Rising to command

Obama exhibited the right traits of a wartime president

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For a guy who ended up leading the opposition to our presence in Iraq, Barack Obama has become a surprisingly good wartime president.

He not only didn't order a precipitous withdrawal of troops, as his campaign had foretold, but he actually added troops in Afghanistan.

His maneuver in Libya -- to quickly hand over responsibility and blame to NATO -- seems to have shielded him and the U.S. from gratuitous complaint.

And Obama's bold decision to get Osama bin Laden Sunday was an exquisite act of pinpoint leadership.

It gets even better.

The president had earlier been given an option of bombing bin Laden's suspected compound. Deftly, Mr. Obama declined -- knowing how important it would be to confirm the world's No. 1 terrorist's demise.

The president's subsequent speech to the world also hit just the right notes.

It's never easy to send someone else into battle, but it is the role of a commander in chief. This decision had to be one of the most difficult this president will ever face. Aside from the concern for our troops, and for civilians on the ground, there were undoubtedly political reverberations in the back of one's mind: If the operation went awry -- such as Jimmy Carter's attempt to free the Iranian hostages -- it could've unfairly scarred and perhaps fatally wounded Mr. Obama's presidency.

He went all-in and came out a winner.

More importantly, the former anti-war candidate exhibited the courage required of a true commander in chief.

The already-lanky president may have gotten a little taller this week.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/03/11 - 11:32 pm
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I feel like he does a good

I feel like he does a good enough job managing our national security with the exception of the fiasco over trying Gitmo detainees in NYC. He was smart enough to appoint Gates, Bush's man, Sec. of Defense. He represents us well in the international setting.

Can anyone imagine what would have happened if Bill Clinton had been President? Clinton could have killed Bin Laden a long time ago, but he absurdly started demanding his own CIA "certify" Bin Laden was in the target house. That was weird as Bill was prone to be.

LauraE
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LauraE 05/04/11 - 12:57 am
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A pat on the back to ACES!

A pat on the back to ACES! Now was that so hard?

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 05/04/11 - 03:53 am
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That's nice of you to say.

That's nice of you to say. Thank you.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 05/04/11 - 04:54 am
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now what will all you

now what will all you liberals cry about today?

swcohen
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swcohen 05/04/11 - 05:47 am
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Careful, ACES, readers might

Careful, ACES, readers might think we Liberal miscreants hacked your editorial page today. I can't wait to read the upcoming letters.

fred1217
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fred1217 05/04/11 - 06:47 am
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Good Editorial! This was one

Good Editorial! This was one of those rare events when all Americans were proud and should have been able to loose the labels and pull together as a country.

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 05/04/11 - 06:59 am
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I have something to cry

I have something to cry about.

Obama has never been an anti-war guy. He is anti-Iraq, which is correct, but never anti-war. He campaigned on adding troops and resources to Afghanistan, which was ignored and almost forgotten with the invasion of Iraq and subsequent violence in the nation. He campaigned on using more drone attacks, which he has done.

Obama was even laughed at by the rights talking heads when he told everyone during a debate that it's just common sense to send troops into Pakistan if the intelligence of bin Laden was good.

I'm not sure how people would define a precipitous withdrawal of troops, however there are only 47,000 troops in Iraq currently compared to the 140,000 back in 2008.

So really- this is nothing new if you followed Obama's campaign.

55 F-100
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55 F-100 05/04/11 - 07:46 am
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Puhleeze don't let the

Puhleeze don't let the community organizer take credit for taking out UBL....he simply had some good advice and put it into action. He is still batting 000 for his time in the oval office.

carcraft
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carcraft 05/04/11 - 07:51 am
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I think Obama has messed up

