Make No Mistake, Obama Deserves Props

4 May

Osama bin Laden is dead, completely caught off guard and shot and killed by some of the USA’s finest warriors some ten years after his cowardly murderous attacks were carried out against this country.

/pinches self  to remember that this really did just happen

Forget any of that “we shouldn’t rejoice at our enemy’s demise” noise — the past day and a half since President Obama announced a select U.S. Navy SEAL team, acting on our Commander-in-Chief’s directive, had shot and killed the world’s most notorious terrorist has been a tremendously proud time for a country that suffered so much at the hands of Al-Qaeda terrorists.

As the President confidently marched down that East Room hallway Sunday night to personally confirm the news we had all been buzzing about for nearly an hour beforehand, I, like many of you, couldn’t help but take myself back to 2001 — not just the sadness and vulnerability felt from seeing all the human suffering and carnage on the day of the attacks, but how President Bush vowed that we’d eventually serve the ultimate justice on this bastard and launched the “War on Terror” against the Taliban in Afghanistan to do just that. More importantly, though, I found myself fondly remembering the way the country completely stood as one for the first time in my life — much like it must have felt like following Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy Assassination, I thought — and how partisanship, at least for a while, was put aside because we were all Americans first.

Indeed, while the president stood there speaking, and later as the networks showed the impromptu crowds of people outside the White House and at Ground Zero shouting “USA!” many of these same strong feelings were again alive and well in my mind and heart. I couldn’t help but think of those who had actually lost loved ones on 9/11 and how they must be feeling now that could finally have closure in their lives. In this moment, just as happened in the weeks following 9/11, there were neither political parties nor any need for their spinmeisters to tell us what we should take from the president’s remarks. Considering how complicated homeland security issues and our course in foreign policy has been over the past decade, it was truly telling just how uncomplicated this moment was for us. The good guys rode rappelled in on their white horses from their helicopters, and the bad guys got got. No real collateral damage, either.

Ballgame. We win.

Yes, we can. Yes, we did.

It was one of those moments in history that we take in collectively as a nation but never forget as individuals.

iting the public reaction to the news on Monday, Obama said it reminded everyone of the pride shared by Americans in “what this nation stands for and what we can achieve that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics.”

But, alas, we are in a very different environment today — even one far different than what we lived in some ten years ago. Back then, a shared national purpose and pride could still last for a few weeks and months…or at least until one administration could be verifiably seen as exploiting the unity to fulfill other foreign policy interests. Back then, we just thought our political discourse was contentious. Nowadays, the good feelings will probably only last until the very next news cycle, at best.

Roll that beautiful partisan-bickering footage!

Says birther-truther-nutter-than-squirrel-turds Alex Jones:

[T]here will be no independent verification that Osama was actually killed.The only evidence at this stage is an obviously doctored photo.

If true, there will be no DNA check to verify if the body was indeed that of Osama bin Laden. Once again, we will be forced to either accept the government’s version of events or be denounced as conspiracy theorists.

Sayeth something called J. Michael Walker:

Just as Islamist extremists sought to use Ground Zero as a triumphal place to build their mosque, the United States should use the site to display Osama bin Laden’s naked body for all Americans to see. We have a right to view our nation’s tormentor face to face, to make sure he is dead, and to spit on him if we choose.

Then the U.S. should unceremoniously destroy the carcass, flush it into the Manhattan sewer, and start grinding up bin Laden’s legacy among his followers.

Here are some immediate thoughts of what the U.S. must do.
1. Display the body. The free world, particularly the United States, has a right to make sure Osama bin Laden is really dead. Every American has a right to walk right up to bin Laden’s corpse and view it. We are entitled to know for a fact that the witch is dead.

Never one to miss a chance to have her ignorance writ large, Rep. Michele Bachmann chimes in:

Tonight’s news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden’s horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism. [Editor’s somewhat exasperated note: WTF?!

Attempting to give their version of moderate, reasoned argument, Tiernan Kincaid of writes, sans adequate punctuation:

You dumb, retarded Reddit loving, crack toking and drug thought induced liberals, listen up.  President Bush received hell for trying to capture Osama bin Laden.  Like HELL you are going to give credit for this to a man who tried to make friends with Iran on his first dark day in our nation’s White House.

Credit for the Osama kill goes to President Bush.  It was President Bush’s policy for our military that lead to this kill.  So President Bush gets all credit for putting Osama down like the desert dog he is. Let us look at what a real woman of God Sarah Palin has to say on this subject.


To be fair, there was much celebration in Washington yesterday, and many prominent Republicans stepped up to praise the Democratic President’s actions and decision-making in directing our commandos to kill bin Laden. From House Speaker John Boehner, to outspoken critic Rep. Peter King of New York, some of the 2012 presidential contenders and, to a lesser degree, even radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh, comments from the Right were devoid of the typical Obama-bashing and were, instead, focused on the President’s decision to launch the successful mission that took out bin Laden. That evening, Obama even received a prolonged standing ovation from his dozens of White House dinner guests, who included Cabinet members and top Senators and U.S. Representatives from both parties.

