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Obama, Not Bush, Killed bin Laden:This Is Why It Matters

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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 18, 2011 12:10:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2011 11:46:17 AM PDT
J. jones says:
I keep hearing people talk about who deserves the credit for the killing of the world's most feared criminal mind. I believe it is President Obama that should get the lion's share of the credit, although Bush, the CIA, the military, and others, including those in Pakistan, deserve some of the praise.
First, it must be noted that Bush's policies never resulted in bin Laden's capture. Although, he does get credit for limiting his movement and disrupting the Al-queda network. Secondly, we have to understand that Bush really did give up on catching bin Laden. This isn't the same as really trying hard and failing. He quit trying altogether. He said on different occasions that he was not concerned about bin Laden. He stated that he did not know where he was. He also commented that he did not spend that much time thinking about him. The most noteworthy statements that Bush made, said that he ( bin Laden), "[was] not the centerpiece of any power structure." He said, "He's been marginalized." Marginalized means minimized, no longer powerful, effective, or active. We now know that this was NEVER true, but if the Bush administration believed this, then it is not hard to understand why they couldn't find him. According to The Herald Bulletin, a local newspaper in my hometown, U.S. officials said Wednesday of bin Laden, that, "His personal, handwritten journal and his massive collection of computer files reveal his hand at work in every recent major al-Qaida threat, including plots in Europe last year that had travelers and embassies on high alert,..."
Also, according to these officials, bin Laden suggested striking smaller cities and targeting trains as well as planes. In other words, bin Laden was planning a series of 9/11-type disasters, to kill as many Americans as possible. He was not marginalized.
Finally, Bush let the bin Laden unit, set up to capture or kill him, close down in 2005, ironically, the same year bin Laden had his million dollar hideaway compound built, nestled in an affluent area in Abbottabad, Pakistan. So, if President Obama were going to catch or kill bin Laden, he had to go against the prevailing inertia of indifference and resignation of the Bush administration. And he did. He directed Leon Panetta to make the capture or kill of bin Laden the number 1 priority in the war on Al-Queda. He was personally involved, staging 9 meetings, and giving detailed input. His analysis of the progress and his dogged determination to pursue this elusive target, was painstaking, risky, and courageous. Again, I give credit to everyone involved, but without Obama's directive to Panetta, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

Now, the question is asked, "Why does it matter?" A good question.
The biggest reason is , because, in light of the differences in leadership on foreign policy, the Commander-in-Chief who has shown the kind of foresight and competence it takes to bring down a bin Laden, should be able to command global respect on matters of foreign policy. In President Obama's case, this is respect that he sorely needs. He is not soft on terrorism, but his detractors have had some effectiveness in portraying him that way. Actually, this latest victory is just another feather in Obama's cap, because he has had a string of wins on foreign issues. He got Mubarak to step down. His decision to strike at Libya without spearheading another costly war has shown to be prudent, and may yet pay more dividends if the drone strikes help the rebels hit pay dirt. He has drawn down the troops in Iraq, with plans to leave in December. Troops in Afghanistan will begin leaving this summer. His controversial decision in 2009, to add 40,000 more troops has helped the cause greatly. If this latest victory, of killing bin Laden proves that there is indeed a method to Obama's madness, or rather his "dithering", as opponents call it, we may need to reserve criticism and realize that there is more than one way to be successful.

Posted on Aug 6, 2011 5:23:05 AM PDT
Stargazer says:
In trying to find someone like OBL (who knows that he's being hunted), there will always be an element of luck involved.

If this break had come 5 years earlier, then Bush would have got the credit. OTOH, this could have happened 5 years later and another President would have then got the accolades.

To paraphrase Sun Tzu, "The opportunity for victory is always presented by the enemy". The secret is being ready when that opportunity arises. Obama made that call when it mattered and so certainly deserves credit.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2011 12:13:22 PM PDT
J. jones says:

Correct. What people need to understand, though, is that Obama has

been effective on foreign policy, albeit, in an almost imperceptible way.

