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The real blow to Bin Laden creed

Matt Frei | 20:15 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The details of the daring raid that killed Osama Bin Laden are riveting. It is, as my colleague Mark Mardell suggests in the blog next to mine, important to get them right. For us journalists. For the administration. For the public.

The White House displayed astonishing discipline and discretion in the planning stages of the operation. Perhaps elation about the success had allowed them to become sloppy in the immediate aftermath. There will be some misgivings in the UK and Germany about what appears to have been a kill rather than capture mission, as our Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans suggests. By the way, he survived the collapse of the Towers.

Europe and America deliver justice in different ways. Put it down as another way we're divided by a common goal. In Pakistan there seem to be plenty of people who still can't accept the fact that Osama Bin Laden is dead, either because they prefer to think of him as invincible or because they shudder at the thought that he was hiding a stone's throw away from Pakistan's equivalent of West Point Academy in the local version of a MacMansion for six years.

Then there is the debate about the Bin Laden photos, a discussion which will no doubt continue despite the president's decision not to release them - too gruesome and inflammatory or just what's needed to prick the Osama mystique once and for all?

Again it's surprising and unhelpful that this delicate debate is being played out by the administration in public on network and cable TV.

But all of the above are footnotes to a bigger point that the real blow to Bin Laden and his twisted creed was delivered by young Arabs in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Libya and Morocco in recent months. The Arab Spring is a rejection of Osama's antiquated mission of resurrecting a caliphate.

The people in Tahrir Square didn't want to return to the 10th Century. They would like to be able to live and thrive in the 21st Century like the rest of us, without being defined by the many hatreds that have haunted their region, often nurtured by their rulers. But the Arab Spring is a work in progress, to say the least. The die has not yet been cast and the danger is that too much chaos and too many power vacuums will resurrect Bin Laden's appeal, if not the man himself.

Comments

Page 1 of 14

  • Comment number 1.

    I think youre wrong about one thing Matt, I dont think they got sloppy at all.
    The US have always changed the story and confused the truth.
    Thats how they like to do it, I dont think they do it by default.
    They like to shroud everything in mystery.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am still amazed that both blog reporters, Frei and Mardell, can state so matter-of-factly that "Europe and America deliver justice in differerent ways." On the international stage and dealing with national security threats it boggles the mind to wonder how either of these astute men could make such a bizarre claim.

    Does the activities of the British and French in the last 30 years in the Ivory Coast, Libya, Somalia, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and countless other locations around the globe not count for anything? In the last month alone, France tried to kill the sitting president of the Ivory Coast with helicopters and both the UK and France collaborated in trying to kill Gadaffi and his family by firing missiles into his compound! The UK also tried to land it's elite commandos illegally in Libya to do god knows what.

    I feel like I am living in cuckooland with the comments of these two bloggers.

  • Comment number 3.

    "There will be some misgivings in the UK and Germany about what appears to have been a kill rather than capture mission"

    Aye, but then again the UK and Germany have not experienced their fellow countrymen jumping out of huge flaming towers and watching them slam into the ground with the sound equivalent of two trucks crashing into each other at 40 mph and watching their guts splatter across the sidewalks. Then to add icing to the cake watch those flaming towers collapse and fill an entire city with with a cloud of ash and burnt human flesh that strikingly resembled the pyroclastic flow coming from an erupting Volcano. I could see the cloud from my house in the middle of NJ for days, some 80 miles away. Honestly Americans do not give a damn if the world judges the US for blowing Osama's brains out. Nor do we care if the Pakistanis believe it. Good day.

  • Comment number 4.

    "Europe and America deliver justice in different ways. Put it down as another way we're divided by a common goal."


    Are we? Khadafi's relatives would debate you on the different type of "justice" that was delivered onto them, by European pilots...


    At any rate, there is not even a need to draw comparisons, no European armed forces were involved in bin Ladin's demise.

  • Comment number 5.

    Matt: "There will be some misgivings in the UK and Germany about what appears to have been a kill rather than capture mission, as our Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans suggests."

    Of this I have no doubts. But this piece doesn't really discuss German and British thoughts on how the government did deal, and/or should have delt with Bin Laden; whether the choice to kill him was the best course of action, and whether it might not have been more in keeping with western law and our shared values to capture him and try him. Personally, I would have prefered the latter, but given the fact that Guantanamo Bay was opened directly as a result of 9/11, is - for now - being kept open by Obama, and who's occupants are not being given civilian trials but trials delivered by military tribunals, is it any surprise that they killed him? It was certainly the second best option in how to deal with him, in my opinion.

    No, rather this piece atributes European (or at least German) criticism of American celebrations of Bin Laden's death to anti-Americanism: "It plays, I think, into an anti-American-ness in parts of Berlin."


  • Comment number 6.

    "Again it's surprising and unhelpful that this delicate debate is being played out by the administration in public on network and cable TV."

    The administration? You make it sound as though the administration, and the administration alone started it and just will not let it go. The TV stations are just as responsible for keeping this debate going as the administration.

    For what its worth, I am somewhat perplexed about the whole thing. I used to be firmly against the release of the photos; as so many have said, the only affect that their release would have would be to cause Bin Laden to be a marter to terrorist sympathisers. But after learning that the United Nations' human rights representative is requesting that these photos be released in order for the United States to prove that it indeed was acting within the law when it killed him, I began to have second thoughts.

    If the UN is requesting this, it obviously does not trust the US government when it says that it was indeed acting lawfully. That is a problem. The UN is, essentialy, a representation of the world's nations. So if they don't trust us to behave lawfully, what will they trust us on? Trust is crucial in an interdependent world seeking to solve shared problems.




  • Comment number 7.

    Athena07 #2 and JMay #4. . .

    I think you are missing the point. When Matt says that Europe and America "deliver justice in different ways," he is refering to the different ways in which we choose to avenge those who have done us wrong. The things that France and Britain have been doing in Ivery Coast, Lybia and else where are things that, unfortunately, happen in the fog of war. Gadaffi, though he most notably ordered the carrying out of the Lokherby bombing among other things, did not plan an attack in Britain or Germany as audacious and cruel as September 11th, 2001. Though it is interesting, to me at least, to ponder how those countries would have reacted had that attack taken place in London or Berlin.


    Incidentally, Gadaffi is being pursued, according to Europe, because of the murder that he is inflicting on his own people, not because of the Lokherby bombings.

  • Comment number 8.

    Pursuit of Love #7

    I don't think I am missing the point at all. I in fact don't understand your point. For example, in the Ivory Coast, there was no issue with the "fog of war." The French thought they knew where Laurent Gbagbo was and they deliberately tried to kill him with a helicopter attack on his residence in reprisal for his attacks on the UN and civilians.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/10/atrocities-ivory-cast-supporters

    Maybe you can explain to be better the "fog of war" argument you are trying to make but it seems to me that the French, British, and Americans all try to "deliver" justice in exactly the same way.

  • Comment number 9.

    #7

    "The things that France and Britain have been doing in Ivery Coast, Lybia and else where are things that, unfortunately, happen in the fog of war."


    I like that fig leaf. May the US borrow it for a bit and use it in bin Ladin's case, as well? You know, since it is engaged in a war (and the associated fog) against terrorism?

