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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Death of Osama Bin Laden

Obama watches real time footage of the attack

The internet and media outlets will no doubt be abuzz with the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden for the coming weeks and months. His killing on the night of Sunday the 1st of May in Abbottabad has been welcomed by massive celebrations at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and by public representatives of all political denominations across the world. 

The death raises a number of questions. Firstly, there will be retaliation from Al Qaeda, it is a question of when, not if. It is up to security forces to foil attempts as successfully as they have many times in the past. Osama Bin Laden has undoubtedly become a martyr for the cause of Islamic Fundamentalism and indeed for many he had become a spiritual figurehead for many extremists in the Church. The second question is a little more complex.

Osama Bin Laden was killed, as previously stated in Abbottabad, a rather sleepy suburb of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. This has lead analysts to question the commitment of the Pakistani Government to the so called "War on Terror". However,  a senior US representative has told an international media cohort that the operation was a shared achievement by the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Analysts find this hard to believe given how the Pakistani Government was not informed of the Operation, carried out on their soil. The coming weeks will be fascinating in terms of Pakistani, US relations.

Osama Bin Laden
The death will also be subject, naturally, to a number of conspiracy theories or people who doubt the authenticity of the killing. People are currently demanding images of the corpse of Osama are released to the public. I find this bizarre for two reasons. Firstly, if Osama was alive couldn't he simply make a video proclaiming he is alive and do a happy dance (or something similar) and secondly, Obama surely would have done all he could to ensure it wa shim who had died because if he was to appear publically again it would most certainly destroy Obama's Presidency. However, there are always conspiracy theories which accompany these things.

The assassination of Osama has importantly also, if only for a few short moments brought together all sides of the political spectrum in the US, in perhaps a way only previously witnessed during the September 11th attacks themselves. Even prominent Republican pundits such as Glenn Beck and Bill O' Reilly have congratulated the President's handling of the situation. So, at least in the short time the Obama administration will certainly have the wind in its sails. Obama may use this to try to garner support for some of his key policies or perhaps simply try to ride a wave of support up until the Presidential Elections. One thing is for sure, the next few months will be an interesting one for the American Government.

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