The Third Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    What was most heart-wrenching for me last night and today was the way everyone in the media and politics has been straining to reiterate, over and over, again and again, ad nauseam, that by no means under any circumstances should we conclude or even entertain the possibility that, as the result of bin Laden's death, the war on terror is now over.

    And that's because we have invested too much in the war on terror for it ever to be brought to an end. It is now fully institutionalized and enculturated, if that's a word. It's been integrated into the military industrial complex, integrated into our sense of who we are, integrated into our elevated, hypersensitized need for a sense of safety, no matter what the cost, no matter what principles get compromised. That's the real and lasting tragedy of 9/11.
  2. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    Where did I say eye for an eye? Really just point that out for me.
  3. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    That would significantly lower the level of discourse.
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Much like the war on drugs insofar as being a war without end (except we're not treating sick people as criminals here).

    But take a long view, Jabba. The reason in a sense the US went so hardcore on terrorism was in part due to how lax the US had been prior to 9/11. In the absense of balance the pendulum just oscillates between two extremes.

    Given the lack of external stimulii, vigilance will waver and the extremes we've gone to will be scaled back.

    I hope.

    ES
  5. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I agree and would add that the death of Osama Bin Laden means little or nothing in terms of compromising the capabilities of Al-Qaeda. Bin Laden was effectively killed as a strategic leader of Al-Qaeda following 9/11. The most wanted man in the world is a man in hiding not a man who can continue to plan and lead an organization in any meaningful way. He became a figurehead nearly a decade ago. His death will merely promote him to the status of martyr. I would have preferred him to be captured and subjected to the same kind of humiliation which Saddam went through with television cameras displaying him in his underwear to the world.

  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    No one seems to be mentioning the possibility that respect for Obama within the armed forces has probably increased significantly in the past several days. Overall, in fact, Obama has not hesitated to use military power in precise ways (remember the pirate ship mission). I suspect that many rank and file members of the military are coming to see Obama as someone who is willing to trust them at the highest level and has the cojones to use military force in less than certain circumstances.
  7. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    Cojones are what the SEALS have. I could have done what Obama did.

    "He's there? You have pretty good intel? Ok, let's go for it."

    Doesn't take much in the way of cojones.
  8. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    It's very easy to be brave on the internet, wannasee. Have you ever made a decision knowing that real people will die as a result? I have, people died as a result, and I still think about them frequently and wonder if I made the right call - those decisions were nearly a decade ago (when I was doing clinical rotations as a a hospital ethicist and treatment teams would consult us about how to proceed with difficult patients and cases). When I made calls like that, the consequences were only severe for the patient in question; the decision(s) Obama made placed dozens of people (both military and civilian) in danger. I don't envy the responsibility, and I suspect your cojones aren't up to the task.
  9. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    For a second Quix I thought you were going to talk about our top secret Ninja death squad, and the decisions you took then. That would have been a major breach of confidentiality. [face_shame_on_you]

    ES
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    It sure does take a lot, as one need only look back at what happened in 1980 to see the flip side of what happened last night. If Carter's attempt at rescuing the hostages had succeeded, how differently would he be remembered? If last night's mission had failed, how differently would Obama be perceived today? Remember, a helicopter went down last night, and things could have gotten worse from there. A lot could have gone wrong, just as it did in 1980.
  11. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Seriously.

    As I'm sure you, and likely Ender remember, The Economist a few weeks back was questioning whether Obama ever shown conviction or "true grit" as president. They are never going to ask again.
  12. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    9/11 happend on Bush's watch.
    Bin Laden was killed on Obama's.

    Never again will Republicans be able to claim National Security as their issue, while painting Democrats as weak. Obama should be able to carry this victory all the way to next November. Only downside? Papa Bush probably thought he could do the same in 1992, but history shows us that 18 months is more than enough time to screw it up.

    Obama succeeded where Bush failed. This vindicates his Presidency, not Bush's.
  13. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Never. A blood oath is a blood oath. There are some things the world isn't ready to hear about yet.
  14. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Agreed that this gives Obama an opening to make the Democrats the "go-to" party on national security, but as far as 2012 goes all that will likely matter is the economy.

    I think though, that comparisons to Bush the Elder are premature. Bush Sr. started out his term with a good economy, which then got worse on his watch. Obama inherited a bad economy and thats why I think, despite nearly a full term of high unemployment, his approval numbers have roughly held steady in the mid-to-upper 40s since late 2009. Its better to inherit a problem than to have it originate on your watch. Bush I had his approval ratings sink deep into the 30s, so as far as that goes the floor hasn't come close to falling out from underneath Obama's feet. If he can hold on to even a 45-49% approval rating then that will probably be enough to get re-elected. He's not going to face a primary challenge and his campaign machine is already off the ground.

