You have awakened to a new dawn. A new day. A new world. And a new horizon in American foreign policy.
Osama bin Laden, known as the chief architect and mastermind of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, was shot and killed under the express direction of President Barack Obama. The covert operations undertaken last week by special U.S. military forces in Pakistan, were announced by the president late Sunday evening. The news came on the exact date, eight years ago in 2003, that former President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War: a decision which quickly became a cautionary tale in American diplomacy.
That ‘mission accomplished’ moment, about which Bush could only fantasize, has now become the indelible achievement that may well define President Obama’s legacy.
WATCH OBAMA’S STATEMENT ON DEATH OF BIN LADEN:
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“For the families of the victims of 9/11: justice has been done,” the president boldly declared in his announcement to the international press. Celebratory crowds immediately began to gather at the gates of the White House and at the site of Ground Zero in New York City. The American flag was gallantly waved. Signs with the words “Obama 1. Osama 0” were held high with pride. The accomplishment is already being lauded by heads of state across the international community.
But the news comes on the heels of a mixed, domestic political climate.
The loud voices of Tea Party sideshow stars and carnival barkers, have dominated headlines with anti-Obama rhetoric for far too long. These days, strategically-laced racism and ambiguously xenophobic innuendo is fodder for the field in the forum of American politics. Even the outrageous antics of newly ascendant Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, has become the de facto talking point in political punditry.
Since these sentiments began to take root in 2008, a vast majority of the conservative establishment sought to frame the duly-elected U.S. president with terrorist, radical Islamic connections, and anti-American, foreign ties. Obama was even forced to publicly release his long-form, U.S. birth certificate last week, in an effort to put to rest growing challenges — mostly from far-right conservatives — that his American citizenship was somehow questionable.
Unlike his predecessor, George W. Bush, who led the American economy into the depths of a vast recession, Obama has been misrepresented and attacked for making Americans “less safe”. These attacks began with former Vice President Dick Cheney, and parroted by the likes of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, former Bush adviser Karl Rove, republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and countless Fox News correspondents.
The result: many voters believed the hype — that somehow, the president was soft on terrorism — if not a secret Muslim operative himself. The lie grew more dangerous for both Obama and the millions of patriotic Muslim-Americans, as it equated extremist terrorism, Islamic faith, and Afro-Arab Muslim identity in the same, falsely construed paradigm.
Now the tide has turned.
Early in his presidential campaign, Barack Obama noted his personal opposition to the war in Iraq. He expressed concern that there was no plausible evidence of any involvement by Saddam Hussein in the attacks against the United States in 2001, and questioned America’s justification for a declaration of war.
In contrast, Obama stood by his belief that military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan were credible, because of clear links to Al-Qaida’s founder and leader, Osama bin Laden. To that end, President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise to bring an end to combat forces in Iraq, but expanded the war in Afghanistan with the express aim of bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, and dismantling Al-Qaida. That decision, however, did not come without its critics and risked alienating members of his most loyal, Democratic and liberal base.
Obama was accused by members of his own party of being too easily persuaded by conservatives, or changeable: following in the footsteps of his war-mongering predecessor.
The president stayed the course, justified by conviction. Following up on intelligence reports of Osama bin Laden’s exact location, the president directed Leon Panetta, head of the CIA, to make capturing bin Laden the top priority. Last week the President unilaterally instructed covert military forces to capture and kill him.
Obama, widely accused of being incapable of leadership, weak on foreign policy and inconsistent in his diplomatic aims — may have now written his own ticket to victory in the 2012 presidential campaign.
The field of Republican candidates remains weak and wanting: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But Obama presides over an improving economy and declining unemployment rates. He has already delivered notable victories in socially progressive legislation and a landmark health care reform bill.
And now, at the dawn of springtime, President Obama has secured the jewel in the crown of every American president since the defeat of Hitler in WWII: conquering the darkest evil this generation has ever experienced.
Obama has done more than demonstrate leadership, he has proven it