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Does America even know what courage is anymore?

May 4, 2011

Now that we have all sort of settled down from the elation at the death of Usama (spelling it that way so I don’t do the Obama mistake), we can start to look at a little bit more at what our adult peers in the media and the blogosphere are saying about the operation to get the bastard.  It looks pretty good, lots of praise for the SEALS, lots of praise for the intelligence community, lots of conspiracy stuff (Obama can’t brush his teeth without making it suspicious), and unfortunately, a lot of praise for Obama’s so-called “courage”.

I know I wrote about this earlier, but this is really buggin me.  It makes me think peeps don’t know what the word courage actually means.  When I was going to the prestigious Fishburne Military School (high school) I had to partake in leadership classes under the Junior ROTC program, in those programs they spoke a lot about courage.  They defined courage as thus:

Doing what is right, even when no one is around to give you credit for it

Specifically they were referring to “moral” courage, but I think their definition holds up for all true acts of courage.  The main thing is to focus on the first part, “doing what is right”.  Were the SEALS who did this job courageous?  Damn right they were!  Their job entails going into harms way with nil to little support, killing bad guys, and getting out alive.  But, and the courage part is here, they will die to get the mission done.  That is courage.  The willingness to sacrifice their all for their country, their family, their god, their brothers in arms, and their mission.

The courage a lot of folks are crediting Obama with possessing is something all together different, it is not moral courage, it is an unrecognizable species of courage that doesn’t even deserve to share the name – “political courage”.  Most people say something to this effect, “Obama gets full credit for having the courage to give the go ahead on this operation…it could have easily ended up like Jimmy Carter’s Iran fiasco, with any hopes of re-election out the window.”  Is that moral courage?  Is that doing what is right, even if no one is there to see it?  I would say not.  It is courage in the notably unheroic realm of politics.  Basically, people who say Obama was a courageous man are unknowingly couching it under the auspices of a political calculation.  That is freaking sad my friends.

Political courage is the ballsiness of consulting a poll, the guts to weigh the result, and then, finally, the choice of deciding to go ahead if the odds happen to go against you.  But first and foremost, your thoughts are about the aftermath, the questions of what can go wrong, the effects it will have on your career.  This is not courage folks, unless we suddenly decide courage has nothing to do with principles and morality.  Political courage is Paul Ryan tackling entitlements.  The absence of political courage is all the dems running from Obamacare during the 2010 midterms.  In no way are these opposite sides of political courage anything but calculations.

True courage is not a calculation.  It is doing what is right, consequences be damned!  Obama has preached for many years about the rights of terrorists, the inhumanity of enhanced interrogation techniques, the evil that is Gitmo, and his desire to try these guys as criminals in civilian court.  True courage by our President would have been deciding to capture Usama, marandize him, bring him to the US, and try his ass in court a few blocks down from Ground Zero.  Even though I would be livid over that decision, it would have shown him to be “doing what he thinks is right” – it would have shown him to be actually courageous, not the political hack he is, throwing his convictions and principles out the window for a quick boost in ratings.  Could things have gone wrong?  Sure, but even then, he would have gotten credit for trying and cover from his media lap-dogs regardless.  Stop saying this man was courageous America, or redefine the term, because every time you use it to describe Obama’s actions, you lessen the true courage of the SEALS who truly deserve the praise.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 5:29 pm

    Spot on, Fleece. Political courage is hardly the same thing as moral courage. You can bet he is going to play this for all it’s worth. Many people are demanding to see the photos . Obama says no, that would be insensitive. I’m betting he releases the photos close to election time.

    • May 5, 2011 3:46 pm

      I just wish he could do saying without calculating it first – he is not unique, I know every damn politician is the same way, but…

  2. May 4, 2011 7:22 pm

    Good post! I give credit to Obama for making the decision, but I do not think it was a courageous decision because it was a decision that anyone in his position would make. I give him credit because I didn’t ever believe he would make this decision. The real courage on display here was by the SEALS and their actions just affirm my love and admiration for those that serve and have served this country.

    • May 5, 2011 3:47 pm

      I guess if we frame the debate by your standards, I can give him credit as well, lol.

  3. JustFacts permalink
    May 4, 2011 9:41 pm

    Spot on Fleece. The term “courage” has taken on a similar meaning to “hero.” The media attaches the term “hero” to anyone that puts on a sports uniform or stars in a movie these days. These people are not courageous nor heroes. They are just playing a role (just like our president) that virtually anyone could if they are put in a similar position. True COURAGE and HERO status can only be achieved by someone who does the deed without respect to the outcome. A true hero says “Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead” without respect to the results. Obama and his minions have to weigh the results before they decide to take a crap. And, as usual, we just end up with a pile of s**t.

