Tag Archives: Osama bin Laden

Obama weighing in — finally! — on the 2020 election

Barack Hussein Obama is speaking out, labeling Donald John Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as “chaotic,” and criticizing the Justice Department decision to forgo prosecuting an admitted perjurer.

So, you might ask: What is a former president doing here? Isn’t it “normal” for a president to remain quiet about how his successor is doing? Sure it’s normal. Indeed, President Obama has been quiet.

Except for this: Donald Trump keeps invoking his immediate predecessor’s name, criticizing his policies and declaring — mostly without justification — that he has fixed the things that Obama got wrong.

A leaked phone call to a group called the Obama Alumni Association has the former president describing Trump’s response to pandemic as “chaotic” because Trump has been too preoccupied with “what’s in it for me?” rather than fixating on the problem and the suffering of his fellow Americans. Obama also is going all-in for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee and vows to work as hard as he can to ensure Biden’s election this fall.

I normally would take some alarm at a former president playing such an active role in a campaign involving his immediate successor. However, Trump — as I have noted — brought all this on himself by continually seeking to denigrate the service that Obama rendered during his two terms as president.

A quick review: Obama inherited an economy in free fall; he pushed Congress to enact stimulus packages to rescue the economy; the nation began a 10-year job-growth climb; he ordered the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden; the State Department negotiated a deal to deny Iran access to nuclear weapons; he reduced the annual federal budget deficit by two-thirds; he handed Trump a robust economy.

Trump, though, doesn’t see it that way. So he keeps seeking to criticize Obama.

Now it appears that it’s game on for the former president.

Hey, I don’t hide my affection for the former president and my disdain for the current clown masquerading as president. Thus, if the current White House occupant wants to invoke President Obama’s name continually, well … bring it. I’m quite sure Barack Obama can find plenty more to say in response.

Heroic admiral sounds the alarm

Yes, Admiral William McRaven,  I am afraid. I am quite afraid now at the actions of our commander in chief.

Your op-ed in the Washington Post ought to be read by all Americans. Many of us are alarmed at the actions of Donald John Trump since his acquittal in that U.S. Senate impeachment trial.

I get what you wrote, that Trump’s firing of the director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, because he did his duty in informing members of Congress is a clarion call of alarm to all of us. Maguire wanted to blow the whistle on Russian interference on our 2020 election, just as they did in 2016. Trump reacted not out of concern for the integrity of our electoral system, but out of worry that the revelation would harm him politically.

So, yes, your description of Trump’s huge ego jeopardizing our national security is spot on!

As Newsweek.com reported: “Over the course of the past three years, I have watched good men and women, friends of mine, come and go in the Trump administration—all trying to do something—all trying to do their best,” wrote McRaven, who in 2011 oversaw and orchestrated the Navy SEAL raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. He later wrote, “But, of course, in this administration, good men and women don’t last long.”

No, sir, good men and women don’t last long. That’s because this president wants to surround himself only with those who profess unqualified loyalty to him. Their oaths to the Constitution or to the greater national good do not matter to this guy, the president.

But you know that already, admiral.

I admire your service. I salute you. I honor you. I welcome that you have spoken out. You, sir, have credibility that few other Trump critics possess. It is born of your service as a SEAL and the heroism you displayed on the battlefield and the leadership you showed in directing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Thank you for your service and thank you also for lending your important voice to this important debate over the fitness of Donald Trump to serve as our president.

Support the strike; question the strategy

I want to be crystal clear, with no ambiguity about the events that resulted in the death of a bloodthirsty terrorist.

I support fully the air strike that killed Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. No American I can think of is mourning the death of this individual. Indeed, politicians of all stripes are hailing the killer’s death.

What troubles me are the questions that are emerging about whether Donald Trump ordered the strike with a clear post-strike strategy in mind. I am developing growing doubt that the president had thought it out thoroughly.

Yes, the critics have emerged on the Democratic side of the congressional aisle. They were left out of the loop. Congressional leaders say they weren’t informed of the plan to hit Suleimani prior to the attack occurring. They want Congress to authorize any military action that might occur in the event Iran retaliates.

I, too, am concerned about all of that.

We also need to get real about one more important aspect of this raid. The death of Suleimani does not mean the end of the Revolutionary Guard. The Guard also already has elevated his deputy to top of the its chain of command.

Remember, too, that the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden did not extinguish al-Qaeda. Nor did the mission this past year that took out Abu Bakr al Baghdadi eliminate the Islamic State. The terror organizations are continuing their bloody campaigns against Muslims and against U.S. forces that are still fighting them on the battlefield.

It all arcs back to the most riveting question of the “global war on terror.” How will we be able to declare victory? My hunch is that we are engaging in a war with no end.

As for the death of this latest murderer, I am glad he is dead.

However, we now must be prepared to deal with the consequences.

It was right to toss al-Baghdadi’s corpse into the drink

The head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie, has told us that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “buried at sea” after Army Delta Force commandos completed their mission to take him out.