I think Obama has messed up Lybia. If the criteria for military action is an illegitimate government resisting the will of the people why haven't we bombed Syria or Iran? Handing operations over to "NATO" still leaves the US in control since the boss of the British officer now conducting Operations is an American Admiral in Italy. The ristantance forces in Lybia have no concept of what they are doing where as Gadafy's forces are designed to fight against civilian uprisings. At best this situation in Lybia will be a stalemate and worse the rebels will be completely crushed with America losing prestige. Obama attacked Lybia in defiance of his own stated positon on the constitutionality of such an action. Obama had a "success" built over the last four or five years. Obama's did make good decisions in ordering the raid but it was very well planned and had an excellent chance of success. Retired Army can tell you all about decision briefings! I really don't think we will experiance a response from Ben Laden's terrorist buddies any time soon, they are probably scrambling to the next or third down the line safe house and will have to reorganize.

carcraft
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carcraft 05/04/11 - 07:58 am
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One little item I just came

One little item I just came across in my News sufering this morning-Pakistan sources told Americans about the compound as far back as 2009-huh oh..

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/04/11 - 08:35 am
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I'm not knocking Obama here,

I'm not knocking Obama here, but mulling over the whole operation and aftermath. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that. But wouldn't it have been better if we hadn't given so many details? We are so much into putting everything out there for the public on TV, sometimes at a disservice to our best interests. Now we have Muslims upset saying Bin Laden was executed. We should have simply announced that Bin Laden had been killed in a secret operation. We didn't have to get into the details that will be second guessed from now on.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 05/04/11 - 08:37 am
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Twenty-four hours later,

Twenty-four hours later, Michael Ryan and ACES finally did the right thing, although no doubt for the wrong reasons. Today's editorial lauding President Obama for his courageous leadership in the death of bin Laden
would have been more welcome and sincere yesterday. Why the delay?
I read many of the posts yesterday following Ryan's sorry editorial, and I was amazed at the number of posters critical of Ryan, including many whom I know from long experience are conservative and usually highly critical of President Obama. A large number of these conservative posters clearly were upset by Ryan's lack of magnanimity, and even patriotism. They perceived, as I did, that Ryan's pointed silence about Obama's leadership was itself a calculated and misplaced partisan political statement. All in all, yesterday was a refreshing exception to the usual partisan wrangling here. Yes, Ryan finally did the right thing,
but it would have been better if he had not had to be shamed into doing it.

noaharkwright
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noaharkwright 05/04/11 - 09:05 am
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A closer reading of this

A closer reading of this editorial demonstrates that the Chronicle isn't giving the president any actual credit for this, and the editorial boondoggle that started on Monday continues.

"I'm not knocking Obama here, but mulling over the whole operation and aftermath. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that. But wouldn't it have been better if we hadn't given so many details? We are so much into putting everything out there for the public on TV, sometimes at a disservice to our best interests. Now we have Muslims upset saying Bin Laden was executed. We should have simply announced that Bin Laden had been killed in a secret operation. We didn't have to get into the details that will be second guessed from now on."

I actually agree with this. Keep them guessing, y'know?

dani
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dani 05/04/11 - 09:21 am
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I was impressed with Obama

I was impressed with Obama because I had accused him of being spineless and in this event he proved me wrong.

BUT!! This in only one man that is dead, the movement is still alive and well and a danger to our country.
The killing of bin Laden will be forgotten as the war goes on.

carcraft
26262
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carcraft 05/04/11 - 09:34 am
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Retired army-I am aware of

Retired army-I am aware of that, the actions in Lybia are, strange, by any military standard-very unsure of success, no way the rebels will win unless they get a lot of boots on ground help with training etc-commitment of US foces with out approval of congress and we are NATO. So what is Obama's point? If it is to start o a policy of bombing brutal regimes why is Syria and Iran not getting bombed? Retired army- I spent 25 years in the army and took care of the results of a lot of bad decisions from bad decisions in training to bad decisions in combat operations. Have a nice day!

carcraft
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carcraft 05/04/11 - 10:35 am
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UH the US bombing Gadafy's

