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

From the ArkTimes store

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…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Aid politics

    The still-unfolding catastrophe in Houston is, first, a human tragedy. But when politicians try to tell you that a time of enormous human tragedy is not a time to talk about politics, it likely means the politics are embarrassing to them.
    • Aug 31, 2017
  • Save the statues!

    The Democratic Party of Arkansas has called for relocation of Confederate monuments from public places, such as courthouse squares and the Capitol lawn, to history museums or private grounds.
    • Aug 24, 2017
  • Charter secret

    These are hard times for those who believe in traditional public schools, run by democratically elected representatives, open to all on equal terms.
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

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

Most Viewed

  • Can't afford to gut ACA

    The Affordable Care Act was passed into law with the promise that it would make insurance affordable. Because of bipartisan leadership in Arkansas, we continue to strive to achieve that goal. While rhetoric abounds, it is important to understand the Arkansas experience.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Shiny, nobody is saying that Hillary isn't entitled to speak. Shit, the more she talks,…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bad health care bill, again

    • Its hard to tell what the GOP in Arkansas care about beyond making life worse…

    • on September 20, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • I am very glad to see a lot of women running for government positions in…

    • on September 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation