Vice President Joe Biden is known for yielding to rhetorical over factual observations. He was in fine form this week when he told an audience at the fundraiser that the plan to kill Osama Bin Laden was the greatest and most audacious plan in 500 years. While the Bin Laden raid was incredible, there are a few raids that may have equal or greater claim to that title. To put that into perspective, the raid surpassed such minor skirmishes as the Battle of Trenton, Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, and the Raid at Cabanatuan – just to name U.S. operations. There are also a few notable foreign rivals like Operation Eiche (Oak) to rescue Mussolini, the Dambusters Raid on Ruhr, the Pegasus Bridge landing, Operation Chariot to destroy the St Nazaire dry dock, and the Entebbe raid to rescue Israeli hostages.
Biden announced to the thrilled audience that “You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.”
Since the speech was in New Jersey, I would have thought someone would have mentioned nearby Trenton and the crossing of the Delaware in Winter as perhaps more worthy of that distinction.
Biden’s time frame runs from 1512 to 2012. That also includes Battle of Trafalgar in 1802. Peanuts.
What is most interesting is the statement that followed the boast:
“Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?” That would make it sound like the brave audacity about the raid was to give the order at the risk of your own re-election. That makes the Delaware crossing look like a mere regatta parade.