Analysis: The Execution of Bin Laden

The problem was that he had got away with it. The world’s most notorious terrorist had slipped happily into relaxed retirement, and by doing so, had demonstrated the weakness of the western world and their inability to achieve justice.

Abbottabad

It was overdue, since the Arab spring marks a new era to that of Jihad. In many ways, Al-Qaeda have already defeated themselves. Killing the inspiration will add little to a war on terror, that is mostly over and done with.

However, it matters to history. The western weakness that his freedom demonstrated lay in the inability of massive science and technology to win against a single Muslim, Insha’Allah.

Following his escape, from pursuing Afghan and American forces, through that porous border, it was always believed that he lived a humble life in the mountains, constantly on the move, to avoid detection. He did in fact settle in Abbottabad, a military town, 30 miles north-east of Islamabad.

According to the Guardian, “The compound was eight times bigger than neighbouring residences and the walls were between three and six metres high, topped with barbed wire. Although valued at over US$1m the place had no phone or internet connection.”

Far from spending his fugitive retirement in humble villages, constantly on the move to avoid detection, it seems that the 6’4” icon of terrorism occupied himself with a castle-building project in a town described by John Simpson as “Pakistan’s equivalent of Sandhurst”.

The left tend to be uncomfortable with the notion of punishment and retribution. The current Labour Leader made no objection to a Tory policy to reduce the jail population. However, the criminal justice system, in this country and others, recognises the need of victims to have satisfaction.

The victims of September 11th were not just the 3,000 dead, but the whole country. The natural defences of the two largest oceans were no match to the determination and resourcefulness of a spiteful man.

The victims were also the western world as a whole. We saw our system of fairness, and our sanctity of human life, attacked, undermined and humiliated.

But the largest group of victims are the ordinary Muslims who saw their peaceful religion transformed into a war, motivated by fear and insecurity of a world increasingly governed by economic and secular values.

Historians are likely to mark the New York atrocity as the beginning of the story, and the death of Bin Laden as the end. Within this ten year narrative will be war in Afghanistan, a divided United Nations, war in Iraq, beheadings on the internet, and eventually the optimism and fruition of The Arab Spring.

Sunday 1st May, 2011, is a historic day indeed.

14 Responses to Analysis: The Execution of Bin Laden

  1. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    It’s been rather the week for kinetic entertainment. I wonder when the BluRay is due.

    On word I would quibble in the essay is spiteful. Bin Laden wasn’t the sort of character to be spiteful. Frustrated. Angry. Vengeful. But not spiteful.

    Attention! Attention! Next stop on the 7th ring of hell. Tickets please.

  2. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    It’s been rather the week for kinetic entertainment. I wonder when the BluRay is due.

    On word I would quibble in the essay is spiteful. Bin Laden wasn’t the sort of character to be spiteful. Frustrated. Angry. Vengeful. But not spiteful.

    Attention! Attention! Next stop on the 7th ring of hell. Tickets please.

  3. dan says:

    I disagree. I’ve heard Arabs describe him as spiteful and I thought it sounded right. The problem with words like frustrated, angry, vengeful is they suggest there’s a reason for him to be so full of hate.
    Spiteful suggests that he was already full of hate then looked for an outlet.

  4. dan says:

    I disagree. I’ve heard Arabs describe him as spiteful and I thought it sounded right. The problem with words like frustrated, angry, vengeful is they suggest there’s a reason for him to be so full of hate.
    Spiteful suggests that he was already full of hate then looked for an outlet.

  5. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    The difference between vengeful and spiteful is character and motive. Bin Laden was intellectually motivated which is the opposite end of the spectrum from a George W. Bush. Spiteful is more of an emotional thing aimed at someone on a personal level. It’s a nuance though, I would agree, the end result may be similar.

    I also noticed after posting that I’ve taken a different angle to the rest of your entire essay by taking a pop at corporate driven consumerism and suggesting that today’s notable events are merely another day on the wheel.

    There’s too many nuances, and caveats, and interconnections in this story for me so I don’t have much comment although mandalas, mazes, and pentagons do touch on the paganism of May Day. It’s going to be a long summer.

