C of I political expert comments on bin Laden's death
2011. 05. 02.
The death of Osama bin Laden will weaken Al Qaeda considerably while strengthening President Barack Obama's re-election hopes, according to College of Idaho professor Robert Dayley, whose area of expertise is international relations.
“There will be no more mystery about his role, leadership or next move,” Dayley said. “His aura of power was influenced by his ability to evade the U.S. so effectively for so long. That's gone now.
“Only a martyrdom cult would extend [bin Laden's] influence and that seems unlikely on any sizable scale because so few Muslims actually share his fundamentalist extremism. Combined with the 2011 'Arab Spring' of popular protest that is giving voice to the so-called 'Arab Street,' Al Qaeda's influence will continue to wane.”
Dayley noted that the vast majority of people in the Muslim world want economic development, jobs, modernity, opportunity and a political voice. Anger in the region toward the U.S. will continue, he said, and U.S. policy decisions related to the Arab Spring matter more than the end of bin Laden.
“Osama bin Laden's death has brought a back a measure of respect for U.S. power, but all of the fundamental concerns in the region remain: Palestinian statehood, Iranian nuclear ambitions, and the persistence of unpopular regimes that control the region's oil,” Dayley said.
While foreign policy rarely tips the U.S. electorate, Dayley said the successful operation provides President Obama with solid evidence of his leadership.
“[B]in Laden's death helps Democrats who made the case for years that the focus should be on Afghanistan and bin Laden, not Iraq,” he said.
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