will get him to keep the promises he failed to keep , or give him time to further your socialist agenda ? you guys got used and it's time to admit it to your selves and move on .
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on May 3, 2011 at 4:02 PM · Report this
30
@29: Hmmm, loser ville you say? You make a persuasive case. You are a true political savant.
Posted by Your Icon Also Indicates a Rare, Subtle Intelligence on May 3, 2011 at 4:08 PM · Report this
31
"There will always be people gullible enough to eat whatever plate of horseshit the Republican [correction: corporate] media will feed them, of course."...says Paul, but as his credulous hackpiece demonstrates, there will always be people gullible enough to eat whatever plate of horseshit the Democrats feed them as well. More intelligent people are starting to realize that the two party puppet show is a sham. The real struggle is between the mega-rich warmongers and the rest of us. Paul was right in describing Bin Laden as a "scary campfire story that Republicans tell", but it's one that neo-con Democrats love to tell as well. Bin Laden was a CIA patsy and NOT the mastermind of 9/11. Even the FBI admits they have insufficient evidence to connect him to 9/11, thus 9/11 is not mentioned on his FBI 10 most wanted profile. Pakistani intelligence and the late Benazir Bhutto had previously stated that OBL died of kidney failure years ago. Of course it doesn't really matter when he died because he's just a state sanctioned boogeyman, but such bullshit does serve the purpose of creating a distraction and helping Obama get reelected. Why else would they dispose of the body so quickly while releasing such shoddy evidence and multiple conflicting stories about how they killed him? It also sets the stage nicely for a new false flag operation so when 9/11 part 2 happens, be very skeptical.

Posted by Osama Bin Photoshopped on May 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Dances with Marmots 32
@29

I assume by "socialist agenda," you must mean "that time he propped up wall street with federal funds" or "extended Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, further stratifying wealth," or "continued along a a mostly centrist, reconciliatory path."

Also, usually "ville" is acceptable as an appended suffix. Like "oblivioustofactsville," which is where I assume you call home.
Posted by Dances with Marmots on May 3, 2011 at 4:11 PM · Report this
dirac 33
I have to wonder if Constant and Frizzelle are serious or if they are just trolling big time because as @8, @17, and @18 point out, this was nothing but a puff piece about lame partisan political football which has been going on since yesterday amongst Stranger staff. I can't help but notice that the uniformity in some of the comments (see Constant's earlier trolling about Osama's HDD intelligence) is a symptom--along with the football cheerleading outside the WH and sloppy rhetorical blowjobs in the "liberal" press (and their correlate on the right)--of some mass hysteria in the US that really frightens me.

On top of that, people are impugned as crazies on the left or right if they happen to just *question* the WH narrative which in fact has changed its story two or three times about the actual operation and the follow-up--video documentation of the whole thing notwithstanding. I am not a conspiracy theorist and I believe what they say, but there's some real denial going here. It seems like we're being told by some: "Hey shut up moron, when has the government ever lied to you?"
Posted by dirac on May 3, 2011 at 4:28 PM · Report this
34
Sure, Obama is a better man than Bush, but they're still part of the same system. It's about time we got beyond the two party puppet show. Today, the struggle is between the mega-rich neocon warmongers and the rest of us. Anyway, Bin Laden was a CIA patsy and NOT the mastermind of 9/11. Even the FBI admits they have insufficient evidence to connect him to 9/11, thus 9/11 is not mentioned on his FBI 10 most wanted profile. Pakistani intelligence and the late Benazir Bhutto had previously stated that OBL died of kidney failure years ago. Of course it doesn't really matter when he died because he's just a state sanctioned boogeyman, but such bullshit does serve the purpose of creating a distraction and helping Obama get reelected. Why else would they dispose of the body so quickly while releasing such shoddy evidence and multiple conflicting stories about how they killed him? It also sets the stage nicely for future false flag operations.
Posted by Osama Bin Photoshopped on May 3, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
35
@27, I think it means things like raising the terror alert level or making vague comments about increased terrorist "chatter" every time an embarrassing scandal need to be drowned out in the current new cycle.
Posted by NMSpaz on May 3, 2011 at 4:40 PM · Report this
36
@15, bullshit.

The whole point of this section is to argue that Republicans did not have the oomph to pursue bin Laden. While clearly true w/r/t Bush, the section still clearly implies that McCain would not have gone after bin Laden. McCain said, "I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States and I will bring him to justice no matter what it takes."

Maybe McCain would have, and maybe he wouldn't have; but what part of "no matter what it takes" is unclear? That's the context that matters here.
Posted by Ancient Sumerian on May 3, 2011 at 4:43 PM · Report this
37
I like the tone of this piece, and I'm cheering at the slams of the Bushies, but I think LJM is right on the money with those criticisms. It strikes me as asinine to imagine that the groundwork for this action was not laid long before Obama took office.

