Monday, May 02, 2011

Where were you when you heard Bin Laden was dead? 

Not surprisingly, I was on a flight from Houston to Newark with no DirectTV when President Obama announced that some of our very best soldiers had killed Osama Bin Laden. Per my standard operating procedure, I powered up the Blackberry when the wheels hit the runway and saw a stream of media alerts, Facebook chatter, and emails from friends with the great news. I had the drive home from Newark-Liberty Airport -- so named after Bin Laden's foul deed -- to conjure up some quick reactions.

First, congratulations to President Obama. Unlike Jimmy Carter at Desert One, he ordered the trigger pulled when history presented him with the opportunity.

Second, I think we need a national consensus that Seal Team Six and the accompanying CIA dudes never again pay another bar tab. Sixty years from now, we need to be picking up the drinks for these guys. I also liked this quip: “Dude who nailed bin Laden will never be ‘one-upped’ anytime he’s in a group swapping war stories.”

Third, it is easy to dismiss this victory as symbolic, but it may in fact signal the end for Al Qaeda. If we indeed had "drawn a bead" on Bin Laden as long ago as last summer (as radio reports were claiming a few minutes ago), we have probably penetrated deeply in to Al Qaeda's organization. If so, Al Qaeda as an organization may be done and dusted.

Fourth, victory in the "long war" ultimately will require that we discredit the ideology that Al Qaeda promotes (see my five year-old post on victory conditions for one means of accomplishing that). Whether we make progress against that objective by having waxed Bin Laden depends on how we and others handle the news of it. I'm with Michael Yon, who has been arguing on Facebook that we must render clear proof to a skeptical world to gain the propaganda benefit that we need from this victory.

Fifth, the cave myth died tonight. Bin Laden was apparently living in a fine house in a neighborhood with affluent and influential Pakistanis. Pakistan has some explaining to do.

Perhaps more after I have gotten some sleep.


By Anonymous John, at Mon May 02, 04:36:00 AM:

Awesome news, and the rat is already buried at sea.

Somehow, I KNEW that Obama would end with the Pledge of Allegiance and God Bless America. Now to go find out just how many times he 'wavered' in his personal voting record.  

By Blogger rcw, at Mon May 02, 06:32:00 AM:

Where was I? Right here at my computer, reading your post. I ran to the morning paper.

I was both grateful and proud of the dignity shown by our country when I read that they treated his body according to the traditions prescribed by his religion. That's the kind of of class act we need in order to maintain our credibility in the world. Let's keep up the good work.

What a lame time to be ragging on the president's voting record.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 02, 06:52:00 AM:

White House: "His body was handled in accordance with Islamic practice."

Hopefully this means wrapped in pig before dumped at sea.


By Blogger Tigerhawk Teenager, at Mon May 02, 07:37:00 AM:


Apparently, Hitler was also declared dead today, and this is also the anniversary of Bush on the aircraft carrier declaring the "Mission Accomplished."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 02, 08:46:00 AM:

Pakistan has some serious explaining to do. We should increase the drone war and target the entire ISI.  

By Blogger DEC, at Mon May 02, 10:30:00 AM:

“Dude who nailed bin Laden will never be ‘one-upped’ anytime he’s in a group swapping war stories.”

Yep, and one of those dudes who nailed Osama bin Laden was Barack Obama.

Former President George W. Bush said: "Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden the leader of the al Qaida network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude."

I wouldn't bet against Obama's reelection next year.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon May 02, 10:50:00 AM:

"Yep, and one of those dudes who nailed Osama bin Laden was Barack Obama."

This is silly idea, but unfortunately is probably going to take hold.

"We found Osama, Mr. President. Should we kill him?"

So now he's a hero? Please. What president wouldn't have said that?

Morning-after reports indicate that the CIA had been stalking bin Laden couriers for 4 years, and finally found their home hub late last year. Those guys, and the Navy, deserve the credit for this, now matter how many times Obama tries to slip the word "I" into his speech about it (and he did... a lot).  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon May 02, 10:51:00 AM:

Must admit, heard there would be an announcement by Obama but i never guessed.

Hope the guys had enough presence of mind to take a few souvenirs, like cell phones and computers.

Holder has to be pissed.


By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon May 02, 11:17:00 AM:

Obama will get a solid month out of making his bones; but the election is 18 months away. So if that's the October Suprise, Obama pulled the trigger too early.

Obama's success in executing a hit on Osama has killed off certain potential campaign memes forever, e.g., Obama isn't tough, won't defend us, etc. All the Republican wannabees look a little smaller today because of it, granted.

In the near term, this will complicate the efforts of some Republicans to get tough on not raising the debt ceiling. Eagle Scout Paul Ryan will once again be ignored. But the problems in our economy are inexorable -- and they're still likely to decide the election.

I'm going to go paranoid for a moment: the order was given early Friday, but I hear the execution was delayed until Sunday because of bad weather. So the original plan would have had it happen before the White House Correspondents Dinner. Talk about Shock and Awe! This isn't totally crazy, as DF82's post suggest the hit could just as well have happened last month or even last year.

Anyone know what gun got used? Helluva a marketing opportunity. Talk about product placement.  

By Anonymous Old Fan, at Mon May 02, 11:22:00 AM:

So many mixed feelings...

Perhaps because my day and weekend were very challenging - the personal has clouded the reaction to the great news.

Or maybe it is seeing Obama deliver this message, with his hubris and desperate need to project himself as the CEO he is not.

Congratulations to all. Three cheers to Our finest.

