Posts tagged as:

bin laden

Barack Obama gave two very impressive speeches this weekend: one funny, and one deadly serious.

First, there was his speech at the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where Obama held the floor like a seasoned comedian and managed to get his digs in at Donald Trump while he was at it:

Does he have the Colbert Report‘s writers on his speechwriting staff? Because that was one brilliant piece of satire.

Then, tonight, his address to the nation on the death of Osama Bin Laden struck all the right notes, inspiring some Canadians to comment on my Twitter feed that they wished they could vote for him tomorrow instead of one of our guys:

Say what you will about the man, but he certainly has the gift of oratory. Why can’t any of our politicians give speeches like that?

Bin Laden’s death may not mean much in the grand scheme of the so-called “war on terror” in practical terms. But cynically speaking, it’s likely to give Obama’s re-election chances a big boost.

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Ten years later.

Dozens of terrorist attacks, including Istanbul, Madrid, London, and last week in Marrakech, later.

2,340 coalition casualties in Afghanistan, including 155 Canadians, later.

Thousands of Afghan civilian casualties – too many for any body or organization to properly count – later.

Osama bin Laden is dead, says the President. It’s been almost ten years since the September 11th attacks, and since the world’s largest manhunt was launched for the man responsible. In those ten years, the world has changed so much that it’s almost unrecognizable.

Ten years ago, bin Laden’s death might have actually struck a body blow at the terrorist infrastructure. Today, it will probably make little more than a dent. After all, they’ve had ten years to reorganize and restructure, to recruit and train. Ten years during which Osama was little more than a figurehead, and the network has decentralized. Ten years for other international terror groups to “step up” and grow up.

(Oh, and ten years for the US to invade Iraq, for there to be civil war – and now reconciliation – in the Palestinian territories, for governments to change hands in western nations and for massive rounds of civilian unrest and protest across the middle east. A lot can happen in ten years.)

At best, this announcement will give Obama a temporary bump in the polls as he kicks off his 2012 re-election campaign. At worst, it will make bin Laden into a martyr among his followers and trigger additional attacks. In all likelihood, it will make very little practical difference.

It does feel like the end of an era, in a way.

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And the delusional dumbass of the month award goes to…

11.12.2006

Nicholas Roach of Brossard, who writes in a letter published in today’s Gazette: U.S. ambassador David Wilkins is mistaken when he assumes all Canadians would be offended if our prime minister’s name were placed in the same sentence as Kim Jong Il and Osama bin Laden. I believe that it is insulting to put Kim […]

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Harper digs self into hole

04.22.2005

Memo to Stephen: Remarks like these won’t help you get elected: Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s director of communications apologized Friday for referring to Canada’s Prime Minister as “Osama bin Martin.” Geoff Norquay, director of communications for the Leader of the Opposition, said he meant the reference to the international terrorist leader as a joke. Some […]

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Surrendering to terrorism

04.15.2004

Everyone’s talking about the latest so-called Osama tape, on which he supposedly offers Europe (but not the US of course) a “truce” if they comply with Al Qa’eda’s demands. The only question is which European country *ahem France ahem* will be the first in line to surrender. After all, appeasement worked with Hitler oh-so-well, didn’t […]

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Got him

03.01.2003

Pakistan claims to have captured a top Al-Quaeda leader: Pakistan said it had arrested the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, on Saturday in what officials declared was a major coup in the global war on terror. “We have finally apprehended Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” Rashid Qureshi, spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf, […]

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The double-standard of targeted killings

12.15.2002

The double-standard of targeted killings has just become a step clearer with the revelation that the CIA is authorized to kill terrorists. President Bush has authorized the CIA to kill “the worst of the worst” terrorist leaders, including al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his top deputy, The New York Times reported in its Sunday […]

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“You’re giving us terrorists a bad name!”

12.15.2002

Yasser Arafat has reportedly asked Osama Bin Laden to stay out of Palestinian affairs. “I’m telling him (bin Laden) directly not to hide behind the Palestinian cause,” Arafat said in an interview published in London’s Sunday Times newspaper. Bin Laden “never helped us, he was working in another completely different area and against our interests,” […]

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Where’s Waldo?

11.20.2002

According to Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail, the big emphasis shouldn’t be that Canada is on Osama Bin Laden’s terror list. In case we didn’t already know that, she claims, Bali should have been a wake up call. Rather than operate under the delusion that Canada is safe, we need to wake up […]

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