I say imperceptible, because if you listen to the criticism against him

on the left about a too slow drawdown, or the criticism he endures on

the right about everything else, you would think he didn't know what

he was doing, and yet we are ending the war in Iraq, ending the war

in Afghanistan, his leadership caused the killing of bin Laden, and he

has been able to bring most of the world's nuclear powers together to

reduce their armaments. Sounds pretty darn competent to me!

Posted on Sep 1, 2011 8:23:43 PM PDT
Sane Citizen says:
Stupid Bush said he'd stop at nothing and get Bin Laden. After he failed, he announced that it wasn't at all important. That is fact.

Failed ball club owner.
Failed oil man.
Failed President.

A triple threat.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2011 9:46:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2011 5:49:40 PM PDT
Stargazer says:
Sane Citizen, which was more important in 2005? Winning the insurgency in Iraq or keep pouring resources on leads on OBL that have gone stone cold?

By 2005, OBL was nothing more than hollow figurehead in hiding, whereas Abu Musab al_Zarqawi was a far bigger threat who was close to igniting all-out civil war in Iraq. Bush was absolutely correct to divert intelligence resources to hunt down al_Zarqawi instead of OBL. The killing of al_Zarqawi was a massive blow which AQ in Iraq never really recovered from.

Fast forward to 2010...the insurgency in Iraq is well over (thanks to Bush's surge strategy), so its now easy for Obama to draw-down troops from there and focus on Afghanistan and OBL again.

And it worked this time, partly because OBL and his minders got complacent in assuming that no one was still serious in hunting him down. For that, Obama deserves credit.
But to condemn Bush for doing nothing is nonsense.

Like I said earlier, there is always an element of luck involved in getting the intelligence breakthrough that is needed. This is real life, not some episode of CSI.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2011 11:50:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 1, 2011 11:52:32 PM PDT
Scroogey says:
Stargazer, are you seriously attempting a conversation with an individual who thinks Bush and Cheney are responsible for 9/11? Seriously?!


'Miss me yet?'

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2011 12:42:14 AM PDT
Stargazer says:
Hello Scroogey, long time no see...I see you've been busy :). Unfortunately I've not been to any of Amazon's forums since late January...too much work and too many projects to look after...I guess in these times, this should be considered a blessing.

Keep up the good fight, mate...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2011 12:40:32 PM PDT
J. jones says:
i do not feel that Bush and Cheney caused 9/11. Whether they could have

prevented it is one for history to judge. What I do know is that OBL was

Always the inspirational leader and face of Al-Queda. Killing him was the nail

in the coffin. Bush could have gotten the job done, if he had had the approach

of Obama. What you fail to see, is that Obama made OBL a prime target

once again. Sure he followed leads that were acquired under Bush, but Bush

could have doggedly pursued those same leads. Obama rightly determined

that OBL was the head of the snake. He directed Panetta to make cutting that

head off, the no. 1 goal in the fight against al-Queda. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2011 5:58:32 PM PDT
Stargazer says:
Fair enough, J.jones. I do hope that Obama (or who ever becomes the next President) nails Ayman Zawahiri. He's the brains of AQ and the one I consider a more significant target.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 7:28:50 AM PDT
M. Quinn says:
during the campaign both obama and mccain were briefed on national security issues. my guess is the tracking of obl was part of that briefing. if it wasn't it doesn't matter because as soon as obama became president he had the information. looking back on his speeches were he said he was going to make obl a priority he already knew we were close. the man that lead to obl killing name and approximate location was already known. the guy made a mistake when he called obl and that lead to the operation to kill these two guys. both administration deserve credit. the work that took to get obl happened under both administrations. i agree he was a inspirational leader. the problem he still is today because of the perceived martyrdom. weather obama put more effort into finding obl or not it was not lead to his killing, the operation was already in place. al-queda and the years we have decimated their organization is part of a larger problem with extremist. to say Bush's administration was not interested in finding obl or fighting al-queda is just to support a political view. to support your comment could you please give specific programs that obama has put into place that lead to finding obl besides him saying it in a speech.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2011 6:30:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2011 6:41:55 PM PDT
J. jones says:

You need to read my original post. I already addressed the fact that Obama's approach to catching him was

different. He had the right idea in reestablishing OBL as THE prime target in dismantling Al-Quaida.