For example, read this article on the relationship between the executive branch and the wing of the military that carried this out (JSOC):
http://www.thenation.com/blog/160332/jso…
Posted by Blech on May 3, 2011 at 4:48 PM · Report this
38
Go, PAUL, GO!!!!
I could NOT have put it better myself!!
Excellent column!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM · Report this
39 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
lark 40
Paul,
It's fine to be an Obama cheerleader. The President and his team are basking in the light of well deserved popularity. However, this event was years in the making and the President and his staff weren't sure it was going to be pulled off:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/02/bo…

In addition, Obama himself acknowledged Bush in his speech Sunday night. That's not to steal his thunder but this was a far more complicated and extended process than you would think.

Finally, your piece begins with "If a Republican were in office right now, Osama bin Laden would still be in his compound, burning trash and slowly dying of old age." is illogical. There's no way to prove a negative Paul. The Democrats hold the White House not the Republicans. That's like saying "Obama was against the invasion of Iraq". Well, that's true, vocally. But, Obama wasn't in the Senate when the vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq took place. So, we really don't know what Obama would have voted nor will we ever know what McCain would have done in this situation had he been President.



Posted by lark on May 3, 2011 at 5:56 PM · Report this
41
Obama surely can't take any credit for this victory. If not for needed information as a result of waterboarding and years of the rest of the pieces of the puzzle being put together under Bush, Obama would have never got lucky. He needs to give credit where credit is due.
Posted by margo on May 3, 2011 at 6:52 PM · Report this
42
Obama surely can't take any credit for this victory. If not for needed information as a result of waterboarding and years of the rest of the pieces of the puzzle being put together under Bush, Obama would have never got lucky. He needs to give credit where credit is due.
Posted by margotoner on May 3, 2011 at 6:58 PM · Report this
43
@27, that makes sense. Certainly, fear was goal #1 from 2001-2009. But it's most important to remember that it was this devotion to fear which created the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, extreme renditions, whistle-blower prosecutions, state secrets defenses, along with pointless, civilian-killing drone attacks, all of which were approved and implemented by Democrats.
Posted by LJM on May 3, 2011 at 7:13 PM · Report this
44
Correction: "implemented" implies creation. Democrats didn't create all of the conservative civil rights abuses arising from the war on terror, but they have certainly empowered and profited from them.
Posted by LJM on May 3, 2011 at 7:17 PM · Report this
45
i was just out fishing with a friend and saw "osama fin laden" we are all fucked now .
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on May 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM · Report this
46
osama fin laden spotted in puget sound , we are in trouble now . http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com…
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on May 3, 2011 at 7:50 PM · Report this
47
@ LJM:

Please feel free to remove your partisan goggles and acknowledge that Constant has a valid point: the assassination of Bin Laden has permanently taken the wind out of a certain strain of cheap political scare tactics.
Posted by son of clarification on May 3, 2011 at 7:59 PM · Report this
dirac 48
@42 Well that was a nugget of uninformed bullshit. Thanks.
Posted by dirac on May 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM · Report this
49
@47, what partisan goggles are you talking about? I don't root for either team, because they're both dishonest and corrupt and destructive.

And why exactly do you think that killing bin Laden has taken the wind out of terrorism based scare tactics? Are you saying that now that Obama has killed bin Laden, he'll stop using fear of terrorism as a basis for secret prisons, indefinite detentions, and drone bombings?
Posted by LJM on May 3, 2011 at 9:33 PM · Report this
50
Great article. I just hope Obama uses this "victory" for something more than getting himself elected a second time.
Posted by Timesthree on May 3, 2011 at 9:33 PM · Report this
Jogiu 51
My Idol is no more. I miss you
Posted by Jogiu http://www.realviagrarx.net/ on May 3, 2011 at 11:00 PM · Report this
HelpMeJebus 52
@6, eat a dick.

@24, well done.
Posted by HelpMeJebus on May 3, 2011 at 11:22 PM · Report this
53 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Fire Aim Ready 54
"Let’s be clear: This was Barack Obama’s victory."

So shooting an unarmed and crippled bin Laden constitutes an American victory over the perpetrators of 9/11, preceded as it was by the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan; the hundreds of thousands of civilians dead as a result; the ruin of the US treasury by the cost of those ongoing wars; Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib; waterboarding, sexual humiliation, "renditions," and innocent prisoners tortured to death; killer drones taking out half the Pakistani village in a hit on a "suspected terrorist"; US air power blowing up Afghan wedding parties; the Patriot Acts; warrantless wiretapping of Americans' phone calls and emails; security gropes at the airport; and the loss of respect for the US by a world that at first responded to the attacks with deep sympathy.

Because if that's a victory, I'd hate to see a defeat.
Posted by Fire Aim Ready http://www.4groundmusic.org on May 4, 2011 at 3:25 AM · Report this
Slam1263 55
They'll continue to pound him on the economy, as they should. I don't care about the last guy's problems, Mr. Obama was elected to do a job. And he has failed on some important aspects of it.