    • May 5, 2011 3:48 pm

      Yeah, a hero is an ordinary person put in extraordinary situations. By their very definition, a “superstar” athlete can not be a hero because they are anything but ordinary, not to mention hitting a homerun is not very extraordinary.

  4. May 4, 2011 10:42 pm

    That is a brilliant explanation. As you point out, courage is doing the right thing no matter the consequences. We have to add this to our evaluation of candidates.

    • May 5, 2011 3:50 pm

      Thank you my friend. If we are to evaluate candidates by their courage, then Allen West shoots even farther beyond the other contenders.

  5. May 5, 2011 8:37 am

    But here’s my question: is political courage necessarily a good thing? B/c I think it took a lot of it to ram Obamacare down our throats . . .

    • May 5, 2011 3:52 pm

      I think political courage is horrible. It is calculated courage, it foregoes morals and principles as secondary to the “effect” of doing something. True courage has no calculation, you do it because it is what is right, consequences are meaningless.

  6. May 5, 2011 3:15 pm

    I think Obama had to prove he still had a pair. Didn’t work. I don’t believe he does.

    • May 5, 2011 3:52 pm

      Yep, pretty bad when the effete Harry Reid seems to have a larger pair of cajones then Obambi.

  7. May 5, 2011 5:00 pm

    Great post! I think there were consequences for Obama not giving a go-ahead, like the word getting out that we know UBL’s whereabouts and sitting on our hands.

  8. May 6, 2011 12:30 pm

    Courage is being scared s**tless & then choosing to go ahead anyway. According to Ulsterman’s WHITE HOUSE INSIDER ( ), Panetta, Hillary, Gates, Petraeus, & Clapper deserve more kudos than BHO:

    Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president…there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position. This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such.

    LeatherneckM31 posted on this as well:

    The credit for killing OBL goes to CIA Director Leon Panetta.

    I received the following information from a career military friend, “Bill”, with flag-officer rank contacts who were involved in the planning of the SEAL Team assault which began last August.

    “Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, for (took) the initiative… putting his head on the chopping block, initiating the operation …. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, General David Petraeus, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, and Vice President Joe Biden (supported) Panetta, and made this operation go despite President Obama’s calculated stalling and being unaware it had even begun.

  9. May 7, 2011 5:46 am

    Excellent essay! I linked to it today.

  10. May 11, 2011 6:17 am

    I have often felt that Obama lacks any personal courage- to a fault. In fact, his lack of personal courage and his inability to do what is right- are serious flaws.

    I’m not sure Americans know what personal courage is- really not sure they care anymore. The majority are pretty much self absorbed with their own needs- rarely looking up or seeing any larger picture.

    • May 21, 2011 5:08 am

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. =)

      You are right about self-absorbed Americans, though I feel a lot of it is the bliss of the ignorant. Our country is getting so bad so quick, I feel a lot of folks are much happier firmly planting their heads in the sand.

  11. May 11, 2011 10:32 am

    Nice treatise. However, we differ slightly on ‘political courage.’ Yes, it is probably the least among the various types of courage – but it is real and it can ‘have something to do with principles or morality. For example, Barry standing up to his Leftist base to make sure charges are dropped by Eric ‘My People’ Holder against the CIA interrogators who made this discussion possible in the first place. It won’t happen because Barry lacks even this minimal measure of courage.

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

    • May 21, 2011 5:10 am

      You may be right, but perhaps our definitions differ slightly. I feel for political courage to exist, there must be a conscience calculation of the repercussions, contrast with true courage that is irrespective of consequence.

  12. KingShamus permalink
    May 17, 2011 12:49 pm

    “True courage by our President would have been deciding to capture Usama, marandize him, bring him to the US, and try his ass in court a few blocks down from Ground Zero.”


    Well said, sir.

    But then, this is just one example of the spinelessness of our C-n-C.

    • May 21, 2011 5:11 am

      Thanks my friend. =)

      And yes, he is rather spineless isn’t he?

  13. May 17, 2011 4:57 pm

    yo bud. I notice when you go missin’ and hope all is well.

    take your time, do your thing. it’ll hit my email box when you come back. like Annoy the Left.



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