    "Gadaffi, though he most notably ordered the carrying out of the Lokherby bombing among other things, did not plan an attack in Britain or Germany as audacious and cruel as September 11th, 2001"


    So he's being bombed for Lockerby? OK, I can see some similarity then.


    "Incidentally, Gadaffi is being pursued, according to Europe, because of the murder that he is inflicting on his own people, not because of the Lokherby bombings. "

    Oh, my mistake. So he's being bombed for killing his own people then. Europeans are bombing and killing Gadaffi's family members because he hasn't engaged in acts of terrorism against Europe?

    Now there I do see a difference between Europe and the US...:)

  • Comment number 10.

    The White House had to know that shutting out Pakistan would cause tremendous strain on the American/Pakistani relationship.
    The United Nations has already expressed concerns about what appears to have been not a capture (and put on trial) MISSION, but an outright assassination - though the wrong man could well have been assassinated. Personally, I want the details of how and when the DNA was matched. I want to know what has happened to the alleged son of Bin Laden who was captured and ferried out by helicopter.
    Europe & American may deliver justice in different ways, but there are international laws; only two countries are positively known to assassinate in breach of these laws - the United States and Israel.
    In Pakistan don;t accept the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed because they know that he died - December , 2001 in Tora Bora from complications of kidney disease & lung infection; they likely read the obit printed in an Egyptian newspaper which provided details. What is Pakistan supposed to do now, agree with the American propaganda, follow the charade, or look towards other, more trustworthy allies - like Afghanistan, China and Iran?
    The President decided not to release the photos; so, I guess all the photos available on the Internet are fakes? They are gruesome & inflammatory, but they are very likely not Osama Bin Laden because he has been dead for ten years.
    The debate must be carried out by the administration in public because there are far more questions than there are answers. There was something sanctified about 9/11; people didn't ask many questions; they accepted the rhetoric of George W. Bush, they grieved, they went along. But this assassination is different. This story is full of holes - altogether - does not make sense.
    I find much twisted in Bin Laden's twisted creed, but he was right about the anger at placing American war machines on Saudi Arabian soil where are located the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; he was right about the third world status imposed on Islamic people as though they hadn't the intelligence to run their own countries without American puppets. How long did the United States think it could keep this up? Osama Bin Laden never spoke about restoration of a caliphate. Caliphs are Shia; Bin Laden was Sunni - Wahhabi at that.
    Pakistan is only 20% Shia; 70% Sunni.
    The people in Tahrir Square - majority Sunni - of course have little interest in a Caliph.
    Bin Laden had had far more appeal in the west where, even though he has been dead for ten%

  • Comment number 11.

    The White House had to know that shutting out Pakistan would cause tremendous strain on the American/Pakistani relationship.
    The United Nations has already expressed concerns about what appears to have been not a capture (and put on trial) MISSION, but an outright assassination - though the wrong man could well have been assassinated. Personally, I want the details of how and when the DNA was matched. I want to know what has happened to the alleged son of Bin Laden who was captured and ferried out by helicopter.
    Europe & American may deliver justice in different ways, but there are international laws; only two countries are positively known to assassinate in breach of these laws - the United States and Israel.
    In Pakistan don;t accept the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed because they know that he died - December , 2001 in Tora Bora from complications of kidney disease & lung infection; they likely read the obit printed in an Egyptian newspaper which provided details. What is Pakistan supposed to do now, agree with the American propaganda, follow the charade, or look towards other, more trustworthy allies - like Afghanistan, China and Iran?
    The President decided not to release the photos; so, I guess all the photos available on the Internet are fakes? They are gruesome & inflammatory, but they are very likely not Osama Bin Laden because he has been dead for ten years.
    The debate must be carried out by the administration in public because there are far more questions than there are answers. There was something sanctified about 9/11; people didn't ask many questions; they accepted the rhetoric of George W. Bush, they grieved, they went along. But this assassination is different. This story is full of holes - altogether - does not make sense.
    I find much twisted in Bin Laden's twisted creed, but he was right about the anger at placing American war machines on Saudi Arabian soil where are located the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; he was right about the third world status imposed on Islamic people as though they hadn't the intelligence to run their own countries without American puppets. How long did the United States think it could keep this up? Osama Bin Laden never spoke about restoration of a caliphate. Caliphs are Shia; Bin Laden was Sunni - Wahhabi at that.
    Pakistan is only 20% Shia; 70% Sunni.
    The people in Tahrir Square - majority Sunni - of course have little interest in a Caliph.
    Bin Laden had had far more appeal in the west where, even though he has been dead for ten%2

  • Comment number 12.

    Here we go:
    Pakistan, which must be feeling somewhat betrayed and distrusted by the Americans, have set its first serious meeting between Tehran and Islamabad.
    Of course, it's no secret that Iran has made significant achievements in various industrial and scientific fields during recent years and Pakistan right now wants to transfer electricity to Pakistan.
    The two countries are to establish a joint security commission.
    Salehi also invited Pakistan to join the Ashgabat five-party agreement, which establishes a Central Asia-Persian Gulf transit corridor. In a meeting in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Thursday, the Iranian minister said Tehran and Islamabad have the potential to promote economic cooperation.
    He added that Iran made great achievements in various industrial and scientific fields during recent years and expressed the country's readiness to transfer electricity to Pakistan.
    The top Iranian diplomat said the two countries can establish a joint security commission.
    Salehi also offered Pakistan to join the Ashgabat five-party agreement, which establishes a Central Asia-Persian Gulf transit corridor. (On April 25, foreign ministers of Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Qatar and Oman signed an agreement on transportation and the transit of goods via railway, sea and land. This agreement establishes a transit corridor which connects the Persian Gulf and Central Asia and facilitates the transit of goods between regional countries.)
    The Pakistani Senate chairman, for his part, said as two important members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Iran and Pakistan should expand relations in all fields.
    Well now, this should upset the Americans aplenty - but I think it can be reasonably said that by their actions, the US has asked to be shut out in return.
    The Pakistani Senate chairman said as two important members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Iran and Pakistan should expand relations in all fields.
    I expect Pakistan's next turn will be towards China.

  • Comment number 13.

    Another blow to American propaganda from Bahrain:
    This assassination of Osama Bin Laden is nonsense. Osama Bin Laden was reported dead. His funeral that was held with the witnesses who were there with 30 al-Qaeda fighters, the Taliban representatives. Bin Laden is not alive and was not killed in this particular instance and in any event, he had zero to do with the events of September 11 as he articulated in great detail in Ummat , the publication of the Islamic movement in Karachi. I've spoken to its editor, Rafiq Afghan, I have been there. This assassination business is nonsense.
    Further, the gentleman went on to ask: What is this nonsense about Iran representing a threat in the Persian Gulf to Bahrain when the US has the Fifth Fleet stationed there and menacing Iran on a daily basis and constantly threatening to invade the country? This is grotesque propaganda. This is imperialism that we are dealing with, all of these various regimes have been imposed by the United States, sustained by the by the United States, financed by the United States, armed by the United States, accompanied by the US occupying forces on the ground, that is the reality in Manama.

  • Comment number 14.

