Thursday, May 5, 2011

Geronimo E-KIA

Osama Bin Laden (OBL), the so-called most wanted man in the world in the last decade or so, was killed with 2 bullets few days ago in Pakistan. With the circumstance of this incident, there are so much to talk about and it is definitely one of the top stories of the year.

It is very logical and believable that OBL was protected by Pakistan military in the last few years simply given the location of his resident ‘palace’ which is in close proximity to Pakistan’s military establishment. Some people are questioning if this will affect U.S.- Pakistan relationship from now on. I would say no to that and will explain that later.

OBL was killed, not captured. Based on the news, he was kinda identified and killed in an instant. Regardless whether he was armed or not, with other bystanders on site or not, he was targeted to be killed. That’s not an instant decision, but a planned one beforehand. I think the whole attack has been long designed and choreographed, most decisions were made with in-depth analysis on the pros and cons of different alternatives. Cuz, this action is a big deal to the Obama administration, at least in public. That has designed impact on the national sentiment, upcoming re-election campaign, etc. Things must be planned. Agreed with some news analysts’ view that capturing instead of killing OBL would cause so much unwanted consequence to the U.S. government. Like where to cage him, going through the legal process, publicity, his supporters/sympathizers’reactions, etc. That’s just not worthy! Though there is news saying that the United Nation is questioning the legitimacy of U.S.’s unilateral action of going in a sovereign state to take a military action of killing, I just think that’s laughable. It is not the first time the U.S. is doing that (remember Noriega?) the world is ruled by hegemony - the one who has a bigger fist!

About OBL’s sea burial, I think that’s a quite interesting decision. I agree that you don’t wanna let his dead body lying around for long. Cuz, a dead OBL is already a martyr to some people, you don’t wanna give them something physical to be drawn to. Where would he be buried as an alternative? The logical place will be in Saudi Arabia, given that he is a Saudi Sunni. However, would the Saudi Royal family wants such nuisance in its Kingdom when there are already unstable atmosphere among its citizens which are only temporary shut up with cash? I don’t think U.S. would want OBL’s dead body in a morgue in its mainland or any overseas military base for long. Cuz, that would be viewed as trophy by some Arabs, I guess. So, the only other viable alternative would be cremating his dead body and spread his ashes in the wind. However, I found the current decision interesting because it means that his dead body was taken up by the U.S. helicopter and was then taken on a long route to Arabian Sea for disposal. Why it was taken that far? Would the sea off Pakistan be closer?

Some would say that revenge for his death will be imminent. Reportedly, a dirty bomb is already in Europe and it will go off any time. Well, I think that’s silly. If Al Qaeda has a dirty bomb indeed, it would have gone off long ago. I wouldn’t doubt that some terrorists love to have some kinds of WMD, but I don’t think they can gather all necessary means to get it deliver to their desired target. It is just not easy. Think about it, it involves so much, including gathering materials, experts, machinery to compose it, a safe hidden site to house the whole production, the means to deliver the bombs, etc. When you think about how much it took to test weapons by sovereign states, you can imagine the daunting tasks by the terrorist organizations to do the same in hidden state. Well, some might say how about 9/11? Well, I don’t trust the official story 100%, neither some of the conspiracy theories. I just have doubts of the whole 9/11 incident, but that’s a whole another story…

I would say that terrorist attacks with a flag of revenge being raised will happen, but scale and impact of them would be far and between. I don’t know what OBL’s DVDs, portal storage devices and PCs contain. But, just the news that they are now in the hands of the U.S. government, would be enough to put all OBL related terrorist groups’ plans derail. They would need to go back to drawing board (if they have one) again to figure out what to do next. Thus, I would say that revenge in the name of OBL’s death would actually be less than it is expected.

Navy Seal has become a spotlight in this incident. I was more interested in the information about the Seal than other stuff. Like there are reportedly 2000 or so Seals are currently on active duty. 10% of them are the elites that belong to team 6. The kinds of training they went through, the background of those people, and different aspects in their execution past and present are just fascinating. I just wonder how their counterparts in Russia, China, etc would view this incident and what the corresponding stories of them would be.

Regarding “OBL, enemy killed in action”, aka “Geronimo EKIA”, using Geronimo as a code name for OBL has upset Native American. I think it is more a sidetrack story. They have all the right to be upset, but they are just not powerful enough to challenge the dominant Anglo-Saxon power. So, it would most likely be just a ‘beep’ in the sea of sound. Certainly, if the Seal commander said something like ‘Serpent EKIA’, that would be no story at all.

OBL’s death was celebrated in the States and was considered as a closure for the victims’ families as well as to the 9/11 incident itself. I would say that everyone has his/her right of expression as a reaction to this news and form his/her own judgment. However, I would say that OBL’s death is not that significant when we look at it from a point of view in terms of the geographical international political chessboard.

As mentioned before, Pakistan is just chess in the eyes of the Eagle. As long as it is valuable, U.S.-Pakistan relationship is expected to experience the upcoming down and the up again down the road. U.S. foreign policy has been using the ‘Carrot and Stick’ approach since God knows when. Pakistan is not Iran, it is not a threat to Israel. Pakistan is friend of China, an enemy of India. So, it is an important piece in South Asia geopolitics. U.S. aims to contain China, so any country next to China is valuable to the U.S. That’s it.

My view of terrorism has been around in the history for so long, being usually deployed as a desperate measure by the weak as a way to against those in power. It will continue and I don’t think the death of OBL would make a difference. Some polls have already shown that many regular folks do not find that our world will be any safer with his death. I just think that as the powerful groups are still exploiting the weak, terrorism will continue.

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