Progressives bestow intriguing perspectives on our post-Osama world.
The Left would dearly like to see two things happen now that Osama bin Laden has scored his virgins in Islamic paradise. First, leftists hope that the event will convince America that Barack Obama is a strong decisive leader and thus see him re-elected in 2012. Second, they want Obama to use this moment to declare victory in the War on Terror and to pull all troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, thus effectively ending a war that they believe was "manufactured" in the first place. These progressive hopes metastasized throughout left-wing precincts within a few blinks of the news of bin Laden's death.
“Let us not sink into a false sense of triumphalism in the wake of Bin Laden's passing,” the Hamas-loving Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin wrote at the Huffington Post. “His death will only have meaning if it marks the beginning of the end of this ruthless cycle of violence.” She went on to explain that now that bin Laden is dead, there was no need to maintain a US military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The fanatics will simply fade away, in Benjamin’s view, and we will have peace in our time.
The National Journal’s Yochi Dreazen speculated that bin Laden’s death “could have an even bigger impact on public support for the Afghan war itself, as many Americans take bin Laden's death as a sign that the United States has accomplished its mission in Afghanistan and should now begin winding down the unpopular conflict.”
Writing for The Nation, unrepentant sixties radical (and devoted facilitator of Vietcong mass-slaughter) Tom Hayden wondered: “If bin Laden is gone, and his network heavily damaged, what is left of the terrorist threat to our national security that justifies so many trillions of dollars and costs in thousands of lives?”
Contrast that sort of wishful thinking to what certain other people with a particular interest in imposing their will on the rest of the world are saying in the wake of bin Laden’s demise:
In a Reuters story entitled “Islamists vow bin Laden death will not mute Jihad call,” the following post from an Arab language website was highlighted: "Oh God, please make this news not true... God curse you Obama," said one message posted on an Arabic language forum. "Oh Americans... it is still legal for us to cut your necks." Indeed, the Quran – the Incarnate Word of God according to Islam – directs Muslims to treat infidel necks in just such a fashion.
But that’s just a random web post, right? Surely such sentiments are not representative, right? How about this quote from an imam preaching in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in the wake of bin Laden’s death: “You personally instructed to kill Muslims,” he warns president Obama on a video posted at You Tube. “You should know that soon you'll hang together with Bush Junior. We are a nation of billions, a good nation. We'll teach you about politics and military ways very soon, with God's help." Or perhaps you’d prefer the statement issued by the Islamic Defenders Front, an Indonesian Muslim group that plans “…to hold a memorial service to express gratitude to the late martyr Sheikh Osama bin Laden.”
It would be wonderful if the death of a single monster like bin Laden spelled the end of a radical, violent movement, but that’s clearly not the case. Bin Laden may have served as an important leader for a resurgent, aggressive Islamofascism in the modern world, but those jihadi flames have long since roared out of control. This war is going to continue for a long time whatever the West does or does not. Barack Obama realizes that even if the Medea Benjamins and Tom Haydens of the world can’t grasp such a basic truth.
As far as the president’s personal political fortunes go, it would be ludicrous to hold that Obama has personally played a big significant role in neutralizing bin Laden. Sure, Obama deserves credit for approving an action plan developed by the pros in the military, but this victory belongs first and foremost to the military and the intelligence professionals who found Osama and executed the plant. Next in line for credit is Obama’s predecessor in office, for it’s clear that bin Laden would not have been brought to justice but for intelligence gleaned while George W. Bush was president.
The president’s supporters want this to be the turning point in Obama’s administration, as they happily speculate about how big a bump they’ll see in his poll numbers. What’s forgotten on the Left – or at least conveniently ignored – is the fact that it was enhanced interrogation techniques utilized in selected cases during the Bush administration that provided the raw intelligence that eventually allowed us to find bin Laden. It was a long, arduous task to root out the Saudi terrorist leader, but that is the nature of intelligence work.
Now that bin Laden is dead, we should thank those who made it possible, but we shouldn’t allow the Left to deceive us into believing that Islamic terrorists are simply going to fade away now that bin Laden is dead. The opposite is true. Now that this symbol of aggression in the name of religious purity has been sent to the virgins waiting for him in Islamic paradise, the millions of Muslims who revere him are going to be angrier than ever. Both the nation and our president need to face up to that simple fact.
To get the whole story on why leftists deny the Islamo-fascist threat, read Jamie Glazov’s critically-acclaimed, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.