I have already congratulated the president and the head of the CIA for the execution of Osama Bin Laden while he was resisting arrest ( Bye, Osama). Let me add that I am glad he chose the dangerous military method he chose. It was calculated to minimize collateral damage. It did not succeed completely. A woman, who may have been one of Obama’s wives, died serving as a human shield for one of his brave warriors. Given the esteem in which fundamentalist Muslims hold women’s lives, I am not surprised. Women caught in such circumstances are innocent by definition.
Update May 6th: It appears now the woman was not killed but wounded. (The story from the administration keeps changing.) The assertion that she was used a shield has not changed though. There is a possibility she is one of Obama’s wives. Nice all-around guy.
Now, I am puzzled again. “Buried at sea” ? Why would anyone do anything that stupid? One, the world, including me, wanted proof of his death beyond what the President and a handful of agents can affirm. A good picture worked for Che Guevara, it worked for that Columbian drug dealer, what was his name again? If the administration was too sensitive to incur the disapproval that met George W. Bush when he exhibited Saddam’s sons’ cadavers, he still shouldn’t have done it. That’s second: Bin Laden has family, a large family, in fact, most of whom are innocent. The president could have looked magnanimous by allowing a funeral. Funerals are for the living anyway; the dead don’t care. The concern voiced in some government circles that his grave would become a shrine is stupid. It shows again the administration’s parochial ignorance. Islam strictly forbids any cult of the dead including of reputed “saints.” While the interdiction is often violated in some Muslim lands, in North Africa, for example, fundamentalist Muslims are very unlikely to ignore it.
One more time, President Obama manages to sound fishy. I resist and usually combat views of the world based on wild conspirational ideas. The President’s own actions make the task difficult. One hundred years from now, there will be pseudo-scholars arguing about whether Obama was really killed on on May 1st or 2nd 2010. Someone will look for him in Argentina thirty years from now and beyond.
Now, I need to set the record straight again because I gather from what I hear on talk radio that many people have a bad memory. NATO invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban religious dictatorial regime for refusing to turn over the mass terrorist Obama Bin Laden. (That the Taliban were in the habit of executing women on soccer stadiums at intermission only made the mission more attractive.) The fact that Obama finally met his fate does not mean that all his forgiven. We have to indicate strongly to everyone in the world that if you help those who kill Americans, there is a fair chance you will be in trouble for a long time to come. The fact that we are still failing to follow this sound policy with respect to the murderers in Syria, for example, does not make it any the less precious: “If you fuck with us, you should worry; you will never sleep soundly again.” The additional fact that some of our NATO allies are getting weak-kneed makes it even more imperative that we stick to this doctrine.
I don’t know what president Obama will do in this connection, the current military action in Afghanistan. It’s hard to tell because, in security matters, he rarely does what he says he will do, fortunately. Incidentally, if I were a left-winger of the peacenik persuasion, I would be livid at the man I elected: The president instituted a policy of massive assassination of suspected enemies, including in a country with which we are not at war. This policy caused the death of many innocent by-standers, there is no doubt of that. Yesterday, he executed a suspect without trial after locating him on the basis of information extracted from untried detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison established deliberately to avoid the judicial safeguards of the American legal system. Of course, it’s more than likely that the information was extracted with the help of water-boarding or other forms of “torture.” It’s even possible that the information providers spent some thought-provoking time under conditions of foreign rendition. The other possibility is that Khalid Sheik Mohamed and other high-placed Al Quaida members sang like two-bit pimps or car-thieves at a Bronx police station.
Those who deplore in any way the head killer’s execution are not our friends. They don’t mind the deliberate assassination of American civilians. They are not our friends, wherever they are, including right in this country.
The rotten, failed state of Pakistan, where most people hate America, has much egg on its face, of course. How could no one in government know? We are told we can’t make do without them. At some point, when a friend is eating your liver, you have to reconsider the relationship, whatever the cost. I am also wondering what we owe that opportunist cheat we set in power, President Karzai of Afghanistan.I don’t know why we have to squander our energies on state building among people who don’t want a state. It seems to me it would be easier to kill the Taliban and their local hosts. Hang for a lamb, hang for a sheep! They always have the option to surrender, after all. The way we treat our enemies, they will probably end up in Bermuda.