COMMENTARY | About a year ago, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs rode helicopters to a compound in Pakistan, entered the compound, and shot to death Osama bin Laden, the most wanted and reviled man in the world.
President Barack Obama has released a campaign ad that essentially tells me I should vote to re-elect him because he gave the approval for this operation. I remain decidedly unconvinced.
First, while certainly bin Laden has improved the world by his being absent from it, approving his departure does not buy the president any consideration for all of the more foolish decisions he has made during his administration. Health care reform, the stimulus package, the cancellation of the Constellation return to the moon program, and a foreign policy that seems to consist of snubbing out friends and coddling out enemies are things that are not wiped away by the execution of one man, no matter how vile.
Second, the ball spiking, the end zone dance a year after the event is getting to be just a little much. The latest stunt consists of the president visiting Afghanistan, as unsettled as it is, for the public purpose of signing some agreements, but for the real purpose of extending the middle finger once again at the Republicans and, perhaps, at the terrorists.
James Taranto, writing for the Wall Street Journal, imagines an analogous situation taking place in 1972. Imagine if Richard Nixon took credit for the Apollo moon landing, noting that his predecessors had failed in the attempt for the previous eight years, and publicly wondering if George McGovern would have authorized Apollo 11?
Another analogy would have been President George H. W. Bush taking credit for the fall of the Soviet Union, since it took place on his watch and not during the administration of Ronald Reagan.
Of course not even Nixon was quite bold enough nor the first Bush proud enough to take credit for the work of other men.
The grandstanding over the execution of bin Laden has made me want to vote against Obama even more. The men I salute for ending the career of the bloody terrorist are those young operators of the SEAL team who risked their lives and conducted their mission with courage and skill. The victory was theirs and not that of a president desperate to find a reason -- any reason -- to get four more years of misrule.
- Politics & Government
- President Barack Obama
- Osama bin Laden