Andrew Sullivan: …. This administration actually is what the Bush administration claimed to be: a relentless executor of the war on terror, armed with real intelligence and lethally accurate execution…..
…. Obama has done in two years what Bush failed to do in eight. He has skillfully done all he can to reset relations with the broader Muslim world (despite the machinations of the Israeli government) while ruthlessly wiping out swathes of Jihadist planners, operatives and foot-soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has thereby strengthened us immeasurably both in terms of soft and hard power.
…. Obama has ended torture and pursued a real war, not an ideological spectacle. He has destroyed almost all of al Qaeda of 9/11 (if Zawahiri is taken out, no one is left), obliterated its ranks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, found and killed bin Laden, in a daring raid pushed relentlessly by the president alone, capturing alongside a trove of intelligence, procured as a consequence of courage and tenacity rather than cowardice and torture.
…. Obama is winning the war Bush kept losing. And since Cairo, we have witnessed the real flowering of democratic forces in the Middle East – unseen during the Bush-Cheney years. For all the tireless efforts of the Israelis to cripple US foreign policy against Jihadism, Obama has done the job….
Back in 2001, I wondered if Bush would be the president to win this war, while hoping he would. I wondered if his errors might lead to a successor who learned from them. That hope has now been fulfilled – more swiftly and decisively than I once dared to dream about.
Daily Beast: Obama has nearly decimated al Qaeda. Why doesn’t he brag about it? Michael Tomasky on liberals’ squeamishness at thumping their chests — and the endless victory lap that Bush would have taken.
The immediate political question raised by the successful drone attack that took out Anwar al-Awlaki is simple. How much credit will Barack Obama get for this? He ordered renewed drone attacks in Yemen earlier this year, and now, we see clear results. But I doubt Obama will derive much political benefit….
When that SEAL team nailed Osama bin Laden, Obama got about a five-point bounce out of it, but it washed away as quickly as a wave on a beach….
…. Imagine if the Bush administration had killed bin Laden, under circumstances as daring as the ones under which he actually was put on ice by the Obama administration. Imagine what that week would have been like. On Fox News, we’d have been subjected to endless Soviet-style encomia to our heroic leader … in all likelihood, Bush and Cheney and Rummy and Condi would have dashed around the country making speeches … in the presence of some of the very 9/11 widows whom the Bushies aspersed for wanting things like an honest commission investigation into how 9/11 happened in the first place.
Obama didn’t do it. He held the press conference the night it happened. He quietly and tastefully — and wordlessly — laid a wreath at Ground Zero….
… the Obama administration has decimated al Qaeda in Iraq and Pakistan over the last three years…..(but) liberals don’t generally gloat about these things. It may cost Obama a few points in the opinion polls. But it’s the more honorable course for the country. We should go get these people, but we should be humble about it.
BBC: US-born radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a key al-Qaeda leader, has been killed in Yemen, the country’s defence ministry said. Unnamed US officials confirmed the reports, but have not provided details. Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, has been on the run in Yemen since December 2007. The US had named him a “specially designated global terrorist” for his alleged role in a number of attacks and US President Barack Obama is said to have personally ordered his killing. More here
Jake Tapper: The list of senior terrorists killed during the Obama presidency is fairly extensive:
Osama bin Laden in May …. Anwar al-Awlaki today …. Earlier this month al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri …. In August, ‘Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman, the deputy leader of al Qaeda…
In June, one of the group’s most dangerous commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri … In Yemen that same month, AQAP senior operatives Ammar al-Wa’ili, Abu Ali al-Harithi, and Ali Saleh Farhan ….. In Somalia, Al-Qa’ida in East Africa (AQEA) senior leader Harun Fazul….
…. Going back to August 2009, Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mahsud was killed in Pakistan …. In September of that month, Jemayah Islamiya operational planner Noordin Muhammad Top was killed in Indonesia, and AQEA planner Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was killed in Somalia .. Then in December 2009 in Pakistan, al Qaeda operational commanders Saleh al-Somali and ‘Abdallah Sa’id were killed.
In February 2010, in Pakistan, Taliban deputy and military commander Abdul Ghani Beradar was captured; Haqqani network commander Muhammad Haqqani was killed; and Lashkar-e Jhangvi leader Qari Zafar was killed …. In March 2010, al Qaeda operative Hussein al-Yemeni was killed in Pakistan, while senior Jemayah Islamiya operative Dulmatin was killed during a raid in Indonesia.
In April 2010, al Qaeda in Iraq leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed …. In May, al Qaeda’s number three commander, Sheik Saeed al-Masri was killed …. In June 2010 in Pakistan, al Qaeda commander Hamza al-Jawfi was killed.
Remember when Rudy Giuliani warned that electing Barack Obama would mean that the U.S. played defense, not offense, against the terrorists?