Are you rejoicing yet?

A couple of days ago ,a headline  in our local paper read thusly: Bin  Laden killed, America rejoices! I  suppose that  I failed to get the memo, since I  have not felt the urge to jump for joy. I have given a bit of thought to this event since its occurrence and perhaps even more thought to its aftermath. Of course I  am not alone in writing about these thoughts. Time magazine already has an issue devoted to all aspects of the event. Hooray for instant journalism. My son has written a  thoughtful post about  reactions to the killing/assassination that explore among other things the part that revenge plays.

For now I have thoughts that are more political in nature. There has been a significant internal debate in the  Obama administration about releasing a photo confirming  Bin Laden’s death. Personally it would be quite unseemly to do and many who are calling it a necessity( Sarah Palin for one) remind me of people who cannot avert their eyes from auto accidents  or any number of other disasters.

I actually applaud the President’s decision not to release a photo. But what intrigued me was his choice of words in describing the decision. We don’t “want to spike the football.”  Now as a football fan I know to what he refers,as does almost any sports fan. Laying aside the thought that this was an overly casual choice of phrases I infer that he sees no need to gloat and/or overly politicize the event.

Not to worry though. There are other available to carry the water for him in that regard. For example, Barbara Walters says that she would hate to be  a Republican running against Obama in 2012. Her sidekick, Joy Behar, said that maybe we should just skip the 2012 election completely, just not even bother. Others such as E J Dionne and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin have voiced or inferred similar sentiments.

After pondering this for a bit it finally hit me. Think back to 1991 just after the end of the Gulf War.George H W Bush is basking the glow of  an approval rate of over  90%  .The election is just  over 18 months away. Game over? Nope. In that instance the state of the economy was arguably the deciding factor. I think that will again be the case. For example gasoline prices are almost 3x higher than they were just over 2 years ago.If  there  is no discernible change in that number as well as others  in the economic realm, anything can happen in 2012 and probably will.


May 6, 2011 - Posted by | Foreign Policy | , , , , , , ,

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