Outside the Box Perspectives

May 9, 2011

As an analyst of current events, I try to see things from unusual perspectives. To see what others might miss, or at least are not talking about. The recent takedown of Osama Bin Laden has provided more than ample material for such examination.

On the decision to send human assets rather than bombing the compound from 35,000 feet, the talk has all been about knowing of a certainty that we’d gotten OBL. But could there be another ulterior motive?

Has anyone drawn a connection to the Libyan conflict? Obama’s approval on Libya has been flagging. He’s been dithering on Khadafy. He doesn’t want him killed, but wants him to go… yet Khadafy’s been holding power and even making gains against the rebels. Having committed to supporting the rebellion in Libya, yet feeling the heat from the public for his decision to get involved, what is his most graceful way out of that morass? Wouldn’t the voluntary ceding of power by Khadafy fit the bill?

Khadafy is a blusterer and a terrorist, but he’s also a coward. When Reagan rang his bell with a few cruise missiles, he shut up for decades! Remember, when Saddam Hussein was fished out of his “spider hole”? Khadafy abandoned his nuclear program, welcomed inspector and regulators, and began providing us with intelligence! Khadafy does not want us painting a bull’s-eye on him!

Now, with our actions against him and our official position being in support of his ouster from power, Khadafy’s been defiant up to this point, believing Obama to be a weak and impotent wuss. And maybe, to this point, he’s been right!

The actions in Pakistan to take out Bin Laden must give Khadafy pause. We have the intelligence and technology to locate Bin Laden and put Seals on the ground. And Obama, to his credit, had the cojones to order the strike. Is it possible Khadafy might reconsider a “peaceful transfer of power” to avoid a similar fate? Might such an eventuality provide a bump in Obama’s approval rating – and could that have factored into his decision tree on utilizing Seal Team 6?

And what if it did? Would that be a case of narcissistic self-interest causing him to stumble into what could actually be a brilliant strategic move?

Moving on to the second item for discussion; Obama spent 4 days distracting the American public’s attention away from domestic policy issues while the release of photos of the corpse of Osama Bin Laden was debated. Ultimately, the decision was made to withhold the release of the photos, citing concerns that they would incite additional violence and put our troops at elevated risk.

Others are debating the merits of release or non-release of the photos. I’m looking at a different perspective: Obama’s ostensible concern for the risk to the troops.

If the troops are really Obama’s first concern, then perhaps he should revisit the policies and the Rules of Engagement that his administration has implemented, which have resulted in the loss of more of our service men and women under his watch in 2 years, than under Bush’s watch in almost 8 years! Decisions made by the Commander-in-Chief in policy setting affect day-to-day operations, strategies and tactics, and ultimately the safety of every service member in theatre. Perhaps, if their welfare is his highest priority, as he states as his justification for not releasing the OBL photos, consistency would demand a review of the administration’s policies and procedures which have so notably degraded the safety of our military men and women since the changing of the guard in the White House.

Finally, the news of the killing of Bin Laden has knocked Donald Trump and the Birther issue off the front pages; but let us roll back the calendar a few days to when it was the big news. Obama had spent around 30 months and millions of dollars avoiding the release of his birth certificate. When the questions first arose, he could have simply produced the document and ended the controversy. Instead he fanned the smoldering coals into a flame! Why?

I don’t intend to get into the validity or veracity of the document he released. There are those who will waste the next two years trying to prove it is fraudulent. There are those who will use it to ridicule the birthers. I’m looking for the perspective no one is talking about. If the document IS genuine, why would Obama have spent so much effort to keep it sealed?

Because it served his purposes to do so!

Fanning the controversy was a perfect distraction. For as long as “birthers” were a fringe element, he could use them to taint the Right as loonies. The Tea Party was dismissed at first as a bunch of racists and birthers. Over time, the doubters’ numbers began to grow. Obama’s stonewalling caused more mainstream people to question “Where’s the Long Form?” Even Chris “Tingles” Matthews questioned it!

Obama milked the controversy to the point where it reached the tipping point. Almost half the country questioned whether Obama was born in Hawaii. His first term was half over and he’s in campaign mode. Could there be a better time to trot out a long form document, proclaiming him to have been born in Honolulu? The release accomplished several things for the President:

1)      The majority of doubters will simply accept the document and be satisfied.
2)      Trump is made to look foolish for making all that noise about it.
3)      Those who question the document are marginalized and ridiculed.
4)      Obama gets a big “I told you so… why didn’t you believe me in the first place?” gaining a “victory” heading into campaign season.
5)      No one dares bring up his Indonesian citizenship or what passport he used to travel to Pakistan – which might have provided more effective questioning of his eligibility.

Whether the document is genuine and was always there, or was a fraudulent creation of the moment is not the topic of this article. Either way, releasing it at this particular juncture was brilliant. Obama was already cooking on the Bin Laden takedown, which would soon knock the Birth Certificate off the front page and out of people’s minds, with their last thought on the matter being that Obama had settled it. The issue is dead, and Obama won. Anyone attempting to resurrect the issue at this point looks foolish, and doing so will be a fruitless endeavor which will serve Obama’s interests by distracting some who could otherwise effectively battle his policies through the remainder of his term, and work to defeat him and his allies in 2012.

You will notice, this article offers little in the way of answers or conclusions. Its purpose was to raise awareness of fresh perspectives; a different way of looking at events. Events and life itself are 3-Dimensional. It is often interesting and frequently useful to go beyond the discussion of the obvious, and look at situations from angles other than head-on.

Our education system seems to have abandoned the purpose to encourage students to think, and to teach them how to do critical analysis. Instead of teaching HOW to think, they indoctrinate with WHAT to think. American Patriots must reawaken and cultivate the skill of critical analysis and outside-the-box thinking!

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Copyright ©2011 Doug Edelman