    Here we go again, part 2:
    The US administration has come under fire from Pakistani officials; they denounce the American attack as unauthorized, illegal and unilateral.
    Asked whether Obama would be prepared to order another military operation inside Pakistan, White House Spokesperson, Jay Carney said: "Obama made very clear during the campaign that that was his view."
    During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama stated that if Pakistanis' leadership was "unable or unwilling" to act against bin Laden or other senior al-Qaeda officials inside the country, the US administration would UNILATERALLY order military operations.
    I think that under the international law, the US will have no right whatsoever to attack or enter another country without the expressed consent of the country or the authorization of the UN.
    CIA Director Leon Panetta said the United States did not inform Islamabad about the operation because it feared Pakistan might alert the al-Qaeda chief. Meanwhile, some Pakistani officials believe the US orchestrated Osama bin Laden's killing scenario in an attempt to spread its ongoing war in Afghanistan to Pakistan. This is what I believe too, but if the Americans attempt this, they will find themselves in a totally expensive, long-lasting, and unwinnable war.
    The antagonism has followed hundreds of non-UN-sanctioned drone strikes in tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, which have so far killed hundreds of people, many civilians. On April 20, Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said the US drone strikes in Pakistan are undermining his country's counter-terrorism efforts.
    Pakistan has met with Iran; it will meet with China...How much are the Americans willing to take on? Are Americans seeking WW3 to kill off what they see as a surplus population?

  • Comment number 15.

    "athena07 I feel like I am living in cuckooland with the comments of these two bloggers."

    Your not living in cuckooland. Europe has an extremely short memory and bloody past, most recent was WW2 which left over 50,000,000 people dead. Their cruel reputation as colonists seems to be forgotton as well. The USA is not always right and I was very angry with the decision to invade Iraq. My observation is that no matter what action we take, it will never satisify everyone, especially Europeans. Mr. Bin Laden killed over 3,000 innocent people, many of them foreign nationals, and didn't worry if their deaths were humane. To display pictures of his dealth would be, in my opinion, offensive. The information pertaining to Mr. Bin Laden death should have been handled better.

  • Comment number 16.


    15 baltimoreprat writes:
    "Europe has an extremely short memory and bloody past..."

    A bit rich coming from a country that grabbed the land and practically exterminated the indigenous population and then made itself rich on the back of black African slaves that were treated worse than cattle. And all this in just 200 years of history.
    -----------------------------
    As regards njguy's posting at *3: "Aye, but then again the UK and Germany have not experienced their fellow countrymen jumping out of huge flaming towers..."
    Japan and Germany certainly have and much worse - remember Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden?"

  • Comment number 17.

    #1 Kane

    "They like to shroud everything in mystery."

    ---America could have done that by not saying anything about the killing.

    ---- Why take the easy way out --- when you can increase the security threat ?

  • Comment number 18.

    #16 Margaret Howard

    ---Mr. Hewitt´s blog has been changed ----did you read my recent contributions the last few days --that concerned our ´referrals´?

  • Comment number 19.

    Have just seen the new BBC blog format --and can see we should begin to say farewell to some contributors.

    This blog will be next for ´Davy Jones´s locker´ ---- grab the lifebelts and kiss your ´loved ones´ goodbye !

  • Comment number 20.

    18 QOT
    Yes, I gathered you had some trouble with the moderators. What happened and has it been resolved? I agree with you as regards the new blog format - not very inviting.

  • Comment number 21.

    --- you obviously did not understand the problem -- our contributions were being massively ´referred´ -- even after the blogs were closed --and in stages so that it would not look strange.

    By luck I managed to save one each of our contributions - about 9 hours after the blog (Syria) was closed for comments --- one hour later they were also referred -- other contributors on the same topic remained.

    --- Your contribution contained NOTHING that could be ´referred´.

    ---nowadays ´referred´ stays that way.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think the points made here by athena07 JMay and Baltimorebrat are quite exceptional.
    Much British commentary has deployed the familiar cliche-ridden critique of the US killing of Bin Laden as typical Yankee vigilante revenge as opposed to a rule-governed European seeking of justice. While familiar and therefore tedious, it never fails to shock me how such people can sustain such arrogant ignorance.

    On other blogs, in other conversations with UK friends and colleagues, this is not even prefaced with the usual paternalistic comment that 'we learned from our own terrible history that this is not the way forward.' They are literally oblivious to their past history (UK in Northern Ireland) and recent (UK in Iraq) or current activities (Libya, Ivory Coast, etc.). It also becomes clear that they have no idea of what internationl law has to say on these issues and how US or UK or French rules governing military or special force operations are derived, formulated, overseen, etc. (Bobbit on the World Tonight was quite good on the topic). Unlike my US colleagues, my UK colleagues seem to have never had a serious discussion on these matters (well the Stalker report on NI was never published or widely discussed) ..just exchanges of personal opinion.

  • Comment number 23.

    margaret howard, (#16. At 17:16pm 5th May 2011)

    ”... remember Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden?"
    Remember London, Birmingham, and Coventry of the Blitz?

  • Comment number 24.

    quietoaktree, (#19. At 22:12pm 5th May 2011)

    ”Have just seen the new BBC blog format --and can see we should begin to say farewell to some contributors.
    This blog will be next for ´Davy Jones´s locker´ ---- grab the lifebelts and kiss your ´loved ones´ goodbye !”


    While I seldom agree with you, I suspect that you are correct about this.

  • Comment number 25.

    re: 21 quietoaktree

    It happens. It's a dumb system, prone to abuse. If you haven't already, make a formal complaint.

    But remain calm, carry on is my advise. Don't give the miscreant the satisfaction of seeing you sweat.

  • Comment number 26.

    But the Arab Spring is a work in progress, to say the least. The die has not yet been cast and the danger is that too much chaos and too many power vacuums will resurrect Bin Laden's appeal, if not the man himself.

    The key to the Middle East is Israel. Ratchet down tensions on that front, and one of, if not the, key irritants is palliated.

    With no festering wound to generate resentment, watch radical islamist movements wither.

    Easy peasy.

  • Comment number 27.

    23 Chryses writes:
    "Remember London, Birmingham, and Coventry of the Blitz?"
    ------------------------------
    Were they flattened by an atom bomb as Hiroshima and Nagasaki? As for the bombing of Dresden maybe you should read 'Slaughterhouse Five' by Vonnegut to get an idea of the barbarity of that particular holocaust.

  • Comment number 28.

    #24 Chryses

    ---- "Great men think alike ---fools seldom differ´?

  • Comment number 29.

    #25 Chronophobe

    --- I was about to do that last night -- but the blog now has self-destruction built in.

    --- it affected at least 3 regular contributors --with opposite opinions to flag-wavers.

    --- It was clearly a successful attempt to stifle ´freedom of speech´ ---through the ´back and front doors´ --at all costs.

  • Comment number 30.

    "All posts are pre-moderated. What does this mean?"

    ---- Nearer my God to thee ?

  • Comment number 31.

    --Just been reported that Al Q has stated that OBL has been killed --- they have a ´closure´ difficulty.

    --- the roundabout keeps turning.

  • Comment number 32.

    athena07 #8: "in the Ivory Coast, there was no issue with the "fog of war." The French thought they knew where Laurent Gbagbo was and they deliberately tried to kill him with a helicopter attack on his residence in reprisal for his attacks on the UN and civilians."