    Lets see what inflation does or doesn't do this spring and summer.
  15. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    Why are you doubting my cojones? What do you know about them?

    Anyway, the only time it is appropriate to talk about someone's cojones is when they do something that most people wouldn't.

    Just about anyone in Obama's position would have done the same. Even if it didn't work out, and military and civilians died, Obama would just say "We had good intelligence and we had to take our shot."

    Everybody would understand. There is no downside.

    Now Bush, he had cojones.



  16. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Words fail me, wannasee.
  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think it's fair to ask: what would another commander in chief have done differently? And the answer is probably nothing. Maybe another commander in chief might have insisted on a plan that would focus a bit harder on the possibility of taking bin Laden alive. Maybe not. There's very little about this operation that immediately distinguishes Obama's leadership style from that of any other president at any other time. Maybe details will emerge eventually to demonstrate a crucial role this particular president played in making the hit on bin Laden a success. Maybe not.

    What we can say with certainty is that Obama had the good fortune to have the opportunity to order bin Laden assassinated. It's hard to imagine it hurting his popularity in any way, at least in the U.S.
  18. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Sure it did. Look, I'm no fan of Barack Obama. But the courage it took to put his name on this operation is amazing. Even more so when you believe, as I do, that he has no real convictions as a leader outside of wealth redistribution.

    Now, real courage will be if Obama acknowledges that it has been the Bush era policies as well as enhanced interrogation techniques that lead to the reliable info the finally brought down Usama.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7

    I just don't see it. What U.S. president would not have pulled the trigger on this?

    Real courage: "No matter how many Navy Seals get killed in this operation, we have to take bin Laden alive. No matter what it costs the U.S. in making a martyr out of this thug, we have to put him on trial."
  20. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    He'd be a rallying point either way. At least dead he can't pull any games behind bars. The Lockerbie bomber comes to mind. And Obama is more open to international critisism by taking UBL the way he did. And I can't believe I'm defending Obama. And defending him from you? LOL...It's a shift.
  21. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    A martyr is someone who dies actively fighting for a cause. bin Laden died in hiding, after ten years of retirement. He's not a martyr.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Which is of course the reason for the dishonest "we were willing to take him alive...but he 'resisted.'" bin Laden resisted arrest much the same way Fred Hampton resisted arrest. And those were the good old days, weren't they?

    Obama took the easy way out. He had Osama assassinated and the body dumped at sea. Then he lied about it to the world, straightfaced to his international audience, with a nudge and a wink to his domestic audience. I don't see the slightest shred of courage in that.
  23. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    That won't stop al Qaeda from trying to hold him up as such.

    Anyhoo, enjoy the glow while it lasts, everyone. As soon as we hit the debt limit, it'll be back to all fighting, all the time.

    Peace,

    V-03
  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But Jabba's question is the key issue, and I don't mean in a Bush vs Obama sense.

    We can go back to O-E's charmingly simplistic statement, but it doesn't represent the actual debate at all.

    Which side of the political spectrum did this mission represent in its purest form? Back then, the strongest criticism levied against the previous administration was that "terrorism had to be treated as a law enforcement issue." It was the defining security issue of the opposition party, as a counter to Bush's more military-focused doctrine. When a Senator like Harry Reid sponsors a bill that cuts foreign human intelligence gathering, because "terrorism is a law enforcement issue," which side does he represent? But more importantly, what happened? You don't hear anything remotely close to this anymore. Because I think the problem was that such a sentiment existed as an idea only. No one really knew how to treat terrorism as a law enforcement issue, or what the concept even meant. It was just a buzz word, like "exit strategy," which never had any true understanding. I know this is where Jabba would disagree with me, because he is interested in real alternatives, but I'd ask Ewan that if he is so worried about democrat vs republican, why are Obama's greatest victories represented by basic rightist strategies?

    Gitmo is going to remain open because it has value to do so. There probably won't ever be civilian terrorist trials, and even if there are, they will be lip service only. The current administration dramatically increased the use of armed drones operating in foreign lands. The most direct application of military force is shooting someone in the head, which certainly isn't treating international relations with any kind of finesse. So Jabba is absolutely correct. This was Obama's easiest way out, not the most courageous. But that doesn't really matter, because it was the pragmatic choice. There really was no other option from a political standpoint, and no other President would have done anything differently.

    I do find it laughable that there are those who have an idea that the simple assassination of an individual like bin Laden would eclipse every other issue and carry any President to re-election.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Exactly right. Bin Laden's assassination represents I think the final acquiescence to conducting the war on terror under the Bush business model. It means we're all in agreement that the Bush way was the best way, or at least the most pragmatic way as you put it, 44. I see no evidence of Obama having created anything remotely resembling an alternate path, not when it comes to Gitmo, not when it has come to handling Iraq or Afghanistan. But now, suddenly it's all ok with the other half of the nation, because it's Obama.