Osama Bin Laden, Birthers, and more on Trump


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Noted political scientist, Dr. Wilmer Leon has shared two of his most recent op-ed pieces.  One regarding the news regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the other regarding the Birther issue can will forever be stoked.

Dr. Leon, a protegé of the great Dr. Ron Walters is known for his sharp inciteful and thoughtful analysis.

HISTORIC PRESIDENT OBAMA FULL INTERVIEW ON 60 MINUTES 5.8.11

Dr. Leon in action

Lessons Learned from Osama bin Laden?

 By  Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

President Obama announced this past Sunday evening that “al-Qaida’s leader and symbol” Osama bin Laden had been killed, “Tonight I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden…”  This is a good thing.  President Obama can now fly on to the deck the USS Abraham Lincoln and stand under the “Mission Accomplished” banner that his predecessor prematurely unfurled on October 29, 2003.

It has taken the United States 10 years, over $400B, and more than 2,421 US and coalition lives to get to this point. Since those who fail to understand their history are doomed to repeat it; it is imperative that we ask what lessons that can be learned from Afghanistan as those such as Senator’s McCain (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC) call for greater involvement in Libya and the US struggles to find common ground in Israel.

President Obama stated this past Sunday,  “…the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al-Qaida — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe.”  This is a very important point. Had members of the Bush administration paid attention 9/11 may have been avoided.  As Michael Scheuer former Chief of the CIA bin Laden unit has written, “…unlike…1941 (Pearl Harbor), there was far less reason for Americans to have been surprised…in 2001…bin Laden repeatedly warned Americans-again, always in pubic –that he would incrementally increase the lethality of his attacks on U.S. interests…”  The lesson here is as field intelligence officer Robert Baer wrote, when Washington does not like pieces of particular intelligence, “…it does everything in its power to discredit the messenger.”  Also, Washington continues to avoid real analysis and action that would force changes in policy relating to Israel and consistent policy dealing with dictators in the Middle East.

The New York Times recently reported that as a result of the changes in Egypt, the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas are settling their differences in order to create an interim unity government. Having Palestinians speak with one voice could pave the way for real and constructive dialogue with Israel.  What do the Israelis say? “The Palestinian Authority has to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas…”  Instead of recognizing that peace with Hamas could lead to lasting peace with Israel, the Obama administration says that Hamas is a terrorist organization unfit for peace making.

In Libya, Sen. McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has called for more military support — including arms — to the TNC rebels, even though by his own admission he does not clearly know who is backing them.  This logic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is what led the US to train and support the Mujahideen and work with Osama bin Laden as they rebelled against the incumbent pro-Soviet Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA).   This is the logic that led the US to support, arm, and train Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as he fought against Iran.  This is the same logic that led the US to support Hamas as it developed as an alternative to the then nationalist objectives of former Chairman Arafat’s PLO.

On Oct. 7, 2001, President George W. Bush announced the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom against the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. He stated, “On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.”  What does America have to show for all of this? What else did America get?  America got the suspension of habeas corpus, warrantless wiretapping, a historic abuse of signing statements, and an imperial presidency.

In his closing remarks President Obama said, “The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens.”  That is true but what America did choose was the illegal and immoral response to the fight. After 10 years, over $400B, and more than 2,421 US and coalition lives lost, President Obama was able to kill Osama bin Laden with human intelligence sources (CIA and others), 4 helicopters, and 40 well trained Navy Seals.  This is how it should have started.

President Obama also sated, “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims… So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”  Again, he was correct.  Hopefully America has learned the lessons that will enable it to believe in peace and human dignity as well.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” and a Teaching Associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  Go to http://www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. http://www.twitter.com/drwleon

© 2011 InfoWave Communications, LLC.

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Taking Credit vs. Taking Action

By  Wilmer J. Leon III, Ph.D.

After releasing the long form of his birth certificate President Obama said, “We’ve got some enormous challenges out there… We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.” One of those “carnival barkers” Donald Trump held a press conference to call attention to his involvement in forcing the release of the birth certificate saying, “Today I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else was able to accomplish,…”  Well, at the very moment “The Donald” was taking credit for forcing closure to an issue that was the invention of anti-Obama operatives, President Obama as Commander In Chief of US armed forces was taking decisive action on one of those enormous challenges by exacting revenge on Osama bin Laden for plotting the atrocities of 9/11.  Trump was taking credit while Obama was taking action.

