The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden: What the hell just happened?


We are heartened to see that our local intellectual giant and Fearless Leader of Law and Order, Enda Kenny, does not think Joe Higgins is a supporter of Osama Bin Laden because he dared to question the triumphalist narrative being championed in Lilliput. Here is some more international and pan-ideological perspective that we are sure the likes of Kenny, Varadkar, Yates et al will be assuring us are in fact politically illiterate:

  • The Southern Avenger @ The American ConservativeHave We Forgotten 9/11?

    The death of bin Laden is not the end of any and all terrorist threats, but it should be the end of the so-called War on Terror—an intellectually bankrupt and dangerous narrative that has only served to justify detrimental military actions by invoking America’s worst terrorist attack. In 2003 country singer Worley asked of war critics, “Have You Forgotten?” Sunday night, Milwaukee Bucks basketball player Chris Douglas-Roberts asked on Twitter if we’ve forgotten that: “It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy. … It took 10 years & 2 Wars to kill that…guy. It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that guy.”
    It didn’t have to cost that many lives or dollars to kill Osama Bin Laden. To the extent that it did reminds us just how much we lost focus on the actual enemy.
  • Guy Somerset @ TakiMagBin Laden’s Body Politic:
    In the days after the tragedy in New York City, the Taliban (which was separate from al-Qaeda) informed the United States government that it would surrender Osama bin Laden to the International Court at The Hague or another third party for them to determine his culpability in the crime.
    The United States government refused.
    No one seems to remember this event. At the time, despite my general aversion to international “courts,” it seemed this proposal was both fair and effective. Perhaps the Taliban would not have followed through on their promise, yet the United States never even considered it.
    The Hague, for all its failings, is not exactly a hotbed of Muslim extremism. Were the verdict “guilty,” Osama bin Laden would have been imprisoned, probably for life in solitude. Had the verdict been “not guilty,” can it be reasonably argued that Osama bin Laden would ever have been released into freedom again? He was even at that time blamed for the East African embassy bombings for which he could have immediately been tried following any acquittal. If nothing else, the same “black ops” team who killed him this week could have done so with greater ease and more than a decade earlier.While it is true this scenario would have offered less shock and awe, it certainly would have plotted a different course for the West and the world.
    It would have demonstrably proven that the West, and the United States in particular, stood by its standards. It would have deprived terrorist groups of a hero and avoided their recruiting appeal to those multitudinous innocents who’ve suffered at our hands. It would have strengthened the nascent bond between “Old Europe” and the New World which flourished in the days and weeks following the attacks.
    Instead, all of the opposite has come to pass.
  • Andrew J. Bacevich @ Christian Science MonitorOsama bin Laden is gone, but US war in the Middle East is here to stay:
    However emotionally satisfying to Americans, Osama bin Laden’s departure from the scene is unlikely to produce definitive results. It does not mark a turning point in history. The conflict commonly referred to as the “war on terror” and thought to have begun on Sept. 11, 2001 will not end with Bin Laden’s death– in large part because that war is not really about terrorism, with the first shots having been fired long before the events of 9/11.The contest in which we are engaged is one to determine the fate of the greater Middle East, with particular attention to the oil-rich Persian Gulf. That contest began during World War I when Great Britain and France collaborated to dismantle the Ottoman Empire and to replace it with a New Middle East organized to serve the needs of London and Paris. During World War II, the United States became party to this effort when Franklin Roosevelt committed the United States to guaranteeing the safety and well-being of the Saudi royal family, which owned but needed help in exploiting a veritable El Dorado of oil.By the 1960s, with European power in decline, the United States became the principal Western guarantor of Middle Eastern stability (and therefore of Western access to its riches). Also by the 1960s, with US domestic oil reserves no longer able to satisfy the American appetite for cheap energy – a prerequisite for the personal mobility that defined what Americans meant by the word “freedom” – access to El Dorado and its environs was becoming a categorical imperative… The war in which we find ourselves today – honesty should compel us to call it the “war for the American way of life” – was joined in 1980. With the overthrow of Iran’s shah and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the full-scale militarization of US Middle Eastern policy commenced. Jimmy Carter’s promulgation of the Carter Doctrine committed the United States to using all necessary means – diplomatic code for threatening to employ force – to prevent any hostile power from controlling the Gulf. What followed was an ever-escalating penchant for US military interventionism, to which Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton each contributed in turn. Rather than simply preventing others from dominating the Gulf, we sought willy-nilly to dominate it ourselves.
