Sunday, May 08, 2011

In The Wake Of Bin Laden's Death

There is a lot of rhetoric now as to whether it was right or wrong for America to freeze the Pakistani authorities out when planning their raid on the compound near Islamabad which has housed Bin Laden, his family and protectors for at least the last five years.
I believe that the Americans had a difficult decision to make when weighing up the pros and cons of their projected actions, not least of which is the high level of corruption in Pakistan.
It is well known that everyone has a price in Pakistan, whether it is bribing a member of the police force to get off a traffic violation to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb who acknowledged that he had secretly provided North Korea, Libya, and Iran with crucial technological and intellectual information for making nuclear weapons.
What would I have done in the same circumstances? Would I have given the Pakistani authorities vital information about the manoeuvre which was about to take place? Probably not under the circumstances given that Bin Laden was the worlds no. 1 most wanted man I wouldn't have risked it.
On the vexed question of whether or not Bin Laden should have been taken alive, again this was a difficult decision the Americans had to make. On balance one would only have to imagine that had they, there would no doubt have been a series of kidnappings around the world with hostages being paraded in front of cameras under the threat of beheading unless their leader was released.
No, on this occasion the Americans were right to deal with this swiftly and not give Bin Laden's followers a chance to draw breath.
Whichever way the Americans had played this one, there would always have been the threat of reprisals. Hopefully, world intelligence will be aware of the whereabouts of current prominent Al - Qaeda leaders and will be able to deal with them as swiftly as they did Bin Laden.


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