02 May 2011

Dead: Osama Bin Laden, Time To Stop Iraq-Afghan Wars

From Denny:  Justice came swiftly this weekend, dished out from American Special Forces in a deadly fire fight, unleashed by President Obama to kill decades-long terrorist Osama Bin Laden. The mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 was found living in the lap of luxury in a large mansion in the affluent suburb of Abbottabad, about 30 miles outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. As it was, in the 40 minute fire fight, it was believed he used one of his wives as a human shield as he fired upon the assault team.

Terrorist cult leader turned world pariah 

Like the typical cult leader he preached sacrifice and frugal living to his dewy-eyed followers yet enjoyed a lavish life style for himself, his family and closest followers.

Where he was hiding in plain sight 

Looks like he was hiding in plain sight with the protection of the Pakistani retired military that he was most likely paying just as lavishly to protect his location. However, finally someone in the Obama administration must have put their foot down and demanded bin Laden's location in exchange for that $40 billion America sent them in foreign aid. Bigger money trumps little money. "Oops, you lose, bin Laden. Time to go straight to hell. See ya."

$40 billion for a terrorist: sounds like Pakistan came out ahead on that trade but at least America finally gets closure on the 9/11 incident. Personally, I would have preferred he was taken alive so we could put him on trial as a cautionary tale for generations to other world terrorists run amok.

President Obama addresses the nation 

From President Obama who announced the death of the terrorist Sunday night: "The death of bin Laden marks the most significant event to date in our nation's efforts to defeat al Qaeda. Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad."

Will the President release video and photos to debunk conspiracy theories? 

Presently, President Obama is considering the release of the video as proof of the terrorist's death.  Obama addressed the nation last night, claiming possession of the dead body but did not offer proof.  It was later reported America did not have the body as the military followed Islamic burial custom and buried the body within 24 hours of death - burial at sea.

Actually, this was a good move to bury him anonymously.  Why?  So there will be no place for rabid future followers to worship at his grave like he was some martyr, stirring up more terrorism.

Mr. President, no matter how gruesome, release the video and photographs.  And I'm not talking as a journalist for freedom of information.  Frankly, I have no prurient interest in looking at the photos.  I already know it's true Bin Laden is dead. However, the Doubting Thomas types and the Chicken Littles out there, who are afraid of their own shadows and see terrorists lurking in every corner, they need physical evidence to put their minds at ease.

Yes, there is the possibility of one action creates a reaction.  That comes with the territory.  That is also why you must never gloat.  That is why you must never release the names or photos of the men sent to kill him.  Excessive celebration is just bad form and creates more resentment, fueling bitterness and revenge.  Release enough still photos for everyone to see the truth.

From Michael Scheuer, who formerly headed the CIA unit aimed at capturing or killing bin Laden.  "I think they will be forced to put out the pictures" to debunk conspiracy theories the terrorist may not actually be dead.

Gruesome Celebration

Crowds gathered at the White House and at Ground Zero in New York City to celebrate the news of Bin Laden's death.

From President Obama about terrorism:  "Americans understand the costs of war. Yet, as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. ... And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done."

Why kill him now?

Last August President Obama had some uncertain intelligence as the whereabouts of Bin Laden.  He considered it too vague to act.  It was last week new intelligence surfaced that was actionable.  Read that as we finally broke through the Pakistani stonewalling and paid off the right people to learn exact coordinates for the attack.

On Friday, 29 April, the President gave permission for the attack by Special Forces.  They carried out their mission on Sunday, 1 May, taking care to avoid civilian casualties.  On Friday, as President Obama was boarding Air Force One to visit Alabama and tour the tornado damage, he gave the OK.  That set the ball rolling for National Security Adviser Tom Donilon to set up the mission and carry it out.

The President's time line for this action

Sumer 2009:  President Obama tasked CIA Director Leon Panetta to create a plan, locate and bring to justice Osama bin Laden.

