Obama has shown leadership, competence | TheUnion.com
Charles Green

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Obama has shown leadership, competence

The president must be thoughtful and decisive, particularly in his important role as commander–in-chief of our military forces. Let's review how President Obama has done in that role.

A big accomplishment was, of course, his leadership in finding and eliminating Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.

He first provided direction to the military and intelligence agencies to focus attention on finding bin Laden.

When he was found, the president then had to choose among several alternative approaches to deal with bin Laden.

Obama has done the most important thing a president can do: He has helped keep us safe and secure.

President Obama made the decision to go with the bold plan to raid the bin Laden compound inside Pakistan — even though several advisors were opposed to the idea.

He decided to employ a surgical strike using our special forces instead of starting another war — this time with Pakistan.

Here is what Admiral McRaven has said about Obama's management of this operation.

"The president was at all times presidential. I would contend he was the smartest guy in the room. He had leadership skills we'd expect from a guy who has had 35 years in the military."

And the cost in American lives equaled zero and the benefits to the American people impossible to measure precisely but certainly significant.

Consider Obama's leadership against that of President Bush and his neo-con advisors. They went to war in Afghanistan because Afghanistan refused to hand over bin Laden. Their "war-first" hawkish nature led us to war with Iraq because why? They used lies about WMDs and Saddam Hussein's ties with terrorists associated with the 9/11 attacks. Cost in American lives equaled 6,000-plus and counting. Cost to the American people equaled more than $3 trillion.

Obama promised to end military operation in Iraq. He has kept that promise.

Obama promised to refocus our military efforts on Afghanistan, the center of bin Laden's al-Qaida network. He has done that as commander-in-chief.

Our military has killed more than 30 of al-Qaida's top leaders and has effectively destroyed the network in Afghanistan. Obama has now pledged to get us out of Afghanistan by 2014, and he is moving toward that goal.

Through Obama's strategic use of our military — plus cooperation and respectful leadership with our allies — the world was able to remove the tyrannical dictatorship of Mohammar Gadhafi in Libya without committing us to a drawn-out war. Cost in American lives equaled zero, cost to the American people about $800 million.

As president and commander-in chief, Obama has done the most important thing a president can do: He has helped keep us safe and secure.

There have been no terrorist attacks on his watch.

In contrast, under President W. Bush, we had the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history. Why? Because Bush and his Cold War mentality, neo-con advisors chose to ignore President Clinton's warning that our greatest threat was al-Qaida (not Russia), chose to ignore warnings from Richard Clarke (head of the counter intelligence unit) and chose to ignore the intelligence briefing report "al-Qaida to attack in the U.S."

Instead, our inexperienced commander-in-chief (Bush) went on vacation for the month of August. Two weeks later 9/11 happened.

As commander-in-chief, Obama has kept us out of new wars. He has conducted our military and foreign policy with intelligent and measured response (examples: Iran and Syria).

That has brought him (and America) the respect and admiration of the vast majority of countries and people around the world.

Does anyone really believe that flip-flopper Romney with his lack of experience, lack of decision backbone and shoot- from-the hip approach is suited for this role?

In his recent forays into foreign policy, he insulted our greatest ally, Great Britain, regarding their Olympics implementation. He insulted Palestinians by saying their inferior culture has made them less economically successful than Israel.

Earlier, he risked igniting animosities with Russia by saying they are our biggest threat. Romney has surrounded himself with many of the same pro-force neo-cons that Bush used to guide him in foreign policy.

He would be another puppet to these radical puppeteers. Scary! He already has people in the developed world cringing at the thought of another neo-con like Bush in the White House.

His running mate, Paul Ryan, claims he has needed foreign and military experience because he voted to send our young people to war. Really? That's relevant experience?

So, people, voting is important and will have consequences. President Obama has shown leadership, competence and courage as commander-in-chief under many trying circumstances.

I prefer to have someone with his experience, proven competence and wisdom in charge.

Charles Green lives in Nevada County.