Briefly weighing in on the weighing in

Rarely have I seen the blogosphere so alive with commentary as it is right now about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Just to make my position clear, I don't care what anyone thinks of President Obama's overall performance, but it is undeniable that this is a decided plus. M. Simon and I both said so.

Considering all of the trouble the country has undergone lately, people really want a reason to feel proud of their country, and by any standard this is a good reason. Even though the war is by no means over (as Sarah explains eloquently), the killing of Bin Laden is a major milestone, a victory people should be celebrating, and I am not going to detract from the celebrating in any way.

As to weighing in, I congratulate the president on a job well done. Can't remember the last time I did that. Was there ever a time? I don't know; if there was it might have been by way of sarcasm, as I make no secret of my disdain for the actions of this president and his administration, which I will of course continue to criticize. But I have to give credit where credit is due. He made the country proud, and as I don't want to say anything to detract from that, I really don't feel like wading through and weighing in on the predictable snark, the impugning of motives, the second-guessing, and conspiracy theories right now.

I would feel less than patriotic if I did.

However, I will say that he has gotten closer to having now earned his unearned Nobel Peace Prize (which, I would note, there had already been some international movement to take away).

So I agree what Glenn Reynolds' reaction to a remark made by Allen West that "Maybe he should think about giving back that Nobel Peace Prize." Quoting what he said in an earlier post, Glenn said,

I totally disagree. In the words of Keith Laumer, there's nothing more peaceful than a dead troublemaker.

As a SciFi ignoramus, I had to Google Keith Laumer, whose remark is all over the Internet. 

Peace through strength. It's a tried but true idea.

Works a lot better than peace through surrender, and I am glad to see President Obama was willing to use it in defense of this country.

posted by Eric on 05.04.11 at 01:26 PM


Peace through surrender is nothing more than death or slavery at the whim of the victor.

Peace through thorough application of the clue bat (the big one, with rusty nails) is also difficult to entertain, but so much fun.

(What? I never said I was nice)

Kate   ·  May 4, 2011 3:12 PM

In cowboy terms, he needed killing.
But did anyone ask the question - what can be gained by not acknowledging the mission or the fatal outcome? What could the Pakis say - the US kidnapped/killed this guy we denied was here? What ops and intel efforts could have benefited from keeping the lid on it for a short period, days to weeks? I guess we'll never know if we could have gained some advantage - the administration had to strut and preen.

chuckR   ·  May 4, 2011 4:56 PM

Keith Laumer wrote some of the funniest Science Fiction - ever. He had a focus on diplomacy and government affairs. Tongue in cheek - dipped in acid - and true as hell. Did I mention funny?

Anything in the Retief series.

And thanks for the mention!

M. Simon   ·  May 4, 2011 5:41 PM

Truman was rehabilitated by David McCullough. Maybe someday Mr. Mucollough will perform the same service to Gen. Curtis LeMay (the author of the phrase Peace Through Strength).

Captain Ned   ·  May 4, 2011 7:31 PM

Also a Keith Laumer fan. If you haven't read him, you should. A LOT of his works are very applicable now. Just.. go read the Retief books (as chuckR said) are priceless. (And evidence that the kowtow-to the-enemy standard is nothing new.)

As chuckR said "He had a focus on diplomacy and government affairs. Tongue in cheek - dipped in acid - and true as hell. Did I mention funny?"

Just in case chuckR forgot to mention it, I'll mention funny...don't read with a mouthful of liquid. Really.

Kathy Kinsley   ·  May 4, 2011 8:39 PM

It is good to see so many accept the Seals practical handling of the "Wanted: dead or alive" fugitive.

Yep, I remember Retief and the Bolo stories. Good stuff.

Will   ·  May 5, 2011 12:19 AM


"...I congratulate the President on a job well done...He made the country proud, and as I don't want to say anything to detract from that, I really don't feel like wading through and weighing in on the predictable snark, the impugning of motives, the second-guessing, and conspiracy theories right now."

"I would feel less than patriotic if I did."

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president. Theodore Roosevelt

Frank   ·  May 5, 2011 1:38 AM

Frank, I never said that I would stand by "the president." I explained why I think that in this instance the president did something for the country as a whole to be proud of. To support that action is not to support him or his administration as a whole -- no more than it would be if he decided to abolish the DEA and I supported that.

Eric Scheie   ·  May 5, 2011 8:22 AM

In the weeks leading up to the decision by Obama to allow the Seals to take out Bin Laden, the president acted right out of Alinsky's Rules For Radicals playbook. He knew for months where Osama was likely holed up. When the decision was forced on him by the military (I'll never believe the dithering and 16 hours to sleep on it was anything but reluctance on his part) he used it.

For god's sake, look at the picture in the situation room. The weasel is crouched and hunched, trapped into acting in his country's best interest.

Don't you remember the over-the-top ridicule he heaped on Trump? That "nah nah nah, I know something YOU don't" smirk on his face at the event? Right out of Rules For Radicals Chapt. 7, Tactics -

5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

M. Simon warned us early on about the nature of this man, that he acts on subterfuge and sabotage.

But now we're supposed to praise him? Or is it that I've got this all wrong, he's NOT the man who spent 20 years listening approvingly to the Rev. Wright blast and demean his country, NOT the man who sat next to Bill Ayers on "The Woods Fund" otherwise known as Alinsky Academy, NOT the Marxist who believes in spreading the wealth around, and definitely NOT the man who bows and scrapes before dictators from the Mid-East to China?

Nooo! This is the new and improved version who is every neo-con's wet-dream. He doesn't even bother at the pretense of constitutional law, but just orders by diktat the invasion of Libya. No appearances before congress, no phone calls to the Speaker of The House.

And so that's what it's all about. And it's why Palin has jumped ship, and why neo-con advisers have left her camp. It's one overriding issue that trumps all others.

Why is it that I feel I've been had these past few years, as the neo-con right has used those very same Alinsky tactics to garner support and rally the Tea Party neophytes to their side?

Praise Obama, for anything? OVER MY DEAD BODY!

Frank   ·  May 5, 2011 9:23 AM

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