Now, if he tosses out the "Patriot Act", that would improve his standing with most conservatives and neo-liberals.
Posted by Slam1263 on May 4, 2011 at 8:12 AM · Report this
56
I love Obama as much as anyone, but why are we setting this up as yet another way to pit Republicans against Democrats? This is a time when everyone can come together and breathe a collective sigh of relief, when families of the victims of 9/11 can hopefully gain even the slightest bit of closure -- whatever their political affiliation. It's a shame to see some people spinning this into another divisive issue. In reality, we have no idea what role Bush played. To pretend otherwise is complete arrogance.
Posted by Amanda on May 4, 2011 at 8:39 AM · Report this
57
Why is the Stranger so fucking predictable?

This is just the typical "Obama good. Bush bad." rhetoric. This is just complaining one would expect from a high school newspaper. But I guess you get what you pay for.
Posted by ryuichi on May 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
58
Why is the Stranger so fucking predictable?

This is just the typical "Obama good. Bush bad." rhetoric. This is just complaining one would expect from a high school newspaper. But I guess you get what you pay for.
Posted by ryuichi on May 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM · Report this
dirac 59
@56 "A common method of confusing the issues is to distort the apparent alignment of forces by projecting diverse positions onto a linear, left-versus-right schema, implying that if you are opposed to one side you must be in favor of the other. The communism-versus-capitalism spectacle served this purpose for over half a century. Since the recent collapse of that farce, the tendency has been to declare a centrist pragmatic global consensus, with any opposition being lumped with lunatic-fringe “extremisms” (fascism and religious fanaticism on the right, terrorism and “anarchy” on the left)." --Ken Knabb
Posted by dirac on May 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM · Report this
60
Yes, the President showed impressive leadership. Why? Because he acted more like his predecessor and not at all like the Barack Obama of 2008. From the renewal of the Patriot Act, to using intelligence gathered in overseas CIA prisons, to not telling the Pakistanis what we were doing. Well done, Barack "W" Obama!
Posted by John Carlson on May 4, 2011 at 10:02 AM · Report this
61
This story is The Stranger version of riding a four-wheeler around the back yard while firing a pistol in the air and chanting USA, USA... a' la:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/649878…

The fact that The Stranger is going to hypocritically participate in celebrating the eye for an eye mentality on display nationwide demonstrates that, deep down, liberals and conservatives are pretty much the same. That, and I am truly alone on this planet.
Posted by GJ on May 4, 2011 at 11:34 AM · Report this
62
i love watching the slow decline of your commiecrat delusions falling down all around you , as you cling desperately to anything that will keep them afloat . like a guy drowning in the ocean while holding onto a little piece of wood that that barely keeps his head above the water . and so like that drowning man , you will eventually tire and slip beneath the waves to drown in the end dying alone and tired with no one to note your passing.
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on May 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Paul Constant 63
@10: That statement was chosen because it was clear and space was at a premium. If you'd like to read more about the foreign policy differences between the two 2008 presidential candidates, Talking Points Memo just put up a great post about it.

The difference between McCain and Obama was not as plain a difference as, say, W. Bush and Obama, but if a hypothetical President McCain stayed on the same ideological track as candidate McCain, they never would have found bin Laden's compound.
Posted by Paul Constant http://https://twitter.com/paulconstant on May 4, 2011 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 64
If you think President Obama is a "thoughtful progressive" then you have your head up your ass... or you're deliberately lying... or you don't know the meaning of the word progressive when used in politics...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on May 4, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this
dirac 65
@64 The Stranger is trolling...or they're just as hysterical as a majority of the press corps and the American public.
I mean, can you possibly read this statement without bursting with laughter (or crying in resignation):
"The difference between McCain and Obama was not as plain a difference as, say, W. Bush and Obama, but if a hypothetical President McCain stayed on the same ideological track as candidate McCain, they never would have found bin Laden's compound."
Posted by dirac on May 4, 2011 at 1:30 PM · Report this
66
@62: "Commiecrat," you say? Again, I am stunned at your grasp of the nuances of a complex political dynamic and your uncanny ability to put it into words.

Tell us more of this "drowning man" metaphor. It is fascinating.
Posted by You Should Write a Book on May 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM · Report this
67
http://counterpunch.com/shamir05042011.h…
Posted by mw777 on May 4, 2011 at 1:56 PM · Report this
68
You lost me when you took McCain out of context and then insinuated that Republicans conspired to keep bin Laden alive to use him to scare America. You're a good writer, but a silly little intellect.
Posted by Sputnick on May 4, 2011 at 2:54 PM · Report this
69
@5 "It wasn’t until after 2002, when the agency began rounding up Qaeda operatives — and subjecting them to hours of brutal interrogation sessions in secret overseas prisons — that they finally began filling in the gaps about the foot soldiers, couriers and money men Bin Laden relied on."

Or, it wasn't until after January 20, 2009 when the United States began a more diplomatic approach to international relations that they finally did the hard intelligence work that led them to the courier who led them to bin Laden and were able to successfully bring bin Laden to justice.

