- More than 400,000 potential or actual Islamic terrorists will never again pose a threat to the United States or Western Europe.
- Additional thousands are certain to follow their example.
- And the United States cannot be held in any way responsible for it.
Posts Tagged ‘IRAQ’
When Osama bin Laden died, two weapons were within easy reach–an AK-47 assault rifle and a Russian-made nine-millimeter Makarov pistol.
But according to his wife, Amal, he was shot by Navy SEALS before he could reach either one.
A SEAL flashed coded news of bin Laden’s death to the Pentagon and the White House Situation Room, where President Barack Obama and the topmost officials of his administration anxiously followed events via a closed-circuit television.
“Geronimo E-KIA” read the message: “Geronimo [bin Laden] E-KIA [Enemy Killed in Action].”
The entire raid–including Intelligence sweeps of the compound–was over in less than 40 minutes. The SEALS moved quickly because they rightly feared that the Pakistani army would intervene to protect bin Laden.
Bin Laden had been living undisturbed at a large compound in Abbottabad for at least five years, just a short distance from Pakistan’s version of West Point.
Furthermore, the ISI–Pakistan’s Intelligence agency–had long been riddled with Al-Qaeda sympathizers, if not agents.
Within 24 hours of his death, Bin Laden’s body was transported to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson for final rites and burial at sea.
U.S.S. Carl Vinson
President Obama and other U.S. officials feared that his grave site would become a memorial for members of Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist organizations.
In the late evening of May 1, 2011, the White House surprised major television networks by informing them that the President had a major announcement to make.
At 11:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, the President appeared at a podium in the East Room of the White House.
“Good evening. Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States had conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children….
“For over two decades, bin Laden has been Al-Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda.”
He added that “no Americans were harmed” in the raid and that the SEALS had taken care to avoid civilian casualties.
President Barack Obama announcing Osama bin Laden’s death
Like Ernesto “Che” Guevara, bin Laden had become a pale, largely irrelevant figure by the time of his death.
Knowing he was the world’s most wanted man, he imprisoned himself within a fortified compound–which he never left.
Afraid to use a phone or the Internet, he relayed orders–which were often ignored–via the cumbersome use of couriers. All trash generated by the inhabitants of the compound was burned within its walls.
Ironically, the lack of Internet and phone lines to the compound–and the burning of its trash–had led CIA officials to suspect that Osama bin Laden might be hiding there.
Pakistan was outraged. Officially an American ally, its territory had been secretly invaded by American military forces. Even more embarrassing: For years, Pakistani Intelligence had denied knowing bin Laden’s whereabouts.
Meanwhile, leaders of Islamic expansionist groups rallied to praise the dead bin Laden. Among these was his son, Omar, who denounced his father’s killing as a “criminal” act, and his burial at sea as demeaning to the Islamic faith.
In a letter published on the website of Islamic ideologue Abu Walid al-Masri, the younger bin Laden said the former Al-Qaeda leader’s children reserved the right to take legal action in the United States and internationally to “determine the true fate of our vanished father.”
Bin Laden’s death drew protests from hundreds of people in the city of Quetta, in southwestern Pakistan, who burned American flags and paid homage to the late terrorist leader.
On May 13, a pair of Taliban suicide bombers attacked paramilitary police recruits eagerly heading home for a break after months of training, killing 80 people. It was the first act of retaliation for the killing of bin Laden.
Americans reacted differently.
Almost as Obama was addressing the nation, cheering crowds gathered outside the White House and in New York City’s Times Square. Many of them shouted “USA! USA! USA!” and waved American flags in celebration.
Celebration also broke out at the site of the former World Trade Center, the primary victim of the September 11 attacks.
For the next two weeks, Americans continued to rejoice. Much of their feelings were best expressed in grisly humor on websites and late night comedy shows such as “Tonight” and “Late Night With David Letterman.”
Killing Osama bin Laden removed Al-Qaeda’s most important member. But its treasury of secret materials–such as computer hard-drives, DVDs, notebooks, diaries–proved even more important to American military and Intelligence officials.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many Vietnam protesters marched carrying blown-up photos of Ernesto “Che” Guevara or tacked them to the walls of their dormitory rooms.
Most of these college students were members of the middle-class which Guevara had so despised.
Going on five years since the death of bin Laden, his poster has been noticeably absent from American college campuses–and everywhere else in the United States.
It remains to be seen whether, decades from now, Osama bin Laden will attain the iconic status of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was dead. But that wasn’t enough for the Bolivian government that had authorized his execution. His corpse was disappear from the face of the earth.
