For the last week or so I have been hearing people scolding those celebrating the death of Bin Laden; people pissed because Bush is getting credit; people vehemently pointing out that Obama did not pull the trigger and is therefore gets no credit; and people accusing the government of lying and making the whole thing up.
None of this was on the news or partisan talk shows. It was from friends and co-workers I interact with everyday. Yesterday I was pissed and aggravated. Today I am just resigned to wonder why we even bother.
Bin Laden was a figure head and master mind. Killing him even 10 years later says we will never stop hunting for those who attack and kill innocent civilians out of a warped sense of religion mingled with insane hatred. It also means that he will not be able to plan anymore attacks and he will not be able to release anymore of those recruitment videos.
Dumping his body ensures that there will not be a physical shrine and had we held onto him, there would have been more fallout. You would run the risk of getting into a quagmire regarding the proper thing to do with the body. At least a decision was made quickly and that decision is just being debated instead of us having the body and there being an international pissing contest over what to do with it.
Turning him into shark food is fitting, although, like shooting, it is better than he deserves and better than anything that happened to civilians like Daniel Pearl, or the soldiers whose bodies were burned, dragged and hung from bridges in Iraq. Killing him outright does not violate any due process since he was never a citizen with those rights, he freely bragged about it so his guilt was evident. Anyone who complains that his killing was “cruel” can bite me. It’s not like anyone who has not been under a rock did not know we would shoot to kill if we ever found him. There were no surprises here. This is war. He declared war on us September 11, 2001. He knew he was signing his own death warrant and I would have gladly shot him in the eye myself and slept sounder that night than any in the previous 10 years.
I am not even going to get into the Pakistan discussion, as that is just too big a quagmire of bullshit and it will raise my blood pressure, which is not good for the baby.
If you don’t want to believe he is dead, fine. I am a cynic when it comes to the government myself and I would not trust any politician with a quarter, but if you think they were lying about this then you passed cynicism a while ago. People still believe Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and JFK are alive and well and living in Oregon, so there is no doubt that short of seeing him themselves and sticking their fingers into the bullet hole in his eye, there will be some who will never believe he is dead. And if there were any photos or videos released, there are those who would scream, “Photoshop!” and others who would berate us for our gruesome callousness. Simply a no-win situation. Quite frankly, I do not care if they release the photos or not. All I care about is that he is dead and that others like him are hunted down as well.
If you also want to believe that the government blew up the Twin Towers, it is a free country and you can be as crazy as you want to be. Go join the nuts who believe the government faked the moon landing and the Illuminati rule the world… and get a personalized tin foil helmet with your daily dose of Haldol – you will be right at home. Just let me know now so I can de-friend you now and not have to hear the nonsense.
Regardless of what you think of the President, he is the Commander in Chief and it was his orders that were carried out. He had to make a decision to basically invade Pakistan and risk the international and political fallout of those orders. While the Navy Seals executed those orders with courage, fortitude and precision that is commendable on the highest level, the ultimate decision was made by the President of the United States and he deserves the full credit just as any other commander would receive when a mission is accomplished successfully. I don’t give a damn what you think of Barak Obama. He is the leader of this country and the military and he deserves the recognition that comes with a job well done. God knows he would have reaped hell if the mission had failed.
In some cases, like Omaha and Utah Beach, a military strategy is planned and executed by generals on the ground acting on the mission authority given them by the Commander in Chief. But other cases, it is a covert or specific strike requiring direct and specific authorization of the President. This was one of the latter incidents. The military could not do this without direct orders from the President. The fact that the military was able to provide the President with the opportunity to give that command and that the President gave it is honorable and just – and they have my deep gratitude for it.
That being said, this mission was 10 years in coming. The efforts of the previous administration were tantamount in bringing this to fruition. It is not like all the intelligence gathered before Obama was sworn in was thrown out the window and Obama had to start from scratch. The killing of bin Laden was an operation that highlights the cohesion and consistency of the United States and our military, regardless of who the Commander in Chief is. Hell, Bill Clinton had been trying to get the SOB in the 90s, so this is actually a continuing mission across 3 presidencies.
We get our panties in a wad on a regular basis here and we get all hung up on liking a person and crediting them or disparaging them based on our personal judgment of their political stance. Bullshit. I don’t care what you think of G.W. Bush, he loves this country and when he spoke from Ground Zero in the days after 9/11, he spoke for all of us, black, white, Democrat or Republican, military or civilian. You may think he is an idiot or that he has bad ideas, but you cannot sit back and say that he was not doing what he thought was best. And the exact same thing goes for Barak Obama. He is our rightful and duly elected President, regardless of what Trump says, and he deserves the respect of the nation afforded the office of the President. The thread of this mission traces its way through both of these administrations and it is sad that all we can see are the differences between them instead of the consistencies. If George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton can be like family then what does it say about us as a nation when we cannot see anything other than the party lines?
Presidents are patriots, dammit, all 44 of them. You may like some better than others and you may critic their jobs differently, but they are the men that shape this country and they deserve at least the same amount of respect as disparagement and it is so incredibly sad that they rarely get it.
So there you have my two cents. I get so aggravated with this entire country. Most of my co-workers are Democrats. My family is decidedly conservative Republican. I hear it from both sides. I like and dislike both parties equally, so I suppose that makes me an Independant. And I get sick of the fact that all people want to do is bitch and have it their way instead of work together and be Americans. The more we focus on what divides us, the less progress we make.
We judge, hate and distrust based on prejudice and assumptions. It is sickening. And at times when you would think it would be possible for us to come together and stand as one nation, we run kicking and screaming at each other in opposite directions, casting blame and sowing discontent. It saddens me that we cannot even come together when a man who pridefully took responsibility in killing 3000 of us is removed from this world. And it shows that we have little hope of saving ourselves, our children and our way of life because it will only be done if we can unite, and we just can’t.
We are Americans. Act like it.