You see, millions of things happened before bin Laden was captured. One COULD argue that ANY of those precursor acts was important ... but unless one can establish a clear cause and effect relationship it's all just speculation. I have seen nothing that directly ties brutal interrogations to bin Laden's death. I've seen nothing that directly ties brutal interrogations to ANY useful information gathered. Everything I've seen suggests that the USEFUL information was gained AFTER the brutal interrogations ended.

I would be more impressed if the 2002 interrogations somehow led to bin Laden in the next six months ... or even the next six years ... but it didn't. I would think that if they had such valuable information in 2002 that a competent intelligence community could have used it effectively in less than six years time.

Yes, yes, yes ... I hear you now ... "but it was the brutal interrogations that softened the subjects up". See above.
Posted by htimsr40 on May 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
70
Excellent. Spot on article.
Posted by PoisonClan73 on May 4, 2011 at 5:24 PM · Report this
71
i live for un registered comments , they carry such value to all of us .
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on May 4, 2011 at 5:26 PM · Report this
72
Great article! Amazing how conservatives are able to re-write history even though their words have been recorded for the world to see. I've heard Republicans actually state that Obama's announcement was self congratulatory, then turn around and give credit to a man the had absolutely nothing to do with finding Bin Laden. It's insane and incredibly frustrating.
Posted by PoisonClan73 on May 4, 2011 at 5:41 PM · Report this
73
I'm very relieved bin Laden's dead too, but I'm so surprised by all the praise for this piece. Constant goes beyond amateur political analysis of actual events and claims insight into an alternate reality where McCain became president. This is what Stranger readers classify as "spot on"? Seriously? As long as we're on the subject of parallel dimensions, I can envision one where war hero and former POW McCain catches bin Laden and Fox News runs a piece about how cocky young Obama never could have accomplished anything so amazing and thank God he wasn't elected.
Posted by Amanda on May 4, 2011 at 6:05 PM · Report this
74
@63, really?

@10: That statement was chosen because it was clear and space was at a premium.

1. That's not even mildly a response to @10's point that the quote is edited in a misleading way. The quote is clear exactly because it is misleading.

2. The TPM link simply does not support the statement that if a hypothetical President McCain stayed on the same ideological track as candidate McCain, they never would have found bin Laden's compound. Can you cite some evidence that does?
Posted by Ancient Sumerian on May 4, 2011 at 8:19 PM · Report this
75
The truth of the matter is Osama has been dead for several years. How difficult is it trying to find someone that is receiving weekly dialysis treatments, and he has diabetis to boot. How convienent that this is happening now...right around campaign time. Funny how The Stranger has steered clear of all the Obobo crap, the failed economy, the wall street theft, the reneged promises, the undeclared and illegal war in Pakistan, Libya, and so on and so on. Maybe democrats are just as idiotic as republicans me thinks.
Posted by liberty4all on May 4, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
76
A most excellent appraisal of the whole long and sordid story. I've shared it as far and wide as possible. Thank you! Again! Thank you for a perfectly pitched and articulately well-argued piece. Before the 'other side' arguments start. Way ahead of the pack-- that is surely trying to follow. Whether pro, con, or on a separate track, all will have quite a challenge to catch up to your beautiful essay. Bravo! The Stranger strikes high again!
Posted by clnel on May 4, 2011 at 10:22 PM · Report this
77
Navy SEALS train for years. All the President did was use this awesome resource properly. Which was also awesome.
Posted by Hippie Redneck Progressive on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 PM · Report this
78
The truth of the matter is Osama has been dead for several years. How difficult is it trying to find someone that is receiving weekly dialysis treatments, and he has diabetis to boot. How convienent that this is happening now...right around campaign time. Funny how The Stranger has steered clear of all the Obobo crap, the failed economy, the wall street theft, the reneged promises, the failure to close Guantanamo bay and the opening of the far worse Camp Bagram, the undeclared and illegal wars in Pakistan, Libya, expanding Afghanistan, and turning Iraq into a mercenary war, and so on and so on. People who support Obobo are pathetic apologists or just plain ignorant. Democrats are just as idotic and sycophantic as republicans.
Posted by liberty4all on May 5, 2011 at 8:06 AM · Report this
79
This was such a wonderful article; I've never enjoyed a political piece until now.
Posted by Moonshine on May 5, 2011 at 8:35 AM · Report this
OutInBumF 80
@76&78- Too difficult for a Republican administration to bother with, it would seem. All Americans ever wanted was that bastard's hide. Not war in AfghanIraq; just Bin Laden's head. The Rebumblicans delivered two meaningless wars instead.
I wish Obama had announced that this bogus 'War on Terror' aka 'War on America's pocketbook, morale and young men/women' was over, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, we now return to regularly scheduled programming. Trillions saved in one sentence. But he didn't.
Thanks Paul for the pep-talk.
Posted by OutInBumF on May 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Anthropomorhpise Me 81
"If a Republican were in office right now, Osama bin Laden would still be in his compound, burning trash and slowly dying of old age. "
That's as far as I got
Posted by Anthropomorhpise Me on May 5, 2011 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Thomas Guy 82
McCain would not have caught or killed Osama because McCain is impulsive and reckless. He would have attacked Iran and North Korea by now. Osama would be the least of McCain's preoccupations. Obama, however, is patient and cerebral. We are so lucky he is our president!
Posted by Thomas Guy on May 5, 2011 at 12:59 PM · Report this
83
Did you call Obama a progressive? Um, no.

