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baltimoresun.com

Republicans conveniently forget W's swagger when they complain about Obama taking credit for bin Laden's death

12:00 PM EDT, May 2, 2012

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There has been a lot of discussion about President Obama's highlighting or even bragging about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and its results ("Bin Laden volatile campaign subject," May 1). Much of this discussion has been criticism by Republicans, proving once again that the one area where Republicans are remarkably consistent is in their hypocrisy.

They don't seem to remember cheering for a certain former president strutting about in a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier celebrating "Mission Accomplished!" After what? The capture of Saddam Hussein.

How naive, how arrogant. As we now know, that moronic war of choice raged on for years afterward, increasing in intensity and taking thousands of American lives and perhaps hundreds of thousands of mostly innocent Iraqi lives. We all know that Saddam was a bad guy, but we also know that he was an insignificant threat to the United States, WMD claims notwithstanding.

After spewing a lot of cowboy bravado, President Bush apparently lost interest in finding bin Laden. He pretty much used the tragedy of9/11 to wage the war he had pitched as a candidate but couldn't convince people to support until that attack.

That's right, candidate George W. Bush campaigned on invading Iraq. Most people either forgot or never noticed but he did pitch a war with Iraq in some campaign speeches. Why did he want to invade Iraq? We'll probably never know the truth. A lot of rich people got a lot richer because of that war, but only Mr. Bush knows if that was the motive.

Anyway, a little basking in the success of the bin Laden raid by our current commander in chief certainly seems warranted. It was a gutsy decision and it worked out. It was a significant accomplishment and it brought justice to a real villain if there ever was one. It could have gone terribly wrong and the Republicans would certainly have used that against the president politically.

When you compare the bin Laden celebration to "Mission Accomplished!", the festivities have been remarkably subdued. I see it as pretty classy, compared to the strutting cowboy we saw a few years ago.

Patrick Dobson