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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Let's make the most of bin Laden's death

It’s hard not to celebrate the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

I dressed my son in a American flag T-shirt this morning before sending him off to daycare.

Other parts of the world will call us evil and paint us as the villains, but for today the CIA, the Navy Seals and other Special Forces personnel are heroes. I’m not embarrassed to say it.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were a unifying force in this country, and hopefully bin Laden’s death will bring some of that spirit back or serve as a reminder that we can accomplish great things when we pull together.

My hope is that this accomplishment will spill over onto Capitol Hill and the White House. Perhaps for a few weeks anyway, we’ll see a decrease in the partisan bickering and political rhetoric.

Hopefully, bin Laden’s death will remind of us of the very real threats we face as a nation.

And frankly, I would put the budget and deficit high on that list of threats. Our nation is endangered by our inability to control and better manage our spending and the political rancor that surrounds how decisions are made.

It’s embarrassing that Congress and the White House took us through more than six months of continuing resolutions and had the government on the verge of a shutdown before they passed a budget.

Now, raising the debt ceiling looms as the next big test.

What I find unfortunate are that too many people on either side of the aisle use the budget process to score political points rather than as a tool for governing.

Perhaps I’m a little naïve but I hope that the euphoria surrounding the death of bin Laden gives way to a spirit of cooperation.

We face serious problems in this country and the only way to solve them is through a coming together of the political parties and a focus on finding solutions, not just scoring points or beating our political opponents.

The death of bin Laden is highly symbolic, but it doesn’t make us safer. Only hard work and a bipartisan focus on our problems can.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 02, 2011 at 7:23 PM


Reader Comments

Tue, May 3, 2011 Bill Midwest

Bravo Nick; what you said speaks volumes and it is exactly right. The US has won a great victory, now lets pull together stop the Republican/Democrat "Blame Game" and tend to business...

Tue, May 3, 2011 Fred the Fed (contractor)

I take the somber, reflective approach to "celebrating" this event, but I don't fault the boisterous types. But that said, I think contractors need to do their part in fiscal responsibility: stop bellyaching about budget cuts when you know many a SOW is BS or the work is unnecessary or will never have any value. Respect the govt personnel, even if you have to avert your eyes. Stop blindly supporting anything the mil or IC want. Too many of them thirst for military action, which gets us into some pointless operations on a large scale, if u know what I mean.

Tue, May 3, 2011 DEFENDER OF THE FREE WORLD

This reminds me when I was stationed in Polecharki in Kabul in 2005 and the anniversary of 9/11 on our base. I walked into our Mess Hall completely operated by KBR and witnessed a big display or red white and blue banners and ruffles and feathers and other patriotic stuff. There were big decorated patriotic cakes, cookies, ice cream and other foods, they went all out. 9/11 is a somber event and not a day for celebration, but all of these contractors made a completely festive enviroment like it was the fourth of July or something. At first, I didn't understand it, but after pondering the question and asking about how much these guys get paid, it made perfect sense. This was a golden parachute literally for contractors, some of these guys were making more money than me as a Captain. I am not complaining, I rather have contractors doing all those mundane tasks as food preparation, maintenance of generators, plumbing and electrical, HVAC, etc... It frees up all the joes to be utilized in operations, but it just seemed like the theme was wrong.

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