On Sunday May 1, President Obama stated “al-Qaida’s leader and symbol” Osama bin Laden had been killed…Tonight I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden…”  Less than 24 hours after President Obama made his announcement, Sarah Palin in a speech at Colorado Christian University said, “We thank President (George W.) Bush for having made the right calls to set up this victory.” She never mentioned President Obama.  The conservative Washington Times newspaper wrote, “Bin Laden’s death is more Mr. Bush’s victory than Mr. Obama’s because American forces wouldn’t even be fighting in South Asia had Democratic doves had their way.”  The National Review Online wrote, “Mr. Obama might have noted that this work began under President Bush, but as usual he did not.”

If conservatives want to give former President Bush the credit for the capture of bin Laden they must also insure that he take the responsibility for the misinformation and disinformation that led us into two protracted military misadventures.  Every single excuse that Cheney/Bush provided to the American people for invading Afghanistan and Iraq proved to be false.

  • The 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi not Afghanistan.
  • No WMD’s were found in Iraq
  • No relationship between Saddam and Osama that tied Saddam to 9-11
  • No attempt from Saddam to purchase “yellow cake” uranium from Niger.

According to Iraq on the Record a report prepared for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in 2004, prior to the war in Iraq, President George Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, “…made misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq in 125 public appearances consisting of 40 speeches, 26 press conferences and briefings, 53 interviews, 4 written statements, and 2 congressional testimonies. The report … identifies 237 specific misleading statements… Most of the statements … were misleading because they expressed certainty where none existed or failed to acknowledge the doubts of intelligence officials. Ten of the statements were simply false.”   President Bush (W) took action, but it was based upon the false narrative that his administration created.

If conservatives want to give former President Bush the credit for the capture of bin Laden, why didn’t they take him in 2001, just 10 weeks after 9/11?  In July of 2009 60 Minutes reported that in November 2001, Delta Force troops, “Using radio intercepts and other intelligence, the CIA pinpointed bin Laden in the mountains near the border of Pakistan. According to a Delta commander being interviewed, “We’re about 2,000 meters away from where we think bin Laden’s at still… bin Laden was on the radio. The CIA, Delta, and their Afghan allies were listening.”  They failed to even attempt to engage him.  Their plans of attack were never approved. “How often does Delta come up with a tactical plan that’s disapproved by higher headquarters?” Pelley from 60 Minutes asks. “In my experience (former Delta commander), in my five years at Delta, never before,” They either have to take credit or responsibility. Conservatives can’t have their cake and eat it too (unless it’s Obama’s cake).

If conservatives want to give former President Bush (W) credit, what about taking responsibility for their contribution to the current budget deficit? President Clinton left office with a $127B budget surplus resulting from responsible military cuts (beginning with his predecessors) and an economic boom that resulted in increased tax revenues.  When President G.W. Bush left office, incoming President Obama inherited a $455B deficit, that didn’t even include the cost of all of the military actions that we were involved in. President Obama included that cost of our military interventions in the deficit. If Bush supporters want the credit, you have to also take the blame.

In talking about the “birther” issue, President Obama’s grades and Donald Trump, CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, the elder statesman of network news reporters and one of the most respected newsmen in the industry stated, “This is a ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing. We can hope that that kind of comes to an end, too, but we’ll have to see.” With these issues as well as racist cartoons and other references one can only attribute the “credit” issue to race as well.  Finally, mainstream media is putting the attacks on President Obama in their proper context.

To President Obama’s point on Sunday, if we are going to move forward as a democracy and solve our serious problems, “We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts.” You must give credit where credit is due and place responsibility where it rightfully belongs.  While many conservatives are taking credit, President Obama took decisive action.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” and a Teaching Associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  Go to http://www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. http://www.twitter.com/drwleon

© 2011 InfoWave Communications, LLC.

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Dr. Leon on Twitter

Dr. Leon on Facebook

Comments
One Response to “Osama Bin Laden, Birthers, and more on Trump”
  1. A Black Scholar says:

    I took several classes from Dr. Leon. It was an awesome experience as the brother is heavy but shares his knowledge and inspires people to learn!!!

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