The old comedian Jimmy Durante had a stock line, “Everybody wants to get into the act” and now, as Osama bin Laden sleeps with his 72 virgin fishes, it seems everybody wants a piece of the OBL action with many bemoaning the success of America’s elite Navy SEALs.
Reactions from the Muslim world were predictable. Pakistan’s former president Musharraf denounced the American violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity, as if that country had any true territorial integrity and was anything but a terrorist sanctuary. The government in Islamabad denied any knowledge of the mission, which is probably true since they also had no knowledge that bin Laden was a resident for six years; they called it a “unilateral action,” which is fortunate and all but insured its success.
The Taliban and much of the rest of the Muslim world doubted the 6 foot, 4 inch man who was shot twice and killed in the opulent, million dollar compound and residence then dumped, excuse me, lowered into the Arabian Sea, was actually their hero. They will probably still be doubting Ahmeds even after Osama’s death picture is released; they may contend it is a fake because the Osama they knew and loved had an intact head.
Perhaps the most amusing response came from an unidentified imam at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque who posted an anonymous YouTube threat: “The dogs will not rejoice too much for killing the lions. The dogs will remain dogs and the lion, even if he is dead, will remain a lion. We are a nation of billions, a good nation. We’ll teach you about politics and military ways very soon, with god’s help.”
Big mouth, big nation, and the dead lion sleeps tonight.
The overseas reaction to the successful mission was almost as predictable as the Muslim response.
The UK’s Sky News immediately demanded incontrovertible proof of the identity of the corpse dumped, excuse me, lowered, into the water was indeed the late Osama bin Laden. Germany’s Der Spiegel charged the entire operation was illegal and that, instead of dispatching OBL to the arms of Allah, he should have been captured alive and put on trial before an international tribunal, which would have given him a public platform to spout his venom and instigate his jihadist followers.
At home, the United Nations, not wanting to feel left out, felt compelled to chime in on the issue.
Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commisioner for Human Rights, acknowledged OBL may have been guilty of crimes against humanity but, in an effort to assert the U.N.’s authority and sense of righteousness, sought “precise facts surrounding his killing. [Because] The United Nations has consistently emphasised that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law.”
To his credit, and surprisingly given his dedication to that international body, President Obama didn’t go that route which surely would have resulted in OBL slithering out of his compound as the U.N. debated resolutions and as Muslim nations threw roadblocks in the path of any definitive action.
Also at home, (and I know the United Nations isn’t technically located on American soil), America’s Left had to get in their own handwringing and register its complaints even against the decsions of one of their own, Obama. The killing of OBL gave them another opportunity to bash America.
Thus, Jeffrey Toobin, attorney and legal analyst for CNN, questioned whether it was legal to kill bin Laden. He grantsed that a capture instead of a killing would have unleashed a nightmarish scenario of legal proceedings, of representation, of propaganda yet dredged up an undefined, 37 year old, Gerald Ford executive order prohibiting “political assassination.” He granted further that OBL resisted capture and “didn’t deserve” a trial anyway but still, as a good Lefty, Toobin had to instill doubts as to the operation’s legality, doubts which extend to the question of America’s sense of right and wrong.
I for one am proud of what our Navy SEALs accomplished last weekend but, although I can understand the purposes of the briny burial, there were alternatives. American officials didn’t want to create a martyr’s shrine with a land internment and no non-Muslim nation would want his remains, anyway. I would have suggested Osama be gutted, his innards fed to swine, and what’s left be stuffed with pig entrails and hung atop the Freedom Tower for birds to pick at and decorate with their droppings.