Days of Change

Day 1272 – There is no Try

April 29, 2012
1 Comment

Usama bin Laden has been a problem for the United States since the 1980s. As such, I am not particularly inclined to blame one president for not catching bin Laden. The first president who was blamed en masse was George W. Bush. He may have killed al-Qaeda, but the mastermind who was unable to launch another attack in the United States for the next decade was the important get. Bush sure as hell wanted the guy, but he didn’t need Pakistan to destabilize over an American incursion and decide to use their nukes.

I bring up Bill Clinton’s foibles in the realm of terrorism mostly as a response to the unwarranted attacks on Bush. There were three terror attacks on the US during his administration, two foreign (WTC1 and the Olympic Park bombing) and one domestic (Oklahoma City). Still, the fact is that the president makes the call, and it’s not possible to know everything at any one time. Every outcome is a result of preparation and fortune.

Now, Bill Clinton has entered the fray again.

To paraphrase Rick Santorum, it’s enough to make me throw up. Bill Clinton started with “that’s one thing George Bush said that was right” about being the decider then goes on to praise Barack Obama for making the right choice when it wasn’t easy. Even Bill Clinton in his narration sets up the downside as political in nature, rather than the risk to international relations. This presumes the choice was to either go in and risk a negative result (the right choice) or not do anything and be safe (the wrong choice). In reality, the administration would have the ability to cover up the loss of Seal Team Six as another accident in Afghanistan. They had also set up the groundwork to cover their asses if the mission went south. The decision was ultimately one with tremendous political upside and limited downside for Obama.

Clinton was cagey enough not to actually narrate the wrong and ridiculous attacks against Romney at the end of the ad, Not going after bin Laden was Clinton’s domain. You would think he would be hesitant to politicize this kind of decision when his arguably justified decision to not take out bin Laden at his compound led to this infamous exchange.

Clinton refers to the Mogadishu attack as “Black Hawk Down” as if he only knew of the incident from the book or movie. As far as bin Laden, he talks about trying to kill him and failing. in the words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.” I’m sure Mitt Romney would try to kill bin Laden. The question is whether political advantage would enter into the equation.

Posted in Uncategorized