≡ Menu

Osama Bin Laden unarmed when killed

So… it turns out that Osama Bin Laden was executed while he was unarmed:

Osama bin Laden was unarmed when Navy commandos shot him, the White House said Tuesday in a revised version of how the world’s most notorious terrorist was killed.
[...]
Although others at the compound were involved in a firefight with the U.S. commandos, bin Laden “was not armed,” Carney said Tuesday, adding that it doesn’t mean he didn’t resist in some way.

Additionally, the unarmed wife, who rushed the assailants as they moved toward her husband, was shot in the leg but not killed, Carney said. Another woman on a lower floor of the compound was killed when she got caught in the crossfire between the SEALs and the men living at the compound with bin Laden.

This apparently bothers some people (see, too, the analysis in the Guardian here). Personally, I find the thought of Osama being double-tapped in the head by a Navy SEAL much more appealing than him going out in a blaze of glory, and both alternatives infinitely more appealing than the circus of a trial. Still, I suppose opinions differ.

Also, there’s apparently a war of words going on between the United States and our valiant (and well-paid) allies in the War on Terror, Pakistan, with CIA director Leon Panetta making some very frank comments about why Pakistan was kept in the dark about the operation. I read an interview this morning with former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf that nearly made me spew coffee on my monitor:

Musharraf: “I do agree that (the news about bin Laden in Pakistan) is surprising and a lot of people in Pakistan are not believing that. This is unfortunate. It needs to be investigated. Who slipped up? Why this negligence?”

Logan: “You are really asking people to believe that this all happened without the knowledge of the intelligence services and the military and that it came as a complete surprise?”

Musharraf: “Yes, yes, I am saying that and I mean every word of it.”

Logan: “It’s just very hard to believe that Osama bin Laden could have spent all this time in Pakistan, living right under your noses and nobody would have known about it?”

Musharraf: “Why you continuously saying that? I think instead of wasting time on this issue, let us agree to disagree on this point. I don’t agree.”

The Pakistani foreign minister reportedly finds some of the comments coming from Migukistan “disquieting.” What I find disquieting is this observation by Chris Hitchens:

If you tell me that you are staying in a rather nice walled compound in Abbottabad, I can tell you in return that you are the honored guest of a military establishment that annually consumes several billion dollars of American aid. It’s the sheer blatancy of it that catches the breath.

Things are about to get very, very interesting with Pakistan.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • dokdoforever

    The Seal team had just been involved in a shoot out on the first floor, and the one woman had rushed at the Seal member to defend Bin Laden, so I can see how they shot him. It is odd, though, that the intelligence head first fed incorrect information to the press.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Maybe he was “reaching for something” that looked like a gun and the SEALs were just as trigger happy as the average cop patrolling downtown Detroit?… ;)

  • Charles Tilly

    One the question of the Pakistani military being unaware of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, here’s one explanation for why this may have been the case:

    It’s standard in Pakistan to build these humongous compounds, where living quarters are covered by green space and that green space is then gated and there’s a boundary wall, which is usually substantially high with barbed wire on top of it. It’s not something out of the ordinary.

    This is a very tribal culture where people—men, especially—believe that women should not be seen by strangers. In addition, a large number of tribal Pashtuns living in the area became wealthy by the drug trade and could afford to build these compounds—this whole area is a major trade route for opium. Another reason to build those compounds is security. A lot of wealthy Pashtuns have disputes with their cousins over land that they have inherited. Because of these inheritance disputes, a lot of people end up hurting or killing their own cousins over their land. So it’s common to build these compounds to ward off attacks from your relatives who may be after your land as well.

    If it is true that Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, I’m not at all surprised because that is a place where a lot of these radicalized clerics came from. What does surprise me was his proximity to the Pakistani military academy, which is the West Point of Pakistan, where all the commissioned officers get trained. It is surprising that he was bold enough to find refuge so close to the military training college. There are a lot of people who are trying to create intimations that the military was perhaps involved. You know, if the military were involved they wouldn’t have kept him there; they would have kept him 100 miles away from that place. It’s possible that the military was looking for bin Laden everywhere, and that’s the last place they would have bothered to look.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-bin-laden-death-add-fuel-to-conspiracy-theorists&page=2

    And the mystery deepens….

  • Charles Tilly

    Here’s The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg on whether the national security apparatus was in cahoots with bin Laden:

    …[I]t is completely plausible to me that Bin Laden was hiding in plain sight, really, actually hiding, without the knowledge of, among others, senior military officials in Abbottabad. Those who assume that certain elements with the Pakistani government knew where he was are assuming that those elements communicated with the actual power centers of Pakistani governance; they assume that Bin Laden ever showed his face in Abbottabad; and they assume the existence of a culture of inquiry and curiosity that doesn’t necessarily exist in Pakistan (nosiness in Pakistan only gets you into trouble).

    Yes, it makes a certain amount of sense for the Pakistani intelligence apparatus to hide Bin Laden in a city in which he could closely observed, but the converse is also true: Why would the ISI, which is a fairly clever organization, stash him in a place, that, should he be discovered there, would raise the sort of questions now being raised? There are middle-ground places in Pakistan one could hide a Bin Laden that would give you some measure of deniability.

    Link: http://www.theatlantic.com/jeffrey-goldberg/page/2/

    But even if we accept arguments that the Pakistani national security apparatus was colluding with terrorists in the way it did, it’s not entirely clear what the policy implications of that are. From what I’ve read, for the US to continue to prosecute it War on Terror, some sort of cooperation with Pakistan will still have to occur:

    Still, Obama administration officials and some members of Congress seemed determined to avoid the kind of break in relations that would jeopardize the counterterrorism network the C.I.A. has carefully constructed over the last few years in Pakistan, and as the administration tries to end the war in Afghanistan, a conflict where Pakistan is a necessary, if difficult, partner.

    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/world/asia/04binladen.html?ref=world

    My understanding is that the counterterroism networks being mentioned above are those parallel/alternative ones that were established due to American distrust of the Pakistani military and ISI. It is this unofficial source that could be in jeopardy should US leaders jump the gun too quickly.

  • gbevers

    The conversation between two SEALs immediately after shooting Osama bin-Laden:

    1st SEAL: “What did he say?”
    2nd SEAL: I don’t know, but it wasn’t the Urdu word for “Surrender.”
    1st SEAL: But wasn’t his mother tongue Arabic or something?
    2nd SEAL: Ooooh, that’s right.

  • gbevers

    Osama bin-Laden did not have a gun, and no photos will be released of his dead body.

    I wonder if the SEALS even trained to capture him alive, using a stun gun or something. Caught alive, he would have probably been able to give us a lot of good intel on rest of his organization and possibly on double-dealing Pakistanis.

    Isn’t it possible that bin-Laden is tied to a wooden chair in some secret place right now getting sharp objects placed under his fingernails?

  • cmm

    It was also offensive that OBL killed thousands of unarmed (and innocent) people.

  • 8675309

    gbevers @5:
    Reminds me of the classic line from the movie, “The Longest Day”, right after two G.I.s take Point Du’Hoc on Omaha Beach:

    German soldiers pleading with their hands raised: “Bitte! Bitte!”
    G.I.: (Mows them all down with a quick burst of his tommy gun.)
    G.I. to buddy: (In a New York accent) “I wunda’ what ‘bitte bitte’ means?”

    And while Obama wrings his hands over release of the photos, Reuters/WSJ has pre-empted him with this release (warning: Graphic):
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703937104576303461876441454.html?mod=e2fb

  • gbevers

    The photo of the tail of the downed helicopter looks unusual to me. I wonder if it had some special stealth capabilities.

