While Taking Out Bin Laden, Did We Create A New Enemy of America?

oA5zKuHiy7vlOn April 30, 2011, as Navy Seals were en route to take out Osama Bin Laden, the President helped ensure operational security by keeping to his pre-announced schedule and giving his speech at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Donald Trump was in the audience as a guest of the Washington Post and was ridiculed mercilessly by President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers. Obama joked about Trump’s responsibilities on Celebrity Apprentice:

Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. (Laughter.) You fired Gary Busey. (Laughter.) And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. (Laughter and applause.) Well handled, sir. (Laughter.) Well handled.

Quite a contrast with the decisions which Obama would be faced with that very night in the Situation Room.

Donald Trump tried to be stoic, but from his expression it seems he was internally seething. Was this the moment that Trump decided that he would get the ultimate revenge against the political establishment and the mainstream media?

My Republican Haggadah: An oldie but goodie

Editor’s Note: This “Republican Haggadah” first appeared in the Huffington Post in 2012. However, except for the references to the 2012 Presidential election the humor is timeless. Enjoy!

— by Steve Sheffey

Jewish history is littered with sects, groups of people kind of like Jews who celebrate the same holidays and have many of the same customs, yet are somehow different.

Today’s sect is known as “Jewish Republicans,” few in number but very loud. Like most Jews, they celebrate Pesach, but they’ve got their own Haggadah. The differences between their Haggadah and ours are instructive.

After drinking the first cup of wine, most Jews wash their hands, but the Republicans stay seated and wait for the water to trickle down.

Most Jews then eat a green vegetable, but the Republican Haggadah follows the ruling of Rabbi Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be. (Reagan does have this in common with Moses: Neither ever set foot in the land of Israel.)

More after the jump.
Next we break the middle of the three matzot. Most Jews break the middle matzah into two roughly equal pieces, replacing the smaller piece on the Seder plate and hiding the larger piece as the afikoman. The Republican Haggadah asks the leader (or in Republican parlance, the Seder CEO) to keep 99 percent of the matzah for himself and let the other participants share the remaining 1 percent.

The Torah speaks of four sons, but the Republican Haggadah speaks of four candidates: The simple candidate (Santorum), the wicked candidate (Paul), the candidate who does not know how to answer (Romney), and the simple candidate who thinks he’s the wise candidate (Gingrich). They have no wise candidates.

The highlight of the Republican Haggadah is its version of “Dayenu” — “it would have been enough.” The Republican motto when it comes to President Obama is “nothing is enough” — no matter how much President Obama does for Israel, it’s never enough for some of our Republican friends:

President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama increased security assistance to Israel to record levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama boycotted Durban II and Durban III.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has taken U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama cast his only veto in the U.N. against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama opposed the Goldstone Report.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama immediately intervened to rescue Israelis trapped in the Egyptian embassy.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama gave orders to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

There’s probably nothing President Obama can do to convince some Republicans that he’s pro-Israel. If President Obama split the Sea of Reeds and walked through it dry-shod, they’d accuse him of not being able to swim. They made their mind up before he was elected that he could not be trusted and they ignore everything that contradicts their biases.

The ultimate message of the real Haggadah is hope (sound familiar?). Let’s hope that just as the vast majority of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, the vast majority of us will remember who we are and what we value and vote to re-elect President Obama in 2012.

It Was Worth Moving Heaven and Earth To Get Him

President Barack Obama:“Governor, the problem is that on a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map.  I mean, I’m pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure and potentially having bilateral discussions with the Iranians to end their nuclear program, but just a few years ago you said that’s something you would never do in the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan.  Now you’re for it, although it depends.  In the same way that you say you would have ended the war in Iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there.  The same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after Qadhafi, when it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, when you were a candidate in 2008, I said if I had bin Laden in our view, I would take a shot.  

“You said we should ask Pakistan for permission.  If we asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten it.  It was worth moving heaven and earth to get him.