But there is such a bitter taste, especially knowing how poorly the Bush Administration was treated - especially by Mr. Obama. Al Qaeda was taken to task by the Bush Administration, and even the recent killing of Bin Laden has a great deal to do with all the efforts, structures, strategy, intelligence, etc., especially the Military Leadership put into place by the Bush Presidency in fighting the GWOT.

And my unpleasant vision is also clouded by many from the right side, who also vilified the Bush Team when the winds blew.

It is all so bothersome, that one cannot celebrate another sincere accomplishment. For example, we still have not been able to rightly honor the incredible successful effort in liberating over 25 Million in Iraq from a brutal tyrant who supported terrorism.

Here are some random political concepts:
1. The fashionable isolationist sophistry pushed after the effort in Iraq was undermined and became unpopular, takes the biggest hit. The USA must be engaged aggressively, able to use force overseas, with strength, resolve, patience.

2. Obama and Clinton may have lost the Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Somalia, Libya, etc. Smart Power is enabling far more Radical Muslims then Osama Bin Laden could have dreamed. Recently Pakistan was pushing Afghanistan to abandon the US Relationship. Palestinians have decided to fomerly unite with the Terrorist Killers in Hamas. Osama's death is a tiny scrap, while the rest is an utter incompetent failure.

3. The Mission to kill Bin Laden is a direct contradiction to the Obama Doctrine and anti-Bush sophistry sold to the USA and the Globe. A UNILATERAL military action, invading a sovereign Nation, to assassinate a target without a trial - not providing Osama with the desired Holder/Obama judicial gift of the rights of a US Citizen. Obama's once promise of 'change' was a fraud, but the joke of his "NO MEDDLING" offering has become a parody beyond parody.

4. Defeating Democratic Partisans and Mr. Obama will be more challenging now, as the MSM will sell this killing of Bin Laden as something worthy of greatness, even if Obama's involvement is truly limited and contradictory. He may have been deceitful with the anti-Bush diatribe, but he does deserve some credit for not completely ending the USA's essential military efforts to win the GWOT as he promised. Would not doubt wind blowers like Newt begin to reconsider running for the Presidency.

5. If we were not lucky a car bomb was improperly rigged, we would have many die in Times Square. The Obama Team got lucky. We all got lucky. They and we have to do better. We were not lucky with the horrific loss at Fort Hood. This radical Muslim Terrorism is not merely a "man made disaster". More will be coming soon. Terrorism, and Domestic Terrorism actually grew after Obama was elected. Those cries that all would grow peaceful after GW Bush was no longer President were a naive-ugly joke. Bin Laden is a symptom of a greater problem, and as GW Bush stated, we will be fighting this for decades to come.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 02, 11:26:00 AM:

Dawn writes: "We found Osama, Mr. President. Should we kill him?"
"Yes." So now he's a hero? Please. What president wouldn't have said that?

Um... the Bush administration.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 02, 11:27:00 AM:

The President could have taken a pass, called Pakistan for "help" and sadly reported another near miss to us instead of this victory. For his willingness to go it alone he deserves our unabashed praise. For today only, I forget about all else and join with the president in sober celebration of a bullet to the head for the killer of several friends. Hallelujah!


PS: Pakistani Military and ISI types- you cannot think now that we will forget your active protection of this scumbag. Hold onto your launch codes, because those are all that protect you from retribution.  

By Blogger RPD, at Mon May 02, 11:54:00 AM:

Huzzah, good news. I applaud the president unreservedly.

Politically, I don't think this will matter much. Gas is still spiking, inflation spiraling, and our deficit still ridiculous. Those will grab more and more attention of voters as time progresses and OBL fades into history.

Moreover, with Obama's tendency for everything to turn to crap, I would be unsurprised if the quick burial at sea fuels unfortunate conspiracy theories.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 02, 12:15:00 PM:

Dawnfire at 10:50: We found Osama, Mr. President. Should we kill him?"
"Yes."... What president wouldn't have said that?

Try John McCain. For those with memory of a gnat, the issue of going into Pakistan to "take out" Bin Laden was discussed during the 2008 election. It was Obama who was willing to go into Pakistan, and not McCain.

From July 2008 interview with Larry King

KING: "If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?"

MCCAIN: "Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why: because Pakistan is a sovereign nation."

Of course, if you want to go back further, we can discuss Tora Bora.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 02, 01:34:00 PM:

“Dude who nailed bin Laden will never be ‘one-upped’ anytime he’s in a group swapping war stories.”

Reminds me of the Brian Regan routine--fantasizing that he was one of the 12 men to land on the moon so that he never again had to endure "me monsters" at dinner parties.


By Blogger PD Quig, at Mon May 02, 10:35:00 PM:

I was surfing the net with a Russell 2000 futures chart open on the monitor to the left. In a flash, TF rocketed up 5 points, prompting me to go to Google news. 10 minutes later it was up another 5 pts.

As to OBummer, it will no doubt eventually come out that he was a reluctant warrior. Has there ever been a president so vain, so petulant, and so ungenerous to his predecessor than this little prick?

I thought I read that some MSM reporter pulled a Teddy Kennedy and tweeted that "Obama is dead" instead of Osama. No THERE'S a two-fer to get excited about.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Tue May 03, 07:52:00 PM:

Where was I? I had just returned home from an late Easter dinner at my in-laws when my father-in-law called me. I thought I forgot something at his house. He mentioned that it was all over the news and he thought I might like to know. He was in the 2nd Marine Division during WWII and he knows me pretty well. That announcement made a day of playing with my grandsons even better.  

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