The Impact Of Osama Bin Laden's Death
Killing Or Capturing The Nefarious Leader Of Al Qaeda Was A Political Prerequisite For The Withdrawal Of Foreign Troops From Afghanistan
Age enhanced wanted photo of Osama Bin Laden from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine .com
May 3, 2011 — After a nearly ten year wait, millions around the world are contintuing to celebrate the death of the infamous Osama Bin Laden, founder of al Qaeda and the mastermind of a slew of attacks throughout the world that killed thousands of men, women and children.
People took to the streets around the U.S. Sunday night, in a scene that resembled the scenes in New York City’s Times Square at the end of World War II. Jubilation was in the air. The moment just might be as defining a point in time as Osama Bin Laden’s most famous attack — the World Trade Center in 2001.
Just as the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 changed the world in an instant, so, it seems has the death of Osama Bin Laden. The ramifications will impact both foreign and domestic policies, and just like it did for President Bush II, it might secure a sitting president re-election.
Everyone remembers the “Mission Accomplished” speech that President Bush II made in 2003 and that the whole event felt just as hollow to conservatives as progressives. The killing of Osama Bin Laden is definitely a ‘mission accomplished’ moment. Ironically, on May 1, 2003, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the end of combat operations in Afghanistan — exactly eight years before Obama made his announcement Sunday night.
No one took to the streets in celebration May 1, 2003, did they? No.
His capture couldn’t have come at a better time for the Obama administration, and since they thought they knew where he was since August 2010, it appears to be a rather shrewd, although entirely necessary, move to keep the information a very closely guarded secret.
With the start of troop reductions in Afghanistan beginning in two months, the political vulnerability of withdrawing without killing or capturing Bin Laden was being exploited by republicans just a few weeks ago. That must have made Obama chuckle.
The Obama Administration had announced — and General David Petraeus had agreed — earlier this year that the winding down of the Afghan war was to begin in July and end in 2014. But the 800-pound gorilla in the room was that Osama Bin Laden had not been captured.
War hawks said the withdrawal would leave a “fragile” Afghanistan at the mercy of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Peace crusaders said the war should have been over years ago.
Now, it is politically and militarily feasible for all foreign troops in Afghanistan to begin their withdrawal. The fight against terrorists can get back to intelligence and not military intervention.
Osama Bin Laden was a figure who has changed the course of history and his death will also have a big impact on U.S. domestic politics and economics. Just as the Sept. 11 attacks was the first shock to a fragile, bubble-driven U.S. economy, Bin Laden’s death might be the turning point to the recession he helped start.
Optimism is high and people are happy to be Americans again. Everyone who has ever heard the name Phil Gramm knows a strong U.S. economy is just as dependent on positivity and faith than anything else. The death of Bin Laden might be as important to improving American optimism as the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 was to the Reagan administration and the U.S. economy.
Bin Laden’s death has also changed the national debate. Last week, everyone was talking about the federal budget and its resulting deficit. Who knows when the spotlight will peel off of Bin Laden and what the debate will look like when it begins again. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan was hands off on the military budget. Bin Laden’s death just might mean some serious lervergage for democrats over the budget.
Granted, his death will not stop terrorism in the Middle East or anywhere. Radicals are a part of our society and will be in the foreseeable future. But it is the end of the first global terrorist superstar.
Mission accomplished, finally.
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