  • 8675309

    @9:
    Was thinking exactly the same thing (almost reminded me of the commanche). You’re right though — it’s apparently some type of stealth technology, heretofore undisclosed:
    http://www.channel4.com/news/stealth-chopper-helped-hit-bin-laden
    My guess is that it’s some type of stealth rotor shaft with blade-quieting technology jerry-rigged to a MH-60 SeaHawk.

  • Granfalloon

    Glad he wasn’t taken alive. I’ll let others debate of the legality/morality of it, but strategically, he’s more useful dead than alive. Alive, he is a focal point for Islamic rage. He is a cause for renewed suicide attacks. He is a challenge to the authority of the US judiciary system.

    Dead, he’s dead. Much better.

  • gbevers

    I just saw on FOX NEWS that the US wants that helicopter tail section back.

  • 8675309

    Just when you thought everything was copacetic:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/03/senate-indian-affairs-official-wrong-link-bin-laden-geronimo/
    Kinda like when they wanted “Chief Illiniwek” back (as if he was ever ‘theirs’ to begin with): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Illiniwek

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    Geronimo is Italian for Jerome. I guess the so-called “Native Americans” hate the use of Italian names?

  • 8675309

    Show me one “Native American” these days who is actually more than 1/4 pure blooded Indian, and I’ll start believing that there are actually legitimate Native Americans out there who aren’t just greedy revisionist historians raised on John Wayne, Bonanza, Firewater and Food Stamps, out to get their money-grubbin’ paws on everything and anything they can lay claim to (which is actually their white genes getting the better of them).

  • http://roboseyo.blogspot.com roboseyo

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6498642/japanese-news-animates-bin-laden-story this chinese news program sure makes the US forces… and really every American who celebrated in the street… look like dicks. I especially like the animation going while the caption says “said they would treat [his body] according to Islamic tradition”

  • ulsanchris

    IN one interview with a former CIA officer pointed out that OBL would have kept his location secret from Pakistan since he didn’t trust them.

  • r.rac

    maybe the SEALS thought OBL had nice vest made of C4 on and thats why they shot him. If I was one of them thats what I would have been thinking.

  • R. Elgin

    Show me one “Native American” these days who is actually more than 1/4 pure blooded Indian, and I’ll start believing that there are actually legitimate Native Americans out there who aren’t just greedy revisionist historians raised on John Wayne, Bonanza, Firewater and Food Stamps, out to get their money-grubbin’ paws on everything and anything they can lay claim to (which is actually their white genes getting the better of them).

    Sounds like the CCP for Tibet, et al.

  • R. Elgin

    , , , He is a challenge to the authority of the US judiciary system.

    That’s sad. People used to think Lincoln did wrong by suspending habeas corpus whereas Americans today are so willing to do a lot worse and hide it under that flag.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Roboseyo — I thought that was rather funny. Osama getting gang-banged by 72 pigs was a nice touch.

  • Pedro

    I have every confidence in the US Navy Seals. But their public relations agency, namely the White House, is the absolute worst in the world. The raid story keeps shifting all over the place. We may have to wait for Wikileaks to uncover what really happened.

    It would seem there were not many men in the Abbottabad house, only women and children. White House says Osama was on the 3rd floor and he used his wife as a shield as he fired on the Seals. No that’s not right. He was unarmed. He did not use the wife as a shield. She attacked the Seal and was shot dead. No, she was shot in the leg. Osama was shot as he attacked a Seal. No, according to his daughter, he was taken alive and killed in front of the family. It took 40 minutes to go room to room to find bin Laden on the third floor. Where was Osama shot? It happened on the ground floor which is where he was all the time according to the daughter.

    Pakistani security forces arrived just as the choppers flew away. According to the White House, after a firefight lasting about 40 minutes, the Seals took control of the area. After the Seals left taking with them the bodies of bin Laden and another man believed to his son, Pakistani authorities found three men and one woman shot dead, and took about 10 people, women and children into custoday. No firearms were found.
    40 Minutes to secure 14 rooms from 5 men? That’s a 3 minute job for a Seal. Must have spend a lot of time looking for records.

    Three US Senators say they saw photos of the dead bin Laden. Then the same Senators say what they saw were fake photos.

    And President Obama believes he can convince the world that the US knows WTF it’s doing?.

  • Hamilton

    The White House gets an A for the Kill/Capture operation execution but an F for information control.

    A couple of salient facts for the unwashed masses. First there were 10 or so survivors, one of which was wounded in the leg. This shows restraint on the part of the US forces. If they were shooting anything that moves everyone would be dead.

    Second, supposedly OBL and his henchmen had no weapons although he has just about never been photographed without one. But there are no weapons next to the bodies ISI filmed!

    Third, the ISI isn’t a trusted information source. ISI pretends it couldn’t find this compound full of illegal aliens with lots of money and guns right on it’s Military Academy doorstep, then comes out with lots of statements. Color me skeptical on their statements and I’m sorry but the daughter of Osama is not a credible witness unless she captured it on a cell phone.

    OBL dead is a very good thing. I shudder at the hordes of lawyers in the US and world who were drooling at the prospect of providing free defense work to put the US on trial for 9-11. Think I’m over reacting? Have you seen the teams lined up to represent SKM?

  • non korean

    If he is alive I hope Eric Holder isn’t going to put him on trial in New York.

    Ideally he is alive and we are getting intel from him right now.

  • Charles Tilly

    Hamilton writes:

    OBL dead is a very good thing. I shudder at the hordes of lawyers in the US and world who were drooling at the prospect of providing free defense work to put the US on trial for 9-11. Think I’m over reacting? Have you seen the teams lined up to represent SKM?

    If there’s anybody who should be sad that there’s no trial of Osama bin Laden, it should be Hamilton. If you really think about it, he’s been deprived of a soapbox on which to yammer on about how he’s so “tough” on national security.

  • jinu4ever

    u yanks have completely lost touch with the rest of the world. oh well.. this war is a war between two extremists blowing each others heads off. innocent civilian deaths as bi-products. Keep at it.

  • gbevers

    #25

    What’s your problem, Tilly? Why do you post so many inane comments?

  • Charles Tilly

    @Gerry:

    That’s funny coming from you.

  • bumfromkorea

    From what I’ve read, the accounts from Bin Laden’s 12 year old daughter is from a closed-door ‘interview’ done by (drum roll, please…) ISI. As in, the same Pakistani agency that’s in deep shit for either being so incompetent that they couldn’t find Bin Laden hiding half a mile away from their West Point, or in collaboration with the Now Dead Guy. It’s not even a direct quote, and the only journalists who are buying the story are from countries that aren’t exactly lauded for journalistic freedom or integrity (Russia… Pakistan… Saudi Arabia…)

    @jinu4ever

    … Uh, how is killing OBL a “bi-product” in the forms of “innocent civilian deaths”? In fact, how does your comment even apply in a thread about Bin Laden’s death?

  • jinu4ever

    @bum u misunderstood.

    many innocent civilians died in search for OBL. Madrid, Ldn, Bali, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Bi-products of a dogfight between extremists.

    i was reading through the comments, applauding the result withoutany regard for process, principles or basic human morals. Makes all of you sound like extremists too.

    You folks just have no clue how one thing might relate to another. You look at evrything in isolation. Pull your heads out of the sand and start comprehending the fact that extremist actions are met with extremiat actions. These actions occured long before 9/11.

  • http://roboseyo.blogspot.com roboseyo

    I liked the 72 virgins bit — especially because pics are unclean to muslims. I also enjoyed the cameo hitler played, standing next to genital-free Satan.

