"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More on Obama's "Tough Decision"

Here's Don Rumsfeld on whether or not Obama's decision to go after bin Laden was a "tough decision":

RUMSFELD: ... You mentioned there was a tough decision. I don't think it was a tough decision. We've seen a lot of instances where presidents over the years have -- have had to make decisions like that.
I think after spending that amount of time, that number of years and that much money -- we increased the special operations forces by about 50 percent. We increased their budget. We increased their equipment. And they develop these skill sets and improve the intelligence capability of our country.
And finally, when all that comes together, to not make that decision, it seemed to me, would just be dumbfounding. I can't imagine any president not making that decision. That's not to say it wasn't a huge accomplishment. It was.
VAN SUSTEREN: But not a -- but in your mind, not a tough decision.
RUMSFELD: No. Not at all.
Exactly so.   FDR and Eisenhower deciding to invade Europe on D-Day was a tough decision.  Truman deciding to drop the A-bomb was a tough decision.  Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis -- arguably a tough decision.   Nixon bombing Cambodia -- a tough decision.    Reagan deciding to face down the Soviets in the 1980s -- lots of tough decisions.   

Heck, George W. Bush first going into Afghanistan weeks after 9/11, and then into Iraq, and then ordering the surge in Iraq when the war looked lost... those were all touch decisions.

A tough decision is one where horrible consequences for the nation ensue if you get it wrong (the Cuban Missile Crisis).   A tough decision is one you take when the politically expedient thing is to do nothing (the surge in Iraq). 

Giving the order to go after bin Laden just wasn't that tough.   Know how I know it wasn't that tough?   Because almost anyone who isn't an American-hating pacifist would have done the same thing.

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