01 May 2011

presidential bookends: from a rubble pile to an east room

a friend of mine called me from atlanta to tell me to turn the tv on; that the president was about to make an important and historic announcement.  for about 20 minutes i had an ache in my stomach waiting and worrying about a development in north korea or a nuclear accident (japan is still on my mind and that nuclear plant) or what?

it never crossed my mind that it could be usama bin laden.

i am not a big believer in hate.  nor am i a warmonger.  i appreciate and respect people of every tongue, nationality and race.  i don't harbor a blood-lust against those whom our country decides or has decided is our enemy, and neither does america.  when the japanese and germans put down their weapons after the second world war, we soon had two of our biggest allies in the world.  hell, after the english stopped the nonsense after the war of 1812, and burning down our capitol, we cemented our special relationship with britain that would hardly be questioned over the next two-hundred years.

but i believe in having our brother's back.  i believe when we're threatened by the worst ideology in this world, a wicked worldview that seeks to kill our innocents at home and abroad, to put us under the yoke of a caliphate or sharia or worse, well, we need to take out the sharpened hoe in the garage and quickly put it to the back of the snake's neck and stop it in its tracks.

when our brothers and sisters, our fellow americans were slaughtered on that fateful day, we owed it to them to take a stand.  almost ten years ago, president bush said from a pile of rubble in new york shouting through a bullhorn:
"i can hear you!  i hear you!  the world hears you.  and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"
the 44th president picked up that gauntlet and tonight he bookended a bold, hubristic prediction when our president obama said:
"we will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. we will be true to the values that make us who we are. 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"
yes it has, mr. president.  we are all proud of you and your actions putting an american finger on the final pulse and breath of a terrorist and mass-murderer of americans.  now if only we could expect to earn a strong relationship with the countries in that region.  instead, i expect more mothers to be strapping explosives in earnest to their 12-yr-olds and asking for their god's blessing the killing of infidels.

but, for now, mr. president, you deserve the gratitude of your fellow americans.  thank you for your well-wishes to us, and God bless you, too, sir.  and God bless the men and women of all religions of our armed forces who serve our country proudly and pay the ultimate sacrifice for our protection on a daily basis, including this magnificent operation that put a neat button on this messy and justified engagement.

i apologize if some of you find this post offensive, but for me, when a nation finds itself threatened and no longer in a state of civilization, we are in a state of nature and as such, we need the type of keen leadership that president obama provided today: "at my direction" ... the three strongest words of his presidency.

here, some strong words by his predecessor:



Barbara said...

Yes, we are all heaving a sigh of relief this morning. Our intelligence services and military deserve the credit....they never gave up.

For all the Americans who have lost their lives, military and civilian, I say a prayer and give thanks for justice.

For New Yorkers like my daughter who actually saw it happen and lived through the chaos that followed (she lives/lived 4 blocks from ground zero) I trust this will help the terror go away.
As for the rest of us, I am pleased, but fear the retaliation that will now follow in the world.

Divine Theatre said...

I am not grateful, nor am I inclined to believe the word of this president that Bin Laden was killed then hastily buried at sea. I am not one to rejoice (like the dimwits in the streets) at the purported death of a CIA trained "terrorist".
The US police actions overseas have created a vast hatred for American people. Osama Bin Laden declared war on the US because of these policies. We are responsible for the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people and this president promised to end that. Not only did he not put an end to such unconstitutional and barbaric policies, he strengthened and increased them.
Will this president phase out TSA and bring our troops home now that this heinous mission was allegedly accomplished? I know the answer and so do you. More innocent people will die on his watch along with naive US soldiers believing they are fighting and dying for something real.

Alexandra said...

certainly a great post. I was torn whether or not to go to the WTC to 'celebrate' last night but then I felt it a bit contrary to my beliefs of promoting peace.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

Barb – glad for the closure your daughter and her fellow New Yorkers might now feel. Sigh of relief indeed.

DT – very glad to see you back in the blogosphere! Appreciate your opinion (as always), even if I find myself a dimwit (your descriptor) here. one quick thought: you seem to take bin laden’s word at face value when you say “US police actions overseas” were the reasons for his (and other islamicists) hatred of America and its infidel people, and yet you won’t believe “one word” of President Obama? I find that an odd and interesting cognitive dissonance to say the least. Especially b/c attacks against America have been an ongoing pastime of islamist extremists since the late 1970s. then we were just the great satan; now we’re the invading infidels. i don’t say this lightly, but I’ll let the responsibility for those deaths you mention fall on whose shoulders they belong.

Alexandra – understand how you feel. I’m not gloating in the slightest, but I understand the elation of some people. Keep up the excellent blog work when you’re not studying or livin’ la vida loca.

Divine Theatre said...

Please re-read my post. You misquoted and misinterpreted. Nonetheless I stand by my valid assertion that the reason we are targets is mainly due to our interventionist policies.

christian soldier said...

Great takes - my friend!!

We in the US turned our enemies into allies--thus- when anyone accuses US of being 'imperialists' I just smile and remind them of - the Japanese- and the Germans--and if we were 'imperialists'- we would OWN J & G...
Now - if we could just get the DoD to change the RoEs (one being-troop guns-chamber empty -in an enemy zone!) I'll be even more relieved!!
Thank you - our BEST!

Char said...

i am grateful that justice is served but i could never celebrate death, of a friend or an enemy. to me, celebrating hate, even of my enemy, only prolongs the hate. so yes, justice is done. now can we put the same amount of efforts into healing americans here that need food, clothing, lower oil prices, recovery from tornadoes, all of the things that also take money and efforts.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Well written post Jg. What our Navy Seals were able to do was astonishing and although I don't celebrate the death of anyone either, Osama's death brought huge closure to so many people who have have suffered. It was rewarding to hear their relief and see it in their faces. The phrase 'eye for an eye' certainly comes to mind. It's been a bumpy 2 days since Osama's death was announced. Reading such things as wishing death upon Obama just like Osama, & so on. It has created good conversations between my adult children and myself about our current political climate and the copious amounts of venomous hate; most I just do not understand.

x Deb

Shelley said...

I was pondering the strange juxtaposition of those two events: the Wedding and the Retribution. Not watching the TV much my news comes via Facebook where a friend's husband, former Navy man, was jubilant on his FB page about the latter. Soon after reading that, we were walking past a house here, still decorated with Will & Kate bunting. I was thinking about the partying and joy of the British people (well, a lot of them) on that day and what I imagined would be the exuberance and relief of the American people (well, a lot of them). I was thinking that Bin Laden must have been a pretty clever guy to have evaded the US for 10 years and it was a shame that he had the beliefs he had. I was thinking that it was nicer to be happy about a wedding than to be happy about a killing, but you can't have everything, can you? At the end of the day, the death of Bin Laden is a natural consequence of 9/11 and no one should contemplate undertaking such an atrocity without knowing the inevitable consequence. I found myself hoping that the US will be able to be happy about pretty things and not need to be happy about ugly things, for a while at least.