John R. Houk
© May 4, 2012
Burr Deming sent me a post via email that was also posted on Fair and UNbalanced (aka FU). As you can tell by the play on words that FU is the Liberal antithesis of Fair and Balanced which is the motto for FOX News.
Burr criticizes Romney and Conservative Republicans for whining that President Barack Hussein Obama is using the seek and destroy mission by SEAL Team 6 of Osama bin Laden as a political feather in his campaign cap. Burr uses history to back his criticism of Romney to defend Obama and Liberal Democrats.
As usual the top of the list for liberals is to criticize Bush for failing an opportunity to take out bin Laden’s chief lieutenant al-Zawahiri. Then a quick look at What Would Carter Do or a What Would Have a President Gore Have Done.
I have to agree it was idiotic not to take out al-Zawahiri. AND the one thing Carter did right was to make the effort to free Iran Embassy Hostages. Carter’s “GO” failed but the effort was made. However, if Carter would have supported the Shah there would have been no hostage take-over of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in the first place.
Burr says this about if Gore was President:
A conservative acquaintance argued that a President Gore would not have had the ability to rally conservatives as President Bush had rallied liberals. I explained that his argument was based on an unjust assumption: that conservatives lacked the simple patriotism that liberals were showing in abundance. His only response was a blank uncomprehending stare. I had just said something in an unfamiliar language. It was quite beyond him. (Emphasis Mine)
The Conservative acquaintance was speechless because he was dumbfounded that a Liberal could possess Patriotism in abundance. Making ugly epithets about military personal is not an abundance of Patriotism (you know e.g. baby killers, murderers and the such thinking). I think a civilized response to such a deceptive statement would have been beyond me. Now a blood boiling response would probably have been my response. Hindsight has shown Gore’s Patriotism is the Eco-Marxist junk based on Global Warming (NOT A SURE THING as Gore would have dupes believe).
I believe the missed opportunity to apprehend or kill al-Zawahiri (SA HERE) referenced by Burr is in 2005. I suspect the reasoning Bush used to call off the military expedition in Pakistan had a greater purpose than to simply worry if the Pakistan government would be angry over a unilateral intrusion on their sovereign territory. Pakistan is hardly a unified nation in its government infrastructure. In 2005 Pakistan was dealing with rebels in Baluchistan that wanted autonomy or independence. Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) were areas of Pakistan that the Pakistan government only had nominal control over. In that year Pakistan attempted to gain more of an administrative control over by engaging Taliban tribal leaders that by this time had great sympathy for the Afghan Taliban tribal leaders driven out of power by American led NATO allies warring against the old One-Eyed Mullah Omar. It was a big dent on the Pakistan military to have tribal leaders controlling administration more than the Pakistan government especially because of arch-enemy India. Such weakness might encourage India to step-up military control in Pakistan-India disputed Kashmir.
The year 2005 was still a pivotal time in America’s agenda to court Pakistan’s aid in battling the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan. Openly going into Pakistan with a mission to take out al-Zawahiri would promote yet more of an image of weakness internationally for Pakistan. By all appearances at this time it appeared Pakistan was taking steps to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Hindsight has shown us that Pakistan’s engagement of Pakistani Taliban had more to do with international perceptions than defeating the Taliban. By 2006 the Pakistan government had made an internal peace with the Pakistani Taliban with the so-called Waziristan Accord. I suspect by 2006 the Bush Administration began to doubt Pakistan’s outright commitment to fighting the Global War on Terrorism; however America was already on the hook to Pakistan.
By the time Obama had to also consider Pakistan’s commitment to being America’s ally the byzantine of nature of the Pakistan government and the autonomous nature of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) pro-Taliban stand, it was a bit easier to ignore Pakistan’s sovereignty issues. And so it was good, indeed awesome, that Obama gave the okay for SEAL Team 6 to take out Osama bin Laden.
As to criticizing Romney, I am on Burr’s side. I am not voting for Obama anyway. Weighing the great Obama decision to take out bin Laden with all the bad decisions in making America appear weak internationally by unnecessary apologizing and humbling toward foreign leaders and the Obama agenda to disregard the Constitution in bringing about Leftist Change in America, totally submerges the great decision to take out bin Laden. I am voting for Romney not because he is the better candidate than our current President, but because he is the only candidate to bring down the Obama Administration.
As a Conservative I have trust issues with Mitt Romney, but I have absolute distrust of President Barack Hussein Obama.
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bin Laden and President Romney - Context of a Quote
By Burr Deming
05/04/12 12:00:50 am
It is understandable that Mitt Romney reacts sharply to the credit given to President Obama for the killing of Osama bin Laden. I can recall well the analogous anger many of us felt at the political points scored by the Bush campaign machine after the 9/11 attacks. I like to think the anger was more justifiable back then, but there is room for disagreement. After the 9/11 attacks there was a strong show of unity. Al Gore's famous speech George W. Bush "is MY Commander in Chief!" was not unusual. It was all followed by attacks on Democrats as weak and unpatriotic.
