Osama and Obama

I have already congratulated the president and the head of the CIA for the execution of Osama Bin Laden while he was resisting arrest ( Bye, Osama). Let me add that I am glad he chose the dangerous military method he chose. It was calculated to minimize collateral damage. It did not succeed completely. A woman, who may have been one of Obama’s wives, died serving as a human shield for one of his brave warriors. Given the esteem in which fundamentalist Muslims hold women’s lives, I am not surprised. Women caught in such circumstances are innocent by definition.

Update May 6th: It appears now the woman was not killed but wounded. (The story from the administration keeps changing.) The assertion that she was used a shield has not changed though. There is a possibility she is one of Obama’s wives. Nice all-around guy.

Now, I am puzzled again. “Buried at sea” ? Why would anyone do anything that stupid? One, the world, including me, wanted proof of his death beyond what the President and a handful of agents can affirm. A good picture worked for Che Guevara, it worked for that Columbian drug dealer, what was his name again? If the administration was too sensitive to incur the disapproval that met George W. Bush when he exhibited Saddam’s sons’ cadavers, he still shouldn’t have done it. That’s second: Bin Laden has family, a large family, in fact, most of whom are innocent. The president could have looked magnanimous by allowing a funeral. Funerals are for the living anyway; the dead don’t care. The concern voiced in some government circles that his grave would become a shrine is stupid. It shows again the administration’s parochial ignorance. Islam strictly forbids any cult of the dead including of reputed “saints.” While the interdiction is often violated in some Muslim lands, in North Africa, for example, fundamentalist Muslims are very unlikely to ignore it.

One more time, President Obama manages to sound fishy. I resist and usually combat views of the world based on wild conspirational ideas. The President’s own actions make the task difficult. One hundred years from now, there will be pseudo-scholars arguing about whether Obama was really killed on on May 1st or 2nd 2010. Someone will look for him in Argentina thirty years from now and beyond.

Now, I need to set the record straight again because I gather from what I hear on talk radio that many people have a bad memory. NATO invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban religious dictatorial regime for refusing to turn over the mass terrorist Obama Bin Laden. (That the Taliban were in the habit of executing women on soccer stadiums at intermission only made the mission more attractive.) The fact that Obama finally met his fate does not mean that all his forgiven. We have to indicate strongly to everyone in the world that if you help those who kill Americans, there is a fair chance you will be in trouble for a long time to come. The fact that we are still failing to follow this sound policy with respect to the murderers in Syria, for example, does not make it any the less precious: “If you fuck with us, you should worry; you will never sleep soundly again.” The additional fact that some of our NATO allies are getting weak-kneed makes it even more imperative that we stick to this doctrine.

I don’t know what president Obama will do in this connection, the current military action in Afghanistan. It’s hard to tell because, in security matters, he rarely does what he says he will do, fortunately. Incidentally, if I were a left-winger of the peacenik persuasion, I would be livid at the man I elected: The president instituted a policy of massive assassination of suspected enemies, including in a country with which we are not at war. This policy caused the death of many innocent by-standers, there is no doubt of that. Yesterday, he executed a suspect without trial after locating him on the basis of information extracted from untried detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison established deliberately to avoid the judicial safeguards of the American legal system. Of course, it’s more than likely that the information was extracted with the help of water-boarding or other forms of “torture.” It’s even possible that the information providers spent some thought-provoking time under conditions of foreign rendition. The other possibility is that Khalid Sheik Mohamed and other high-placed Al Quaida members sang like two-bit pimps or car-thieves at a Bronx police station.

Those who deplore in any way the head killer’s execution are not our friends. They don’t mind the deliberate assassination of American civilians. They are not our friends, wherever they are, including right in this country.

The rotten, failed state of Pakistan, where most people hate America, has much egg on its face, of course. How could no one in government know? We are told we can’t make do without them. At some point, when a friend is eating your liver, you have to reconsider the relationship, whatever the cost. I am also wondering what we owe that opportunist cheat we set in power, President Karzai of Afghanistan.I don’t know why we have to squander our energies on state building among people who don’t want a state. It seems to me it would be easier to kill the Taliban and their local hosts. Hang for a lamb, hang for a sheep! They always have the option to surrender, after all. The way we treat our enemies, they will probably end up in Bermuda.