  • Charles Tilly

    I know that a lot of the right-wing louts that comment here have no love for the Hankyoreh. But given how these louts talk about Obama not being a US citizen and possibly being a secret Muslim terrorist, here’s an illustration from the Hankyoreh all you right-wing louts should (maybe, fingers crossed) love:

    http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/cartoon/hanicartoon/476570.html

  • Charles Tilly

    Thank your stars for the above cartoon. That’s about as “Muslim” as he’s gonna get in your lifetimes.

  • 8675309

    From NYT:

    Administration officials said the official account of events has changed over the course of the week because it has taken time to get thorough after-action reports from the Seal team. And, they added, because the Special Operations troops had been fired upon as soon as they touched down in the compound, they were under the assumption that everyone inside was armed. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/us/politics/05binladen.html?_r=1&hp

    That’s right — they absolutely should’ve waited until all the SEALs had been properly debriefed and all the AARs (After Action Reports) had been completed and thoroughly vetted and analyzed before gobbing off. In this case, however, it seems that Panetta et al., in the heat of the moment and due to his own inexperience and immaturity, started making assumptions and presumptions based on his own p.o.v. and initial reports, which are invariably inaccurate. Nevertheless, in the absence of a thoroughly vetted AAR, Panetta et al., should’ve either kept their mouths shut, or prefaced their initial assessments and statements with highly qualified statements, all the while acknowledging that any definitive account would come later after all the AARs had been submitted, which just like any thorough investigative report, takes time to piece together and compile.

    We saw the same fuckup and rush to judgment with Pat Tillman and the same dangerous assumptions and hasty conclusions that took on a life of their own based on what the brass wanted to believe instead of waiting for the truth to come out gradually after all the AARs and debriefs were completed of all the Rangers involved. Whether this rush to judgment was caused by a genuine snafu or an attempt by the brass to cover-up unflattering information is still being debated six years on.

    I personally saw the same thing happen when the army infantry unit I served in was being put through its paces by OCs (observer controllers) at places like the NTC (National Training Center), Ft. Irwin, in sunny California’s Mojave Desert.

    I remember one night in particular when we conducted a series of nighttime raids and insertions by BlackHawks as opfor (opposing force) against visiting Blue Force units who were there for our annual three-week training rotations in the desert.

    As opfor, we had the advantage being briefed and guided by the resident unit there, who briefed us and showed us the lay of the land beforehand, and guided us through each raid we conducted as the aggressors. Nevertheless, both sides were being assessed by the OCs (and the brass, who were monitoring the battlefield 24/7 by CCTV and remote-controlled drones in their underground bunkers).

    As for me, I was a 19-year-old E-3 (PFC) M-60 gunner at the time, and all I remember was stumbling out of that noisy Black Hawk with the rest of my squad about a mile away from the objective, in the middle of night (around 0300) in the pitch dark, as we made — and felt — our way across a rocky ridgeline and a burm until we could literally hear the target. (The objective was a Blue Force MM-104 Patriot Battery under camoflauge and IR netting, humming away with its noisy generators like you wouldn’t believe.)

    Our mission — simply put — was to conduct a nighttime raid to take out the Patriot battery’s T.O.C. (tactical operations center), which was easy enough b/c this newly arrived unit, while it had ostensibly dug defensive positions for its M-2 machineguns and MK-IV grenade launchers used to man the perimeter for units like these, hadn’t actually bothered — or were to lazy — to man them as everyone was unbelievably holed up in their T.O.C. or vehicles, fast asleep on cots while snugly ensconced in their G.I. arctic/winter-issue fart sacks. (On the other hand, who wouldn’t be at three o’clock in the morning?)

    The Mojave Desert’s extreme diurnal temperatures, even in May-June, typically dips below freezing at night, making those arctic-issue sleeping bags an absolute necessity and must have for every R.E.M.F. (For us grunts though, we just used summer-issue poncho liners while lying straight on the desert floor or in hasty fighting positions/graves.)

    Too lazy and too cold to man a perimeter defense? No problem for a squad of badass 11B’s armed to the teeth and dropped from the sky, with faces painted black, while traipsing through your sector, high on adrenaline bent on blowing shit up and killing everything and everyone. (The very act of being vertically inserted onto an objective from the air either by helicopter air assault or parachute is so violent and disorienting, it literally increases your adrenalin level exponentially and makes you feel like some kind of martian or space invader dropped from the sky — literally ready to kill everyone and anything that gets in your way. And this was a sentiment shared by everyone on our squad, regardless of whether we were like that in actuality.

    Anyways, back to our raid in the Mojave Desert — after setting up our ORP (objective rally point), conducting an initial recon, and issuing any last minute contingency plans and FRAGOS (fragmentary orders), we initiated the attack with a bunch of parachute flares launched by our M-203 gunners, and we hit them hard and fast; first, opening up on them from with defilade fire from all our M-60 gunners under the control of our squad leader.

    As we provided suppressive fire from our M-60s directly on the objective within effective range, our maneuver and assault element breached the objective by jumping the concertina wire and other obstacles around the T.O.C., as our sleeping “sky warriors” began to rustle in a panic from their fart sacks.

    By this time our assault element was right on top of them, and according to the RoE (rules of engagement), we couldn’t fire blanks at directly at anyone or at point blank range (that would be an Art. 15 offense). Instead, in order to institute a mass kill in an enclosed space or at close distances, we had to point our muzzle toward the ground, and from a safe distance, only discharge a few rounds of blank ammo while saying, “MILES safety kill!”, as we were all wearing MILES gear (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System) harnesses at the time.

    Anyways, it was hilarious “safety killing” everyone in that T.O.C., and some our guys were shocked to find the position manned by a female officer. (We thought she was totally out of her element.) After the raid was completed, we went back to our ORP and went through our AAR (After Action Report) where the OC’s debriefed us starting with each leader and each element describing their actions on the objective. It was only then, and after everyone in the squad had sounded off and had been put through their paces, that even a semblance of what happened could be pieced together, with guys trying to figure out who was who in the darkness, where were you, where was I; what did you do, what did I do; was that really you, or was that someone else who had the same silhouette, etc., etc. Bottom line: In a sprawling and dynamic area of operations, where people were constantly hopping and popping, no one person held the keys to the narrative of the operation. Everyone was a bit actor in the entire drama, and everyone’s voice had to be heard.

    That is why a good OC/debriefer, all during the process of an After Action Report, has to be able to decode and deconflict stories or details that might sound contradictory, but in fact differ only b/c every squad member’s perspective is different (a shooter’s perspective can be totally different from someone standing just a few meters behind or to the side of the shooter).

    What was most revealing and salient lesson during the debrief is that unless you were actually a part of that element or on the scene, you may have had little or no idea what the hell was going on. As part of the suppression element, I could only vouch for the actions of my fellow gunners: the guy on my left and right.

    As this was a nighttime raid, and b/c our element was about 400 meters away from the objective, any opinion that I had about the maneuver/assault element in front of me had to be taken with a grain of salt due to the fact that I wasn’t part of that element, therefore, my perspective on the assault was different than the assault team leader. However, I still could see their unit from a distance, in a way the team leader couldn’t, so my perspective on the assault had to be taken into consideration as well, especially if I saw anything that was irregular.

    In order for an effective debriefing and AAR to be conducted, such differing perspectives of every participant needs to be taken into account, compared, and cross-examined if necessary. The mere act of sorting through who did what, versus who saw what, when, where, how, etc., is a time-consuming requiring diligence, patience, as well as an absolute attention to detail and an focus on the facts, just the facts.

