The Death of Osama

Those of you who weren’t living on Mars (I was close enough, being out camping in the Scottish Highlands) will have heard the news of Osama Bin Laden’s demise. The circumstances of his demise have created enough material to keep the conspiracy theory lot busy for years to come.

Needless to say those Tea-bagging republicans aren’t the least bit happy, this could easily have cost them the next election. I suspect Mr Ego (Trump) will still declare, as might the former major of Hicksville Alaska! (Palin), but baring some huge screw up by Obama, neither stands a chance now, of either wining the election or getting the nomination.

It is indeed interesting to discuss why Obama succeeded where the Bush adm. failed. After invading Afghanistan, Bin Laden fled across the border into Pakistan’s northern tribal areas. The Bush Adm. knew that finding Bin Laden here would have been a whole lot of hard work, and we know how averse to such things they were, so by and large they didn’t bother. The primary goal of Bush was to invade Iraq. Even before 9/11 they were discussing war strategies and pretexts for war with Saddam. Obviously going after Bin Laden would have diverted attention from this goal. Bush and neocons would also have by now realised that Bin Laden was largely a symbolic leader. The Fox News version of him sitting in a vast cave complex (tied up to a dialysis machine) checking in on a daily basis with his terrorist cells around the world, paled in comparison to the reality – A few terrorist who’d heard his speeches or DVD’s were inspired by him to take action themselves, usually without either consulting him or gaining finance for it, often in a hopelessly amateur manner. He was in essence a paper tiger, thought of course selling him as some sort of Blofeld criminal mastermind certainly helped the Bush White House immensely, especially in keeping the people distracted in the drum beat to war. Indeed it seemed that whenever they did badly in the polls, a new terror alert came out.
http://www.cynical-c.com/2004/08/06/bush-approval-ratings-vs-terror-alerts/

Also, the Bushies would have probably suspected that some factions within Pakistan, possibly within the military and intelligence wings (both allies of the US), were in some way involved in either supporting Bin Laden prior to 9/11 or indeed were actively shielding him at this stage. Also the US knew that they had after all helped Bin Laden themselves (during the soviet invasion of Afghanistan), so they had every incentive to just let him disappear.

Obama seemed much more keen on getting Bin Laden, as he didn’t of course need Bin Laden to keep scaring Americans with terror alerts every two seconds, and he was trying to get out of the Iraq war not starting another one. He also made American foreign policy a bit more palatable to the Muslim world which probably helped generate new leads. So it’s no surprise to see him succeed where Bush failed.

Given that Osama was killed in a high walled, heavily defended compound in the middle of a sizable town down the road from a military academy one has to conclude that someone within the Pakistani military or intelligence services knew he was there, or indeed were actively helping to hiding him. They had every incentive to do this, as him going on trial could be very embarrassing for the Pakistani’s if he decided to turn canary and tell all about their support of terrorist groups. The Indians have long suspected that many Islamist terror groups in India and Kashmir are actively supported by the Pakistani’s and Bin Laden could easily confirm this fact.

It is unthinkable that the US would conduct a military operation of this scale without consulting the Pakistanis before hand. Not least because the Pakistanis have a sufficiently sophisticated air defence system as to make getting helicopters to within 60 km’s of the capital without being detected (and back out again after the alarm was raised) all but impossible, even for the Americans. My guess is that the Obama Adm. figured out where Osama was and confronted the Pakistani’s with the info giving them a simple ultimatum, deal with Bin Laden or led us do it, or we’ll ask the Indians if they want to take the lead on this one. Given the political consequences of the Pakistani’s acting against him (killing him that is rather than putting him on trail) they obviously opted for the 2nd option. The lack of any serious protest by the Pakistani government over this issue (one would normally expect a few expelled diplomats, a letter of protest at the UN, etc.) suggests they had to have known beforehand. Consider how the Pakistani’s responded before to US drone attacks in their area, or the death of their soldiers due to “friendly fire” from US war planes, its unthinkable they would be so blasé about this if they didn’t know what was going on.

It is also clear that this was a “terminate with extreme prejudice” operation, i.e. an assassination, by the Americans from day one. They probably never had any serious goals of trying to capture him alive. If they were really serious about doing so, they could have done so easily. A Taser up the ar$e would have prevented him fighting back, or indeed just lobbing a few flash-bangs into his bedroom before nicking him would have all but guaranteed a compliant and placid Bin Laden. Better yet, they could have attacked while he was bathing and thus unlikely to be either armed or rigged up with a “suicide vest”, as the media suggested he was.

But then of course the US would have had to put him on trial. This would have presented obvious security risks, i.e. made that New York court house a magnet for every wannabe Jihadi on the planet. Also, while there is good evidence that Bin Laden was a terrorist, the evidence linking him to 9/11 (or indeed the Embassy bombings or the 1993 twin towers bombing) is shaky at best. It seems likely that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and various associated factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood were largely the ones who planned and executed the 9/11 attacks, and indeed many other terrorist attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda. Bin Laden’s role was largely to provide some limited finance and inspiration and he likely had little to do with the actual planning and execution of these attacks. Indeed all the evidence against Bin Laden on 9/11 is largely circumstantial. Worse still, much of this evidence was obtained by torture by the Bush Adm. It would be relatively easy for a good lawyer to get it all thrown out and see Bin Laden acquitted of all but a few lesser offences. Finally, Bin Laden would have the right to testify on his own behalf and he could say a lot of deeply embarrassing things. Notably, how the CIA sown the seeds that became the Taliban/Al-Qaeda back in the 1980’s by supporting the Mujahdeen in Afghanistan. He could say many deeply damaging things about the US/Saudi relationship, possibly destabilising that regime too. So all in all giving Bin Laden his day in court was a step too far, even for Obama.

Of course there are conspiracy theories doing the rounds that Bin Laden wasn’t killed. That he either died many years ago from Kidney failure (and this whole operation amounted to a bit of street theatre) or that he’s in Gitmo right now being sweated down for info, or that he’s retired back to Hollywood after a good long career (and lives down the road from that other retired CIA stool pigeon Saddam). It scarcely matters. Al-Qaeda as an organised centrally run terror organisation was always a myth of the security services own making. The realty, a lot of wannabe Jihadi’s with varying degrees of (in)competence working largely independent of each other, will be barely affected by these events. It may act to inspire some of them to intensify their activity (i.e blow up a few more mosques in the Middle East, ya! that il show us Western Infidel’s) but as the Jihadi videos run out, they’ll quickly get distracted by something else.

The truth is something we will unfortunately, never likely know about the whole affair is indeed what truly did happen….at least until it appears on Wikileaks!

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