As part and parcel of the reams of verbiage generated by the death of Osama bin Ladin last week, almost every politician in American must have issued a statement full of basically unexceptionable sentiments about the meaning of the event. Missouri’s pols were, of course, well represented. They mostly issued more or less terse little paragraphs praising some one or another actor in the bin Laden death drama, and the good that had been accomplished, all carefully calibrated to the public mood, nearly interchangeable, and, no doubt, soon to be forgotten.
Roy Blunt’s formal statement could be taken as a model for the entire delegation – with the exception that, as far as I can determine, he alone noted bin Laden’s role as a financier of terrorism. His earlier, more ad hoc reactions emphasized this aspect of bin Laden’s role even more forcefully:
Having him removed as a figure to rally around, as a figure of Islamic resistance, is important, eliminating both his money and his ability to raise money
Blunt, for a long time one of Washington’s big money men, a major player who could be counted on to pull in the dollars and dole them out in ways that guaranteed the goals of his patrons, got straight to what he saw as the heart of the matter. While other politicians congratulated the President and the military on taking out the spiritual head of Islamic terrorism, or celebrated what they saw as justice finally served, Blunt saw the demise of the bad guys’ money man. Sadly, Blunt may be, so to speak, right on the money in his understanding of what makes the political world as well as the world of terrorism go round.