The intelligence coming from Obl's Abbottobad compound, M. Quinn, showed that Obl was still very

much at work, and very influential in planning new terrorist attacks. He was behind the European

attacks, including the ones against trains. The data acquired from his capture showed this.

Obama staged many meetings and painstakingly went over the information with his cabinet.

M. Quinn, this deviated dramatically from the Bush admin's role, since Bush shut down the Bin Laden

Unit in 2005. I went over this in my original post.

M.Quinn, you have to understand that since Bush stated that he was marginalized, then shut down

the unit designed to capture him, he let him get away to kill another day. And kill he did. How much

clearer can I make it? Obama hit the reset button and said."Let's do this over the RIGHT way", and

caught him.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011 9:28:56 PM PDT
M. Quinn says:
first of all i did not say obl was not involved in any operations. were you read that in my comment, who knows. i did respond to your comment about how he was inspirational and i agreed. the fact that obama meet and carefully went over intelligence information sound about right to me. why wouldn't he? weather obama hit the reset button didn't really matter. there wasn't anything new or different done, the information he needed was already at his disposal when he arrived at the whitehouse. some of the work leading up to getting obl was done under Bush. the rest was done under Obama. this isn't to prop up or put down either president. it's just the facts. i know when Bush disbanded the unit that assigned to go after obl seems to give credence that nothing was done under the Bush administration but it does not.if your argument is that Bush could have gotten him sooner or that he shouldn't have disbanded the unit ok that is different from the fact that the some of the work to get obl was done under Bush. i do believe the difference between these two men are that Bush would have given obama the credit he deserved sadly Obama will not.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2011 11:02:25 PM PDT
J. jones says:
Bush had a lot more time and had the wind to his back in his pursuit of OBL. Obama inherited 2 wars that

Bush put on a credit card. People were jaded with both wars, and not willing to give Obama the latitude

they gave Bush. I already said in my original post, M. Quinn, that Bush gets some of the credit. Are you

telling me you didn't read that? I don't believe either president would give the other credit if it weren't

politically beneficial to do so. Bush was notoriously sparse with his praise of democrats, even the ones

that gave him a blank check to go into Iraq with. Being that he couldn't have gotten into Iraq with at

least some Democratic help, I would have doled out the praise generously. Bush barely hiccuped a thank


Posted on Sep 11, 2011 7:41:41 AM PDT
M. Quinn says:
if obama didn't want to end or fight these wars he shouldn't have run for president. i really don't get why i am supposed to feel bad for him or excuse his decisions because of the wars already in progress when he came into office. my response to your comment was not that you didn't give credit to both presidents, it was that no matter what extra efforts that obama put into finding obl it didn't matter. what lead to him had nothing to do with that. the surveillance was already in progress. nothing against either presidents. i know that saying it took obama to get obl is going to be a great campaign talking point, that's fine anyone would use it. as a citizen i like knowing the facts and the workings of our government which usually goes beyond talking points. i am proud of both presidents efforts in getting this guy. the world is a better place without him.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2011 4:37:45 PM PDT
J. jones says:
i agree with your end points, M. Quinn. The world is a lot better without him. It's great that Obama still understood that, even when Bush thought he had been made ineffective. Obama's understanding that OBL would be better caught by Navy Seals than blown up was also great. We got to see and take pics. No one could give him an Elvis or Tupac persona. Even Michelle Bachmann said he was really dead. Obama's decision to make catching him wasn't just some out of the blue contrivance. He thought long and hard about it. He believed that making OBL target #1 would have a great deal to do with catching him. Otherwise, why would he have directed Leon Panetta to make him a priority?

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2013 7:10:02 AM PDT
timjim says:
President Obama deserves no more credit than any President faced with the decision to go after UBL!! Bush '41, '43, Clinton etc., would have made the same decision. The intelligence and military communites got UBL not the President!! Obama's rep in foreign policy and on terrorists was strengthened by his supporters but not by those who don't respect him, obviously including me.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2013 7:11:14 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 4, 2013 7:11:56 AM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Decision Points forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  May 18, 2011
Latest post:  May 4, 2013

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