Tuesday, May 03, 2011

An unnamed White House insider undercuts most of the credit we've been giving Obama over the "Get bin Laden" raid. According to this source, Obama was dithering for weeks or months, and was finally had his hand forced by military leaders, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta and his national security adviser. They had been pressing him to make the move, but Valery Jarret, his old Chicago associate, kept him from moving.
This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.
The attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims? Are you kidding? We're at war in Afghanistan and we've overthrown Saddam and are engaged in an attempt to do the same to Qadaffi, and she's worried that this raid might look bad?

So, it seems that Obama's cool decisiveness was illusory and that the dithering that has annoyed us all and his absentee presidency is alive and well. So much for the image of implacable resolve I wanted to see projected. At least our armed services still have that mystique, but our government? Meh.

Meanwhile, the left is predictably reacting to the revelation this morning that bin Laden wasn't armed as was first reported. Why didn't we capture him and bring him to the U.S. and give him a trial? Well, because they weren't stupid. That would have increased the risks of the mission incalculably and given support to Jarrett's concerned. The likelihood of failure would be higher and the rage among radical Muslims would have been far higher. Alive, bin Laden would have been a major problem for us, with civil libertarians whining and filing law suits and the media campaigning for anything that would make us look bad and him look sympathetic. No thanks.

Dead, he's just another dead terrorist dumped at sea, a fait accompli and a failure. What are they going to do? Sure, they'll try to punish us, but this time we're ready, and all it will do is make them look even more feckless. That's how we defeat terrorism.

Al Qaeda has killed 8,000 Americans, but 30,000 Pakistanis, and who knows how many Afghans, Iraqis and other Muslims. The reactions in Pakistan ranged from sadness from a beautiful young woman in Western dress, not even head covering, to a "sigh of relief" from an older man who cited the number of Pakistanis bin Laden had murdered with his war against non-fundamentalists.

Whatever the reaction, America has shown that it is not the weak horse, Osama had assumed we'd be. It's a giant that takes time to react, but does so lethally, even as we go out of our way to reduce collateral casualties and help rebuild third world societies to modern standards by building schools, hospitals, roads and water treatment plants which the terrorists and radicals such as the Taliban strive to destroy. We have our faults, but as a nation I'll put up our values against any other. That we want to share freedom and make a better life for others, I won't apologize for. Killing bin Laden was like picking a tick or other parasite off a friend. God bless the people we're trying to help.

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