Yesterday, the news filtered through that Osama Bin Laden had been assassinated by US armed forces. Barak Obama announced the news early yesterday morning which galvanised some to immediately celebrate at ground zero and the White House in Washington, the two American cities most affected by 9/11.
No soon had the news been announced than the theories of what will happen next were being discussed. The political futures and legacies of politicians was initially discussed. One commentator said “who would bet against Obama winning the next election now”, while quotes were quickly sought from Ex-President George W Bush and Tony Blair seeking to justify their policies of war and destruction over the past decade.
There is no doubt that the cudos of President Obama will increase with this news as it appears he gave the final order to strike following the gathering of intelligence.
However, questions remain. The most obvious one being that it had been publicised and widely thought that Osama Bin Laden had been hiding in the mountains and border areas of Pakistan in a clandistine operation moving from one low key location to another. In fact he was found in a large military compound less than a mile from the Pakistan’s army Academy compound and 40km outside of the capital,Islamabad.
The question on everyone’s lips, especially the US security forces is how could he have been there without the Pakistan authorities knowing?
The conspiracy theories have also started with some asking why the body was buried at sea and why no photos? Some in disbelief that he could be dead. One reason could be because of past mistakes over such assassinations as Che Guevara when the photos of the corpse became iconic images that galvanised support around the world.
Perhaps we should also consider the cost of war on both sides. 9/11 cost 2,977 lives, along with other terrorist operations:
- 1993, World Trade Centre bombings causing 6 deaths and over 1000 injuries.
- 1993, Bombay Bombings causing over 250 deaths and 700 injuries
- 1998 US Embassy Bombings, 200 deaths and 5000, injured
- 2000, USS Cole bombing
- 2002 Bali Bombings, 202 deaths and over 500 injured
- Istanbul attacks, 57 dead and 700 injured
- 2004 Superferry bombing in Phillipines, 116 dead
- 2004 Madrid Train Bombings, 191 dead and 1,800 injured
- 2005, 7/7 London underground attacks, 56 dead and 700 injured
- 2005, Sharm-el-Sheikh attacks, Egypt, 88 dead
- 2005, Amman Hotel Bombing, 60 dead
- 2006, Mumbai Train Bombings, 209 dead
- 2007, Algiers bombings, 33 dead
- 2008, Danish Embassy bombings, 6 dead
- Invasion of Afghanistan 2001 – Afghan troop Deaths 8,587; US Troops over 1,140; Other coalition troops 772; Contractor deaths 298; Journalist deaths 19. Injuries 0ver 48,600
- Iraq War – Iraqi Troops 30,000; US Troops 4,414; Other Troops, 318; Contractors, 933; Journalists 192, injuries over 130,000. Civilian deaths – unable to be precise but at least 100,000, to over 1 million. Refugees escaping Iraq, over 3 million.