In 2007, Mitt Romney said he wouldn’t spend billions of dollars tracking down one man. During his second term as president,George W. Bush said he didn’t know where Osama bin Laden was and didn’t spend much time thinking about it.
By the time Barack Obama was elected president, the trail to Bin Laden had long gone cold. In 2009, his first order to Leon Panetta, then his new CIA director, was to make the killing or capture of Bin Laden the top priority in the war against Al Qaeda.
In light of Bin Laden’s elimination, Romney’s and Bush’s statements hurt Republicans’ chances this November.
The Republicans are trying to pull another “Swift boat” attack by saying that Obama’s success should not be used in the campaign. This tactic of trying to do to Obama what they did to John Kerry in 2004 will only work if voters can be fooled a second time. As the saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I can only hope that we of the middle class won’t be Swift-boated again.
If the millions of dollars the Republican “super PACs” are going to throw into this election succeed in fooling us, then shame on us.
Leon M. Salter
It is easy for Romney to say, in light of the mission’s success, that he would have gone after Bin Laden just as Obama did. He ignores the fact that it was an extremely difficult call, with so many ways for the mission to fail.
There were some, including Vice President Joe Biden, who advised against it. Moreover, the consequences to President Carter of the disastrous attempt in 1980 to rescue the hostages in Iran had to be in Obama’s mind as he struggled with the decision to order the mission.
I suggest to Romney that, until he has stood in Obama’s shoes, he has no idea what he would have chosen to do.
Re “Humility, please,” Opinion, May 3
The difference between the wartime fanfaronades of Presidents Bush and Obama:
Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared “Mission accomplished.” Obama, on the other hand, landed aboard Air Force One in Kabul and said, “The goal that I set, to defeat Al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild, is now within our reach.”
They are both guilty of creating the typical “minestrone,” mixing politics and statesmanship.
It would seem that both presidents graduated from the same political institute.
Every time Obama ties his shoes, the Republicans paint him as weak-kneed. He’s the “appeaser in chief” who pals around with terrorists, for example. It’s gone on for more than three years now, and Obama has ignored it.
But the right never stops, and low-information voters listen. I find it refreshing that my president is standing up and pushing back.
Obama has competently evaluated the problems facing him as president and acted. He has been successful, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t stand up and remind Americans of his achievements every day.
I believe Obama missed an opportunity to clinch his reelection. At the end of his speech from Afghanistan, he should have said:
“Although very belatedly, I want to thank President Bush and Vice President Cheney for laying the groundwork for the programs that led us to Bin Laden’s hiding place.”
Grove Beach, Calif.
Shame on Obama for politicizingBin Laden’s death. Surely Republicans would never attempt to make political hay out of issues important to Americans.