“I was at Ground Zero for a memorial and talked to a young woman who was four years old when 9/11 happened, and the last conversation she had with her father was him calling from the twin towers, saying I love you, and I will always watch over you.  And for the next decade she was haunted by that conversation, and she said to me, you know, by finally getting bin Laden, that brought some closure to her.  When we do things like that, when we bring those who have harmed us to justice, that sends a message to the world, and it tells that young lady that we did not forget her father.  I make that point because that’s the kind of clarity of leadership and those decisions are not always popular, those decisions generally are not poll tested, and even some in my own party, including my current vice president had the same critique as you did.  But what the American people understand is that I look at what we need to get done to keep the American people safe and to move our interests forward, and I make those decisions.”  

Wanted Dead & Alive: Flip-Flopping On Bin Laden & National Security

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the death of Osama Bin-Laden.

During the 2008 campaign, Romney and others dismissed as naïve the idea that we would strike Osama Bin-Laden on Pakistani soil without the permission of Pakistan. In the end, that was exactly the sort of bold move need to topple Bin-Laden, disrupt al-Qaeda and achieve an important milestone in the war against terrorism.

Obama said at a press conference in the White House:

I just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of what they thought was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden. I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I would go ahead and let them explain it.

Romney seeks to minimize Obama’s signature accomplishment. Romney said that “even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.” The Romney campaign misleadingly quotes Bill Clinton as saying “That’s the call I would have made” suggesting that the attack was obvious. However, the full quote from Bill Clinton paints an entirely different picture:

“When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, ‘I hope that’s the call  I would have made.'”

In fact, during the 2008 campaign, Romney himself erred on the side of caution:

“It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
— Mitt Romney, Associated Press Interview, April 2007

“I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.”
— Mitt Romney, quoted by Reuters in 2008, on the United States entering Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.

Romney: “Any President Would Have Done That”

Mitt Romney, quoted by Reuters in 2008, on the United States entering Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden:

“I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.”

Romney on MSNBC yesterday, downplaying credit for Obama for ordering the raid in Pakistan that finally killed Osama bin Laden:

“I think other presidents and other candidates like myself would do exactly the same thing.”

Separate Fact from Fiction of Obama’s Israel Record


— by Jason Attermann

Pro-Israel activist Steve Sheffey wrote an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post warning about the false smears likely to be spread by right-wingers against President Barack Obama’s strong pro-Israel record as the presidential campaign heats up.

The campaign to delegitimize President Obama in the eyes of pro-Israel voters will only intensify between now and November 6….

Opponents of territorial compromise and Americans who use concern for Israel to mask concern about paying their fair share of taxes compose most of the 20-25 percent of Jews who vote Republican. But that’s not enough to win an election; hence their efforts to distort President Obama’s record on Israel. Most Jews support the Democratic domestic agenda, so if there is no reason to oppose the president based on Israel, there is no reason to oppose him at all.

Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin-Laden, done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program, restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the previous administration, increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, taken US Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, cast his only veto in the UN against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, opposed the Goldstone Report, stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla, and is mounting a diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

More after the jump.
According to Sheffey, Obama’s detractors will attempt to delegitimize his extensive commitment to Israel’s security through the techniques of “repetition of falsehoods,” “baseless speculation,” and “guilt by association”-all of which have been engaged in before. Sheffey simplifies the situation as merely one of separating the facts of Obama’s actions from the fiction perpetuated by his opponents:

President Obama has surrounded himself with pro-Israel advisers, from Hillary Clinton to Dan Shapiro to Joe Biden to Rahm Emanuel. Yet we still hear about alleged influences from Obama’s past. Obama has been president for nearly three years. Evaluate President Obama the way the pro- Israel community has always evaluated our leaders and representatives: by looking at what they’ve done, not by trying to read their minds or via conjectures about influences that are impossible to prove or disprove.

If unprecedented military cooperation between the US and Israel, unambiguous opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and unrelenting defense of Israel in international forums is what happens when someone knows Jeremiah Wright, we ought to send all our candidates to his church. President Obama’s record proves that he is one of the best friends of Israel ever to occupy the White House. The only question is whether attempts to manipulate the emotions of pro-Israel voters by distorting the president’s record will succeed. The answer depends on our ability to separate fact from fiction.