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The Hunt For Osama bin Laden Heats Up

From the excellent news aggregator Watching America comes this article from the Asia Times:

ISLAMABAD (May 14, 2005) - Both Pakistani and US intelligence believe that they are hot on the heels of Osama bin Laden, after his trail went cold months ago.

"Both the US and concerned Pakistani authorities are positive that in the coming days we shall be around Osama bin Laden," a senior Pakistani official told Asia Times Online in an exclusive interview, speaking on condition of anonymity.

..."I am not part of any strategic community, but my political acumen suggests that in the present drive we will find Osama bin Laden in our tribal areas, and I am sure we will soon ... we should try to push him to the other side of the border and then let US troops arrest him. He should not be arrested by or in Pakistan. Because if that happens, I tell you that the Pakistan army will lose its honor among the masses forever, and at the same time there would be retaliation against the government beyond our comprehension, and in that process anything is possible, real terrorism, bloodshed and even revolution," he continued.

..."I am the person who is monitoring things very closely, and I see the arrest of bin Laden not very far away, this is the same opinion of the US authorities following al-Libbi's arrest. But whether it will bury extremism once and for all, or spark it, is a different debate," the Pakistani functionary commented.

The Pakistani official highlights the potential problem with capturing bin Laden rather than killing him. A dead bin Laden would be a martyr to extremists world-wide, but a captured bin Laden would be a hot potato the likes of which the western world has seldom seen.

Count me in the "the only good bin Laden is a dead bin Laden" category...


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Comments (29)

First!!!!I agree -... (Below threshold)
Bill M:

First!!!!

I agree -- the only good bin Laden is a dead one.

What would be ideal would b... (Below threshold)

What would be ideal would be to take him alive but make everyone think that he was dead. Then you could pump him for information without the threat his followers taking hostages and threatening their life if you didn't release him.
Then, a few years later, announce that he was alive all along and that he squealed like a pig. Round up his buddies, and you've just destroyed a martyr mythos.

One thing is wrong in your ... (Below threshold)
Albertanator:

One thing is wrong in your post here......you point out that the death of Bin Ladin would make him a martyr to Extremists the world over...

That is incorrect.......it will make him a hero to the Vast masses of regular orthodox muslims....not just the Wahhabi types.....but probably at least 80 percent of the Islamic world will lament his death or capture..

Indeed, a poll taken last year in some moderate Muslims countries like Maylasia and Turkey and others indicated that 54 percent of Muslims considered Bin Ladin to be a good muslim.....Now imagine if this bastard is killed?? That number will jump hugely.......and remember since 9-11, the most popular baby name in the Islamic world for males is Osama...

Islam , folks, is the problem and has been for 1400 years......Muhammed was a murderous nut.....and his ideas and venom still produce rotten fruit the Islamic world over....

Islam , folks, is the pr... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Islam , folks, is the problem and has been for 1400 years

Good start. Are the Jews next?

Take him to the tallest bui... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Take him to the tallest building in NY and toss the evil bastard over the side, live on the 5pm news, with slow-mo replays.

See if the MSM edits that out like they did the many Americans that had to perfrom the same when they should have been working in the WTC.

No, just capture him and sh... (Below threshold)
jd watson:

No, just capture him and show a picture like the one of Sadam and spread the rumor that he was found hiding, like a coward, in some hole in the ground.

I have a feeling he's been ... (Below threshold)
BR:

I have a feeling he's been eating caviar in a posh penthouse all along, close to his former hospital, and easy access to banks, internet and Fedex.

I want to hear from all tho... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

I want to hear from all those who claimed Bush has had him captured this whole time and was going to spring him as an October surprise. When October came and went without this supposed surprise I didn't see a single one of the hypocrits come out and eat crow.

I think the best thing to d... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I think the best thing to do if he is captured is to question him until he quits producing information of any value then make him disapppear. Never admit that you ever had him. Make his followers believe that he's abandoned them. The war on terror is going to last quite a while, can you imagine the results of 3 or 4 years passing and nobody hearing a word from him, no video tapes urging them to continue murdering people, and no message passing control to al Qaeda to whoever tries to step into his shoes? They would think that if we caught him we'd be bragging about it. That would leave them believing that he's lost faith and dropped out of the movement. If the man that started it all decides it's no longer worthy of his attention what message would that send to his adherents? If he can't send the message that it's time for his successor to take over who will accept whoever he has chosen as the new leader? The infighting for control down at alQ HQ would do more damage than parading him in front of the press ever could.