    And was this goal achieved in a lazer-focused manner, patiently and methodically plugged away at until it was at last realized? No. Britain and France got a UN resolution authorizing military force to be used to stop what they viewed to be a humanitarian disaster taking place, who's consiquences could only be stopped with military force, as they had tryed all other options at their disposal.

    This is, I believe, comparing apples to oranges, as Laurent Gbagbo did not violently attack French and British civilians because he thought that that was the way to get what he wanted. So it was understood (and supported) by the majority of the international community when we, after 9/11 and after the Taliban refused to extridite Bin Laden to us, invoked, for the first time, the portion of the NATO treaty which stated that an attack on one was seen as an attack on all and promptly invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban.

  • Comment number 33.

    JMay #9: "I like that fig leaf. May the US borrow it for a bit and use it in bin Ladin's case, as well? You know, since it is engaged in a war (and the associated fog) against terrorism?"

    It has and is. The war in Afghanistan was commenced lawfully; no one in the international community (terrorist sympathizers aside) disputes this. Bin Laden's death is a part of that war; in fact, it is the largest part, as he was the reason that it was started.

    Again, what Matt Frei, Mark Mardell, the arch Bishop of Kanterberry, the UN human rights representative and others are refering to when they say things like "Europe and America deliver justice in different ways" and/or express misgivings and concerns about the manner in which we sought revenge against Bin Laden, is that America is more of an eye for an eye country, whereas Europe, whenever possible, seeks to treat its accused more humanely, regardless of how they treated them. Any objective person would agree that this is true. They no longer have capital punishment and are trying to get it outlawed world wide. They have much shorter prison sentences for all crimes including murder. And yes, if a major landmark were attacked by Bin Laden in Paris, Berlin or London, I have no doubts that with the potential exception of Britain, they would have at the very least tryed their hardest to capture and try him before sending in the seals to wack him off.



  • Comment number 34.

    33. At 20:24pm 6th May 2011, PursuitOfLove wrote:
    ...they would have at the very least tryed their hardest to capture and try him before sending in the seals to wack him off.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Careful! In English (rather than US English) "wack him off" means something quite different.

  • Comment number 35.

    The world has accepted that America ´shoots to kill´and has a much lower thresh-hold generally than Europe in this regard.

    --- all said --with America´s leaders watching (in realtime) the live action --it is also some Americans who feel queasy at the ever downgrading of heroism as more details emerge.

    ---- Now it is an assassination and he was un-armed --unless the next story brings an improvement.

  • Comment number 36.

    If we remain in Afghanistan only because of the ´creed´ and are loosing 50 soldiers a month because of it --what is the point ?

    Pride ? (ask the Russians (soviets) about that !)

    ---other areas in the world are now just as bad --perhaps even more so under ´terrorist´control than Afghanistan. Are our priorities correct ?

    --- now is the time for soul searching --our casualties are high enough --also when the troops return physically unscathed !

  • Comment number 37.

    #33 Pursuit of Love
    #35 quietoaktree

    It is probably the case that on the domestic front, European countries are currently less punitive in their penal systems than the US.
    But it shocks me you could look at current world events involving France and the UK and think they have behaved differently than the US in their foreign policy (are these not "European" nations?). You can take recent evidence that I noted in earlier posts, older evidence such as the Suez Crisis, or even OLDER evidence such as the Boer War.

    And if it is the case that your typical French citizen has no idea what it's military does in the Ivory Coast, that should be cause for serious concern, not pride.

  • Comment number 38.

    As usual we have the US government's double standards in international law. It's a case of the 'do as we say and not as we do' mentality. If you don't live by the law don't expect your foes to either.

  • Comment number 39.

    @17. quietoaktree.
    They could have said nothing, but there is no mystery in something you know nothing about. Mystery only lies in something that you do not know everything about.
    Quite mysteriously, the Muslim world does not seem to give "two hoots" about Osamas death, so I doubt very much whether his death has significantly altered any threat posed.
    Anyway, attack is often the best form of defence, the bottom line has got to be, Osama got his.

  • Comment number 40.

    dceilar, (#38. At 12:11pm 7th May 2011)

    ”... If you don't live by the law don't expect your foes to either.”
    OBL should have thought about that. He did have an opportunity to resolve U.S. accusations in court, but preferred to remain an outlaw.

  • Comment number 41.

    Chryses @ 40

    Your interesting link highlights the US government's double standards. The bombing of a third world country's (Sudan's) only pharmaceutical factory was not only illegal it was immoral as it denied access of the world's poorest people to life saving drugs. How this reduced the terrorist threat no-one knows. We in the West can shrug our shoulders and convince ourselves that it was a bomb making factory (as now it can be neither proved or disproved); while those in Sudan do not have that luxury. How many Sudanese civilians died as a result of the lack of medicine because of this bombing? Hundreds of thousands? Or 'only' a thousand?

    There are many other examples of US government double standards which may not be well known or accepted as truth in the West because it's taboo, but are well known in other parts of the world. It is these that are the main recruitment sergeants for al-quida. The assassination of OBL will not stop terrorism (although there is scant evidence that he has been alive for the last ten years), but the US adhering to international law and avoiding double standards certainly might.

  • Comment number 42.

    The killing of Bin Laden was an act of war by the United States. Bin Laden declared war on the United States. Period. Cut the justice bull**it.

    Europeans with their moral high grounds. There is more racism and classism in the continent particularly the United Kingdom than there are in North America.

    Europeans just feel hurt for being left out in the cold by the United States' Bin Laden mission. Another win for the United States. Perhaps next time, when Europe have the military might, high tech toys like stealth choppers and highly trained spec ops....

  • Comment number 43.

    dceilar, (#41. At 16:40pm 7th May 2011)
    Chryses @ 40

    Your interesting link highlights the US government's double standards... .
    There are many other examples of US government double standards ..."


    I note with amusement that neither paragraph in your post responds to the point of and substantiating link to the fact that OBL elected to remain an outlaw rather than stand trial for his actions, assuming that criminal charges would have been filed.

    In your post #38 you stated, "If you don't live by the law don't expect your foes to either." OBL was aware that his actions of orchestrating and funding acts of violence against American citizens were at variance with American law. He could reasonably expect that the U.S. would call upon him to stand trial for his behaviour. It did, yet he declined to appear before an American law court. As such, he did not live by the law. Fair enough, he is entitled to do so. However, if one does live by the law, one should not expect one's foes to do so either. To do otherwise is to assume a double standard.

    "... The assassination of OBL will not stop terrorism ..."
    Of course not. That was not the intent of the operation.

    "... although there is scant evidence that he has been alive for the last ten years ..."
    Your acknowledgement that OBL has been assinated does suggest to me that you believe that OBL was alive until he was recently killed.

    "... the US adhering to international law and avoiding double standards certainly might."
    Unlikely; to date it has not. Killing the terrorists seems to be having a quieting effect. Improving their economic lot would also help.

  • Comment number 44.

