The death of Bin Laden

 

                 Let us hope the death last night of the world’s  “top terrorist” in US eyes will lead to closure and a change of policy after the dreadful events of the twin towers nearly ten years ago. Bin Laden’s death in Pakistan could be used to achieve  an earlier exit from  Afghanistan, as that was an  invasion justified by the need to secure it against terrorist use.

                The USA’s relationship with Pakistan now becomes even more important  to the USA’s general  relationship with the Middle East. It would be good if US reticence over intervention in Libya led to a general reappraisal of the wisdom of military intervention from outside at a time of simultaneous internal Arab revolts and revolutions. Sometimes the West should accept it cannot control or direct events, and it may be better to leave others to sort out the governing arrangements in their own countries.

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30 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed “it may be better to leave others to sort out the governing arrangements in their own countries.” and it nearly always is. Anyway when you withdraw the external forces they will do this anyway. The government is clearly unable and unwilling to equip and fund the forces properly anyway.

  2. Peter
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Bin Laden was not the cause of terrorism, the US imperialist policies conducted from it’s 7000 foreign military bases are the cause – terrorism is just the result

  3. forthurst
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Psyops. Interestingly, just before the announcement, a website whose long standing take on the demise of bin Laden was returned with very high priority to the search argument, ‘”bin laden” dead’, reported a massive denial of service attack. The official conspiracy theory of 9/11 involving bin Laden etc is unsupported by Newtonian physics and much else besides and it is extremely concerning that a criminal conspiracy of this magnitude goes univestigated and unpunished.

    With all psyops, there is a strategic objective. Has early polling told Obama he can win in 2012 if he backs off some of the extremely unpopular wars? Does it presage a new focus in the Islamic world of the phony ‘War on Terror’ such as Iran, requiring full co-operation from Pakistan. Was it a plan to kill or capture bin Laden believed in by its operatives which Washington has decided is a useful means of drawing a line under an increasingly embarrassing fiction? It is a pity the press are not interested in investigative journalism of any substance: are they hemmed in with ‘D’ notices?

    The photo in the Mail bears no actual resemblance to bin Laden: do the powers that be, believe. “they all look the same” or what?

    • Simon
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Suppose we should expect the control structures around the world to use the possibility of reprisals as an excuse for according themselves emergency powers and confiscating our civil liberties too .

  4. electro-kevin
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    A burial at sea. A bit fishy ?

    • StevenL
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      They’ll be dissecting his brain at CIA headquarters.

  5. Gary
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I see that he has already been buried …… at sea ? Whatever. Did they photograph the body ? As you guess, this may be the excuse they have been looking for to get out of Afghanistan. If that is the case, whatever excuse that is used, it must be good news.

  6. Stuart Fairney
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Setting aside the convenient timing of this one and the utterly Orwellian pronouncements of the politicos, the lack of independent confirmation this was Osama etc, what is the lawful authority for US troops to operate in an area under the full control of the Pakistan government and shoot someone?

    (The drones in Waziristan are justified as I understand it. on the fact the area is basically outside government control)

    A neat example of what is called news these days was provided by yahoo today when they covered “Celebrity reactions to Bin Laden’s death” (sic). I now know that certain former crooners are pleased about this albeit their spelling is a bit suspect.

  7. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Yes, and when western ground troops are out of Arab lands, there will be no excuse at all for Jihad. At the point we should tell the Grand Imam in Mecca that it is over – or else.

  8. David John Wilson
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    The USA claims to be a Christian country and yet it celebrates the summary execution of Bin Laden. Yes, it would have been a little more difficult to capture, try him and hold him in prison for the rest of his life but that does not excuse execution.

    • StevenL
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Who cares, at least the endless replays of journos talking drivel about the royal wedding has been knocked off the rolling news channels.

  9. Derek Buxton
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Peter,
    That is just the excuse, as terrorists the do not need an excuse they just like killing!
    However, I would rather our government sort out our Country’s problems first, starting with the EU and then the quangos and not forgetting ACPO, which is out of control and needs reining in!

  10. Alte Fritz
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The final sentence of this post is intriguing; does “Sometimes” mean ‘as a rule’ or ‘occasioanlly’ or ‘unless someone can provide an overwhelming reason’?

