THE TALK ABOUT TOWN
By Andy Weddington
Friday, 20 May 2011
"Let's be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American sailor, who Obama just a few weeks ago was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. In fact, if you remember a little less than two years ago, his administration actually charged and attempted to court-martial 3 Navy Seals from Seal Team Six, when a terrorist suspect they captured, complained they had punched him during the take down and bloodied his nose. His administration further commented how brutal they were. The left were calling them Nazi's and Baby Killers. Now all of a sudden the very brave men they vilified, are now heroes when they make his administration look good in the eyes of the public. Obama just happened to be the one in office when the CIA finally found the b...... and our sailors took him out. Essentially, Obama only gave an answer. Yes or No, to him being taken out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!! "Semper Fi""
Today's opening quote appears exactly as received in email--multiple times, with one exception; the author's name removed. And that done because the author, though in all probability legitimate and credible--noted as a retired U. S. Marine colonel, is a stranger and I've no easy means to confirm attribution. Such is only proper and fair.
That aside, the quote is making far and wide rounds in the ether world, and so are similarly themed perspectives from others. And some on TV and radio, too.
The author makes a point--a good point.
So that point, along with like thoughts of others, the basis for today's missive.
Osama Bin Laden is dead.
An American Sailor, a SEAL, killed him.
Up close and personal, Bin Laden saw his enemy and most assured simultaneously soiled his garb. Nice. Then, a quick tap--tap. A round to the chest. A round to the head. Dead.
And that is good.
Americans, less a few insufferable loons, wanted justice, and not in a court room. Done. Oh, and revenge, too.
Perhaps one day the whole truth of the post 9/11 exhaustive hunt and long-awaited disposal of Bin Laden will be told. That is, an unredacted play-by-play with complementary visuals in a credible single document. But in the name of national security, and more so to protect the brave men (and their families) who carried out the mission, particulars need not be revealed any time soon. Fair enough.
But how interesting the public continues to get a piecemeal story--from sundry personalities and agencies who monitored the operation in the Situation Room--though subject to constant correction and clarification. Sometimes their stories actually sync. And yet all the talk despite everyone in the room reportedly vowing silence--a pledge that didn't last a day.
Apologists attribute the confusion, or at least a good part of it, to 'the fog of battle' and deliberate misinformation to protect national secrets and methods. Okay. Understand. That makes some sense.
Antagonists bluntly point to big mouths, poor staff work, and weak leadership. Okay. Understand. That, too, makes some sense.
Yet as with everything, reality undoubtedly rests somewhere in the middle. And there's always a little more. Always.
What pressures and motives were in play, and what credit does Mr. Obama merit?
Charles Krauthammer, respected psychiatrist, astute syndicated columnist, and a critical but fair man who unapologetically says he calls them as he seems them, long ago tagged the president a narcissist. And he offered a laundry list of behaviors/observations supporting his sentiment. That was more than eighteen months ago--surely his list has grown strengthening his position.
For months and months more than a handful of folks knew where Bin Laden was likely hiding. Diligent monitoring and the evidence began to pile up. Not all those folks in the know, loyal to the president or not, could keep their mouths shut forever. Such restraint goes against human nature.
So a mission to either capture or kill Bin Laden was a must and in America's best interest. And certainly in Mr. Obama's political best interest, too--a "win" whether successful or not.
Had the president not approved an aggressive move against Bin Laden and his failure to act leaked (and it would have), his future severely damaged, if not doomed, and from his own trigger finger.
Mr. Obama, though decision-maker formal and proper, really had no decision. He, true to self and country, had to move against Bin Laden--with the added onus of proving capture or death.
It was his good fortune capable, dangerous men, even when some things did not go according to meticulous plans and rehearsals, performed so skillfully and admirably amidst chaos. But that comes as no surprise to any who have worn our country's uniform--knowing agility, flexibility, and adaptability the training standard, expectation, and norm--for no operation ever goes precisely to plan nor rehearsal.
Had something disastrous happened, Mr. Obama had, "I tried." in his hip pocket. Though the buck always stops with the president, and that's understood, the collective "we" deserved.
But disaster did not happen. Quite the opposite--the absolute best of all results; dead enemy and no friendly casualties (other than a helicopter). A miffed, embarrassed Pakistan another conversation.
In the aftermath, loyalists tout Mr. Obama's courageous decision-making and strong executive leadership. Hmm, not too many weeks ago those same protectors were explaining "leading from behind." Huh--maybe a subtle counter to narcissist charges. Who knows. But "leading from behind" is not taught to Marines; especially Marine officers. Nor to Navy SEALs. So no comment.
Fence sitters leave well enough alone--relieved the bad guy is dead. And they continue to perch--loyal to none and content to follow.
And those not particularly enamored with Mr. Obama--those scheming to end his tenure next year--well know the official party line will ever be he acted in the name of justice and the best interest of the United States. That he did. And that is as it appears to most of the public, though prisms differ as to priority of concerns.
But assuming Dr. Krauthammer's "diagnosis" is correct, Mr. Obama, an unconscious hostage to his psyche (and boxed in) would hardly be capable of prudent, altruistic decision-making. He made the only decision he could--to end up smelling like a rose, regardless of outcome.
Ah yes, the outcome. Osama Bin Laden is dead--the world rid of a miserable human being. Justice done--American style. And Mr. Obama smells, at least temporarily, of a red rose. Motives aside, credit due.
But as the author stated in the opening quote, of most importance this is "...an AMERICAN victory!!"
Indeed. And all because dedicated men and women persevered in a search culminating in rough men, with sworn allegiance to the United States against all foreign and domestic enemies and indifference to politics, tending to nasty, violent business on our behalf. Did they ever.
I suppose that sums up what's circulating and making for stimulating discourse over morning coffee in Mom & Pop diners coast to coast, and will for some time to come.
And with that...
It's damn good to be an American.
Better still to be an American who has served their country.
An 'author unknown' closing quote first heard nearly thirty years ago comes to mind: "For those who defend it, freedom has a sweet taste the protected will never know."
That it does.
"Bravo Zulu" to America's warriors--past, present, and future!