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Bashir's release: another blow to "Global War on Terror" strategy

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The release of Indonesian radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir (convicted in connection to the deadly Bali attacks in 2002) is obviously disappointing to the U.S. government and, really, to anyone who thinks people responsible for hundreds of deaths should probably be incarcerated for more than 26 months. So, y'know, pretty much everybody.

While this is certainly a failure of the Indonesian legal system, such as it is, it also demonstrates how difficult it is for the U.S. to combat violent extremism when so much of the world despises us. How did the cleric defend himself? By claiming that his prosecution was due to U.S. pressure. Since much of his nation hates the U.S., that's a political winner. I'm not a peace love and flowers type of guy, but simple pragmatism makes it clear that the squandered goodwill towards America is having terrible effects worldwide. Bashir's release is another dangerous example of this.

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