Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Osama bin Laden

What Happens if ISIS Wins in Iraq?

Those arguing for US military action in Iraq to stop the advance of ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/Iraq and the Levant) frequently claim that if the United States does not take action and ISIS prevails, Iraq will become a launching pad for terrorist attacks against the United States. This argument frequently gets run whenever anyone wants to intervene in a Middle Eastern country, but does it really stand up? Let’s investigate.

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Americans Agree with Osama bin Laden

My point today is a very controversial one–increasingly, Americans are beginning to agree with Osama bin Laden. This is not to say that Americans are beginning to agree with terrorism or the use of indiscriminate violence–with the exception of a few mass shooters, we’re still generally quite opposed to all of that. No, we’re still very much opposed to terrorism; what we’re beginning to agree with are bin Laden’s ends, not his means. I suspect many readers are resistant to that conclusion, so I must elaborate and defend it.

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Extending the War on Terror

Back in 2011 when Osama bin Laden was killed, I was excited. This isn’t to say that I thought bin Laden’s execution and subsequent dumping into the sea were optimal–I would have preferred to see him captured and put on trial. No, my excitement stemmed from my belief that once bin Laden was captured the Obama administration would have an excuse to bring the war on terror to an end. See, in 2011 I still had some last vestiges of confidence in the judgement of Barack Obama, vestiges that, sadly, have since proven themselves grievously misplaced. What’s the trouble now? The Pentagon has given a straight answer to the question of how long it expects the war on terror to last. What answer did it give? Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary for special operations at the defence department, said:

I think it’s at least 10 to 20 years

Oh my.

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