Not Bush’s Victory

Scott has noted here a couple of times that members of the former Bush administration and their cronies, have been attempting to claim some victory status for George W. Bush, in the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death. But Bin Laden’s death is not Bush’s victory:

Ever so gingerly, even as they praised President Obama’s success against Osama bin Laden, some former senior Bush administration officials have sought to take a little credit for the mission themselves. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by MSNBC this week, even called the operation “a good story for continuity across two presidencies.”

That assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. Behind Obama’s takedown of the Qaida leader this week lies a profound discontinuity between administrations—a major strategic shift in how to deal with terrorists. From his first great public moment when, as a state senator, he called Iraq a “dumb war,” Obama indicated that he thought that George W. Bush had badly misconceived the challenge of 9/11. And very quickly upon taking office as president, Obama reoriented the war back to where, in the view of many experts, it always belonged. He discarded the idea of a “global war on terror” that conflated all terror threats from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah. Obama replaced it with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn.

Right wing nuts will no doubt continue to twist Obama’s “major victory” in taking out Bin Laden. They are wrong to do so.

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