  6. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    The difference between vengeful and spiteful is character and motive. Bin Laden was intellectually motivated which is the opposite end of the spectrum from a George W. Bush. Spiteful is more of an emotional thing aimed at someone on a personal level. It’s a nuance though, I would agree, the end result may be similar.

    I also noticed after posting that I’ve taken a different angle to the rest of your entire essay by taking a pop at corporate driven consumerism and suggesting that today’s notable events are merely another day on the wheel.

    There’s too many nuances, and caveats, and interconnections in this story for me so I don’t have much comment although mandalas, mazes, and pentagons do touch on the paganism of May Day. It’s going to be a long summer.

  7. Ronald M Podell MD says:

    Bin laden comes from a very wealthy family. His views were antithetical to those he was taught as a boy and likely very different from the views of most in his family. So, there is a psychological component to his becoming a revolutionary. I think the irony here is that had he been a true revolutionary, he would have led a nomadic life and moved from town to town or cave to cave and lived in humble surrounds preaching his gospel. In the end, we find that he gravitated towards living the life of his family. He obviously was very comfortable and felt quite safe and at peace. He was a revolutionary in vision at this stage and served as a teacher and guide. He wanted to stay relevant. My guess is that he was in total denial about a change in our policy. Bush gave up on him because he was bogged down in Iraq. Obama escalated the Afghanistan focus of foreign policy and inevitably that had to include Pakistan and al queda. He forgot that he had to answer for 9/11. total denial just as I think he was in denial about our fire power when he was in Tora Bora. Had Bush not used the Northern Alliance as a front and sent in our elite guys, he would have died there. This was an intellectual assassination and bin Laden had become too complacent to have us on his radar. He saw Obama as just another angle on Bush.
    Had he led a revolutionary’s life, he also would likely still be alive. The arrogance of living in that place is overwhelming and very painful in terms of its statement about our country. I doubt W realizes just how insulting it is and how directed it is at his administration. We have some very unusual homes in our neighborhood and we all know who lives in them. But, in Los Angeles, homes like that can belong to people who earn a lot of money and who have fame and require high levels of security. Who else could have been living like that in that community? It is obvious from how they found him and the routine of his life that he was just leading a semi retired life of a powerful man, a celebrity and a very wealthy man as well. He lost touch with his own image.
    I wonder how his #2 guy is living. He was an MD but something tells me he is more of a revolutionary still. But, he has to be worried about what they discovered in terms of messages and clues to his whereabouts unless he is traveling from cave to cave which is doubtful. These guys are too old for that and used to upper class lives more likely. I think we need to bring Doctor Z to justice also. He doesn’t deserve to escape his fate.
    I didn’t rejoice at hearing the news, however. An assassination is a very cold order to issue and though deserved it is still chilling. they shot the guy in his pajamas without him having time to say a word. I suspect that he was in shock that people were there to kill him. Why? might be his first response. I am a scholar! So, for a moment we see the man rather than the persona. Saddam oddly enough had a more dignified exit.

    • dan says:

      Hmmm. Saddam was kicking and screaming in defiance when they took him to the noose. It shows what a difference in the attitude of Washington between and Osama and Saddam. One was arrested and put on trial, the other, killed in his pyjamas.
      I think they saw Saddam as a military adversary. They saw Osama as a bogeyman to be eliminated.

