The Day Osama Died

Oh boy, Obama‘s late night speech has been posted on YouTube and the comments are flooding in by the second.

You can also download it in its entirety… This is part of public domain and so I will be using it for commentary within the next few days.

The part I’m most interested in is, of course, what it means to the war on terror and the restoration of our rights and freedoms. However, there are already literally millions of commentators on this subject.  I’m trying to find other things to talk about because this man was clearly not the governments only agenda.

I’m more concerned with how secret governments can keep things when they really want to. I am also, as always, interested in exposing our polarized, over-saturated media circus that seems to inform most voters and citizens. Everyone seems to think that this solidifies Obama’s next term. I went a little deeper with my analysis and though I did vote for Obama the first time around this incident certainly doesn’t make up my mind about a second term. If anything I sort of weakens his strengths in my eyes. I was glad he was finally showing some force and for lack of a better word, umph but it was not directed in the appropriate way. Yell at big banks, yell at those who pose a real threat to Americans, debtors!

There is a little more to my analysis than merely my opinion that this new surge of “America, fuck yeah” attitude is misplaced and possibly dangerous in a very shaky world climate. I am more concerned that our President continues to perpetuate the unnecessary and detrimental divisions that threaten to rot our society from the inside out. Why in the hell would you stick your “moderate” nose in the middle of a religious/secular debate? (Which to me is really more of a propaganda issue…) If you don’t know what I’m talking about you were probably one of the millions who were so caught off guard by the content of this speech that you glossed over his closing remarks (or maybe you were already getting wasted and chanting USA in front of the capital!)

President Obama stated his position on the Pledge of Allegiance issue when he used a snippet of the version that was changed in 1954, a change that was prompted by hatred and fear of communism. This is a part from the end of his speech, (it follows this short article in full thanks to Time.com):

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

He said this after announcing the assassination of a human being (no matter how horrible that human being was) that happened to be of another faith, not only that but was making this announcement to a wide variety of Americans from different cultures and religions including Christians, Jews and Atheists. This speech was also viewed all over the world. Between this and the idiots who were partying in the streets at 2am I have very little confidence left. This also states that the government is not done “securing” our country, that we do “whatever”, we can even interchange history with story, and push our beliefs on people everywhere just because that’s who we are as a nation. We make sacrifices to make things safer but what have we ever made safer? We are said to have all the wealth and power but most Americans are poor. The government was founded on freedom of religion yet, we still think you should be Christian. Why else would Obama or anyone else be fighting for using the altered version of our country’s pledge?

If Obama really feels this way:

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family…

Then maybe he could learn to respect a large portion of this population that does not want God included with our citizenship packages. This might seem like small potatoes when considering we “got” the most notorious bearded guy in the world.

Unfortunately, there are some who like the changes or don’t understand that they were changes at all due to decades of American propaganda and our policy on unrestrained nationalism:

I first learned of  Osama’s death from a post on my Facebook feed, an occurrence that has become commonplace especially when celebrities are involved. The news started trickling in on Facebook statuses and then I noticed a live feed on YouTube and started watching. We also went over to MSNBC for a while, we don’t have cable so all this was done on our computer and our Nintendo Wii. Ah, America!

All night and day I saw varying degrees of intellects and political associations attempting to duel it out via Facebook. I didn’t have the stomach to even make it over to Twitter. I found a gem of a video that was posted by our lovely government that is getting something like 400 comments a minute! I’m not really participating in all this insanity. I did post a tasteful (to me) status:

All I’m asking is that we get our freedom back. Repeal the Patriot Act. Stop trying to scare us with the next dark, menacing boogeyman and let us all get on with our lives.  Killing this man that has ties to some of the wealthiest American families isn’t going to change much in the way of bringing back those who died during the September 11 attacks and it certainly won’t make our combined war casualties disappear. All it is going to do is make more sparks in the already heated debate between liberal and conservative, Christian and Muslim, and the list goes on…

Let’s hope that we aren’t locking ourselves further into a total police state but if the last decade has been any indicator, we are certainly heading in that direction soon. Until then, I’m exercising my right as an American by saying the pledge my way, the original American way (as Francis Bellamy intended in 1892!)

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Here are some comments from some good -natured and not so good-natured folks via YouTube (I will be sure to post any really great ones as I come across them!): 45,745 58,353 comments and counting…









THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — 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. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

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