Monday, May 16, 2011

Bye Bye bin Laden


Osama bin Laden is dead, nearly a decade after the US government set out to get him, as Mr. Bush famously pronounced, "dead or alive."  After masterminding the most deadly terrorist attack on American concrete, it was clear that bin Laden needed to pay for his crimes.  He was a bad guy.  (Albeit the fact that he once was our "friend" and received weapons from the US when the Afghans fought the Soviets)  The government's path to bin Laden, however, leaves much to be desired.

Over the past ten years, we have spent two trillion dollars, ten thousand plus American troops, and hundreds of thousands of Afghan, Pakistani, and Iraqi citizens - all the while turning al qaeda from a small fringe group into the recruiting monster they are today. There was a better option.

Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, Ron Paul introduced the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 before Congress with the intent of creating an elite special force to hunt down and capture or kill bin Laden.  From wikipedia:

The issue of marque and reprisal was raised before Congress after the September 11 attacks[30] and again on July 21, 2007, by Congressman Ron Paul. The attacks were defined as acts of "air piracy" and the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 was introduced, which would have granted the president the authority to use letters of marque and reprisal against the specific terrorists, instead of warring against a foreign state... However, the bills Congressman Paul introduced were not enacted into law.

Of course it wasn't. Bin Laden is seen on several video tapes explaining his strategy of death by a thousand cuts to the US government.  His master plan, it seems, was to drag the US military into many small un-winnable conflicts in an attempt to bleed America dry and topple the Empire. I have to say, if indeed that was the plan, that it's kind of working.

While it's good that bin Laden is dead, we certainly haven't won.  He knew he would die a martyr to the thousands of religious nuts who looked up to him and were willing to die for him.  As reader Sam quoted, "he hasn't been on the run, he's been on the relax!"  Sadly, the death of Osama bin Laden does not mark the end of terrorism, or even the end of al-qaeda.   

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