The Other Question Is: What Is theTactical Impact?
But First, a Sample: Pakistan
- Pakistani defense analysts expected a huge backlash in the country over the incident.
- “some of the local media is showing a biased reaction to the news of the killing and appear to be glorifying Osama Bin Laden.”
- Marvi Memon, a member of the National Assembly, criticized the Pakistani government, said, “Where is our President? Where is our Prime Minister? Where is our sovereignty? Why was an operation authorized on our soil without taking the parliament into confidence? President Obama is the President of America, not Pakistan. Where is our President? Why didn’t he address the nation? Our men, women and children have been killed in the so-called war against terror.”
Iran (Washington Times): Mr. Mehmanparast, “Iran, as one of the main victims of terrorism, strongly condemns any act of terror in the world including organized terrorism in the Zionist regime [of Israel].”
One Iranian lawmaker, Javad Jahangirzadeh, said the United States killed bin Laden
“to prevent possible leakage of the priceless intelligence that he had.”
“How could a terrorist hide himself from intelligence sources … and intelligence services cooperating with the West?” the Iranian lawmaker asked.
“Naturally the West was satisfied with bin Laden’s performance over the past years, and today — as they believed their project had been completed and so to prevent the leaking of valuable information — they were forced to kill him,” he said.
Palestine: Palestinian Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, said: “We condemn the assassination of a Muslim and Arab warrior and we pray to God that his soul rests in peace. We regard this as the continuation of the American oppression and shedding of blood of Muslims and Arabs.”
Egypt: The Guardian described the Muslim reaction: From Cairo to Baghdad, Arab world’s reaction to news of the death of Osama bin Laden was mixture of surprise and suspicion. Egypt’s influential Muslim Brotherhood condemned the “assassination of Osama bin Laden.”
There is really no tactical change. Three reasons:
First, two Al Qaeda leaders had likely eclipsed bin Laden. Ayman al-Zawahiri who had long before become number two and, with bin laden isolated, was already the functional Al Qaeda leader. American born Anwar al-Awlaki is arguably the international charismatic Al Qaeda and jihad figure of the future.
Second, Al Qaeda has become very decentralized and has leaders around the world, including inside the United States, who operate with almost total autonomy.
Third, Al Qaeda is only a small part of the international Islamic Jihad growing in mosques around the world.
Still it was a very good week-end for President Obama.