Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We got bin Laden all right Mr. President! Now what?

Enough of the taking of bows!
As President Obama goes on his "victory tour" over the killing of Osama bin Laden, he should keep an eye out for the Middle East unrest that will not go away!

Yes we killed bin Laden and yes that is a very good thing. Yes President Obama gave the order and yes he was the beneficiary of intelligence that would not have been available were it not for President Bush and the "enhanced" interrogation techniques used on some of our captives after 9-11.

But while Obama takes his victory lap, luxuriates over the kudos and plots how he will use this episode to his best political advantage, let us not forget that there is still plenty of trouble brewing in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Riots, religious violence and basic unrest are still percolating throughout the Middle East in places like Egypt, Syria and Tunisia not to mention the crisis at hand with our good friends the Pakistanis!

In Cairo on Sunday Muslims attacked Coptic Christians and burned a church with 12 people killed while the military reportedly just looked on.

In Syria the government continued the brutal crackdown on ordinary citizens as sharpshooters on the roofs of building cut down anyone who ventured outside.

In Tunisia a curfew was installed after days of clashes between protestors and the government.

In Pakistan after the killing of bin Laden indicates government involvement at some level in hiding him, relations between the US and this nuclear armed country are hitting new lows.

No more curtain calls Mr. President

So yes President Obama you accomplished more in the last week than in the first 2+ years of your presidency. But do not forget that you were weak and inadequate in your Middle East dealings before bin Laden was killed, and we cannot afford as a country to have you remain that way now!

"... The syndicate of terror in Pakistan is not a monolith. It has no single leader. Its fluidity is a strength, because it is so complex and multi-layered. Now it is clear it has put its agents deep in the Pakistani military. Obama was right not to trust it on Osama.

The Pakistani army, the fifth-largest in the world, is a maze of contradictions and complexities. Meanwhile it steadily builds more nuclear weapons faster than any other country in the world today. It has close ties to China and Saudi Arabia and troops deployed to back up monarchies like Bahrain and Oman.

It is easy to be confused and angry about Pakistan. But that is not a strategy. The right course calls for engagement, with tough redlines, backed by unilateral operations when needed..." (The Daily Beast)

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