The man whose mind was a slave to evil and who planned the attacks of 9/11, the man who spent the last decade of his pathetic life cowering in fear, the man who championed pain and grief and misery is dead. May he find no peace.
His body, complete with the bullet that killed him, was unceremoniously and fittingly dumped at sea. His corpse will feed the sharks, his bones will mingle with the effluvia of cruise ships. The odd burial was done to discourage pilgrimages of evil, and was an action in accordance with at least one Hadith, which says, “Graves should not be marked or built” for apostates.
Further, the “Noble Qur’an – At-Tauba 9:84” demands that we do not attend the funeral of a hypocrite or disbeliever. No believer would have coolly murdered Muslims, Christians, Jews and others merely to scar some buildings. It was bloodlust, not faith, which drove Bin Laden.
We celebrate his death. We feel pride in our men who tracked him down and risked their lives and shot him in the head. None of our soldiers were injured. This is a good day.
And we are not alone. In an apparent reversal of its stance on the death penalty, the New York Times wrote approvingly that “the mood on the street was jubilant” after the announcement in Times Square. Its editorial even allowed that Bin Laden was a “failure,” a sentiment to which we can say amen.
The Daily Kos, in a fit of eloquence, said that putting down Bin Laden was a “BFD.” Although one unhappy writer on that unhappy site inadvertently confessed a bizarre sin, “[Y]eah, on a certain level, I get the mocking of Republicans because Bush didn’t get Bin Laden and ‘we’ did.” We?
Mr Obama said that “justice was done”, which must mean that killing Bin Laden was legitimate, moral, lawful, the very stuff of justice. Amen again.
Pondering the president’s words, Steve Clemons of the Huffington Post wrote that, “The President of the United States has checked off the box in bringing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to justice — and probably assured his reelection in 2012.”
This might be so, but Clemons and the writers at Daily Kos should remember that this was not Democrat nor Republican justice. Nor was it American justice. It was justice, plain and simple. It was the right thing for Mr Obama, it would it have been the right thing for Mr Bush had Bin Laden met his demise earlier. This was not the right thing for Americans only. It was the right thing for all.
Bin Laden was found in Pakistan: it was said he was there for some time. Mr Obama, making full use of his “I”s and “my”s, the victor’s traditional prerogative, said that the Pakistani’s claimed that Bin Laden “declared war on Pakistan itself”, and this is why Pakistani officials led our troops to Bin Laden’s hideout. Further, we are assured that we “received clearance to strike from Pakistan.”
The message is that we should not hold the Pakistani government culpable for harboring a murder for almost a decade. At least, not to the extent that we held Afghanistan culpable.
Even though Bin Laden was within shopping distance of Islamabad, it is doubtful we will hear calls to “Hold Pakistan accountable!” There may be investigations in certain sub-committees, held on Friday afternoons in July, but that will be it.
People are weary of war and don’t want to start another one with Pakistan—a country which has nukes and has said it would use them. Besides, there are other ways to “punish” Pakistan. Arming India, for one.
Killing Bin Laden is the action that could lead us out of Afghanistan. Our military could organize one final, grand push, claim victory, then pack up and leave. We won’t have been the first country to fail to tame this rugged land. Besides, Bin Laden was on holiday in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.
Calls for actions like this are already being made. Marwan Bishara of Al Jezeera said killing Bin Laden kills the “alibi”, that is, “Washington has less reason or justification to wage a war in Afghanistan now that bin Laden is no more.”
We should embrace this reasoning, particularly since (as Bishara continues) “for the Muslim world, bin Laden has already been made irrelevant by the Arab Spring that underlined the meaning of peoples [sic] power through peaceful means.”
Whether or not this is true, Bin Laden’s killing provides us with a casus pace, of which we should make full use and quickly.
Some are suggesting that we remain in Afghanistan for three reasons: Pakistan, Iran, and money. Since it is obvious that some in Pakistan, the very definition of an unstable country, were complicit in the care and feeding of that dog OBL, there is sure to be more trouble to come from that quarter.
Bases in Afghanistan would have the Pakistani Army/Government swiveling their skulls looking east and west to India. The same is true with Iran: they would be boxed in by Iraq on one side, Afghanistan on the other.
But Afghanistan is only useful as a base to project air power. The land is too rugged to stage heavy artillery and troop launches into either Iran or Pakistan. Afghanistan must be supplied by us from the air, flying over either Iran or Pakistan. While it’s true that in any long-term engagement American air power would keep the skies clear, it is probably more trouble than it is worth to supply air bases so far from the sea and quick exits.
It is much easier to maintain forces in southern Iraq, which is accessible by the sea, through the Gulf of Oman. Naval air cover through ships stationed in the Arabian Sea can watch over Pakistan.
We should embrace more closely India as an ally. Let’s not forget that both Pakistan and India have nukes, which nobody wants to see loosed. The stalemate must be encouraged. And we don’t have to maintain an actual presence in India, which is cheaper. Finally, a stronger India is a better buffer for a growing China.