    It is certainly hard to think of many examples of successful interference.

  11. APL
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Let us hope the death last night of the world’s ”top terrorist” in US eyes ..”

    This was a political announcement by the President. Just at the time his popularity has started to plumb new lows and shortly after the White House released a copy of his birth certificate which seems to have been assembled in adobe photoshop.

    By the way, I couldn’t give a rats backside if Obama was born outside the US, the constitution of the US however does. Obama is sworn to uphold the constitution.

  12. FaustiesBlog
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Why is the media not commenting on the fact that that Osama’s burial at sea means that nobody can now perform an autopsy?

    • FaustiesBlog
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      PS: Interesting that Benazir Bhutto, just prior to her assassination in 2007, stated on the Frost show that she knew who Bin Laden’s killers were.

      There’s a video of her saying just that on my blog.

      Very fishy, indeed.

  13. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    In the eyes of the Russians when they were invading Afghanistan, Bin Laden was also a Terrorist. It has repeatedly been pointed out and forgotten by many Politicians – such as President Obama, that Bin Laden was a terrorist trained and supplied – either directly or indirectly – by Western Intelligence Agencies. But at that time he was a freedom fighter, fighting against the tyranny of the invading Russians.

    For President Obama to triumphantly announce the killing of a former U.S. Allie is both misleading and disturbing.

    It is like a neighbour burning down your home and then 10 years later – announcing that he has rebuilt it for you. The U.S created Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to kill Russians – something happened and Al Qaeda turned against the U.S and then we had 9/11.

    The U.S did choose this fight as it had close personal links with Usama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. There was no acknowledgement of the chronically bad U.S Foreign Policy that was followed in the 1980s and continues to be followed today in Libya. There is – therefore – no sincerity to the announcement nor no real cause of Terroism. There are enormous profits being made in both Financing these Wars and supplying Military equipment by Arms manufacturers.

    There appears to be no desire to learn from the mistakes from History – just to continue on the same path. Libya is a case in point where MPs voted overwhelmingly (85.6%) to bomb Libya to help “Rebels” of unknown origin and motive. In any other scenario, these “Rebels” would be called “Insurgents”. Is there another future Bin Laden among their ranks being secretly cultivated by the CIA and UK SIS.

    Instead of spending enormous sums of money killing foreigners we should have been investing this money in new forms of energy to replace oil.

    • zorro
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      The ‘myth’ had served its useful purpose. There was too much speculation around the issue. The US wanted closure like with doubts about Mr Obama/Soetoro…..

      zorro

  14. zorro
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    A very interesting development in a week after the US president suddenly found his long birth certificate after much searching and the Governor of Hawaii had been unable to locate it…….

    No matter what the reality of this situation. Let’s think about it. This is without doubt an assassination, not ‘justice’. I will be interested to see what the Pakistani reaction will be. If it was Osama, I cannot believe that the US intelligence agencies had no idea of where he was in the last ten years, and particularly if he was in a compound not far from Islamabad.

    Is Mr Cameron going to ask for the £650m back from Pakistan for their inability to locate Osama in their own territory or does he consider the money well spent….?

    What evidence do we have that it was Osama Bin Laden? Where is the body? Buried at sea? Photos? It is not believable that he could have been secreted for 10 years in Pakistan bearing in mind he was, as John ironically calls him, the ‘top terrorist’.

    Is the USA going to leave Afghanistan….I don’t think so. Are they hoping by doing this to provoke a security situation at home either from Bin Laden wannabees or Gaddhafi as they seem keen to bump him off…..sorry deal with the command and control structures in line with UNR 1973 blah blah blah.

    Oh yes and we seem to have violated Pakistani sovereignty, what will happen there….Perhaps Mr Cameron should cancel that loan/bribe for whatever purpose it was for.

    zorro

  15. zorro
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Sorry….buried at sea….How quaint of us to respect Muslim customs. Simply bizarre, but it does mean there is no body.

    zorro

  16. BobE
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    It smells of a set up.

  17. Javelin
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Yup the US is not the worlds policeman. The politicians have given that role to the UN and it’s lawyers. The role of politicians everywhere is to test the role of the UN to destruction. If the UN want the role they need to show they have the mandate, will, power and resources. If Russia and China veto action that causes a massacre then they must be thrown out the UN or the West must withdraw. The UN must be allowed to find it’s feet and it can only do that through a series of crises.