UH the US bombing Gadafy's forces to aid those trying for freedom is not "leting them do it thmeselves". Prinicple? It violates Obama's stated priniciple of not informing congress, according to Obama's principle this is a violation of the coonstitution. Thought? What thought lead Obama think that bombing Gadafy's forces would improve things? Gadafy's opposition is disorganized and undisciplined, little more than rabble. Gadafy's forces are trained to deal with this type of civilian uprising. Now explain to me why we bomb lybia and not Iran or Syria? The editorial paraises Obama's rising military expertise. Obama has a long way to go in my opinion. Now was the Obama tiped off about the safe house in 2009 according to the Pakistan foriegn minister according to USA today "Pakistan's has shared information about about Osama bin Laden's compound hideout with the CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry says." Will this be an oops moment for Obama?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/04/11 - 10:56 am
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Effete Elite Liberal, I'm

Effete Elite Liberal, I'm curious. What conservative poster or posters criticised Mike Ryan yesterday for his editorial? I don't remember any of the known conservatives slamming him. Of course the editorial had 103 comments. I may have missed it.

Partisay
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Partisay 05/04/11 - 11:15 am
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"We are so much into putting

"We are so much into putting everything out there for the public on TV, sometimes at a disservice to our best interests."

Riverman...if we don't release the details, you and everybody else would be bitchin' bout how secretive this president is. Heck, some on the right still don't believe he's dead.

kmb413
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kmb413 05/04/11 - 11:16 am
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wow, don't tell the liberals.

wow, don't tell the liberals.

dani
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dani 05/04/11 - 11:19 am
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Riverman..I didn't see any

Riverman..I didn't see any criticism of Ryan either. I genuinely like Ryan. I enjoy him as a speaker as well. Interesting person.

Partisay
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Partisay 05/04/11 - 11:20 am
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"but it would have been

"but it would have been better if he had not had to be shamed into doing it."

Hit the nail on the head........

kmb413
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kmb413 05/04/11 - 11:23 am
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Does anyone remember the date

Does anyone remember the date Saddam was caught? I do because I finally was on a plane home from there.

How many will remember the date UBL was killed?

dani
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dani 05/04/11 - 11:23 am
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Pres Bush declined Obama's

Pres Bush declined Obama's invitation to celebrate the killing of bin Laden at ground zero. Bush said he will stay out of the limelight as he promised upon leaving office.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 05/04/11 - 11:29 am
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I like Charles de Gaulle's

I like Charles de Gaulle's style. Two press conferences in six years.

bdittle
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bdittle 05/04/11 - 11:40 am
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kmb413, it is an easy date to

kmb413, it is an easy date to remember. Take the date of Bush's Mission Accomplished speech and add 8 years.

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 05/04/11 - 12:26 pm
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"Pres Bush declined Obama's

"Pres Bush declined Obama's invitation to celebrate the killing of bin Laden at ground zero. Bush said he will stay out of the limelight as he promised upon leaving office."

Makes sense, Bush said he didn't care for bin Laden back in 02, and invading Iraq proved it.

I'm just stirring the pot though! ;) I actually appreciate President Bush for staying out of the spotlight, and just being himself. Very gracious of him to decline.

LauraE
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LauraE 05/04/11 - 12:27 pm
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Dani: The killing of bin

Dani: The killing of bin Laden will be forgotten as the war goes on.

What??? Really?? You really think the killing of a man who masterminded the largest attack on American soil and killed thousands of people will be forgotten? That sounds like wishful thinking for 2012 to me. Bin Laden is this generations' Hitler. His death will go down in history, I promise you.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/04/11 - 12:32 pm
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Leon Panetta is certainly

Leon Panetta is certainly putting some light on how the info to find Bin Laden was obtained.

fd1962
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fd1962 05/04/11 - 01:28 pm
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Retired Army, for the sake of
Unpublished

Retired Army, for the sake of historical accuracy, the first war lost by the United States was actually the Second Seminole Indian War in 1842, not Vietnam, as you stated. In effect, the Army could not defeat the Seminoles, and they were allowed to remain in place in Florida, although some were encouraged to move to the West.

carcraft
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carcraft 05/04/11 - 02:30 pm
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fd1962 I read an excellent

fd1962 I read an excellent Smithsonian magazine article about the "Black Seminoles" and it covered their history very nicely. Very interesting I highly recommend it if it can still be found!

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