Haniyeh Statement on Bin Laden Death Irresponsible

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Former Palestine Prime Minister and Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh has made a wrong-headed and in my view idiotic statement condemning the US for killing Osama bin Laden.
According to Reuters, Haniyeh said:

We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.

This statement is offensive. Bin Laden was a mastermind and symbol of violence against innocent people fueled by religious extremism and the exploitation of serious underlying grievances to pursue his own political ends.
Of all the wars and conflicts that were “just”, the battle against bin Laden who attacked and killed Americans on US soil was the most legitimate. We can debate the invasion of Iraq, or argue about the US doubling down with greater American involvement in an Afghan Civil War that lies beneath an India-Pakistan proxy struggle — but genuinely going after bin Laden and al Qaeda were always legitimate and important.
It was all the other mission creep and conflict that various institutions and players lopped on to this legitimate battle that I and many others have taken issue with.
Haniyeh, by paying tribute to bin Laden, suggests that Hamas has sympathies for the transnational insidiousness and instability that al Qaeda has wanted to create — while many of have argued that “Hamas is NOT Al Qaeda.”
Haniyeh’s idiotic statement blurs the issue, hurts his and the Palestinian peoples’ interests, and is highly irresponsible.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

24 comments on “Haniyeh Statement on Bin Laden Death Irresponsible

  1. Kathleen says:

    While I do not support violent means or killing innocent people by OBL or Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rice etc
    OBL had prepared himself for death for decades. When you watch the faces of those in the situation room they know they are not as brave as the Seals that they sent out or OBL.
    I just want the same demand and follow through for justice when it comes to all war criminals. Is that too much to ask

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “PissedOffAmerican, as some of us enjoy this
    comments section, and as Steve has repeatedly
    warned that abuse of said section will cause him
    to close it……”
    Yes, and his reasoning has been “attacking other commentors”, which I haven’t done for some time now.
    Interesting that YOUR comment does EXACTLY that, yet makes it through the so-called “moderation” process, eh? It intrigues me that there seem to be so many “adults” on this site that are unable to skip over comments from people that they don’t care to “hear from”.
    Of course, this post won’t make it through the moderation process either.

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    “Bin Laden was a mastermind and symbol of violence against innocent people fueled by religious extremism and the exploitation of serious underlying grievances to pursue his own political ends.”
    Follow the “masterminds” of violence and killing of innocent people (Iraq) equally and then the world will change. The whole world is very aware of these hypocritical standards.

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  4. Kathleen says:

    Steve “Bin Laden was a mastermind and symbol of violence against innocent people fueled by religious extremism and the exploitation of serious underlying grievances to pursue his own political ends. ”
    One killer killing another. The big killer the US killing Osama. OK to slaughter thousands of Iraqi people, sanctions etc.
    If being a “mastermind” for killing innocent people. Cheney, Bush, Feith, Wolfowitz etc need to line up right behind Osama. Let’s get real here. If these are the alleged value on innocent human life then those responsible for hundreds of hundreds of thousands of deaths need to line up.
    Steve…Can you address the double standards placed on human life say for instance the innocent life lost in the 9/11 attack versus the loss of life as a direct result of the invasion of Iraq by our leaders? What do you think this outrageous double standard says to the rest of the world about the US

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  5. Cee says:

    ImadK,
    Correct. Who has now infiltrated and funded them to do their evil?

    Reply

  6. ImadK says:

    I just saw a blog post a few hours ago, but I’m unable to find it at the moment, the blogger, (Anthony Lowenstein) says that the reason Haniyeh made this statement was more to placate the Salafist groups within Gaza.
    After all, Hamas has been facing a lot of trouble from them at least for the past year, haven’t they?

    Reply

  7. Michael Lame says:

    Let’s imagine for a moment that a politician’s statement actually reveals his thinking. When Ismail Haniyeh hails Osama bin Laden as a Muslim mujahed and condemns America for oppressing Arabs and Muslims, he is very possibly telling us the truth about what he really believes. As the United States contemplates how to respond to the announced agreement between Hamas and Fatah, it is important for Americans to understand the Gazan Hamas leader

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  8. rc says:

    “Of all the wars and conflicts that were “just”, the battle against bin Laden who attacked and killed Americans on US soil was the most legitimate. We can debate the invasion of Iraq, or argue about the US doubling down with greater American involvement in an Afghan Civil War that lies beneath an India-Pakistan proxy struggle — but genuinely going after bin Laden and al Qaeda were always legitimate and important.” (SC)

    Reply

  9. Warren Metzler says:

    I need to get this straight Steve. You have a moral objection to Haniyeh expressing disapproval of the US entering a foreign country without their permission to assassinate a person, when our Constitution states that you are innocent until proven guilty?
    Given that logic, I guess you would be fine if Venezuela sent an assassination team surreptitiously to assassinate Luis Posada?

