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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheMugwump

    Go to Youtube and type in key words “Osama bin Laden was murdered” and you will have your answer. The clip is a three minute interview with Benazir Bhutto who mentions rather off the cuff that bin Laden was murdered by Sheik Omar. I don’t know why the press never followed it up.

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  2. Profile Photo Member
    @Kozak

    Sorry have to disagree about his death being a primary war aim. It would be nice to see him dead, but not decisive to a victory. We didn’t make the assassination of Emperor Hirohito a major war aim, or for that matter Hitler either. Wars are won by destroying your enemies will and ability to fight. In this case it might even be counterproductive, raising Bin Laden up into the role of martyr, as opposed to his current status of cave rat on the run.

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    @ScottR

    Claire: I’m angry and frustrated at the situation, but not at our civilian or military leaders. I completely understand how difficult it is to locate and kill one man, hunkered down in a cave-laced, 10,000 sq mi mountain range. It’s infuriating, yes, and in hindsight it’s easy to identify errors in tactics or strategy, but I just can’t bring myself to point a finger. We’ll get him eventually, maybe even soon. (and maybe he’s already incinerated. Who knows? That’s the nature of this thing.)

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    @TheMugwump

    I’m still inclined to believe Bhutto that Sheik Omar had bin Laden murdered. The Arab contingent during the Soviet-Afghan war was never very large. Yet to hear bin Laden talk, you would think the Arab contribution was somehow decisive. The Arabs were at first welcomed as fellow holy warriors. Eventually the relationship became strained because the Arabs were seen as arrogant and meddlesome. Omar’s first mistake was not handing over bin Laden following 9/11. He probably thought America lacked sufficient reach to be a significant threat.

    The American assault caught the Taliban by surprise. Few people thought the Taliban could be driven from power so quickly. They retreated across the Tora Bora region under heavy fire. At this point Omar recognized that bin Laden had become a nuisance and a liability. He ordered bin Laden killed. Makes as much sense anything else.

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    @MNJohnnie

    What is infuriating is the utter ignorance of this mindset. Bin Laden is the face of a much deeper problem. The real problem for the West is how we deal with this violent Islamic radicalism.

    Killing Bin Laden will not cure, or even slow down, that disease. All it will do is give the Surrender Now choir and excuse to retreat back into their preferred 09-10-01 political dogmas.

    This is a problem the West must confront now. If we fall back into these lazy, neo-isolations mindsets that dominated Western thinking up to 09-10-01 tthe next 09-11 may be a weapon of mass destruction being used in Paris, or Berlin or London or New York and 10s of thousands or millions of dead

    You cannot run away from this problem. You cannot hide from this problem. Killing 1 man, no matter how gratifying to the spirit of revenge that might be, will not solve this problem

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    @MelFoil

    If you’re willing to have no contacts outside of your cave, or your crawlspace, you can disappear too. The hard thing would be to to hide and still have a life. So, Osama may not be dead, but his enjoyment of life (if he ever had any) is dead.

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    @RobLong

    Does it really matter now? I suppose that in the early days of the conflict it would have been a big deal — but even then, the idea that a huge superpower trained its might on killing an old flea-bitten man in pyjamas would probably have soured, somewhat, after the first day. Personalizing it at all was a bad idea I think — Bin Laden isn’t even the real problem going forward. It’s not guys in caves who are trying to blow us up, it’s middle-class western-educated Muslin fanatics who are. They’re not even really inspired or led by Bin Laden — they follow a network of crazy Imams from all over. It would be great if Bin Laden was dead, but I’m not losing sleep over it. Bigger fish to fry.

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    @ConfuciustheOEcumenicalVolgi

    Claire—Part of it was “courageous restraint.” If we’d unleashed a fraction of our available air- and missile-borne firepower upon Tora Bora and other known al-Qâ’ida hideouts, Osama would have been a greasy-smelling vapor. However, you could have had serious “collateral damage,” and we’ve been committed (admirably) to the most discriminating war-fighting style in the history of modern armies for the last couple decades. We could have killed him—maybe we should have killed him—but the means we would have needed to use to be certain would be flatly objectionable to a sizable number of people.

    Rob—You’re right on a tactical level, wrong on the strategic level. The way you deter disaffected, middle-class, Westernized fanatics is by demonstrating that their “We shall conquer!” ideology is bulls— and that their this-worldly efforts are utterly futile, whatever gardens of houris (or white raisins) they’re promised. Killing Osama is a serious act of demoralization, whatever its tactical merits (and if I could kill only one AQ guy, it might be al-Zawahiri rather than OBL…). It might not be a primary war aim, but we should pursue him inexorably.

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    @Claire

    MNJohnnie, I think my creds on this issue are pretty solid. No need for you to be infuriated when you can be nodding your head in agreement and I can be making royalties. Check it out. But I still say the man needs to be 100 percent dead, and I can’t figure out why we’ve just stopped talking about this.

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  10. Profile Photo Member
    @JimChase

    Not getting OBL is a failure, but the probability of success in that objective was slim to begin with. Even at this late date though, there is PR value to ascertaining his fate – better if the U.S. is the arbiter of his fate.

    President Bush got a lot of grief over his Dead or Alive comments for OBL; it was “too cowboy” for the “enlightened” political/media establishment. That mentality is still anathema for too many, which I suggest may be why nobody wants to talk about OBL.

