On Bin Laden: I ask myself ‘Why?’

I ask myself why. Some Pakistanis are complaining about the violation of their country’s sovereignty during the Navy SEALs’ raid at Abbottabad.

But why aren’t they complaining about Usama Bin Laden’s violation of Pakistani sovereignty? He and his family entered their country illegally, and then re-formed a paramilitary organization that killed Pakistanis and raided from Pakistan over into Afghanistan. Foreigners behaving that way for years on Pakistani soil with no pretense of legality seems to me a bigger violation of Pakistani sovereignty than a 40-minute raid that captured one fugitive who had killed 3000 Americans.

I ask myself why. Some observers are calling the SEALs’ operation against Bin Laden illegal.

But the United Nations Charter firmly recognizes the right of a state to defend itself from attack. Bin Laden had demonstrated that he could and would attack the United States. He was also having US troops in Afghanistan, who are there with UNO sanction, attacked. He was doing this every day. Why wouldn’t the US have the same right to defend itself as everyone else? Pakistani troops in the late 1990s routinely went into Afghanistan for purposes less urgent than self-defense.

I ask myself why. It is being charged that the SEALs went in with orders to shoot to kill.

But President Obama admits that for all he and the troops knew, a Dubai prince lived in the house. The SEALs could not possibly have had orders to kill a Dubai prince, if that was what they found in the house. Nor does the charge of assassination comport with the clear fact that the SEALs did not know that the man refusing to surrender and making suspicious movements was Ben Laden. It was dark. One of them had to lie down next to him to see if he was 6′ 4″ after the shoot.

I just see a lot of plot holes in the rush to judgment, and also a lot of hypocrisy.

Posted in al-Qaeda | 1 Response | Print |

One response

  1. All good points. I wish Professor Cole could correct Professor Chomsky on this one.

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