And Here You Thought Hope Was Audacious
Here’s Joe Biden at a fundraiser, engaged in an exquisite act of overstatement re: the bin Laden raid.
“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.”
President Obama deserves credit, and has received plenty of it, for making the tough call to go into Pakistan and get bin Laden. But for Pete’s sake. . . . The operation was limited in scale and the main risks were political and diplomatic (as Biden well knows; he later asked the audience “Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?”). In terms of strategic risk versus reward, is there a president who would not have signed the order for a coin flip chance to get bin Laden in exchange for the three thousandth American violation of Pakistani sovereignty over the last decade?
Five hundred years is a long time. From Patton to Napoleon, John Paul Jones to Sir Francis Drake. I’m sure all you history buffs out there can think of another battle plan at least in the running to be more audacious than Operation Geronimo.
And as Ace
...a number of other plans seem somewhat more audacious....the Normandy invasion, Sherman's march through Georgia, Washington crossing the Delaware, Washington's retreat from Brooklyn, Entebee, the Son Tay raid, hell using special forces guys on horses who used radios and GPS to overthrow the Taliban was pretty audacious.
None of this is to diminish the courage and skill that went into the bin Laden raid but the fact is special forces have been doing that sort of thing for over a decade. That relentless pace and effectiveness is the real story more than one particular raid.
Of course the most offensive part of Biden's formulation isn't his historical illiteracy, that's to be expected. What's truly offensive is that in his little mind, the "audacious" part is the plan and Obama's role in it. Yes, it was a call for which he deserves credit but the real heroes are the men who suited up and carried it out. They are the ones who will be immortalized in 500 years, not some empty suit watching them on TV.