May 02, 2011

The Shame of Success

Osama Bin Laden is dead. While there has been some celebration, the rejoicing has been somewhat muted, tinged with the sad realization that more than 3000 Americans at Ground Zero and thousands more thereafter have been lost to us, lost forever. Yes, we’re glad that justice has been done, but Bin Laden’s death seems to have, if anything, less importance than it once might have had. It may be nothing more than another milepost passed on a very long road, a road whose eventual end we can barely imagine.

Let us give credit where credit is due, primarily to the CIA and Navy SEAL assets who did the work, one imagines, with great and well-deserved satisfaction. Credit for President Obama? Certainly, but it must be tempered with the knowledge of the reality that with very few exceptions, his policies, ideals and beliefs have hampered rather than helped our war to preserve civilization.

When one considers what is good for America, Mr. Obama is all too often standing on the opposite side. Yes, he has continued, even stepped up drone attacks on terrorists, but that, like the killing of Bin Laden, is virtually inescapable. It is a politically inexpensive way to appear to be doing something to combat terror while simultaneously pandering to a very anti-American, anti-war base. Could any president, handed the opportunity to get Bin Laden as Mr. Obama was, refuse? Certainly not--there would be no way to keep it under wraps--and Mr. Obama did not. This is the absolute minimum that any president could and should do, not a heroic, steadfast effort pursued with indomitable courage and a belief in American exceptionalism.

Consider that Bin Ladin’s remains are said, by a “senior administration official” to have been handled “in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.” Even as our military kills one of America’s worst and most dedicated enemies, we must absolutely observe the lunatic political correctness that has marked Mr. Obama’s approach to fighting the war for the future of civilization and his reflexive support for and deference toward all things Islamic.

So greatly has Mr. Obama lowered our expectations that he routinely garners praise for doing even less than the minimum any sane, rational POTUS should do. As senator and candidate, he vehemently opposed the policies and actions that have protected America, and as president, he only grudgingly accepted many of them because to do otherwise would have been immediate political suicide. He had to do it, but he certainly didn’t have to like it. Remember that only a few short weeks ago, a petulant, angry Obama--and his AG Holder-- lectured Americans on their lack of nuance and wisdom for opposing civilian show trials in New York City for terrorist masterminds captured on the battlefield, many of whom are minions of the now deceased Bin Laden. Imagine the circus if Bin Ladin had been captured alive. Is there any doubt that Mr. Obama--the president who demands that terrorists captured on the battlefield be given Miranda warnings-- would argue the fierce moral urgency of a NYC civilian show trial?

Yet now Mr. Obama seeks to put on the mantle of the hardened terror warrior. He may benefit from some PR bounce, but it is unlikely to be lasting, for Mr. Obama does not believe in America, nor does he represent American interests, for he finds America perpetually at fault. More and more Americans are coming to understand this. They understand that he believes in and represents only himself, and that, more than anything else, is why he fails so miserably, particularly in foreign affairs. The President of the United States is a formidable, even terrible, symbol of the collective will and moral force of the greatest, most charitable, most powerful nation ever to exist. Barack Obama is an unaccomplished, inexperienced fast talker, a teleprompter reader, a Chicago machine politician, a man no nation need respect or fear.

Without doubt, our enemies fear our military might, but their calculations are more complex and realistic. A military, no matter how effective, is effective only if it is properly used by a President who is willing and able to tell the difference between our friends and enemies. To date, Mr. Obama has shown little but ambivalence. A President who will not swiftly and surely destroy those who would gleefully destroy us all only encourages and strengthens them, for they care nothing for nuance or outreach, and they care even less for the politically correct gestures of infidels.

Allow Mr. Obama to bask in the spotlight of the resolute warrior--a sensation completely new and foreign to him--for the moment, but remember his record on these matters, a record that does not do him, or the nation, credit. Remember above all that if he had his way, if his unswerving opposition to the polices of Mr. Bush prevailed, if inescapable political reality did not force him to at least partially abandon his true principles, this day would almost certainly never have arrived. In a very real sense, whatever success he can claim was achieved not because of his beliefs and polices, but in spite of them. That is the lingering shame, and danger, facing America.

Posted by MikeM at May 2, 2011 06:21 PM

The killing occurred during Obama's watch. Big deal! Giving him credit for it is like giving Truman credit for VE Day after Churchill, FDR, Stalin, and their troops had done all the dirty work against Hitler.

If BO deserves credit for this kill, then Andrew Johnson deserves credit for saving the Union and destroying slavery. The day Lincoln died, General Johnston's Confederate Army of Tennessee was still in the field, as were General Kirby Smith's Trans-Missssippi forces. Pitched battles continued through July 1865, and the 13th Amendment wasn't passed until Reconstruction, during JOHNSON's presidency.

Posted by: Stand Watie at May 4, 2011 03:50 PM