Osama’s Death Changes Almost Nothing
I’m rather more interested in the Canadian election, which is also rather more important than Bin Laden’s death, but let’s run through this. First, however, insert obligatory “he’s a mass murderer who deserved death” statement here. OBL was an evil man and I’m not sorry he’s dead. I’m even kind of glad they killed him rather than capturing him, if only for the purely selfish reason that I didn’t really want to have to defend OBL when they tortured him, as, of course, they would.
Bin Laden still won: Yeah, sorry, but Bin Laden’s goal was to push the US into imperial overreach, causing economic collapse. He succeeded, with a lot of help from Bush and Obama’s stupidity, and there was nothing in Obama’s little speech that indicated he intended to seize this opportunity to pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan and end the security state. If anything, the security state will go into even further overdrive. Enjoy being groped.
No Drawdown, No End to Destruction of Civil Liberties And yeah, if Bin Laden hated America because of America’s freedoms (he didn’t) well he still won. The 4th amendment is dead, the 1st is on life support, and the TSA freely humiliates you or denies you freedom to travel at their whim.
No, it doesn’t mean Obama has won in 2012 The election isn’t going to be about national security, per se, it’s going to be about the economy. Hating Osama is great’n'all, but it doesn’t put a chicken in a pot, give you a place to live, or a job. It doesn’t reduce the price of gasoline one cent. The election is still well out, this euphoria will fade. That doesn’t mean Obama will lose 2012 either. It just means it isn’t as big a factor as most people seem to think it is.
Terror Networks: Doubt it makes all that much difference here, either, honestly. Most al-Q’aeda groups are essentially franchises, and the main one isn’t that important. I’m sure CIA agents stationed in Afghanistan in charge of drone attacks are breathing a sigh of relief, however. More to the point, it’s not clear to me that Osama is less dangerous as a martyr than as a living old man attached to a dialysis machine.
Bin Laden deserved to die, but when the euphoria dies down, his death doesn’t change much, if anything. He still accomplished his goal, a goal he was willing to die for. The Muslim world, Afghanistan and Iraq (and I’m sure, to his dying day, Bin Laden thought the Iraq invasion was a gift from Allah), are still going to be the graveyard of empire, this time the US empire. Oh, it’s not dead yet, but historians will look back to the invasion of Iraq and the continued occupation of Afghanistan as massive contributing factors.
So, whatever. Celebrate and have a good time, but the wars will go on, the 4th amendment is still a dead letter, the 1st amendment is on life support, the economy is in the toilet, gas is over$4 a gallon, Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating how fast to cut your SS and Medicare, unions are still being gutted, schools are still being turned into profit centers, and TSA agents will still touch your junk.