Monday, May 2, 2011

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama authorized a raid on a home in Pakistan that resulted in the death of the world’s number one terrorist, Osama (Usama) Bin Laden.  As a frequent critic of the President, I congratulate him on making a courageous, risky move to finally get the mastermind behind the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, and so many other terrorist attacks around the world.

As I write this posting, I don’t know how the media will play this story in the days and weeks ahead.  Predictably, I expect the pro-Obama members of the media to gloat that the current President did what President George W. Bush couldn’t do.  I also imagine that those in the media who do not favor Obama will claim that he wouldn’t have succeeded without continuing the terrorism policies of the previous president.

There is some truth to both sides.  No matter what rhetoric a candidate uses while running for office, once someone takes the oath of office as President of the United States there is a reality that person must face.  Although Obama campaigned on closing the terrorist retention camp at Guantanamo Bay and bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, he has done none of that.  My guess is that he had that meeting every President has with the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he learns about the magnitude of the threats that our nations is really facing.  To his credit,  President Obama has put campaign talk aside and has done what is necessary to keep the war on terror going, even if he doesn’t want to call it that.

Of course, Obama didn’t execute the raid himself, no President does.  That was done by an outstanding group of Navy Seals, an elite force of the military that did a remarkable job under the most difficult of circumstances.  Our military stands ready to protect this country no matter who is in the Oval Office.

Nevertheless, the former state senator from Illinois who gained a reputation for voting present in the state legislature didn’t vote present this time.  President Obama made a very decisive and courageous decision.  If it had gone wrong, it would have further the impression that he was soft on terrorism, and he would have faced a huge embarrassment both at home and abroad. Congratulations again. Mr. President.  This is one time you truly proved this skeptic wrong.

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