Jewish World Review May 4, 2011 30 Nissan, 5771
Obama Is Now Warrior in Chief
By Roger Simon
Our reputation for being able to carry out successful military missions has been in some doubt ever since George W. Bush stood under that ridiculous Mission Accomplished banner during the Iraq War, a mission that he did not accomplish in a war that he did not win.
But Barack Obama managed to kill Osama bin Laden Sunday night using a small special operations force, and in so doing sent a clear message to terrorists everywhere: You're next.
We have seen Obama be the professor in chief and the orator in chief. Now he is the warrior in chief.
We should not get crazed with bloodlust. War should always be our last choice, not our first.
But bin Laden had it coming. And he got it. Twice. In the head.
He had not spent the last years crouched in a cave, as we thought. He lived like the billionaire he was (his family is in construction in Saudi Arabia) in a fortified mansion behind high, thick concrete walls topped with barbed wire and protected by guards.
It didn't matter. In a precision operation, our Navy SEALs found and killed him in 40 minutes.
So if you are just an ordinary terrorist, without billions of dollars and extraordinary protection, think how short a time it might take us to find and kill you next. Maybe it's time for you to retire before the United States retires you.
Better yet, if you rat out your buddies — who are probably lining up to rat out you — you might be able to ensure that you have a retirement.
I hope the killing of bin Laden proves to our military planners that vast wars are not necessary to remove evil leaders. As I have written before, sometimes all we need is small, superbly trained teams like the Navy SEALs, not multibillion-dollar invasions that risk great numbers of U.S. and civilian lives.
Should the SEALs — it is an acronym for SEa, Air and Land — have taken bin Laden hostage and brought him back to the United States for trial? Oh, right. Then maybe we could have gotten Robert Shapiro to defend him and Judge Ito to preside. I am absolutely no fan of murder, but bin Laden was a terrorist, carrying out military operations that placed himself at risk for a shoot-to-kill military response. Murder did not enter into it.
This was not an attack on Islam. It was an attack on a man who corrupted Islam and used it shamefully as an excuse for mass murder.
America went wild. College kids got drunk on a moment's notice and still somehow managed to find large American flags. And I found it weirdly touching that some of them sang "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" at the top of their lungs outside the White House Sunday night — a song that we used to sing at Comiskey Park in my youth. If President Obama, a White Sox fan, heard it inside, I am sure he appreciated it.
The press, understandably kept in the dark, responded with quick and intense reporting.
Steve Coll of The New Yorker, an expert on bin Laden, pointed out that Pakistan's military almost certainly had to know bin Laden was living like a king among them. Bin Laden's compound was in a military city, just north of the capital, "where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers" and with the Pakistan Military Academy very near by.
"It stretches credulity," Coll wrote, "to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without it coming to the attention of anyone in Pakistan's Army."
As The New York Times pointed out: "For nearly a decade, the United States has paid Pakistan more than $1 billion a year for counterterrorism operations whose chief aim was the killing or capture of bin Laden, who slipped across the border from Afghanistan after the American invasion."
So Pakistan takes our money to kill or capture bin Laden and then undoubtedly takes bin Laden's money to protect him. Why does this not shock me?
Pakistan now wants continued billions, as well as arms, to help us fight the Taliban and al-Qaida. The definition of an optimist is someone who believes Pakistan will actually fight anybody it fears.
The Obama administration has photographs of Osama bin Laden's body, the media have reported, as well as DNA evidence that we got the right guy. But, as one Tweeter tweeted, Donald Trump will still undoubtedly demand to see a death certificate.
The attacks of Sept. 11 were nearly 10 years ago. Other nations might have given up the search for their evil mastermind. Other nations might have said the hunt cost too much money and drained too much energy from other things. Other nations might have turned the other cheek. Not this nation.
"I think we all can agree this is a good day for America," Obama said Monday. "There is nothing we can't do."
Let me put it another way: You come at us, and we will come back at you. And no matter how long it takes, no matter how much it costs, we will get you.
"As commander in chief," Obama said, "I could not be prouder."
I have no doubt that Barack Obama would rather be remembered as the president who saved the nation from financial collapse and passed health care reform rather than the president who killed Osama bin Laden.
But now he has done all those things, and today we should be proud of him.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
© 2009, Creators Syndicate