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Free and Strong America

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama Bin Laden; Man of the Left


While ethicists seem to be in agreement that the killing of Osama Bin Laden by American Forces earlier in the week is justice served, columnist Mona Charen points out the many similarities in ideology between OBL and those on the American left...




"The rest of us wondered [post 9/11] how Muslims could be so fired with hatred of Americans considering that the last three wars we had fought had been on behalf of suffering Muslims: in Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

The usual suspects blamed Muslim hatred of the U.S. on our support for Israel (though that issue ranked below "infidel" troops on Saudi soil on bin Laden's list of grievances)...


By allowing ourselves to be too distracted by the turbans and the pietistic language, we may have missed that -- and in the process overestimated the role of Islam in Islamism.

In 2007, in his longest videotaped message to the world, bin Laden mouthed some of the familiar invocations of "Allah, the most high," but much of his message to the American people could have come straight from the pages of the Nation.

He decried global warming, the "greed of major corporations and their representatives," "globalization," and "capitalism." Here's his explanation of the war in Vietnam:

"In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the White House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it, Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers.

“And when Kennedy took over the presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up for the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from its continuation. And so Kennedy was killed ... those corporations were the primary beneficiary from his killing."

Oliver Stone couldn't have said it better.

Yes, the late Osama bin Laden was a religious fanatic. But if religious zeal were his only motivation, he might have turned his hatred toward China -- a consistent persecutor of Muslims (and others) or India (which some Islamists have attacked -- though without justification).

But bin Laden's garrulous videos reveal someone who had drunk deeply from the well of hatred for America that nourishes everyone from Hugo Chavez to Vladimir Putin. It's a well with springs that originate right here."




I fully agree that the list of Bin Laden's greivances against the US are basically leftist talking points except for his complaint against globalism, which, in my experience, seems to be basically a conservative gripe. One point that Charen left out that would more firmly place Bin Laden in the camp of the left would be his wholehearted support of John Kerry in the 2004 elections. I guess thats one endorsement Obama won't be sweating this upcoming election cycle.










32 comments:

The Maryland Crustacean said...

"Bin Laden's greivances against the US are basically leftist talking points except for his complaint against globalism, which, in my experience, seems to be basically a conservative gripe"

Really? Perhaps a few right wingers of the protectionist stripe, such as Pat Buchanan, but I have always associated this with a left wing beef. I don't think there are any right wingers participating in the rent-a-mobs that convene and produce mayhem at every meeting of the G-8.

JD Curtis said...

Point well taken MDC. Perhas the terms "globalism" and "one world government" arent mutually interchangeable which is what I might have been doing.

GentleSkeptic said...

Then you should be thrilled; Obama targeted "the Left."

You're a real piece of work, JD.

GentleSkeptic said...

Because we all understand that OBL openly supported women's reproductive rights, gun control, same-sex marriage, state-funded stem-cell research, universal healthcare, affirmative action, public-sector unions, teaching of the ToE, etc. He was also well-known as a staunch defender of the separation of Church and State.

Yeah, Osama bin Laden was a dyed-in-the-wool progressive alright. I heard he was sleeping in his hopey-changey t-shirt when they shot him in the eye.

Bush abandoned pursuit. Obama GOT HIM.

Period.

Now, if you don't think it was that important to get the 9/11 mastermind, that's one thing. Bush didn't, maybe he was right. But ALL you can say on the occasion of OBL's death is that his sympathies lay with the American left? Seriously: what is WRONG with you?

JD Curtis said...

Obama targeted "the Left

What do you mean?

ALL you can say on the occasion of OBL's death is that his sympathies lay with the American left? Seriously: what is WRONG with you?

No. I'm glad he's dead also.

Alot of talking heads are offering up their opinions on the matter. I found this article interesting. And she's RIGHT!

JD Curtis said...

I think Tyrone summed it up quite well...

"Andrew Breitbart was a telephone guest on Hugh Hewett's radio show yesterday with Guy Benson. They were talking about how liberals are politicizing the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Liberals exploit everything from funerals, oil spills, tornadoes to congresswomen being shot, so why should this be any exception to them?"
Link

JD Curtis said...