And why not? While the commandos who executed Sunday’s operation deserve the most credit for taking down the world’s most wanted fugitive, we know the trigger-pull was authorized by President Obama.  Just as importantly, that trigger-pull occurred  in a moment of opportunity resulting in no small part from Obama’s vision as a candidate in 2008 — a call to re-focus the military’s attention out of Iraq and into Afghanistan and Pakistan, where bin Laden and Al Qaeda operated — and after taking over as Commander-in-Chief in 2009, when he directed the CIA to make capturing or killing bin Laden their number one priority from that point forward.

“[S]hortly after taking office,” Obama informed the American public Sunday night, “I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan.  And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action….”

We have now learned that Obama has been working closely with his national security team and the CIA since receiving intelligence last August of bin Laden’s possible hiding place, all while leading NATO bombing raids to stop Ghadaffi’s violence in Libya, natural disasters left and right, budget proposal squabbles, and the unique b.s. only reserved for this President when it comes to questions about his birth in Hawaii, his background, and his patriotism.

More importantly than the ability to multi-task under fire were the wise decisions made along the way. While being briefed on several potential strategies to take out bin Laden over the past few months, including a plan to drop large bombs on the bin Laden compound in March, the president ultimately insisted on using a Special-Ops team in order to ensure that the mission would be successful.

In March, President Obama authorized the development of a plan for the U.S. to bomb Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound with two B2 stealth bombers dropping a few dozen 2,000-pound JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) on the compound.

But when the president heard the compound would be reduced to rubble he chose not to pursue that option.

That would mean there would be no evidence bin Laden was dead to present to the world – no DNA evidence, as the administration anticipates it will have.

Plus all 22 people in the compound including women and children, plus likely many neighbors would be killed.

The president wanted proof. And he wanted to minimize collateral damage.

So instead the president authorized this incredibly daring and difficult operation, scheduled for a time of “low loom” – little moon luminosity – so the US helicopters could enter into Pakistan low to the ground and undetected.

Simply put, President Obama just made one of the gutsiest calls by an American president in recent history. He made the call to send a military force into a foreign nation without their approval or notification in the middle of the night in order to carry out an assassination (of sorts), just as he promised he would do given the opportunity when he campaigned for President.

Yet, here we are.  The same ol’ Obama-bashing goes on, at least for some who just cannot bring themselves to give the President credit for anything positive. You want to point out that the previous administration laid the groundwork for taking out bin Laden? I have zero problem with that. We have now learned that without information from detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere, U.S. officials would never have tracked the courier who led them to bin Laden’s compound.  (Though, to be entirely accurate, we’ve also learned that it was well after any waterboarding had ceased that this information came to light.)

To be sure, much of the intelligence and logistical groundwork was laid during the Bush era. In fact, while the current administration assumed power strongly opposed to aspects of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policy, vowing to prohibit torture during interrogation and to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, we know that the President has since changed course about closing Guantanamo under public and political pressure.

That being said — and I’m really attempting to remain in the upbeat mood I first started writing this post with, as I want to avoid falling into the same typical partisan grandstanding I’m lambasting here — it has been well-documented that U.S. forces had an opportunity to capture or kill bin Laden at Tora Bora in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Conspiracy theories aside, it was a huge missed opportunity and a failure of leadership. Even more dire for Republican revisionists than that, however, were the words of the previous Commander-in-Chief himself, who, while trying to turn revenge-seeking Americans off of bin Laden and the war against the Taliban and on to the new potential “crisis” in Iraq, laid out just how important he thought killing or capturing bin Laden was.

(Feel free to compare this policy stand to that of President Obama’s directive to the CIA upon taking office.)

Lastly, in terms of pure politics, it’s clear that the Obama administration’s successful hunting of the world’s top terrorist shifted the 2012 electoral landscape.  Sure, politics has the attention span of a two-year-old, and it’s entirely possible that the first shiny object that flashes will relegate the killing of Osama bin Laden to the backburners.  That said, if nothing else, this event gives the President and Democrats a new-found credibility on a potent issue as violence rages across the Middle East.  Maybe, just maybe, the President has a good idea about what he’s doing.

At this point, it’s hard to argue with the results.


2 Responses to “Make No Mistake, Obama Deserves Props”

  1. Skywalker May 4, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Agreed. I have a new respect for Obama as a foreign-policy president. I honestly would not have thought he had it in him to act as decisively as he did in this operation. It’s disgraceful for conservatives to say (as some are) that Obama is merely taking credit for the Bin Laden killing because he happened to be president when it went down. The news reporting clearly shows otherwise. Give Bush a silver medal for his contribution, but Obama gets the gold.



  1. Rep. Harris On Being Admirable, Steadfast, and Genuine | Blue Hog Report - May 4, 2011

    […] was glad that Jeff wrote the piece earlier today about how President Obama deserved credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden for two reasons.  […]


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