There’s a memorable scene in the 1992 film, “A Few Good Men”, in which Jack Nicholson’s old school Marine commander defines the warrior ethos to Tom Cruise’s snarky young Navy prosecutor. In the climactic scene, Cruise demands the truth about a killing.
“You can’t handle the truth!” cries a frustrated Col. Nathan Jessup.
Republicans are having conniption fits because President Obama acknowledged the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist kingpin former President Bush said he was no longer concerned about in 2002, just six months after 9-11.
“I just don’t spend that much time worrying about him,” Bush said dismissively of the terrorist who murdered 2,752 innocent people on our soil.
It was Barack Obama who, almost a decade later, gave the order to kill bin Laden. Now Republicans can’t handle the truth.
Obama put Navy SEAL Team Six on the ground inPakistan. An air strike would have been far safer for Obama politically. He no doubt was thinking of the disaster in the Iranian desert in 1979 that cost Jimmy Carter his re-election when he unleashed the SEALs on bin Laden’s compound.
Thus, Obama put his presidency on the line and Republicans hate the outcome, never mind that we – all Americans – rejoiced.
After portraying Obama as soft on terror, the GOP can’t bring itself to admit the president did what his predecessor wouldn’t do. At least a score of terrorist leaders have been captured or killed on Obama’s watch but you wouldn’t know it listening to Rush Limbaugh, who wants you to believe Obama is in bed with the terrorists.
“Eight hundred million for the Taliban?” Limbaugh asked in February after the White House proposedU.S.aid for the Arab Spring countries. “Eight hundred million for Al Qaeda?”
Mitt Romney now casually says anyone would have made the same dangerous decision to take out bin Laden, this coming from the squishy Massachusetts Moderate who supported abortion, gun control and the individual mandate before he was against them.
Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden legitimately asked if the same could be said were Mitt Romney in the White House. Remember, it was Romney who wrote in 2008 that auto makers should be left to go bankrupt and that, as president, he would not attack bin Laden if he was hiding inPakistan.
“I do not concur,” declared Romney after then-candidate Obama said he’d go after bin Laden inPakistan. “I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.”
When Obama arrived inAfghanistanTuesday, Romney, with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in tow, hustled down to theManhattanfire house that lost 11 first responders on 9-11. There, using this shrine as his backdrop and without a shred of irony, he scolded the president for showboating.
“Politicizing it was — and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself – was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden,” huffed the former governor.
No it wasn’t, Mitt. You probably would have sat around in the war room triangulating your own political future before maybe delegating the decision to someone else because that’s what guys like you always do. If it went right, you’d take the credit. If it failed, you’d have your scapegoat.
Fortunately, we have a warrior president who isn’t afraid to stick his neck out to defendAmerica. And that’s the truth.
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer
who lives in Kennesaw.