Bush abandoned pursuit. Obama GOT HIM.

Period.


Gallup: 89% of Americans Credit Military for Finding, Killing Bin Laden--35% Credit Obama Link

Credit for Bin Laden's Killing Goes Entirely to Special Operators

Waterboarding, Which Obama Campaigned Against, Led to Bin Laden Kill

Jquip said...

"Because we all understand that OBL openly supported women's reproductive rights, ..."

Well... Yeh. I mean it's not like Osama went around all "Please think of the kids" while he was exhorting folks to saw limbs off the wee ones.

GentleSkeptic said...

OK, then. If the mission had failed, would you be blaming the military Special Ops, or would you hold Obama responsible?

You and I both know that the SEALs can't pull their triggers until the CiC pulls his. Obama made a "D" and you'll just never be able to give him any credit for it.

I'm also glad to see you touting poll numbers as validation for a viewpoint. I'll be sure to remember that.

GentleSkeptic said...

Also worth remembering:

Interestingly, on Sept. 11, 2001, members of the Carlyle Group - including Bush senior, and his former secretary of state, James Baker - were meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., along with Shafiq bin Laden, another one of Osama bin Laden's brothers.

While all flights were halted following the terrorist attacks, there was one exception made: The White House authorized planes to pick up 140 Saudi nationals, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, living in various cities in the U.S. to bring them back to Saudi Arabia, where they would be safe. They were never interrogated.

GentleSkeptic said...

"They were talking about how liberals are politicizing the killing of Osama Bin Laden."

This, from the guy who's OP consists of a block-quote from an opinion piece titled How Osama bin Laden Resembled Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Others on the Left.

Because THAT certainly doesn't politicize anything.

JD Curtis said...

As if you even doubted it for one second...

Bill Richardson, let's use OBL's death to pass cap and trade

Jquip said...

GS: "OK, then. If the mission had failed, would you be blaming the military Special Ops, or would you hold Obama responsible?"

Ho? What success and what failure? Put down your partisan pipe a moment and walk through it: Obama had his men use aircraft to violate the sovereignty of a nation and kill people. How is that different than what we were after Osama for in the first place?

Screw which political corporation you have brand loyalty for and run it around your head for a while. Obama committed an act of war against a member of the Nuke Club.

What I don't hear is folks cheering on POTUS for pulling that stunt. (A couple Republicans actually.) What I do hear is people cheering that OSL is in the dirt *despite* that stunt and asking that we oil Jughead's feet. But then if OSL had passed naturally would you be blaming God with your adulations? Or would the Big Guy require artwork from Mike Fairey first?

JD: Problem is, there's no getting away from politics. It's all about the various ideologies we carry around about how the world ought work. Dang near everyone is going to use the nightly news to make their points on that basis. If there's an incident involving a stealth immigrant we talk about the border from all sides. If there's an incident involving amateur pharmaceuticals we talk about the Drug War.

I think you and GS are talking right past each other on the same different thing though. That of using the nightly news to justify completely unrelated things or use it as a prop under a Cult of Personality for the same.

GentleSkeptic said...

Obama had his men use aircraft to violate the sovereignty of a nation and kill people. How is that different than what we were after Osama for in the first place?

If you are asking this question in seriousness, I really have to question your moral compass. On the one hand; messy, catastrophic death of thousands of innocent non-combatants, plus billions in damages. On the other; death of the internationally most-wanted and elusive terrorist mastermind responsible for 9/11, plus a couple of complicit henchmen. From anywhere but the platonic high ground of Perfect Principle, this is an utterly false equivalence. If there's a relevant moral/political equivalent for 9/11 and a violation of sovereignty followed by the slaughter of innocents, I'd say it's eight years in Iraq. Bush engaged in a lot of braggadocio and demagoguery about nations that "harbor terrorists," which gave said terrorists a lot of time to flee said nations. Obama opted for an informed, surprise, targeted direct action on an ally's turf—thereby keeping a campaign promise—and he got lucky. Diplomacy may yet save our uneasy alliance with Pakistan; that whole can of worms has yet to be fully opened. But I'm not weeping for their sovereignty (which is still intact, save for a small but highly embarrassing hole), and as far as I know, there was no collateral damage.

