Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Week of the Teleprompter Ninja

by new contributor Revoltaire

Last week started off as a huge week for liberals, progressives, Democrats, and Obamamaniacs. After almost fifty years, Barack Obama had finally produced his birth certificate, and, with the help of the snarky Seth Meyers, had humiliated Donald Trump at the White House correspondents dinner last Saturday night. Then, on Sunday night, word broke that U.S. special forces had succeeded in hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

And, cue the Frank Sinatra music, Obama had done it his way. Rather than leveling the reportedly heavily fortified compound with an airstrike, he’d decided (which apparently took some time since he was first told about the compound in August) to use special forces and take bin Laden out during a night-time assault. A photo was released of the White House Situation Room, where, we were told, members of the administration watched the raid in real time. There he was, Crouching Tiger, alone in the corner of the room, watching on the monitor the justice that his iron will was dispensing. The SEAL team on the monitor was merely an extension of him. During an intense firefight, our special forces had shot and killed the man responsible for the September 11th attacks. We lost a chopper, but none of our brave personnel.

The scalpel-rather-than-machete approach that the President was so proud of had worked. The word “gutsy” was being passed around the mainstream media like ecstasy at a rave. But we were culturally sensitive too, disposing of bin Laden’s body at sea, after a respectful ritual in accordance with Muslim tradition, we were told. Obama’s air of political invincibility seemed to be returning. I mean, it was just liberal Democrat heaven. Like Ben and Jerry’s had come out with a new flavor or something. Barack Obama was, once again, the teleprompter ninja.

So, the Pakistanis were upset. Screw ‘em! Bin Laden was right under their noses for the better part of a decade. Obama was feeling so cavalier, a couple of times he even referred to the country as “Pakistan,” the way Americans pronounce it, rather than “Pokishton,” like he was imitating the Babu Bhatt character from Seinfeld. Obama’s approval numbers received a 10 to 15 point jolt in some polls. Democrats once again began washing their cars, so that their neighbors could see their 2008 Hope and Change bumper stickers. The View co-hosts Joy Behar and Barbara Walters even said that we might as well skip the 2012 election. Some Republicans were considering it. The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes predicted that Obama’s success in taking out bin Laden would be a problem for Republicans down the road.

But then some cracks began to appear in the Osama-Obama narrative. Multiple sources confirmed that Bush-era enhanced interrogation techniques had been instrumental in getting the information used to find and kill bin Laden. In addition, despite early indications to the contrary, the administration wasn’t going to release any photos of the operation or the terrorist leader’s body. He’d been shot in the head, and the photos were too graphic to be released. More importantly, we were not going to “spike the football” in victory, because we did not wish to inflame the passions of those who would apparently not already be inflamed that we’d just killed their leader. But, many conjectured, wouldn’t this fuel conspiracy theories that bin Laden was still alive? No, the administration told us, and there’d be no memorial to draw fanatics since the body had been disposed of at sea, in a ritually pure manner, or course. But what about the fact that most Muslims hate Al Qaeda, as they frequently kill Muslims too? Still no. Apparently they needed to be paternalized even though the sensitive liberals in our government do not hold stereotypical views of other cultures.

Then some senators who’d said that they’d seen photos of bin Laden’s body confessed that the photos were fakes. Bin Laden’s walled compound was found to be dilapidated, and largely held together by mold. Reports surfaced that no one living in the compound was armed with anything more lethal than a squirt gun. They said that the terrorist mastermind had been shot while cowering in the corner, or taken into custody, then shot shortly thereafter. Some media figures re-examined Obama’s announcement that bin Laden had been “captured and killed.” Reality sunk in on the far fringes of the left: this was a presidential ordered execution.

Shortly thereafter, CIA Director Leon Panetta admitted that there was no video of the bin Laden mission, as there had been a gap larger than the one in the Watergate tape in the feed from Abbottabad. People began to re-examine the photo from the situation room. Speaking of cowering in the corner, why the windbreaker? Had Obama been sailing with John Kerry earlier that day? Rumors circulated that what the group was actually watching in the photo was a rousing game of Halo 3 in which Helen Thomas was wiping the floor with Jay Carney.

Religious scholars chimed in on bin Laden’s burial. Where in the Koran does it say that it pleases Allah when mujahidin leaders are executed about 700 miles inland, then wrapped in a bedsheet and dumped into the Arabian Sea like a large piece of chum? They might as well have wrapped him in pancetta. Some radicals have already renamed the Arabian Sea, where bin Laden’s body was reportedly dumped, "Martyr's Sea." So much for placating them. Why didn’t we have NASA, which has been reconfigured as a Muslim outreach program, use the last space shuttle mission to
jettison’s bin Laden’s body into space?

By the time we got to Thursday’s photo op at Ground Zero, the Obama administration seemed to be on its heels. Not only had George W. Bush declined an invitation to attend, so had Bill Clinton. Yes, you remember, Mr. “I Feel Your Pain,” with the pouting lip and the crocodile tears. The same man who went from guffaw to sob in one step while exiting the Ron Brown Memorial during his presidency, felt that this event might be . . . overreaching?

At Thursday night’s Republican debate, while acknowledging the President’s role in bin Laden’s death, each of the candidates took Obama to task for his foreign policy failures. “What the hell?” the liberals were thinking. “They’re acting like they won over 60 house seats in the last election or something!” On Friday, word came out that unemployment was back up to 9.0%, and a quarter of those who found work last month did so at establishments displaying golden arches. And the balloon continued to float back down to earth.

In an attempt to not just spike the football but do an end-zone dance, Obama attended another photo op at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, to thank the troops, he said, especially those that were closely involved with the bin Laden mission. Despite the President’s words of gratitude, his message about the war in Afghanistan remains that he’s pulling the plug in July. We can obviously trust the Pakistanis to fight Al Qaeda.

Obama and his most vehement supporters (MSNBC) may think that getting bin Laden makes him some type of foreign policy guru. Gwyneth Paltrow thinks she’s a Country singer. But at the end of this roller coaster week, there are two things that all thinking people should be able to agree on: Osama bin Laden is dead, and Barack Obama is beatable.

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