Monday, 2 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden's Death - Obama's Victory & Pakistan's Shame

Almost 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, America got its man.

There is unsurprising rejoicing around the western world and particularly in America on the news that US Special Forces successfully targeted and killed Public Enemy No.1 in Pakistan.

Whilst it can not be said that Osama Bin Laden headed the central operations of Al-Qaeda now, his death as a figurehead of this terrorist cell is still a significant and symbolic victory for the west in their war which began in Afghanistan in 2001.

It all began under President Bush but under his watch, Bin Laden slipped through his fingers. The folly of an illegal war in Iraq also took the eye off the ball and gave Bin Laden a free-er hand to continue his reign of terror than he should've had.

Obama's Victory
But it's under Obama's Presidency that he has finally been killed. Obama will benefit significantly from this and he needs it.

The loss of the House of Representatives at the mid-terms to a resurgent Republican Party has dented Obama's ability to govern domestic policy and in the midst of a tentative economic recovery, this is a perilous position in which to find himself.

But in foreign policy, he is still very much the man with his hands on the levers of power. This successful execution of a long-planned operation will give Obama's administration much needed kudos just as the build-up to the Presidential primaries begin to gather momentum.

Pakistan's Shame
But whilst Obama will take credit for what has been achieved, it must be remembered that this isn't the end of the matter when it comes to Al-Qaeda. The terror cells still exist and whilst they may not be as strong as they have been in previous years, they still pose a threat.

But where does this threat emanate from? Afghanistan's President Karzai will feel vindicated this morning at the fact that his protestations to the west that Bin Laden was not in the Afghani hills turned out to be true.

For it is now clear that it was indeed neighbouring Pakistan that harboured the west's most wanted criminal. He was found in a fortified compound on the outskirts of Abbottabad in north-west Pakistan - just 62 miles from the capital Islamabad.

The compound was barely some 200-800 yards away from the Pakistan Military Academy, an elite military training centre, which is Pakistan's equivalent to Britain's Sandhurst.

So what does this say about the Pakistani authorities' military intelligence? It is inconceivable that they were unaware that Bin Laden was on their door-step. The fact that the US went in and undertook the operation without pre-warning the Pakistani Government says it all - they clearly had no faith in them to tell them for fear that they may warn those in the compund about the impending strike.

It does seriously question Pakistan's words of comfort when it purports to support the west's campaign against the fundamentalist extremism that has been central to the past decade's war in this part of the world.

This is a day to be thankful but at the same time, it raises more questions about Pakistan's relationship with the west and with the USA in particular.

Bin Laden may be dead, but this story is not yet concluded...

1 comment:

  1. We have to wait to find out who in Pakistan knew. Did his neighbours know? Who did know. Will be interesting once this all unravels, but Pakistan certainly have been quiet apart from ex-President Musharaff.

    Had the US asked the Pakistani's to deal with it, in all likelyhood, we know that Bin Laden would have been tipped off and would be off.

    So Cameron was possibly right in how he described Pakistan and was forced to apologise.

    The world is a better place and had he been captured alive, he would have been a good excuse to capture people and hold them hostage until Bin Laden is freed.

    We all know Bin Laden lived by the gun, so he rightly died by the gun.

    The world is a much happier place that this man of evil is dead. Did anyone mourn Hitler's death?

    He was evil and had no regard whatsoever about human life, whether it was non-Muslim or Muslim. Hopefully, the rest of his evil followers will be taken out and the sooner the better.

    I think you got the tone of this blog, right.

    Its what is to come out in the wake of his death that will be interesting.