Friday, May 06, 2011

Obama/Osama ~ A Cautionary Note

Fortunately the week and the Obama/Osama news cycle is nearly over.  It's time before it gets any worse and we look more and more the villain than the hero.

I've a few observations as the week has passed.  One, the President could use a dose of humility.  He was but a small tooth on the gear that made the operation work.  Yes, he gave the order but he really had no choice.  Too many other teeth on those gears knew exactly what was coming down and who the target was for him to have not done so.  At that it took him 16 days of agonizing to come to a conclusion that was obvious from the beginning.  You have bin Laden in your sites, you take him.

He is not releasing the proof positive photos, we don't spike the ball.  He has done nothing but spike it ever since.  Yes.  We are all glad a monster is dead, but never in history which I can recall has there been the sense of celebration as with this one. Not for Saddam nor his sons.  Not even by their own people. Proof positive, photos, followed by a huge sigh of relief.  Then they were gone.  No games.  And no celebrations.   What's next?  Thumbs up or thumbs down at an arena filled with humans versus monsters?  I have an uneasy feeling the lines between us are becoming blurred.

If this one single act gives the President all the foreign policy legitimacy he needs to be a world leader, we're in deep trouble.  The flow of information has been a disaster from the get go.  The enemy isn't questioning whether Osama is really dead because they want him to be alive, but because the information coming forth proves nothing.  Not even who was shot or how many people were present.  Whether women were used as shields or inadvertently got into the line of fire.  Was he armed.  Were guns present?  Was the order to kill or capture or kill? Was it the Seal's fire that actually killed him or a compatriot trying to save him from capture?

Frankly, it's embarrassing.  The whole fiasco.  It's like the old Abbott and Costello Who's on first routine!

I could care less about the demonstrators who burn our flag with regularity.  Should a general break a nail it would be our fault and the flag would be burned.  I do care about how the civilized  world views us.

Do they view our tactics as justified or blatant disregard for international law?  Do they view our handling of the aftermath as handled by professionals under a well informed leader acting with resolve or by a bloated bureaucracy stumbling over one another with varying accounts like the Keystone Cops?

This has not been our national security team's nor our President's finest hour.  It's a shame because the successful removal of an archenemy such as bin Laden deserves better.

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