Okay, Osama Bin Laden is dead. So now what?
The news is abuzz with speculation that Bin Laden’s death might hasten a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In a letter to President Obama, the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus called for a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan: “In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death, now is the time to shift toward the swift, safe and responsible withdrawal of US troops and military contractors in Afghanistan,” the letter stated. “[We] commend your calls for national and global security as we acknowledge the world is safer for his absence. It is our hope that you can similarly unify the nation by bringing our troops home and ending America’s longest war in history.”
But in his 60 Minutes interview last night Mr. Obama said “Our job’s not yet finished” and that the US needs to ensure that “we leave an Afghanistan that can secure itself, that does not, again, become a safe haven for terrorist activity. But I think that that can be accomplished on the timeline that I’ve already set out.”
Of course, neither the “job” or the timeline is clear unless one understands who has the most to gain. Will the United States be safer in the wake of Bin Laden’s death? Most analysts agree that we won’t.
The “job” has never been clear and regardless of pleas of liberals, the timeline will not be clear until Haliburton and all of the rest of the corporations seeking to profit on an upcoming Afghani reconstruction are satisfied that their risk has been ameliorated by sufficient pacification and subsidies from you and me. Note that the “Cost of War Clock” keeps running in Iraq because we continue to subsidize the “reconstruction” efforts there.
What is clear is that those celebrating at Ground Zero and progressives pounding their chests completely miss that point. They’re cheering Mr. Obama’s efforts when he, unwittingly or not, still plunders the treasury to create more “reconstruction” projects for corporations throughout the Arab world.
It’s interesting to note that, last week, Time Magazine published the fourth “Red X” cover in its history, celebrating the death of Bin Laden. The first one was reserved for Adolph Hitler. In “A Brief History of Time Magazine’s ‘X’ Covers,” Atlantic Magazine’s Ray Gustini points out that the next three have all been products of the Iraq-Afghanistan wars: Saddam Hussein, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Bin Laden. Hussein and Bin Laden were funded and supported by the United States in their earlier careers.
Aside from the desperate attempt of a magazine to increase sagging sales, the Time cover illustrates the point that boogeymen will keep appearing in the region. Bin Laden will be replaced. It’s also interesting that rationale for the war in Afghanistan subtly shifted from eradicating Al Qaeda to eradicating the Taliban in the last year or so.
In fact, the boogeyman du jour is Muammar Gaddafi.
Ask yourself, “Where’s my fucking money?” Unless you are a Blackwater “contractor” or an arms dealer or a Haliburton executive, you will not blindly accept that your money (or your childrens lives) should be spent chasing boogeyman after boogeyman.