Brilliant, Bullwinkle!... (Below threshold)
BR:

Brilliant, Bullwinkle!

And we all know what a fight for succession can bring - isn't that how the Sunni vs Shi'ite split occurred? Deja vu all over again!

I'm sorry, I just can keep a straight face on this whole business of CBSgate/Newsweek/Islamic terrorism - Mary Mapes can then make amends by faking a "Letter of Succession" from Osama to Michael Jackson, to be printed in Newsweek, so that all the rioting malcontents can learn the cakewalk or whatever it's called.

Realistically, bin Laden is... (Below threshold)

Realistically, bin Laden is irrelevant except as a symbol. Islamist terrorism will not stop with his capture Most likely he does not have much, if any, information so interrogating him would be pretty much useless. Capturing him is impractical; what do you do with him? put him on trial in the US?

The best solution is killing him and going on as we are now, with everyone thinking that he is alive and on the loose. Maybe even release rumors that he has been killed, but no confirmation. That way you don't make him into a martyr, but you create enough doubt about him.

Just think about this scena... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Just think about this scenario: We capture Usama and keep it quiet. Whoever he was with last automatically becomes supsect to everyone else. The others have to assume we have him but we deny it. Then the others start thinking the ones that had him last killed him to take control. They accuse them, the others say, "How do we know you didn't get him so YOU could take over?" It wouldn't take long before they were doing our jobs for us, killing each other, coming out of hiding to look for Usama, communicating back and forth frantically on phones we can trace, and eventually the survivors in leadership positions all have to get together to decide who takes the reins. We get a nice, neat tidy package and do it all over again. I'd be surprised if that wasn't happening already. When was the last time one of those video tapes of Usama showed up? Didn't the #3 guy just get caught running down the street in Afghanistan?

Good plan, Bullwinkle, but ... (Below threshold)
penny:

Good plan, Bullwinkle, but can't we, between deep sixing him for interrogation for awhile and the eventual firing squad he deserves, force him to sing a medley of Tony Orlando songs on American Idol?

If we really want to mock and demoralize AQ that's the ticket. It is more diabolical an imagine than the Koran in the crapper to his followers.

I don't know where he is or... (Below threshold)

I don't know where he is or what condition he's in -- but I can't say that the present situation hasn't been pretty damn good for our side. The mindset of the Muslim fanatic means that the continued doubt as to whether bin Laden is alive, or his claimed videos are propaganda (and from whom?) would have to eventually destroy whatever mystique he brought to the organization and make the footsoldiers reconsider their involvement.

If we capture or kill him, and prove it, that doubt will be removed and the effect would not necessarily be as good or better than the status quo.

I'm just wondering what cap... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I'm just wondering what capturing OBL and then converting him to Catholicism might accomplish. OBL, acknowledging (and declaring) his sins before the world, recognizing Jesus Christ as personal savior, declaring his support of the Christian church...

Perhaps capturing and counselling is advisable, is my point.

I tend to agree, also, that... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I tend to agree, also, that OBL has probably and is probably still not groveling in the ground somewhere. Probably he has all the comforts his dollars can buy him and is, if still alive due to his health problems, living in quite well circumstances. I'm betting he relies on the "hiding in plain site" means of covert existence.

There is no good outcome am... (Below threshold)
-S-:

There is no good outcome among some human populations for OBL's destiny, because they are going to swarm, murder, maim and riot (and continue to do so) regardless. Meaning, I am prepared to preduct here that regardless of OBL's fate, there will be increased hate and bad behaviors by those who adulate him. I don't know why, other than that's what they resort to for just about any provocation, and always have.

So, yes, I tend to agree that there's an inherent fringe problem in Islam that sends some followers into destructive, uncontrollable and unreasonable mental frenzy. And that, because of what's already been observed by same, there's got to be a problem with the ideology.

Not everyone who is Muslim behaves that way, I recognize. But, because some do among their numbers and do so consistently regardless of what conditions, and relate their behaviors to their religious ideology, then it's reasonable to conclude that there's some element of their ideology that inspires -- perhaps even requires -- the behaviors.

To respond to the remark by 'mantis,' once again, the issue is one of behaviors.

