by Jack Kerwick
The world is certainly a better place without this terrorist in it. But to judge from the orgasmic eruptions of everyone from journalists and pundits to politicians and students, an impartial spectator could be forgiven for thinking that the reign of Islamic terror or jihad had finally been brought to a close.
If ever we needed proof that politics is a land of make believe, the recent killing of Osama bin Laden is it.
In truth, the reign of Al Qaeda hasn't even been ended. In fact, this terrorist organization just received new life from the martyrdom of the one man whose face has come to symbolize for untold numbers of Muslims unwavering resistance to the Infidel. It is critical to remember this.
Had George W. Bush still been president when the events that his administration set in motion reached their culmination this past weekend, Democrats would be among the first people to remind us of this. After all, it was the Democrats who, during the better part of the last decade, tirelessly cautioned Bush against supplying Al Qaeda with a recruitment tool via his aggressive foreign policy. That they now fail to recognize that the killing of bin Laden promises to be a much greater incentive than anything that Bush had done shows that their warnings were insincerely motivated.
They were, in a word, playing politics.
If the Democrats weren't playing politics, then they would also be lamenting the unapologetic displays of American chauvinism that chanting crowds of students and others have arranged on college campuses and other locations -- including out front of the White House. For sure, bin Laden's death is something from which to derive satisfaction, but chanting "USA!" in response to it can't but strike Muslims similarly to the way that the chanting crowds of Muslims who rejoiced over the collapse of the World Trade Center struck us.
But Democrats not only refrain from criticizing these "arrogant Americans"; they have essentially chimed in right along with them.
If Democrats weren't just playing politics with Bush's prosecution of "the War on Terror," then rather than sing hosannas to President Obama, they would now be talking about bringing him up on criminal charges. The killing of bin Laden, for as richly deserved as it undeniably was, was nothing more or less than an assassination. Furthermore, it was an assassination that ensued upon the invasion of a sovereign nation. That this is so is borne out by the Pakistani government's claim that it was not informed of this American "kill mission" before it transpired.
If Democrats weren't just playing politics during the Bush years, then they would now draw our attention to the fact that President Obama deserves no more, and arguably significantly less, credit for finding bin Laden than his predecessor, for the trail that lead to bin Laden was pieced together over a period of at least five years, long before Obama was elected to the presidency. And if Democrats weren't just playing politics, they would as well acknowledge that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, as well as the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that were there applied and that they so blatantly deplored, proved indispensable to assembling that trail.
If Democrats weren't playing politics against Bush, they would now warn us against confusing symbol for substance. The real "mastermind" behind 9/11, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, has been in our custody for years -- i.e. long before the Obama administration was so much as a thought; bin Laden was for the most part a figurehead.
Some friends of mine, along with many others no doubt, fear that this most recent episode will guarantee President Obama's reelection. Equally doubtless is that Democrats plan on exploiting this episode toward just that end. However, neither the nightmares of Republicans nor the dreams of Democrats are likely to materialize because of the killing of bin Laden.
Obama may very well get re-elected or he may very well not; but with November of 2012 a year-and-a-half off, and with everything else that composes Obama's track record, it would be as foolish to place all of one's eggs in the bin Laden basket as it is foolish to think that the killing of bin Laden went any distance in harming Al Qaeda, much less Islamic jihadists the world over.
Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. blogs at www.jackkerwick.com Contact him at email@example.com.
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