In Search of Bin Laden

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    In Search of Elusive bin Laden
    By Lee Hamilton
    December 28, 2004

    Where is Osama bin Laden? We have heard from him via video and audiotape. But despite one of the most aggressive manhunts in history, his capture has proven elusive.

    The most likely answer is Pakistan. Common knowledge places bin Laden near the Afghan border, particularly in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, where the terrain is rugged, at turns mountainous or desert. The tribes are often sympathetic to bin Laden and his Islamist cause, and hostile to the United States and Pakistan's President, Pervez Musharraf. Many supported the jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the Taliban in the 1990s, and now al-Qaida's jihad against the U.S.

    U.S. intelligence and military resources are now focused on Iraq, and U.S. forces in Afghanistan are restricted from pursuing al-Qaida and Taliban fighters into Pakistan. The CIA has reportedly set up bases within Pakistan to hunt bin Laden, but they are largely dependent upon Pakistanis for support. Most locals are not inclined to help.

    Understandably, some Americans are asking if Pakistan -- which receives billions of dollars in U.S. aid -- is doing all it can to capture America's most dangerous adversary. There is no easy solution. For Pakistan, sustained military operations in the border region -- or permission to the U.S military to operate within Pakistan -- could fuel violence and even rebellion. For the U.S., we are so dependent upon Pakistan for cooperation on Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation that it is hard for us to "get tough" on the issue of bin Laden.

    But bin Laden's freedom is a blow to U.S. credibility and a boost to al-Qaida's propaganda. Killing or capturing him is necessary to achieve a measure of justice for 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, and is a stated goal of U.S. policy. Meanwhile, bin Laden can present himself to his followers and the wider Islamic world as a daring revolutionary, decrying, striking and then defying the world's greatest superpower.

    Perhaps more important is bin Laden's role in the global Islamist terrorist movement. Al-Qaida now lacks the fixed command and control system used to carry out the 9/11 attacks, but recent tapes demonstrate how bin Laden provides broad strategic guidance to a global decentralized network of terrorist groups. Several months ago, he called for attacks on American allies in the Iraq war, and the Madrid bombings followed. Bin Laden's calls for jihad in Iraq may have fueled the insurgency, or at least aligned al-Qaida's cause with those fighting in Iraq. In recent tapes, bin Laden has singled out the Saudi government for attacks and overthrow, threatening the global oil supply.

    Bin Laden has also dropped his most inflammatory language about killing all Americans, and has targeted contempt on policies such as the Iraq war and support for Israel, which are widely unpopular in the Islamic world. He has also highlighted the strain placed on America's budget and trade deficits, pointing out that the 9/11 attacks cost al-Qaida $500,000 and have led to $500,000 billion in costs to the U.S.

    This shift may be intended to draw wider support from those who oppose American policies yet resist violence. Bin Laden may also be laying out a clear strategic vision for his followers: target America and its interests in the Persian Gulf, overthrow the Saudi government, sever the Western alliance, and overextend American economic and military power.

    There is no doubt that bin Laden is evil. But we should not underestimate his capabilities. He is an effective propagandist, strategist and leader of men. No doubt somewhere in the world he is plotting attacks on the United States, and fomenting terrorism and instability around the world. His removal must remain an urgent priority in 2005.

    Hamilton is the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
     
  2. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    Pakistan is not even in control of its own western territories. How can they be expected to find Bin Laden? (It is so comforting to realize that they have nuclear weapons...thanks, China; really sound judgment arming an unstable Islamic country with nukes.) Obviously, the murderer Bin Laden must be well funded to stay hidden for so long, yet still be able to send tapes to the terrorist mouthpiece Al Jazeera. My guess is that Bin Laden is obtaining his funds from the same source that shovels money at Iraqi killers and sociopaths: the Wahabbis, masters of mosque terrorism, from Saudi Arabia. Every time an American is killed in Iraq the Saudi underwriters of murder should get several Tomahawk thank you notes from America. Next time the terrorist organization Al Jazeera broadcasts venom from Bin Laden they should get a laser-guided award for suicide journalism.
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Pakistan does seem to be the linchpin on which this all hangs. Wouldn't it be too horrible to contemplate if the terrorists finally are able to kill Muscharif (not spelled correctly, but who can spell those foreign names?) and get control of Pakistan's arsenel of nuclear weapons?

    I am sure wherever Bin Laden is, he is among people very loyal to him and it will cost many lives to capture him, if that is ever a possibility.
     
  4. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    Wouldn't it be better just to insure that he stayed put and intercept his messengers as they left? A self imposed prison is still a prison.
     
  5. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I'll go along with any plan to put this monster out of commission. I've read--and probably you have too--that the problem is that some in the Pakistani military and large numbers of Pakistani themselves support Bin Laden and give protection to his followers.

    Some time ago I read a book entitled Osama's Revenge, which verified that Bin Laden was alive and well and comes and goes as he pleases with no bodyguards. He is very well accepted by the people he is among. The book also discussed the fate of the bounty hunters who have tried to capture Bin Laden for the $25 million reward. They savagely kill these people and leave their mutilated bodies out on the "trails" as a warning to all future bounty hunters.
     
  6. Doc Holiday
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    Makes you wonder just how good an ally Pakistan is? After all, if they can't even control their own territory, how the hell can they assist us in the war on terrorism.
     
  7. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I certainly hope we can continue to count on Pakistan's support in the war on terror. I think it has made a tremendous difference, both in Afghanistan and Iraq. My hat is off to Mushareff(sp?). I believe he is one man in that part of the world who realizes the gravity of the situation, and is he ever on the hot seat on a daily basis. He needs all of our prayers that the terrorists will not be able to assassinate him.

    As for the Pakistanis who support Bin Laden rather than their own government's stand on the war on terror, are they any different from Americans in this country who are anti-war and anti-American?
     
  8. Chad2000k
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    Chad2000k BANNED

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    I am gonna guess and doubt this could be true but anyway Bin Laden is one of the iraqi soliders that runs around killing everybody on thier land. That would explain why we cant seem to find him anywhere because he sneaks right by us using an iraqi solider identy.
     

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