What’s his strategy for capturing Osama, you say, besides redeploying tens of thousands of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan and having them shake their fists angrily in the direction of the Pakistani border? Just ask his new national security team, a who’s who of the same leftist counterterror heroes that made 9/11 possible in the first place. “Not so Changey,” sniffs Karl, scanning the names for Hope and finding Albrights and Christophers as far as the eye can see. Will foreign policy guidance from Pooh corner make the difference this go-round? Second time’s a charm, my friends.
And if they do capture him?
Obama said he wouldn’t discuss what approach he would take to bring bin Laden to justice if he were apprehended. But he said the Nuremberg trials for the prosecution of Nazi leaders are an inspiration because the victors acted to advance universal principles and set a tone for the creation of an international order.
“What would be important would be for us to do it in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he’s engaged in and not to make him into a martyr, and to assure that the United States government is abiding by basic conventions that would strengthen our hand in the broader battle against terrorism,” Obama said.
Geraghty quibbles with various aspects of this, including the dopey martyrdom point I’ve attacked before, but I’m more interested in his invocation of Nuremberg. The cardinal virtue of Nuremberg, as I’ve always understood it, was that it created an international platform to air evidence of the Holocaust, the magnitude of which either wasn’t known or wasn’t fully appreciated until that point. It was a secret, and the secret was then revealed. I take it that’s what Obama has in mind in referring to murderous acts being made known — except, as Geraghty notes, everyone already knows all about AQ’s murderous acts. They watched them happen live on TV, remember? If anything, jihadi atrocities have been so well documented that people have grown numb to them. So what’s a Nuremberg for Osama going to accomplish? Here’s what it’ll accomplish: It’ll give him a world stage to inveigh against the U.S. just like his crony-in-chief did a few weeks ago down at Gitmo, secure in the knowledge that the media would carry the good word back to the Wahhabi faithful abroad. That’s the other huge difference between now and Nuremberg. When Hermann Goering ranted on behalf of Nazism, there was no one left on his side to be inspired. Not so this time. If Obama’s so hot for analogies to German trials, he should think less about 1945 and more about 1924.
Bin Laden’s never going to be taken alive so it’s all academic anyway. Exit question for that crack new national security team regarding his position on Jerusalem: Is he a liar or is he genuinely this ignorant?