Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thoughts on Osama's death

First, as President Obama said, "Justice has been served." A man who exulted in mass murder has finally gotten his just reward.

Thoughts on Osama's death


First, as President Obama said, “Justice has been served.”  A man who exulted in mass murder has finally gotten his just reward.

Second, after so much bad news from around the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a deepening feeling among Americans that the country has lost its edge, U.S. special forces did something many believed was possible. This is also a triumph for U.S. intelligence of a magnitude that compensates for so many past failures.

 Third, what the hell were the Pakistanis doing all these years? Osama was living in a mega mansion only a few score miles from the capital/in Abbattabad, a city where many retired military officers live. The mansion was built in 2005 and was several times larger than other houses in the area, with extraordinary security around it. How come Pakistani intelligence never found it earlier. It will be very interesting to hear what input they did or did not have into the operation by U.S. Navy Seals, who travelled into Pakistan by helicopter from Afghanistan..

 Fourth, the whole mythology of OBL as an ascetic living in a cave has been revealed to be a fraud. He was living in luxury. While OBL wannabes will continue to try to organize attacks against the West, this is a game-changer in the fight against jihadi terrorists. Osama was Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol.

 Fifth, Peter Bergen, CNN’s expert on Al Qaeda says “Killing Bin Laden is the end of the war on terror.”  It certainly will raise questions about whether we should accelerate our exit from Afghanistan.

 Sixth, Obama and his national security team deserve a lot of credit. This was a very risky mission and he signed off on it. The team also kept it the planning of the mission a secret for several weeks. Obama got Osama and that's a triumph.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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