Monday, May 2, 2011

He's Dead, Now What?

Jubilation and Justice, finally!
Today the world is celebrating the news that after nearly a decade-long manhunt, the man most closely associated with terrorism and the 9/11 attacks has been killed by American Forces in Pakistan.  It is certainly a day to celebrate.  It is my hope that this turn of events can bring more healing to the victims of the 9/11 attacks and for all those brave men and women wearing American uniforms who have been fighting and sacrificed, some making the supreme sacrifice to bring justice to our nation for 9/11.
The coming days and weeks will no doubt bring lots of celebration, speculation and yes, criticism.  I have been waiting all day for Fox News to publish a story somehow finding a way to deflect President Obama's role in this achievement.  Perhaps I am a cynic or maybe I am just a realist.  For now we are bathed in joy, justice, and well we should be but pretty soon I am sure Obama detractors will find some way to blame him for something.

As an American citizen I am of course grateful that this evil man can no longer hatch and carry out plans to harm innocent people but I think we have to ask ourselves what is next in terms of the War on Terror.  I am sure the coming days and weeks much will be written about this, but for right now these are my 3 most immediate questions.

1.  What is the future of Pakistan's relationship with the US?  Pakistan has profited greatly through its relationship as a strategic partner in the war on terror.  For one they have received $1 billion in annual aid from the US to fight terror within Pakistan.  Considering that Osama was not hiding in some remote place, in the remotest (and within difficult reach of Pakistani police, armed forces, etc.) but basically in plain site in what has been termed as a mansion (although from the photos I would call it a building) in a Pakistani city.  How serious was or are the Pakistani's in fighting the war on terror?  Are they really an ally of the US?    Within the past few weeks Hillary Clinton asked Pakistan where he was.  Were they just incompetent or were they hiding him?  Whatever it is, Pakistan should be made to answer these questions.

2.  What happens to Al Qaeda now?  Yes, their leader is now dead and no doubt this will have an impact on Al Qaeda but it has never seemed to me that Al Qaeda has been a linear organization.  Terrorist organizations work in cells where one is not aware of the activities of the other and many or most cells remain dormant until it is time for them to carry out their planned mission.  While Osama might be the mastermind behind all of this, it is not a case that the Wicked Witch is dead and now all the flying monkeys will rally behind Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion.  While I believe his death will cause its damage to Al Qaeda I am quite certain that Osama Bin Ladin both had plans in place for what happens should he be killed.  While we have struck a big blow, the cynic in me refuses to believe that we have nothing left to fear from Al Qaeda.

3.  What effect will this turn of events have on Obama's Presidency and his chances at re-election?  On Saturday evening I was just telling my in-laws that I thought Obama had virtually no chance at being reelected in 2012.  He still faces scathing criticism from the right, and the Joe-6-packs of this world, and in our age of all-or-nothing politics, it is hard to win support.  And as far as I am concerned he has alienated a lot of his support by compromising on a lot of things he said he would never compromise on.  I have taken recently to calling his Presidency Bush-Lite (after a Facebook friend coined the term so well) because of his compromises on the budget and sticking it to working class people to keep the richest 2% rich.  Granted he is fighting uphill battles all over the place and has no majority in Congress but he just feels like a sell out.  It seems to me he has sold his ideals out in favor of trying to ensure his political future.  Plus I am less than thrilled with his policies on Israel and the Mid-East Peace Process.  What I have been saying the past months is what we need is Bill Clinton.  I am quite curious in the coming weeks and months how the American press and public are going to spin Obama.  The cynic in me knows that pretty soon Fox News will print some story about how we could have got him a year ago but Obama was too busy bringing socialism to the US or paying homage to his Muslim roots.  Still I am quite curious to see what this turn of events will mean for Obama's Presidency.  Will he gain more supporters?  Or will it be short lived?  My personal view is that he will gain points from this, but it won't be enough if the economy doesn't turn around.  Americans were thrilled when we got Saddam Hussein and Bush enjoyed a lot of good press and numbers because of that, but when the economy started to tank, the majority of the American public turned on him.  Americans vote their wallets, that's just a fact and when the economy is in the shitter, they don't re-elect the incumbent.  That's my prediction, but I am still interested to see how Americans view Obama in the coming days or weeks.

Those are my questions.  What are yours?


  1. I'm wondering when the deather movement will start...the conspiracy theorists who will say that Obama just faked the whole thing to get his poll numbers up and not buy this whole "buried at sea" thing. I don't suppose a short form death certificate will satisfy them...?

  2. No but all over my facebook people are posting that Obama deserves no credit and it was the soldiers who did the actual killing. Duh, but as the Commander and Chief there would have been no killing without the order of the President and no intelligence operation in order to find him.

  3. My biggest question? When will the next attack happen. I don't give a crap about the political stuff, or people saying it was faked or speaking out against Obama...I was in NYC and there were TONS of heavily armed's scary. Retaliation...that is on my mind.