  8. Ronald M Podell MD says:

    Bin laden comes from a very wealthy family. His views were antithetical to those he was taught as a boy and likely very different from the views of most in his family. So, there is a psychological component to his becoming a revolutionary. I think the irony here is that had he been a true revolutionary, he would have led a nomadic life and moved from town to town or cave to cave and lived in humble surrounds preaching his gospel. In the end, we find that he gravitated towards living the life of his family. He obviously was very comfortable and felt quite safe and at peace. He was a revolutionary in vision at this stage and served as a teacher and guide. He wanted to stay relevant. My guess is that he was in total denial about a change in our policy. Bush gave up on him because he was bogged down in Iraq. Obama escalated the Afghanistan focus of foreign policy and inevitably that had to include Pakistan and al queda. He forgot that he had to answer for 9/11. total denial just as I think he was in denial about our fire power when he was in Tora Bora. Had Bush not used the Northern Alliance as a front and sent in our elite guys, he would have died there. This was an intellectual assassination and bin Laden had become too complacent to have us on his radar. He saw Obama as just another angle on Bush.
    Had he led a revolutionary’s life, he also would likely still be alive. The arrogance of living in that place is overwhelming and very painful in terms of its statement about our country. I doubt W realizes just how insulting it is and how directed it is at his administration. We have some very unusual homes in our neighborhood and we all know who lives in them. But, in Los Angeles, homes like that can belong to people who earn a lot of money and who have fame and require high levels of security. Who else could have been living like that in that community? It is obvious from how they found him and the routine of his life that he was just leading a semi retired life of a powerful man, a celebrity and a very wealthy man as well. He lost touch with his own image.
    I wonder how his #2 guy is living. He was an MD but something tells me he is more of a revolutionary still. But, he has to be worried about what they discovered in terms of messages and clues to his whereabouts unless he is traveling from cave to cave which is doubtful. These guys are too old for that and used to upper class lives more likely. I think we need to bring Doctor Z to justice also. He doesn’t deserve to escape his fate.
    I didn’t rejoice at hearing the news, however. An assassination is a very cold order to issue and though deserved it is still chilling. they shot the guy in his pajamas without him having time to say a word. I suspect that he was in shock that people were there to kill him. Why? might be his first response. I am a scholar! So, for a moment we see the man rather than the persona. Saddam oddly enough had a more dignified exit.

    • dan says:

      Hmmm. Saddam was kicking and screaming in defiance when they took him to the noose. It shows what a difference in the attitude of Washington between and Osama and Saddam. One was arrested and put on trial, the other, killed in his pyjamas.
      I think they saw Saddam as a military adversary. They saw Osama as a bogeyman to be eliminated.

  9. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Today’s news throws up that Bin Laden was still involved in planning and the US regime (oh, the irony) has been trying to stage the whole affair like a movie.
    There’s also background issues with business investment in the US and commodities speculation.

    Bin Laden took the asymmetrical militaristic route. Saddam was a nationalist who wanted to trade oil off the dollar. The US would tolerate neither threat to its hegemony so bet the ranch on taking both out.

    Doctor Z is a slightly different character to Bin Laden and no dummy. He’s more politically astute so my speculation is he will be more interested in developing local leadership and influence. This would be a more economic than military programme. All the have to sit back is do nothing as that’s the direction the Middle East is heading in anyway with or without US involvement or approval.

    Nothing has changed except the US is now faced with inflating its way out of a debt crisis that began, like the military jollies, in the Reagan era. Obama has an almost identical psychological profile to Cameron. He’s a conservative who sees people as them or us, just like Bush. No change there either.

    The conclusion is that Bin Laden’s death is not a victory nor the end. That is a chapter for other people to write and the US is all out of ink.

  10. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Today’s news throws up that Bin Laden was still involved in planning and the US regime (oh, the irony) has been trying to stage the whole affair like a movie.
    There’s also background issues with business investment in the US and commodities speculation.

    Bin Laden took the asymmetrical militaristic route. Saddam was a nationalist who wanted to trade oil off the dollar. The US would tolerate neither threat to its hegemony so bet the ranch on taking both out.

    Doctor Z is a slightly different character to Bin Laden and no dummy. He’s more politically astute so my speculation is he will be more interested in developing local leadership and influence. This would be a more economic than military programme. All the have to sit back is do nothing as that’s the direction the Middle East is heading in anyway with or without US involvement or approval.

    Nothing has changed except the US is now faced with inflating its way out of a debt crisis that began, like the military jollies, in the Reagan era. Obama has an almost identical psychological profile to Cameron. He’s a conservative who sees people as them or us, just like Bush. No change there either.

    The conclusion is that Bin Laden’s death is not a victory nor the end. That is a chapter for other people to write and the US is all out of ink.

  11. […] wanted it that way. He had no chance of any last words. An American psychiatrist commenting on my blog offers the view that Bin Laden was in denial and was surprised they were coming to kill him, and […]

  12. […] wanted it that way. He had no chance of any last words. An American psychiatrist commenting on my blog offers the view that Bin Laden was in denial and was surprised they were coming to kill him, and […]

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