What about drones now? What about Afghanistan?
ASK THIS | May 02, 2011
With bin Laden gone, isn’t it time for serious discussion of an Afghanistan war pullout? And how much of a new honeymoon period does President Obama earn, if any, for the military’s incredibly precise 40-minute maneuver?
By Barry Sussman
Here are a few questions from the Nieman Watchdog assignment desk for second-day stories on the departure of Osama bin Laden. Feel free to append some of your own:
Q. The stated purpose of having American troops in Afghanistan is to block al Qaeda from returning to a safe haven there. That threat seems to have faded long ago. Shouldn’t bin Laden’s death be a turning point for the US. policy toward Afghanistan? And shouldn’t Congress be taking this up in a serious manner? Shouldn’t the press?
Q. With bin Laden dead, what does the military say about drone raids in Pakistan? Will they continue? If yes, what’s the rationale?
Q. Some people no doubt feel the daring, successful raid reflects well on President Obama. It might be worth watching Fox News the next few days. What’s their take?
Q. Obama may be in line for a new honeymoon period with the public. Is he, and if yes, how far will it carry? How set are House Republicans right now, compared to last week, in demanding sharp spending cuts or attaching other restrictions before they agree to raising the nation's debt ceiling?
Q. American Muslim groups have praised the killing of bin Laden. Here’s a sample from a statement by Haris Tarin, Washington, DC, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council: “Today we greet the news of the death of Osama bin laden with a sense of immense relief. ..We stand together in thanking our men and women in uniform and the President and his National security team.” The question is, what about Muslim groups in other countries, especially among the rebels seeking change in Arab countries? What are they saying?
Barry Sussman is the editor of the Nieman Watchdog Project. He is the author of The Great Cover-Up: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate, now in its fourth edition.
05/03/2011, 11:35 AM
"Q. Some people no doubt feel the daring, successful raid reflects well on President Obama. It might be worth watching Fox News the next few days. What’s their take?"
Fox News is always worth watching, since their factual insight is the only bipartisan news we have available in this democracy. I'm sure that their take on this success will no doubt be worthy of my time.
05/03/2011, 08:59 PM
Q- The White House is faced with a dilemma: release a gruesome photo of a dead OBL and risk a storm of radical Muslim fury worldwide, or suppress the photo and let loose the conspiracy loonies like Donald Trump et al who will saw Bin Laden is still alive.
Interestingly, the question of whether or not TV stations would actually broadcast such a grotesque photo has already been answered. A fake, crudely-photoshopped photo of dead OBL was broadcast on a commercial TV network in Australia hours after the attack on bin Laden's hideout. The presenter, looking somber and earnest, told his viewers that normally the network doesn't show such gruesome images, but was making an exception this time.
The Guardian newspaper account of the fake picture, which went viral on the Web, is at the following link:
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