    Reply

  10. Dadzcanoe says:

    What is so wrong headed or idiotic about the statement? He is just expressing his deeply held convictions. He isn’t blurring any issues, to the contrary he is clarifying them very succinctly. He is not suggesting, he is explicitly endorsing “the transnational insidiousness and instability that al Qaeda has wanted to create”. The problem isn’t just that he hurts the Palestinian cause, but that he inconveniently reveals your narrative to be wrong. The tragedy for the Palestinians is that these are their choices; Fatah is weak, incompetent and corrupt and Hamas is a nihilistic terrorist organization.

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Here’s a layout of the narrative thus far. More details are likely to emerge. This is drawn from press accounts and is arranged in linear order:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/02/972181/-How-Osama-bin-Laden-was-found-and-killed

    Reply

  12. Don Bacon says:

    There is no evidence that OBL “attacked and killed Americans on US soil.”
    from the FBI file:
    FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive
    Murder of U.S. Nationals Outside the United States; Conspiracy to Murder U.S. Nationals Outside the United States; Attack on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death
    USAMA BIN LADEN
    Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.
    http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/usama-bin-laden

    Reply

  13. Robert Roberts says:

    Hey, PissedOff, lighten up. Vengeance feels really good, just like it
    says in the Old Testament.

    Reply

  14. Max says:

    PissedOffAmerican, as some of us enjoy this
    comments section, and as Steve has repeatedly
    warned that abuse of said section will cause him
    to close it, would you oblige us all by putting a
    sock in it? At the very least, confine your half-
    cocked theories and directionless rage to a single
    post.
    @questions –
    That was my only thought as well, but I’d like to
    see some supporting evidence that OBL had a big
    fan club in the Gaza strip. That’s not a side of
    Palestinian radicalism that I’m familiar with, and
    unless you can show your work, I’m not sure I
    believe it.
    Personally, my go-to understanding of Hamas has
    always been that it is a collective of ideologues
    of very different stripes, and that different
    strategic visions are always waxing and waning
    within it. It seems that Haniyeh has established
    himself as part of the highly problematic Islamist
    camp within Hamas. If the organization as a whole
    is serious about a unity deal with Fatah, then
    they need to be serious about an agreement with
    Israel. And that means that Haniyeh and his
    supporters need to be shown the door – sooner, not
    later.

    Reply

  15. daveM says:

    Proxy struggle? Hello…India does not have troops in Afghanistan. Taliban actually helped in a hijacking of an Indian Air Lines flight before 9/11. Just like any other country in Afghanistan, India is only involved in construction and humanitarian activities.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    I am reading this right? The courier that the US was tracking, that led them to OBL, was actually known and identified in 2001 after 911….or the
    courier was only identified 4 years ago?.. was the US tracking the courier for 9 years or only 4 years?
    So they were tracking this courier, knowing that as a courier he had to go direct to OBL or his headquarters…and it took them 9 or 4 years of
    following him? Must have been a very smart courier to throw off his trackers for 9 or 4 years.
    Well, lucky for us we found him just before having to dclare bankruptcy and call off the hunt.
    WASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters)
    U.S. forces were led to the fortress-like three-story building after more
    than four years tracking one of bin Laden's most trusted couriers, whom
    U.S. officials said was identified by men captured after the Sept. 11, 2001
    attacks.
    “Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al Qaeda couriers
    trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be living with or protected by
    bin Laden,” a senior administration official said in a briefing for
    reporters.
    Bin Laden was finally found — more than 9-1/2 years after the 2001 attacks
    on the United States — after authorities discovered in August 2010 that the
    courier lived with his brother and their families in an unusual and
    extremely high-security building, officials said
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/bin-laden-was-found-at-luxurious-pakistan-compound

