Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead

Details here. It is perhaps surprising how little we seem to know about such a potentially major event. One curiosity is the lack of any photographic evidence. The US produced this at other moments, such as after the capture of Saddam Hussein and after the death of his sons. Why not now? Whatever the relative merits of a burial at sea, why do so within just a few hours rather than later that day?

One effect of this event is that it will be interesting to see how Republican Party presidential candidates criticise President Obama on national security. It is difficult to imagine how more might have done sooner. In fact, Obama has all along argued for a closer look in Pakistan for Bin Laden and Al Qaeda -- and readers may recall John McCain's puzzlement during one of their debates that Obama would send the military into Pakistan to look for Bin Laden (noting what a good lawful chum Pakistan has been). While we've heard nothing from McCain, it seems Obama made the right call after all. Will it be a major blow to Al Qaeda? I'd say it's far too early to tell....

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