We knew it was coming.
No sooner had the bullets stopped flying than Americans began bickering over President Barack Obama’s handling of the rescue mission to snatch Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillip from the hands of Somali pirate.
Was deadly force necessary? How much credit (or blame) should go to Obama? Was our commander-in-chief even in the loop?
The Internet today is full of wild musings. Check out what some are saying:
“White House and Navy officials say President Obama had issued a general authorization to use force in these circumstances, and that is to his credit. With all the world watching, the U.S. Navy couldn’t afford to be long stymied by sea-faring kidnappers. No doubt Mr. Obama would have been criticized in some quarters — though not by us — had Captain Phillips been killed once the order was given to shoot the pirates. But that is the kind of decision that has to be left with commanders on the spot. The pirates made themselves potential targets of deadly force under the law of the sea the second they took Captain Phillips hostage.” Wall Street Journal editorial
“Obama’s handling of the crisis showed a president who was comfortable in relying on the U.S. military, much as his predecessor, George W. Bush, did… And it goes some way toward dispelling the notion that a liberal Democrat with a known distaste for war — Obama campaigned on his consistent opposition to the Iraq invasion — doesn’t have the chops to call on U.S. military power.” Associated Press
“Hooray to the American military! Boo to the effete Obama Administration. I suppose that now Obama will bow down and egregiously apologize to the pirates for the brutal and abusive use of force to quell illegal activity by the pirates; maybe invite them to D.C… Can a president be re-called?” N.Y. Times reader comment
“For President Obama, last week’s confrontation with Somali pirates posed similar political risks to a young commander in chief who had yet to prove himself to his generals or his public. But the result — a dramatic and successful rescue operation by U.S. Special Operations forces — left Obama with an early victory that could help build confidence in his ability to direct military actions abroad.” Washington Post