    @42 sportster.
    1st chapter. Good start.
    2nd chapter. 1st sentence. How true, it has become that way a bit.
    2nd sentence. No way, not "particularly in the UK", I know Europe, and this is incorrect. That is Anti British.
    3rd chapter. We are not totally bereft and you know, whisper it, we think the SAS might just have pulled this job off too.
    But I know where you are coming from, a strong Europe can only add to global security. Right?


  • Comment number 45.

    Chryses @ 43

    Oh I get ya, because OBL didn't live by the law no-one should've expected the US government to either. As you'll expect I don't agree with your comment as it falls foul of the two-wrongs fallacy. It sounds like an Israeli solution which, as we know, has not defeated terrorism nor the Palestinian movement.

    I agree that improving the economies of the countries where the terrorists recruit their fodder would help, but only if there's genuine social justice and a focus on education. Moreover, the US will need to be seen as a beacon of freedom instead of being a symbol of oppression in these countries.

  • Comment number 46.

    44 Kane writes:
    "....we think the SAS might just have pulled this job off too."
    Didn't they surrender to the nightwatchman on a recent midnight sortie in the Libyan desert? Or a couple of years ago to an Iranian gunboat?

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    @46.
    The relevance is?
    First thing you should know, is that the SAS do not travel by boat, that job is for the SBS, and I can assure you that if you go and look at the captives images, you will see that they were not elite forces at all, but routine forces.
    And, seeing as the SAS and rebel forces are on the same side, did you not read something in to that? You were subjected to news MH.
    You cannot question the abilities of the SAS without looking silly.

  • Comment number 50.

    44 Kane writes:
    "we think the SAS might just have pulled this job off too."

    Any spec ops could have pulled this too. It's just that the UK/Europe do not have the capabilities to enter Pakistani airspace and ground space at night without being detected. I mean, the UK's military technology is just not on par with The United States. I don't think UK have any stealth capabilities. Your technology is just years behind. That's why the USA didn't invite you to the mission.

  • Comment number 51.

    dceilar #38: "As usual we have the US government's double standards in international law. It's a case of the 'do as we say and not as we do' mentality. If you don't live by the law don't expect your foes to either."

    This is interesting. How would you have delt with Bin Laden prior to, and post 9/11? I am not being sarcastic; I'd really love to know your thoughts.




  • Comment number 52.

    @50. sportster.
    Valid point. I give you that overview.

    You were selective in what you decided to answer however.

  • Comment number 53.

    dceilar, (#45. At 18:09pm 7th May 2011)

    "Chryses @ 43

    Oh I get ya, because OBL didn't live by the law no-one should've expected the US government to either. As you'll expect I don't agree with your comment as it falls foul of the two-wrongs fallacy. It sounds like an Israeli solution which, as we know, has not defeated terrorism nor the Palestinian movement ..."

    I believe I see where the confusion lies. Please don't get me wrong. If you wish to maintain two standards, one for people like OBL, and another for their victims, by all means do so.

    What I would like to bring to your attention is that once OBL engaged in actions which he could reasonably would bring him into confrontation with the U.S., he had choices. He could have chosen to work through the judicial system, or not. Had he elected to work through the judicial system, you and people like you would have every reason to criticize the U.S. Federal authorities if he was taken out and summarily executed. Indeed, even I would have joined that criticism.

    As a matter of fact, OBL elected to operate outside the law. In doing so, he relinquished the protections afforded to the accused under American law. He was, to use the original meaning of the word, an outlaw. Accepting that OBL had made that choice, American Federal authorities handled his case differently than if OBL had chosen to have his case handled in law by the judicial system.

    It was very much the case that OBL had selected the method that American Federal authorities handled his case. As he chose to interact with the U.S. in an extra-judicial fashion, his fate was handled accordingly.

    "... I agree that improving the economies of the countries where the terrorists recruit their fodder would help ..."
    I am encouraged that we agree about that.

    "... but only if there's genuine social justice and a focus on education ..."
    Ah, but you must know that the Taliban government which provided support for al-Qaeda, was the government that rolled back any and all modern treatment of women in the country they ruled. Are you aware of any reports that OBL took exception to the social mores of his hosts? I rather suspect that he approved.

    "... Moreover, the US will need to be seen as a beacon of freedom instead of being a symbol of oppression in these countries."
    I hope the U.S. will always be thought of as the oppressor of the oppressors, and that the victims of all oppressors like OBL live long enough to see the U.S. mete out similar justice on their behalf.

  • Comment number 54.

    I hope the U.S. will always be thought of as the oppressor of the oppressors, and that the victims of all oppressors like OBL live long enough to see the U.S. mete out similar justice on their behalf.
    ==================================================
    No one thinks or sings or writes about the US as the Oppressor of the Oppressors
    .. Maybe the Capitalist of the Capitalists, or the Cowboy of the Cowboys
    or world leaders / pioneers in sex and drug and rock and roll hedonism

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John, (#54. At 01:13am 8th May 2011)

    ”... world leaders / pioneers in sex and drug and rock and roll hedonism”
    THAT could be fun!

  • Comment number 57.

    And you can stop invading other countries to oppress the oppressors just leave peoples business and mind your own. Most oppressed end up dead with cowboy capitalists acting like crack heads ride in town with fancy new high technology and weapons of mass destruction distraction disrespecting all religions and cultures.
    Your axis of evil is evil, drawing lines in the sand

  • Comment number 58.

    It is stated elsewhere on this site, and you repeat here: (it) "appears to have been a kill rather than capture mission, ... ." i don't know where you get this. The US certainly didn't order that he be brought back alive, if possible. That doesn't mean that there was an order to be sure he is killed. The US has stated that they were prepared to bring him back alive, but that they expected he would be killed. The rules of engagement, consistent with international conventions on the rules of war, do not allow killing of one who has surrendered, or who is no longer a threat by having been injured or overpowered. The latest reports state that he had an AK-47 within reach and was reaching for it when he was shot. Does anyone actually believe that Usama bin Laden attempted to surrender when he has stated that he would not be taken alive?

    Some who have questioned the legitimacy of the killing have asked whether the commandos "offered" a surrender option. This is obfuscation. There is no duty to do this. It is up to the person under attack to surrender, by any recognizable means. If anyone thinks otherwise, I would like to know exactly where it is written.

    It is possible that the US President said "I want him dead" then denied it for public consumption, or that UbL attempted to surrender and this has been covered up. If so, the burden of proof falls on those who would make these accusations.

  • Comment number 59.

    Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John, (#57. At 01:37am 8th May 2011)

    "... just leave peoples business and mind your own ..."
    NP. We'll be happy to accommodate you so long as their business does not include visiting violence on Americans.

  • Comment number 60.

    at quiet oak tree
    you remind me of skip bob bin laden but less mad

  • Comment number 61.

    was 911 a false flag
    some say yes for sure
    some say no
    some say I don't know

    would it turn his story around
    if it were

  • Comment number 62.

    GH1618, (#58. At 01:44am 8th May 2011)

    ”... Some who have questioned the legitimacy of the killing have asked whether the commandos "offered" a surrender option. This is obfuscation. There is no duty to do this. It is up to the person under attack to surrender, by any recognizable means. If anyone thinks otherwise, I would like to know exactly where it is written ...”

    I hope you have already learned patience.