    Panetta, by the very act of jumping the gun, making assumptions and rushing to judgment in the absence of a thoroughly vetted AAR, shows that he’s NOT a detail guy, and he doesn’t have the wherewithal or basic understanding to appreciate the varying factors, differing perspectives and complexities of conducting even the ‘simplest’ of kinetic operations. If he had, he would’ve kept his mouth shut until all the debriefs and AARs had been completed and thoroughly pored over, before making detail statements of what happened.

  • Charles Tilly

    8675309 writes:

    Panetta, by the very act of jumping the gun, making assumptions and rushing to judgment in the absence of a thoroughly vetted AAR, shows that he’s NOT a detail guy, and he doesn’t have the wherewithal or basic understanding to appreciate the varying factors, differing perspectives and complexities of conducting even the ‘simplest’ of kinetic operations.

    I think Leon Panetta is a details guy. Just not the type of details guy that you perhaps like. To recap: He was appointed by Obama as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), not director of overseeing some tactical outfit within the agency. As a DCI, his job is managing a massive and at times unwieldy, if not recalcitrant bureaucracy. Moreover, it’s incumbent that a DCI ensure that his agency doesn’t get feasted on by the other piranhas in the Beltway tank (i.e DOD, Department of State, FBI, NSA, the Congress). And it is in this respect of all things, that I think Panetta has done a fine job as DCI. It is in his mastery of these bureaucratic turf war “details” that he should be judged on.

    Having misspoke over the tactical details concerning piece of sh*t terrorist’s death is rather inconsequential in my book.

  • CactusMcHarris

    I can’t call an 11B M60 gunner ‘Jenny’ anymore, so how about ‘Tutone’?,

    That was an exciting and informative post – thank you, but does it really matter who spilled the wrong beans, compared with the end result? I agree with CT in #35′s sentiment, but that was a good read.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    jinu4ever (#30) wrote:

    “many innocent civilians died in search for OBL. Madrid, Ldn, Bali . . .”

    The terrorists were looking for Osama, too? If we’d only known, we could have worked together in that search . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • jinu4ever

    Jeff #37
    yes the search for OBL was the war on terror, which was met with retailiations in madrid, ldn, bali.. and coveniently you seem cut my quote off after bali. Civilians were killed by terrorists in afghanistan, jakarta, pakistan etc. too. To you, their life is not as important as a Western soul.

    Proves my point. You guys just don’t know how to look at the big picture.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #38,

    And you know how to look at the big picture and are willing to show us? Bully for you!

  • CactusMcHarris

    And #38,

    Sorry for cutting off my own comment to you – you cannot logically make that conclusion, and he didn’t cut off your quote – he indicated that there was some of your quote he didn’t use.

    And you would allow fundamentalist Islam an equal place in the world? Well, I guess I can’t make that conclusion either.

  • tinyflowers

    pics or it didn’t happen

  • Sonagi

    many innocent civilians died in search for OBL. Madrid, Ldn, Bali, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Bi-products of a dogfight between extremists.

    The civilians who died in terrorist bombings in Madrid, London, Bali, Afghanistan, and Pakistan were not bi-products. They themselves were the targets.

    You folks just have no clue how one thing might relate to another. You look at evrything in isolation….

    yes the search for OBL was the war on terror, which was met with retailiations in madrid, ldn, bali.. and coveniently you seem cut my quote off after bali. Civilians were killed by terrorists in afghanistan, jakarta, pakistan etc. too

    And you conflate action-reaction with fault and blame. Your thinking really is childish. At our school is a young child who gets violently out of control when things don’t go his way and tries to blame others for his behavior by saying, “You made me do it!” Our behavioral therapist hands him a foam remote control and responds, “You’re in control. You’re the one making choices.”

    You also appear to hold the opinion that the US should have just shrugged off 9/11 and left Al-Qaeda alone, lest it engage in further violence, as if an armed international organization that literally submits to the will of a higher power was going to disband and live peacefully after pulling off a major attack on the US.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    At our school is a young child who gets violently out of control when things don’t go his way and tries to blame others for his behavior by saying, “You made me do it!” Our behavioral therapist hands him a foam remote control and responds, “You’re in control. You’re the one making choices.”

    Brilliant. Do they have one of those in nation-state size and strength?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @41

    brainscans showing at least some electrical activity or we conclude that tiny mind is no mind at all

  • tinyflowers

    #44,
    I knew someone out there would be dumb enough to take it literally. Congrats. Let me guess, you just discovered the internet?

  • jinu4ever

    @39 I will be willing to show you if you are willing to listen.

  • jinu4ever

    @40 nope. fundamentalist Islam cannot be good for this world. Another group we can do without are neo-con USA. As i said, both groups are extremists. This is the best thing that can happen to the world right?

  • jinu4ever

    @ sonagi 42

    “They themselves were the targets”. Perhaps so but does it really matter?
    Innocent civilians killed as targets, or as bi-product of military aggression. Neither of them sound any good to me.

    And no, i’m not blaming America, but if i was, you should have nothing to say.

    When 9/11 occured, your country should have filled the holes in your security, protect your interests within your borders, engage in effective diplomacy with other countries to bring those you deem responsible to justice.

  • gbevers

    Jinu4ever wrote:

    When 9/11 occured, your country should have filled the holes in your security, protect your interests within your borders, engage in effective diplomacy with other countries to bring those you deem responsible to justice.

    I think you are still living in the Age of Aquarius, Jinu.

    When the moon is in the Seventh House
    And Jupiter aligns with Mars
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And love will steer the stars

    This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
    The Age of Aquarius
    Aquarius! Aquarius

    Harmony and understanding
    Sympathy and trust abounding
    No more falsehoods and derisions
    Golden living deams of visions
    Mystic crystal revelation
    And the mind’s true liberation
    Aquarius! Aquarius!

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    jinu4ever (#38), if you were speaking of terrorist actions in “Afghanistan, Pakistan” in #30 (you didn’t mention Jakarta in #30), rather than American actions in those two countries, then I’ll certainly include them in my ironic remark.

    But let’s look again:

    “many innocent civilians died in search for OBL. Madrid, Ldn, Bali, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Bi-products of a dogfight between extremists.”

    You still seem to be asserting that the Islamist terrorists were searching for Osama Bin Laden.

    As for ‘Bi-products’ (sic. By-products), I can’t see why you think that terrorists were not directly targeting civilians in these attacks.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • jinu4ever

    #49 Whatever but it doesn’t change the fact that any nation engaging in warmongering and instilling fear upon others are extremists too.

  • jinu4ever

    jeff, #50

    never mind about the language.. never mind about target vs. by-product unless it makes a difference. To me, it doesn’t make a difference.

  • lollabrats

    “To you, their life is not as important as a Western soul.”
    –jinu4ever

    Actually, the attack on Bali was meant to kill both westerners and locals. It is because we do not want to see Muslim extremists killing innocents that we have worked with the Indonesians to successfully destroy AQ cells in Indonesia.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703834804576300964203446194.html

    Your accusation here, as with your others, is baseless and confused.

    “When 9/11 occured, your country should have filled the holes in your security, protect your interests within your borders, engage in effective diplomacy with other countries to bring those you deem responsible to justice.”
    –jinu4ever

    1. It’s impossible to fill all the “holes” in a nation’s security. But we’ve done pretty well. The shoe bomber, underwear bomber, toner cartidge bombers, and Times Square bomber were fortunately foiled. But we did lose some good men in Fort Hood. Generally, though, law enforcement agencies have done a good job securing the nation.

