PEEK

Cenk Uygur: Osama's still being forgotten by this administration!

General agrees with Bush: catching bin Laden is no biggie...
In this video, our friend Cenk Uygur goes ballistic over the latest pronouncement -- this time from the Pentagon -- that it's no problem that Osama bin Laden is still running around on the loose (even while experts warn of an Al Qaeda "resurgence").

Cenk points out that there's a a pattern here:

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, on capturing Osama bin Laden:
"I don't know that it's all that important, frankly."
Dick Cheney downplaying the importance of capturing Osama bin Laden:
"He's not the only source of the problem, obviously. . . . If you killed him tomorrow, you'd still have a problem with al-Qaeda."
President Bush on how important he thinks capturing Osama bin Laden is:
"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him. ... And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
"Deep in my heart I know the man's on the run, if he's alive at all...I just don't spend much time on it, really, to be honest with you."
President Bush also shut down the CIA operation trying to capture Osama bin Laden. And let him escape in Tora Bora.


I can't speak for Cenk, but what pisses me off about this is not the statements themselves -- I think you can make a fair argument that al Qaeda has become such a diffuse, decentralized organization that bin Laden has little more than symbolic value at this point. What bothers me is the double standard: while most pundits are giving these guys a pass on an assertion that would no piss off most Americans, can you just imagine the political shit-storm that would happen if a Democrat like John Kerry said the same thing?

Actually, you don't have to use your imagination; it would be just like the reaction to Kerry's statement that we'll never be able to eliminate terrorism completely, and the goal of U.S. policy should be to reduce it to "a nuisance." It would be like that, times ten.
Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer.
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