Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Osama Bin Musings

Ding-dong the witch is dead. Guns really do solve problems. Let's muse.

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RIP: Anti-war Left 1962-2011. We're all Neocons now.

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A week ago, I predicted that releasing his birth certificate would be remembered as Obama's greatest achievement. I was wrong. Not closing Gitmo was his greatest achievement.

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Obama now has an almost unprecedented clean slate for executing a pro-active policy in the Middle East. He has earned achieved an important symbolic scalp, but also has a peace prize (snicker) under his belt. Already, he could proceed unencumbered by angry left, the left-wing tsk-tskers and cavalcades of extremist lawyers who tend to make life difficult for our intelligence community. Nobody is going to be asking WWFD "what would France do"? He has also silenced (temporarily) his critics who do not think he has the competence to accomplish long-term goals abroad.

He's in a perfect spot to make real change in the Middle East.

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Those who have Christian friends on Facebook were likely tut-tutted with admonishments to remember that Christ calls us to love our enemies.

This is impossible. Bin Laden is dead. You can't love the dead (Jesus said that too). Break out the champagne.

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It's also bad theology, in case you were wondering. The bible is rather full of examples of people celebrating the death of their enemies (David v. Goliath for example). Christ never speaks out against this, or calls on us to reject this paradigm in any way.

He calls on us not to let our cultural differences dissuade us from treating each other with love. But our differences with Osama Bin Laden extend beyond the cultural, to put it mildly. The question is whether Osama Bin Laden's death was just. You'd have to be something of a fanatic to argue that it was not.

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In terms of the politics, this couldn't have come at a better time for Obama. The political obituaries (some overblown) were starting to roll in. He was seen as weak at home and abroad. Gas prices. All that.

On the other hand, in the grand scheme of Obama's agenda, this is more of a distraction. A positive distraction, grant you, and who can blame the prez for taking a victory lap? Those who don't support his policies or ideas will just have to grit our teeth. What, am I going to get mad at him for taking out Bin Laden?

But if he misinterprets good will for a mandate, he'll hit the political quicksand pretty quickly. He has an opening to rebuild his credibility w/r/t foreign policy, and he should take that opportunity.

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Of course, what his party would like him to do is use this as an excuse to bail out and focus on "green jobs".

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Regardless of what you feel about torture (I'm not sure waterboarding counts, but I think we can locate effective alternatives), doesn't this series of event put to bed the whole "torture doesn't work because people will just lie" meme?

I'm not sure what the origin of that idea was (I strongly suspect Reservoir Dogs had something to do with it), but its pretty much put to rest now.

Not that I ever expect to have a reasonable, intellectually honest conversation about torture.

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Screw all of this...

USA! USA! USA!

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