    Reply

  17. brigid says:

    Roger Cohen makes the astute historical observation that on the day Bin Laden dies, the new Arab youth movement is about bringing democracy and human rights to the region. The Bin Laden and Hamas ideology of religious violence to bring about a return to some mythical past that never existed is defeated by young people with hope.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, does this mean we don’t get to see anymore of those ridiculous faked “Bin Laden tapes” the CIA has been ramming down our gullible maws for all these years?
    Who gets to be Mr. Official Boogie Man now? How are we going to justify pissing away trillions of dollars of tax payer money on incinerating Muslims??
    Well, I guess we can use Gadaffi as an excuse for a while, and, uh, when that runs out, Assad will probably be good for a few billion.
    But the REAL trifecta is gonna be Achtungainthebad, the ultimate Boogie Man Terrorist Extraordinnaire. He’ll be good for a trillion or more.
    BOO!!! The monster is slain, long live the next policy driven fire breathing dragon. Under your beds, kiddies, the threat ain’t over yet.
    Send money, we gotta protect your quivering behind from the threat D’jour. We’ll letcha know who wins the role.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This Administration is to be commended for yet one more amazing feat accomplished in the heat of battle. The quickest DNA testing ever conducted by mankind.
    Amazing, isn’t it?? DNA identity verification within hours of the “raid”. Gee, musta had a field lab set up somewhere close, perhaps iun one of the cabves at Bora Bora, equipped with the proper equipment for DNA testing, eh?
    Or perhaps a Heli-Lab, manned by Special Forces Heli-Techs in camo lab smocks???
    Good thing we got that DNA verification in such a timely manner, before we gave the body up to Neptune, eh? Don’t go looking for it, ’cause by now, for sure, Moby Dick has consumed the remains.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If in fact this chapter is founded in a mote of reality, which I doubt, then the “orders to kill”, regardless of any opportunity to capture, are the orders of an incompetent leader, who purposely threw away an intelligence bonanza. It makes no sense. Nor does the prompt burial at sea make any sense.
    This is bullshit. The last act of this stage play is as unbelievable and poorly written as the first act was.

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    Credit where it’s due on the response — Trump managed to thank the pres:
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/05/donald-trump-congratulates-obama-on-osama-bin-laden-killing-asks-for-end-to-party-politics-debate-fo.html
    And there are round ups all over the place on Republican reaction, including a note that Redstate said something nice.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/02/972248/-GOP-presidential-hopefuls-split-on-whether-to-give-credit-to-Obama-for-killing-bin-Laden?detail=hide
    For a set of round ups.
    TPM also has round ups.
    And Josh Marshall mentions a thought similar to mine — during the Correspondents’ dinner, Obama had already signed off on this. What a thought. Every dig at Trump’s non-seriousness….

    Reply

  22. brigid says:

    Not surprising though. Hamas has consistently conducted itself as a terrorist organization rather than a legitimate political structure of governance. It makes the prospects for resolution and establishment of a Palestinian state that much harder. Ask the Palestinians today where they want to live, in Gaza or the West Bank, and who they want to govern them, Fatah or Hamas, which has simply become an arm of terror and foreign policy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    All politicians have to position themselves for the domestic market.
    And they have to exaggerate and get ridiculous.
    It’s what people expect of them.
    Read over the Republican statements coming out regarding this and you’ll see a lack of grace in many corners.
    Cheney did well. Boehner did well (leading me to believe that he is going to deal with the debt ceiling in vaguely better form to the extent he can). Others are incapable of mentioning “Obama” at all.
    Note the difference in the way Obama responds to many on the right as compared to the Trump Treatment ™.
    There has been only a little teasing of the Man of Orange, but mostly there have been attempts to bargain in reasonable faith.
    Trump, a man of no good faith whatsoever, does not get respect in return. Rather, he got lambasted on national C-SPAN, in front of large numbers of journalists.
    So what, really, would you expect out of Haniyeh when he has a hometown crowd to play for?
    Boehner wants something from Obama, so he plays nice. Trump — meh. And the others fall into the same pattern of either needing to position or being past it all.
    Politics ain’t beanbag.
    And of course, Haniyeh ain’t helping the cause of peace and unity, but maybe that’s not his near term goal. He is a domestic politician, after all.

    Reply

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