Monday, April 13, 2009

Raining on the Parade

As with all decent persons, we rejoice at the liberation of Capt. Richard Phillips and regret that it cost the lives of three misguided young men. However, they chose to put themselves in harm's way and life can be unforgiving.

We also regret that the deft work of a trio of Navy snipers is hailed as a profound military victory for President Obama. At best he did what any good executive would do - he left the matter to the professionals. They served him, and us, in an exemplary manner.

But the heroes of this drama were not an Administration, and a President, who made hard calls while the world watched. The heroes are Captain Phillips, who risked his life to protect his crew, and that crew, those men who did the unthinkable: They took their ship back without government aid.

More, they left the pirates virtually impotent - adrift in a small craft, without fuel, without water, and only one hostage. Once the US destroyer arrived, it was the pirates, not Captain Phillips, who were effectively the hostages. After that, the President's wait and see policy was obvious.

It was the courage of Captain Phillips and his crew that saved Mr. Obama from a truly difficult decision - how to deal with a hijacked cargo ship and 20 hostages.

Joe Biden has said Mr. Obama has a spine of steel. The question is still open. Perhaps Providence will smile upon us and Mr. Obama will never be called upon to provide us with a clear demonstration.

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