Monday, May 2, 2011
It's a great day. It's been a long time coming but we can finally say with confidence that the most wanted man in the world has been killed. It's barely been announced as of this writing and yet I'm already getting sick of the scepticism surrounding the news.
Let's start with this. Both President Obama and our military deserves credit here. It's a shame that there are already partisan's trying to divide this issue. If we can't even unite on a moment such as this then we as Americans have already destroyed everything this country has stood for in history and we should be ashamed of ourselves if we allow that to become this generations legacy as Americans.
This is great news. To the critics who believe this is a lie to improve President Obama's approval rating, be better than that. At this point to believe that simply because you don't like Obama, (as I clearly don't), makes you no better than the critics of President Bush who attacked him for anything and everything and you should be above that.
We all have questions, such as whether or not the Pakistani government knew he was there and was protecting him when they were making themselves out to be helping us with the war on terror. He was in a fortified compound near military and the U.S. didn't let the Pakistani government know about the operation which was a good move. What if someone on Bin Laden's side in the Pakistani government found out about it and tipped him off to let him slip away as he had several times in the past? He slipped through our fingers in 1998 in Afghanistan under President Clinton, (according to former Clinton advisor Dick Morris). This also happened under Bush shortly after 9/11. These are good questions to have but we should just enjoy the moment of triumph.
I have other questions though. For example, the information leading to Bin Laden was attained from a Gitmo detainee. Will all of the Obama supporters chanting USA in the streets still be in favor of closing Gitmo given that fact? Will the left remain on such a hard line against our military and military recruiters considering that the CIA and Navy SEALS did such a fantastic job of conducting this operation, killing Bin Laden without suffering a single casualty?
The left will give all of the credit to President Obama and the right are going to try and shift most of the credit to Bush, the military, and Gitmo. Would it really be that difficult for all of us to give credit to all of the above on that one. I don't remember the Bush critics being all that happy when we caught Saddam Hussein do you? You may not have agreed with Bush's actions in Iraq but if you support the recent actions in Egypt and Libya is Iraq really all that different? All three, (Saddam, Gaddafi, and Mubarak), were dictators and terrorized their people. The past is the past and what's done is done but can we stop with the hypocritical partisanship of the past for the good of the present and future? Unfortunately, I'm really not so sure that we can.
Partisanship is fed into us from many angles on both sides and some people just want to believe what they believe and you can't change that. Let me explain why I put "stay awake" in the title of this post.
Our fight isn't over by a long shot. Psychologically, this is a great boost for us and a great blow to the terrorists that hate us but in the end it's still just one guy. Think about this:
FDR died on April 12, 1945. That may have been a pretty good day for the imperialist Japanese. I'm no fan of FDR due to his pre-WW2 actions but he did a good job fighting the war, FDR was a popular leader just as Osama Bin Laden was for terrorists. It wasn't until August 6 and then August 9 that we dropped the 2 nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The death of a leader is of course significant but we mustn't fall back into a false sense of security because of it.
We must stay alert and remember that there are plenty of other people who hate America just as much as Bin Laden, remember that Bin Laden didn't pilot any of the planes on 9/11 and obviously wasn't a single suicide bomber killing himself just to kill innocents. Do not fall back asleep just because we've dealt such a serious blow to our enemies.
To those whose political opinion differs from my own I say maybe it's time to scale back your criticism of our military heroes who take risks the likes of which you and I will never know to keep all of us safe. You don't have to agree with a war to recognize the heroes of that war. Even Hillary Clinton and President Obama praised the work of President Bush in fighting AIDS in Africa. Every president has good and bad decisions that define the legacy of their presidency. It's okay to disagree with most of President Obama's policies and still give him some credit here.
We've all heard the saying that we have won the battle but have yet to win the war. That certainly seems to fit here. So stay alert, keep paying attention, keep learning and growing. I'm certainly not the 19 year old kid I was on 9/11 and I don't think there are many people out there who can say they are the same person they were 10 years ago.
I fear that after the initial "high" and showing of pride that many of us feel this day will fade over time just as it did as the months and years following 9/11 passed. Do this country a favor and don't be one of those people, we've got enough of them. Be better than that and show the world that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stand with what is right, give credit where it's due even if it's not exactly someone you usually agree with. That will show true American pride far more than chanting USA!! USA!! with a beer in hand. Think about it.