Is the “War on Terror” now over?
Can we go back to life the way it was before?
Because, for sure, there’s no way to ask any questions about this.
[Though, there are probably videos that will be shown later…]
U.S. President Obama said it was a “targetted operation”… which “took care to avoid civilian casualties”.
After 9/11, our time of grief, Americans came together, Obama said. “We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, an organization headed by Osama Bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. So, we went to war against Al-Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends and our allies … In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government which had given Bin Ladan and Al-Qaeda safe haven and support, and around the globe, we worked to capture or kill scores of Al-Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot”, he said. “Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the Director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of Osama Bin Laden the top priority in our war against al-Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle or defeat his network”…
Obama never once said the word “terrorist” or “terror” [this was one of the significant style changes in his administration]. No, this is a war against Al-Qaeda, Obama said, several times.
“There is no doubt that Al-Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us”, Obama added, so the U.S. “must be vigilant, at home and abroad”…
The U.S. then issued a worldwide travel alert and advisory to all U.S. citizens.
A warden message received on Monday afternoon from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem says: “Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations … We urge U.S. citizens to keep in regular contact with family and friends”.
In his announcement, Obama also said that Bin Laden’s “demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity … justice has been done”.
Osama Bin Laden has been killed, somehow, in a “showdown with U.S. forces” in a luxurious villa in a heavily-fortified compound in Pakistan — a country which insisted he was not there, and where U.S. forces have been operating for years, while supposedly searching for Osama Bin Laden and his amorphous Al-Qaeda Organization, which any misfit or rebel who wanted to antagonize could claim to be part of (whether true or not, claims were accepted, usually without question, if convenient).
The villa was reportedly in, or on the outskirts of, Abbotabad, about two hours north of Islamabad. [And, the villa was reportedly about 800 yards from the Pakistan Military Academy.]
According to a report in The Guardian, here, the villa was identified last August, the U.S. was certain in February that Bin Laden and family were there, and Obama gave the order to get him on 29 April.
The same report added that “It was a surgical operation, he said, carried out by a small team and lasted only 40 minutes … The US force ran into a problem with one of their helicopters which had to be abandoned, but only after being destroyed by explosives set by the American troops”.
Some Pakistani forces reportedly accompanied the U.S. soldiers. Now, they say they’re not sure who fired the shot that actually killed Osama Bin Laden. But, there can never be another autopsy, a forensic examination, because, the U.S. says, his body has been “buried at sea” — according to Muslim tradition (which is NOT to bury a dead person at sea, but in the earth).
This happened within a very few hours — at 0200 in Washington DC time — and that would be according to Muslim (and Jewish) tradition which prefers burial (in earth) within 24 hours. The military operation apparently started just after 8pm, and Obama made his announcement after 10:30 pm, the time it was supposed to take place …
The U.S. took charge [“custody”, Obama said] of the body, and then said no country was willing to take the body for burial…
That’ll make it easy, they must have thought.
UPDATE: At a White House briefing after 9pm Monday night (Jerusalem time), with the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and John Brennan of the President’s National Security team, Brennan said that “we were able to monitor it [the operation] in real time”. He said the COAs [Course of Actions] were determined over the past couple of months: if he’s captured, what do we do with him? And, if he’s killed what do we do. Arrangements for the burial were ready. The appropriate people were there. A decision was taken that the burial in the way it was done was the appropriate thing to do. He would not say exactly where it happened. He said that there have been differences between the U.S. and Pakistan on counterterrorism policy, and that the Pakistani authorities were briefed immediately after the operation. They were appreciative of the fact that there were no Pakistani casualties”.
Brennan, a “counterterrorism” advisor, said that “we are talking to the Pakistanis” about the location where Bin Laden was found, but initially “they seemed as surprised as we were”…
Brennan said that Bin Laden did participate in the firefight when the U.S. raid occurred, but when asked specifically, Brennan said he didn’t know if Bin Laden got his hand on a weapon or fired any rounds.
Others died, too, including “the two al-Qaeda facilitators” [two brothers], one of his sons [Khaled], and “a woman being used as a hostage shield”… presumed to be one of Osama Bin Laden’s wives, Brennan later said, adding that he did not know how it was she was interposed in the line of fire in front of Bin Laden, including whether she put herself in that position herself.
It is not clear whether Bin Laden was buried alone, at sea, or with this wife, and his son…
But, in the best post-Second-World-War American tradition, the U.S. is leader of “the free world”, and no questions can be asked. [Or, as happened on Monday evening, there will be a press conference with dozens of questions, and not too many full answers…]
There will be no trial. Osama will not be water-boarded in Camp Guantanamo to extract “the facts” in a full investigation. We will never know what really happened, and we will believe what suits us.
There is no body to show = no need to know: just accept our word, we’re the “good guys”?
Just trust the leaders. Or, what’s wrong with you — get the hell out! Go… to Gaza!
On Twitter, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, tweeted (@husainhaqqani) just after 1:15 in the afternoon, Jerusalem time:
**”Official Pakistan statement being released in Islamabad on our US bringing Osama bin Laden to justice 14 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®”
**”Pak statement: In intelligence driven op, Osama Bin Ladin was killed in the surroundings of Abbotabad in the early hours of Mon morning”
**”Operation was conducted by US forces in accordance with declared US policy”
**”Earlier 2day, President Obama telephoned President Zardari on the successful US operation which resulted in killing of OBL”
**”Al-Qaeda had declared war on Pakistan. Scores of Al-Qaeda sponsored terrorist attacks resulted in deaths of 1000s of innocent Pakistanis”