Monday, 2 May 2011

No tears for Bin Laden . . . . .

. . . . but you have to ask, beyond the obvious meting out of rough but deserved justice to a man responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people, does this matter as much as it might have in '02, when we were still afraid of another attack like that carried out on the World Trade Centre? Given that little has been seen of him in recent years, is he really still a prominent figure in Al-Qaeda, or has he been little more than a figurehead for some years now?

Captured alive he might have given some evidence to debunk some of the conspiracy theories which have been widely disseminated since almost immediately after the 11th of September, 2001. However, since every one of these theories that I am aware of has already been thoroughly debunked, this matters less than it might. Indeed, it seems inevitable now that conspiracy theorists will fix on the details of this operation as yet more 'proof' that the 2001 attacks were an inside job.

It also might have been nice to put him on trial. However, since it is now the policy of the US government to try terrorist suspects captured in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere before secret military tribunals, much of the impact that might have come from a Nuremburg-like trial would have been dissipated. In fact it would have probably served only to highlight the violations of the human rights at the hands of the US government of those held in Guantanamo and elsewhere.

According to the information that has come out about the taking of hostages by Bin Laden's men during the operation, it does appear that the operation was supposed to capture him alive. However, it is unlikely that any of the people involved in planning the operation will be too sorry that he died as a result of it.


Anonymous said...

This Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes news event is getting more tweets and ink than it deserves. A large part of the Islamic world has already moved far beyond the armed struggle strategy.

Anyway, while the US is surfing a giant wave of spin at present (enjoyed about 6 hours of it to date), lets wait for the final word from the Harmonies crew.

Getting a bit exercised on CS?


Gilman Grundy said...

@KT - The Arab spring is the real story of the Islamic world at the moment. As quite a few have pointed out - Al Qaeda's target was always the US-oriented dictatorships of the Middle East, yet they never succeeded in directly toppling one of them. However, a few months of mass demonstration in support of democracy has already done far more to transform the region than Al Qaeda ever managed to do.

Anonymous said...

What is fun to watch is how the Indian media has gone into frenzied overdrive with a massive imprint on google news.

This raid also raises serious questions about Pakistan's air preparedness.

I have doubts about the US narrative -painstaking efforts over the years assembling the intelligence mosaic. Quite prepared to countenance Robert Fisk's view that someone sold Bin Laden down the drain to US intelligence.

God, the list is endless, the Karzai crony crew, any number of other islamic militant groups, someone is the military-intelligence community or possibly the govt.Even one of the Pak mafia groups. They are a mercenary bunch in that neck of the woods. Just think how a small group of US intelligence operatives rolled back the Taliban after Massoud's death with bags of cash. That was pretty straight forward. The bargaining rewards were the large fleets of Toyota HiLuxes. (One of Toyotas better product placements.)

The best panacea for Afganistans woes would be a highly transmittable virus which selectively killed off all the males.

The western military efforts are to no avail and definitely not worth one western life. Anyone who thinks that these efforts will create a functioning nation state out of the ruins of 30 plus years of warfare need a cold shower and a box of books on Afgan history and society.

King Tubby

Gilman Grundy said...

I'm not so surprised that helicopters can fly at low-level into Pakistan without detection. Hell, the RAF managed to fly their Vulcan bombers all the way to Washington without detection by doing the same thing - going in low and fast.

Bin Laden was almost certainly sold out. Who doesn't really matter - although my money would be on the people who were supposed to be sheltering him.

Wukailong said...

KL: "lets wait for the final word from the Harmonies crew."

Here you are:

There's also an earlier post, just a couple of days ago, that compares Dalai Lama to Bin Laden... :)

Wukailong said...

KT, not KL. Hope it doesn't matter?

Gilman Grundy said...

@Wukailong - KL is a rocking city . . .

KingTubby said...

@Wukailong. Being a monarch I have time to kill, so I take a squiz at HH every day or so. As of last night at least, no responses to their two bin laden scribbles.

Maybe the rest of the HH posse were too busy exchanging precious bodily fluids to find a comment angle.

@FOARP. I hope you weren't saying that Kuala Lumpa was a rocking city. The food is okay, but the govt and people are a bunch of sexual repressives in dire need of liberation. Sort of like Saudi Arabia lite with lots of sexual anziety and exploitation of non-Malay residents. The Straits Times read like diary of forbidden secret desires. Also unattractive people. KT

Gilman Grundy said...

@KT - I know this risks committing the grave offence of lese majeste, but you're crazy. KL has a) great food, b) the best fruit/crushed ice drinks on the planet, c) a nice mix of races/cultures. Yes, I know the political situation there is messed up, and the religious situation is not what you'd call liberal, but you can have everything, can you?

Anonymous said...

Crazy. Ouch. So the capacity to chow down on a pretty good range of Asian cuisines negates religious/political deficits. This sounds like the priorities of a self-confessing glutton.

By these standards, my appetite for Hui and Sichuan resturaunts cancels out the strong arm tactics of PRC state power.

Conversely, England's truly appalling cuisine and brussel sprouts explains its strengths in democratic legal process department.


Gilman Grundy said...

Conversely, England's truly appalling cuisine and brussel sprouts explains its strengths in democratic legal process department."

Or at least in the digestion department.