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.
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why it "emboldens the enemy" in Iraq to say we're going to require that troops we send there have adequate armor and training, but it's "bold leadership" to say we just don't really care all that much about eliminating bin Laden?
Remind me, which one of these enemies "followed us home" again?
Now, has he got a point? Sure he does. Al Qaeda is bigger than just Osama bin Laden. And, as the article notes:
Schoomaker pointed to the capture of Saddam Hussein, the killings of his sons, Uday and Qusay, and the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as evidence that the capture or death of al-Qaeda's leader would have little effect on threats to the United States.
You have to admit, there's an element of truth to that. Of course, it's an element of truth that someone we know was ridiculed for making... three years ago:
Anti-war candidate Howard Dean said Monday "the capture of Saddam has not made America safer," directly contradicting President Bush and drawing the wrath of two Democratic presidential rivals.
And let's just be clear about what that says up there. It says two Democratic presidential rivals joined in bashing Dean on that point. And they were?
A forceful proponent of the war, Sen. Joe Lieberman, said Dean is in a "spider hole of denial," a reference to Saddam's ignominious hideout and Dean's assessment of the capture's impact.
[Sen. John] Kerry said the front-runner's speech "is still more proof that all the advisers in the world can't give Howard Dean the military and foreign policy experience, leadership skills, or diplomatic temperament necessary to lead this country through dangerous times."
Only one of the above Democratic rivals has come to see the error of his ways since then.
The other, of course, is no longer Democratic.