Iowa’s two U.S. senators disagree over how quickly the war in Afghanistan may end, now that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is dead at the hands of American forces. Republican Chuck Grassley predicts the slaying of bin Laden will not speed up the process of the U.S. pulling out, but Democrat Tom Harkin is more optimistic.
“It will, I hope, begin to provide an opportunity to fundamentally rethink this, quote, War on Terror, which is a term I’ve never liked,” Harkin says. “I hope that it will enable us to accelerate the process of getting our troops out of Afghanistan. I don’t think we should be there for three more years.”
While it’s taken nearly a decade since Nine Eleven to kill the mastermind of the attacks, Harkin says bin Laden’s death on Sunday may be the catalyst that’s needed. “I think it is going to change some things in how we look at the war in Afghanistan, the removal of our troops,” Harkin says. “I think people will begin to look at President Obama in a different light as a very decisive type of leader.”
Harkin says he agrees with the president’s decision to keep private the video and pictures of the U.S. strike on bin Laden’s compound, including photos of the dead bodies. “The Pakistanis went into the compound afterwards and the individuals who were killed there, photos were taken and released by the Pakistanis,” Harkin says. “(Those photos) are roaming around the Internet right now and that shouldn’t be.”
In an interview for Sunday’s “60 Minutes” program, President Obama will talk about his decision not to release the photos, saying, “We don’t need to spike the football.”