Favorite

Osama's farewells and Huckabee's comments 

I write Monday morning less than 12 hours after the news that a U.S. strike force had killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in a raid on his Pakistan hideout.

It was hard to fault President Obama's measured announcement and his acknowledgment that bin Laden's death was not an end of the anti-terrorism fight or the need to be vigilant.

"As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."

Measured rhetoric is not the hallmark of a former Arkansan who might seek to replace President Obama in 2012. Mike Huckabee was an early commenter on his website.

"It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead. The leader of Al Qaeda — responsible for the deaths of 3,000 innocent citizens on September 11, 2001, and whose maniacal hate is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US servicemen and women was killed by U.S. military. ... 

"It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless in tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens."

Welcome to hell, indeed. And welcome to the Christian-Muslim divide that Huckabee nurtures with relish.

I was struck more favorably by Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin of Little Rock. He allowed a few more hours of reflection before speaking. He also claimed no insight into bin Laden's afterlife room assignment.

"The death of Osama Bin Laden is great news for the United States, our allies and the world. This is an historic moment for our nation. Let there be no doubt: this is a major achievement and a victory for all Americans, especially for the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence communities, who have sacrificed, along with their families, for the last ten years. While Bin Laden's death is a very important event, our nation must remain committed to vigorously fighting the war on terror in order to protect our nation from those who would do us harm."

Perhaps because Griffin has served in the military he was not so ready to throw around cheap fighting words, as Huckabee had.

The punditry piled up quickly. Two contrasting views arrived just about simultaneously. Eugene Robinson, the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, declared the event a time for "triumphalism and unapologetic patriotism."

At the same time, I heard from Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, a local Baptist pastor. He paid tribute to the military and intelligence victory and said bin Laden's death was a "just conclusion." But he added:

"This is no time for triumphalism. Instead, we should give serious thought about how to reconcile human differences so that violence, hate, and cruelty don't take root within people."

Which style do you prefer? That welcome mat to hell? Or a victory message tempered by the understanding that more than weaponry is required to solve the asymmetric puzzle of international conflicts?

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Kids count, not confidentiality

    The trial for the murder of Isaiah Torres, 6, was a reminder again of a gaping hole in the law pertaining to child protective services.
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • Fixing blame: President Trump

    Did the press fail? Were liberal-leaning journalists on the coasts responsible for missing the Trump wave among middle-to-lower income white voters with lower educational attainment?
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Can we get along?

    he Times production deadline fell before polls closed this week, so I'll look to the past and future.
    • Nov 10, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Worth it

    • And loyal, to a fault.

    • on December 6, 2016
  • Re: Worth it

    • Alas, Gene's memory ain't what it used to be. He wrote a column some time…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Forget identity politics

    • Hillarys 'Stronger Together' nonsense failed because she failed to make it a reality. As Gene…

    • on December 5, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation