The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘USA! USA! USA!’ (I’m Just Saying That Because It Bothers Liberals So Much)

Posted on | May 2, 2011 | 15 Comments

It is unfortunately predictable that the success of the U.S. effort that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan would result in finger-pointing, one-upsmanship and needless politicization. For example, Nate Silver at the New York Times:

To state the obvious, this is good news for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. I can’t imagine a single, atomized piece of news, foreign or domestic, that would be better for the President.
Although the Republican candidates had not seemed especially interested in making an issue out of national security — perhaps because Mr. Obama’s foreign policy has been fairly hawkish and not clearly differentiated from theirs — it at the very least neuters the issue for them. It presumably will become a significant talking point for the President — the sort of thing that swing voters will be reminded of in a commercial on the eve of the 2012 elections.
The news will also, almost certainly, trigger a significant improvement in Mr. Obama’s approval rating.

All of which is inarguably true, but it does seem a rather narrow way of looking at an event of such magnitude. Meanwhile, on MSNBC this morning, Joe Scarborough implied that Democrats didn’t want bin Laden dead, praising Obama for “courage and leadership [in] saying no to his own base” and “going against his own ideological leanings.” Here’s video:

The folks at Think Progress are offended. But indeed it appears that there are liberals so clueless that they didn’t find bin Laden’s death a cause for celebration. Dave Weigel talked to one such person in the crowd in front of the White House last night:

[American University student] Brianna Musselman. . . was aghast at what she saw. . . . She got teary-eyed . . . arguing with a group of fellow AU students.
“What are we celebrating?” she said. “This isn’t the end of terrorism. A person is dead.”
She just wanted the revelers to keep perspective and stop gloating.
“Terrorists don’t need a figurehead that the media promotes,” she said. “I feel like he [bin Laden] was the scapegoat for a lot of stuff that happened.”

Scapegoat? Scapegoat? You wonder where such naivete comes from. Part of it, I suspect, is that many kids are taught non-violence as a principle to such an extent that even the death of a mass-murderer is cause for mourning. Another factor is undoubtedly the blame-America-first mentality, which views terrorism as a more-or-less legitimate response to American “imperialism.” A similar attitude is displayed by David Sirota in a Salon column:

[I]in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise, sometimes celebrating bloodshed against those we see as Bad Guys just as vigorously as our enemies celebrate bloodshed against innocent Americans they (wrongly) deem as Bad Guys. Indeed, an America that once carefully refrained from flaunting gruesome pictures of our victims for fear of engaging in ugly death euphoria now ogles pictures of Uday and Qusay’s corpses, rejoices over images of Saddam Hussein’s hanging and throws a party at news that bin Laden was shot in the head.

We first note that Sirota finds moral equivalence between (a) those in the Islamic world who celebrate the deaths of innocents, and (b) Americans celebrating the deaths of bloodthirsty killers. Sirota also displays his ignorance of history:

[Obama has] drag[ged] us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history — the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.

Bullshit. The America that conquered a continent, won two world wars and spent more than four decades in an eyeball-to-eyeball nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union was not a nation that recoiled from bloodshed. After Sirota’s deluded nonsense, it’s actually kind of refreshing — even encouraging — to see the raw partisanship of the liberal ladies on The View:

Barbara Walters: “I would hate now to be a Republican candidate thinking of running.” Joy Behar: “Skip the next election.” See, I can appreciate that: Liberals engaging in partisan cheerleading is actually normal. What is abnormal, and perhaps even pathological, is the handwringing concern about “scapegoating” bin Laden and the guilt-stricken fear that jubilant chants of “USA! USA!” are excessively “bellicose.”

Meanwhile, Instapundit rounds up reaction from conservatives, including a commenter at Protein Wisdom who drolly remarks: “A Nobel peace prize winner carrying out a successful assassination!” And Insty also enjoys the irony that the information which led to this success came from “enhanced interrogation” of Guantanamo detainees: “I’m gobsmacked! But the original gobsmackee, Andrew Sullivan, is now celebrating Obama’s martial might. You go, guy. Glad you’ve found another warlike President you can love.”

If Sully is tied into a knot of hopeless and inexplicable contradictions, this is another reason to cheer: “USA! USA! USA!”

UPDATE: “This Targeted Killing Brought To You By Waterboarding.”

UPDATE II: “Then and now: The Left, Obama and secret prisons.”

UPDATE III: Here’s an ABC News report:

Media Matters headline: “Right-Wing Media Accuse Obama Of Making Bin Laden Death All About Himself.” Uh, (a) these were mostly blog posts and Tweets — it wasn’t like any of this was broadcast on major networks; and (b) was this just a “right-wing” accusation? Because Nate Silver and Joy Behar certainly aren’t right-wingers, and they certainly seem to have thought it was all about Obama.

UPDATE IV: U.S. to release video of bin Laden’s burial at sea? Kinda hard to believe Western news agencies are giving Islamic clerics a platform to complain about our treatment of this vicious butcher. American newspapers didn’t interview Japanese sources in 1945 to ask them how they felt about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Comments are closed.