Osama Bin Laden Killed–What was done right

Osama Bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals. That is the descriptive narrative. Now for some serious analysis.

Today I will look at what was done right and tomorrow what was either done wrong or could be a problem going forward.

The good news is that a lot went right. I can honestly say that with regards to President Obama handling this situation…I am genuinely proud of him.

Again, well done Mr. Obama. Good job sir. Let’s not sugarcoat this. Excellent job sir. Big thumbs up.

Mr. Obama took a bold gamble. He could have just dropped bombs and been done with it. Yet he insisted on us being able to identify the remains of Bin Laden to ward off conspiracy theorists. Had this bold gamble failed, I would not have ripped into him. Had it failed and he blamed everybody else, then I absolutely would have unloaded.

He deserves full credit for making a tough decision and getting it right. Virtually every criticism I have had of him on other issues disappeared on this issue. He showed real leadership. He was presidential.

Some on the right will say that the real credit goes to the Navy Seals, and not Mr. Obama. Wrong. I excoriated liberals for years when they would say they were glad Saddam was gone and supported the troops, but gave George W. Bush zero credit. I said then that you cannot praise a successful military action without giving credit to the man making the final decision. The Navy Seals are phenomenal, but Mr. Obama did the right thing in dispatching them the way he did. He has my appreciation for this.

Another thing Mr. Obama got right was the order to kill Bin Laden and not capture him. The notion of a debate on where to hold a trial like we faced with Khalid Sheik Mohammed would have been a nightmare. Bin Laden is dead. Problem solved. Again, I credit Mr. Obama for clearly getting this thought process right.

For those criticizing the decision to quickly dispatch of the body with a funeral according to Muslim law, let it go. As much fun as it is to be jingiostic (yes, I mean me too) and say that we should douse him in bacon grease and force other Al Qaeda members to eat him, that is not the right answer. Normally when the issue of inflaming the Arab world is brought up, I point out that they are born angry and die that way anyway, so nobody should care.

This time we should care. For those who read “The Iliad” by Homer, the vivid imagery of Achilles dragging Hector’s body all around until the gods had had enough applies here. We got him. We killed him. He’s buried. Leave it alone. A protracted argument over what to do with the body would be almost as bad as that type of debate over a trial. Mr. Obama got this one right.

Mr. Obama acted unilaterally. He did not seek permission or even discuss the matter with the United Nations, our allies, Pakistan, or even members of congress. I have always supported presidential prerogative in the name of national security, and that stance will not only be when Republicans are in the White House.

New York Congressman Peter King was asked if he was upset about not being consulted. He sincerely said he was fine with being left in the dark, because sometimes the presidency requires secrecy. Congressmen simply cannot keep their d@mn mouths shut. The only thing worse is telling a member of the media to keep quiet.

Mr. Obama had every right to handle this without consulting others, since he takes the blame if it fails. Had it been George W. Bush, liberals would have been screaming bloody murder. Nevertheless, my stand is consistent.

As for Pakistan, let them complain about their “sovereignty.” Too d@mn bad. They were hiding a mass murderer off Americans, and an American President has an obligation to the American people, nobody else. This is not “cowboy diplomacy.” It is high time the left stopped trying to be “neutral” when every other nation defends their own. Again, Mr. Obama got it totally right.

I also thank Mr. Obama for having the decency to call President Bush and Congressman King before the news leaked (another reason to justify secrecy….a “precious few” were told what transpired, and it leaked quickly). Had Mr. Bush not gotten such a call, it would have been very rude. I am glad Mr. Obama got this right.

Even Hillary Clinton got it right. Yes, I concede this with shock, but it is true.

Normally I say that her entire job is to issue meaningless blather. She does it well. Yet this one time, she issued “good” meaningless blather.

She went on television and said that Pakistan cooperated with the situation. This is nonsense. They certainly have not been as faithful as they could have been.

Yet as Sir Charles of Krauthammer points out, “The whole point of diplomacy is to lie.”

So if Hillary’s remarks were full of bunk and everybody knows this, why were they good?

To publicly call out Pakistan would have been a gigantic mistake. She was not speaking to Americans. She was stroking the egos of the Pakistanis. This is another example of where inflaming a situation serves no purpose (it often does). Yes, even a Neocon myself will concede that every once in awhile, diplomacy is not completely useless. Many situation require a battering ram. This was a rare occasion where finesse was appropriate. Hillary was insincere, and it was proper for her to be this way.

