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Bin Laden

2 May


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OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD

US Navy Seals shot bin Laden in a mansion in Abbottabad and recovered his body.  It was confirmed through DNA analysis that it was in fact bin Laden.  It appears that a US helicopter went down near the scene of the operation.  However, President Obama confirmed that no Americans were harmed.

Interestingly, the following spot was marked as Osama’s compound on Google Earth:


Link to map: http://bit.ly/jsgckO (updated picture)

Pakistani TV has a picture of Osama dead:

Is this picture genuine?  American special forces most likely took photographs, but I find it difficult to believe it would be released to Pakistani TV.  Then again, perhaps only a picture can adequately satisfy doubts about Osama’s death, and the US officials could have made it available for this purpose.  If in the US some wonder if Tupac and Biggie are still alive, how much more so would bin Laden’s death be questioned in a region rife with conspiracy theories?

Several thoughts:

1) Osama bin Laden will be seen as a martyr in some parts of the world.  As a symbol of martyrdom bin Laden is less damaging than as a symbol of anti-American success.

2) This helps President Obama tremendously. But for how long?   George H.W. Bush’s immense approval rating in 1991, after victory in the first Gulf War did not ensure election success in 1992.

Bush (Sr.) approval ratings 1989-1992

3) Difficult to determine if Pakistan’s ISI (spy agency) was helpful or not, in spite of Obama’s official remarks.  Osama bin Laden spent his days in a city of 80,ooo+ people, in mansion with a government university to the east and a police station 800 feet away to the west, and the ISI didn’t know he was there from the beginning?

David Bratslavsky analyzes US foreign policy and the Middle East. He studied politics, language and religion in Washington, D.C., Tel Aviv, Cairo and Jerusalem. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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