Wasting victory: Obama, the Congress, and the bin-Laden aftermath

With Osama bin Laden’s death it seemed for a moment that the U.S. government and the media might begin to assess why al-Qaeda and the Islamist movement are larger, more geographically dispersed, and more active in the United States then they were at 9/11. Having treated bin Laden for more than decade as a celebrity rather than as the thoughtful leader and modern manager he was, his death ought to have sidelined the Entertainment-Tonight approach to bin Laden/al-Qaeda/Islamist analysis and allowed all concerned — officials, journalists and citizens — a chance to step back and ask why America’s Islamist problem continues to expand. Two weeks after bin Laden’s death, however, the chance of such a clear-headed assessment — like the so-called Arab Spring — seems to be fading. [1]

First things first. The Obama administration and the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are making a hash of the aftermath of the raid that eliminated of bin Laden. The CIA and the U.S. military conducted a highly professional operation that accomplished its goal with no casualties. Since the Navy Seals returned to their bases in safety, the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government have engaged in an orgy of self-immolation in terms of America’s defense, one that benefits only the media they pander to. Leaking information about the military’s stealth helicopters gives all and sundry knowledge of a U.S. advantage best kept secret. Descriptions of the CIA observation post in Abbottabad make it extraordinarily more difficult to repeat that achievement against a now embarrassed, and therefore energized and alert, Pakistani security establishment.

The steady leaking of details about how bin Laden communicated with his organization titillates journalists and their readers, and allow Obama, John Brennan, Eric Holder, the sad likes of Lieberman, McCain, Graham, and other elected members of both parties to thump their chests, while giving al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups a useful and precise inventory about what we know of their communications systems at a time when they are racing to change and disguise them. The ignorant-of-Islam manner in which bin Laden’s burial was handled — his own followers, for example, would have torn down any shrine set up to mark his burial place on land — again underscores the lack of any conception whatsoever among our media and bipartisan political elite that America is involved in an expanding religious war. And while there is no cause to appease the enemy, it is always wise to avoid gratuitous errors — like bin Laden’s burial at sea — that benefit the Islamists and resonate negatively across the Islamic world among militant, moderate, and nominal Muslims.

Having frittered away many of the benefits wrought by the courage of CIA officers and the Seals for base political motives, Obama, McCain, and untold other senior officials — elected and unelected — also have reinforced their already strong positions as the chief recruiting sergeants for al-Qaeda and the Islamist movement as whole. Claiming to have dealt a decisive blow against the limited number of Muslim thugs who hate our freedoms and lifestyle by killing bin Laden, our bipartisan political elite has once again demonstrated its willful ignorance of what motivates our Islamist foes. Not caring a whit about elections, gender equality, or civil liberties in U.S. society, the Islamists are motivated by our foreign policy — especially Washington’s slavish support for Israel and defense of the Saudi police state — and by Washington’s cultural war that seeks to impose secular democracy on Islamic civilization. This crusade has been waged by the last four U.S. presidents, but by no one more fanatically than Hilary Clinton and her I-Pad-distributing band of State Department imperialists. When you look for the Islamists’ motivation, as well as the basis of their appeal to the coming generation of young Muslims, you need look no farther than Mrs. Clinton’s half-baked pro-feminist, anti-Islamic cultural crusade.

And before the end of May, Obama, leading politicians in both parties, and the media will further cauterize the bleeding caused Islamists by bin Laden’s death via a matched pair of events which — in their simple absurdity — are worthy of a Marx Brothers’ movie. The media is reporting that President Obama — even as he and NATO merrily bomb hell out of Libyans — will soon deliver another we’re-all-peaceful-friends address to “the Muslim world,” like the Kiplingesque effort he delivered in Cairo when Mubarak was still his bosom friend. Most likely he will identify bin Laden’s killing as a success for the West and for the Muslim world — ignoring bin Laden’s heroic, Robin-Hood-like status therein — and then go on to tell all Muslims how they need to be more like Westerners. Obama will assure them — as he assured Americans in the 2008 campaign — that Washington is willing to help them ditch their old-time religion and rifles and step into the bright, if sordid light of modern paganism he, his party, and many Republicans represent and seek to install worldwide.

Having thus hectored Muslims in his best Wilsonian manner, Obama will then welcome America’s most reliably dangerous and war-mongering enemy to Washington, Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Having just assured the Muslim world of his good intentions, Arabic print media and satellite television channels will cover Obama talking, dining, and briefing the press with Netanyahu. They will then broadcast to the Muslim world coverage of Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of Congress and calling for more punitive measures against the Palestinians, war with Iran, and U.S. taxpayer funds to help Israel arm its military and steal more land. Most damagingly, the Muslim world will see most of the 535 Congressman and Senators — bought and paid for by AIPAC and other Israel-First U.S. citizens — stand and wildly applaud Netanyahu’s call for a war on Iran and so, in essence, an endless war with Islam. Muslims will draw the only possible logical conclusion: “Osama was right, no matter what the Americans say; they are bent on destroying Islam.”

One longs to hear Groucho, as President-Captain Spaulding, saying to Israelis and Palestinians, “Hello, I must be going, you boys fight it out to the death and, if anybody lives, ring me when it’s over.” Alas, that’s not to be. America’s unnecessary war with Islam will continue to bleed and bankrupt us, many in coming generation of Muslims will enlist in the jihad, and Osama — wherever he is — will be smiling and thanking Allah for enemies such as Obama, Bush, Clinton and the malignant and disloyal [2] Israel-Firsters who are driving America to more wars, economic ruin, and international isolation.


  1. One kind of specious analysis, however, seems to have been skewered by leaks describing bin Laden’s hands-on management of al-Qaeda even from hiding. This is the social scientists’ pet theory of “leaderless jihad,” which — like their other fatuous theory about deradicalizing Islamists — has never been much more than a means by which social scientists can entrance naive politicians and thereby get their hands on money from the public treasury.
  2. The term “disloyal” in this context refers to any U.S. citizen who seeks — via rhetoric, lobbying, bribery, campaign contributions, or media manipulation — to involve the United States in another country’s wars or external disputes even though no U.S. interests are at risk. The Israel-Firsters certainly fall into this category, as do George Clooney and his fellow Hollywood celebrities who have helped to create a situation in Africa that will lead to war by successfully pressing the U.S., the UN, and the EC to back the theft of oil-rich lands from Muslim Sudan and give them to a new Christian state apparently to be called Southern Sudan.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.