Praising & Blaming over bin Laden
Hip, hip hooray Osama bin Laden is a dead man! Or so that’s what our government tells us, which I am accepting. If anyone has evidence to the contrary that bin Laden is a) dead as the result of a Seal Team hit on a compound in Pakistan, or b) was dead long ago and was held “on ice” until a better time arrived for his demise, or c) some third explanation/theory, then show us what you’ve got and we can all make judgments about what is or isn’t the truth.
In the mean time I find looking over the comments at SUFA on his death and in my readings around the internet I have found it interesting to see the different takes on who gets the praise or suffers any blame over killing him. Depending on your political point of view, your bias and/or down right disgust for either Obama and Bush will determine – or so it seems – who gets what from this.
Traditionally the credit for an operation of such magnitude will got to the sitting President and Commander-in-Chief, which would be Barack Obama. While the men of Seal Team Six were the operatives on the ground and the ones risking their lives to capture or kill the #1 public enemy of the United States, they were set into motion under a plan (whether it be a Rumsfeld, Gates, or someone else’s plan) approved by the President and set into motion on his authority. So, again the glory goes to him. Further, whether we like it or not there was very probably some signed documentation (whether a written order to the military, a National Security Finding, or an Executive Order) covering the approval and orders to activate the plan considering that the United State military force used entered the territory of a sovereign nation (Pakistan) whom we are not at war with and is considered an ally of the United States for the most part. Any way you slice it, the credit is his.
Yet there are those who persist in declaring that George W. Bush should be given at least some of the credit. Bush indeed can be credited if desired. As it stands there is now information being released that the original plan used was actually originated under Donald Rumsfeld. That would mean any original plan was approved by Bush. Okay – so give him a bit of credit for foresight. A plan, likely plans for different scenarios, prepared for action on short notice. Yet, that credit is not of the same level and value as that rightfully belonging to Obama. Overtly praising Bush for the killing of bin Laden would be like giving FDR the “praise” for ordering the dropping of two atom bombs on Japan in 1945. While the development of those weapons was initiated and largely completed under FDR, it was Truman who signed the orders and brought the war to a close in the Pacific with the bombings (and no, there should not be a debate on the rightness or wrongness of the bombing – save it for some other time). Yes, Bush did his bit for the game, but he wasn’t the quarterback who brought the team to the final winning score.
I know it is hard to go against your personal feelings and either give praise or assign blame to the leader you feel more supportive of, but there it is in a nutshell. We each must do just that and look beyond our personal biases. I am no fan of either Bush or Obama, so it is just as difficult for me to speak in positives about either one of them. In the end I find it more comforting to scream for their heads on platters (figuratively of course) for the damage both had brought upon the United States of America. But, that’s just my opinion, which along with a buck or so will get you a cup of coffee at Denny’s.
I might also add that I could go off on an editorial rant from just watching the scenes shown by the main stream media of Americans dancing in the streets over the death of bin Laden. Funny how we condemned such atrocious behavior when it was Arabs and Muslims dancing in the streets around the Middle East after learning of the destruction of the towers in New York. Yes sir, I could really rant on it……….but I’ll leave that for another day.
In the end we need to give up the fighting and finger pointing over who is right or wrong, who is to be praised or blamed, or any other un-productive fight over the personalities of either Bush or Obama. What’s done is done. How about we get out of this mode and start the discussion on what to do in Afghanistan now that the remains of bin Laden have, apparently, been stuffed into a canvas bag and dumped in the ocean.
Congratulations President Obama. Now, about this insane war you insist on continuing…………..