Originally Posted by mzsmbs
approval would probably go up but this isn't about approval.. the approval they were shooting for they already got.. shrub even says that he doesn't even worry about OBL..
This is more than a little deceptive.
I think that early on after 9/11 Bush (and most of America) probably felt that capturing or killing OBL would put a serious dent in worldwide terrorism. Since, in particular, we had never faced a foreign terrorist attack of this magnitude before, this was a reasonable assumption.
Since then, the invasion and occupation of the "formerly sovereign nation of Iraq" has demonstrated to us that merely capturing or killing the leaders of Al-Queda or of the Iraqi insurgency in no way impairs the ability of the terrorists to continue operations. This was demonstrated to us repeatedly as false hopes of an early victory were dashed in spite of the capturing of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent killing of his two sons and of Al zarqawi. In each case we anticipated that neutralizing these leaders would weaken the insurgency and repeatedly we have been proven wrong.
It is on the backdrop of this experience that Bush has stated that, although it would be desirable to kill Bin Laden, it is not necessarily of strategic importance. i think that everyone sees the desirablity of a revenge killing on someone who has brought so much death and destruction to America, but I think that we also understand that Al-Queda is a decentralized organization with many members worldwide whose leadership is easily replacable.
There is no doubt that capturing or killing Bin Laden would be a great personal victory for Bush particularly at a time when he (and the republican party) are not doing that well at the polls and risk the loss of one or both houses of congress. I also think that it is simply absurd to suggest that Bush has ulterior motives for wanting to keep Bin Laden on the run such as (but not limited to) a desire to erode American civil liberties by expanding the Patriot Act. People who subcribe to such nonsense have about as much credibility as those who engage in Holocaust denial or believe in the extra-terrestial origin of crop circles.
Finally I think that Bush's military threat to Muschareff was effective in gaining important Pakistani cooperation in the war on terror that would otherwise not have been forthcoming. The Pakistani military and secret service were (and probably still are) sympathetic to the Taliban whom they actually helped to form. I think that Bush is cognizant of the fact that Muchareff is acting at great personal risk by supporting America as this policy is not popular either among his people or his armed services. If you recall, there have already been several attempts on Muchareff's life. It is a delicate balancing act that both he and Bush have to play. Muchareff cannot afford the political fallout that a complete exposition of his cooperation with America would entail. And for this reason I belieive that we don't know the full extent of Pakistan's cooperation with the west. I have no doubt that, if pushed to extremes, Bush would make good on his threat to punish Pakistan militarily. I also think that he would prefer to gain Pakistan's cooperation without having to resort to military force and that he has done this to a much greater extent than has been revealed to the public. It is not in America's interest to make Muchareff appear to be Bush's lapdog and to further undermine his position at home.