September 12, 2006


Thanks to Bush, Bin Laden won (Richard Cohen, 9/12/06, NY Daily News)

I hear Osama Bin Laden laughing. I heard him all day on Sunday and yesterday as the mass murder of Sept. 11, 2001, was memorialized at the Pentagon and in that field in Pennsylvania and, especially, here where the most people died and where countless cameras recorded it all for posterity and an abiding, everlasting, anger. He laughs, the madman does, whenever George Bush says, as he has over and over, that America is "winning this war on terror." Osama Bin Laden knows better. He has already won.

Even setting aside that the winners don't generally end up hidden in caves--alive or dead--you have to pretty radically misunderstand bin Ladenism to think that his goal was Shi'a dominance of a democratic Iraq and Lebanon and extension of democracy and/or democratic reforms to Afghanistan, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc., at such a negligible cost in American life and wealth. Here's a simple test of who's winning: try to name a country in the Islamic world where the status quo pre-911 was preferable to the current trend.


U.S. embassy in Damascus attacked
(ALBERT AJI, 9/12/06, Associated Press)

Armed militants attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in a bold attack Tuesday using automatic rifles, hand grenades and at least one van rigged with explosives, the government said. Syrian security forces killed three of the attackers and no Americans were hurt.

That's their best shot five years into their victory?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 12, 2006 8:26 AM

Yeah, you can argue that we didn't do this right or we flubbed that up or our timing was bad here and there, but the notion that Bin Laden (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) is winning at the moment is risible.

Posted by: Dreadnought at September 12, 2006 10:21 AM

The Marines should go immediately to Bashir's palace and kill him in response.

Posted by: ratbert at September 12, 2006 10:42 AM


Posted by: erp at September 12, 2006 11:01 AM

As Richard Cohen and all good, true, and right-thinking Democrats--oops, I mean Americans--know in their bones, if the Gore-Lieberman administration (well, okay, not Lieberman, he's one o' them neo-cons; it would have to be the "Gore-and-whoever-replaced-Lieberman" administration) had been in power, we'd have had UN resolutions, tough sanctions, the French would have been on our side, we'd have taken the wind out of Osama's sails by signing Kyoto and supporting the right of return, and best of all, there would be no threat to A Woman's Right To Choose. The trial of Osama would be starting next week, just as soon as we get the details of the extradition worked out with Mullah Omar. Why, Jimmy Carter is on his way to Kabul right now for the next round of talks. . . .

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 12, 2006 11:20 AM

One need only read Cohen's column to know who "won".

So many myths, and he hit all of them. Nice touch about wanting to kill Osama with his bare hands - perhaps Hillary or Pelosi should use that in their next big foreign policy speech.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 12, 2006 11:33 AM

Sixty years from now, Cohen's successors will be fuming over why the U.S. still hasn't roused the 108-year-old bin Laden from his hideout and brought him to justice, so we can declare the War on Terror to be over.

Posted by: John at September 12, 2006 1:33 PM

Osama Bin Laden knows better. He has already won.

If Richard Cohen has to hand over his water bottle before boarding a plane, Bin Laden has won?

Posted by: kevin whited at September 12, 2006 2:08 PM

"[OBL's] goal was Shi'a dominance of a democratic Iraq" That definitely is news to me. OBL is a Sunni Arab. Al Qaedas are killing Shi'as with their IEDs. Sunnis are killed by Shi'a death squads. Al Qaedas tried to incite a Shia-Sunni civil war. But OBL's goal was Shia dominance?

Posted by: ic at September 12, 2006 5:45 PM

Time for a good Fox & Corkum cartoon of a dirty and bedraggled OBL in a dank cave with his friends the rats, spiders & scorpions, holding the NYT, watching Bush on TV throw out the first baseball or something, and proclaiming "I won!"

Posted by: anon at September 12, 2006 9:09 PM