  • John Feffer @ Foreign Policy in FocusJihadi Butch Cassidy:
    Martyrdom is the preeminent weapon of the weak, and bin Laden has long courted a martyr’s death. He didn’t want to end up like Saddam Hussein, who looked like a hunted animal when U.S. soldiers extracted him from his hiding hole. Bin Laden didn’t want to go on trial and be executed like a common criminal. He wanted to go out in a blaze of gunfire, the jihadi version of Butch Cassidy.The U.S. government reports that bin Laden resisted arrest. No doubt it would have been extremely difficult to thwart his desire for martyrdom, bring him back alive, and pump him for information. Still, the value of subjecting bin Laden to the rule of law would have been incalculable. Instead, bin Laden will enter history as a legend not as a man. His quick burial at sea may well generate a wave of conspiracy theories, a “Deather” movement to parallel the Birthers… But the real blowback will be much more subtle than a military tit for tat. The weak can’t afford direct confrontation. There will be legal, religious, and economic ramifications, and they will again follow bin Laden’s script, not out own. On the legal side, bin Laden’s strategy has been to corrode the machinery of the nation-state. A fervent believer in a global caliphate, bin Laden viewed sovereignty and the rule of law as obstacles in the path of establishing one world under his version of Islam. His assassination calls into question the adherence of the West to its vaunted principles of justice, much as the support for Hosni Mubarak and other Arab dictators called into question the West’s commitment to democracy.
  • Anthony Sampson @ The GuardianCIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July; French report claims terrorist leader stayed in Dubai hospital:
    Two months before September 11 Osama bin Laden flew to Dubai for 10 days for treatment at the American hospital, where he was visited by the local CIA agent, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.The disclosures are known to come from French intelligence which is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA, and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the CIA.The CIA chief was seen in the lift, on his way to see Bin Laden, and later, it is alleged, boasted to friends about his contact. He was recalled to Washington soon afterwards.  Intelligence sources say that another CIA agent was also present; and that Bin Laden was also visited by Prince Turki al Faisal, then head of Saudi intelligence, who had long had links with the Taliban, and Bin Laden. Soon afterwards Turki resigned, and more recently he has publicly attacked him in an open letter: “You are a rotten seed, like the son of Noah”.  The American hospital in Dubai emphatically denied that Bin Laden was a patient there.Washington last night also denied the story.
  • Mya Guarnieri @ MondoweissAmerica’s self-righteous celebration:
    It’s been particularly troubling to me, an American-Israeli, to watch these events unfold from Tel Aviv. I’ve heard too many Israelis justify the occupation of Palestinian territory with statements like, “They’re animals, they celebrate when we’re killed.” I’ve heard the same rhetoric come from American mouths, “The Muslim world cheered after the 9/11 attacks.”Americans–many of whom consider their so-called War on Terror morally righteous–must ask themselves if the images of their celebrations really look so different than those that they condemn.We must remember that a tremendous majority of the Arab and Muslim world did not revel in the horror of 9/11. The attacks were largely denounced–from Ramallah to Pakistan and almost everywhere in between.A death of a human being should never be celebrated–whether that person was an innocent or whether he or she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. Bloodshed, and rejoicing in it, only perpetuates the cycle of violence.Instead, I will spend today mourning. Not for Bin Laden, but for the thousands who were senselessly murdered on 9/11 and for the scores who died in the unnecessary wars that followed, wars that are sure to drag on for years to come.
  • Steve SailerPakistan’s Deep State Scammed Uncle Sam:
    The news of where Osama bin Laden was living for, probably, the last six years should be shocking: in northeast Abbottabad, the Pakistani national security echelons’ most secure neighborhood, right next to the Pakistan Military Academy. It’s as if Osama built a big compound in Annapolis, a few blocks from the Naval Academy, or in Langley, VA, just down the street from CIA headquarters…They knew.Pakistan’s Deep State had to know. You can’t run a compound of that size in Pakistan without a bunch of gossipy servants.The most likely conclusion is that the Pakistani Deep State was hiding Osama from us, while collecting billions to claim to help hunt for him in the anarchic Northwest Territories. They were sheltering Osama, probably because he was their meal ticket for billions from Uncle Sucker to search for him.This is a crime against America of historic proportions. How many Americans have died hunting for Osama in the far-off mountains while he was being hosted in comfort in Pakistan’s inner circle?