On October 10, 1967, Guavara’s body was flown to nearby Vallegrande, where photographs were taken of him lying on a concrete slab in the laundry room of the Nuestra Senora de Malta.
Che Guevara in death
Several witnesses were called in to confirm that it was indeed Guevara. As hundreds of local residents filed past the corpse, men of them felt Guevara resembled images of a bearded, long-haired Jesus Christ. Some of them even surreptitiously clipped locks of his hair as divine relics.
After a military doctor amputated his hands, Bolivian army officers transferred Guevara’s body to an undisclosed location. The government refused to say whether his remains had been buried or cremated.
Che’s hands were preserved in formaldehyde and sent to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for fingerprint identification. (His prints were on file with the Argentine police)
On October 15, Fidel Castro acknowledged that Guevara was dead and proclaimed three days of public mourning throughout Cuba.
Che, in one sense, was lucky to die as he did–and when he did. He was only 39, but he was already running to fat and increasingly troubled by his lifelong asthma.
His Don Quixote-like venture into Bolivia proved a failure from first to last. Peasants didn’t flock to his banner; in fact, some of them betrayed his movements to the Bolivian army.
And 24 years after Guevara’s execution, Communism, his secular religion, died a violent death in its birthplace–the Soviet Union. It wasn’t killed off by invading capitalist forces, but thrown off by the Russian people themselves.
Nor would Che be pleased with the course of “revolutionary” events in Cuba. Until the death of the Soviet Union, the island remained dependent on what amounted to Soviet welfare.
Since then, Cubans have supported themselves by turning their island into a privileged playground for the rich–especially rich Americans.
On October 17, 1997–30 years after their deaths–Guevara and six of his fellow combatants were buried with full military honors in a specially built mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba. It was there in 1958 that he had commanded the decisive military victory of the Cuban Revolution.
Having described, in Part One, how Ernesto “Che” Guevara met his end, it’s time to examine how Osama bin Laden earned his 72 willing virgins.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the United States quickly established that bin laden had plotted them.
World Trade Center on 9/11/01
But bin Laden was then living in Afghanistan and protected by its Islamic rulers, the Taliban. President George W. Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum: Surrender bin Laden–or else.
The Taliban refused.
On October 7, 2001, the United States’ new allies, the Northern Alliance, supported by American airstrikes, began a ground campaign against the Taliban.
Taliban resistance quickly vanished. Bin Laden retreated to Tora Bora, a series of bunkers in a mountainous region near the Pakistani border. With the mountains literally shaking under a rain of “bunker-busting” bombs, bin Laden decided to move on.
Suddenly, in December, 2001, he seemed to vanish from the earth.
Reports circulated that he was living in a cave in the no-man’s-land lying between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Strangely, the Bush administration lost interest in locating him. Increasing numbers of American troops were quietly transferred from Afghanistan to staging areas near Iraq–for Bush’s long-planned overthrow of its dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Only when Barack Obama took office as President in 2009 was the CIA ordered to make finding bin Laden its top priority. Over the next two years, CIA agents sifted through a conflicting series of reports about bin Laden’s possible whereabouts.
Finally, the agency tracked a courier linked to bin Laden to a large, high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
On April 28, 2011, President Obama authorized a U.S. military raid on the compound, dubbed “Operation Neptune Spear.” On May 1, 2011, two teams of 12 U.S. Navy SEALS, working with the CIA, traveled in two helicopters to the compound.
The helicopters were specially outfitted to emit little noise. But an accident resulted when the tail rotor of one helicopter grazed the compound’s stone wall.
The damaged aircraft was “hard-landed” and then destroyed on-site to protect its technological secrets. Back-up forces were immediately available, and another helicopter was brought in to retrieve the commandos and relevant contents.
All combined, a total of 79 commandos and a dog (believed to have explosive-detection training) were involved in the raid.
SEALS attacking bin Laden’s compound in the 2012 movie, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, bin Laden’s courier, opened fire on the SEALS from the guesthouse with an AK-47 assault rifle. He and his wife were killed by return fire.
A male relative of the courier was shot and killed by the SEALS before he could reach a weapon lying nearby.
Bin Laden’s 22-year-old son rushed toward the SEALS on the staircase of the main house. SEAL gunfire instantly killed him.
Osama bin Laden, standing at the top of a staircase, retreated into his room–where SEALS followed and shot him in the head and chest.