The Nation had a refreshingly clear-eyed take on bin Laden’s death. Some highlights:
- In one sense, then, bin Laden succeeded all too well. The purpose of terrorism is to provoke a disproportionate, counterproductive and irrational response that makes a nation less secure and less free. America chose to become that place.
- Questions remain about the legality of the strike, whether bin Laden should have been captured instead of killed and what small part “enhanced interrogation techniques” may have played in locating him. But we can definitively say this: large-scale military invasions and occupations were irrelevant in bringing about his death.
- To the extent that Al Qaeda still exists, it is a decentralized set of groups in different parts of the world. To combat it, Washington needs the cooperation of Arab and Muslim nations. As the historic revolutions of the Arab Spring demonstrate, Al Qaeda has resoundingly lost the battle of ideas there. The streets of Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and other countries hunger not for a clash of civilizations but for democracy, development and engagement with the world. Only by shifting our foreign policy away from viewing Islam as an enemy to supporting the nonviolent uprisings sweeping the Arab world can we seize this chance to achieve peace.
And this (I didn’t want to use this event as one more attack on the bush administration, which I still despise; but pundits on Fox News are claiming that the disastrous bush policies deserve some of the credit. The fact is, bush made Saddam Hussein, not bin Laden, his top priority.)
- But rather than dedicate itself wholly to [apprehending and neutralizing bin Laden), the Bush administration chose to create another monster, one even more shadowy than bin Laden and, because of this purposeful vagueness, one far more useful and ultimately more dangerous—terror itself. As the hunt for bin Laden was botched, dismissed as “irrelevant” and then largely forgotten, the country went to war against this limitless enemy.
Full story here.
And a whole bunch of other stories here.