Yet one month before the presidential elections, Obama promised that his administration “will kill bin Laden.” That, of course, is when Obama needed to curry the favor of American voters, many who would like to see the man behind the murder of some 3,000 Americans pay the ultimate price. Personally, I never thought that killing bin Laden would solve the problem; the doctrinal obligation of jihad makes men like bin Laden, not vice-versa. But that’s not Obama’s logic; perhaps he is merely being “progressive” and “humanitarian” — eschewing “unnecessary” slayings, even of terrorists.
“Barack Obama: killing Osama bin Laden not essential,” from the Telegraph, January 15:
President-Elect Barack Obama has said that killing Osama bin Laden is not essential in the fight against al-Qaeda.
Mr Obama, who assumes power as US commander-in-chief next week after his inauguration on Jan 20, pledged to try to succeed where his predecessor George W Bush failed by catching or killing the terrorist leader.
But he said that it was not essential to kill or even capture the elusive bin Laden when there were other ways to weaken the threat posed by his network.
Sure. Perhaps Mr. Obama is thinking of discrediting the supremacist ideology of Islam? First, of course, he would have to admit to its very existence.
“I think that we have to so weaken his infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function,” Mr Obama told CBS.
“My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him. But if we have so tightened the noose that he’s in a cave somewhere and can’t even communicate with his operatives, then we will meet our goal of protecting America.”
Speaking hours after bin Laden issued a new audio message in which he threatened the US President-Elect, Mr Obama said that al-Qaeda and its leader remain the “number one threat” to US security.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that they cannot create safe havens that can attack Americans. That’s the bottom line,” he said.
His comments came in contrast with an Oct 7 debate during the presidential campaign. Then, Mr Obama said that if elected, his administration “will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda.”
Bin Laden, whose supporters perpetrated the September 11 attacks, earning him a $25 million (Â£17 million) bounty on his head, is widely believed to be hiding in Pakistan in the mountainous, lawless region bordering Afghanistan.