    Why do I have a sudden compulsion to watch an old Clint Eastwood movie?

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  11. Profile Photo Editor
    @RobLong
    Confucius, the Œcumenical Volgi: Rob—You’re right on a tactical level, wrong on the strategic level. The way you deter disaffected, middle-class, Westernized fanatics is by demonstrating that their “We shall conquer!” ideology is bulls— and that their this-worldly efforts are utterly futile, whatever gardens of houris (or white raisins) they’re promised. Killing Osama is a serious act of demoralization, whatever its tactical merits (and if I could kill only one AQ guy, it might be al-Zawahiri rather than OBL…)

    I’m not sure I’m with you, here. Somehow I doubt that since 2001, it’s been Osama Bin Laden who has inspired his troops. Killing him wouldn’t seem futile to members of his death cult — if anything, it would seem fitting and honorable. They don’t seem like the kind of people who take death terribly seriously, or hard. I mean, as they cheerfully strap on the suicide belts and fly planes into buildings and try to blow up their underpants, what makes you think that killing one of their aged leaders would do anything but inspire them to redouble their passion?

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  12. Profile Photo Member
    @Eeyore

    Why isn’t he dead? As others have said – needle-in-a-haystack, plus Rules of Engagement. It also seems that – what? – $25mil hasn’t turned anyone in his circle.

    It would be a heartening move. Gary Faulkner certainly stirred some positive feelings lately. But Rob’s right – it would be felt “fitting and honorable”. And the practical effect? Islamic Rage Boy would just make a reappearance, and…on down the road.

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  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DevinCole

    I am still not convinced that there is a case against killing Osama Bin Laden, assuming he is still alive. The two reasons I could see are:

    1. He no longer matters at all in any significant way to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization.

    2. As Rob says, it would “inspire them to redouble their passion.”

    Regarding item 1, I am not qualified nor do I have the information to make this judgment. It seems OBL had access to significant funding and garnered quite a following. It is possible these have disappeared due to his need to “rat hole”.

    As far as the second, this argument seems to suggest that we then should not attempt to kill any Islamic terrorist leader to avoid inflaming the terrorist rank and file. This, I think, leads us down a path to appeasement.

    The nutcases that strap explosives and ball bearings on their chests and detonate themselves make the news. We won’t likely change their minds. How about those less extreme? Those who carry an AK-47 to battle during campaign season in Afghanistan? Or potential financiers? Can a projection of force dwindle the ranks of these?

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  14. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Pardon my ignorance, but could we please review the evidence that OBL survived past 2001? Are there any examples of him on video, with audio, referring to subsequent events he could not possibly have anticipated? I don’t mean to be overly skeptical; I’m just aware that there has been some seemingly plausible controversy over this question.

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  15. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Claire — Three letters: ROE. When the bad guys do something heinous enough to cause Americans to no longer care about “collateral damage”, when they are willing to wreak unmitigated havoc on not only the enemy, but anyone who provides support or shelter for the enemy, when the peoples of foreign lands understand and BELIEVE that we are serious about fighting a war, then you will get your wish.

    Until then we are not serious; we’re too busy enjoying our plush lives.

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  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DevinCole

    I agree with Claire. Osama Bin Laden needs to be 100 percent dead. It is not a matter of focusing our might on a single individual or revenge. It is to set an example that if you attack our country you end up dead. I am not suggesting that he be the only target, but he should be a target, even still today.

    Rob, don’t you think a dead Osama would factor in the mental calculus of those western educated middle class Muslim fanatics? How about influenced those radical imams you cite? Check out what Steyn has to say (paragraph 6):

    http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/3449/26/

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  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ConfuciustheOEcumenicalVolgi
    Rob Long

    I’m not sure I’m with you, here. Somehow I doubt that since 2001, it’s been Osama Bin Laden who has inspired his troops. Killing him wouldn’t seem futile to members of his death cult — if anything, it would seem fitting and honorable. They don’t seem like the kind of people who take death terribly seriously, or hard…what makes you think that killing one of their aged leaders would do anything but inspire them to redouble their passion? · Jun 30 at 8:31pm

    Because these guys are not motivated purely by religion, but by a desire to make their lives meaningful. Being part of a heroic movement right the world’s wrongs is attractive, meaningful, and worth dying for. Dying in vain is not. Killing Bin-Laden (and all the jihadi wackjobs we can) makes them realize they’re on the wrong side of history. Confederates and Nazis were willing to wage terrorist war for a couple years afterwards, in a vain hope they could reverse defeat. When it was clear they couldn’t, they went joined the Klan or went to Argentina.

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  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ConfuciustheOEcumenicalVolgi

    Let ’em rage, let them praise him as a martyr, let them do what they want. Just don’t let them think they’re winning. And remember, these guys doing just wake up and strap on a bomb belt. They’re assiduously recruited by international networks of propagandists (and bombmakers) who talk them into it over a lot of time—I strongly suspect this is even the case with Fort Hood’s DIY jihadi, whose emails probably show Awlaki building him up as a hero in his own mind. Those guys’ jobs become a lot harder when their guys are killed or dragged to Gitmo in their underwear like Khalid Shaykh Muhammad.

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  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ConfuciustheOEcumenicalVolgi

    Sorry: should read “these guys don’t just wake up….”

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