Jun 24, 2011 admin
The most intriguing aspect of the operation that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden is the timing. By President Obama’s own admission they had good intelligence concerning his whereabouts at least as far back as August 2010 – that’s a full ten months ago.
So, why the delay?
Presidents and Prime Ministers tell lies…not all the time, of course, just when it suits them. Their justification: It’s in ‘the national interest,’ and occasionally it is. But more often it’s in the leader’s political interest and after a very short time in office they tend to confuse the two.
For example, if in August last year you asked President Barack Obama: ‘Do you know the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden?’ He would say, ‘No.’ But all the evidence suggests that this is simply untrue.
At the time the Americans called the terrorist, ‘The Man Most Wanted’ but the last thing they wanted was to capture or kill him. They wanted him just where he was.
Their calculation was perfectly understandable. Once they had him in their sights they could follow his couriers, break his communication codes and gain a good understanding of the spread and extent of the Al Qaeda network.
However, after nearly a year they probably had all they needed. It has allowed them – and their allies – to take out key operational leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and most recently Iraq.
But now there was another vital factor to consider: Mr Obama’s re-election. And that, I suggest, is why they acted now.
It was important that they kill rather than capture the man. If brought to court, he would use his trial in the United States as a propaganda platform, ably assisted by some publicity seeking American lawyer (is there any other kind?) thereby playing into the hands of Al Qaeda recruiters.
But the truth is that Al Qaeda is now the bogeyman that governments use to frighten the citizenry. And if you doubt it, consider what has NOT happened during the war on terror.
How is it, for example, that they have not struck at our most vulnerable commodity – our water supply? It requires the insertion of only a minute amount of deadly poison in the dams and lakes that feed into the reticulation systems of any major Western city from London to New York to Canberra to kill untold thousands. And they are simply impossible to protect and defend.
Indeed, we barely try. I know this because recently I tested our Canberra storages. In broad daylight and armed with suspicious plastic buckets, I approached the water’s edge. Had I been a terrorist I could have poured deadly toxins into the dams till the cows came home; there wasn’t a security officer within cooee.
This, of course, is all good news. It looks as though we’ve had a big win.
The trouble is that in the interim governments have passed laws restricting our freedoms and built gargantuan security services; and they rather like the collective control that has over our lives.
So they will never actually declare victory and even a nice man like Barack Obama will continue to tell big fibs to his friends and allies.