Republicans: Joe Biden Killed Al-Qaeda Leader, And Somehow That's Bad

President Joe Biden announced Monday night that a US drone strike took out Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, one of the chief ghouls behind 9/11. Americans love when it when our military kills terrorists. There’s no way to make this seem bad ... unless you’re a Republican. They rain on Biden’s parades like an evil Barbra Streisand.

Tucker Carlson set up the rightwing talking points when he mocked Biden for "boasting that he’s killed an Al Qaeda figure in Afghanistan.”

CARLSON: Great. Feel safer? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. And the reason nobody feels safer is Biden’s response to the disaster in Afghanistan.

Not even the Biden administration's most optimistic projections suggested that Americans would instantly feel safer once al-Zawahri was dead. That’s not how anything works. However, Carlson assumes we should cower in fear whenever migrants cross the border.

Midterms are just three months away, so it makes sense that Republicans would immediately anchor Biden’s clear military victory with his far less successful withdrawal from Afghanistan.

PREVIOUSLY: Joe Biden Thinks America Old Enough To Hear (Mostly) Truth About Afghanistan



Sen. Lindsey Graham grudgingly noted that al-Zawahri’s death "is a significant event in the War on Terror. All those involved have delivered a strong message that America never forgets. Unfortunately we have learned that killing terrorists like bin Laden, al-Baghdadi, and al-Zarqawi doesn’t end terrorism.”

Sheesh, what a buzzkill! Look, we all know that killing terrorists doesn’t end terrorism, although it’s more effective than most of what the TSA subjects us to at the airport.

Graham suggested that the US killing al-Zawahri somehow proves that we’re actually less safe than ever.

What unnerves me is that Al-Zawahiri felt comfortable enough being out in the open in the Kabul area after the Taliban takeover. So much for the Taliban rejecting al-Qaeda.

This is proof positive that Afghanistan has once again become a safe haven for international terrorists.

Well, that's an interesting definition of "safe."

Kevin McCarthy, who fancies himself the GOP House leader, demanded that the Biden administration "provide Congress with a briefing as soon as possible to discuss the resurgence of Al-Qaeda in the region following his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan."

It’s not much of a resurgence considering Al-Qaeda’s top guy is now dead, and Satan’s getting his room ready. Military expert Donald Trump Jr. responded to McCarthy’s tweet with what he at least considers valuable insight.



TRUMP JR.:
100% The fact that the leader of Al-Qaeda felt comfortable walking around the streets of Kabul should tell us a lot … and none of it good.

Despite what this moron says, al-Zawahri wasn’t casually exploring downtown Kabul. He didn’t wander through the local farmer’s market. US intelligence had tracked him down to a house in a crowded part of the Afghan capital. He was obviously very much in hiding when he was obliterated on his balcony. He wasn’t feeling bold because of perceived American weakness. He was like Vincent Vega leaving his gun out on the kitchen counter while taking a crap. He fucked up and now he’s dead. There wasn’t room for even the slightest mistake.



This morning, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar appeared to have absorbed the rightwing scaremongering. She asked national security spokesperson John Kirby: "What does it say about the future of US counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan that one of the most wanted terrorists in the world is comfortable on a balcony in downtown Kabul?"

This question makes zero sense. The US military tracked down and killed al-Zawahri. The future of US counterterrorism seems bright enough for shades-wearing. We don’t even know if al-Zawahri felt “comfortable” on his balcony. It might’ve been one of those Juliet situations. It doesn’t seem like he was living the glamorous life. He could’ve been desperate for fresh air while hiding like a rat in a dank apartment. I’m a former New Yorker and can relate.

Kirby patiently rebutted the rightwing spin:

If I’m an Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan right now, I bet you I’m thinking that it’s not quite the safe haven I once thought it was, and I’m sure that this is putting them on their back heels. And we’re going to have to watch and be vigilant as they try to adjust to what just happened on Saturday night.

A scumbag terrorist leader is dead. This is objectively good news no matter how desperately Republicans wish otherwise.

[Mediaite]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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