Opinion: A Victory for Obama, a Victory for America

(Photo by Pete Souza)

It is absolutely stunning to me how in the span of just 48 hours the American people can go from a spirit of unity right back to the divisive rhetoric that currently defines our nation.  It’s sad really, because for some political ideology will always drive their social communications, no matter the change such a stunning event such as the killing of Osama bin Laden could warrant.

I recently read a Facebook post, which in essence derided President Obama, making sure that everyone in the social media universe knows and understands that the assassination of Osama bin Laden is in no way an Obama victory.  I am here to say that I emphatically disagree.

Let me be clear.  I am not in any way attempting to minimize the role of the United State military in this operation.  The Joint Special Operations Command is an elite force full of courageous men ready to go whenever and wherever in the defense of our nation.

Over the last decade, the men and women of the United States military have given their sweat, their blood, and their lives in the defense of freedom and liberty.  Without them, we certainly would not have the freedoms we enjoy now.  I have friends and family in the Army, along with a friend and brother in the Air National Guard reserves.  I will be forever grateful for their service, and their sacrifice is number one in my book.

Here though, I am going to take what could be seen as an unpopular position, and I am going to say, this is most certainly Barack Obama’s victory, as well.  I will admit I have found myself completely captivated by the events of the past 48 hours.  I have been sucked into every minute of news coverage.  I have tracked every live blog, and looked in awe at pictures coming from the Situation Room.  I have wanted to capture every quote and facial expression.  Most impressive to me though has been the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

I have heard and seen the details of this mission over and over again.  Every time I hear about it, I have to say wow.  The President of the United States had a mission, he had the tools he needed to fulfill that mission, and he used those tools to accomplish a mission that has eluded this nation for a decade.

Let us not forget that when Barack Obama took office, the intelligence community of this nation was in shambles.  After the events of the past 48 hours, it does not seem that way now.  Let us not forget that at one time Osama bin Laden was nearly in our hands and the man slipped away.  He did not slip away this time.  Let us not forget that in the era of social media proliferation and WikiLeaks, the President of the United States kept this mission so close to the chest the media was insanely scrambling to report something, anything, before word finally came that the big news was that bin Laden was dead.  Let us not forget that the President of the United States made the decision to enter a sovereign nation without their permission in the dead of night and kill the most wanted man in the world.  He made the call, and that call took guts.

Again, I am not denying that the men and women in uniform ultimately carried out this mission.  They deserve all the credit in the world.  No other force could have done what they did in the way that they did it.

All I am asking is to give credit where credit is due.  This President made a momentous decision in a critical time of our history.  He was able to bring together the nation’s intelligence and military powers in a way no one has in a long time.  I am proud of that.  I am proud of this country’s Commander in Chief.  In the last 48 hours, just that small timeframe, I saw the leader I wanted when I voted for him.  I am proud to stand behind him in this moment.

I believe I will find myself making this plea for a bit longer.  Let us all just come together as Americans.  Let’s not keep looking for excuses to divide ourselves.  The same Facebook post I read said that this is an American victory.  I agree wholeheartedly.  Let us not forget though that Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America, is also an American.

The victory is also his.

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  • Cathy May 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Thank you so much for this article. This says so eloquently what I’ve been trying to say in response to all the negative FB posts; in particular, regarding President Obama. I was so hoping this monumental event would bring the country closer again; that we’d be able to put the pettiness, hatred and divisiveness aside, but it doesn’t appear that way. I’m very sad about that. I need to take a break from FB. I don’t need to be surrounded by the negativity. Articles like this give me hope, though. Thanks again.

  • Toni Ciserella May 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I agree and you said it very well. I am sharing this on my fb as well, as I seem to be not so popular after commenting about how he deserves credit for doing his part. Which was phenomenal. Great writing!

  • Kathy May 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Beautiful. So eloquently put. Thank you.

  • Shawn May 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Lets not forget where the info came from. The very things Obama has been trying to shut down. Gitmo and the information we get from there. All he did was sign the paper to let the troops do there job. They have been hunting this guy for 10 years. This is not about Obama at all this is about the strength of our troops and the things they do to protect us.

  • Brett May 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I have to disagree with the notion that credit, in any significant sense, belongs to the President (whether a Democrat or a Republican in office.)

    They have been looking for this guy years before September 11th, 2001. Surely,efforts were increased since that horrible day. However, in the end, the people protecting Bin Laden slipped up. Kudos to the persistence of the intelligence agencies looking for this guy and kudos to the SEAL team that executed the operation in seemingly perfect manner (from what they tell us.)

    Credit goes to Obama for continuing to support the effort to find him, but that’s as far as it goes. It’s a great political advantage to be the President when success of this magnitude happens. But Obama was just in the right position at the right time. Nothing more.

    Politics is not a relevant factor in this success. Which is why attacking Obama instead of rejoicing that “Terrorist #1” is dead is also irrelevant.

  • danielle May 5, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Here is the problem that brought so much anger towards Obama… His speech. It was very “I’m great, I did this, I said this, I did this, aren’t I awesome”…. He is not the one who found Bin Laden, he is simply the one who gave the go-ahead. In all “businesses” there are presidents, but the presidents are not the ones who get the credit when a team succeeds. Yes, they make the big bucks for being in the position they are in and yes they are the ones who give the final say but they are not the ones who execute the plans and make sure they work. All they do, is give to go-ahead to people they have hired to do the planning for them. This is no different. The president of a company isn’t who makes the company work, its the employees. And as a hard working employee, I am sticking to all the credit for a job well done, goes to those who put together the plan and executed the plan, not the person with their signature on the bottom line of the paper just because it looks good.

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