“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
What is now only be called a “small team of Americans,” likely the CIA, killed Bin Laden in a shootout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This was no “smokeout” from a Cave. The Bin Laden “residence” is being described as a “compound,” or even a mansion. And apparently, the compound has a Google Map.
When the news began to trickle out, the Georgetown bar set looks to have emptied out of the taverns and marched impromptu to the White House with cheers and theatrics one would associate with the Redskins winning the Superbowl. Ah, but this game has no end. Important commentators reminded us that Bin laden had long ago ceased having any operational capacity with al-Qaeda and now was only a symbolic figure. Concerned government officials announced heightened “terror levels” and warned against the possibility of al-Qaeda retaliatory operations. Meanwhile pundits speculated about revived Obama poll numbers against the backdrop of the growing, gathering crowd chanting “USA!,USA!” in front of the White House.
Perhaps in a day or two, or maybe in a week, when the “euphoria” begins to wane in the press corp, the touchy subject of US-Pakistan relations might come to the fore given that Pakistani government wasn’t informed of this operation until after the fact.
And, of course, not everyone is cheering. And perceptions of just who is the terrorist differ. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib is one of those not cheering. Upon learning the news, he is quoted as saying:
“America is the war on terror, George Bush is the war on Terror….What, you think with Osama bin Laden dying there won’t be war any more?”