When John King made the announcement on CNN that OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD, it was quite something.However,the death of Osama does not guarantee anything in terms of Mr. Obama’s re-election. Think of President Bush Sr after desert storm with his 87% approval. Most democrats feared to join the race because of those numbers. The kid from Arkansas saw it differently and tried his luck with the economy stupid and the rest is history. History is replete with momentous events that did not mean much for election or re-election of leaders.
Yes, Mr. Obama and his security team take immediate credit and deservedly so, but it is 16 months before the elections. Moreover the death of Osama will lead to more questions. For instance if the mission in Afghanistan was to hunt and kill Osama, now that he is dead should not the American and NATO troops go home? Why should American and NATO taxpayers continue to fund the mission in that country? That is another headache. And it is a question that will soon take centre stage.
Also, Americans have been willing to endure cuts in health care and other productive sectors because defense took the bulk of the money since they had to kill Osama. Now that they have killed him, what next? Will Americans feel the same way about sacrifices elsewhere?
And of course the question USA officials are desperately trying to prevent: why should USA taxpayers continue to send billions to Pakistan? It turns out Pakistan was blackmailing the USA-its version of extroversion-that it needed the money to hunt for Osama.
Well, they just protected him and according to Senator Feinstein of CA, Osama bin Laden may have live in that house for 6 years! The more Pakistan’s ISI protected him so Americans did not know where he was, the more money went to Pakistan! he was killed not far way from Pakistani’s elite military college, the equivalent of West Point in the USA. That proves the point that all along top Pakistani inteligence officials knew that the murderer was in their country. They did nothing evena as he kiled thousands in their country.It took a new regime under President Zardawi-the widower of Ms Benazir Bhutto-to get rid of him.
Change in regime helped. But the news is that the tip came from one of the detainees at Guantanamo who gave details about the courier. To be honest it is just diplomatic lingo for the USA to say nice things about Pakistani in public but in private they are not saying such niceties. Pakistani scrambled to reply but too many gaps. Their ambassador to the USA was in the UK at the time.
The description of the mansion made it to stand out: 8 times the normal sizes of the mansions in the area. No telephone or internet, so he sued courier’s to send out his videos.
If ISI knew in advance they could have tipped him off but my understanding is that Pakistani was informed after Osama had taken two bullets in the head and his body had been loaded on the chopper on the way to Afghanistan. Heads will probably role within ISI for the embarrassment to the country. I do not know how it will impact the politics in Pakistani but Osama had become cocky when he started killing Muslim praying in Pakistani.
The lesson to murders-hello Gilbert Arinaitwe-is that no matter how protected they may be, their time comes and when it does, the outcome is death. Now what since Osama is dead? What happens to the billions sent to that red faced country? Forget the public charter; the relationship will not be the same anytime soon.
The other issue is that apparently Pakistani kept Osama because President Karzai who lived in India is closer to India than Pakistani. Pakistani may have sent troops in the tribal areas to hunt for Osama, talk of decoys, but it was half hearted. They all along knew where Osama was, near their military academy. So what happens if some GOPers in the house cut the Pakistani foreign aid?
Pictures of Osama’s body are not likely to be seen in public. Why? The white House does not want to inflame Al Qaeda supporters. And since the Wikileaks guy is facing jail plus the small number of people who handled the killing and death of Osama, the world may never see Osama’s dead body. Obviously that will give some hope-why though-to those who doubt that he is dead. Well OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD. As they say in Buganda, “mpawo magombe gazza”. He is gone forever.
If President Obama can use the death of Osama to focus on the economy then we are talking. It will come down to the economy. Off the economy is still bad with high unemployment numbers, things could be bad. Also, the liberal base will make more noise about ending the war and bringing troops home now that Osama is confirmed dead. That could be another headache.
So it may still be the economy stupid. And of course Osama’s death means that American voters will hopefully not be manipulated with threats of another strike due to changing color codes which have since been reduced to just two by Secretary
Bottom line: until he was killed in Pakistani, Osama had value-bad or good-to different groups. He served Pakistani very well. They won billions in military and foreign aid. He served proponents of high defense budget well. He also served the law and order quite well to the extent where the majority of those of us who live in the West made the painful but necessary tradeoff in favour of security over liberties. It is the painful truth that Osama made money for many powerful interests. Now that he is dead what happens to those powerful interests? The debate is about to begin.
Something interesting too that The Defense Secretary is leaving so for him, mission accomplished. And Mr. Leon Panetta the current CIA director who was tasked to kill Osama is nominated to replace him. At CIA General Petraeus-he will not become Chief of general Staff which many thought was his to take-who is commanding USA forces in Afghanistan is nominated to succeed Mr. Panetta who is in his 70s! Talk of continuity.
What are the consequences in the short term? His agents could rash out against easy targets in Africa so Africa countries should be on high alert. But in the long term, Al Qaeda with their head cut off is not going to be the same. Bottom line: things could get worse in the short-immediate term before they get better in the long term.
The moment I saw Mr. John King and Mr. Wolf Blitzer on CNN-they are the go to people-I knew it was huge. Americans and viewers trust them. They sound boring but credible and speak with the right tone.
It does not matter how Osama Bin Laden’s body was handled. Whether it was respected or pissed on is not a big deal given the way victims of his atrocities were killed and even buried in rubble. So what is this obsesses with his body. Osama was a monster, sadist and murderer who deserved what he got. Good to bury him at sea so his followers will never know where.
DP Elder residing in USA