    At minimum, can we stop paying off Pakistan’s Deep State and go home from Afghanistan now?

    … I explained the Mediterranean concept of the “Deep State” here.

  • Daniel McCarthy @ The American ConservativeThe Turning Point That Isn’t:
    #Phil Giraldi [former CIA analyst – Rebel-Alliance.org ed.], on May 2nd, 2011 at 7:32 am Said:al-Qaeda is a franchise arrangement, which is why most of its operations are locally planned and financed. That sort of thing will continue, but it is a greatly diminished threat and should be turned over to the cops and courts.The real story is Pakistan. It is inconceivable that the Paks did not know where bin Laden was hiding. An eighteen foot high wall topped with barbed wire did not arouse any interest? The only outstanding question is how high did the coverup go – only to the ISI level or up to the Army or up to the head of state? One has to assume that ISI and the Army are likely to be in bed with both al-Qaeda and the Taliban, making the US presence in Afghanistan completely untenable. Which could mean that it’s time to go. Will Mr. Obama have the courage to make that decision? Probably not, but this is a tremendous opportunity to change the course of the disastrous policies that have prevailed for the past ten years.
  • The TelegraphOsama Bin Laden dead: White House backtracks on how bin Laden died; The White House admitted last night that its initial account of the way Osama bin Laden died at the hands of US forces had been riddled with errors:
    Claims that the al-Qaeda leader had died while firing an automatic weapon at commandos were withdrawn, with President Barack Obama’s spokesman admitting “he was unarmed”. A dramatic description of bin Laden using his wife as a “human shield” and forcing her to sacrifice her life also proved to be false. The woman was still alive and was taken into custody with several of the terrorist’s children.In an embarrassing climb-down, Barack Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, admitted that the previous version of events — which came mostly from the chief US counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan — had been put out “with great haste”.
  • Karen Greenberg @ The GuardianNow That Bin Laden Is Dead, Can We Have Our Freedoms Back?: Let’s remember once again who we are, and begin to rebuild our confidence in ourselves – starting with our system of justice.
  • The Raw StoryJones: “Declare victory and bring our troops home”:
    “Republican Rep. Walter Jones (NC) told Raw Story that the death of Osama bin Laden gives the United States an opportunity to ‘declare victory’ and pull out of Afghanistan. … ‘If bin Laden was the leader of al Qaeda, well we took the leader out. And there are so few al Qaeda in Afghanistan, their presence is so limited,’ added Jones, a vocal opponent of the Afghan occupation. ‘We could declare victory today. We have eliminated the leader of al Qaeda, bin Laden. He’s now dead. So let’s declare victory and start bringing our troops home.'”
  • Independent InstituteLet’s call it “VO” Day and get out:
    “The main trunk of al Qaeda has been severely weakened, and regional affiliates of the group would likely focus on local issues — not anti-U.S. attacks — if the United States quit stirring the hornets in their regions. Of course, he is unlikely to take this action, because the securocrats — to whom Obama has been so deferential and who need a continuing threat to justify continually building empires of added manpower and funding — are already cautioning that anti-U.S. terror attacks will likely continue and may actually increase, at least in the short term, in retaliation for bin Laden’s martyrdom.”
  • Brendan O’Neill @ Sp¡kedThe killing of OBL: therapy for the West:
    This disconnect is revealing, because it graphically illustrates what has always been the true relationship between the West and al-Qaeda – a relationship where it was the fearful overreaction of Western governments to al-Qaeda that sustained the myth and alleged power of bin Laden and his so-called holy warriors. In the post-assassination commentary OBL is presented to us as the mighty figurehead of an organisation that posed a mortal threat to Western civilisation. In truth he was always an isolated actor, with little support, no army and few weapons, yet who benefited enormously from Western fears and confusion. It was Western society’s culture of fear that fed and nurtured him; he lived off it, vampire-style. The most powerful weapon in his armoury was not his access to cash or those crazy young guys willing to blow themselves up in his name, but rather the abject willingness of Western governments to change their way of life and panic their peoples in response to his threats and antics.
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