I wanted to jot down some thoughts about the operation against Osama Bin Laden, just to have a record for when I re-read it later.
I opened up my computer this morning to the New York Times and read the first headline: Bin Laden is Dead, Obama Says. So I had to read the next headline: Obituary: Osama Bin Laden. I looked up at Brian and said, "Osama Bin Laden is dead." He just said, "Really?"
I think we were either stunned or the news had not yet sunk in. I read the first article about the attack and all I could think about was: This is huge. Then I said it to Brian. Then: "I am so glad this happened on Obama's watch."
And, I am glad. I was annoyed the way the general (or whomever he was) announced Saddam Hussein's death with a news conference and a "We got him!" statement. This seemed just so much better, more measured.
Then, of course, I was glued to NPR news for the rest of the day. I wanted to hear everything. And, the more I heard, the more impressed I became with the entire operation; the secrecy, the precision, the fact that not one American died.
I can't imagine what those Navy Seals felt like breaching that compound, knowing their target, understanding the seriousness of it. I know they are incredibly well-trained but they are human. What went through their minds when they met Osama Bin Laden? What went through their minds afterwards? When they knew they were successful? What did President Obama think/feel?
The fact that President Obama took a risk like that is mind-boggling, especially since he is not known for these risks. The intelligence had to have been very good. Not like the Iraq intelligence: apparently, Absence of Evidence really is Evidence of Absence.
But I did agree with Bush's reaction to Afghanistan and to think that one chapter of this is closed. We all remember September 11th. My daughter was almost 3 at the time. She must have heard us talking because a day or two later she asked if any planes would be flying today. It's just one of those small moments that sticks in your brain.
With the Arab Spring happening all over the Middle East, I'm not sure how relevant Osama Bin Laden is. I suppose time will tell. I'm also interested in how the Republicans handle this news. Crassly, there is no denying that Obama gets the win on this one.