    2. It was impossible to bring OBL to justice because the Taliban, a violent network of extremists best known for blowing up Buddhist monuments and reverting urban Afghanistan back to the dark ages refused to hand him over. Instead, they openly continued to provide bases for Al Qaeda to train more militants to attack both westerners and other Muslims. The Taliban’s continued support of AQ after 9-11 became justification enough for us to invade Afghanistan, which we rightfully did.

    3. Where are you from? :)

    “And no, i’m not blaming America, but if i was, you should have nothing to say.”
    –jinu4ever

    You are holding us responsible for a number of things. That is what blaming is. But you make these accusations without offering any sensible explanations for your beliefs other than that you feel vague anger. You have asserted a number of things above and have been forced to take back. Do you not see that your positions seem untenable, even to you? Yet, you seem intent on continuing with these accusations.

  • jinu4ever

    I am a Korean-born Australian if that helps.
    Look i know all too much about the Bali bombings.
    At least Australia upheld our principles during those hard times. We collaborated well with the Indonesians. Despite doubts over their justice system, we respected their process. Good outcomes prevailed but you didn’t see us celebrate like extremists.

    Does your heart also bleed for the innocents killed by military operations?

    in respect to your points.
    1. Good. see how effective that is?
    2. I guess the following news never made it to your shores. Not surprisingly.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/bush-rejects-taliban-offer-to-surrender-bin-laden-631436.html
    3. Answered.

    Surely you want to send a message to the world that you are above the petty minded, eye for eye mentality and take the moral high ground. Instead you’ve joined them in their own game. Bad move I say.

    Your nation is losing its grip at a fast pace.

  • Hamilton

    OBL was a combatant, he made himself one. He carried weapons, commanded terrorists and wore uniforms. He claimed he would never be taken alive. If he wasn’t actively surrendering then he was a legitimate target by all credible international standards full stop.

    The ISI statements are heresay at best and tainted to the extreme. It is a shame, they actually know a lot that is going on but we really can’t trust anything they say based on their track record. We and possibly they wouldn’t recognize the truth if they actually said it.

    jinu4ever@everycomment, wow we found someone even less logical than Tilley. You should look at the first Bali Bombing timeline. Just to extrapolate some more of your logical processes then I suspect you are against Police investigations, if they find a murderer they might shoot him or be shot and it’s really just the same to you.

  • lollabrats

    “2. I guess the following news never made it to your shores. Not surprisingly.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/bush-rejects-taliban-offer-to-surrender-bin-laden-631436.html
    –jinu4ever

    1. The reason why you know much about it is because we publicize these kinds of things. In fact, most of the news items you probably use to accuse us of wrong doing probably comes from what our own society and government leaks, acknowledges, or publicizes.

    2. The Taliban had not shown any good faith indication for years prior to 9-11 regarding the handover of bin Laden since the bombing attacks against our African embassies. There were 20 meetings and their best offer previously would have allowed them to send him over to a third party who may or may not want to get involved.

    http://www.infowars.com/saved%20pages/Prior_Knowledge/US_met_taliban.htm

    In this article, Milton Bearden suggests that the Taliban was serious about handing him over to Clinton. However, it never happened and his assertion is based merely on personal interpretation. In fact, there were many indications that the Taliban and bin Laden were close. In the meantime, AQ planned and executed 9-11.

    The article you refer to recounts an offer that was made by the Taliban a week AFTER the invasion had already commenced. That was a bit late. Instead, they ended up saving his life in December at Tora Bora, where they led him to safety in Pakistan. The Taliban and AQ have become ideologically synchronized because both movements share many of the same delusions, which is another reason to doubt Bearden’s position. The actual negotiators look like they judged the situation better.

    3. “1. Good. see how effective that is?”
    The alternative, of course, would have been not to have invaded and allowed the Taliban to continue to allow AQ to plan strikes at us. Having invaded Afghanistan was the intelligent thing to do. How the war was run however deserves scorn. But that is a different issue.

    The reason why we did not see another massive attack in America after 9-11 was because we got serious about counter-terrorism. The Afghanistan War has been a large part of that. The war severely degraded AQ’s abilities to plan elaborate attacks. That is why we were attacked by the likes of incompetent losers such as the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, and the Time Square bomber.

    4. “Does your heart also bleed for the innocents killed by military operations?”
    As AQ had gone out of its ways several times even prior to 9-11 that they had declared war on us, I don’t see how military operations in response would not have been expected. And yeah, people die in war. On the other hand, the Taliban and AQ were doing a pretty good job killing Afghans and Americans even without our military involvement. These are bad people and I do not regret that they are out of power. But yeah. People die in war. The problem was, people were also dying during the “peace” with the Muslim extremists, whatever that means.

    5. “Surely you want to send a message to the world that you are above the petty minded, eye for eye mentality and take the moral high ground. Instead you’ve joined them in their own game. Bad move I say.”

    Interesting. Because you didn’t lose loved ones and were not expecting to lose loved ones, you are fine with other people being slaughtered. Not much of a moral high ground for you, either. :)

  • jinu4ever

    hamilton, u r way off the mark. it’s useless discussing what happened in that compound especially when your trusted govt likes to spin the facts around each day.

  • Hamilton

    #57, You actually need to provide a counter-argument with a fact or two to convince someone else of your point of view. I provided quite a few facts that cannot be disproved, you have provided nothing.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    jinu4ever (#52) writes:

    “never mind about the language..”

    Translation: “Ignore what I write. Imagine what I might mean.”

    And adds:

    “never mind about target vs. by-product unless it makes a difference. To me, it doesn’t make a difference.”

    Translation: “Ignore intentions. I don’t care about the difference between targeting innocent civilians and targeting terrorists or militants.”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Sonagi

    And no, i’m not blaming America, but if i was, you should have nothing to say.

    You mean I can’t rebut a hypothetical counterfactual assertion? Oh, darn.

    When 9/11 occured, your country should have filled the holes in your security, protect your interests within your borders, engage in effective diplomacy with other countries to bring those you deem responsible to justice.

    With your permission, I’d like to cut and paste this sage advice and email copies to the White House, the State Dept, and the Senate Foreign Relations and Defense committees. I think you should consider expanding these great ideas into an op-ed piece and submit it to the NYT. I don’t know why our goverment never thought of trying any of these strategies.

  • lollabrats

    @Sonagi

    Pardon. I was going to defend you. But you’re sharp like Damascus steel and I thought it might be more fun not to…

  • jinu4ever

    Hamilton
    “If he wasn’t actively surrendering then he was a legitimate target by all credible international standards full stop.”
    Yes. “If” is the word.

    ” if they find a murderer they might shoot him or be shot and it’s really just the same to you.”
    some assertion you make there. For the record, nope. If i was to arrest a murderer and he was about to shoot me, then I think i’d react the same way you would. But we know the situation with OBL killing was different.

    Now lollabraths, in rebuttal of your assertions
    1. agree with you. But is often overseen in light of your obsession for war, power and oil. You install dictators and befriend them with no regard for their desire for democracy. Australia gets a lot more coverage and get to hear the other side of the story. http://www.abc.net.au and http://www.sbs.com.au are the two i’d suggest you visit for some unbiased world news. abc is a little to the left they say, but sbs prides itself on being fair and unbiased.

    2. Hmm, i read your article. Thanks for that. But for me, the article suggest that US could have done more to get OBL handed over. Taliban offered options that they probably favoured, US wanted to try OBL under their terms. So middle ground was not reached and simply a deal could not be reached. But under any justice system, surely OBL would have been found guilty.

    3. Mate, if you feel safer than you were prior to 9/11, then kudos to you. US has done a good job of protecting its borders with your TSA guys and air marshalls, but that proves how much fear you are in. You ever hear of Muslim businessmen with valid visas turned away at immigration checkpoints at airports? Your borders are full proof. Bravo!

