Monday, May 02, 2011

Obama: 'Justice has been done'

At Saturday night's White House correspondents dinner, when President Barrack Obama lightheartedly said, "It's been quite a week," the well dressed audience laughed.

No doubt, like me, other C-SPAN viewers chuckled, too. We had to assume he was speaking of things we knew about. After all, it had been a week of headline-making announcements: The release of the much-discussed long-form birth certificate; changes at the Defense Department and the CIA.

Unlike his audience, the First Raconteur who jabbed at his political adversaries inside the beltway he knew he had already authorized a surgical strike on a fortress in Pakistan by a team of Navy SEALs.

Then late Sunday night, a resolute Commander-in-Chief Obama went on television to tell the world that the search for 9/11's chief mass murdering culprit, Osama bin Laden, was over: "Justice has been done," said the president.

Following a well aimed bullet to the head it was confirmed that it was indeed Osama bin Laden; his remains were buried at sea.

So, a page has turned. With that, one is free to wring out of the news whatever satisfaction one can. For me, satisfaction isn't the word. A bit of relief is better. Moreover, after nearly ten years of waging the so-called War on Terror -- chiefly in Iraq and Afghanistan -- a more complete sense of relief will only come when there are no American boots on the ground in those places.

To me, bin Laden's death means the eventual end to his rock star status in the neighborhoods of the world that hate the USA. Sure, some will shout that he is a martyr. They will call for retaliation. But what will the young people they want to recruit say back when they hear that bin Laden wasn't living in a cave. He was living in the modern equivalent of a castle with a moat around it.

Not in the rugged country. No. In the tony suburbs.

Bin Laden (1957-2011) was born a wealthy Arab prince. During his travels, to amuse his bored self and horrify the world with his cruelty, he dabbled at politics, religion and war. Now it appears he died as a wealthy Arab prince.

In the long run, that's what bin Laden was -- a mean rich kid, who, at long last, got exactly what was coming to him.


Meanwhile, Obama's "quite a week" quip was an understatement that is now rather mind-boggling. He had just bet all his chips on the riskiest of missions. For Obama to have attended that function and acted like it was just another Saturday night dinner in black tie says plenty about the First Poker Face.

And, how about those Navy SEALs! Rather than an invasion and occupation, a precise strike put an end to one of the most notorious criminals the modern world has seen. Hopefully, with Iraq, we have all seen America's last invasion.

Could this striking news about bin Laden have sent a little message to stubborn Colonel Gaddafi?


Here are some links to worthwhile reads on this topic:

"Getting Osama bin Laden: How the mission went down" -- by Mike Allen for Politico.

“In bin Laden’s death, a smart security lesson” -- Washington Post.

"They got him, Dan" -- by Marc A. Thiessen for the Washington Post.

"The War on Terror is Over" -- by Peter Beinart for The Daily Beast

Come back again, as I will be adding to the list of links.


J. Tyler Ballance said...

I don't believe anything that we are told.

Recall back when the Glomar Challenger and Explorer were widely reported in the media as, specialty ships, designed to mine manganese nodules from the ocean floor. That story even appeared in, My Weekly Reader, used in classrooms all across the English speaking world.

We later learned that it was a total lie, and that the Glomar missions were to salvage a lost Soviet nuclear submarine.

All the American citizens know about "Osama" is that he was created by our own government as the "mastermind" behind 9-11.

Now he has supposedly been killed. I see no evidence that he ever existed, independent of what our government propaganda machine has fed to us.

The explosions and bullets that whiz by our soldier's ears are quite real, but we really should not accept the explanations provided for us by a government that has such a long record of lying to us.

Others are free to believe this Osama fable, if they want, but it all reminds me of how President Eisenhower warned us about the "military-industrial complex."

Recall how just before this "war on terror" the debate was how we were going to slice the Pentagon Budget, and how we would spend the "peace dividend."

F.T. Rea said...

Are your comments supposed to be funny? To me, it doesn't work.

James Young said...

I agree with much of your post, including President Obama's (today, it's "President Obama," not the usual "President Barry") statement that "justice" was done.

Of course, if Senator Barry had his way, it would have been a capture mission to arrest a criminal.

Perhaps he has "grown" in office.

As for JTB's comment, as someone who has a friend who accompanied the then-CIA Director to try to keep the Glomar Explorer secret by talking to media types at the time, I can only say "Wow." How someone can today attack the importance of keeping secret intelligence sources and methods, and finds the remains of 3000 dead (including the wife of a college friend) insufficient proof of life of the perpetrator who masterminded their death, just ... "Wow."