Monday, May 2, 2011

Al Quaeda Intermezzo (2)

It helps to have friends in Pakistan.
Watch the last phrase of the second last paragraph about CNN.

Posted: 01 May 2011 09:35 PM PDT
Adil Najam
Late during the night between May 1 and May 2 in Pakistan there was news floating of a low-flying helicopter having blown up in the city of Abbottabad. There was much speculation, some wild rumors, but no confirmation of what had happened. Then, late night May 1 US East Coast Time (some six hours after the news about from Abbottabad had first started circulating in Pakistan), television screens in the US started flashing a notice that President Barack Obamawould soon speak to the nation on a security issue. Rumors and speculation started flashing 
Soon it was confirmed that the news was that Osama Bin Laden had been killedPresident Obama then confirmed that ke was killed in Pakistan, in Abbottabad, in an operation led by the US but conducted with support of Pakistani authorities (still not clear how much support, and whose). Reportedly, the US now has possession of Osama Bin Laden’s body.

The picture of the dead body here was a fake.

Sorry, I took it off my blog.

The article is correct.

This is a huge development in the War on Terror, even if Osama Bin Laden’s actual role had now become symbolic rather than operational. It is a development that also has huge implications for Pakistan, and for Pakistan-US relations.
More details are trickling by the minute. And partly for that reason it is not yet clear just what happened and which details are confirmed and which are speculation. What is now confirmed is: (a) Osama Bin Laden has been killed, (b) Osama Bin Laden was killed by US forces, (c) Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, (d) Osama Bin Laden was killed in an operation that was eventually supported by Pakistani authorities, and (e) CNN has no idea about anything that has to do with Pakistan (according to them Abbottabad is an outskirt just outside Islamabad!
As details come in and as a narrative and reactions develop both in Washington and in Islamabad, the one big – the one biggest – question that every Pakistani is thinking about is: What will this mean for Pakistan-US relations? What will this mean for Pakistan and Pakistanis? What will this mean for terrorism within Pakistan as a backlash of this incident?
What do you think?


  1. I think we OPENLY and with great fanfare thank all the ISIs and Paki military who we know were helping Osama for their assitance in getting Osama. Declare victory and get the heck out of there.

  2. My Pakistani friends warned me that the picture is probably a fake.
    So readers be warned.

  3. Sorry for stating the obvious, but this seems to be timed with the events in your very neighbourhood.

  4. @ Levantine

    Somebody was shot dead in Abbottabad.
    The false or real issue cannot be decided without knowing the facts.
    It's absolutely disgusting that we cannot believe anymore whatever our governments are saying, we take it now for granted that they always lie.

  5. re wikispooks: I too wondered about the convenient timing. As it is true we can no longer believe our governments, who knows what to believe. We are constantly being manipulated by them via the main stream media. Thank goodness for the internet, at least we can read different opinions to try and get to the bottom of things.

  6. Q: What does this mean for Pakistan and Pakistanis?

    A:The Pakistanis are in precisely the same position they were before OBL bought the farm in Abbottabad. They have an awful lot of explaining to do, but they are not alone in this regard. The JOHN PILGERS & ROBERT FISKS of this world have just as much explaining to do, for it is their kind of 'professional' and 'respectable' Western journalism that is largely responsible for helping to sow the seeds of doubt and help feed the fevered imaginations of the many conspiracy theorists in our midst.



  7. Another thought. What if the US knew where BinLaden was for some time, but preferred to monitor him for intelligence purposes, then decided that it would be expedient (for distraction /libya/political popularity) to 'take him out' now. Saving him for 'emergencies' so to speak.
    Prior to the Libyan crisis I was quite anti consipiracy theories, but now after all the information coming out, and the 'confessions of an economic hit man' (ex cia guy John book) about cia sponsored coup d 'etats in various countries, I am beginning to wonder where the truth is...! CAM

  8. They were saying the same thing about Bush Jr throughout the entire course of his first term of office:

    * The whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden were already known to the US authorities.

    * He had been captured at Tora Bora.

    * Held at some secret location, he would be miraculously produced just in time to revive Bush's flagging re election prospects.

    *It didn't happen.

    Nor did it stop the conspiracy nuts moving on to some other crack-pot theory, did it?


  9. Atl.
    "*It didn't happen."

    Maybe it's because gwb was in some ways more honest than Mr. BO.

  10. L said:
    "Maybe it's because gwb was in some ways more honest than Mr. BO."

    But apparently less competent that BO.

    Job well done Barack Obama. Never thought I would say that.

  11. @Atl

    Steyn's John Pilger skit is brilliant.


    John Perkins strikes me more as economic con-man than hitman.

  12. "Intelligence reporting suggests that one of bin Laden’s wives who survived the attack has said the family had been living at the compound since 2005, a source tells TIME.

    That will raise questions about the Pakistani government’s possible awareness of bin Laden’s location in recent years. But one of Panetta’s predecessors says this can work to U.S. advantage. “It opens up some opportunities for us with Pakistan,” says John McLaughlin, former deputy CIA chief. “They now should feel under some great pressure to be cooperative with us on the remaining issues,” like going after the Taliban elsewhere in the country. “It’s called leverage.”