    4. You are good at dodging questions. So does your heart bleed for them?

    5. Tough call there. Your train of thought that capturing OBL alive was an open invitation for terrorists to kill more is such a retarded assertion. Your train of thought that 9/11 attacks must be met with greater force at all costs is a retarded assertion. Why? History has indicated so time and time again and because the last ten years has proven so.

    Eye for an eye, until the world goes blind.

    Sonagi, do whatever you want pal.

  • Granfalloon

    jinu4ever #57: “it’s useless discussing what happened in that compound especially when your trusted govt likes to spin the facts around each day.”

    jinu4ever #62 “But we know the situation with OBL killing was different.”

    That is all. Carry on.

  • jinu4ever

    haha granfaloon, nice mike moore technique there.

    that is all for you

  • lollabrats

    @jinu4ever

    …”You are good at dodging questions. So does your heart bleed for them? ”

    I feel sickened by civilian deaths. And we try to limit them because civilian deaths necessarily are counterproductive to achieving victory and because protecting them is what we want to be doing. The reason I did not particularly feel a need to answer your question as you worded it is because it misrepresents the character of the conflict with Islamic terror and invites only fault while pretending or asserting lack of moral ambiguities and being oblivious to practical concerns. But I suppose you are better at accusing with dodgy questions than I am at dodging them. As a general rule, if you want intelligent people to take you and your questions seriously, learn to ask questions that shows you are not a hysteric douche.

    …”Australia gets a lot more coverage and get to hear the other side of the story. http://www.abc.net.au and http://www.sbs.com.au are the two i’d suggest you visit for some unbiased world news. abc is a little to the left they say, but sbs prides itself on being fair and unbiased.”

    Thanks for the links. But based on the little you have revealed about what you think you know about the Afghan War, my guess if that your feelings have been strongly influenced by generic leftist American-European talking points. And frankly, this comment above strongly indicates that you know as much about American politics, debate, and media as I do about Australia’s. America, of course, gets much more “coverage” than Australia and all globally significant talking points eventually enjoy some time in the American public discourse. On American matters, if you want to hear the story from where your newsmen heard the story, you might try:

    http://www.nytimes.com/
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/
    http://online.wsj.com/home-page

    The first two are a little to the left they say, but the editorial section of the third prides itself on being “fair and balanced.” As a media savvy leftist Australian, I am sure you will appreciate the irony of what’s in the quote.

    …”agree with you. But is often overseen in light of your obsession for war, power and oil.”

    Agreed. :)

    I, in particular, obsess over war, power, and oil. I just can’t get enough. Yum. :d

    Now jinu4ever in addressing your substantive points.

    …”You install dictators and befriend them with no regard for their desire for democracy.”

    When was the last time we installed a dictator? We don’t do it anymore because the principle reason to do so no longer exists; the realpolitik concerns surrounding the installation of dictators ended with the Cold War. I am sure you are not ignorant of the geopolitical concerns of two nuclear armed superpowers that resisted any move to enter into formal and open war against each other. A WWIII, which would have been a third global military catastrophe within a 50 year span and with nukes, was not in anyone’s best interest. And so, the communists and democracies engaged in a number of live proxy wars during the Cold War. Only a fool would not take seriously the depths of hysteria that guided policy in the era in which Americans and Russians did in fact come very close to nuking the world. Leftists did in fact destroy culture, economic potential, freedoms, and lives during the era. We didn’t want that. So Americans at the time perhaps reacted poorly. Nonetheless, a hysteric reaction seems like normal response. Likewise, your own hysteric reaction to past American hysteric reaction seems like normal response to me, also. So, all’s good.

    But then to say that that is all you are willing to judge America by seems like an intellectually dishonest behavior to me.

    …”But for me, the article suggest that US could have done more to get OBL handed over. Taliban offered options that they probably favoured, US wanted to try OBL under their terms. So middle ground was not reached and simply a deal could not be reached. But under any justice system, surely OBL would have been found guilty. ”
    Bush, as with Clinton, both engaged in negotiations with the Taliban on the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline and Al Qaeda. The Taliban, as with other unfriendly governments, were interested in the Unocal-led Central Asia Gas Pipeline consortium’s offer to build the pipeline as it would generate strong revenue for everyone involved. However, as the Taliban’s muderous violence on Afghan civilians and Afghan culture became increasingly and even famously known to outsiders, it became controversial and politically difficult to deal with them at all. Women’s rights and human rights groups and Afghan expats were demanding all kinds of punitive measures. So the pipeline deals were allowed to die and sanctions were implemented.

    I don’t really know what happened in the talks, but my guess is that negotiations for the extradition of OBL, were tainted by the domestic actions of the Taliban. Bush’s negotiators apparently did threaten military action. The Pakistanis urged the Taliban to take our threats seriously. But years went by and nothing happened. Afghanistan simply was not a high enough national security concern for us. There never would have been an Afghanistan invasion had AQ not executed 9-11.

    Regarding negotiations on OBL, which you seem to think is the proof that the Afghan War could have been avoided, I think you overstate its importance and take it out of context. Anyone can criticize Clinton and Bush for not believing that the Taliban negotiated in good faith. But that is opinion in hindsight. We don’t even know if that opinion is valid. There was a great deal of controversy regarding whether the Taliban’s offers were valid. But beyond the point that they were ideologically creepy with a taste for large massacres and that everyone hated them for systematically dismantling Afghan society, they had a credibility gap when it came to their supposed difficult relations with AQ also. The Americans who claimed that the Taliban could be trusted to deal fairly with us seemed to intentionally downplay important contrary information while promoting shaky points of their own. For instance, you can choose to believe that when they occassionally suggested that OBL has disappeared that that meant that they had given us permission to seize him. Of course, you could also say that they are trying to make it difficult for us to track him at all. These Americans tended to promote the idea that the Taliban and AQ did not get along. Yet, after the African bombing when OBL became a rock star among militant Muslims, the Taliban welcomed a large wave of Arabs who wanted to join AQ. Furthermore, Afghans believe that Mullah Omar, the head of the Afghanistan Taliban, had married one of OBL’s daughters and that the Taliban leader is personally fond of OBL, contrary to what pro-negotiations Americans have asserted. In addition, OBL was beloved by the foot soldiers of the Taliban and AQ who happily take oaths of fealty to OBL. In other words, there was plenty of strong evidence that the Taliban were not dealing with us in good faith and that the pro-negotiations Americans were not quite credible. But again, we’ll never know now.

    Rather than promoting negotiations with the despised Taliban, westerners were much more interested in dealing with the great Afghan hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the quite modern, pro-democratic leader, who was the Taliban’s arch-nemesis. He was the great Afghan hope of both Afghans and westerners. He was everything a modern George Washington should be. Very charismatic and rigidly pro-democratic open society and a strong military leader. His existence made it even more difficult for us to negotiate with the quite evil Taliban, even for OBL.

    As AQ’s numbers grew in size in Afghanistan and as public fury towards the Taliban increased, negotiations with the Taliban were probably intentionally stalled. You have to put OBL pre-9-11 in perspective. Al Qaeda had killed more than 200 people in the African bombings. We wanted him. But our national security agencies did not uniformly take AQ as seriously as we do today and were not fully appreciative of an AQ cell’s development of the 9-11 operation starting in Germany. We had just “won” the Cold War and American isolationism was increasing among the public and the notion of being the world’s police was a hot debate topic. The major international news of the late 90s involved globalization and increased FTAs, dealing with financial implosions in Asia, Russia, and Latin America, and figuring out what the lessons are from the Rwanda genocide and the Balkan ethnic cleansing. This last point is informative. We attacked the Serbs and successfully ended the war, though the peace was never quite won and we only did so after cleansing had largely occurred. On the other hand, we never invaded Rwanda.