If praising Hillary leaves me shocked, then I am downright stunned over my having to praise the college students who assembled outside the White House and the people who gathered in Times Square.

While there were one or two people in the crowd with Obama signs, the bulk of the people simply waived American flags. I would have been outraged had they been chanting “Yes, we can.” Instead they chanted “USA,” which is what we chanted on 9/11. In the days following 9/11, people were not embracing George W. Bush simply for being a conservative Republican. In 2011 Mr. Obama has received far too much praise by liberals simply for being one. Yet for the most part, these demonstrations were apolitical. These college students were not dopey. They were dignified. Even though they were very young when 9/11 happened, this should not take away from their patriotism. It is far too rare, but this was a great display by those who congregated.

As for the CIA, let’s give them some credit. The often maligned agency was brilliant this time. This was intelligence gathering and espionage at its finest.

Lastly, a several minute discussion moderated by Bill O’Reilly was brilliant because the two panelists were a pair of the biggest military intellectual heavyweights in the country. Colonels Ralph Peters and David Hunt offered a fascinating discussion that should be mandatory viewing for everybody.

Colonel Peters brought up the Obama version of the helicopter that malfunctioned. Apparently our Seals destroyed it to prevent Bin Laden and his henchmen from gleaming any intelligence information from it.

Peters offered a theory that while unprovable, was still provocative and yet also reasonable. He speculated that Bin Laden and his men were already dead when that helicopter malfunctioned. He posed the idea that the Seals destroyed it to prevent the Pakistanis from getting any information about it. If they did, the Pakistanis would sell it to the Chinese, who would just steal another American technology like they steal virtually everything else we do. This is just a theory, but interesting nonetheless.

Colonel Hunt explained why the hovering of a chopper overhead would not tip off Bin Laden to flee. Given that his compound was 35 miles from a major military base, choppers overhead were a frequent occurrence. Our Seals spent weeks training how to simulate the exact flight patters of a friendly helicopter. Bin Laden most likely thought the chopper was protecting him right up until the moment that he saw the Seals and realized what had happened. As Mr. Hunt pointed out, by keeping Bin Laden near a military base to hide him in plain sight, this time the Pakistanis “outsmarted themselves.”

Both Colonel Hunt and Colonel Peters are brilliant (Full disclosure: Colonel Peters endorsed my second book. I admired him long before he did. I have zero connection to Mr. Hunt.). Mr. O’Reilly gave them wide latitude, and this made for journalism at its finest.

There is plenty of time for armchair quarterbacking, and tomorrow will focus on some things that are not so right. Yet much more was right than was wrong.

I would also like to Thank George W. Bush. He was totally right, in keeping with his character, of not overshadowing Mr. Obama this week. Mr. Obama has every right to take a victory lap, provided it is not an 18 month victory lap. A couple of days is fine.

Those cautioning that we have more work to do are also very smart to say this. We cannot get complacent.

Yet back to Mr. Bush, his hard work throughout his presidency cannot and should not be discounted just because those on the left despise him. It is time that they stop beating the daylights out of him and just admit that disagreements aside, he genuinely cared about protecting All Americans.

The Global War on Terror was the right thing to do, and Mr. Bush was always more interested in getting good results rather than who got the credit. To this day he still refuses to take credit for things he should get praise for. Credit is not a finite pie. So if conservatives can be gracious and magnanimous enough to praise Mr. Obama for finishing something important, liberals can show equal humanity by crediting Mr. Bush and his administration for starting the process and doing much of the legwork.

If that were to happen, then all this talk about “coming together” like we did after 9/11 really would be sincere. For all of us as individuals and collectively as a nation, that would be the most right thing in all of this.

God bless the USA.


2 Responses to “Osama Bin Laden Killed–What was done right”

  1. Thank Bush for what exactly?


  2. blacktygrrrr says:

    Ok, gotta step in. Jersey, that was low class. You’re better than that.

    When a conservative writes a column heaping praise on a liberal, and offers a tiny scrap of that column to his conservative predecessor…and you cherry pick that column with a fairly mean comment…it feeds into the perception some conservatives have that any dialogue with liberals is a complete waste.

    Civility has to go both ways for it to work. My life is dedicated to ending ideological bigotry, and that one sentence you wrote was more harmful than you think.


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