Several months after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 I was in the Indian beach resort of Goa, a guest of the Sequeira family of Mangalore. We rented a house from one of their family relatives who had a son, about twelve years old. The kid would come by occasionally to make sure we had enough tea and other items. At one point he came up to me, looked me squarely in the eye and mockingly said, “Where’s Osama?”
After all, the most powerful nation in the world had vowed to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden to avenge the deaths of over 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Shanksville, PA. Here was this little Indian Catholic kid from Goa asking me what the heck was going on; why couldn’t we find Osama? I’ll admit that I felt pretty awkward and my pride was hurt. When it came to finding and killing just one man, the United States looked very impotent. I just said something like, “Don’t worry, we will get him someday.”
In the eight or so years that have passed, I’ve thought many times about that kid and the question he posed. Last Sunday evening we all received the answer to that kid’s question and frankly, it felt pretty darned good. Until last week I didn’t think that anyone but the Israelis could have pulled off such a bold mission successfully. My congratulations to President Obama for having the guts to make the call, even though the CIA told him that they were only 50% sure that Bin Laden was in the compound. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that Obama is stupid on the economy, naïve on foreign policy, and addicted to big government. We should run Obama out of office in 2012, but as far as this special forces operation was concerned, Obama got this one right.
As politicians from both parties are lining up to take credit, let’s not forget our intelligence and the courageous Navy seal teams that had the balls to seal the deal on Bin Laden. For a people who haven’t heard a lot of good news lately and who’s President has disdain for American exceptionalism, Sunday night felt pretty good. And to that boy, who is now a young man from Goa, “It took a long time buddy, but we finally got him.”