    The fact that we did not take AQ seriously enough at the time is reasonable considering that we had other things in mind. Our general lack of interest in AQ is the very reason 9-11 was successfully executed by the terrorists. The ease with which the plan worked despite the fact that we had enough evidence and intelligence to thwart the plot has been the source of pathetic conspiracy theories.

    Personally, I was shocked and greatly saddened when I heard the news that AQ had successfully assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud on 9-9-2001. I’m sure OBL must have thought that his delusions of a grand caliphate would soon be manifest once he killed Massoud and then hit NY, the Pentagon, and Washington DC two days later. We were, after all, his two greatest threats. OBL really believed that America would implode if they hit us hard enough and that the Muslims would be inspired to rise up against the west.

    They were quite serious about continuing attacks against us over and over again. What Bush probably wanted was for the Taliban to turn over all AQ members.

    …”You ever hear of Muslim businessmen with valid visas turned away at immigration checkpoints at airports?”
    What is your point? War is bad because Muslim businessmen will be inconvenienced?

    …”Your train of thought that 9/11 attacks must be met with greater force at all costs is a retarded assertion”
    Pretense to moral superiority in this case without ever having experienced the responsibility of safe-guarding the lives of hundreds of millions of people make you the true retard.

    But I’m happy that you ability to feel ease in moral certitude

  • lollabrats

    @jinu4ever

    …”You are good at dodging questions. So does your heart bleed for them? ”

    I feel sickened by civilian deaths. And we try to limit them because civilian deaths necessarily are counterproductive to achieving victory and because protecting them is what we want to be doing. The reason I did not particularly feel a need to answer your question as you worded it is because it misrepresents the character of the conflict with Islamic terror and invites only fault while pretending or asserting lack of moral ambiguities and being oblivious to practical concerns. But I suppose you are better at accusing with dodgy questions than I am at dodging them. As a general rule, if you want intelligent people to take you and your questions seriously, learn to ask questions that shows you are not a hysteric douche.

    …”Australia gets a lot more coverage and get to hear the other side of the story. http://www.abc.net.au and http://www.sbs.com.au are the two i’d suggest you visit for some unbiased world news. abc is a little to the left they say, but sbs prides itself on being fair and unbiased.”

    Thanks for the links. But based on the little you have revealed about what you think you know about the Afghan War, my guess if that your feelings have been strongly influenced by generic leftist American-European talking points. And frankly, this comment above strongly indicates that you know as much about American politics, debate, and media as I do about Australia’s. America, of course, gets much more “coverage” than Australia and all globally significant talking points eventually enjoy some time in the American public discourse. On American matters, if you want to hear the story from where your newsmen heard the story, you might try:

    http://www.nytimes.com/
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/
    http://online.wsj.com/home-page

    The first two are a little to the left they say, but the editorial section of the third prides itself on being “fair and balanced.” As a media savvy leftist Australian, I am sure you will appreciate the irony of what’s in the quote.

    …”agree with you. But is often overseen in light of your obsession for war, power and oil.”

    Agreed. :)

    I, in particular, obsess over war, power, and oil. I just can’t get enough. Yum. :d

    Now jinu4ever in addressing your substantive points.

    …”You install dictators and befriend them with no regard for their desire for democracy.”

    When was the last time we installed a dictator? We don’t do it anymore because the principle reason to do so no longer exists; the realpolitik concerns surrounding the installation of dictators ended with the Cold War. I am sure you are not ignorant of the geopolitical concerns of two nuclear armed superpowers that resisted any move to enter into formal and open war against each other. A WWIII, which would have been a third global military catastrophe within a 50 year span and with nukes, was not in anyone’s best interest. And so, the communists and democracies engaged in a number of live proxy wars during the Cold War. Only a fool would not take seriously the depths of hysteria that guided policy in the era in which Americans and Russians did in fact come very close to nuking the world. Leftists did in fact destroy culture, economic potential, freedoms, and lives during the era. We didn’t want that. So Americans at the time perhaps reacted poorly. Nonetheless, a hysteric reaction seems like normal response. Likewise, your own hysteric reaction to past American hysteric reaction seems like normal response to me, also. So, all’s good.

    But then to say that that is all you are willing to judge America by seems like an intellectually dishonest behavior to me.

    …”But for me, the article suggest that US could have done more to get OBL handed over. Taliban offered options that they probably favoured, US wanted to try OBL under their terms. So middle ground was not reached and simply a deal could not be reached. But under any justice system, surely OBL would have been found guilty. ”
    Bush, as with Clinton, both engaged in negotiations with the Taliban on the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline and Al Qaeda. The Taliban, as with other unfriendly governments, were interested in the Unocal-led Central Asia Gas Pipeline consortium’s offer to build the pipeline as it would generate strong revenue for everyone involved. However, as the Taliban’s muderous violence on Afghan civilians and Afghan culture became increasingly and even famously known to outsiders, it became controversial and politically difficult to deal with them at all. Women’s rights and human rights groups and Afghan expats were demanding all kinds of punitive measures. So the pipeline deals were allowed to die and sanctions were implemented.

    I don’t really know what happened in the talks, but my guess is that negotiations for the extradition of OBL, were tainted by the domestic actions of the Taliban. Bush’s negotiators apparently did threaten military action. The Pakistanis urged the Taliban to take our threats seriously. But years went by and nothing happened. Afghanistan simply was not a high enough national security concern for us. There never would have been an Afghanistan invasion had AQ not executed 9-11.

    Regarding negotiations on OBL, which you seem to think is the proof that the Afghan War could have been avoided, I think you overstate its importance and take it out of context. Anyone can criticize Clinton and Bush for not believing that the Taliban negotiated in good faith. But that is opinion in hindsight. We don’t even know if that opinion is valid. There was a great deal of controversy regarding whether the Taliban’s offers were valid. But beyond the point that they were ideologically creepy with a taste for large massacres and that everyone hated them for systematically dismantling Afghan society, they had a credibility gap when it came to their supposed difficult relations with AQ also. The Americans who claimed that the Taliban could be trusted to deal fairly with us seemed to intentionally downplay important contrary information while promoting shaky points of their own. For instance, you can choose to believe that when they occassionally suggested that OBL has disappeared that that meant that they had given us permission to seize him. Of course, you could also say that they are trying to make it difficult for us to track him at all. These Americans tended to promote the idea that the Taliban and AQ did not get along. Yet, after the African bombing when OBL became a rock star among militant Muslims, the Taliban welcomed a large wave of Arabs who wanted to join AQ. Furthermore, Afghans believe that Mullah Omar, the head of the Afghanistan Taliban, had married one of OBL’s daughters and that the Taliban leader is personally fond of OBL, contrary to what pro-negotiations Americans have asserted. In addition, OBL was beloved by the foot soldiers of the Taliban and AQ who happily take oaths of fealty to OBL. In other words, there was plenty of strong evidence that the Taliban were not dealing with us in good faith and that the pro-negotiations Americans were not quite credible. But again, we’ll never know now.

    Rather than promoting negotiations with the despised Taliban, westerners were much more interested in dealing with the great Afghan hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the quite modern, pro-democratic leader, who was the Taliban’s arch-nemesis. He was the great Afghan hope of both Afghans and westerners. He was everything a modern George Washington should be. Very charismatic and rigidly pro-democratic open society and a strong military leader. His existence made it even more difficult for us to negotiate with the quite evil Taliban, even for OBL.

