Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OBL is dead...

So we killed Osama Bin Laden over two weeks ago, and I thought I'd write down some thoughts. I recall exactly my position about invading Iraq (against), but don't remember where I stood with Afghanistan (would like to think I was against, but that could just be wishful thinking).

I saw the news that OBL was dead when I came out of Simone's bedroom. The images were on the TV and the closed caption said he'd been killed. My first feeling was a little stronger than "meh", but not a lot - it was probably a combination of "meh" and relief.

I did see that President Obama said that "justice has been done". That struck me as odd. I would have expected that "justice" would have meant bringing him back to the U.S. and trying him for crimes, or heck, trying him for crimes in any of a dozen countries where he was wanted on terrorism. Instead, our form of justice was to just out-and-out kill him, old west style.

I'm not sorry he's dead, I'll certainly lose no sleep over it. My problem with what Obama said was that it continues the "us versus them" and the "you're with us or you're against us" mentality that the U.S. has in its foreign policy.

Since 9/11/2001 we have invaded 2 Muslim countries and bombed another 3 (Pakistan, Libya, Yemen), and that just seems wrong.

We continue to pursue an aggressive military "solution" to the "war on terror" when both DARPA and the former head of the CIA's task force to find Osama Bin Laden (Michael Scheuer) agree that:

1. "The threat to the U.S. arises from Muslims plausible perception that the things they most love andvalue - God, Islam, their brethren, and Muslim lands - are beign attacked by America." (Michael Scheuer)

2. "policing and intelligence, rather than military force, should form the backbone of U.S. efforts against al Qa'ida. And U.S. policymakers should end the use of the phrase 'war on terrorism' since there is no battlefield solution to defeating al Qa'ida." How Terrorist Groups End

So, the Department of Defence and the CIA both recognize that our current approach is the wrong one, yet we continue ahead full-steam.

I'm frustrated at the Obama administration for not closing Gitmo (where only 40 of the original 700+ people have enough evidence against them to even go to court), I'm frustrated at our abandonment of the Nuremberg Principles (starting with W), Obama doing a 180 on signing statements/declaring war, militarizing the CIA, attacking government whistle blowers more fervently than W, and attempting to assassinate a U.S. citizen! I'm frustrated.

The latest "battles" between Democrats and Republicans have all gone to the Republicans. Take the latest budget battle, which had Republicans starting with "$35 Billion" in cuts, Dems with "$10 Billion" in cuts, and the final budget being $38 Billion. eh? Ok, that's off topic. OBL...

But it's related, because what used to be GOP talking points have been completely adopted by the Democrats.


And the "liberal media" just continues to repeat, without any hesitation, the talking points of the GOP and the government. I mean, we send in Seal Team 6 to get Osama, they kill him. Why did the White House have to lie? They changed their story 4 times in 4 days, OBL was using his wife as a human shield, there was a firefight, he was fighting back, he drew his weapon. Lies, all of them. Very few in the U.S. would raise much of a stink if we killed him in "cold blood", yet the government put forward this story of how he resisted. The Seals would have taken Osama alive had that been their task, they're the best in the world - and especially if OBL wasn't armed, it would have been a piece of cake. Now the government is leaking photos of OBL watching himself on TV, of his stash of porn. And the media is continuing to just regurgitate it. I don't know if it was true. I don't much care.

One post I read basically points out the the U.S. isn't ready to face the truth. With the lies and the retractions, we, as a people, can console ourselves over questioning what the facts are and completely avoid what the facts show about us as a country. I think they show that our government is continuing to pursue an aggressive, military occupation of most of the world, we care naught for human rights if they're not in our "best interests", the government represents and defends corporate interests over personal interests, and our population (for the most part) is happy to sit back, watch Glee, and remain ignorant about what our government does.

One piece, Obama's "bad negotiating" is actually shrewd negotiating, did shine a light on Obama's positions that changed my perception of his stance. The main point is that Obama hasn't "failed" at pushing the "liberal" agenda, he's been very calculated and chosen to side with GOP ideals because it's all about getting re-elected. It's worth a read.

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