One explanation is that we didn't want to martyr him any more than we did with a bullet and a bath. After all, we probably just made a lot of enemies as it is, the thinking goes. Why make even more by disrespecting Muslim burial traditions? Good point. Except for this: For years we have been told "they hate us for our freedom" and the notion that the attackers are motivated by revenge is nonsense. Really? Then why headlines like this one in The Guardian: "Taliban commander vows to avenge Bin Laden's death"?
Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense. Now that they can't hate us for our freedom -- because we don't have that anymore -- they'll have to hate us for something else. If the headline in The Guardian is any indication, maybe it's now true that they have a teensy weensy problem with murder, mayhem, and destruction.
Which leads to this question: Why the announcement? Why did we announce that U.S. forces killed bin Laden, if indeed it's true that the announcement could lead to more terrorist attacks? Why not wait a few years, then say the crazed lone nut Lee Harvey Sirhan Sirhan shot bin Laden in the back from the front fifteen times with a six-shooter? Is our need to take the credit that important? What if a thousand people die next week in terrorist attacks motivated by our killing of bin Laden? Would the announcement have been worth it? (Some would say yes.)
Many have been asking, "What took so long?" We spend a few bazillion gazillion on intelligence every year, yet we couldn't find the mansion/compound sooner. Check out this excerpt from an article posted on Bloomberg.com today:
"[O]fficials said they were shocked by the compound: Built in 2005, it was eight times larger than other homes in the area and worth $1 million, U.S. officials said. The three-story main house was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet and topped with barbed wire. Two security gates restricted access to the compound, which is just a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy, the country’s equivalent of West Point.
Its residents burned their trash, unlike their neighbors, and there were no Internet or phone connections detected.
Altaf Khan, 35, a nearby resident, said the house looked like a fort. There were closed-circuit cameras all around it and the women living inside the house used to speak in Arabic, he said at his house.
'What we see in this compound is different than anything we have ever seen before,' Brennan said. "
Given that bin Laden must have been hiding in a fortress and likely in Pakistan, maybe instead of spying on the American people, our intelligence/surveillance apparatus should have been looking for, say, oh I don't know, fortresses in Pakistan cleverly disguised as fortresses.
I"m just sayin'.