By Tom Kando
Is this a good title or what? My wife came up with it.
Lately, the news has been coming fast and furious. The most prominent recent issues have been demographic: Kate and William (marriage), President Obama (birth) and Osama Bin Laden (death).
Here is my take on the British Royal wedding: it was real nice. How is that, for excellent political analysis?
As to the other two issues mentioned, it is also difficult to make any meaningful comments about them at this point, since just about everything has already been said over the past week or so. Just this, maybe:
1. I am joining the chorus of those who argue that the death of Osama at the hands of Obama may be a good time to ratchet down our “war on terrorism.” See for example Katrina Vanden Heuvel’s article “It’s Time to End the War on Terror,” (Sacramento Bee, May 3, syndicated from The Nation).
And also this post by my friend Marc Hersch 'Ding Dong Bin Laden’s Dead, the Wicked Witch is Dead'
One reason why I side with these people is that I am fed up taking off my shoes at US airports. Not requiring you to take off your shoes would be a good start. Now that Osama is dead, maybe it’s okay to keep your shoes on?
2. At the same time, there is the nearly unanimous call for continued vigilance. Osama’s death has symbolic value, not much strategic value, etc. Duh…
3. Predictably, to which side you lean the most is largely determined by how ‘liberal” or conservative you are. And because Europe is more liberal than America, I detect more calls for “conciliation” over there, and a more continued bellicose attitude here (with all exceptions granted). For example:
On May 3, the Dutch NRC-Handelsblad and the British The Independent printed an article by Geoffrey Robertson, who argues that Osama should have been captured live and tried, rather than assassinated. According to this view, President Obama himself acted like a criminal.
I doubt that many people in the Western world will sympathize with Mr. Roberston.
There are also contrasting spins about how valiantly or cowardly Bin Laden died: Most of the American press (E.g. the Sacramento Bee) describe him as a coward who used one of his wives as a shield.
Other reports (E.g. the NRC-Handelsblad ) tell us that he either died (1) with guns blazing, or (2) killed while unarmed. Either of these scenarios make him look better.
4. Anyway, as President Obama said, “What a week!” The birth certificate flap was soon overshadowed by Bin Laden’s death.
There can be no doubt that the timing of the assassination was orchestrated, right? Not only for maximum effect against Donald Trump, the birthers and the Republicans, but also delaying the raid on Bin Laden’s compound until after the British Royal wedding. It now becomes clear retrospectively why our President and his wife were not at the wedding: They were invited, but they had more pressing business. In fact, Prince William was a member of the Navy Seal team which killed Bin Laden.
For additional buffoonery, see President Obama’s absolutely hilarious speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 30, where he addresses his birth issue, see: President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
By Tom Kando