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Obama got his man but created a martyr

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A protest rally in Gaza against the killing of al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden

A protest rally in Gaza against the killing of al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden

A protest rally in Gaza against the killing of al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden

Those in Ireland who subscribe to the Bin Laden joy-fest regarding his death should ask themselves if this policy position by President Obama serves to reduce in any way the threat of Islamo-terrorism.

Or does it provide a new impetus for an ageing body of yesterday's men, by giving al-Qa'ida exactly what it always wanted -- the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of an American special operations unit. Bin Laden could not have choreographed his own death better.

Is it not interesting too that, having dispelled any reservations he is "soft on terrorism", Mr Obama paid a visit to Ground Zero on May 5?

It is reasonable to argue that the whole operation in Pakistan had more to do with US internal politics than a genuine desire to tackle terrorism.

Objectively, Mr Obama had few options over how to deal with a heinous war criminal such as Osama bin Laden. But why did he choose the most beneficial one in relation to al-Qa'ida: that is, providing the organisation with an iconic martyr?

This is not intelligent anti-terrorist strategy. This is all about one eye on the next election, and it could well cost lives.

Let us hope the hunger for democratic freedom in north Africa and the Middle East will stymie the power of martyrdom in Islamo-fascist ideology, making it a phenomenon of the past.

We know too well in this country the power of the martyr and the ineffable evil of its destructive force.

It is a pity Mr Obama did not, ahead of his forthcoming visit to Ireland, turn over a few leaves of a book on Irish history.

Pierce Martin
Celbridge, Co Kildare

Irish Independent