Good start. Are the Jews... (Below threshold)

Good start. Are the Jews next?

No, they're not, and let me explain to you why:

1. Jews didn't take over the US Embassy in Iran in 1979 and held many hostages for over a year
2. Jews didn't blow up a Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1986 killing 241 Marines.
3. Jews didn't attempt to detonate a truck bomb underneath the WTC in 1996
4. Jews didn't attack the USS Cole when it was docked in Yemen in 1998.
5. Jews didn't fly airplanes into the WTC towers on Sept 11., 2001 killing nearly 3000 people.
6. No Jew has ever issued a proclamation calling for the death of me, my family, and all other Americans.

I probably got some of the dates wrong, but nevertheless, I hope now you have a better idea of why some of us tend to take a dim view of the Islamic religion whereas we have no problem with Judaism.

In addition, they (the Jews... (Below threshold)
Meezer:

In addition, they (the Jews) didn't already try to take over the world a couple of times. You know all those arty travel shows where they are in some country far from the Middle East and they keep mentioning "Moorish influences"? They didn't get there because Spain called in an Arab design team.

Well said, Meezer.</... (Below threshold)

Well said, Meezer.

Oh Meezer, you had me laugh... (Below threshold)
BR:

Oh Meezer, you had me laughing out loud ! "Moorish influences... didn't get there because Spain called in an Arab design team." Priceless. I'd like to see a new universe where everyone can have a good time with a Big Laugh.

I say we throw him off the ... (Below threshold)

I say we throw him off the new Freedom Tower when it is finished being built at the WTC site.

Or impale him on the spire.... (Below threshold)

Or impale him on the spire. Either way.

Mantis you little moral equ... (Below threshold)
Albertanator:

Mantis you little moral equivicating scumbag!!

I said Islam is the enemy......do you have a clue you ignorant little fool of what a dichotomy is??

ISLAM needs to be destroyed......that doesn't mean every muslim needs to be eliminated......

I suppose Mantis you had no problem with Nazism or Marxism either eh.......Islam is the exact same except older and more subtle....

Where the hell are these vile little pukes getting their eduction???

The idiocy of the left is staggering...

Wanna bet Mantis has never opened the Mein Kampf of Arabia, the Quran, once in his life or the Hadiths.......or studied Muhammed's murderous ideas in his Bio, The Life of Muhammed and so forth???

You know the probability of... (Below threshold)
wayneo:

You know the probability of OBL being nabbed & tried is in fact dim. The whole "guns-blazing" theory will be true if and when someone actually gets close enough to him.

What about the idea that ca... (Below threshold)
Gdawg:

What about the idea that capturing and or killing OBL could send the message that no matter where you hide, what country you are in or who you are, the United States will send hard pipe hitters to find you.

You know the whole you can't be us so modernize your outdated society and join the team.

I hope now you have a bette... (Below threshold)
Nora:

I hope now you have a better idea of why some of us tend to take a dim view of the Islamic religion whereas we have no problem with Judaism.


Well, it's not like declaring war on a country just because you're delusional and think that God gave you the right to do so (and pretending like they were stuffed upto the teeth in weapons of mass destruction, when all they had was one rickety plane that barely flew) helps this country look like it's so much better a place. Has anyone seen the stituation in Iraq now?
And anyhow, as for blaming violence on the Islamic religion, I suggest talkiing to some followers of the religion, and realize that actually, there isn't something in the religion itself that inspires this violence.
If a bunch of catholics were to do what AQ is doing, nobody would ever dare to say that it was something in their religion that insipires this kind of attitude, but that they've just a few screws loose. So why this unfair judgement on the Islamic religion?

And one more thing... as fo... (Below threshold)
Nora:

And one more thing... as for the fact that Islam needs to be destroyed... if that is the case, then why not eliminate every other religion that exists today? If the standard with which Islam is being judged is applied to every other religion, then every religion has 'inspired' people to kill and destroy in the name of their own gods, and then well, they'd have to be destroyed too.

Now, i'm not in favour of 9/11, or any of the things that are going on now, but I really think people (especially here in the western world) need to learn more about things that are different from their own culture, because otherwise a judgement cannot be made fairly.

Bin Laden should be dead at... (Below threshold)
Nate:

Bin Laden should be dead at the earliest available moment.

Leave it to the bloggers and media to debate alternatives




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