Sorry I've been scarce here lately: in between two busy weekends with the kid, I managed to come down with a nasty cold. Better now, thanks.
The other day, Ed Kilgore related the two parties' different attitudes towards killing bin Laden to the differences between the two parties' approches to the war on terror, with the Dems being more narrowly focused on al Qaeda, and the GOP's pursuit of a much broader struggle against 'Islamofascism' (or whatever they're calling it these days) everywhere.
While I fundamentally agree with the Democratic approach for what seem like obvious reasons - sure, Hamas or Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood or someone besides al Qaeda might choose to bomb an American target someday, they aren't in any hurry to do so because their focus is elsewhere - it has never made sense to me that this should have any bearing on whether or not we should track bin Laden to the ends of the earth, and capture or kill him if we find his whereabouts, no matter where that turns out to be.
You'd think that even - especially - the Right wouldn't let even their own get away with this sort of nonsense. Whether you see the enemy as al Qaeda, or all radical Islamist movements everywhere, the fact is, bin Laden is the man responsible for killing nearly 3000 Americans on September 11, 2001.
To quote Humphrey Bogart (as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon):
When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere.
It's hard for me to break away from the underlying logic of that statement. If you're the President, you can't go letting people kill your countrymen. They're you're fellow citizens, and you're supposed to do something about it. It's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every American everywhere.
If there were ever a next bin Laden, would we want him to believe that if he were able to elude us for a while, the Americans would get distracted, let the trail grow cold, and eventually just let him off the hook altogether? Fuck, no. This is why tracking down bin Laden wasn't so much a matter of eliminating a threat, or even of revenge. It was a grim necessity. If someone hits us like that, we must be implacable and unbending in our pursuit for as long as it takes, just as a matter of basic statecraft.
It boggles my mind that we're in a world where the left understands this and the right doesn't. This used to be the sort of shit they were able to claim they understood and the left didn't, that any issues of war and peace implicitly favored them.
They've given up that advantage, and it's hard to see how they can get it back anytime soon. Which is fine with me.
So what's on your minds? I think all the threads are implicitly open threads these days, given the infrequency of threads, so don't feel you have to talk about bin Laden.
As for me, it's a spectacularly beautiful afternoon here in the greater DC area. I'm going to take the kid to a playground. It's too good a day to pass up.