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Saturday, May 7, 2011



I am a conservative on most political issues.  I think most cranky old men are conservative.  However, one week after Usoma Bin Laden’s death, I have to give my President his due.
When a coach inserts a pinch hitter who wins the game with a walk-off home run, the pinch hitter should get most of the credit; the coach should only get a little.  In this situation, the Navy Seals were incredible. Their courage and abilities are awe inspiring, and clearly they are the heroes of this engagement.  In this instance, however, President Obama’s decision was not the same as just choosing a pinch hitter and he deserves more than just a little credit. 
What were his choices?
When the President was advised that intelligence knew where Usoma was located he had four choices.  1.  Do nothing.  2.  Advise the Pakistani leaders of Usoma’s location and rely on them to take Usoma down.  3.  Blow up Usoma’s compound with a Tomahawk missile or drone attack.  4. Send in the Special Forces. 
Choice #1 would have been the worst logistically, but the safest politically.  No one would have known if he had chosen to do nothing. 
Choice #2 would have been disastrous as the Pakistanis would have let Usoma escape, but politically the President would have been able to deflect responsibility.
Choice #3 would have been effective and politically the safest, but we would not have known for sure if we killed Usoma or been able to prove it to the world.  Collateral damage, the killing of innocent women and children, would have not helped us win the hearts and minds of the mid-eastern people.  If we had simply blown the compound up, we would not have gathered a treasure trove of intelligence which may help to eliminate other Al Qaida leaders.
Choice #4 was the riskiest decision both militarily and politically.  My guess is that this option was not one of the Presidents thinking, but was given to him by the military.  I am sure without his being told,  he knew that this plan was not sure fire.  President Carter OK’d a similar plan to rescue the Iran hostages with disastrous results.  President Kennedy OK’d a similar plan in the Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion, with disastrous results.
Had this plan failed, Usoma would have escaped; we would have lost leverage with the Pakistani government and any support from their people.   We could have lost the lives of 20 of our very best special forces, we would have lost 2 helicopters along with secrets to their advanced stealth technology, and President Obama would have lost any chance for reelection in 2012.
This was a brave and difficult decision.  It carried the most risk; it also assured the most reward.  Planning for the attack was not rushed, no resources were denied, and the experts were allowed to run the show. 
The result?  Usoma was brought to justice, and his demise made clear for all.  Innocent people were spared, useful intelligence was gathered, and the world is in awe of our capabilities and resolve!
Kudos my President, I probably will not vote for you in 2012, but you have my respect; you have my gratitude.
The Cranky Old Man       


  1. Well said and well written. USA, USA, USA

  2. I am a political junkie and as a result LOVED reading your thoughts on this. It's a hugely complex issue in many ways and your deconstruction of the options was really good. And thank you for visiting my blog. You're a lovely Cranky Old Man x

  3. well written Joe

    I tihnk that regardless of your political views, you have to hand it to Obama on this one. The situation was well handled and as a result had the best possible outcome, for everyone.



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