- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2011


The official “cultural barometer” keepers at CafePress say that more than 1,000 Osama bin Laden-themed products have been created by online entrepreneurs in the last 24 hours marking the death of the terrorist leader. Among the many mottos from bumper stickers, T-shirts, water bottles, mugs, yoga mats, underwear: “Osama bin Hit,” “5/1/11: We remember 9/11,” “SEAL Team 6 (Resistance is Futile),” “Navy 1, Osama 0,” “Justice is Done, God Bless America.” “We Got Him,” “Obama got Osama.” See more at www.cafepress.com


President Obama will draw only limited political benefits from the death of Osama bin Laden, some say, though the timing and tone of his surprise announcement had plenty of firepower. Indeed, Mr. Obama’s statement provided a dramatic finale to his birth-certificate duel with Donald Trump and temporarily quelled criticism of recent heavy-handed fundraising.

“He was matter-of-fact, he was perfunctory in his delivery of very serious news, and that worked for him,” Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas presidential historian, tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Obama was the one who got to pull the trigger on this rather than President George W. Bush, though there is a certain luck of the draw involved. Still, Mr. Obama gets only a short-term political boost,” Mr. Buchanan says. “We are still far, far away from the 2012 election, and those public passions can fade very quickly.”


Uh, no bounce. Even a terrorist can’t evade the reach of pollsters. Osama bin Laden only got tepid favorability numbers in the months leading up to his death. So says the Pew Research Center.

“A survey of Muslim publics around the world found little support for the al Qaeda leader. Among the six predominantly Muslim nations surveyed by the Pew Research Centers Global Attitudes Project, bin Laden received his highest level of support in the Palestinian territories - although even there only 34 percent said they had confidence in the terrorist leader to do the right thing in world affairs,” advises Andrew Kohut, president of the research group.

“Minorities of Muslims in Indonesia (25 percent), Egypt (22 percent) and Jordan (13 percent) also expressed confidence in bin Laden, while he has almost no support among Turkish (3 percent) or Lebanese Muslims (1 percent). In Pakistan, where 2011 data is still not available, confidence in bin Laden fell from 52 percent in 2005 to just 18 percent in last years survey,” Mr. Kohut notes.

“Al Qaeda also received largely negative ratings among Muslim publics in the 2011 survey. Only 2 percent of Muslims in Lebanon and 5 percent in Turkey expressed favorable views of al Qaeda. In Jordan, 15 percent had a positive opinion of al Qaeda, while about one-in-five in Indonesia (22 percent) and Egypt (21 percent) shared this view. Palestinian Muslims offered somewhat more positive opinions (28 percent favorable), but about two-thirds viewed bin Ladens organization unfavorably,” Mr. Kohut adds.


The real deal comes to town: Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, Ariz., testifies Tuesday at a House Homeland Security border and maritime security subcommittee hearing titled “Border security and enforcement: Department of Homeland Security’s Cooperation with State and Local Law Enforcement Stakeholders.” The 34-year veteran lawman, incidentally, is also honorary co-chairman of the interest group www.bordersheriffs.com.

Sheriff Dever plans to counter the agency’s recent claims that the U.S.-Mexico border is “more secure than ever” owing to apparent dips in border apprehensions by the Border Patrol. The border “is still far from being secure,” he says, even as federal officials “kick the ball of enforcement back and forth” and dicker over what’s secure, and what’s not.

“Bottom line is, anyone who wants to cross into our southern border can,” Sheriff Dever says.


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