  • Comment number 63.

    you cannot call it a successful mission of stealth if they had to leave a chopper behind and then had to admit they were there due to the heavy dense evidence

  • Comment number 64.

    59 Chryses writes:
    "NP. We'll be happy to accommodate you so long as their business does not include visiting violence on Americans."
    ----------------------
    As Little John writes at 57, stop invading and violating other countries and their people, and the world will stop 'visiting violence on Americans'. You have been doing nothing but killing and interfering since WW2, and Vietnam was the worst of the lot. Follow your own Monroe doctrine and stay in your glorious USofA - we will all be a lot better off for it.

  • Comment number 65.

    margaret howard, (#64. At 11:33am 8th May 2011)

    "... You have been doing nothing but killing and interfering since WW2, and Vietnam was the worst of the lot ..."
    Perhaps you overlooked NATO's defense of Western Europe following WWII, and the policy of Containment, which led to the downfall of the Soviet Union. You may also have not noticed the defense of South Korea and Taiwan. Are these interferences also on your list of prohibitions? Did not the U.S. assist in establishing the NFZ over Libya, and continues to provide the "services the U.S. is uniquely able to provide" there, which is code for an admission the European air forces are unable to carry them out? Do you think that the U.S. involvement in the Suez Crisis, when two colonial powers, France and England, were compelled to withdraw their occupying forces from Egypt was inappropriate? Etc., etc., etc.

    "... Follow your own Monroe doctrine and stay in your glorious USofA ..."
    The Monroe Doctrine was introduced in 1823. The U.S. and the world have changed somewhat during the subsequent 188 years, and yet you recommend a return to a policy of that era.

    That is an intriguing notion you propose for the U.S. Would you also recommend that women be disenfranchised, or that slavery be reintroduced? If not, you may want to reconsider your proposal to roll back the hands of time.

    "... we will all be a lot better off for it."
    Amusing speculation.

  • Comment number 66.

    @64. Please keep educating the disbelievers and those that continuously pretend they love mankind, but under their true beliefs, scorn every intelligent comment which has come to the surface. Come forward in this time with killa shots from your arsenal. A Positive mission deserves the same exposure and ranking as the dross analysis.

  • Comment number 67.

    65 Chryses writes:
    "The Monroe Doctrine was introduced in 1823. The U.S. and the world have changed somewhat during the subsequent 188 years, and yet you recommend a return to a policy of that era."
    ----------------------------
    The Monroe doctrine deals with interference by one government in the affairs of another and is therefore as valid in 2023 as it was 200 years before. It is just a smokescreen to claim that it involves rolling back the time. As for re-introducing slavery, that was a self-inflicted problem for America which you tried to solve by a bloody civil war (and a wound not healed yet).
    As for the other examples you cite, just tell us why America needs 120 military bases world wide? Who threatens you now, Azerbajan, Romania, Bulgaria, Liechtenstein? I think the Red Indians have hung up their bows and arrows. Or are you there in those Fort Knox type compounds to befriend the local population?


  • Comment number 68.

    Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John, (#63. At 04:37am 8th May 2011)

    "...you cannot call it a successful mission of stealth if they had to leave a chopper behind and then had to admit they were there due to the heavy dense evidence"

    Let us examine the evidence - your post. 'Stealth' and 'successful' modify 'mission', so let us begin with the noun.

    Mission is defined (at least in some dictionaries) as a specific task or duty assigned to a person or group of people. Perhaps you disagree, but sending a collection of SEALs halfway around the world to "get" OBL satisfies the definition.
    Successful is defined (at least in some dictionaries) as "having succeeded in one's endeavors." The purpose and intent was to get OBL. Did that occur? Yes it did. The mission satisfies the definition of successful.
    Stealth is defined (at least in some dictionaries) as "surreptitious; secret; not openly acknowledged." The Pakistan government was unaware of the mission until after the goal was achieved. The mission satisfies the definition of Stealth.

    So if one is using the language to communicate, rather than obfuscate, that is how it (the attack) was "a successful mission of stealth."

    References available on request.

  • Comment number 69.

    margaret howard, (#67. At 14:16pm 8th May 2011)

    "... The Monroe doctrine deals with interference by one government in the affairs of another and is therefore as valid in 2023 as it was 200 years before ..."
    Nonsense. Foreign policy mediates the relationship between sovereign nations. As the relationship changes between nations, so do the Foreign policies. Is the Foreign policy of H.M. Government the same as it was in 1823? Of course not; please be serious.

    "... It is just a smokescreen to claim that it involves rolling back the time ..."
    You are mistaken. As the Monroe Doctrine was developed within a particular political and historical context, returning to it would require returning to the Age of Empires. Or are you advocating only the bits of the Monroe Doctrine which suit your purposes?

    "... As for re-introducing slavery, that was a self-inflicted problem for America which you tried to solve by a bloody civil war (and a wound not healed yet) ..."
    You are mistaken. Slavery was a custom inherited from the Colonies' Imperial Master. Read your history.

    "... As for the other examples you cite, just tell us why America needs 120 military bases world wide? Who threatens you now, Azerbajan, Romania, Bulgaria, Liechtenstein? I think the Red Indians have hung up their bows and arrows. Or are you there in those Fort Knox type compounds to befriend the local population? "
    I note with considerable amusement that you responded to NONE of the examples I provided. Still, if it makes you feel better, indulge yourself.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    69 Chryses writes:
    "You are mistaken. As the Monroe Doctrine was developed within a particular political and historical context, returning to it would require returning to the Age of Empires. Or are you advocating only the bits of the Monroe Doctrine which suit your purposes?"
    ----------------------------------

    The Monroe doctrine was drafted in 1823 as a warning against interference by European nations in American affairs.
    It was invoked again in 1865 against interference in Mexico.
    Again in 1904 in Latin America
    and finally in 1962 the Soviet Union over Cuba, a timespan of 140 years right into the modern era.
    (Information excerpted from Milestone Documents [Washington, DC: The National Archives and Records Administration, 1995] pp. 26–29)
    ---------------------------

  • Comment number 72.

    "",,,As for the other examples you cite, just tell us why America needs 120 military bases world wide?"""

    Tell us why the UK or Europe do not have 120 military bases world wide? Perhaps it lost its significance in today's world. Ever thought of that?

  • Comment number 73.

    @72. sportser.
    Quote. "tell us why the UK or Europe not have 120 military bases world wide?"

    ok No1. You do not keep a dog and bark yourself?
    No2. If someone is prepared to do your dirty work for him, would you be stupid enough to stop him?

    Finally sportser, always look out for where people slip the word "perhaps" in, it is a real giveaway and when it starts a sentence, it usually gives the author license to spout out the biggest load of nonsense he or she is capable of.
    That is my little gift to you though.

  • Comment number 74.

    Why does Satan need over 5,000 nukes

  • Comment number 75.

    margaret howard, (#71. At 15:26pm 8th May 2011)

    ”... The Monroe doctrine was drafted in 1823 as a warning against interference by European nations in American affairs ...”

    OK. If that’s the bit of the Monroe Doctrine upon which you wish to focus, so be it. It follows that once the U.S. has declared an interest in some international interaction, European nations should, according to your interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine (Information excerpted from Milestone Documents [Washington, DC: The National Archives and Records Administration, 1995] pp. 26–29), stay out of American affairs.

