Since the horrific attacks on our nation September 11, 2001 and the decision of then President George W. Bush to finally fight back against the growing threat of radical Islamist terror, the pejorative “Cowboy Politics” entered our daily speak to express disapproval of President Bush.
From “you are either with us or against us” to “bring it on,” President Bush was accused of being a “cowboy” in the world political stage and taking a stand against terror. Regardless of what he did, someone vocalized opposition often to include some reference to his being from the state of Texas.
American media especially seemed to make the term “cowboy” derogatory whenever used in connection with George W. Bush and his policies in fighting terrorists.
Fast forward to 2011, May 1 exactly. With the war still going on and the mastermind of those attacks long ago still eluding justice, Barack Obama went before the world to state not that he had been captured, but a risky secret operation had succeeded in killing Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.
Even bore his short speech ended, crowds gathered outside of the White House chanting “USA, USA, USA,” and “four more years” and no doubt some in attendance expressed relief from that they called “cowboy politics” when George W. Bush was in power.
Barack Obama, who campaigned for the presidency by opposing those “cowboy politics” Bush was labeled with seemed to have embraced them, at least momentarily, to get the world’s most wanted terrorist, even though he had to authorize an operation across the borders of a sovereign nation without any notice given to their government or military.
Obama proclaimed in part of his announcement,
“So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.”
For a brief moment, he stood tall, looked and acted presidential and spoke decisively about terror, just as George W. Bush did throughout his presidency.
Due to multiple changes in the official version of how the operation went down and succeeded, understandably accounted as the “fog of war,” many in America and abroad began doubting that bin Laden was in fact dead. Calls for proof began ringing out all over.
News leaked out that a gruesome photo of the dead Osama bin Laden existed and many demand it be released to show “proof” that we had in fact killed the world’s most wanted terrorist.
In his refusal to authorize release of the photo Obama said,
“It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies.”
Did he forget how the left was outraged during the Bush years that they were barred from taking or publishing photos of not only returning coffins of American Soldiers killed in the war, but dead and maimed American Soldiers too?
Bush Regime Censoring Images of Dead American Soldiers
Images of war dead a sensitive subject
Iraq's unseen violence
NYT Complaint: Not Enough Photos Of Mutilated American Soldiers in This War
Huffington Post exploits AP’s dying Marine photo
Were those calls of “trophies to be trotted out?”
And, “inciting additional violence?” Did the country worry about that during World War Two when Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was targeted and killed? Or Italy’s Benito Mussolini was killed and hung upside down? Did the Jihadists refrain from issuing photos and video of beheadings of Westerners they captured, dragging dead American soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu in Somalia or hanging dead, burnt and mutilated bodies of four American civilian contractors in Iraq.
Even without the release of the photo, Muslim Protests are seen worldwide as radicals vow revenge and retaliation based solely upon the announcement of bin Laden’s death, even though he engineered or approved of the slaughter of far more Muslims than Americans.
Lou Brancaccio, editor of our local newspaper, wrote for his Saturday column, What about that photo of bin Laden? where he says, in writing that they would use the photo,
“It’s true that 99 percent of the time, we wouldn’t run photos of dead people. But there are exceptions to every rule. If we believe the photo is not simply gratuitous but has some value — that it serves a purpose — then it should be considered. And publishing a photo of a dead bin Laden would, indeed, serve a purpose.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Why do we continue to cower from those we are fighting in this war?
One commenter states,
“just maybe Obama is not trying to appease the radical idiots. He is trying to keep the moderate Muslims to stay moderate.”
Why do we allow radical Jihadists to hold the world hostage as governments continue to submit to their will, claiming fear of enraging moderate Muslims?
Fear of enraging Christians or Jews is scoffed at and cries of "Separation of Church and State" emerge. But, the world must walk on egg shells with Muslims?
More of them must join in this fight and if they are protesting across the globe as we see above, the photo will not make any difference and just maybe, they aren't as moderate as we think.
For a brief moment, Obama stood up looking like a leader, a president. He spoke just as decisively as did President Bush when he was accused of “cowboy politics.” Now, he is looking more like a rodeo clown (my apologies to rodeo clowns).