It may seem a bit callous and cynical to start the political analysis of Osama bin Laden’s death so soon after its occurrence, but it will be endlessly picked apart in the coming weeks, so we might as well get the jump on it.

First, this once again confirms the incredible professionalism, heroism, and bravery of our armed forces. As the details of the operation are slowly made public, they’re very likely to indicate an Entebbe-like level of excellence of execution. This was a far cry from the humiliating mid-late-70’s time of military impotence, typified by the disastrous Carter-ordered Iran hostage rescue operation, commonly known as Desert One. (The official name was Operation Eagle Claw, but most people simply refer to it as “Desert One,” which was a rendezvous point in the Iranian desert.)

There are several takeaway points from the Osama bin Laden operation:

– President Obama will enjoy an immediate near-term bump in his approval ratings, as well he should. Rightly or wrongly, events such as these accrue to the credit of the current office-holder as surely as economic success or difficulty does, and as surely as the president’s handling of any highly-visible national calamity does. 9/11, Katrina, the tornadoes in Alabama, the Challenger explosion, etc—how a President portrays himself and reflects the national mood has as direct and immediate a bearing on his perceived approval as does any of his more concrete but less obvious and longer-ranged policies. President Obama gave the “OK” for the operation to proceed, thus making it “his.”

– This uptick in approval gives his supporters the opportunity to trumpet a foreign-policy triumph for what has been previously regarded as a particularly weak foreign-policy Administration. Obama will personalize this to the fullest extent he can, being careful not to appear overly gratuitous. Again, one could expect any Administration to do the same thing if a fortuitous event occurred in their area of greatest weakness.

– The MSM will boost Obama’s defense/foreign-policy ‘cred’ relentlessly, and attempt to cast any criticism of his actions or response as nothing more than cheap, partisan bleating.

– Apparently, critical information on OBL’s whereabouts was gleaned from a Gitmo-based and –interrogated informant. The benefit of holding prisoners in Guantanamo and using what may have been “coercive interrogation” techniques to obtain the necessary information is a point of, shall we say, “discomfort” for Obama’s committed Left-wing support base. It will be interesting to observe in the coming weeks the degree to which this aspect of the operation is either highlighted or suppressed.

– When Saddam Hussein was pulled from the spider-hole in December 2003 during a Republican administration, then-leading Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean infamously said the world was “no safer” as a result of his capture. There will be no analogous statement this time from a high-profile Democratic spokesperson or analyst minimizing the significance or importance of the capture and execution of bin Laden. If anything, there may be just the opposite implication: the Republicans (Bush) couldn’t get him; we (the Democrats) did.

– Obama and his supporters would be well-advised to remember that events such as these have relatively short shelf lives in terms of increased approval, especially if the office-holder reverts to his normal ways and methods—as is usually the case. The Obama Administration is fundamentally foreign-policy- and military-adverse, and their natural inclinations will surface again soon enough in future decisions/actions. Republicans will be quick to point out that initial operational planning actually began before Obama was even in office, and in any event, once given their overall authorization, our military and intelligence organizations run pretty much on ‘auto-pilot’ in these circumstances, regardless of the office holder. The actual event happened during Obama’s term; it could just as well have happened on, say, February 24th, 2013. If so, how much credit would the MSM and public be giving to President Romney? These things are fleeting.

– Finally, it’s been reported that before Obama’s speech to the nation, he personally called Presidents Clinton and Bush II. If so, that was a class move, but also one that pre-empted Conservative criticism had he not.

This is a wonderful event for the nation, and much praise is due to all those responsible for its precise and successful execution. Naysayers may point to Americans celebrating in the streets as being akin to the Muslim street celebrations the day after 9/11 and that OBL’s death is now nothing more than a “recruiting tool” for future terrorists. That kind of criticism is to be expected, but for those who see good and evil in absolute terms, the criticism is unfounded. For those addled with the moral confusion of good-evil “relativism,” the world is, indeed, no better off today.

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