So, how much credit does Barrack Obama deserve for the rescue of Captain Phillips? The efforts of Obama and his supporters to claim Obama was the reason behind this rescue, Black Five saysâ€¦ Not so fast.
The AP is reporting that President Obama gave the order to use military force to rescue the hostage, that is misleading.
WASHINGTON (AP)â€”Administration officials say President Barack Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain held hostage by Somali pirates.
The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.
He did affirm the militaryâ€™s authorization to use force if the captainâ€™s life was in danger, but they already would have had that authorization as part of their standard rules of engagement. If there are innocents about to be slaughtered the same reasoning that authorizes self defense also covers an imminent execution unless the ROE specifically forbid it.The AP is making it sound like there was an active rescue ordered by the President. It was not, there was an imminent threat and the local commander gave the order to fire. Good on Obama for ensuring their authorization was clear, but letâ€™s also be clear that he did not authorize or order an active rescue attempt.
Jeff Emanuel, meanwhile, points up, as I have previously, that there was a total lack of direction from the White House that nearly cost Captain Phillips his life:
Philipsâ€™s first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadnâ€™t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his countryâ€™s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors â€” and none was taken. The guidance from National Command Authority â€” the President of the United States, Barack Obama â€” had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostageâ€™s life was in clear, extreme danger.
The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates â€” and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed, thanks again to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel due to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington, and a mandate from the Commander in Chiefâ€™s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a â€œpeaceful solutionâ€ would be acceptable.
The cause of that White House follow-up, a situation which should have only lasted a few hours at most ended up being four days worth of embarrassment for the United States. Consider the kind of message thatâ€™s been sent here. The United States canâ€™t handle four starving morons in a rowboat.
As Jeff suggests:
Instead of taking direct, decisive action against the rag-tag group of gunmen, the Obama administration dilly-dallied, dawdled, and eschewed any decisiveness whatsoever, even in the face of enemy fire, in hopes that the situation would somehow resolve itself without violence â€” thus sending a clear message to all who would threaten U.S. interests abroad that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has no idea how to respond to such situations, and no real willingness to use military force to resolve them.
Does anyone suppose that our enemies around the world, including Iran, Syria, the various AlQuieda factions, North Korea, etc, are not taking copious notes of this situation?