Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Outcomes Of OBL's Demise

The other day I made the case that a whole lot of analysis of outcomes from the killing of Osama would involve guess work. I'll go ahead and make some guesses.

I think some of the view of being AQ's #1 as a sinecure has evaporated, it looks more like a dangerous occupation. I wouldn't find being identified as #1-3 as conducive to my peace of mind. It does look as though given competent leadership and policies the US is pretty good at dealing with such people. Knowing that the "invulnerable" OBL wasn't in fact any such thing does change some things.

There has been talk that killing OBL will lead to revenge thinking on the part of some. I'm not sure I buy that as an issue. The people being talked about here are already operating out of a sense of vengence and supposing that this will amp things up a lot ignores the level of rage that leads people to be willing to strap on bombs or have others do it. That doesn't make it an immaterial threat, but it doesn't mean exaggerating it makes sense either.

I'm pretty sure our relations with Pakistan are going to be strained. How that will play out will have more to do with each nation's perspective of its interests than anything to do with outrage over this incident. Public posturing by either government won't have a lot to do with what is privately said and done.

Politics in the US may be more affected than anything else, maybe. This does complicate the GOP rhetoric about Democrats being soft on security. They're going to work real hard at making this an outcome of their action, but it still is two years into the Obama Administration and ten years after 9-11. I'm glad I don't have to play their hand on this one and I'm real sure that over-reach on their part will blow up in their faces with a bunch of people.

It is pretty difficult to make the case that President Obama is confused, out of his depth, incompetent, or cowardly in the face of this performance. Like all their themes, they won't abandon it, but it makes the sell more difficult. Their trick will be to not look ridiculous to large chunks of the population while doing the sales pitch. The media frenzy over this killing will make it a bit more difficult for the media to participate in the sell. It would take real work to over-estimate the media's capacity to stenographer claims, though.

I do hope that this action makes it more likely that this and future administrations will use these kinds of tools rather than bombs, missiles, and large numbers of troops. I also hope that this demonstration of patience and careful planning will reduce the instances of cowboy reactions by everybody.

Lots of qualifiers, modifiers, and plain guessing here.


Anonymous said...

After 9-11, bin Laden was obsolete to any program he might have had to radicalize the Muslim world against the US and its Western toadies. Bush-Cheney's reaction to the attacks was, and remains with Obama, ample and "mass-murderous" proof of everything bin Laden allegedly claimed was the reason for 9-11.

John Puma

Chuck Butcher said...

Ordinarily I'd ignore something like this; nah.

Iraq and Bush demonstrate something about him and his BushCo. Afghanistan until Iraq was something else. If you can't figure that out ... well, there's little reason to address you.