Osama Bin Laden is dead. We heard this last night from President Barack Obama. He was not wearing a flight suit, nor did he appear on the deck of an aircraft carrier in front of a banner saying MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
“No class – Obama snubs Bush, praises himself on Bin Laden takedown,” complained James Robbins of the PJ Tatler. “The only mention of President George W. Bush came when Mr. Obama mentioned that even he had said the U.S. is not at war with Islam. But without Mr. Bush’s leadership and setting the groundwork for the conduct of the war on terrorism, Mr. Obama would never have had the tools to get this job done…
“Had Mr. Obama been in Mr. Bush’s position on September 11, 2001,” Robbins felt it necessary to add, “Osama bin Laden would still be alive today, and probably winning.”
Instead, Obama was in Mr. Bush’s position on May 1, 2011, and Osama bin Laden is fucking dead.
Maggie’s Farm reported “President Obama’s Mushy Announcment That Osama Bin Laden Is Dead… The question is whether President Obama has the intestinal fortitude and focus to follow through, and deserve credit.”
On the one hand, Bin Laden is, as we have noted, fucking dead. On the other, Maggie’s Farm told us: “..there’s speculation that Pakistan offered up bin Laden — a figurehead, anymore — as a sweetener to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan.” Maggie’s Farm didn’t cite a source for this, but did explain that “President Obama takes credit, saying he directed our CIA to make the taking or death of Osama bin Laden our priority. That had been a priority before his presidency. Typical Obama.”
Maggie’s Farm also groused that this was “followed by President Obama reminding us that we are not at war with Islam but with mass murderers. Those mass murderers hide among a sea of many Moslems who smile at the murders.”
Bookworm Room said, “I’m with those who think it’s ironic that Osama was killed on Obama’s watch, because, aside from continuing Bush’s policies, he’s had nothing to do with the hunt for Osama, and has been backt-tracking as fast as possible from the American-freedom-based principles underlying that hunt.” This backt-tracking was no doubt behind Obama’s appointment of a new U.S. commander for Afghanistan last week.
Neo-neocon felt “it’s a good thing [Osama] wasn’t captured and tried in a civilian court.” That, we must assume, would have shown that the U.S. is not serious about the War on Terror.
At the PJ Tatler, Bryan Preston complained of a report that American officials said Bin Laden’s remains “were being handled in accordance with Islamic tradition.” “Osama bin Laden was a mass murderer,” said Preston. “The personification of evil, he accorded his victims not respect whatsoever, and deserves reciprocation.” It’s too soon to tell yet if this will be the fulcrum of future attacks on Obama’s handling of the death of Bin Laden.
“I, like others, noted the excessive use of the pronoun ‘I’ in Obama’s speech,” said Patrick Richardson at the same venue, “but that struck me less than the MSM giving him the credit as well. Let’s be clear, the death of Osama is a good thing, but was in no way the doing of any one single person.” Also, “Osama alive and in hiding was less trouble than Osama dead and a martyr.”
“President of the United States claims that Osama Bin Laden is not a Muslim,” said Vlad Tepes. “Well, I guess that kills any rumours that Obama is a Muslim. Cause any Muslim would know that not only is Bin Laden a Muslim but most would agree he is an excellent example of one. In that spirit, I encourage any and all readers to please send in news stories and videos of Muslims either mourning his death or celebrating his new status as a shahid, and any streets named after him etc.”
National Review followed the news with reactions from the people most responsible for Bin Laden’s death: Senator Lindsay Graham, Mitt Romney, John Boehner and a bunch of other Republican office-holders.
Eventually there was also a statement from George W. Bush, and then a tribute from NR‘s Robert Costa “To A Couple of SEALs in Southwest Asia, and to All Our Warriors” — a gif animation of Charles Foster Kane clapping for the disastrous performance of Susan Alexander, for some reason.
Also, Daniel Pipes appeared to tell NR readers that “the announcement of [Bin Laden’s] death tonight by the U.S. government makes little operational difference. The war on terror has not fundamentally changed, much less been won.”
Other rightbloggers amplified the theme that Bin Laden’s death wasn’t really a big deal.
“So Osama is dead? Good,” said Vodkapundit Stephen Green. “But as I’ve argued for years, bin Laden is a symptom and not the disease. Had he died on one of the doomed 9/11 flights into the WTC, nothing would have changed.” (In 2004 Green compared Bin Laden to Attila the Hun; in 2010, Green said of him, “The Next Word He Should Hear: ‘Incoming!'”)
Victor Davis Hanson stepped up with “strange afterthoughts” on the successful mission: For instance, “how has bin Laden been hiding in such apparently comfortable surroundings, inside, rather than on the border of, Pakistan, a recipient of billions in aggregate aid?… We will need some honest talk for a change about exactly what is going on.”
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit observed that the town in which Bin Laden was killed “is only about 40 mi from Rawalpindi, military headquarters in Pakistan. The town is home to a Pakistani military academy.” “Okay, what does this say about our relationship with Pakistan? What relationship?” said Ricochet’s Denise Moss.
We’re trying to imagine what the reaction would have been had Bin Laden been killed in, say, 2007, and leftbloggers were bitching like this immediately after the takedown of the mastermind of 9/11, in which (as rightbloggers normally like to remind us at every opportunity) thousands of American civilians were murdered on our own soil.
Oh, well. Congratulations, President Obama, on finally being declared a U.S. citizen and killing Bin Laden all in the same week.
To close, some relevant tweets from our friends at #teaparty:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2011