Spiking the football
When it came time for the fatal takedown of bin Laden, much was made about not feeling the need to ‘spike the football.’
That didn’t keep the President from spiking the football—and reminding us of it when the Administration thinks it convenient—but there’s far more at work here.
From David Ignatius:
In the year since Osama bin Laden’s death, it has been a comforting thought for Westerners to say that he failed. And that’s certainly true in terms of al-Qaeda, whose scorched-earth jihad tactics alienated Muslims along with everyone else. But in terms of bin Laden’s broader goal of moving the Islamic world away from Western influence, he has done better than we might like to think.
What we’re seeing now in Egypt is something that might be called electoral bin Ladenism. Take the group Gamaa Islamiya, which under its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, made the first unsuccessful attempt to destroy the World Trade Center in 1993. Today, the organization has formed a Salafist political party with the benign name Building and Development Party. This organization, which like al-Qaeda traces its roots to the Islamist theorist Sayyid Qutb, has 13 seats in the new Egyptian parliament.
What was once the Global War on Terror became the President’s Overseas Contingency Operation and is well on its way to becoming Electoral bin Ladenism.
I think even the President’s handlers will be hard pressed to call this a U.S. foreign policy achievement.
And if there is a more compelling case than Electoral bin Ladenism for moving towards U.S. energy independence as quickly as practical, I’d like to know what it is.