Osama Bin Laden is dead
May 2, 2011 5:38am CST
Just heard the news (yeah, I was a bit slow this morning) that a US operation in Pakistan has found and killed OBL - I'm guessing they tried to capture him but couldn't. I'm surprised by how pleased this makes me: things like this don't usually make a mark in my day, but I was working for a US company when 9/11 happened. They had offices in NY (in the towers) and it was quite a shock for everyone when we saw the news. I'm quite pleased with how Obama's played things calmly - no cheering, just a statement that it's a great achievement and sends a clear message: even almost ten years after the terrorist attack, they'll find you... never give up, never surrender. On the other hand, I'm guessing there's going to be backlash. I'm glad I live in a low-threat area. How has the news affected you today?
2 May 11
Hello, Spike. Call me cynical if you like, but it seems great timing for Obama's bid for re-election, and I've seen lots of people saying he should get another term, when a few weeks back he was decidedly unpopular. It's also hot on the heels of Obama being forced to show his birth certificate, so I can't help but wonder. If it's true - and it seems the evidence is already destroyed, as he's been buried at sea - it's great news for the world, but it's not the end of Al-Quaida by any means. In fact, there will probably be swift repercussions. I think it would have been better to have taken him alive, then tried him and executed him, as happened with Saddam Hussein. Okay, it may have encouraged a spate of kidnappings, but there are bound to be 'sightings' and assertions that Bin Laden lives. With arrest and trial, there would have been no room for the inevitable conspiracy theories.
2 May 11
My cynical side also says it's a bit convenient to have buried him at sea. On the other hand, Pakistani forces took over the site very quickly after the assault, so there's a very good chance a LOT of people will have seen the body. There will, of course, also be pictures, I'm sure. It's a shame they didn't take him alive, as you say. While I suspect convenience played a part, I doubt Mr. I'm-a-lunatic-fanatic would have given up. Unlike Hussein, he didn't place a great deal of worth in his life when the alternative is being a "martyr".
• United States
2 May 11
I wonder how long it was that Bin Laden's location was known before this action was taken. it seemed to come so fast and so sure. His demise is a victory for so many lives. it is sad and tragic that it had to go so far.
2 May 11
From the little I've seen about it (my PC won't play video at the moment, so I'm limited to badly-thrown-together text reports), it was the culmination of a very, very long operation. They'd been following one of his trusted couriers and more and more info pointed to the Pakistan building as his base. Eventually, I guess it reached a point where they were certain enough to launch an actual Op.