Agree with @78
Democrats eat just as much horseshit as republicans, and this is coming from someone who cried overwhelming tears of happiness when Obama was first elected.

Now it seems strange that anyone from the Stranger could support Obama.
Posted by CarrieYim on May 5, 2011 at 2:19 PM · Report this
i'm pro-science and i vote 84
Great piece, great insight. Even though in the past I've been unhappy with Constant's disrespectful attacks on 9/11 truthers for having good questions that can't be put to rest as easily as some birth certificate issue

Who really wants to be a front-running Republican candidate now? The election is a year and a half away, usually the D or R parties would have some obvious star candidates announcing their bid by now or earlier. AND..

a) they've got to follow THIS act, Obama getting Osama,
b) they've got to be extreme enough to please their presently extremist base, yet somehow moderate and likeable enough to win independent & some democratic voters in order to win. What the hell will THAT look like?

LOL
Posted by i'm pro-science and i vote http://www.prettyopenended.com on May 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Slam1263 85
@75

Interesting, if Osama died years ago, who would admit it now.

His family gets to keep his money, and the influx of donations to come.

Al Qaeda has a new martyr, and additional grievances against the US.

The US can declare "Mission Accomplished" yet again. Who is going to tell us; "uh uh, that’s not what happened".

I do not think your scenario is plausible, but it would make a great story.
Posted by Slam1263 on May 5, 2011 at 3:25 PM · Report this
86
Obama has gravitas. His Republican challengers don't.

I was actually thinking about this before the recent events and created a quiz: Got Gravitas? Now anyone can see if the've got what it takes.

The short quiz is at Thinking Out Loud, http://marperl.blogspot.com/2011/04/do-y….
Posted by marperl http://marperl.blogspot.com/ on May 5, 2011 at 3:53 PM · Report this
87
GRAVITAS, THE QUIZ

Obama's got it; his Republican challengers are short on it.

I was thinking about gravitas before the recent earth-shaking events. Came up with a short quiz: Got Gravitas?

Anyone can try their luck. It's at Thinking Out Loud, http://marperl.blogspot.com/.
Posted by marperl http://marperl.blogspot.com/ on May 5, 2011 at 3:59 PM · Report this
88
If Obama has "gravitas" his suppotters have gullibility.
Posted by liberty4all on May 5, 2011 at 7:16 PM · Report this
89
you guys are on dope
Posted by whatsbeckgottadowithit on May 6, 2011 at 12:33 AM · Report this
90
@42: Um....Dubya illegally STARTED this whole mess, idiot.
Obama finally FINISHED, after 3 years in office, what Dubya COULDN'T and DIDN'T do over 2 full terms bought and paid for by trillions in American tax dollars, corporate bailouts and jobs sent overseas!!!

And @89: It appears as if you're on Santorum.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 6, 2011 at 4:26 AM · Report this
91
I offer to your attention a film about six priorities of the generalized instruments of management by countries and people of Earth.
Six Principles of Global Manipulation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fF3TQ0lJ…

and:

Anti-Qur'an Strategy of the Bible Project Wheeler-Dealers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1wXgXwj3…
Posted by tank77 on May 6, 2011 at 5:08 AM · Report this
92
Good videos,#90, #91, two of thousands out there on the web. However, the stranger is not the forum for enlightenment. Most people here are lock into the polarized, anesthetized, commercialized, and manipulated world view.
Posted by liberty4all on May 6, 2011 at 8:38 AM · Report this
JustSayGo 93
Ok, I wasn't going to chime in, but what the fuck.

I am continually disgusted with the American people. Why? Because we honestly and truly hate ourselves. We exhibit this hatred everytime we get a new president. We don't build him up, or support him...noooo we shit all over him instead. Imagine how the rest of the world must view this.

I was unemployed when I woke to the bewildering spectacle on TV on 9/11. The economy had sucked my job away from me then, just as it did in 2009.

I got behind my president with the swelling outrage I felt for the "infidels" that had the fucking nerve to attempt to destroy our sense of sanctity. Democrat, or not, I was on board with anything Bush needed to do to make sure the world remembers not to fuck with (the) US.

Bush decided to steer away from the terrorist hunt, and instead go wandering off looking for WMDs and wire tapping any and everyone and taking away our freedoms. Homeland security, while being a great idea, also brought with it a sucking effect to our liberty. I still felt the need to support his actions, at least initially to see what his game plan was, but it turns out that he distracted us with a different tyrant instead.

