Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Great Call, Mr. President!

After further reflection, I am impressed with the political courage of President Obama.

The president made what many are describing as a "very gutsy call" in sending U.S. Navy SEALS by helicopter to kill or capture Osama bin-Laden.

I have to agree - and I have a new found respect for our Commander-in-Chief's decision making. Helicopters are notoriously dangerous equipment, and given President Carter's experience in the Iran Hostage Crisis, one could see how the president might rely on long range missiles or drones.  But killing innocent people to avenge the murder (or bring justice, whatever term of art you will) of innocent people, which is what missiles do, seems altogether unacceptable.

It WAS a gutsy call, and we must give credit where credit is due. A president is first and foremost our Commander-in-Chief, and this president just proved he has the stuff to make very tough decisions. This could have easily gone very wrong, and the president would have had to answer for that at the polls in what will be a bruising election.

Also, I mentioned that there will be unintended consequences - such as ambush of American service personnel in Af-stan. To be fair to the president, I do not think that this "gutsy call" has been lost on a great many other adversaries - open or otherwise. Having a president knocking around the White House with some steel in his spine is worth more than a couple of fancy weapon's systems.

Hail to the Chief!!


Anonymous said...

So 10 years of occupation of a foreign country, over 4,500 dead plus God knows how many Afghanis, the suspension of Habeas Corpus and over a trillion plus in wasted spending to finally get this one man?

I know it wasn't the selected President's war, but he did increase our involvement.

Let's be real here, we had Bin Laden at Tora Bora, but orders from above said to let him go and you have former military commanders who will attest to that. So you must wonder why kill him now?

-Unemployed College Grad

Greg T. Jeffers said...

No supporter of the wars, and for the most part no supporter of Obama's policies...

Just callin' 'em like I see 'em.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I have given this a lot of thought...

bin-Laden was very much still a threat to innocent people - he was not a man in a cage/prison cell whose threat has been neutralized.

I don't think that this violates my sense of sanctity and respect for life. Missiles certainly would have. The president chose wisely, and it worked out for him.

Donal Lang said...

The problem now is what to do with Pakistan. It strikes me that the reason he was living next to the main army training centre was that military leaders could visit him with an excuse for making the trip and being in the area. The question is; how many military leaders? How high does knowledge of him being there go?

Bottom line; Pakistan is an unstable Islamic nuclear power next to Afghanistan and has been ready for war with India for 40 years +. What would you do?

Anonymous said...

I will also give the President his due.. Talk about gutsy. He sent troops into an ally's territory (if you believe they are an ally) without notifying them creating the possibility of American troops being forced to engage Pakistani troops, all so that they could keep collateral damage to a minimum and have verification of success.

That raid could have gone sideways quickly and the political repercussions would have been immense.

Bravo President Obama.. Well done!


Anonymous said...


Habeas Corpus was not suspended. The Geneva Convention allows military tribunals and detention until the end of wars of non uniformed enemy combatants. They are not citizens and thus not afforded constitutional protections in a warzone. You might not like the actions but it is spurious to act like war theaters are police actions. You don't have units collecting evidence and such with the same precision that happens in street crimes here. I am not saying I necessarily disagree with your argument on moral grounds, just that there is plenty of court precedence for this to proceed this way. Starting at the revolution and proceeding through the war of 1812, the civil war, ww2 and the current actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I agree that it is long past time to leave. In fact I would have taken out the top of the Taliban and called it a day. At least this gives us the ability to declare victory and pull out.


Anonymous said...

I always get a kick out of those who believe we let Osama escape Tora Bora on purpose. Conspiracy theory hacks.

Lets think about this one. Tora Bora is a fairly large mountainous area that was prepared by Al Quida and the Taliban years before the war started. It borders with Pakistan a so called ally.

The conspiracy theorists would have us believe that the logistics involved with transporting however many American troops (so that we didn't have to rely on Northern Alliance or Pakistani troops) to the other side of the planet, hundreds of miles inland, in extremely high mountainous area so as to prevent all avenues of escape for Osama was a piece of cake and could have been done by any third grader within the 5 days of the engagement less then two months after the war began and less than three months after the attack on New York? And those American troops when on station in a completely foreign land would have known the most likely escape routes well enough to have covered them all.

Give me a break. Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics. And those who speak of allowing Bin Laden to escape don't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

GWB was trying his hand at nation building. He wanted Iraq and Afghanistan to be functional democracies to provide a model for the Arab world. His administration knew that the process that is now occurring across MENA would happen. He tried with little success to have KSA, Egypt and others to institute democratic reforms. The terrorism will end when TPTB in MENA have been removed. At that point there will either be chaos or peace. Either way, they'll be less interested in us.

Obama did the right thing. (That was very hard to type.)


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:29AM

Dead on. All of those goofy theories from FDR allowing the attack on Pearl Harbor to GWB allowing the attack on the twin towers and 99% of the other crap between then and now are beyond ridiculous.


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

The claim wasn’t that we knowingly let him escaped from Torah Bora, but that the administration unwittingly trusted the Pakistanis to block the escape route after our coalition broke down. Also, the men on the ground didn’t ask for I corps or even the 1st Armored Division. They asked for 600 light infantrymen.


Anonymous said...

The big difference between this and the Iran hostage debacle is the helicopter that went down uncontrollably veered off into a field and rolled over, whereas in Iran it uncontrollably veered off into the other helicopters. It could have just as easily have been a failure.

Got to hand it to Obama this was ballsy.