Not since United States soldiers found Saddam Hussein hiding in a “spiderhole” in the Iraqi countryside have United States citizens had many reasons to gather and cheer for the success of their armed forces. Since that day, there seems to have been a steady flow of pictures of Muslim people around the world marching and protesting the United States. There have been many reports of these protests showing protestors burning Presidents Bush and Obama in effigy and decrying America’s constant imperialism.
Now it is our turn. When President Obama came on televison last night and announced that United States Navy Seals had killed Usama Bin Laden, who was hiding in Pakistan, there were spontaneous celebrations all across the country. Today, these celebrations have continued and White House Counterterrorism Chief John Brennan briefed the press today on what was a truly amazing operation that was almost perfect in its execution. This speaks to the military superiority of the United States but it says more. It says that if you “mess with the bull, you get the horns” Sorry, I had to go there. My respects to Paul Gleason.
Seriously, this tremendous action does highlight a few major issues. First, is that our intelligence service appears to have been built back up to a level capable of finding a needle in a haystack. This was not the case pre 9/11 and many say was the reason we never caught the hijackers in advance. The Intelligence Agencies were not talking, were being funded at low levels and we could not catch up with what was happening on the ground, but since the attack on the Towers, President Bush and the Congress began to create a system that would never allow this to happen again. The Department of Homeland Security was created, the Patriot Act was put in effect, Guantanamo Detention was created and it was there that one of the detainees let it be known that Bin Laden used a certain courier for information exchange. Reports have said that the government learned of this courier in 2003, and he was identified in 2007. It was these events that put us on a path that led to President Obama pulling the trigger, metaphor intended, on such an incredible assault that lead to the mastermind of the 9/11 finally meeting his fate.
I applaud the President for his actions and for him not playing politics with this. He has been out of the limelight today and hosted a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House. There is no hiding the fact that I have not been a fan of much of what he has done since he became President, but I have been a fan of his prosecuting the War on Terrorism worldwide. As much as he attacked President Bush during his campaign for the White House, he has kept President Bush’s war policies in place. That is a silent nod of the cap to his predecessor. He also called both President Bush and President Clinton and let them know before anyone else was informed.
As a former soldier, I can say today that I am very proud of our Commander in Chief and I am very proud of our fearless soldiers who still carry the fight to the terrorists. The President made the right call and by many accounts went into a sovereign country without their prior consent. That takes real courage and because of his courage, and the courage of our elite soldiers, Americans across the country cheer the death of the United States’ Public Enemy Number One.
Now for the next couple of weeks, the world will get a steady dose of Americans cheering in the streets. That is a nice change of pace. Let’s see how long we can make it last as a country.