Monday, May 2, 2011

We won! Right?

Whoopie doo! Bin Laden is dead! We finally got him!

Now, as I see it, is a perfect time to declare victory and get the hell out of Afghanistan — and, while we're at it, the rest of the way out of Iraq as well. Yes, the death of Osama bin Laden is more of a symbolic victory than a military victory, but what the hell... as long as we won.

Our president has to be feeling pretty chipper today, as he should. If you're president, symbolic victories go a long way. How it all happened remains more than a little vague, so I don't mind indulging myself in a little pure conjecture, just for fun, mind you. I have no direct evidence for anything that follows, but it sounds good.

From what we've been told to date, there was only one mansion with eighteen foot walls in the upper-middle class neighborhood of Abbottabad where bin Laden was staying — and given what we know about the pervasive penetration of Pakistan by its security agency, we should assume that ISI knew who was living there. CIA operatives, on the other hand, may have been in the dark — since ISI doesn't make them especially welcome in Pakistan. It follows that the US got the tip about bin Laden from ISI.

It also follows that ISI wanted something in return for giving such politically valuable information to the Obama administration. One hopes that what ISI wanted was an expedited withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan, so that Pakistan can reassert what it considers its "natural" influence over its neighbor. Add that to the US foreign policy/military shuffle discussed in my two previous posts, and it seems that the troops just might be home well before the announced date of 2014.

Rejoice, ye progressives! Perhaps you weren't totally screwed. ("Hope" springs eternal, especially in the run-up to an election.)

In the meanwhile, expect to hear demands for Osama bin Laden's long-form death certificate from the usual quarters.

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