Killing Osama bin Laden. I will keep this very short in the hopes more on the left can understand the point, but I realize the potential for this to be a vain hope. And I only mention it because of the great interest in giving these claims a re-birth in the wake of Giuliani's comments about Mr. Obama's lack of love for America.
It is a good thing that Osama bin Laden is dead. It's a good thing that Mr. Obama gave the order to the Navy Seals to go kill Osama bin Laden. It is no mark of leadership that the order was given because there was no other option, though Mr. Obama did delay giving the order for many hours. Why was there no other possible option to this order being given? Simple.
Any mission has risk, but this particular mission had less than normal. There was a Pakistani (should we not be more deeply questioning our relationship with Pakistan? This is not a slam at Mr. Obama, just a general worry) garrison not far away, but their ability to respond, or respond in force in time, would be doubtful given the surprise of the mission. The real risk for this mission was in losing one or more helicopters, as that related to the whole group, or in the individual risk for the lead elements in the breach and search of the home itself. But there was virtually no political risk other than the remote possibility that the helicopters would go down either leaving OBL alive, or our sailors and marines stranded deep inside Pakistan.
So, given the very low mission risk, and the very high probability of success, there was only a political risk to NOT give the order to go. Had no order been given that decision would soon be leaked, and the furor of the American public would soon be felt. There isn't a president in American history, nor any other 2008 candidate (on either side) for president who failed to win, who wouldn't have given that order. But there are some who might've given it sooner.
So, it's a good thing OBL is dead, and that Mr. Obama ordered the mission to proceed. It just isn't a great act of presidential leadership since anyone else would've done it too. Confusing leadership with doing what one must further degrades our language.
Edit: You know what is NOT leadership, and is in point of fact very vile? Revealing to the world the existence of our Pakistani intelligence asset, the doctor who said that OBL was in that compound, knowing (or should have known had we a wiser president) he would become a target. And then doing nothing to keep that good MUSLIM out of a Pakistani prison for the next 30 years or so. So, please, let's stop pretending this president is a leader in any context.