Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama bin Laden's Timely Demise

Dana Milbank
Ali Soufan
"Thank God for President Obama." - Rush Limbaugh
"Quite a weekend! Did you folks enjoy Osama bin Laden's season finale? At least he lived long enough to see the Royal Wedding." – David Letterman
"Osama bin Laden was apparently shot twice in the face. It looks like Dick Cheney may have been involved." – Jay Leno

"For their honeymoon, the royal couple wants to go somewhere they can have complete privacy and no one in the country will give away their location. I think they're going to Pakistan." –Jay Leno

David Letterman's "Top Ten Final Words Of Osama bin Laden"

10. 'My horoscope says 'Big surprises are in store''
9. 'See, this is why I normally don't answer the door'
8. 'The one time I give my bodyguards a day off to go to the zoo . . . '
7. 'What on earth could be interrupting 'Celebrity Apprentice?''
6. 'I hear Brian Williams is on Dave to discuss my imminent demise'
5. 'At least I'll be reunited with my dear departed friend Jack LaLanne'
4. 'I'm not sure I want to live in a world where 'Fast Five' is the No. 1 movie'
3. 'Any man with multiple wives welcomes death. Am I right, fellas?'
2. 'I need a house full of Navy SEALs like I need a hole in the head'
1. 'Oh, crap!'

Yes, President Barack Obama kicked off his re-election campaign in a big way. As a teaser, he released the long form of his birth certificate, thereby negating all of the crazy birthers and their second-cousins. Then, he gave a stand-up comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner, roasting Donald Trump in the process. The next evening, he interrupted "Celebrity Apprentice" to announce that Osama bin Laden had been captured and killed. It looks like everyone except for Ron Paul is going to withdraw from the 2012 election...

When I said in this blog that Osama would be found in a large house, drinking mojitos and sunning himself by the pool, I was joking. I didn't actually think that he would do such a thing, but just in case I am a bit clairvoyant, I went out and bought some lottery tickets... Interesting to know that all of the top al Qaeda operatives have been captured in nice houses in different cities in Pakistan, they'll also find the top level of the Talibans there, too.  I chose Karachi as the city that bin Laden was in, second choice was Riyadh, third choice somewhere in the south of France... I was waiting for the next issue of the online al Qaeda magazine, with their featuring the hot, new Bin Laden crib and the trustworthy couriers that made it so...

A lot is being made that the US didn't inform the Pakistani govt about the raid, saying that we don't really trust the Pakistani intelligence service. But the head of the PSI made an emergency trip to Washington about one week ago, making appointments to talk to the CIA and some military brass. We don't know if he was giving some information, or protesting the upcoming raid, or trying to find out if the rumors of a raid were true. We just don't know how much the Pakistanis knew about the bin Laden compound, and may never know until the first three books come out. At the time that Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan and angrily protested that they have to know where Osama was, it was pointed out in the Asia Times that of course, Pakistani intelligence knows where bin Laden is, just like they keep tabs on all insurgent leaders within their borders. The easiest way was to find the Pakistani intelligence officer who is assigned to know where bin Laden was, and to put him under surveillance; he would eventually lead us to him. A variation of that is what was carried out, having spent 4 years finding out the name of the trusted courier for bin Laden. It's also obvious now that Osama was using his inheritance money to keep himself, his wives, and 23 children in some kind of comfort. The compound is a large one, though it looks cheaply made, without much luxury for a million dollar property... As in most quiet neighborhoods in an affluent town that house military battalions and a military academy, all of the surrounding neighbors were shocked to learn who was helicoptered out Sunday evening. The story given was that the house belonged to some wealthy Pakistani who made their fortune in transportation.

As has been pointed out, al Qaeda has been on the demise for some time now, money has not been flowing in like it used to. All that's left is under a hundred fighters in Afghanistan and a few in Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen. The mood of the people in the Middle East, with their protesting for dignity and human rights, makes the methods of al Qaeda seem crude and old school. Unfortunately, the attitude of the governments of the Middle East makes you wish that someone would go visit the Qaddafi and Assad families wearing a suicide vest...

What wa the most interesting to me, watching celebrations unfold spontaneously on the television, was how happy the crowds were, mostly comprising of younger people in college. Ten years ago, when 9/11 occurred, they would have been young children, around 10 years of age. They have grown up with the threat of another violent al Qaeda attack, just like their parents have grown up under the threat of a nuclear war. So, they were letting off some steam, and hopefully, might become more aware of what it must be like living with the threat of war in places like Afghanistan, for those who have to live it 24/7...

Two days later and the myth making begins. Perhaps to save face of Pakistani Muslims, the US is saying that Osama bin Laden was not armed, he didn't put a woman in front of himself to use as a human shield, but he did resist. The largest decision, is should the photo of bin laden with his face shot up be released? Is that putting salt in the wound, along with strutting on the world stage and proclaiming what a pussy he really was? Let Pakistan feign moral outrage, and let them make dire threats if it should happen next time. Next Time? Who else do they want us to get? Time to send our special forces to surround Syria, and just stand by, smiling and looking at their watches...

Doesn't it seem anti-climactic, that Osama bin Laden actually was buried at sea, tossed of the prow of a US Navy ship? If this was in earlier times, his head would have been impaled on the end of a pike and paraded around in major cities, at least they could have preserved the head and put it in the Smithsonian, along with other historical oddities...

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