    I trust you are satisfied with this application of your interpretation of the Nineteenth Century foreign policy you so fervently espouse.

  • Comment number 76.

    Let's face it Kane. The UK is just a little island off the coast with little or no resources to make it survive for another 100 years.

    Get over your tight upper lip attitude. Your Kingdom is useless. All hype and no substance. Sorry. That's just the way it is as of now.

  • Comment number 77.

    Personally, I cherish USA's relationship with UK and all our other allies, too...sure, we differ about how we want to run things, ect, but that's life, that's the way it works, people and countries do not always agree, and we have the right to do things our own way, but we can overcome the obstacles to remain friends because in the long run, its worth it, there is strength in numbers...USA's stronger with our allies than without them...that being said, if things change, then they change...but truthfully, we are a good country to have on your side as no matter what happens, USA never gives up...this is shown most recently by the capture of bin Ladin; after ten years, we could have easily given up, but we did not, we worked harder than ever and our hard work paid off...

    Some say they are embarrased by the celebration, okay, that's your right, but its my right to celebrate that I love my country and I will chant USA for as long as I want...

    Go USA!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ;0

  • Comment number 78.

    @76 sportser.
    Quote "Sorry".
    Makes everything said previous as cause for an apology.
    It is accepted.

  • Comment number 79.

    77 Lucy writes:
    "...after ten years, we could have easily given up, but we did not, we worked harder than ever and our hard work paid off..."
    ----------------------
    Ten years for the most powerful nation on earth to find one little man hiding out in a concrete shack in a third world country with nothing more sophisticated than a television to keep him company? LOL I suppose you had exhausted all the caves in Afghanistan.


  • Comment number 80.

    Chryses @ 53

    Please don't get me wrong. If you wish to maintain two standards, one for people like OBL, and another for their victims, by all means do so.


    I'm talking about the State, not the victims. There are many other people who have elected to be an outlaw, should the State ignore the judicial system and kill them? If a State wants to defeat terrorism it will have to use the rule of law and treat the terrorists for the criminals that they are. Terrorism cannot be defeated militarily. I reiterate that the US government is far from 'holier than thou' especially when it comes to foreign policy.


    OBL elected to operate outside the law. In doing so, he relinquished the protections afforded to the accused under American law.


    That's another point. OBL was never living under American Law, he was living under Pakistani Law. I think we all know which legal system we would prefer to live under, but no foreign legal system has authority in sovereign States - that would be colonialist. I wonder if the UK would have had the right to send SAS officers in the US to kill the IRA financial donaters and arms suppliers?
  • Comment number 81.

    Lucy,

    I’m sure you’ve read the story of "The Fox and the Grapes," one of Aesop's Fables. It refers to envious behavior, especially pretending to not care for something one does not or cannot have, a condition called cognitive dissonance. As a citizen of what was once a superpower, and is now not, some people prefer to attack or discount the successes of others. Read some of these posts, and see if you can find an example of "The Fox and the Grapes.”

  • Comment number 82.

    imho only less than average people with no individuality need to cling onto a national identity. its a big world and america is full of losers such as the geezer above at 81

  • Comment number 83.

    @82.
    Hey, shh! But I think that you just clung on to the American National Identity.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    dceilar, (#80. At 21:00pm 8th May 2011)

    "... I'm talking about the State, not the victims ..."
    The United States of America also a victim. The collective of Americans that is the U.S. has been damaged. The annual base defense budget increased from $387B in FY2000 to $534B by FY2011(scroll down a bit), excluding supplemental funding directly attributed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and certain other expenses related to the "War on Terror." All of this money was taken from American workers, not from the victims of 9/11. One can but speculate to what other uses those hundreds of billions of dollars might have been employed. The intrusions on and limitations of the American citizenry have been suffered by the living, not the dead. Make no mistake, the U.S. has suffered from OBL's attentions.

    "... There are many other people who have elected to be an outlaw, should the State ignore the judicial system and kill them? If a State wants to defeat terrorism it will have to use the rule of law and treat the terrorists for the criminals that they are. Terrorism cannot be defeated militarily ..."
    I suggest that Osama bin Laden was a special case, and deserved the special treatment he received. You must admit that he was no run of the mill criminal.

    "... I reiterate that the US government is far from 'holier than thou' especially when it comes to foreign policy ..."
    I don't recall suggesting otherwise, do you?

    "... That's another point. OBL was never living under American Law, he was living under Pakistani Law. I think we all know which legal system we would prefer to live under, but no foreign legal system has authority in sovereign States - that would be colonialist ..."
    You are mistaken, but on this account, I hold you blameless, for the subject is difficult. Consider, if you will the situation facing the judges at Nuremburg in 1945-1946. The crimes for which the Nazi elite were tried were not committed in the U.S., the UK, the USSR, or France. The Third Reich had very carefully revised the German Law to make their deeds lawful. So by what right and criteria were these men to be tried? You see the problem clearly, yet for these crimes, a solution must be found. Times and circumstances change, but while neither change should prevent the administration of justice, law is limited to legislation. Such was the problem the U.S. faced in its attempt to resolve the 'dilemma' of OBL.

    "... I wonder if the UK would have had the right to send SAS officers in the US to kill the IRA financial donaters and arms suppliers?"
    Just between the two of us, I suspect that were such to come to pass, the Special Relationship between the UK & the U.S. would be strained. The act might be eased somewhat if these miscreants were labeled as international terrorists by all civilized nations prior to 'taking them down.'

  • Comment number 86.

    dceilar (80) wrote that Usama bin Laden was "living under Pakistani law." Of course. But when crimes are committed on US soil, or against US embassies or military bases or ships, or against US citizens abroad, the perpetrators are subject to US law, even conspirators who have never set foot in the US.

    As for the sovereignty issue, it is a new situation not contemplated by old treaties wherin we have a stateless organization which has declared war on the US, and which operates out of any haven it can find in other sovereign countries. The UN Charter recognizes the right of sovereign states (here, the US) to act in their self-defense. How that applies in this situation is as much a matter of power as law. The US decided that unilateral action was the best way to achieve the objective of the operation, had the power to do so, and was right to do so, in my opinion. Pakistan has a perfect right to complain about the violation of their sovereignty, so relations will be strained for a time. That's just the way it is, no reason to regret proceeding as was done.

    Candidate Obama said that he was prepared to go after UbL in Pakistan. President Obama proved that he meant what he said. No high-level terrorists should think that they are safe because of abstract ideas about "sovereignty."

  • Comment number 87.

    Chryses @ 85

    Although interesting your link is, I'm not swayed by the argument that the US is a victim because its annual defence budget increased from $387b in 2000 to $710b in 2008 as a response to 9/11 (info from your link@85). The American people chose to spend that amount, invade Afghanistan & Iraq, and send more money to her 'client States'. They could have voted Bush II out if they did. It is debatable whether that increase was justified or necessary. One can speculate to what other uses that billions of dollars could have been used for, but I'm certain it wouldn't be on a public health option. More likely to have been spent on tax cuts for those don't need it. Anyway I digress. Instead it seems that the money was spent on the part of the US economy that didn't need it either.

