A week ago today the American people and the world were notified by President Obama that United States forces had killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. For a short period of time Americans were united once again in the face of evil. Political posturing, of course, became apparent as the week progressed.
I would like to take a moment to point out a few truths regarding the elimination of the head of Al Qaeda. First, the praise for this operation should be given to the Administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The intelligence gathered as a result of changes implemented by President Bush led directly to the location and subsequent killing of bin Laden. In the face of immense criticism from the left, the media, and from entities outside of the United States, President Bush had the fortitude and foresight to revamp our intelligence communities and to continue to War on Terror and our engagement in Afghanistan.
President Obama continued many of Bush’s policies and increased efforts in one area in particular, that being drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. It is no secret that I am critical of Obama, that I strongly disagree with him in many matters. However, I would not be honest if I were to say that Obama has done poorly as it relates his efforts in dealing with threats emerging out of Pakistan. Obama made the right call in sending in our forces to Abbottabad and he should be given credit for green lighting the mission.
I disagreed with the tenor and the structure of Obama’s speech, specifically that continual use of first person persona. I find it discomforting the way that certain liberal commentators and websites used this victory for political means. That is not to say that a majority of our friends on the other side of the aisle have behaved, clearly they have not, but a small minority have done so and do so in a very loud fashion.
One thing I do want to relate is that the death of bin Laden, while hugely symbolic, is not the end of the War on Terrorism or terrorism in particular. I know this is widely understood but it cannot be understated. Al Qaeda did not die the moment that bin Laden died. Iran did not stop funding Hezbollah in that moment. Abu Sayyaf did not cease operations. The enemies of freedom did not stop their hatred of free society because our courageous men and women killed a monster in the service of our nation.
We must be vigilant going forward. We must keep bin Laden’s death in perspective. We must understand that we are all responsible for the security of our nation and that politics should take a back seat to keeping our great land free and safe. Without a strong military and intelligence services we put every single person in our nation at risk. We can celebrate this victory but we must remain ready, willing, and able to delivery more victories.