Tuesday 26 September 2017

Robert Fisk: Time for a reality check on Bin Laden execution

Supporters of Pakistan's religious party Jamatut Dawa offer funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden in Karachi, Pakistan yesterday
Supporters of Pakistan's religious party Jamatut Dawa offer funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden in Karachi, Pakistan yesterday

Robert Fisk

So why are the Allies in Afghanistan? Didn't the Americans and the British go there in 2001 to fight Osama bin Laden? Wasn't he killed on Monday?

There was painful symbolism in the Nato airstrike yesterday -- scarcely 24 hours after Bin Laden's death -- that killed yet more Afghan security guards. For the truth is that the Allies long ago lost the plot in the graveyard of empires, turning a hunt for a now largely irrelevant inventor of global jihad into a war against tens of thousands of Taliban insurgents who have little interest in al-Qa'ida, but much enthusiasm to drive Western armies out of their country.

The gentle hopes of Hamid Karzai and Hillary Clinton -- that the Taliban will be so cowed by the killing of Bin Laden that they will want to become pleasant democrats and humbly join the Western-supported and utterly corrupt leadership of Afghanistan -- shows just how out of touch they are with the blood-soaked reality of the country. Some of the Taliban admired Bin Laden, but they did not love him and he had been no part of their campaign against Nato. Mullah Omar is more dangerous to the West in Afghanistan than Bin Laden. And we haven't killed Omar.

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