I wanted to believe that Bush could get things done. That he would champion the rally to destroy Al Qaeda and the man that, with his wealth, tried to destroy us. Instead, as said above, he gave us expensive, protracted wars that have left scars on top of the scars we already had from 9/11.

My point is, I feel the duty and desire to support any president that acts for the good of our country, because he is MY president, and if we do not support our leader, what does that say about us? For example, I love my parents, but I have been disappointed by them on many an occasion, but ok...they are human beings. They are my folks and I will stand behind them.

Support your president, give him the credit when he deserves it, hold him accountable when he deserves it. He won't offer policy that we always afree with. But for Christ's sake have a little respect for the office he holds, and dear god have some respect for yourselves. Love this country like it is yours and remember, we can either piss all over what we stand for, or we can be examples of liberty and justice for all.
More...
Posted by JustSayGo on May 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
94
OK, they finally got Bin Laden, living the high life in a mansion compound outside Islamabad, Pakistan.

He deserved to die for the murder of Ahmad Shah Massoud (leader of the Northern Alliance). He deserved to die for the murders of two German intelligence agents, in Libya in the '90s, who were investigating Bin Laden's gun smuggling operation there.

(Thanks to those two French journalists who wrote of this, their book published in 1996, who also mentioned that Osama's top henchman was a guy named Chalabi, the brother of Ahmed Chalabi who would later figure in the Bush administration and the Iraqi invasion.)

And, he deserved to die if he had anything to do with 9/11, but it still doesn't change the composition of those passengers abourd those four airliners involved that day.

Some of those poor souls were aboard the wrong planes at the wrong time, but others had been scheduled for various seminars and meetings and were meant to be aboard precisely that day.

Two of the four airliners were DoD Special Charter, meaning they had to take off at the scheduled time, with specific reservations, but any open seats could be filled by commercial passengers. Also, as Special Charter flights they wouldn't appear on the FAA's commercial flight registry, which two of those four airliners didn't.

Those others aboard who were meant to be there, fell into three unique groups, and there were three other unique individuals who were meant to be aboard also.

Those three groups: 1) individuals involved in the creation of a counter terrorist scenario at the Pentagon several years previously; a scenarior remarkably similar to what took place that day (this included an Israeli counterterrorist expert and one of the plane pilots who was retired US Navy, and several others ---- an improbable confluence of passengers on the very same day); 2) individuals involved in with the development of remote piloting hardware and software; and, 3) individuals involved in the investigation of Flight 800.

An incredibly improbable confluence; all in the same very same time frame.

Along with these three groups, there was the highly insured Wife Number Three of the solicitor general of the Bush administration, after whose tragic death he would quickly move on to Wife Number Four.

Another unique person, a young and attractive lady attorney from a rightwing D.C. law firm which was involved in successfully defending Rupert Murdoch's Fox News in two lawsuits regarding their broadcasting of fictionalized "news" -- the court ended up ruling that Fox could fictionalize the news.

This lady was rumored to be involved in an affair with a senior married partner of this firm; not only an upper echelong contributor to the Bush campaign, but he himself had been a member of the investigation of the strange crash of Flight 800 (an attorney with zero aviation experience???).

The third invidual, a physicist with the Directed Energy Section of the Naval Surface Warefare Center. During Reagan's star wars program, officially the Strategic Defense Initiative, two phony and contrived operations were developed to mislead the Soviet Union: (1) an artificial earth-based missile strike against an orbiting satellite, and (2) an airborne "death ray" exploding a building below it (pre-set pressure charges in the building were detonated by a laser above which altered the barometric pressure in the building).

The physicist had been involved in this operation.

How very convenient that these three groups, and three individuals, were aboard those four planes on that fateful day?

Highly compartmentalized, they had no idea what was to take place, and how their talents would be utilized by those at the highest levels who could pull all the strings like evil puppet masters.
More...
Posted by sgt_doom on May 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM · Report this
95
@29 (Beckerhead?)

"..or give him time to further your socialist agenda?"

Sonny, can you EVEN read????

If so, try reading that godawful Dodd-Frank piece of crapola for Wall Street which Obama recently signed into law, allowing for moving the CDS conduit from AIG to ICE US Trust, and allowing for an automatic bailout of the clearinghouse (ICE US Trust), by the Federal Reserve.

One cannot hope for more of a socialist plutocracy then now exists in the US of A!!!

And that recent Fed report of all those trillions of dollars sent around the planet to all those foreign banks and foreign corporations to reimburse them for all those trillions of dollars of securitized debt those banksters (JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup & BofA) peddled to them -- which the banksters walked away with and are still unjailed!

How can you get a more perfect socialist system for the super-rich!

You, #29, are a twat!
Posted by sgt_doom on May 6, 2011 at 11:37 AM · Report this
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97
@92: Don't look now, "Liberty4All", but your ignorance is showing.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 6, 2011 at 5:45 PM · Report this
98
@92: Oh, wait---you're saying a lot of other people are unenlightened.

