Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: You know what ...

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  • Russell Brown,

    Off you go, then ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    Okay then... from what I gather he was found in Pakistan, living reasonably openly and in relative luxury - e.g. not that hard to find if you're the ISI and actually bother to look.

    For some time now the elephant in the room when people chat nervously about "radical Isamists" has been Pakistan. The focus always falls on various Arab countries, not that frequently on Pakistan. And when it does, they seem to get a much easier ride (cf the blunt accusations of the Sauds directly funding Wahidists etc).

    Osama was one of many, as the jihadist message boards are already reminding us. If the west is serious about minimising the capacity of his followers to wreak further tragedy, isn't it about time we called Pakistan on it's tacit support for terrorism and started imposing some consequences?

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    It seems this dude http://twitter.com/#!/ReallyVirtual accidentally live blogged the thing. His tweets since are dry and interesting. With such gems as "And the big question is - now that OBL does not live in Abbottabad, is it open to terrorist attacks too?" - in the last 10 minutes his follow count has gone from 1k to 6k.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 305 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    Excellent find. Abbottabad seems like a luxury resort town. Lots of retired Pakistani military officers, apparently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Personally I'm feeling extremely uncomfortable about the fact that he was killed (together with a bunch of people with him) rather than being captured. It's hardly a shining example of the democratic process in action. Killing someone is murder, regardless of who it is.

    As a result, I'm also deeply unimpressed with the celebrations outside the White House and elsewhere in the US. Chanting "USA! USA!" is also hardly likely to endear the USA to those who support Bin Laden and/or his principles and beliefs.

    It's interesting to note that one woman interviewed on Radio NZ this afternoon, whose brother was killed on 9/11, feels somewhat the same way.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 330 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    If the west is serious about minimising the capacity of his followers to wreak further tragedy, isn’t it about time we called Pakistan on it’s tacit support for terrorism and started imposing some consequences?

    OTOH, Pakistan granted the US airspace and provided cover on the ground for the raid. Clearly, it's complex.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to webweaver,

    I think those people outside the White House are mostly university students, who aren't known for their calmly reasonable responses to world events.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3665 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Been dead 10 years already, didn't y'all hear?

    Yes, seriously. Nice to see them give up part of the grand charade, now that the Gitmo files are being released, showing the Americans have been fighting a rather illusive enemy for quite some time now. Who knows, maybe they'll declare victory and fuck off home again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 488 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Ballantyne, in reply to tussock,

    I'm keen to hear how this will be made to fit into 9/11 Truther conspiracy theory. I like a laugh now and then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Adzze,

    Chanting "USA! USA!" is also hardly likely to endear the USA to those who support Bin Laden and/or his principles and beliefs.

    Yeah, I bet they're feeling really betrayed right now.

    Let them celebrate, I don't think anyone seriously believes that Al Qaeda is no longer a threat with bin Laden gone. But symbols are important too. And at least the crowds outside the White House aren't firing AK's into the air.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    So is catching a plane going to get easier now?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1239 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2200 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to webweaver,

    It would have been a bonus to see him captured, but given there appears to have been a fire fight, that was not an option. Killing isn't murder when they are wanted for mass murder and are shooting back at you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Good point Andin, and highly doubtful.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 305 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to Adzze,

    Yeah, I bet they’re feeling really betrayed right now.

    Oh sure I get that - they're not exactly enamoured with the USA anyway - but it's not going to improve things, is it?

    Fine if the US wants to continue fighting random Middle-Eastern countries and/or the War on Terra like some intra-village feud where you kill one of their guys so they come back and kill one of yours - endlessly for generation after generation - but if anyone actually wants, you know, peace or something, then this isn't the way to go about getting it.

    And you might be interested to hear the thoughts of some of the people being inteviewed on Radio NZ today - including some dude a few minutes ago (didn't catch who he was but I suppose he's some authority on something-or-other) who was completely convinced that the death of OBL will send a strong message to anyone thinking of joining Al Qaeda that it would be a bad idea, as the US will personally hunt them down and wipe them out.