    Read more:

  13. @capo
    I just bought Perkin's book so it will be an interesting read. CAM

  14. @ Levantine

    Nope, it had absolutely nothing to do with honesty and here's why.

    Dubya didn't use OBL's capture at Tora Bora as a propaganda weapon to get himself re elected because he couldn't have done so even if he had wanted to. OBL wasn't captured at Tora Bora, was he? Even though the conspiracy theorists assured us at the time that he had been.

    Allow me to present to you what you might consider a conspiracy theory from your 'enemy's' perspective. I say "your enemy's" because, as I have oft repeated on this blog, although I'm opposed to the intervention, I have no camel in this particular fight.

    Consider: The Gaddafi regime claims that Saif Gaddafi and family members were recently killed in a NATO airstrike, but with no public display of the bodies with faces visible- something that is normal in Arab cultures- many in the rebel camp believe it is simply a cynical stunt designed to elicit sympathy. State television showed four bodies draped in flags but did NOT show their faces. Why?

    Exit question: Is this an example of healthy scepticism on the part of the rebels or conspiracy theory run amok? You tell me.


  15. I'm passing on the question to the Libyans.

    As for OBL, he was used as a propaganda weapon regardless of whether he was captured or not, killed or not.

  16. You say you are passing on my question to the Libyans. Which Libyans? Rebels or regime? And why can't you think and answer for yourself?


  17. @Anonymous Alt

    Has it occurred to you that may be there were just no faces to show? It wasn't a raid with guns blazing, it was some projectile, propelled from 1000 ft or so, from above onto the roof of a residence with kids asleep.

    Why does it become pertinent if Saif died or not? Did NATO bomb a residential building in a residential neighborhood, that ought to be the question. That would be a tenth of the crime, Saif's death is collateral with huge consequences... and a time will come.

    Surely, this 'humanitarian' whatever they called it, has gone rogue and a clear agenda emerges. NATO's conduct bears the lie to UN Res. 1970/1973 which strictly forbids such conduct. In fact, it not only forbids it but attests to the UN's avowal to protect and secure the lives of those who may be threatened by it.

    Tripoli is not annexed to Misurata without space in between. It lays miles away from all conflict zones, no reported killings or rebellion. What are doing dropping bombs on Tripoli?

    The other question would be; why does the West want Qaddafi dead? Your guess can only be as good as mine.

  18. Atl. : You say you are passing on my question to the Libyans. Which Libyans? Rebels or regime?

    I came back exactly to clarify that point. You used the phrase "your enemy's."

    My freedom, ability, worth depend on the number of ways I can think about a given situation. Those people are "enemies" only from some viewpoints I can take, and I'd laugh at an insistence that having only one view of them is a mark of moral stamina.


  19. @ All

    We are living is a surrealistic world.
    We cannot believe our governments anymore even if they tell the truth accidentally.
    Let's look at the whole picture:
    Indian RAW secret service, approx. 10.000 operatives in Pakistan, by far the biggest in the country.
    2) Mossad

    Extremely active in Pakistan, much less manpower but high value.

    3) CIA,

    Huge manpower, certainly in the hundreds, mostly locals and local military.

    4) Russian FSB

    Less manpower but very well introduced.

    Add to this the British, Germans and other French plus a very sizable Chinese contingent.
    All this together couldn't find a strange fortified compound in Abbottabad, a place where such compounds can be counted on one hand?

    I have no Christal ball but I can see the coffee dregs in my Arab coffee and it tells me it's damn murky.
    I am not going into possible scenario's because it's impossible to conclude anything with certainty and basically I don't care.
    The OBL story has been used down to the bare bones by everybody and his mother.
    The results are disastrous because of a lack of foresight in nation building, it makes me sick.

  20. @ Egoigwe

    Has it occured to you that I am in no way attempting to justify the current intervention in Libya? It wouldn't appear so from the evidence of your response. I'm merely attempting to get you and other sensible and articulate contributors to this blog to think a little more about what constitutes a conspiracy theory and what doesn't.

    For example, acting as devil's advocate here, the conspiracy theorist might respond to some of your comments in the following fashion.


    'It wasn't a raid with guns blazing, it was some projectile, propelled from 1000ft or so, from above onto the roof of a residence with kids asleep'.


    'Did NATO bomb a residential building in a residential neighbourhood, that ought to be the question.'

    The conspiracy theorist would argue (without offering a shred of evidence in support of his or her position on the matter) that NATO did NOT bomb a residential bulding in a residential neighbourhood and that even if somebody could offer evidence that such a bombing actually took place, that's easily explained by way of reference to some "false flag operation" or "inside job" perpetrated by the Gaddafi regime etc, etc.,

    If all this sounds too far fetched in the context of the current Libyan crisis, why are so many people so quick to believe this tripe when it's levelled at their own governments, with 9/11 being the perfect example?


  21. @ Levantine

    Thanks for the clarification. Now answer the question.