Woe betide a president who believes his own stump speeches. In his campaign Obama outflanked charges initially from Hilary Clinton and then from John McCain that he was a peacenik and a wimp by declaring week after week that Iraq was the wrong battlefield, that the enemy was al Qaida and their sanctuary Afghanistan. An excited vibrancy colored the community organizer’s rhetoric as he spoke of his determination to “kill bin Laden.”
Significantly, according to Ray McGovern’s recent piece on this site Obama did not order a National Intelligence Estimate as he evolved his plan, doubtless because he and his National Security Adviser feared such an NIE might arrive at the same sort of depressing assessment as the April 2006 NIE on global terrorism, which concluded invasions and occupations do not make America safer but lead instead to an upsurge in terrorism.
1. Ben Laden is dead.
2. People who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.
3. Ignorance, hubris, and stupidity should be painful.