A Subliminal Message from President Obama

06/10/2011 04:42 pm ET | Updated Aug 10, 2011
  • Dr. Charles G. Cogan Associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School

According to a Reuters report, in an interview with WEWS TV station in Cleveland on June 6th, President Obama stated, "By killing bin Laden, by blunting the Taliban, we have now accomplished a lot of what we set out to do ten years ago."

Does this sound like Robert Gates? No. Does it sound like Gen. David Petraeus? No. Does it sound like Ryan Crocker, the incoming ambassador to Afghanistan? No.

Barack Obama, cool and cerebral, and the opposite of homo braggadocio, was saying -- whether he was fully aware of it or not -- that this was the real "Mission Accomplished" moment. The attacks on the U.S. in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, were inspired and ordered by Osama bin Laden. The strike into Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 was aimed at avenging that act. Now, ten years later, it has been done, in the brilliant operation of the Navy's SEAL Team Six, with the support of the CIA. Osama bin Laden n'est plus, as they say in French. He has met a watery grave.

The count of al-Qaeda operatives remaining in Afghanistan, now without their charismatic leader, is supposedly in the low hundreds, if even that many.

Why waste time over there? President Obama has pointed the way: in approving a (second) surge in late 2009, he stipulated that the withdrawal of American forces in Afghanistan would take place starting in July 2011. Let the withdrawal begin!