Tuesday, 03 May 2011 13:43

Bin Laden is dead, the al-Qaeda network isn’t

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Mike BayhamOn September 11, 2001 Osama Bin Laden brought his fanatical Islamist war against the West in an unprecedented attack on our shores. 

Almost ten years later, the United States brought the war of vengeance to his living room in Pakistan.  

Americans have not celebrated the death of an individual with such jubilation since Adolf Hitler’s suicide in the fuhrerbunker.  

Osama Bin Laden wasn’t just an enemy; he personified evil, the greatest villain in the first decade of the 21stcentury. 

When then-President George W. Bush launched a war of retribution against al-Qaeda and the Afghan regime that offered him safe harbor, Bin Laden had to live the life of a fugitive. 

It appears Bin Laden wasn’t exactly roughing it as his last surroundings were not in a cave in the wilderness near the Afghan-Pakistani border but in a comfortable well-protected mansion in an upscale urban area not far from Islamabad.  

For that our Pakistani “friends” have a great deal of explaining to do and exemplifies the need for the United States to take unilateral action and deal with the politics of upsetting diplomatic sensibilities later. 

Apparently Pakistani officials were not so much concerned with an injury to national pride through the violation of their sovereignty but uncovering their complicity to aid and abet an international criminal. 

Had Bin Laden not possessed a Leona Helmsley-like mentality that “only the little people” martyr themselves for Allah, he would have made a point of being taken alive  and thus given his greatest forum yet to encourage uprisings and inflame the hearts of his fellow Islamic radicals..  

The Navy SEAL team that killed Bin Laden spared Americans the specter of a circus trial that would have followed.  Where should it have been held?  What rights would he have had?  Should Bin Laden appear before an international tribunal or an American military court?  Not to mention establishing procedure.  

Bin Laden did the world a favor by resisting capture and justifying the use of lethal force.  

Bin Laden’s guilt was beyond doubt; he needed no trial, just a swift execution and a quick disposition of his remains in a place in an inaccessible location.  Dropping his body off into the sea was ideal, though it’s a shame his body was afforded any religious courtesies en route to splashing down to a watery grave.  Bin Laden’s remains should not have been shown the least shred of dignity. 

Relatives of those who died on September 11thand Americans in general should take some satisfaction in this: moments before the fatal bullet hit him, the al-Qaeda terrorist mastermind experienced something similar to that of his organization’s victims on the top stories of the World Trade Center: absolute terror. 

Those trapped between the jet fuel-fed flames that engulfed the Twin Towers’ midsections and the buildings’ roofs experienced the anguish that they would be dead in a matter of minutes before escaping the inferno raging around them by leaping to their death over a thousand feet to the concrete plaza below. 

There’s the real justice: not just that Bin Laden was killed but that he was overcome with the same dread that a condemned man feels en route to the gallows.  Bin Laden knew what was going to happen and that an American was going to have the honor bagging the trophy.   

Also Bin Laden died with the knowledge that he did not get away with his crimes, that he  suffered a brief spate of mental hell before transitioning to an eternity of spiritual hell.     

While almost all Americans would have settled for a quick air strike if it would assure Bin Laden’s demise, President Barack Obama was right to authorize this particular action and wise to not pay a courtesy call to Pakistani officials. 

The operation carried great risk and could very well have turned into another Desert One.  The president should be credited for having the guts to pull the trigger. 

Two decades of terrorist attacks and video taped taunts were trumped by American perseverance and military might.  Though the pursuit was met with years of frustrations and feelings of futility, we didn’t give up and kept hunting.  

While Bin Laden is dead, the al-Qaeda network isn’t.  That said, its members and affiliates are more convinced today that the United States will relentlessly pursue them across the globe and charge into their legally protected sanctuaries.  And that has to make people who claim a willingness to die for a cause to think twice. 

America’s enemies should pay heed to the results of the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound.  

Islamist terrorists might not understand western civilization, they comprehend determination and power and the United States projected both in the ten-year pursuit in the hunt for the terrorist mastermind.  



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