Like many when the news alert of Osama’s death popped on my Blackberry, I said, “Good Riddance.” The snippets of news started to trickle in. Initially CNN said in its alert, it was in Afghanistan. I sighed and said, thank GOD, it was not Pakistan. My relief was fairly short lived. The subsequent news items and Reuters confirmation, that it was in Abbotabad, Pakistan, was a deep disappointment.
All along it was being presented as a possibility, that he was in Pakistan. Despite the denials of Musharraf and our own Rehman Malik, it was clear that a high value OBL could not just hide in the caves, along the “Af-Pak” border. The caves had to be no less than a sophisticated military fortress to conceal someone for 10 years. Besides, all dwellers of caves had to survive on something. Things were just not adding up logically.
Now this “operation” of US Navy seals is sort of lacking some logic as well. A lot of us are skeptical and rightfully so. The alleged villa was built five years ago, and somehow the oddities of that dwelling got noticed after five years. Strange. The no cable, no internet, no communication needs some more clarification.
In Pakistan it is common for people to burn trash. Yes, if the rest of the neighborhood had a pick up, presumably every week and this place did not, then this should have been a red flag for quite a while back.
Reading the twitter account of the Pakistani gentlemen who tweeted, while this operation was unfolding, gives credence. He was unaware of who was carrying the operation, so at least it corroborates that some action was taking place in his neighborhood. Who was really carrying the action, is the big question.
The Navy seals cannot just fly their chopper from let’s say Bagram, without the approval of Pakistani military. Then even if the military approves of such action, there has to be local support to carry it out. The seals need the support and back up of the people who are familiar with the terrain, language and the uncontrollable variables. Who are those? Our own “har ghari tayyar, kamran hain hum.”
The photo being circulated on the net, is a fake for sure. An arabic site had this photo back in 2010. The firefight may have erupted, but looking at the photo, one can easily deduce that the bullet mark on the forehead and the eyes does not match. How can one explain the burial at sea? The explanations are a bit illogical. As heinous and abhorrent the character may be, every human being deserves their final rites. Saudis and Wahabis in particular, do not believe in shrines.
So to really make this fool proof, the body should have been given its final rites, after the prayers, he should have been buried at an unidentified location in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The entire ceremony should have been videotaped. The people doing the final rites, could have covered their face to avoid the reprisal. The comeback of no country was willing to accept the body, does not make sense. Hello…how about a live Bin Laden was supposedly living in Pakistan, then a dead one, would have been fine too.
There is more than what meets the eye. At least, I am of the opinion that until or unless, it is “Ain al Yaqeen”, in this case with these bizarre twists, this story has a lot of loose ends. Now it is up to the US Government to provide irrefutable evidence to support their claim. A cloud of doubt will always loom around this, unless the evidence supports the claim. This scribe’s opinion about terrorism is fairly well known. I don’t want the readers to misunderstand the write up. Like any other objective individual, the scribe is looking for clear and conclusive evidence. Without that, it is more of a fiction, than a fact.
Post Script: May 03, 2011
With additional details emerging, and no denial or rebuttal from the usual terror friendly groups, it is becoming apparent that this may be a fact. The photo may be released by the US Government soon to calm the skeptics like me, who strongly believe in “seeing is believing.”
The subsequent news from Pakistan is quite damning. If reports about the family of Mr. Bin Laden being in Pakistan are true, then that’s an undeniable reference. The shock value of this whole thing is almost that of 09/11. It is going to take some time to simmer.
In addition to this, the spin factory is busy as usual spinning this, as an effort to malign Pakistan. This is Obama’s ticket to re election, etc. Well American people have a short attention span. The elections are a full 18 months away. A lot is going to change in 18 months. This scribe will follow up on all such theories later.
In summation, it almost feels like, we have been caught with our pants down. Yes days ahead are tough. It is high time that we change our modus operandi. HIGH TIME…..