  18. tsetsetse
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s all our fault. Maj James Abbott founded the place in 1853.

  19. Jon Burgess
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I am uneasy with the concept of assasination replacing real justice – and by justice I mean being found guilty after a proper trial by jury, and having a sentance set by a judge (not a politician). If the US can perform military assasinations in another country without that country’s consent, how does that stand up in international law? Be careful what you say about the EU; they might come for you and sight the US action as a precedent!

    Presumably, this also means that anyone who supports this act favours the death penalty for murderers? Could we have that back in our country then please?

    Incidentally, it is not the US presence/direct intervention in the Middle East that is the main source of hatred from Islamic fundamentalists (although for sure it can’t have helped). It is and always has been the US’ support for Israel. Interesting that the support of a two state solution to the Israel/Palestinian dispute only became US policy after 9/11 (George Bush first declared this in October 2001).

    Reply: I believe the US position is he was resisting arrest.

    • Simon
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Quote “I believe the US position is he was resisting arrest” .

      We’ve had the same over here with the gunning down of Jean Charles De Menezes .

      Doesn’t say much for the soundness of the cases against these people if it’s more expedient for the authorities to just execute them .

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      It looks as though he was unarmed, or that’s the position today at least.

      Look, I’m not against the fact that he was killed, as I support the death penalty for murderers. What I don’t like, though, is that military death squads have taken the place of judge and jury. (And lets not pretend that the US wanted to capture him alive).

      What I’d like to know, though, is, if it was right that Bin Laden was killed as punishment for his crimes, why isn’t it right that in the UK murderers are not also killed as punishment for their crimes, once convicted by a jury of murder?

    • zorro
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      ‘Belief’ and the US position are strange bedfellows……Suffice it to say this was clearly an assassination. OBL had a gun and was resisting arrest (oh no he wasn’t now)….fortunately he didn’t have a bulky coat on either on a warm evening…..I hope that Dave and Barry double lock their doors from now on….

      There was no way on earth that OBL would have gone on trial. He might have called George Bush as a defence witness bearing in their families respective business interests…..

      zorro

  20. Javelin
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve noticed a few posts on the Internet asking why Osamba Bin Laden was shot and not captured. Some have asked about his human rights? Those that make this point make assumptions about the hostility of the defence. The more serious point though is that the killing of this man shows we all accept that human rights happen in a context. The universal in “universal” rights refers to all people – and not all contexts. From this it is clear that the human rights act needs to be shored-up by clarifying the contexts in which each of the rights can be upheld. Indeed it is the responsibility of politicians to ensure that a law is passed in Parliament to clarify this poorly contextualised Act and not to rely on judges. The process politicians need to follow is to first list every context where human rights fails – from self-defence for murder to prison for family rights or voting rights. Cameron needs to ask for a list of all the contexts that human rights hold for – and he then needs to generalise this arbitrary list into a clear set of contexts – then replace the Human Rights Act with this better version.

  21. Winston Smith
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    It was mutually convenient for Both the US Govt and Islamists to persist with myth that OBL was alive. I believe he died in the Afghanistan bombings 8/9 years ago. His video releases dried up soon after, to be replaced by sporadic audio tapes that were deemed ‘authentic’ by US intelligence. The Obama administration has taken a gamble. They will hope the stupidity of the public and the laziness of the mainstream media will override intelligent cynicism. Many commentators will not risk the potential humiliation (of being wrong) to question this charade. The rest are too stupid or political stooges.

    Yet, the whole story is full of holes. The body was dumped at sea, so no identification. He lived in a huge, expensive compound, a palace to Pakistani peasant standards. Money was no object, but he slept on a dirty mattress with no bed linen. Nothing happens in such societies without the locals knowing or, are at least, suspicious of the outsiders living in their midst. Obviously, none of them were tempted by the untold riches offered for information.

    It is all ludicrous. I note Mr Redwood’s wise choice of words of his death “in US eyes”.

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Killing Bin Ladin is a sight more justified than two long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It seems to me entirely fair that an invidual who has knowingly assassinated (or ordered the assassination of) a group of western civilians, has forfitted the right to life.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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