As for adulations and the Shepard Fairey treatment… I work in advertising, so I'm not particularly sensitive to marketing schtick and glorification, even when it surrounds the guy I voted for. Props to the Ops for pulling it off; props to the Prez for making a tough choice, because it could very easily have backfired in a BIG way. It didn't, the end, let's move on.

Agreed, however, about the discourse. I'm as disgusted by the left's jeering of Bush for declining the Ground Zero invitation—srsly: who cares? he's a grownup and his decisions don't matter anymore—as I am by the clamor from elements on both sides to see the death photo of ObL—srsly: who cares? It won't prove a thing to the Doubters, and it'll be released one day under a FOIA request, it doesn't need to be NOW.

But in the end, I don't think it's even remotely reasonable to host a blog called "The place to discuss… Right Wing Politics…" and then complain when things get 'politicized' on a post titled "Osama bin Laden; Man of the Left." It doesn't even make sense.

GentleSkeptic said...

And then this: "Waterboarding, Which Obama Campaigned Against, Led to Bin Laden Kill."

Couldn't have responded to this legally immaterial claim better myself.

Jquip said...

"If you are asking this question in seriousness, I really have to question your moral compass. On the one hand; messy, catastrophic death of thousands of innocent non-combatants, plus billions in damages."

No, I'm talking legal equivalence. International Law, Cassus Belli, and the notion that Paki -- that fun muslim country set up with the bomb -- gets a free shot at us now. The same, you may note, as we had a free shot at Osama. Right up until we violated the Paki's Sovereignty to git 'er done.

But you want to do moral equivalency, head counts, and messy deaths? S'alright; but let's make it fair and know precisely where each of us are coming from. Are you familiar with the Dilate & Extract procedure and are you Pro-Choice?

I am and am not, in order. Let's see if your compass excuses the deaths of millions while going into bloviating excess and the invasion of an ally over some dude that merely *planned* something that led to a trifling 3500 New Yorkers base diving the Trade Towers. (And really, it's not like New Yorkers are real people, anyways.)

Your move, mate in 2.

GentleSkeptic said...

Your invocation of Casus Belli, while interesting, is a non-starter. ObL and Al Queda were and are not nations. And yet, they were able to effectively perpetrate an act of war against America. If there's a terrorist who attacked Pakistan hiding in America, and Pakistan can get in here and kill him cleanly and efficiently, without invading or dropping bombs, I say let 'em take their shot. They don't get a "free shot" at us, because we didn't attack them. We carried out a mission on their soil, against a target they knew full well we were looking for, and left. We have not invaded an ally. Their sovereignty is intact.

Your depiction of 9/11 is crude and disgusting. It wasn't just New Yorkers who died, it was people from all over, people on airplanes headed for other places. Maybe I'm a little too close to it: my partner had his hand on the front door of Tower 1 when the first plane hit. He had just hung up with an associate from London who had called from the 62nd Floor to tease him about being late to the meeting and missing the bagels. He never heard from or saw her again. She left behind a husband and two children.

He heard your "base divers" hitting the ground. He says he thought they were more bombs going off, or large-caliber gunfire: a lot louder than you'd think.

So you'll forgive me if I leave your bullshit abortion bait laying right where you left it.

Mate yourself.

JD Curtis said...

I think you and GS are talking right past each other on the same different thing though

Perhaps youre right. I havent had much free time lately to formulate more thoughtful responses.

Jquip said...

"ObL and Al Queda were and are not nations. And yet, they were able to effectively perpetrate an act of war against America."

If I accept your claim then they could not have perpetrated an act of war and it was nothing more than a mere criminal act carried out under the legal jurisdiction of the US Federal Govt. (Interstate, FAA, etc.) So you're take is that we should invade foreign nations, allies and enemies, and slaughter the unassociated civilian and governmental individuals, all in the purpose of passing summary judgement and a capital sentence on an individual without a trial by jury. All this despite that he only *planned* -- keep that one straight -- the incident and is thus guilty at best of a felony or two. Conspiracy one of them obviously.

This is your moral compass? Your bad ol' Bald Eagle in the land of the Free stalking around Pol Pot for people wearing wristwatches? Nice.

