Monday, May 2, 2011

Today's biggest news (if true)

President Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden.
In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.
If true, this is the most important piece of news that the President could announce but, I have no doubt, questions will still be asked. And let us not forget, there is a presidential election coming up next year. Potential Republican candidates will have to play this one very carefully.

Of course, by now bin Laden's life and death are little more than symbolic, Al-Qaeda having long ago evolved away from him. But symbols matter.

ADDENDUM: An interesting analysis about what might happen if the news is definitely true (and no conspiracy theorist is likely to accept it as that) and how it will play out in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
His death also means that the Pakistani military-jihadi complex gave him up. This will allow Barack Obama to declare victory and pull US troops out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Pakistani army can then orchestrate an post-US dispensation wherein its proxies first share power with the Karzai regime. And then, sometime in the near future, take over power.
Well, it is one scenario.

1 comment:

  1. One interesting question IMO is "How involved was OBL in the day-day operations of Al-Q?" If the SEALS got access to every scrap of paper and every computer in his compound and OBL was more than just a figure-head, there are going to be a lot of very nervous individuals out there.