A conservative acquaintance argued that a President Gore would not have had the ability to rally conservatives as President Bush had rallied liberals. I explained that his argument was based on an unjust assumption: that conservatives lacked the simple patriotism that liberals were showing in abundance. His only response was a blank uncomprehending stare. I had just said something in an unfamiliar language. It was quite beyond him.
Mitt Romney's response has been a twofer. A gratuitous slap at President Jimmy Carter and a diminution of Obama's accomplishment: It was an easy call on Obama's part. Any President would have made the same decision. "Even Jimmy Carter."
Jimmy Carter was, in fact, given a somewhat similar choice, and he did make a similar decision during the hostage crisis. The risk was great and, in his case, the results were not at all good.
Wouldn't it be something, though, if some hidden parallel universe allowed a glimpse of what a Republican administration would have done? Talking Points Memo manages the next best thing. They have tracked down an account published in 2007 that provides just such a glimpse. The New York Times discovered an incident from a couple of years earlier. The resemblance in circumstance is striking.
In 2007, it wasn't bin Laden. The number two al Qaeda figure, Ayman al-Zawahri, along with several top terrorist figures, had been located. A plan had been put together. It involved the capture of a stunning number of senior al Qaeda operatives. The CIA was begging for permission to go on in. The Bush administration thought about it and cancelled the whole thing. The main reason was that Pakistan might get ticked off.
It was one of several such instances. The CIA would track important bin Laden deputies. They would put together careful plans and logistical backup. The Bush administration would cancel everything. "There is a degree of frustration that is off the charts, because they are looking at targets on a daily basis and can’t move against them." To be fair, similar hesitations were expressed during the Clinton administration, as well as President Bush, before the 9/11 attacks. But the urgency after the destruction of thousands on US soil did not come close to the horror of what had been seen in New York and Washington as buildings tumbled down.
One instance, perhaps the earliest after the 9/11 attacks, came at the battle of Tora Bora in the following weeks. As CIA personnel and Afghan allies closed in, the Americans on the ground were on the phone, begging for American troops to land and finish off bin Laden. He was surrounded and cut off. They could hear his voice broadcast from nearby expressing resignation as he gave what he and others thought would be his final words. But US officials on the other side of the ocean said no. Too risky. And troops were engaged in readying the coming invasion of Iraq.
Campaign ads on behalf of President Obama show Mitt Romney attacking then candidate Obama for even talking about going after bin Laden in Pakistan without that county's permission. Words a few months later are also shown. "It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."
Critics charge that the pro-Obama ad does not provide the context of Mitt Romney's 2007 remarks. They are correct. Paul Glastris, writing for the Washington Monthly, provides that context. And it doesn't help those critics.
The reason the Bush administration pretty much abandoned the lethal hunt for bin laden was not that it couldn't be done. It was a strategic decision. When President Bush talked of bin Laden as just one person, not important to the entire effort, he was not making excuses. The administration invaded Iraq because they were privately convinced that one man in a cave on the other side of the world could not have been responsible for so terrible an event. It had to have been a nation. Decades of cold war experience had made that central fact evident to them. The one candidate that had to have been the strategic mastermind could only have been Saddam Hussein.
The focus was on a hostile country, and not on a group of terrorists. Get the head and the rest will die. Variations on the theme survive today, urging a war with countries or even an entire religion. We were attacked by Islam. Millions of Muslims around the world collectively should be our new target.
Millions. Let's keep that scope in mind.
When President Obama shifted priorities he was criticized for ignoring the wider picture, those millions. But now that bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is crippled, albeit still alive, the cold-war experience has to be seen as misapplied. Terrorism, as it turns out, is sometimes the doing of terrorists.
Mitt Romney's context, released by his own campaign, played into that.
It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent Jihad and I have a plan for doing that.
His plan, the substitute for going after bin Laden and his group, was a bit vague. But the broad outline, the ambitious scope, was clear.
Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is—it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates.
Mitt Romney took a stand against targeting. It is the difference between a rifle and a blockbuster bomb, a difference massively multiplied. Millions.
A change in administration can produce a dramatic change in results. A broad stroke effort in Iraq resulted in many more American deaths than the 9/11 attacks. Certainly the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties must not be discounted. A narrowly focused, laser-like, targeting of the group responsible for the 9/11 attack has gotten bin Laden dead, his group on the run.
Mitt's context would have made our wide scope even wider, the force more diffuse, the results a disaster.
Obama killed what Romney accurately called a football stadium full of terrorist leaders. We are much safer than we were.
Mitt Romney would have mobilized American war capabilities against millions around the world. If he becomes President, we can only hope he will have changed his mind.
Killing bin Laden a Campaign Feather for Obama, So What
John R. Houk
© May 4, 2012
bin Laden and President Romney - Context of a Quote
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