I guess I should accept the notion that the military personnel charged with disposing of the Islamic State founder’s remains did so with a modicum of respect. I mean, he didn’t show any respect to those victims he killed over his many years leading the hideous terrorist organization. Thus, he didn’t deserve the respect that Central Command reportedly gave his remains.

However, it was a prudent call to dispose of this individual’s corpse in the fashion that our military did. There would be no way in the world that we should bury him in the ground and create a shrine that would attract Islamic perverts to draw strength from being near his remains.

U.S. forces disposed of Osama bin Laden in the same manner after Navy SEALs killed him in May 2011. They hauled his remains out of the compound where the SEALs found him, took him to the USS Carl Vinson and then sent his body into the drink where it was likely consumed by undersea creatures.

I am going to presume that al-Baghdadi’s remains will meet the same fate. That’s fine with me.

Although it does anger me that these terrorist monsters likely got the respectful treatment they never accorded to their own victims. Whatever. They’re both dead. That’s the best part of how these stories have ended.

Trump ‘spikes the football’ in announcing terror leader’s death

I did not intend to venture down this alley, but now that I have given it some thought …

Donald Trump’s announcement of the death of Islamic State mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi contained language that seemed, well, more than a bit over the top.

Delta Force special operations commandos launched a raid overnight that resulted in al-Baghdadi’s death. The commander in chief tweeted a message about “something really big” happening and then this morning went on TV to tell the world that al-Baghdadi is dead.

However, the president went much farther than merely telling us about the bravery and precision of our special forces. He talked about how al-Baghdadi “died like a dog,” how he was a “coward,” how he was whimpering and sobbing before he detonated the suicide vest strapped to his body.

So I am left to wonder: Why did Donald Trump feel the need to prance and preen over the death of a monster? Why did he spike the proverbial football and seemingly gloat over the mission he authorized?

According to Time.com: Trump was doing more than running down an adversary; he was actively trying to break the spell al-Baghdadi holds over his followers, says a White House official. “He felt it was important to mock this guy,” the official says, adding that Trump wanted to “rub in everybody’s face that this guy was killing and ordering rape of thousands of people and at the end of the day blew himself up with his three kids rather than fight.”

Make no mistake. I applaud the decision to launch the mission. The president could have chosen other options that carried less risk to our special forces. He chose instead to rely on the extraordinary skill of our soldiers who carried out the mission with extraordinary precision and professionalism.

I am thinking at this moment of the evening of May 1, 2011 when President Barack Obama told the world of the SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden. He spoke for about 9 minutes. He told us bin Laden was dead; he hailed the men who conducted the mission; he heaped praise on our intelligence team that toiled for many years over two administrations to find bin Laden; he offered words of comfort to the friends and loved ones of the 3,000 people who died on 9/11. He asked for God’s blessing on the United States of America and then walked away from the microphone.

Trump didn’t do that this morning. He went into extraordinary detail about what he perceived about al-Baghdadi’s final moments on Earth.

The president seemed — if you’ll pardon my use of the term — to “glorify” the circumstances of al-Baghdadi’s death.

It was unbecoming. It was, oh, let’s see, so very un-presidential.

POTUS makes courageous call in authorizing raid

It must be said — and I’ll say it here — that Donald John Trump made a gutsy call in authorizing the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi somewhere in Syria overnight.

Commanders in chief on occasion face life-and-death decisions that given all the moving parts of highly complicated military operations can result in tragedy.

The president’s authorization of a mission to send Delta Force soldiers and CIA commandos into Syria to kill the Islamic State leader was one of those nail-biters.

Barack Obama faced a similar situation in 2011 when he made the call to send in SEALs and CIA agents to kill Osama bin Laden. The president knew then that that the operation was based on what he called a “55-45 probability” that bin Laden was actually in the compound where they ended up killing him. He was. The mission succeeded famously and the nation cheered its outcome.

So it should be with the al-Baghdadi raid.

I get that presidents don’t shoulder weapons themselves, or pull the trigger, or fly aircraft into harm’s way. The responsibility of success o failure rests solely on their shoulders.

Thus, when they make these decisions they must face the possibility of tragic consequences if one of those many moving parts falls apart. When they do, the mission can fail. Think of the Desert One Iranian hostage rescue mission that ended tragically in 1980 and think, too, of the terrible burden that President Jimmy Carter likely carries to this very day.

President John F. Kennedy said famously after the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba that “victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” He took the failure heat all by himself.

The al-Baghdadi raid was a huge success. The capability of our military special forces is unparalleled in all of human history. The Delta Force team served the nation and the world well. To that end, the president who sent the soldiers on this perilous mission deserves credit for making a courageous call.

He has eliminated an example of, um, “human scum.”

Baghdadi is dead, but ISIS remains a threat

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death overnight in northwestern Syria at the hands of U.S. Army Delta Force and CIA commandos is a gigantic blow to the Islamic State terrorist organization he led.

But forgive me for emphasizing what ought to be the obvious: ISIS will remain a serious threat for as long as there are young men and women willing to buy into the terrorists’ religious perversion.

