The newest Obama campaign video highlights the killing of Osama bin Ladin.
This video is hardly surprising. http://www.gutsycall.com takes you to https://donate.barackobama.com/page/contribute/o2012-donate-main. So it isn’t like this move hasn’t been telegraphed for a year. It is notable for a few things.
First, it is narrated, in part by Bill Clinton. If there is anyone to blame for the rise of al Qaeda it is Bill Clinton. It was on Bill Clinton’s watch that all the events happened that resulted, ultimately, in the tragedy of September 11. It was his withdrawal from Somalia that showed al Qaeda that a handful of deaths could evict us from a theater of operations. It was under Clinton than the World Trade Center was first attacked in 1993. His non response to the bombing of US military facilities in Saudi Arabia, the demolition of two of our African embassies, and the attack on the USS Cole gave al Qaeda good reason to believe that we would do nothing if attacked. I guess this is an appeal to bring moderate Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents back to Obama. As such, it reeks of flopsweat rather than a confident candidate.
Second, it calls into question whether Romney would have ordered the attack that killed bin Laden based on a 2007 Romney quote:
It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.
This is patently nonsense because the quote neither says nor implies that Romney would be reluctant to make the call to kill bin Laden.
Third, this may be the first campaign video in history, and perhaps the first time in the history of political campaigns in general, that a candidate has touted merely doing his job as a reason he deserves reelection. Not that he did it well or efficiently or better but just that he showed up for work and did what we paid him to do.
For some reason, presumably because there have been focus groups that agreed with the concept, the Obama campaign seems to think that foreign policy will be the theme with which it can beat Mitt Romney though it is hard to see how this argument, if it is anything more substantial than carrying bin Laden’s head around on a pike until November, will have the strength to last.
Don’t get me wrong on this. I’m glad bin Laden is dead because justice has finally been partially extracted for the attacks of September 11, 2001. But let’s not kid ourselves. Bin Laden has been a non-entity in the direction of al Qaeda and as an al Qaeda fundraiser since 2005 at the latest. I also don’t see the immense courage and steel backbone needed to conduct a raid deep inside a friendly (mostly) country. While Obama has been busy dancing the Electric Slide to celebrate bin Laden’s death, he has studiously ignored that Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has actually commanded al Qaeda since Tora Bora was evacuated, is very much alive, well, and in control.
Besides, do we really think any (added to address some valid point in comments) post-9/11 president could, in the possession of the same information as Obama, could have refused to carry out the raid? Hardly. Word would have leaked within days and that would have been the effective end of any administration.
The foreign policy accomplishments of Obama are tissue thin. In fact, it is difficult to find a single place in the world where America is better situated today than it was four years ago. By and large we have attained a Carteresque perfect storm where our friends don’t trust us, our enemies don’t respect us and there is no will or interest in the White House to change the situation.