Okay sorry--my bust.
Their ignorance is showing.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 6, 2011 at 5:47 PM · Report this
99
This is just so totally, satisfyingly excellent, I expected it to be picked up by all those agregators out there. Bunch of lazing alligators, apparently! Or maybe The Stranger +/or writer copyrighted it- good for you!! Constant has nailed so very much in this essay. Thank you! Thank you! To be spread around (like W said about Democracy), everywhere, far and wide! So much finally, now, so well said.
Posted by clnel on May 6, 2011 at 10:05 PM · Report this
dirac 100
@93 And yet sometimes there's parents that are so abusive, so poisonous and refuse to work on their issues where I believe it's justified to divorce them and move on. If not to escape abuse then to establish autonomy that one didn't establish earlier in childhood. The fact that you relate the President to your father shows that we have a long way to go before people will actually grow up and understand that the elite in Washington were supposed to work for us and they don't. They are not our friends, drinking buddies, our brothers, fathers, sisters, mothers. They are supposed to embody and support the wishes of the People. The situation doesn't call for supporting Our Leader no matter how criminal he becomes. That's insane.

The duty, if you want to call it that, is rather the opposite in a free society. If the leadership is not going in the direction that the Demos put them there to take this country, then that leadership needs either to be corrected or removed from power.
Posted by dirac on May 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM · Report this
101
Wow!~

Does anyone really believe that Bin Laden was killed on that date? There have been several credible people that state that he died years ago. It was a political ploy, and a complete sham. Think about it... if YOU were prez and bumped off Bin Laden, would YOU announce it to the world???? Of course not! Not only would you re-radicalize and solidify the opposition, but also, keeping quiet, you could just hang around the compound and see who shows up.

Obama is just another corporate pimp, just like Bush. Either of them might have meant well, both they're both just corporate pimps now. You know Obushma is sending out the thugs to bust people with medical weed? Ya!

Lil Miss "we-be-change" is just another fart in the windstorm of american corporatocracy.
Posted by Montana on May 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM · Report this
JustSayGo 102
@100

I never equated the president to my father per se.

I know, let's all just have anarchy, because we all know better than our elected officials. Hell "if I were president" blah blah fucking blah.

My point was, our parents deserve forgiveness even when toxic... And do you know why? Because we don't forgive others for them, but for us, and how we feel about ourselves and our willingness to recognize that while leaders, much as parents are far from perfect, they are ours... Now fucking deal with it or don't, the choice is yours.
Posted by JustSayGo on May 7, 2011 at 7:44 PM · Report this
dirac 103
@102 Christ. Yeah, I guess the fallback is to ridicule people and call them anarchists when they say you might actually want to question Dear Leader. I know: it's tough to live up to the fact that we're collectively responsible for the murders of over one million people (conservatively) so ANYTHING to help with denial--say, "paternalistic duty"--to push away feelings associated with that responsibility is welcome I guess. But maybe you should fucking deal with that.

I understand everyone has feet of clay. Again, people can and should leave their parents if they have autonomy issues. Or would you rather victims of rape and incest stick around with their aggressors? Or even those who are victims of emotional incest or abuse? Would you like them to live with mom and dad until they pass? People waste their lives doing that you know.

The same can be said for leaders. Do you want to forgive and forget leaders who believe that they can declare you guilty and kill you without a trial? Who kill women and children on some whimsical crusade of vengeance for blowback that we caused? Fuck that.
Posted by dirac on May 7, 2011 at 9:48 PM · Report this
104
Even if conservatives bought into the "Torture saved the day" nonsense, why couldn't Bush get Osama beg fore the end of his office?
Posted by gman5541 on May 7, 2011 at 11:23 PM · Report this
105
..don't underestimate us Americans: like Elvis, Osama will live on forever, and I predict he will be seen pumping gas in Kalamazoo, Michigan this summer ...
Posted by gotwoguy on May 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM · Report this
106
@93, 100

If the prez, representing the country, sends a secret mission to off someone in a foreign sovereign nation (even someone we all hate), he can do it ANYWHERE, including here. As we have done in the past (Guatemala, Iran, etc.). As long as these things are done in the name of our 'homeland', that means they are done in the names of all of us. Democracy is messy. Trials are messy. But true justice would demand that OBL be tried in an appropriate court of law, be it US or international. It is obvious that this was a kill mission from the get-go. We're never going to get to a more peaceful world if our most prominent method of action is violence.
Posted by slabanacky on May 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM · Report this
JustSayGo 107
World Peace is a pipe dream...everyone knows that. Until selfishness, greed, and zealot ideology are brought under control, world peace won't be a reality.

As far as the being responsible for the deaths of a million doesn't make me lose too much sleep. There isn't a place in this world where decisions, I mean the really dirty difficult decisions don't wind up with dead bodies.

Face it, stand by and do nothing? people die. Act? people die.

Stand for your country and nominated leaders or get the fuck out...go live in Canada or something.

