Sunday, May 1, 2011

EXTRA: As I lie in my bed with a laptop computer, a television set tuned to CNN tells me that Osama bin Laden is dead

I’m a little hesitant to get too excited, unlike the crowds gathering outside the White House late Sunday into early Monday to celebrate the death of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
OBAMA: Will ideologues apologize?

My television set was tuned to CNN when President Barack Obama made the announcement that an attack in Pakistan by U.S. military forces resulted in bin Laden being killed – and that U.S. officials had control of his body.

I HAVE HEARD commentary offered up that bin Laden’s death is a moment comparable to the instant when we learned that Adolf Hitler was dead (which resulted in the end of the European portion of the Second World War).

In fact, looking at the video images being offered up live outside the White House, you’d think that people were trying early Monday to create 21st Century versions of the V-E Day celebrations that burst out around the nation back in 1945 when the Nazis went from being a legitimately elected government entity to just a batch of malcontent kooks with a particularly sadistic streak. All we needed was a sailor bending a nurse over backward while giving her a smooch (an image I'm sure bin Laden would claim was an example of western decadence).

I did get my giggle from the one person in the crowd who prominently waved his “Latinos for Obama” campaign sign left over from the ’08 campaign season.

But my fear is that too many people are going to think that this “War on Terror” is now over, and that “we” won. One pundit on CNN literally came out and said “the war on terror is over.” Nonsense. The ideas and images of this current conflict are bigger than any one man.

WE MAY WELL prevail. I certainly hope so. But this fight is far from over for us. If you want a World War II analogy, this is the death of Mussolini. The war continued for another two years.

I fear too many people are going to let their guard down, which only makes us susceptible to whatever form of retaliation that bin Laden’s followers will try to drum up – all in the name of Islam and the prophet Mohammed.

That was actually the one point Obama brought up during his roughly 10-minute address that I liked – he pointed out that bin Laden was NOT really a Muslim. His actions were criminal, and that many true Muslims were among bin Laden’s victims throughout the years. Obama said, "bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, he was a mass murder of Muslims."

That is a statement that I’m sure will upset the conservative ideologues – those very people who like to believe that Obama himself is some sort of Muslim (that is, when they’re not accusing him of being a “socialist”).

HISTORY IS GOING to wind up “crediting” Obama for the downfall of bin Laden, similar to how George Bush the elder gets credit for the demise of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall – all because he was in the position at the right time.

Talk about good timing!

What will the ideologues complain about now? What will Donald Trump rant about next? Or is he still going to try to claim that Obama really wasn’t worthy of an “Ivy League” education? I’d think that the actions of Sunday show just how irrelevant a campaign “issue” that truly is.

Actually, I think I know what it is they will try to use against Obama – the fact that Libya leader Moammar Gadhafi is still alive. Don’t forget that a U.S. military operation meant to kill him a few days ago failed – although it seems that Gadhafi’s son and other relatives are dead.

PERHAPS THEY’LL CLAIM he’s a failure, although I’d claim that U.S. forces came through on the big one. Because quite frankly, Gadhafi is a third-rate threat that we all too often exaggerate into a significant power.

Although I suppose Gadhafi himself will now issue some sort of statement denouncing U.S. imperialism. He may even call our nation a “criminal” state.

Which would be about as absurd a statement as some of the Obama-bashing rhetoric we get from people who want to think they’re on “our” side.


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