Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bin Laden Reported Dead


"US president Barack Obama is due to make a statement shortly in which he is expected to announce the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. [...]
 
"Qais Azimy, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kabul, said that Afghan officials have confirmed that Bin Laden had died and that his body was with the United States.

"Officials would not confirm whether he had been killed in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and said that the death of the al-Qaeda leader was more of a "symbolic victory", as he was no longer directly connected to the group's field operations, Azimy reported."
*
The Washington Post posits that this was a CIA operation. It comes on the heels of an already white-hot controversy involving CIA operative Raymond Davis, who was working undercover in Pakistan when he shot and killed two Pakistanis who allegedly tried to rob him. 

Late the night of Sunday, May 1, US President Barack Obama made an address from the White House -- after a delay of over an hour -- replete with imagery of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and an unabashedly pro-American, surprisingly hawkish stance on the breaking news. 

"Justice has been done," Obama declared. The US president also stressed that "we must remain vigilant," and that the operation against Bin Laden was not an act within a larger war against Islam. Importantly, Obama made explicit reference to the fact that this claim was originally made by former US President George W. Bush.

"We will be relentless in defense of our citizens, and our friends and allies," Obama said, with manifest resolution in his voice. 

Crowds spilled into the streets in Washington. Ecstatic chants erupted of "USA! USA!" from crowds that gathered in front of the White House.
*
The questions we transatlantic thinkers must now ask ourselves include:


- How should the US and Europe respond? 

- What are the security implications involved? How might we anticipate the possibility of reprisals, attacks or other violence in the West?

- What are the long-term effects of a killing of this magnitude, whether "symbolic" or real?


Your comments are welcome.

10 comments:

  1. Reprisals? The risk of attack is there anyway, wether bin Laden is living or dead. Think of this as an opportunity... Shaking the tree to see what nuts fall fall out.

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