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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8 Responses to Osama and Obama

  1. There’s a couple more possible notions as to why Obama would bury the evidence at sea:

    If he (we) didn’t just recently kill Osama, then wouldn’t Obama be uber-vulnerable to Osama appearing in another video actually discussing the falsity of Obama’s claim (that would clearly date the video to AFTER Obama supposedly killed Osama)? I don’t think Obama would risk that, UNLESS:

    George Bush’s administration either killed or discovered that Osama was already killed during his term. Bush kept that quiet because Bush felt that we needed to continue our very unpopular war against terrorism. Bush feared, correctly, that if he revealed the Osama was dead, the American public would have demanded we therefore get out of the Middle East. When Obama made his claim yesterday that his forces killed Obama (for whatever reason he chose to do so) George W would not have appeared and announced that his administration killed Obama and that both administrations have deceived the American people.

    To you, Carole, I want to say this:
    I don’t believe the news report you saw today that we’ve known Osama was in that building for a long time because we constructed a mock-up of that structure so that the Navy seals could rehearse that complex operation. That would have entailed too many individuals (even construction workers) knowing Osama’s whereabouts for too long to ensure the secret would remain a secret. It would have been too big a risk that that story would leak and Osama could escape.

    Another possibility could be that Obama feared displaying Osama’s corpse, because it would have enflamed the Arabs. We’ll see if this is proven not to be a possibility if photos emerge.

    What I really want to know is: if Osama was killed a week ago, wouldn’t the Arab street have known this way before a week later? If they had known they’d be hootin’ and hollerin’ and shooting off their guns in the streets. Obama just couldn’t rely on nobody in the Arab world not knowing that bin Laden was killed within an Arab country.

    • David says:

      @Larry,

      The army regularly builds it’s own training scenarios. The build teams are told to build something to certain specs and aren’t told what for. To those that built it, it was just another odd job that the brass wanted done. They weren’t told WHY they were building it. Compartmentalization: the Armed Forces are usually pretty good about it. And besides, IF an outside contractor was used, the contractor was unlikely to know that there is an identical building in a compound in Pakistan. And the contractor sure as hell wasn’t told about WHY it was being built.

      If G.W. Bush had killed Bin Laden during his term, he would’ve taken credit for it before Obama got into office. Release the info shortly before the 2008 election or just before he left office to minimize the political/public relations fallout. And, judging by the reaction of most Americans, it it would’ve been POSITIVE fallout. This operation vindicated the existence of Gitmo and “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.” Bush could’ve made himself look a lot better by telling the American public that HE nabbed Bin Laden.

      Personally, I think they should’ve brought his body back (Muslim tradition be damned), and taken more photos and tissue samples. Then slathered his body in bacon and cremate the resulting concoction, so he’d remain unclean forever more. Put the remains in the national archives or put it on display in the Smithsonian Museum. The nut jobs are gonna go crazy either way, might as well have a little fun while we’re at it.

      That much being said, I find it ironic that the one who so loathes Gitmo and the techniques used there, would order the killing of someone based on information gathered from there and other locations just like it. Secret prisons and harsh interrogation have no place in the world…until one has need to use them. I must say that I am happy that President Obama made the right decision to take out Bin Laden when he had the chance. Though I do wish he would’ve made more of a spectacle of Bin Laden’s corpse.

      I do wonder…will Obama continue to claim that he’ll close Gitmo? It will prove interesting to see what he says in the coming months regarding Gitmo, if he says anything at all.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        David, Good comment but stop writing “it’s” for “its” on my blog. For me, it’s like being housed next door to a pigsty for a pious Muslim.

      • David says:

        I’ll do my best. Grammar wasn’t my strong suit in school.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        David: I have not criticized your grammar. It’s just that one thing.

      • David says:

        “it’s vs its” is still a part of grammar. I ought to have learned/remembered it from 1st grade.

  2. Kay B. Day says:

    That’s actually a pretty solid assessment of the situation as I see it–I think the wife’s death has been corrected late this afternoon to a shot in the leg, but to be honest, I haven’t kept up with it.

    I did an essay this afternoon about the conflict in Obama’s original policy of multilateralism, expressed on a sophisticated level by his State Dept. counsel Harold Koh. If you read the speech at the Dept. of State, it stands as a great lesson in political policy compared to reality.

    I also checked various sites in the Arab world (there’s an excellent roundup of responses at al Jazeera-English). I think if this situation is prostituted politically, it will actually cost us more than if we simply put it behind us. So if our prez is going to publish that photo, the sooner the better in my opinion.

    I enjoy reading your site–you are an excellent writer

  3. Bonnie Larice says:

    Jacques: My husband’s friend knows the head honcho for the Navy Seals that ran the operation from Calif. and the man said Osama had kidney problems and they found a dialysis machine in his room. I understand that they also shot his wife in the legs.

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