Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Question Shouldn't Be: 'What If The Bin Ladin Kill Mission Had Failed?'

The Obama campaign attempts to justify their constant self congratulatory 'spiking of the football' of the Bin Ladin mission, by asking the wrong question.  They say the president deserves the praise of the mission and that it took guts to make the call to get Bin Ladin, because, they ask: "What if things went wrong and the mission failed?" By that question they are implying that it took political guts to make that call. They [and even some on our side] are comparing this call to the failed mission ordered by president Jimmy Carter, during the Iran hostage crisis, attempting to free the hostages. They say, incorrectly, that call ["Operation Eagle Claw"] by Jimmy Carter on April 24, 1980 which ended in failure, is what led to the defeat of Jimmy Carter by Ronald Reagan.

No, that is not what led to the defeat of Jimmy Carter. It is true that the Iran hostage crisis magnified the weakness of Jimmy Carter's foreign policy, but that was not the biggest concern on the American people's mind at that time.  I know because I lived during those years. What caused Jimmy Carter's defeat is what usually leads to the defeat of an incumbent president: the economy. The country was economically devastated those years with ultra high inflation, unemployment, and long lines and high prices at the gas station.

I talk about this in a past post I hope you will read: "What If President Carter's 'Gutsy' Gambit Had Worked"

From the title of that post, I think you will understand the title of this post, that the question shouldn't be: 'What if the Bin Ladin kill mission had failed?'

The question that should be asked  is: "What if president Jimmy Carter's call for the military to attempt to rescue the Americans held hostage by Muslim extremists in Iran had succeeded?"

What if those hostages were rescued.  How would that have affected the presidential election in 1980?  Does that mean the American people would have overlooked the high misery index they were facing with high unemployment, long gas lines, outrageous inflation, a weak home market, because of one successful call by the president?

Quoting the ending of my own post, which was first published just after the successful and heroic killing of Bin Ladin by our Navy SEAL team 6:

"You might think it is crazy to say that Jimmy Carter would have been re elected  just because of  one 'gutsy' call.   Wouldn't it be just as crazy now?"

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