One of the most irksome things I have seen from the recent events concerning the death of Osama bin Laden has been the odd outcry of people saying that Obama doesn't deserve any credit for what happened. In response to this, I have penned this piece. I admit it was first posted on my uncle's Facebook wall where a small debate of this topic was going on, but I decided to post it here as well.
Does he deserve all the credit? No. But as Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, it was on his watch, and it was his call. The intelligence community was briefing him, he was aware of what was going on, he gave the order, and he watched it go down. That much has been stated over and over again. The US Armed Forces were not going to just go and carry out a mission of this magnitude without keeping the President constantly briefed, even from the days we were merely suspicious of his location. By that same logic we can't have called it Bush's credit had bin Laden been killed on his watch.
In fact it happened completely and utterly not on Bush's watch and people are actually trying to say Bush deserves the credit for it. To think that in this day and age of nearly instantaneous communication that the Commander-in-Chief, the head honcho, the go-to-guy, the big button-pusher, is just sitting on the sidelines on military affairs is frankly just ludicrous. In fact it's been argued that the Office of the President has been TOO involved in military matters since the Korean War. After all, who is the one to make the final decision to launch America's nuclear arsenal? Not the head of the CIA. Not the Secretary of Defense. The President. The Commander-in-Chief. So really, I think it's probably completely 180° opposite, he didn't have nothing to do with it, he probably had a huge amount to do with it.
Not giving Obama his due as Commander-in-Chief and the one who ordered the mission is the start of a slippery slope... where do you stop? Not giving Obama credit for giving the go ahead and issuing the commands to carry out the mission would essentially start to discredit all past presidents and leaders in times of crisis. Roosevelt and Truman weren't physically dropping bombs or firing rifles and machine guns, nor were Churchill or Stalin, but they all get credit for being the leaders who ended WWII and defeated Hitler and Japan. They gave the orders for those things to happen though. Lincoln didn't grab up an officer's sword and march in with his boys to take care of ol' Johnny Reb, but we credit him with being the President who won the Civil War. He won it by being a leader and making decisions that needed to be made. That is what happened in the morning of May 1 in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
In the end, you can't give credit to some for an action and deny others the credit for essentially that same action. That's hypocrisy, plain and simple. Obama made a decision. A very difficult decision. History and precedent say he gets some kudos for this. Just because, sorry, you [the person on the other half of the debate] obviously don't like him, just because many don't want him to have the credit, doesn't mean he shouldn't get credit. I cast no aspersions as to why you don't like him, just that's what I'm going on as you rather explicitly stated that. But for comparison, I never liked Bush, but I give him credit for his accomplishments. Saddam Hussein was deposed and indeed dispatched on his watch. He handled receiving the word of the Sept. 11 attacks in that classroom extremely well (upside down book aside... I really dare anyone to receive word that a massive terrorist attack had just taken place in a classroom of schoolchildren and really care what way the book is facing...). Yet Bush did not haul Saddam out of that hideout himself. He did not lead our forces across Afghanistan and Iraq. But he made decisions and he has to be given credit for them and the consequences of them. And so does Obama.