President Obama made the right call in approving the highly-surgical killing of master terrorist Osama Bin Laden at a compound in Pakistan, and he deserves credit for the successful mission. As Commander in Chief, he took a risk – both militarily and politically. Intelligence reports were reportedly initially far from conclusive when planning for the mission began last August. By last Friday the president felt he had enough intelligence to believe that Bin Laden was actually in the compound, and approved the mission.
As with any mission, success was far from certain, yet Obama gave the order. Good for him. Had it backfired, the news today (and for a longtime afterwards) would have been that Obama is an incompetent leader. We would have had a replay of Jimmy Carter’s disastrous April 1980 attempt to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. In that failed mission, several helicopters crashed, no hostages were rescued and eight American servicemen lost their lives. The event played a major role in Carter’s defeat to Ronald Reagan later that year.
Instead, today we are celebrating the death of one of the most horrific terrorists in the history of civilization as a result of a mission that left no American casualties. Bin Laden’s body is being picked apart by the fish, and his soul is now rotting in hell. America has exacted some measure of justice, and hopefully sent a message to other terrorists that, as President Bush pledged following the 2001 Bin Laden-led terrorist attack on America, we will come after them “for however long it takes.”
President Obama made good on President Bush’ pledge, and America and the world are better off for having done so.
President Obama’s overall handling of the war on terror is certainly far from commendable. For example, the initial lead that eventually led to Bin-Laden’s death reportedly came from another terror suspect questioned at the Guantanamo Bay prison detention camp on the island of Cuba. This is the same camp that Obama wanted to close, and where Obama wanted to provide defense-lawyers to protect the rights of the terrorists. Had Obama had his way then, we might well not be celebrating Bin Laden’s death today.
But be that as it may, when President Obama had to make the call last Friday, he took the risk and made the call. Will this help him politically in his 2012 reelection campaign? Almost certainly. And I don’t care if it does. What I do care about is that the world’s most-important power for freedom took its shot today, and got its man. Let’s hope that this is just a major milestone in eventually winning the war on terror, and that our sights are trained on others out there who desire to harm our country and destroy our way of life.