Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden, master preparer, is dead

Osama bin Laden is dead, Obama says, the CNN Wire Staff , May 2, 2011 12:39 a.m. EDT
The mastermind of the worst terrorist attack on American soil is dead, U.S. President Barack Obama announced late Sunday night, almost 10 years after the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people.
Osama bin Laden -- the longtime leader of al Qaeda -- was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
U.S. officials have taken custody of bin Laden's body, Obama said. No Americans were harmed in the operation, he added.
I had just seen a piece that went over his detailed preparations prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
Ben Laden had chosen his redoubt with care. For several years, Bin Laden had developed an intricate network of caves and dwellings 14,000ft up in the White Mountains, in a settlement known as Tora Bora.
‘I feel really secure in the mountains,’ he told a Palestinian journalist in 1996, and he had good reason.
Bin Laden knew that if the Americans managed to track him down, his hideout — so high up in the almost impenetrable mountains — would be hard to attack on foot, while the deepness of the caves protected him from the air. Furthermore, as Tora Bora was just a few miles from Pakistan, he would easily be able to escape as Western troops closed in.
In preparation, Bin Laden had spent hundreds of hours exploring the area on foot, much to the annoyance of some of his 11 sons, forced to accompany their father on his grueling 14-hour treks. Years later, his son Omar bin Laden recalled: ‘My brothers and I all loathed these treks that seemed the most pleasant of outings to our father.’
He was able to greatly outlast another former ally of ours.

Tora Bora


6 comments:

Waldow said...

Heard it here first. Something's weird about that, but thanks. Yr last few posts I wouldn't even know where to begin in response, but really the problem is I wouldn't know where to stop. Thanks for what you do... As for that former ally, I'll never forget the second time I dropped out of college in part because of something said, or rather left purposefully unsaid by a professor who was a former Clinton official from the Secretary of State's office. Our fairly conservative textbook for the class on US Foregin Policy History stopped on the time period just after Gulf War I. This text at the end of a paragraph mentioned offhand the episode of US Ambassador April Glaspie talking with Saddam in 1990. Saddam was upset about Kuwaitis slant drilling under the border, drinking his milkshake. He asked what the US would think of a forceful Iraqi response. Responded Glaspie, "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America." So Saddam invaded and the rest is history.

The text drops this bomb without emphasis and quickly moves on. Odd. So with an open mind I asked my instructor to explain things. As I saw it either the text is in error reporting such a thing and so he as an instructor should point it out to the class (no big deal maybe, eh? all books have flaws) or if it was true, then tell me why would the text treat such a thing as unimportant.

The instructor's response was casually dismissive. Sort of just adjusted his fashionable glasses and smiled at me, just about exactly like O'Brien from 1984. Only I didn't get tortured, I just got a D and student loan debt. None of my fellow students asked about it, not even the ones that would always quibble over every little hot topic bullshit. So that covers on sentence in yr post here, and the rest is already history, and I guess I need to move on. LOL.

Waldow said...

I just wanted to add that I've had brothers in both Gulf Wars. These are some of the best men I know. That the public can be so bamboozeled, begins to make me wonder if it isn't right and honorable and necessary to bamboozele them and do whatever you can that's honorable with the power that is thereby obtained. This is a pretty tempting line of reasoning, though of what use are such thoughts to a half ass farmer part time woodcutter? Ha! Well there was that time I flew to Raleigh and bought crazy Todd some whiskey before deployment and explained to him what I thought was happening and begged him to come back intact. Don't know what impact it had, but it was worth a shot. Todd's pretty much the finest fellow I know.

russell1200 said...

The case of the ambassador signaling the O.K. for the invasions eventually got some pretty thorough press coverage. However, Sadham was famous for reading into a situation what he wanted. Just about every war he got into involved major misperceptions on his part.

The idea of bamboozling the public is an old one. The problem is not that you cannot bamboozle the public, but that the leaders tend to be very good at bamboozling themselves.

Korea, Vietnam, and Second Iraq all were a lot more expensive, and wound up being much different conflicts than what we anticipated going in. Fortunately, with very little open field combat against conventional forces, the last war, though extremely long, has not had the casualty count of previous wars. Which of course did not make my sister feel real comfortable about having a son over there for a couple of tours. He actually signed up for a tour in Afghanistan, but the Corp lost his paperwork, so he is home now.

russell1200 said...

Oh and for the record. my first news of it came from a finance blog. I do get hardcopy newspapers, but they come in the morning.

Waldow said...

To bamboozle oneself, yes, I once married a stripper. LOL.

It really looks like Hussein was suckered into Iraq. But most of the people who acknowledge this are complete solipsists or socialists and of course resent that US leadership would dupe the people so. I don't resent it any longer, but I think it will be remembered by history as a mistake. If wars only harmed the men eager to fight them, I could shrug it off, but the toll it takes on the environment, children, and women is very hard to reconcile.

It is a silly dream, but I need a bit of escape here and there. Wouldn't it be great if all wars were carried out far from populations and consisted of exclusively hand to hand combat? Brazil vs The USA would be quite a barnburner.

russell1200 said...

Speaking of bamboozled, I am looking at the title for today's (Thursday) post and realize that it may be less than comprehensible. LOL

Easily Hussein’s biggest misperception was attacking Iran. I am assuming you mean that Hussein was suckered into Kuwait. I am don't know - as in I have insufficient knowledge. I think this gives a pretty decent description of the non-conspiracy reasons for his invasion: http://acc.teachmideast.org/texts.php?module_id=3&reading_id=34&sequence=4

I think he had some of the same problems as Kaiser Wilhelm did. His reasons might sound reasonable, but he scared the crap out of everyone. German arguments prior to WW1 often had some justification, but they always scared the crap out of everyone when arguing their point.

If we could resurrect David Bowie (the original one) I would be all for settling our differences in hand-to-hand combat.