    Your Nuremberg example has some merit and demands more thought, but my first impressions are that there are some big differences to Nazi Germany compared to al-quada. Firstly, it is a terrorist movement not a sovereign State; and second, Germany was officially at war and was defeated (being occupied in the process). As an aside, the US does not recognise international law either in the US or in its actions overseas.

  • Comment number 88.

    GH1618 @ 86 wrote:

    when crimes are committed on US soil, or against US embassies or military bases or ships, or against US citizens abroad, the perpetrators are subject to US law


    Only in the eyes of the US it seems. Isn't there a standard procedure for getting people arrested in other countries from where the crime originally happened - which are mostly in the form of international arrest warrants and the use of interpol amongst others?

    GH1618:
    As for the sovereignty issue, it is a new situation not contemplated by old treaties wherin we have a stateless organization which has declared war on the US, and which operates out of any haven it can find in other sovereign countries. The UN Charter recognizes the right of sovereign states (here, the US) to act in their self-defense.

    All terrorist groups are stateless organisations, and more to the point, if a State declares war on this organisation how can they still be terrorists? The IRA (who declared war on the UK but the UK did not respond in kind) would have loved it if the UK declared war on them as then they would see themselves as genuine freedom fighters instead of being just terrorists, and would expect any of its members when arrested to be treated as Prisoners of War.

    Besides, many crimes have committed by sovereign States in the name of 'self-defence'. Israel's constant use of that term is just a cover for its unjustifiable use of State Terrorism.
  • Comment number 89.

    The losing the helicopter touch reminds me of some laurel and hardy comedy
    they were funny!
    (see below i.e ☟)
    Laurel and Hardy Dance to MPLA by The Revolutionaries
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FU5-0Z_z2E

  • Comment number 90.

    Chryses 81,
    Great story...and so very true...I always loved Aesops' Fables...showcasing that you can find strength and humor in the most unknown of places...
    :)

    DCeiling, yes, we voted Bush in, but you have to think, the first race was very close- it was almost equally tied- (there were also issues with the new voting machines) and the second race was also close (also had issues with the voting machines) - so its not as cut and dried as dcelar and some would like everyone to think- you got about half the population saying yes and half the population saying no, so for every person who wanted such there was also a person who didn't...sometimes you don't get what you want and you just have to do the best you can which is what many of us are trying to do..

    Don't loop us into the same hole, we are all Americans, but we are not robots, we all have our own individualty that doesn't mean we all think or feel the exact same, except in terms of the patriotism true Americans feel which is what ultimately brings USA together, our love for our country...

    Its not that easy to go against hte President, either, just look at Obama and Trump and how that turned out for him...just look at Valerie Plame, the CIA agent who was outed, Fair Game was a good movie...when the PResident wants to do something that bad, he's going to do it and there is no way for anyone to predict the future...

    We are living in an imperfect world...if you look for the negative and ignore the positive, if you expect perfection, if you focus only on one group of people in a world of many, you will always be disappointed and never be satisfied cause' that's called life...

  • Comment number 91.

    @89 BBR.
    You should check out "Operation Eagle Claw", that was more Keystone Cops than Laurel and Hardy.

  • Comment number 92.

    @91 Kane aka Grasshopper from Kung Fu

    to be honest I always thought GWB's Cowboy Persona was such dreadful phony bad acting deserving a gong, but that cheesy speak 'wanted dead or alive' etc was dead serious and people really do talk like that apparently.

  • Comment number 93.

    @93 BBR.
    But I thought GWB said "I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question" or was that Caine from Kung Fu? I get confused.
    I miss old GWB in his flight jacket these days, you never miss a good thing till it is gone huh? :-)

  • Comment number 94.

    re: 88 dceilar

    I find Gary's argument holds water with me. International law (i.e., the law that regulates the behaviour of states via supranational institutions) could be perhaps most charitably described as a 'work in process.'

    In the case of Bin Laden, I am trying to imagine how the authority of the ICJ, or even of bi-lateral extradition treaties with Pakistan, would ever, ever have been enforced. Had the US sought to have Bin Laden handed over through channels, it would not have happened. This reality is a function of the absolute lack of an enforcement branch of the ICJ, and of Pakistan's internal politics. There is no international police force, and Pakistan would not recognise them even if they were knocking at the door.

    Thus the law, in this instance, was incapable of delivering justice. Justice required an act (measured and appropriate, in my opinion) of extra-legal aggression.

    An international order regulated by law remains a distant dream, and force retains a major role on this lawless frontier.

  • Comment number 95.

    Pinko @ 94

    An international order regulated by law remains a distant dream, and force retains a major role on this lawless frontier.

    I understand your point, but it is only a distant dream because the West makes it so, and the whole point of having international law is to rein in force. The West wants the international order to be lawless and violent because it is the best way for it to get what it wants. This is made clear by its own double standards in the arena of international relations. One example is "the Cuban airline bomber Orlando Bosch, who just died peacefully in Florida, including reference to the “Bush doctrine” that societies that harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves and should be treated accordingly." This article ( http://www.guernicamag.com/blog/2652/noam_chomsky_my_reaction_to_os/ ) also says: "We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic."

    I think we both agree that we do not like Bush II, he is responsible for more deaths than ObL, and that we know that he'll never face trial; but we would never condone such violent action against him or the flouting of international law by his killers.

    Chryses mentioned earlier about the Nuremburg Trial. I can't help but think that these Nazis murdered millions but they still got a trial. Today we have 80 of America's Special Forces shooting dead an unarmed man on dialysis. It seems the main person to offer resistance was one of his wifes! Why couldn't they apprehend him and let him face trial?
  • Comment number 96.

    decelar


    With friends like you who needs enemies?

  • Comment number 97.

    dceilar, (#95. At 20:18pm 12th May 2011)

    ”... Chryses mentioned earlier about the Nuremburg Trial, I can't help but think that these Nazis murdered millions but they still got a trial ...”

    Indeed I did, and I would like to know if you have given any thought to the Law as it was applied to evaluate the actions of the accused at the main Trials. As the behavior for which they were tried was not performed in the victors’ countries, and German law had been revised to legalize their activities, by what standards or criteria might they be prosecuted – some for capital offenses?

  • Comment number 98.

    Chryses @ 97

    Just a minor correction: Most of the Nazis' crimes were not in Germany - they were in Poland, Russia, Ukraine etc.

    I still can't find a link of the Nuremberg Trials to justify the assassination of ObL. Benjamin Ferencz, a former combat solder during WW2 and a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, backs the argument that ObL should have stood trial (and Bush II).

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/05/13/nuremberg

  • Comment number 99.

    LucyJ @ 96

    With enemies like you dear LucyJ who needs friends.

  • Comment number 100.

    dceilar (at 98) is confused. All that was necessary to justify killing Usama bin Laden is that he was a declared enemy of the United States who committed acts of war in furtherance of that declaration. Nuremburg has nothing to do with it.

    What dceilar (and others) need to find is something to support calling the killing impermissable. For example, The Hague Convention of 1907 states:

    " ... it is especially forbidden ... (c) To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion; ... "

    Show that UbL was surrendering and you will have a basis for calling the killing unjustified.

 

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