An Expected Lack of Principle

The United States military used military action in a sovereign state, a nuclear power with whom we’re not at war, and killed Osama Bin Laden. Hey, I’m a fan.

What I find sort of stunning and mostly not, though, is the triumphalism of my left-leaning friends who want to put the President back on his pedestal as though the President’s authorization of military action based on intelligence gleaned from interrogations he previously decried at a military base he previously decried represents a re-apotheosis instead of a continuation of ongoing action started by the previous administration.

If the previous administration, or a McCain administration, or a Palin administration, had undertaken this action, these same people damn well would have stamped their feet at it and warned about creating another martyr, about summary dispensation of justice without a trial in Manhattan, and so on. You know it, I know it, and some of them know it.

I’d like to think that the enemies of the American Republic will see this as an example of the long memory and long reach of the American military. However, it will be too convenient and too accommodating to their particular narrative that this is the feckless action of a single American leader acting to prop up his flagging regime, and if this serves his purpose, he will leave them to plot and arm again. Some Americans will believe this is true. Perhaps it is at some level, but this is a continuation of American policy. The President did the right thing no matter who thinks so.

Will it stop al-Qaida? Hardly. I don’t even know how much of a figurehead bin Laden was nowadays. We haven’t heard about communications from him for some time. The loose organization of the outfit means you cannot stop it like you can topple a despotic regime by forcing the leader into exile or killing the leader.

Still, it’s good news.

I just hope it doesn’t lead to a Pakistani nuke making its way to Los Angeles or Long Beach.

UPDATE: Two wiser men than I speak: Richard Fernandez and Steven Den Beste, although Den Beste is merely predicting that which already happened as of 10:30 last night.