It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say
by Noam Chomsky.
posted by klue
on May 24, 2011 -
Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said. ... al Qaeda's top leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services... The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Oct 18, 2010 -
That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet
on Jan 29, 2010 -
What is the logical consequence of noting the fact that the terrorist groups that make a difference on planet Earth—such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the PLO, Colombia's FARC—are extensions of, respectively, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Venezuela? It is the negation of the U.S. government's favorite axiom. It means that when George W. Bush spoke, and when Barack Obama speaks, of America being "at war" against "extremism" or "extremists" they are either being stupid or acting stupid to avoid dealing with the nasty fact that many governments wage indirect warfare.
International relations professor Angelo M. Codevilla argues that Osama bin Laden is not quite influential, not quite relevant, and probably dead
. (multipage version)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Mar 27, 2009 -
Bin Laden Unmasked?
Robert Fisk [ducks]
reviews a '215 page treasure trove' written by an Al Jazeera journalist and published in Beirut. It contains a 'wealth of information' about the elusive billionaire and his followers. He communicates over the Internet - no surprise there - but the book gives some clues as to the site used: al-Nidaa
, 'The Calling'. Can you find it? The words of Mullah Omar are apparently distributed on site called the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan', wild goose chase?
posted by grahamwell
on Oct 23, 2002 -
How Al Qaeda Slipped Away
"American officials concede that there was a mass escape from Tora Bora—as well as a broader exodus by various routes into Pakistan and Iran—but insist that Al Qaeda now is crippled and too busy running to do much damage. “Perhaps we could have got them wholesale,” says one senior Defense official. “Now we’re doing it retail. In the end, it doesn’t make much difference. We’re getting them.”" We might want to take care of this before we "invade" Iraq
posted by owillis
on Aug 14, 2002 -
An excellent piece of media analysis
by Michael Wolff in New York Magazine looking at the current summer-movie-plot version of Al Qaeda being artfully constructed by the NY Times ...
Then, perhaps most disconcertingly, the overall narrative itself is patently a dumbed-down rehash. It's Cold War stuff. There is the ubiquitous and yet unknown and unknowable enemy. There's the international jihad, which, with only minor adjustments, replaces the international communist conspiracy. There's the sudden purported hegemony of the Muslim world -- a new Soviet-bloc-style ideological monolith. There is the otherworldly dedication of operatives bent on overthrowing the West. There are the cells. There is the myth of superhuman discipline. There is now, even, the developing Kremlinology of the next tier of men who replace Osama. And at the center of the story, of course, is the bomb. Whether in massive retaliatory form or as a dirty-bomb package, it serves the same effect.
(link cribbed from Altercation
posted by mantid
on Jul 1, 2002 -
U.S. Blueprint to Topple Hussein Envisions Big Invasion Next Year
"The planning now anticipates the possible extensive use of bases for American forces in Turkey and Kuwait, with Qatar as the replacement for the sophisticated air operations center in Saudi Arabia, and with Oman and Bahrain playing important roles.
As to any war plan itself, the military expects to be asked for a more traditional approach than the unconventional campaign in Afghanistan. Such an approach would resemble the Persian Gulf war in style if not in size and would be fought with even more modern weapons and more dynamic tactics." There is no doubt Saddam is a bad guy
but as his poll numbers return to earthly levels
how exactly can Bush justify sending off 70-250,000 American soldiers to fight (and die) in Iraq - while we will most likely still be engaged in Afghanistan (looking for Osama
) and ripping up Al Qaeda?
posted by owillis
on Apr 27, 2002 -
A story that seems to be good news
no matter what side of the 'war' you're on. The dragnet around Bin Laden is reported to be closing quickly, and currently stands, says the Sunday Times, at about 30 squares mile. So, what happens next? (via Plastic.com)
posted by Hildago
on Nov 18, 2001 -
More Q & A on Terror and War
"A number of folks feel that current events -- particularly in the last few days -- have dramatically changed the logic and morality of what has been done in Afghanistan, calling into question much of the analysis and assessment that has been offered by critics of the war. Here are some of the questions we have been asked, and our brief replies."
posted by mapalm
on Nov 18, 2001 -
Taliban leader's ex-bodyguard says "We laughed when we heard the Americans asking Mullah Omar to hand over Osama bin Laden," he said. "The Americans are crazy. It is Osama bin Laden who can hand over Mullah Omar - not the other way round."
Take a look at this insider's personal account of the Taliban that some are so eager to apologize for in the name of cultural relativism.
posted by rushmc
on Sep 29, 2001 -
Taliban miraculously finds bin Laden!
Afghan authorities have delivered a message to Osama bin Laden advising him of a decision by the country's clerics recommending that he leave Afghanistan voluntarily, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan said Thursday.
posted by madreblu
on Sep 27, 2001 -
Russia not willing to help? Meanwhile, Nikolai Kovalyov, the former head of the Russian FSB security service, warned the US that an attack on Afghanistan would fail to capture Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the atrocities, and would backfire on the US. "In Afghanistan's mountainous terrain it takes a trainload of explosives to destroy three militants," he said. "The chance of hitting bin Laden is zero."
posted by rushmc
on Sep 15, 2001 -
Overview of CIA Support of bin Laden during Russia-Afghan War
“[T]he CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan ... found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to ‘read’ than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, [and other] Islamic militants ... became the ‘reliable’ partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.”
Senator Orrin Hatch: “It was worth it ... Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union.”
Dated: Aug. 24, 1998
posted by raaka
on Sep 11, 2001 -