Obama’s remarks this evening left me feeling hollow. I wish he would have steered clear of his version of the Bush The Gunslinger persona and talked more about the need to create peace in the world. But, that said, there are still major distinctions between him and his predecessor:
George Bush, August, 2001, upon receiving a CIA warning titled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S” – All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”
Bush, September, 2006 – “This thing about . . . let’s put 100,000 of our special forces stomping through Pakistan in order to find bin Laden is just simply not the strategy that will work. … I truly am not that concerned about him.”
Barack Obama, May, 2011 – “Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.”
While I’m sure this action will trigger violence, and while I wish bin Laden had been brought to justice alive, I can still appreciate the irony that this announcement was made 8 years after the phony “Mission Accomplished” photo op. And it’s worth pondering, even if only as an educational exercise, how much sooner we might have captured or killed bin Laden had Bush the Tough Guy not abandoned the war in Afghanistan so he could go play in Iraq. Come to think, the war in Afghanistan might have been over by now, as well.