Happy Anniversary, or Partisan Boasting?
We are a nation that loves anniversaries -- of births, weddings, deaths and everything else under the sun. We're now celebrating the first anniversary of the killing of
The Democrats, from Vice President
The Republicans, on the other hand, are crying foul.
It was intriguing stuff, followed up by the administration's top al-Qaida sleuth,
Yet the fact remains that with that one decision a year ago, Obama took a giant step toward diminishing the longtime Republican rap against the Democrats that they are soft on foreign policy. In one swoop, the mission that killed bin Laden countered the Democrats' nightmare of more than three decades ago, when
The successful strike that killed bin Laden also offered a commendable contrast to Obama's predecessor, who claimed his 2003 invasion of
Politics being what it is -- accentuating the positive to your side's advantage and peddling the negative to undercut the opposition -- it should be no surprise that the anniversary of bin Laden's death in a presidential election year should become fodder for both sides.
More significant as a measure of foreign policy success or failure has been Obama's pointed reversal of Bush's detour off the road of collective action and onto the path of unilateralism. Bush's go-it-alone invasion of
Obama, by contrast, instead of using the elimination of bin Laden to proclaim a new American leadership in world affairs, thereafter elected to play a subordinate role in the successful campaign led by the British and French to depose Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Doing so put
With his efforts to lift America's economy out of its doldrums yielding insufficient results, Obama is wise politically to make the most of his shifted foreign policy course, also seen in his adamant if slow determination to withdraw from the wars in
Americans clearly are depressed over joblessness at home, housing foreclosures and high prices at the gas pump. But they have good reason to feel better about Obama's conduct of foreign policy and to understand his bragging about it, in his fashion, in an election year.
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