But here's the trick: It doesn't matter. He was an irregular in the service of a government -- and thus an agent of that government. Now, you're still free to disagree, Sparky. But even if you still contend he's simply a mere felon of such stature to only equal the misdeeds of Geithner and various other Cabinet members that have a problem filling out government forms? The Taliban still shielded him from our jurisdictional reach. W. Bush asked them to cough him up and they said "Screw you." He asked again to the same reply. He went to congress and they upped the ante. And they still said "Screw you."

And you've apparently forgotten how WWI got kicked off. That's still Cassus Belli. And that little ditty W. did that I laid out for you? That's how you handle it under the Law of Nations. Despite copying W. Bush on every other particular of the killing of furriners, the 'Bamster decided to depart with the copycat and the proper management of this affair under 1000 years of legal tradition for?

A mere felon, by your very lights.

"We carried out a mission on their soil, against a target they knew full well we were looking for, and left. We have not invaded an ally. "

So you're calling the 'Bamster a liar and claiming that the piccies do not, in fact, show our helicopter parked in the driveway. And see here I thought we'd carried out a military action on their soil and without their permission. Some ignorant types call this millenia old notion an 'invasion.' But you and me both know it's only an invasion if they come from Mars. Amirite? That's Cassus Belli right there.

"He heard your "base divers" hitting the ground. He says he thought they were more bombs going off, or large-caliber gunfire: a lot louder than you'd think."

No, I'm pretty damn well aware what a melon dropped from a skyscraper sounds like. And it's a quick clean death. Are you aware what it's like to be dismembered slowly by sharp instruments? You can call it Daniel Pearl or Dr. Tiller as you like.

But you'll forgive me for taking your cowardly dodge of the mere facts of the matter to be an outright admission that you are, in fact, completely in the sink for chopping human beings slowly into small bits by the millions as long as they're civilians. But that you're so incensed that a Citizen, member of the Militia, and *valid* military target got done kilt by a mere criminal that you're all about invading France and killer the sous chef over a case of bad boulenbaise.

Or, you know, you could deal with the topic as its presented like an adult, Citizen, member of the Militia, Sovereign and owner responsible for the government of these great United States of America in accordance with Republican (Construction not Corporation) Principles.

Mate in 1.

Jquip said...

JD: Holy crud. If you get a whop of copy of the same post... Then sorry about that. Blogger or Firefox was freaking out over some script hang in the post validation.

Happy to help play peacemaker between you two. Now, if you pardon, I'm back to slaughtering him...

GentleSkeptic said...

I don't think the "Bamster" has any way to win here. If he'd notified Pakistani authorities, and somehow Osama got away again, he'd be facing neocon charges of "leading from behind" and generally being an apologetic liberal pussy. In any case, I'd say the debate ends here:

But the government in Islamabad stopped short of labeling Monday's helicopter raid on bin Laden's compound an illegal operation and insisted relations between Washington and Islamabad remained on course.

But I guess if Jquip still wants to call it illegal, that's his prerogative. He knows more, and has more at stake, than Pakistan.

Damned if I 'm gonna engage with a self-righteous Lifer, though.

GentleSkeptic said...

I will, however, direct you here.

Summary: Nebraska legislators (mostly self-righteous men), in a well-meaning effort to curtail fetal suffering, inadvertently sentence a fetus to… grotesque suffering. For those capable of making a distinction between slow dismemberment and "a quick clean death," this should be alarming.

It's not your heart I question, it's the policies with which you would saddle informed women and skilled service providers facing very difficult decisions.

If, in your mind, that puts me in some kind of gleeful chopping sink or whatever… well, I can live with that.

GentleSkeptic said...

Hmm. The YouTube link did/will not embed.

If you care, it's called "Danielle and Robb's Story" and you can search with the title on YouTube.

Ross said...

Al-Qaeda has links to Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia and Abu-Sayyef in the Philippines. It was JI that carried out the 2002 Bali bombings, in which 202 people were killed, including 88 Australians. Their operatives were believed to have received some of their training in Afghanistan.

Jquip said...

