Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This is a Time for Unity - Not Politics

The past 72 hours have been saturated with the news of the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. I, for one, could not be happier.

Yet, what should be a time of pride, praise and unity for the entire country has quickly become a soap box for many of President Barack Obama's critics. They have tried their best to find fault in every decision and move he has made, right down to nit-picking, word for word, the announcement of Bin Laden's death.

If the president left office in 2012 or 2016, and Bin Laden had not yet been captured or killed, it would surely be labeled his fault. Why can't he now get the credit he is due?

By all accounts, it was the President who decided and ordered the high-risk ground assault versus a less risky aerial strike on the terrorists' compound. A near-flawless operation resulted.

But that is not enough for Obama's critics. Should we have captured or killed Bin Laden? Disposed of the body or not? What did the president know and when?

Let me ask this: Who really cares?

If the operation had failed, if there were U.S. casualties, if Bin Laden had gotten away, then the President's critics could rightfully have a field day, but this entire operation was methodical, well-executed, and close to miraculous... without one U.S. casualty.

To my fellow Republicans and conservatives I say: Stop whining and give the President the credit he deserves. A better outcome happens only in the movies.

And as for those who believe killing Bin Laden may incite Al-Qaeda and their followers, remember they are already filled with anger and hatred against us. Let's not forget that on September 11, 2001, we were inciting no one and yet suffered the worst terror attack in world history. As for the burial at sea, I personally believe it was ingenious. I was in Iraq when Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, were killed. I recall the many issues we had to deal with then. I also recall the problems with the bodies of Saddam Hussein and Abu Masab Al-Zarkowi, Iraq's leading terrorist whose body was returned to his hometown of Zarka, Jordan.

For Bin Laden, there will be no shrines and no martyrdom rallying points.

There are times for politics and debates and there are not. This is a time for unity and honor. Save the negativity for another time.

For the families and friends of those who perished on 9/11, for the first responders who came to the rescue - 400 who died doing their job - for our men and women in the Armed Forces who for the past 10 years have been fighting this global war on terror, and for the heroes in the U.S. Navy Seals who pulled off one of the greatest missions in our country's history, let us put politics aside.

Let us thank God that good has prevailed over evil and that President Barack Obama made the decisions he did.

On September 14, 2001, President George W. Bush came to Ground Zero, shook my hand and told me that America would bring those to justice that were responsible for the attacks on our country. Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will go to Ground Zero to remind the world that America has kept its promise. I, for one, will never forget him and this momentous event just as I will never forget those we lost.


Monday, May 2, 2011

A Great Day to be an American

As one who stood beneath the building and watched the second aircraft slam through Tower II of the World Trade Center, and was there when it collapsed, hearing President Barack Obama announce to the world that Osama Bin Ladin was dead, was joyous, emotional and overwhelming. God Bless our president, the intelligence and special operations personnel that carried out this mission, and God Bless America. -BERNARD B. KERIK