There are no perfect leaders, there is no perfect anything. I just can't wait to see how badly we fuck over our next president. I mean after all he's our whipping boy no?
Posted by JustSayGo on May 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM · Report this
108
Obama just said on 60 minutes they are 45/55% sure that Bin Laden was even in the compound. The deceased "may have been a prince of Dubai." Yea, no shit. This article is a piece of shit. How about you write an article on the 12 intelligence professionals screaming from the rooftops that OBL has been dead since 01?
Posted by Goliath07 on May 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM · Report this
109 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
110 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
111
Okay--whether or not anybody wants this or not, just to set the record straight:

I am neither a conservative nor am I into violent killings--even of someone who has willfully caused the wrongful deaths of zillions of others. It's sad that ANYBODY had to face death as a form of justice.

My condolences to everyone who was lost in NYC and Washington, D.C., and those lost in two illegal, costly wars.
O.K. I'm done.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 9, 2011 at 6:12 PM · Report this
112
And yes, I am a U.S. military veteran, and glad to have served my country.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 9, 2011 at 6:13 PM · Report this
113 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
114 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
venomlash 115
@113, 114: LOOKS TOTALLY LEGIT GUISE.
Posted by venomlash on May 9, 2011 at 11:03 PM · Report this
116
Hmmm....I hate being put in the position of "defending" Bush and the Republican party but COME ON!! This is the most slanted, horribly biased bit of "journalism" I've read in a while! I voted for Obama, give him incredible credit for his decision in this matter, but even Obama himself gave credit to the previous administrations efforts in the matter. Further more, it is a fact that Democrats are favorable towards downsizing the military. So the comment that this dispells rumors of "democrats being soft on national security" is misleading. The reason for that ideology is that the Democratic party is actively downsizing and cutting benefits towards the military. Thats not necessarily a bad thing given the growth in the last ten years, but it is an undeniable fact. I'll be sure not to read any of this authors work again, in the same manner I avoid Fox news...Ridiculous journalism is not entertaining, and oft times dangerous.
Posted by Tony77 on May 10, 2011 at 9:48 PM · Report this
117
If a Republican president claimed Osama was dead without photos, I rather think yall would be writing an article about how Osama is alive.
Posted by ddd on May 10, 2011 at 11:49 PM · Report this
hare1222 118
Honestly, I think OBL's death is as much a crock of shit as the farce on terror. But Obama has played along and given these nazis what they wanted, and the US military has dumped boatloads of money and EGO into OBL's alledged death...no goin' back now.

But by Obama playing along, he's removed the Repubs' excuses for demonizing him too. It's gonna be interesting to see how they'll keep dissing him after this.
Posted by hare1222 on May 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 119
What is it with Americans and conspiracy theories? I honestly don't get it.

Literate, well-stated opinion piece, Paul. Whether or not I agree with everything, this is a great piece of writing.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 12, 2011 at 6:49 AM · Report this
dirac 120
@107 "Stand for your country and nominated leaders or get the fuck out...go live in Canada or something."

Ah, yes--be a weak, loyal, nationalist or GTFO.

This is about the stupidest fucking thing I hear from Americans--it's attitudes like this that give assent to violence, ignorance, and more destruction. Just wait until one of those millions is your loved one, even through the current economic pillaging. Will you be sleeping so well when you experience some sort of blowback or consequence?

IF you actually believe in what was the original American system of the Enlightenment then it's incumbent to actually voice dissent rather than be a weak, petty loyalist. In a different time, I'd say if you want a KING to get the fuck out yourself. In the current times, maybe you're right and I should go to a place that has a truer pretense of democracy and less unquestioning sycophants like yourself. [Have fun with Milgram, BTW.]

I don't believe in world peace but I am also not for Unlimited Imperial Intervention, which is the path we've chosen.
Posted by dirac on May 12, 2011 at 7:58 AM · Report this
121
As a non-American I would like to point out that your current president's biggest achievement to date is making the rest of the world think for just a second that something remotely worthwhile could ever come out of your country again, with the notable exception of entertainment. We're not really sure we've seen anything worth getting excited about yet, but you having a seemingly literate president qualifies as a good start.
Posted by th3.voice on May 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM · Report this
122
I feel saddened that it seems many are eager to tow the line and "cheer" the winning team. It's as if we're watching a football game where the winning team makes up the rules as the game is played, violating the same at will with flawed rationalizations. And The Stranger enthusiastically supports this by failing to publish any informed criticism of this. There's no talk of international law, Pakistani law, etc., only a false claim of justice. Chomsky rightly notes that it would be more defensible along these lines for foreign people to similarly invade and assassinate Bush on the basis that the evidence of his guilt is far more substantial than that of bin Laden.
Thanks to IJM, and others, for countering this mob. A quote from Stanley Milgram to ponder: "Each individual possesses a conscience which to a greater or lesser degree serves to restrain the unimpeded flow of impulses destructive to others. But when he merges his person into an organizational structure, a new creature replaces autonomous man, unhindered by the limitations of individual morality, freed of humane inhibition, mindful only of the sanctions of authority."
Posted by earwax on May 20, 2011 at 5:40 PM · Report this

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