GS: Feh. Sorry, life intervened on our conversation. We can pick it up and keep going if you like. But I'll just note that prostitution, smoking marijuana, and -- in a number of jurisdictions -- sodomy are all criminal acts. Even if you consent to it.

Whether they should be or not is irrelevant. You're simply stating that *because* Pakistan hasn't retaliated then it's quite sound to argue that they're not *allowed* to retaliate. You can't get there from here.

GentleSkeptic said...

But I'll just note that prostitution, smoking marijuana, and -- in a number of jurisdictions -- sodomy are all criminal acts. Even if you consent to it.

And I'll just note that legal prohibition of those things—let's throw drinking alcohol in there too for good measure—is not a successful deterrent, and in fact contributes to proliferation. I believe the same is true for abortion.

But now you're back to talking about Pakistan, so I'm not even sure what the topic is. I actually agree that America's actions in nabbing ObL were technically extra-legal; I just think that that's a toothless declaration without a meaningful enforcement mechanism. Sort of like waterboarding.

Let's drop it; following your rhetorical twists is dizzying.

GentleSkeptic said...

Jquip: I don't know if you know Slacktivist, but he's got a couple of great posts and discussions about this very topic, here and here.

There's plenty to chew on from all sides.

JD Curtis said...

I'll just note that legal prohibition of those things—let's throw drinking alcohol in there too for good measure—is not a successful deterrent, and in fact contributes to proliferation. I believe the same is true for abortion

You lost me at "in fact contributes to proliferation".

Insofar as abortion is concerned, you do realize that the majority of the American people are against abortion for the first time since Gallup started taking polls, right?

Jquip said...

GS: "I actually agree that America's actions in nabbing ObL were technically extra-legal; I just think that that's a toothless declaration without a meaningful enforcement mechanism."

Sure. If this were some Central American nation in which we were arming their criminals as a fundamental policy of the Executive then it would be laughable to even discuss the consequence of them sending their male military age population inside our borders. For several reasons...

But, on a consequence only view of "If I get caught" we are talking about a nation with nuclear weapons. And here "if I get caught" means do they actually get pissed enough to retaliate *justly* under the customs of International Law going back a mere millennium.

In this case they *are* the meaningful enforcement if the choose to be. Which they can distinctly do by simply unscrewing the top of a missile and floating it up the Potomac on a barge if they're really interested.

And that... Wait. Am I supposed to be disagreeing with this notion? I feel dirty and conflicted all of a sudden.

GentleSkeptic said...

…you do realize that the majority of the American people are against abortion…

Yup. I also realize that I, personally, am opposed to abortion in almost all circumstances, which is to say that I'd be unlikely to choose it for myself. I also realize that arguments from popularity are unpersuasive when individual rights are at stake. (A majority of the American people also now favor legalizing gay marriage. Does this in any way affect your feelings on the issue, whatever they may be?)

And I still think that an outright ban would be disastrous policy: nanny-state, big-governement bullshit. Set up guidelines, steer the debate, persuade folks to take it very seriously. But leave some room for the hippocratic oath and for providers and patients in dire straights to make decisions, and accept the fact that not everyone will think or choose like you or me. This position actually puts me in very good company, even at Gallup. (second graph.) It's also worth noting, as Gallup does, that "…all of the increase in pro-life sentiment is seen among self-identified conservatives and moderates." Which still leaves roughly one in four self-identified conservatives in the pro-choice camp.



I feel dirty and conflicted all of a sudden.

Yeah. Welcome to the tension between pre- and post-enlightenment civilizations. It sucks.

gschrls7 said...

Personally I believe Osama Bin Laden may have felt safer under the Barack Obama administration, and that was one place where he made a mistake.
Obama need something to boost his stature if he wants to win in 2012, so it was a wild chance he needed to take.
Osama Bin Laden probably also felt safer in Abbottabad, being close to a military school.
But some folks believe Osama Bin Laden was "thrown under the bus" by Pakistan.

gschrls7 said...

George W Bush was correct in believing that catching Osama Bin Laden would not stop the terror attacks as it has not even slowed them down. Still, I hope enough can be learned from the tapes and notes gotten from the deceased Osama Bin Laden to at least stop some of the terrorist attacks.