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Osama Who?

One of the constant refrains we have heard over the years from supporters of the war in Iraq is that advocating policies or actions that are counter to the White House's would "embolden the enemy". This phrase was on display most recently during the Congressional debate on the President's surge plan, albeit it took the more mundane form of "send a message". It rests on the premise that by our actions and words, we signal to the enemy (whoever that happens to be at that moment) that America's resolve in confronting them is faltering.

If that is the case, can someone please explain to me how statements such as this do not "send a message"?
The Army's highest-ranking officer said Friday that he was unsure whether the U.S. military would capture or kill Osama bin Laden, adding, "I don't know that it's all that important, frankly."

"So we get him, and then what?" asked Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the outgoing Army chief of staff, at a Rotary Club of Fort Worth luncheon. "There's a temporary feeling of goodness, but in the long run, we may make him bigger than he is today.

"He's hiding, and he knows we're looking for him. We know he's not particularly effective. I'm not sure there's that great of a return" on capturing or killing bin Laden.

"We know he's not particularly effective". Uh, hello? September 11th ring a bell? Or is the murder of nearly 3,000 people merely chump change? And your not sure there's that great of a return? How's about the knowledge that the mastermind behind one of the worst acts of terrorism to ever hit US soil is no longer able plot, plan and send forth more of his followers to carry out a similar or, heaven forbid, far worse attack? That's not a good enough incentive for you General?

Then again, having him around to "make him bigger then he is today" has been all the incentive the administration ever needed.

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