It’s possible for all of us to agree that I’m in no way a foreign policy expert, least of all on the Middle East or the Afganistan/Pakistan border. Nonetheless, I thought this musing on the part of Pakistani president Zardari interesting:
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has raised the prospect that Osama bin Laden could be dead after he said that intelligence officials could find “no trace” of the al-Qaeda chief. […] There have been regular reports of bin Laden’s ill health, notably speculation about his kidneys failing. Mr Zardari said his own advisers believed there was substance to the rumours. […]Mr Zardari’s comments came as he sought to reassure the international community that it need not worry over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
Emphasis is Matt Yglesias’s, who points out that it’s sort of in Zardari’s interest to make these kinds of speculations and wonders what Pakistan would do if they actually found bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden feels like America’s forgotten tidbit of interesting information. You know you want to tell the next person you see about the tidbit, but when the time comes you’ve totally forgotten about it. Then, late at night when you’re trying to fall asleep, you remember the tidbit and promise to tell someone in the morning.
It is a little ridiculous (no?) that bin Laden remains at large and could even be dead, and yet he is the symbol of evil incarnate to the United States. Very odd, when you remember to think about it.