    As AQ’s numbers grew in size in Afghanistan and as public fury towards the Taliban increased, negotiations with the Taliban were probably intentionally stalled. You have to put OBL pre-9-11 in perspective. Al Qaeda had killed more than 200 people in the African bombings. We wanted him. But our national security agencies did not uniformly take AQ as seriously as we do today and were not fully appreciative of an AQ cell’s development of the 9-11 operation starting in Germany. We had just “won” the Cold War and American isolationism was increasing among the public and the notion of being the world’s police was a hot debate topic. The major international news of the late 90s involved globalization and increased FTAs, dealing with financial implosions in Asia, Russia, and Latin America, and figuring out what the lessons are from the Rwanda genocide and the Balkan ethnic cleansing. This last point is informative. We attacked the Serbs and successfully ended the war, though the peace was never quite won and we only did so after cleansing had largely occurred. On the other hand, we never invaded Rwanda.

    The fact that we did not take AQ seriously enough at the time is reasonable considering that we had other things in mind. Our general lack of interest in AQ is the very reason 9-11 was successfully executed by the terrorists. The ease with which the plan worked despite the fact that we had enough evidence and intelligence to thwart the plot has been the source of pathetic conspiracy theories.

    Personally, I was shocked and greatly saddened when I heard the news that AQ had successfully assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud on 9-9-2001. I’m sure OBL must have thought that his delusions of a grand caliphate would soon be manifest once he killed Massoud and then hit NY, the Pentagon, and Washington DC two days later. We were, after all, his two greatest threats. OBL really believed that America would implode if they hit us hard enough and that the Muslims would be inspired to rise up against the west.

    They were quite serious about continuing attacks against us over and over again. What Bush probably wanted was for the Taliban to turn over all AQ members.

    …”Your train of thought that 9/11 attacks must be met with greater force at all costs is a retarded assertion”
    I am sure that pretense to moral superiority in this case without ever having experienced the responsibility of safe-guarding the lives of hundreds of millions of people make you a true genius.

    But I’m happy that you have the ability to feel ease in moral certitude

  • lollabrats

    @jinu4ever
    Well, I have a comment above that is pretty long, somehow double posted, and still awaiting moderation.

    I suppose I’ll add one more point. Unfortunately, I suddenly find myself working against a deadline. Feel free to fight on with more comments and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP.

    1. I noticed that you believe that counter-terrorism activity from Indonesia could have been replicated in Afghanistan. But I am sure that you do not mean that. Obviously, we would never have achieved the level of cooperation with the Taliban as we did with the government of Indonesia to track down and destroy AQ cells in Afghanistan as we did in Indonesia. I am sure you recognize this as a reality. There was no diplomatic or police or legal solution to terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan. If you believe otherwise, please share with me why you disagree.

    :)

  • lollabrats

    Wow. The wiki page for Ahmad Shah Massoud seems unusually detailed. Check it out.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Shah_Massoud

    Here’s a passage from the wiki:

    In the meantime, the only collaboration between Massoud and another U.S. intelligence service, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), consisted of an effort to trace Osama bin Laden following the 1998 embassy bombings.[60] The U.S. and the European Union provided no support to Massoud for the fight against the Taliban.

    A change of policy, lobbied for by CIA officers on the ground who had visited the area of Massoud, regarding support to Massoud was underway in the course of 2001. According to Steve Coll’s book “Ghost Wars”[54] (who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction) “the CIA officers admired Massoud greatly. They saw him as a Che Guevara figure, a great actor on history’s stage. Massoud was a poet, a military genius, a religious man, and a leader of enormous courage who defied death and accepted its inevitability, they thought…. In his house there were thousands of books: Persian poetry, histories of the Afghan war in multiple languages, biographies of other military and guerilla leaders. In their meetings Massoud wove sophisticated, measured references to Afghan history and global politics into his arguments. He was quiet, forceful, reserved, and full of dignity, but also light in spirit. The CIA team had gone into the Panshjir as unabashed admirers of Massoud. Now their convictions deepened….”[54]

    U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher also recalls: “[B]etween Bush’s inauguration and 9/11, I met with the new national security staff on 3 occasions, including one meeting with Condoleezza Rice to discuss Afghanistan. There were, in fact, signs noted in an overview story in The Washington Post about a month ago that some steps were being made to break away from the previous administration’s Afghan policy.”[27] CIA lawyers, working with officers in the Near East Division and Counterterrorist Center, began to draft a formal, legal presidential finding for Bush’s signature authorizing a new covert action program in Afghanistan, the first in a decade that sought to influence the course of the Afghan war in favour of Massoud.[54] This change in policy was finalized in August 2001 when it was too late.

    After Pakistan had funded, directed and supported the Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan, Massoud and the United Front received some assistance from India.[61] India was particularly concerned about Pakistan’s Taliban strategy and the Islamic militancy in its neighborhood; It provided US$70 million in aid including two Mi-17 helicopters, three additional helicopters in 2000 and US$8 million worth of high-altitude equipment in 2001.[62] Furthermore, the alliance supposedly also received minor aid from Tajikistan, Russia and Iran because of their opposition to the Taliban and the Pakistani control over the Taliban’s Emirate. Their support, however, remained limited to the most needed things. Meanwhile Pakistan engaged up to 28 000 Pakistani nationals and regular Pakistani army troops to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces against Massoud.[46][47]

    In April 2001, the president of the European Parliament Nicole Fontaine (who called Massoud the “pole of liberty in Afghanistan”) invited Massoud with the support of French and Belgian politicians to address the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. In his speech, he asked for humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan. Massoud further went on to warn that his intelligence agents had gained limited knowledge about a huge-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil being imminent.

  • jinu4ever

    @lollabrats. i dont believe there is one single model for diplomacy. for each country you’ve got to do so in isolation.

    your long post isnt double posted. one of them is my reply to you.

  • dogbertt

    out to get their money-grubbin’ paws on everything and anything they can lay claim to (which is actually their white genes getting the better of them).

    And to think a racist like you worked at the EEOC, Hank. That’s the U.S. government agency that is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race.

    Not that anyone needed proof that the EEOC is full of anti-white racists.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Were the people in Twin Towers armed when the terrorists struck? One of the Seal got angry and might have shot him cold blood. And, I applaud him. He just saved billions and billions dollars that needed to guard him, feed him, provide legal team, media team and clothe him.

    Just shoot and get over with it. And, someone did.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I heard that the US asked a third-party country to prison him and provide legal venue to try him there.

    No country volunteered. No country wanted Islamic terrorists to attack it to free Osama.

    So, Obama (one letter makes big difference) ordered to kill Osama. Is this an African soap opera?

    So, now Osama is dead. And, Terrorists are angry. They may try to kill Obama.

    Story goes on…

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Kennedy was assassinated because WASPs hated a Irish-Catholic being the Presidente of Americanos. So, they killed him. Obama is in similar situation.
    Look at the parties that hated Kennedy. And the present day counterpart.
    Russians->Moslems
    Cubans->Islam Terrorists
    Texans->Texans
    Mobs->Donal Trump
    Protestant Military Groups->Tea Partiers

    You can add your groups.

  • Arghaeri

    The ISI statements are heresay at best and tainted to the extreme

    As opposed to Obama who was on the spot to witness it first hand!!

  • Sonagi

    As opposed to Obama who was on the spot to witness it first hand!!

    Unlike the ISI, Obama saw the events in real time through the lens of a Navy SEAL helmet cam.

  • Arghaeri

    Haha didn’t see anything about that!! So much for ‘radio’ silence and Surprised the story kept changing then.