Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Obama's "I killed Osama" campaign

Let's start with the obvious:  kudos to the President and his administration for taking out bin Laden.

Now onto the next point:  why are we still "spiking the football"?  It's been a year.  Everyone's still glad he's dead.   But how is that the basis for the argument to reelect?  Does anyone really believe that Obama's administration brought some brand new skill set to terrorist hunting, that our professional intelligence services didn't have right along?    Does anyone believe another President, after being asked for the order to take out OBL, would have said, "F*ck no!  The man hasn't even been arraigned yet!"  Why are we even talking about this, from a political angle?

That's not to say we shouldn't be talking about it at all.  It's worth recalling for several reasons:  most importantly, justice for OBL's victims and their families; next, for national healing; next, as deterrence;  and finally, as a validation that our intelligence apparatus and military can execute an incredibly difficult and dangerous mission.

For the President to be taking credit, beyond a quick bow, is absurd and lacking in dignity.  He couldn't have done anything about OBL without the institutional groundwork being laid in place long before he (and long before W) came into office.  Or without intelligence gathering on OBL that went back as far as the Clinton administration.  Or without the massive global search for OBL that began in Afghanistan, almost succeeded at Tora Bora, and continued throughout Bush 43 and Obama's terms.

This is obvious on its face and shouldn't even really need to be argued.  But in the instance you feel the need to get the details behind the ongoing effort to get OBL, which clearly pre-dated Obama, and how that effort can be directly tied to the killing of OBL, check out this op-ed in today's WaPo.

The only thing Obama can really claim credit for here is not effing it up.  He could have pulled the plug on the search for OBL, or completely caved at the moment of truth.  That he did neither of those things speaks to fact that he's neither a complete coward, nor so politically myopic that he loses sight of essential goals.  While I don't view hurdling that low bar as much to crow about it, it's probably also true that there might be some politicians that could still manage to trip right over it.

2 comments:

ManBeast said...

Nice analysis. But, he's going to make hay on that regardless if he deserves credit or not.

Fredo said...

Not once this blog post gets its 25th million hit.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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