Once the President said the mission was on "Go!" here is how it played out at the White House on 1 May 2011.  There were at least nine meetings for this operation:

1 PM:  On Sunday at the White House Situation Room Donilon and other principals met.

2 PM:  President Obama checked in with the WH Situation Room to review final preparations.

3:32 PM:  President Obama returned to the WH Situation Room for an additional briefing.

3:50 PM:  Mission reports had "tentatively identified" Osama bin Laden as among the people killed in the operation.

7:01 PM:  President Obama was briefed that the "high-value target"  was killed and that it was a very "high probability" it was indeed bin Laden.

What was Pakistan's role?

From President Obama: "Over the years I have made clear that we would take action in Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we have done."

Obama did not say whether Pakistan was aware bin Laden had been hiding in plain sight all these years.  Nor did the president say whether Pakistan had given permission for the mission.  Pakistani officials were not notified about the intelligence nor were they notified about the raid.  I would hope not as that could have tipped off the terrorists to move quickly.

Of course, after the successful raid, knowing bin Laden was indeed dead, the Pakistani  government jumped up and  agreed that "this is a good and historic day for both our nations."

Obama phoned Bush to inform him 

Both Bush and Cheney were glad and congratulated Obama on his successful raid.  Bush rarely comments in public though Cheney regularly lies about Obama to anyone who will listen.  Yet today they both had high praise for Obama and the Special Forces team that completed the mission.

Bush and Republicans congratulate Obama 

From former President Bush 43 on this historic event:  " I congratulate Obama and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission.

"They have our everlasting gratitude.  This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

Afghan President Karzai comments

From Afghanistan President Karzai:  He labeled the killing of bin Laden "very important news."

"The Taliban must learn a lesson from this. The Taliban should refrain from fighting," speakiing to al Jazeera English. "The war against terrorism is in its sources, in its financial sources, its sanctuaries, in its training bases, not in Afghanistan."

NATO comments

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general of NATO:  He said the killing is "a significant success for the security of NATO Allies and all the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism to make the world a safer place for all of us."

Terrorism is on the wane 

The whole world is fed up with terrorism - even in the Middle East.  Cutting the head off the snake was a deafening blow to the world terrorism community.  This is the end of an era.

It was America that created Osama bin Laden the terrorist over 20 years ago by arming rebels in Afghanistan against the Russians and then abandoning them.  It was only fitting it was America that ended his terrorist rampage.  It is a cautionary tale to big countries like America to watch what rebels they arm - and how they treat them - because it can come back to bite us on the a$$ets.

Time to end Afghan and Iraq Wars and troop involvement

It's time for us to tread lightly in Libya, not rushing in to help create the next bin Laden by arming the rebels.  It's also time we move our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Not a few years from now.  No lingering with the shell game of "Well, When" keeps getting moved around from year to year along with The Maybe, Maybe Not.  Americans don't like uncertainty and we don't like getting taken advantage of by Big Business and our government.

Besides, if this President wants to get reelected AND get the economy off the ground he has to get rid of the only true excessive optional expenditure draining the national treasury: Wars.  The treasury cannot sustain billions of dollars a week past a decade that has already come and gone.

History lesson of rich countries at war far too long 

I repeat the lesson of history:  He who ignores his emptying treasury risks citizens rioting in the streets and getting run out of office.  What is happening in the Middle East can easily happen right here in middle class America.  People are that angry with our politicians.

Savor your victory, Mr. President.  The after glow won't last long with the electorate.

What Obama needs to do to get reelected

You want to get reelected easily and improve your poll numbers?  Here's the first phase of the successful road map:  Stop home foreclosures, pond scum debt collectors who buy accounts that are not legal to sell in the first place once it has been charged off by the banks, and roll out the national oil reserves to bring down gas prices.

Start there and you will start winning voters.  Anything less and it's two words: Jimmy Carter.  "Can you hear me now?"

President Obama's address:

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