Relief at the death of Osama Bin Laden

Unlike many Americans I can’t cheer and celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden. I’ve surprised myself. I had dreamed of this day for a long time, but eventually gave up as I came to believe he had been killed in Tora Bora in 2001. While I can’t celebrate the death of a madman myself, I don’t resent those who can. In a way I even envy them.

Instead of feeling happiness, I feel relief. Bin Laden believed that America was a “paper tiger” that if hit hard enough could be controlled by the likes of a man like him. It was a rational belief. Iran wasn’t punished for holding Americans hostage for 444 days, nor was Hezballah for its attack on the Marine barracks in 1983 that killed 241. Even al-Qaeda had gotten away with attacks on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the US Embassy bombings in 1998 and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. On September 11, 2001 Osama Bin Laden hit America as hard as he could, but instead of surrendering to him (or lobbing a few cruise missiles at tents in the desert), we took over the country hosting him and mercilessly pursued him and his band of followers, striking them down in the dead of night with missiles fired from unmanned drones. I’m pleased to see that President Obama chose the riskier path by sending in CIA-led Navy SEALS to deliver justice in person; I only wish that Todd Beamer’s wife or one of the loved ones of thousands of others killed by Bin Laden in cold blood could have been there to pull the trigger.

By killing Bin Laden we sent a message that jihadis weren’t safe no matter what they did. It may have taken 9 1/2 years, but we did find Osama and punch his ticket to Paradise. Jihadis might want to pack accordingly because it is doubtful they will enjoy such a lengthy life after executing their deeds.

One of the problems I have had with President Obama is his attitude towards Islamic terror. During his campaign and throughout his presidency he has acted as if terrorism was a legal issue. Hence his decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court, and his promises to end rendition and close Guantanamo. Even his administration’s refusal to use the term “terror” – the “man caused disaster” episode of Janet Napolitano – terrified (for lack of a better term) those of us who see Islamic terror as an existential threat.

But the way Bin Laden’s assassination went down was uncharacteristic of this administration. As an old friend and Obama supporter noted of his death, “And under Obama’s watch no less. That should put some folk’s panties in a twist.” My panties aren’t in a twist, but perhaps hers should be. Obama suddenly – and surprisingly – acted as a leader with the Nation’s best interest in mind and in complete disregard of the “international law” so beloved by his Leftist supporters – a fact that pundit Iowahawk noted:

“Like many Americans – and the Nobel Peace Prize committee – I naively feared he was actually serious when he initially proposed shutting down Guantanamo, trying detainees in American civilian courts, and prior consultation with the international community. Little did I know that this untested young Commander-in-Chief would muster the courage to read his weekly Gallup numbers and, in one daring unilateral extra-judicial targeted hit job, toss aside every single idiotic foreign policy principle of his election campaign. Perhaps most satisfyingly, it was a mission made possible thanks to information extracted by methods he previously banned as ‘illegal torture.’”

In short President Obama acted like the leader of the administration he replaced: President George W. Bush. Does this upset me? Quite the opposite; it reassures me and relieves me that we don’t have the Second Coming of Carter. But his dovish supporters who haven’t appreciated the irony of a Nobel Prize recipient ordering the head shot off of America’s Enemy Number One and watching it on TV might want to reconsider either their support – or perhaps even better – their naive beliefs that allow the likes of Osama Bin Laden to continue to breathe today.

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  1. Chad:

    I haven’t commented much on this, but I do have an observation that all the folks giving kudos and adulation to Obama for allowing the plan to proceed are kind of treating him like new parents saying “Oh that’s a good baby who managed not to throw up on yourself!”

  2. Chad:

    Interestingly enough, here’s a post I just read that sheds further light on the administration’s position:

    Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound. Was that accurate?

    A: I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.

  3. Watcher of Weasels » Watcher’s council Nominations – Ding, Dong Osama’s Dead Edition:

    [...] The Razor – Relief at the Death of Osama Bin Laden [...]

  4. New Zeal Blog » Watcher’s Council Nominations – Ding, Dong Osama’s Dead Edition:

    [...] The Razor – Relief at the Death of Osama Bin Laden [...]

  5. Watcher’s of Weasels Ding Dong Osama’s Dead Edition – May 4, 2011 | Maggie's Notebook:

    [...] The Razor – Relief at the Death of Osama Bin Laden [...]

  6. Scott Kirwin:

    The more I ruminate over this event the more I think that something doesn’t smell right. As Stephen Green at VodkaPundit noted (, “The plan for killing Osama Bin Laden was perfectly conceived and as perfectly executed as any special forces operation since Israel’s raid on Entebbe. But the follow-through has been strange at best, sometimes bordering on incompetence.”

    I am convinced that OBL is dead. I am also convinced that the military aspects of his killing went down like a Call of Duty – Modern Warfare mission. SEAL Team 6’s actions are unimpeachable. But as Green notes the whole follow-through by the Administration is bizarre. It’s almost as if they are trying to piss away all the pride and good-will they earned by taking down Bin Laden as fast as possible, like they have a check list or something.
    1. Piss off the Muslims for killing their hero? Check.
    2. Piss off Americans by treating the body with more respect than roadkill on a Texas highway in July? Check.
    3. Provide fodder to conspiracy theorists for decades? Check.
    4. Make Americans question Obama’s competence as Commander-in-chief? Check.

    I now have serious doubts that Obama ordered the hit without being bullied by Panetta, Clinton and Gates. The link you mention above doesn’t provide incontrovertible proof, but it does demand further investigation. Maybe it the Republicans in the House can look into it.

  7. Bookworm Room » Watcher of Weasels — good stuff:

    [...] The Razor – Relief at the Death of Osama Bin Laden [...]

  8. Watcher of Weasels » The Council Has Spoken – This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results:

    [...] Fourth place t with 1 vote – The Razor – Relief At The Death Of Osama Bin Laden [...]

  9. New Zeal Blog » The Council Has Spoken – 05/06/2011:

    [...] Fourth place t with 1 vote – The Razor – Relief At The Death Of Osama Bin Laden [...]

  10. Relief at the death of Osama Bin Laden Scott Kirwin. The Razor. 03 May 2011. at

    [...] Relief at the death of Osama Bin Laden Scott Kirwin. The Razor. 03 May 2011. [...]

  11. Bookworm Room » Watcher’s results for May 6, 2011:

    [...] Fourth place t with 1 vote – The Razor – Relief At The Death Of Osama Bin Laden [...]

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