Donald Trump this morning confirmed what had been reported during the night, that special forces conducted a raid that killed Baghdadi. The commander in chief had authorized the raid after hearing extensive briefings from military and intelligence analysts that they had located the terrorist monster hiding underground near the Syria-Turkey border.

One cannot possibly overstate the importance of killing Baghdadi, just as the death of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in May 2011 was a huge blow to that terrorist organization. Let us take stock in the fact that just as al-Qaeda was able to reconstitute its leadership after bin Laden’s death at the hands of a Navy SEAL team in Pakistan, so will ISIS likely be able to do the same thing.

I believe it is important, too, to salute the meticulous work done by our intelligence forces in tracking Baghdadi down and enabling our special forces to find him, hunt him down and deliver ultimate justice to him. The president, infamously I should add, has been critical of some aspects of the intelligence community’s work in certain areas … relating, for example, to the Russian interference in our election.

They did their job with great skill and professionalism, which we all know they are capable of doing.

As for the special forces team that completed this highly dangerous mission, their capabilities are unmatched all of the world’s military history.

All that said, the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and all other terrorists who declared war on the United States on 9/11 must go on.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. May he rot in hell.

This is why Trump can’t stop criticizing Barack Obama

I am not the first person to say this, but I do believe I understand better now why Donald J. Trump cannot cease criticizing his immediate predecessor as president of the United States.

This video is from the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011. President Obama launched into a hilarious takedown of Donald Trump, who at the time was known primarily as the host of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Little did anyone realize in that moment that Trump would ascend to the nation’s highest office.

Maybe someone saw it coming. If they did, they were the smartest political prognosticators in human history.

But there’s something else worth mentioning about Obama’s performance that night. Earlier that day, he had issued an order to send Navy SEALs, CIA operatives, Army Green Beret pilots into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.

He went on the air the next evening to tell the world about the successful mission that eliminated the al-Qaeda mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

However, the president managed to keep it all to himself while skewering Donald Trump.

Accordingly, if I were Donald Trump and had been the butt of deftly delivered jokes by the president of the United States, perhaps I would be a little miffed, too.

I believe they would call it “envy.”

Another bin Laden is wiped out … hooray!

Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden and a reported “heir” to the terror group al-Qaida leadership is dead.

That’s according to U.S. officials who today declined to give any details on bin Laden’s death, or whether the United States played a role in the individual’s demise.

Donald Trump said simply “I don’t want to comment on that” when asked by reporters to comment. That’s OK, Mr. President. No need to speak out just yet.

Hamza bin Laden’s death, if true, marks another milestone in the nation’s ongoing war against terror groups that have declared their mission to be to bring harm to Americans and others around the world.

On May 1, 2011, when U.S. special forces killed Hamza bin Laden’s father in that spectacular raid in Pakistan, President Obama told the world that Osama bin Laden was not a “Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” His son, Hamza, was cut from the very same blood-stained cloth as his old man.

Now he’s dead. That’s my hope. I also hope that the United States military did kill him. May he rot in hell.

Obama vs. Trump: Why not debate, gentlemen?

I watched Donald Trump’s interview this morning with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and came away with a couple of observations I want to make here.

One is that I was glad to see the president sit down and be grilled hard by a member of a media organization he has demonized as a purveyor of “fake news.” Trump was mostly civil to Todd, who pushed the president hard on several key points. I was waiting for an explosion; it didn’t detonate.

Second, I was struck by the president’s continuing obsession with the record left behind by his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump kept insisting that the economy he inherited was on the brink of collapse, that the economy now is the “best” in U.S. history and, of course, he takes all the credit for an economic expansion he said was made possible only by his election to the presidency.

I tossed around in my head a notion I want to reveal here: Why not ask these two men to discuss that economic miracle together, in a debate, if you want to call it that?

I know it won’t happen. Presidents don’t debate their predecessors. Under what used to be normal circumstances, the current president takes office and assumes command, looking forward at all times, rarely looking backward, always thinking about what he intend to do to move the nation to the next step, past the next hurdle or barrier.

Not so with Trump. He is fixated on President Obama’s legacy, which to my way of thinking is a whole lot better than the one Trump characterizes.

So why not sit down across a table and talk to each other about how they view the economy — and perhaps a few other issues as well? Health care seems like a topic for discussion, along with, oh, relations with our allies, our ongoing war against terror and the nuclear threats posed by North Korea and Iran. Hey, maybe Trump can be forced to defend the ridiculous assertion that the special forces who killed Osama bin Laden should have acted sooner than they did; I would pay money to hear him mount that defense.

Trump is obsessed with comparing the presidency to the office that Obama left. He dare not compare himself to Obama the man, if you know what I am saying.

Barack Obama inherited an economy in free fall. It had actually collapsed by the time he took office. He along with Congress enacted some emergency measures that he hoped would stop the downward spiral. They worked. The economy then entered a job growth streak that hasn’t let up. Yet it is Donald Trump who takes the credit for the expansion that’s still under way.

If only we could actually hear these men explain to us their version of history. One of them, Obama, would do so in a measured, nuanced and elegant manner. The other, Trump, would resort to his version of the English language.

I wish it would happen. All I am left to do is sigh.