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FRENEMIES: Osama bin Laden’s corpse is only the first step

Osama bin Laden – the mass-murderer who funded the 9/11 terror attacks on US soil killing over two thousand people – has been brought to justice by unknown American heroes.

A day of celebration. And remembering. And for those who lost loved ones,we sincerely hope, healing.

Most of us don’t know what it’s like to lose one we love to a crime, grieving in any circumstances is bad enough, but we can see in those we do know a burden lifted when justice is done.

We hope thousands of American families (and from all around the world, including here) whose lives were turned upside down on 9/11 feel a little comfort knowing that a hideous wrong has been ever so slightly righted.

Injustice endures, of course. As does pain.

And many of us will feel a real sense of betrayal that our supposed ally Pakistan harboured bin Laden for so long. We accept the complexity of the nation. And understand the differing views in that place that include mad religious zealots whose hatred of the West and America knows no sensible bounds. Governing there cannot be and is not easy.

But when we read that Osama bin Laden was struck outside a mansion in Abbottabad, only 50 kilometres from the nation’s capital, we’re well within our rights to ask questions of the government, a recipient of huge hand-outs from the US and other Western states.

We read that Abbottabad is a:

city is well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high standard educational institutions and military establishments.

And eyebrows raise.

We read that it’s a tourist town, with pleasant weather where “English is widely used in business and education.” We see on Youtube it is a place of beauty.

He was not hiding out in a cave but in a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains, in luxury, in a mansion compound with 18 foot walls, wanting for nothing.


We read it’s a “City of Schools” so well-regarded is the city’s educational institutions.

All enough to make victims of Osama bin Laden’s mass-murdering crimes very, very angry.

It’s great that “Pakistani co-operation” “helped lead us to him”.

And it’s great that the US persisted in bringing him down when all hope seemed lost. It’s been nearly ten years.

But it’s not so great that it’s been an open secret for a long time that Osama bin Laden was being harboured in Pakistan.

It strains credulity to suggest Pakistani authorities, including its spy agency ISI, didn’t know. And couldn’t find him for a decade.

The Telegraph of London cited US sources who know he was there back in October last year.

Pakistani government spokesmen denied it:

A senior Pakistani security official denied that bin Laden was being protected and said the latest allegations were designed to heap pressure on Islamabad ahead of talks in Washington this week that would focus on strengthening co-operation between the two countries.

Jihadists who pervert one of the world’s great religions to justify killing-sprees are self-evidently evil.

But those in Pakistan’s regime who clearly knew more than they were letting on, for a very long time, are perhaps even worse. The two-faced are a particularly low form of human-life, wherever they dwell, whatever the pretence.

The era of America solving the world’s problems is over. But those of us who’ve free-loaded on their heavy-lifting all these years need to do more than cheer this day and more than express relief they have struck such a blow for justice and freedom.

We need to resolve that only will terror attacks like 9/11 not happen again.

But we must also resolve to stop looking to America to bear the burden of defending freedom on its own, picking up the tab for the enormous cost of its military with bases all across the world, keeping this planet vastly more secure than it would be otherwise.

From New Zealand to New Europe, we need to bring out the chequebooks and pay our way.

The experience of the Libyan engagement has been especially fascinating.

There is a new reluctance to be involved in foreign entanglements in America, even if the cause is just and unarguable.

And who can blame them, after the shocking and vicious ingratitude we displayed to their enormously expensive (in life and treasure) liberation of Iraq and the execution of its mad, bad terror-exporting tyrant Saddam Hussein.

America isn’t perfect. But its values are our values.

It’s been amazing to watch the slow, steady, sometimes embarrassing release of secret State Department cables by anti-American zealot Julian Assange.

Almost without exception these leaks have washed away the assumptions some in the Left had about US foreign policy.

Exposed is an idealism, a passionate pursuit of the values and principles we’d all like to hope America was pursuing but had perhaps given into conspiracy theories thinking they were doing something insidious.

For Julian Assange, no such luck.

Human rights, a priority. Decency. Democracy. Free, fair and open trade. These are the secret agenda of America, laid out in the secret cables of their vast diplomatic corps, stationed all around the world.

Now more than ever, with bin Laden captured, it’s time for America’s friends to stand up. Not as that nation’s servant or agent. But as a co-champion of our shared values that is not afraid to participate and when necessary take action to give effect to them.

Kevin Rudd spoke loudly, passionately and correctly about the need for action in Libya. He even talked his way onto some high-level UN committee about it. But where’s Australia’s participation? Perhaps not needed, perhaps not practical. But if you can’t put up, you should probably shut up.

We live in a dangerous world, that’s the bad news. But the good news is that the history of the world is one of great progress and opportunity, marked only occasionally by moments of horror.

Australia’s obligation at this time is to show our real friendship, not just with the US government, but with the values of freedom, opportunity and liberty that we share as people.

