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Mission Accomplished

Bill Neinast


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  Those words first appeared on a banner on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln where President George W. Bush was landing on May 1, 2003, to announce the “end of major combat operations” in Iraq.

What Bush said that day was completely accurate.  The assigned mission was to dethrone Saddam Hussein and destroy his army and weapons of mass destruction.  Without question, Hussein was gone and the old Iraqi military was in complete disarray. 

Unfortunately, in that operation, the U.S. ignored surprise, one of the fundamental principles of conducting successful warfare.  Saddam had been warned for six months that we were coming to destroy his weapons of mass destruction.  That was more than enough time for him to move the chemical weapons, of the type he had used against Iran and his own people, into neighboring Syria. 

Currently, chemical weapons constitute the “red line” that Obama has warned Assad not to use in Syria or allow them to be transferred to Iran or Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Oddly, no one has questioned Obama about the source of those weapons.

In the six years between Bush’s landing on the carrier and his leaving the presidency on January 20, 2009, journalists never let him forget “Mission Accomplished.”  Anytime an American soldier was killed in Iraq and just about anytime Bush gave a speech or held a press conference, he was ridiculed for misleading the public with his mission accomplished swagger.

Now jump ahead eight years plus one day to May 2, 2011.  On that day, President Obama smiling announced to the world that “he” had killed Osama bin Laden.  In his words, "And today, Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead."

Almost daily, however, evidence is mounting that Al Qaeda is alive and running, with much of the running being toward the U.S.  Two years after Obama announced that Al Qaeda “is on the run,” an intelligence estimate is that there are 30 groups world wide that embrace the Al Qaeda ideology and methodology.

Unlike the harassment of Bush about mission accomplished, the great American press seems to have forgotten all about al Qaeda being on the run.  If Obama is ever asked why al Qaeda is still around, it never appears in any media other than Fox News.

Particularly galling is the Benghazi tragedy.  The murder of four Americans in this incident occurred during the heated presidential contest last year.  Acknowledging that Al Qaeda was involved would not have been good for the Obama campaign.  So the official version perpetuated by the media was that the riots were spontaneous reactions to a perceived insult to Islam.

The CIA’s original talking points on Benghazi have just surfaced.  The statement in that paper that al Qaeda operatives were among the rioters was lined out by some Obama hireling before Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., made her rounds on the TV talk shows to blame those attacks on Islam for the “spontaneous” uprisings.

As most of the press seems to be in sync with Chris Matthews, who has cried over an Obama speech, compared him to Jesus, and “felt this thrill going up my leg,” the Rice assertion that we were dealing with a leaderless mob went unchallenged.

More recently, the press is docilely agreeing with Obama’s assertion that the Boston bombings were the acts of local individual radicalization.  The only ones with questions about the real motivators seem to be Republican members of Congress.

No member of the press, other than FOX News representatives, asks the President what Tamerlan Tsarnaev was doing back in the country from which he had been granted political asylum for his own safety. 

Did he go home to learn bomb making from his radical mother?  Or is it possible that he went home for terrorist training in Chechnya? 

Following that train of thought would be too sensitive for Obama.  He has stated that Al Qaeda is on the run, so any indication of an al Qaeda presence in a Russian Province is an anathema to both the President and the press.

So here’s the perspective.

Chris Matthews is not the only member of the press corps to put President Obama on a pedestal. Most of that group seems to hold him in adulation.

So long as they approach him as a virtual deity who hears no evil and sees no evil, the truth will be hard to find. 

The search for truth in this administration is made even harder by the President’s and press belief that the buck never got here, so how could it be stopped here?