Navy SEALs Deserve The Credit
05/04/2011 06:52 PM ET
Heroes: Rather than worry about Obama's poll numbers, let's give the accolades to the best of the best and the president who had the foresight to increase their role and funding.
The chattering class, as the mainstream media is sometimes called, worried about how the successful raid by Navy SEALs might affect President Obama's reelection chances.
Yet we might not even have the SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) had our defense-cutting president called the budget shots instead of President George W. Bush after 9/11.
GWB knew this would be a different kind of war, one that would not end up with the enemy signing surrender papers on the deck of a battleship. It would require enhanced use of special forces such as the SEALs, and he saw to it that they'd be ready when needed.
Bush did not want a repeat of the failed mission under President Jimmy Carter to rescue our Iranian hostages that ended with a helicopter and a C-130 smoldering in the desert, the collision killing eight Americans and leaving our hostages still imprisoned in Tehran.
An item in the Lahontan Valley (Nev.) News of Feb. 14, 2005, notes: "Bush's defense budget has been labeled a 'dramatic restructuring' of the nation's military because it emphasizes more funds for special operations forces to fight terrorism. ... If Bush's budget is approved, Navy SEAL and Army Special Forces units will be given heightened roles."
In February 2008, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Bush's plans for increase in defense spending included a 15% increase in the size of our special forces, including the Navy SEALs. The next mission would not be doomed to crash and burn.
President John F. Kennedy formally created the SEALs as an elite force composed of America's best, capable of combat operations in any theater and environment. It was a team of Navy SEAL sharpshooters that killed three pirates who commandeered the American-flagged Maersk Alabama and held its captain hostage a year ago.
Compared to the Carter fiasco, the pre-dawn raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his Pakistan compound was a textbook demonstration of skill and bravery that is testament to the rigorous training of the special forces that President Bush believed in. President Obama gave the order, but Bush made sure they were ready.
The whole thing took just 40 minutes. The secret team had its staging base on Masirah Island off the coast of Oman in the Persian Gulf. That island, ironically, is the assembly point for terrorist suspects moved out of the region on board CIA flights to Guantanamo Bay, which Obama wanted to close.
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