If we don’t, those loathsome frenemies we have in Islamabad are going to produce a thousand more Osama bin Ladens and they are going to win.


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  1. Good riddance to Bin Laden and congratulation to Obama who did in 3 years what Bush could not achieve in 6 years.

    Lets also remember that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in about 1979/80 was the main catalyst for the formation of the Mujahideen which attracted many Arab fighters, to help kill the commos, including Bin Laden. When the Soviets withdrew 10 years later the Bin Laden’s of the world needed to create a new role for themselves and the rest is history.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 2, 2011, 17:32
  2. [many of us will feel a real sense of betrayal that our supposed ally Pakistan harboured bin Laden for so long]

    A real sense of betrayal?

    Really? I mean REALLY??

    Oh wait….you had me for a moment there. The satire is exquisite!

    Anyway – where’s the Long Form Death Certificate? Somebody get Orly Taitz onto it…

    Posted by Zaf | May 2, 2011, 17:37
  3. right with you Zaf, there’s something smelly about this.
    a bad.

    Posted by voice of reason | May 2, 2011, 20:44
  4. I used to joke with friends that Bin Laden would not be captured in Afghanistan as he probably lived in a gated community in Florida living with the blue rinse Jewish retiree ladies from New York.

    Well I was not far wrong as Bin Laden was in Abbottabad,Pakistan, in a huge house (why do they call them a compound) in a upper middle class area with a 5m high fence but with no phone or Internet. Surely the Intelligence folks would have found that odd.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 2, 2011, 21:23
  5. And here in Australia we are bringing in his followers by the boatload.It wont be long for the fun to stsrt.

    Posted by Very funny | May 2, 2011, 22:42
  6. Bin Laden has been buried at sea we are told tonight. I hope they got some DNA samples to match with his relatives in Saudi Arabia just in case his death is disputed.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 2, 2011, 23:49
  7. I can find no joy, comfort or blood lust in the news of bin laden’s assignation. In the same way I would condemn any suggestion of assassinating the US president or any other political target. Summary execution without trial and justice should be condemned by all, even by the righteous. The world is not made any safer by this action of revenge.

    Posted by The assassin's bullet | May 3, 2011, 0:13
  8. Hey Wacko Jacko, given that Bin Laden did not like the Jews, I thought you would be saddened by his death?

    Posted by Anon | May 3, 2011, 0:14
  9. I’m sorry he didn’t suffer more.

    Posted by Bartlett | May 3, 2011, 1:19
  10. @The assassin’s bullet

    “Summary execution without trial and justice should be condemned by all”.

    Tell that to the 3000 killed on 9/11.

    Posted by Bollocks | May 3, 2011, 1:34
  11. Tell that to the many more thousands who were denied justice and who died in the name of the war on terrorism. Does this mean that the US or any other state for that matter has the right to declare a person an enemy of the state and summarlity execute them without a trial. Did the US get their man? Or have the unleashed even more terror. Sorry but I see the US as just as much a terrorist organisation as the Taliban and the like.

    It is us that have invaded their country in order to capture their resources. I see no joy in this act. Maybe some relief. I certainly do not celebrate this action.

    Posted by @The assassin's bullet | May 3, 2011, 7:24
  12. God bless America. USA! USA! USA!

    Posted by Ben | May 3, 2011, 9:23
  13. A felon killed resisting arrest is not an assassination.

    Nevertheless I for one am glad he died, was not put on trial & is buried at sea.

    A trial would have taken a long time, the appeals many years. All the time crazed fanatics would have been killing innocent people while demanding his release.

    A grave would have become a shrine to evil.

    To wish for a trial in this circumstance is to wish for form over substance at the cost of many lives.

    Posted by Mark Smith | May 3, 2011, 9:53
  14. They did some DNA tests after all we are told but a quick DNA result does not add up. Doesn’t it take sometime to test DNA samples? In this case Bin Laden’s body was placed onto a helicopter and flown to the sea for burial perhaps landing some where first (land or ship). Was the DNA test done on the helicopter? How was the DNA matched with other relatives samples? How long does it take to do a DNA test – I thought it was much longer?

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 3, 2011, 12:09
  15. No corpse = highly suspicious claims. Saddam’s sons were displayed publicly, why not in this case? If you tell a lie, make sure to tell a really BIG lie. People may actually believe it.

    Posted by The Truth | May 3, 2011, 14:07
  16. The USA also told us that there were weapons of mass destruction. They also said that bin laden was killed in cross fire and tried to shield himself by using his wife. Now less then 24 hours later we are told that the scenario of his death was not true. Sorry the USA has a real credibility gap when it comes to the truth. No doubts we will not know the truth until it appears on Wiki leaks (Which some say is a CIA front under cover op)

    Posted by Roswel | May 5, 2011, 19:08