    He was completely sure that this would magically and immediately decrease the numbers of Al Qaeda members and ensure that people would no longer consider joining in the future.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 330 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Robert Fisk on Al Jazeerah in the lead up to Obama’s announcement was an unexpected benefit of following the events live. Not sure if it is available anywhere, but it was sure thought provoking. He particularly questioned Bin Laden’s relevance now and said his goal of toppling Arab governments failed spectacularly, and this is highlighted most starkly with the Democratic uprisings in many Middle East countries. Wish I could remember more.

    It is certainly an uncomfortable feeling to witness celebration in any way of CIA Squads carrying out raids on foreign soil, whether with the complicity or support of the local governments or not. A similar feeling to hearing Gadafi’s son and three grandchildren were killed by NATO yesterday.

    Both seem to signal a ramping up of Western Military influence and activity in the Middle East. That isn’t a small thing to mull over.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to John Holley,

    Killing isn’t murder when they are wanted for mass murder and are shooting back at you.

    I would agree with half of that. I accept that when you're in the middle of a firefight you don't have much choice about shooting back. Doesn't stop me wishing it had turned out differently though.

    However, I completely disagree with your statement that "Killing isn’t murder when they are wanted for mass murder". It is. What they are wanted for matters not at all.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 330 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to webweaver,

    So you are saying this was a unlawful, premeditated act? Where is your evidence?

    I'm talking about a legal definition here of what murder is. You also seem to imply that shooting someone in self defence is murder? I guess you are taking a particular moral stance here? (Certainly not one based in law)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Perhaps now the leader of a terrorist group with zero capability to mount attacks in the West (or no desire to - given that single nutters with no money manage to engage in murder and mayhem, it must be one or the other) is dead, the US can stop searching for imaginary terrerists and leave the Muslim world to sort out its own development.

    I'm just grateful for having my attention drawn to these excellent stanzas by Major General James Millstone Jennings Abbot, after whom the town is named:

    I remember the day when I first came here
    And smelt the sweet Abbottabad air

    The trees and ground covered with snow
    Gave us indeed a brilliant show

    To me the place seemed like a dream
    And far ran a lonesome stream

    The wind hissed as if welcoming us
    The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss

    And the tiny cuckoo sang it away
    A song very melodious and gay

    I adored the place from the first sight
    And was happy that my coming here was right

    And eight good years here passed very soon
    And we leave our perhaps on a sunny noon

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    I think those people outside the White House are mostly university students, who aren’t known for their calmly reasonable responses to world events.

    And the young Muslim woman in the TPM video, a pro-tolerance activist, who is pretty bloody stoked. I'm inclined to cut the mostly young crowd some slack. However you apportion blame, all they've known since early childhood is a country under heavy manners. I can understand the human nature part of the celebration.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I've just seen a facebook group in my newsfeed:

    R.I.P Osama Bin Laden - World Hide And Go Seek Champion (2001 - 2011)

    I'm still laughing,

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    @Graeme Edgeler:

    It's already a meme!

    @Russell Brown:

    From my admittedly limited knowledge the government of Pakistan does what it has to do to keep from annoying the US to the extent that it would come back to bite them. So if they're directy requested to do something the west can monitor, like "can we use your airspace?" they'll do it, and make a big show of doing so.

    But if it's something harder to track, like, "you'll tell us if you see bin Laden, right?", you might as well be asking the guy who's dating your teenage daughter to behave like a gentleman.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    From a personal POV I'm just happy neither myself or my wife are in Central Java right now - it was a possibility a short while back.

    There are a lot of pretty determined hotheads - Bin Laden T shirts and wall posters are very, very common and that's just the public face of it.

    It will get messy. Very.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Bin Laden's death seems a psychological victory, more than anything else. There are still going to be people who'll think like him, and it's probable they'll revere him as a martyr.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I don't feel any sorrow that OBL got the chop. "Those who live by the sword etc" but anyone who think this is going to improve things is away with the fairies and I am not that comfortable with state killings
    Although would it have been better if Hitler had be dealt with before things got out of hand or when the writing on the wall became really obvious to the world?

    I certainly would not be keen to be flying or going to any country with Muslim hot heads this winter
    Was thinking of Java/Indonesia actually but will give that a year at least

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

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