Desperately Seeking Osama

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The United States suspects Osama bin Laden is hiding in the mountainous tribal regions of Pakistan.

hide captionThe United States suspects Osama bin Laden is hiding in the mountainous tribal regions of Pakistan.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

American special ops forces reportedly crossed into Pakistan's tribal regions along the Afghan border yesterday. It's the first time a U.S. official has confirmed, though anonymously, any operations inside Pakistan, and reports today indicate it may not be the last. Needless to say, Pakistan is furious. And while we have no idea who or what was targeted in the raid, some guess that it must have been big to justify alienating an ally in the the war on terror.

Could it be a lead on Osama bin Laden? Will it help cut down on attacks on U.S. and NATO troops? Or hurt Al-Qaida? Will it do anything to help stabilize Afghanistan, or destabilize Pakistan? Who knows. Now seven years after 9/11, do you think finding bin Laden is still priority #1? Should it be?

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The Bush administration never made finding Osama bin Laden a top priority. If it had, there would be 150K US troops in Afganistan and not in Iraq. If America is serious about the war on terror, then capturing, or killing, bin Laden, and therefore crippling al-Qaida, should be our top military priority. That McCain/Palin continue to talk about "victory" in Iraq, rather than discussing how to track down bin Laden in Afganistan highlights how out of touch the Republicans are on this important topic.

Sent by Steve Jursa | 2:14 PM | 9-4-2008

Why is no one prepared to call our involvement in Afghanistan another strategic error?

What was the real value in nation-building in this region?

Our supposed goal was killing bin Laden. We could have done so quickly and stealthily, and left. Look at where we are now; we have no real gains, and every day brings more doubt, more death, and the additional danger of NATO being unable to protect itself, as a good piece of its combat power is out of its theater.

Sent by Michael | 2:32 PM | 9-4-2008

Al-Qaiada had (I think) diminished in significance as a group and as national interest but speaking of the Head of Al-Qaiada, regardless of whether Bin Laden is alive or dead, haven't we (the western world done exactly what they wanted us to do, turning bin Laden into a martyr which you can't kill, making him a more potent problem on the world stage with the small start up groups?

Sent by Francis Barbosa | 2:39 PM | 9-4-2008

YES we SHOULD continue our search for bin Laden. He is the mastermind behind a mass-murder of Americans, an attack on our nation. To stop the search would be a crime. He is far more than a symbol, he is a criminal on the loose. Ask family members of those killed whether the search should continue.

Sent by Steven Johnson | 2:40 PM | 9-4-2008

Osama bin Laden was the planner of 9/11 in which 3000 people died. For those murders he should be brought to justice.

Sent by Hank | 2:42 PM | 9-4-2008

I volunteered for the Marines in 2003. I joined because I wanted to participate in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. In 4 years of service, I met very few Marines who served in Afghanistan, but almost ALL Marines I know have been deployed to Iraq. I left the Marines in March of 2008, because I was disgusted with the lack of focus on a real threat.
My question: What do your guests think about a redeployment of Marines to Afghanistan, as has been suggested by the Commandant of the Marines, Gen. Conway.

Semper Fidelis

Sent by Bennett in Flagstaff | 2:46 PM | 9-4-2008

There are 2,966 reasons to hunt down and eliminate Al-Qaida and Osama bin-Laden from the face of the earth, each reason a life too short that ended on 09.11.01. We do the gravest injustice to our sense of a nation if this mission is not completed.
Instead the current administration of the United States has chosen to squander our precious resources in Iraq, contrary to world opinion and contrary to any traditional American notion of justified war. An additional 4,151 American lives, and counting, have been spent. The forces from within the USA are as destructive as the forces from without. If I were elected President tomorrow I would re-deploy every American soldier from Iraq to Afghanistan/Pakistan/Anywhere-he-is-stan and GET THE JOB DONE! The current administration of the USA is a disgrace to the fundamental principles that have made America a great nation - foremost being the principles of justice and accountability.

Sent by Patrick McDevitt | 3:00 PM | 9-4-2008

The bush administration will 'find' bin Laden whenever it politically suits them. Since they are lame ducks, it is not irrational to think they will 'find' him as a way to bolster their legacy.

Cynical? Yes. Wrong? I hope I am, but it is not beyond the scope of this administration.

Sent by Jon Francis | 3:54 PM | 9-4-2008

Neither hunting Bin Laden nor securing oil land in Iraq will solve anything. You cannot bring a murderer to justice, you can only bolster someone like Bin Laden's image by doing so.

The best way to discredit or fight terrorism, would be to help Iraq secure its own borders rather than attempting to instill our own political pawn.

Emotionally, this anger towards the Middle East will only have history repeat itself.

Sent by PoliticalHick | 4:05 PM | 9-4-2008

Sigh.

Do people REALLY think we have tried to catch that guy...it is SO much more likely that we gave him a 'get out of jail' free card for helping sway the American people towards a war that Bush had wanted to implement since the beginning.

Its funny how we claim to be a Christian Nation.

I'm sure Jesus would say its ok to kill 80,000 (iraqbodycount.com)civilians by accident to get the 19,000 (usa today) insurgents. Thats three innocent people to every one alleged guilty person. And how many family members of these civilian 'casualties' are MORE likely to join the other side because of it?
What happened to 'love your enemies'?

when is enough enough people.

"A problem cannot be solved by the same consciousness that created it."

Sent by Sean Kinshella | 4:07 PM | 9-4-2008

Shortly after September 11, 2001 Al-Qaida was about 500 guys on the run from northern Afganistan to northern Pakistan.

When will I hear about Al-Qaida Pakistan and the training camps there? President Bush said there was no safe haven for terrorists, but obviously it was - until last week.

Sent by Christopher M. Brown | 9:42 PM | 9-4-2008

i honostly believe that the u.s. know where he has been hidding since day one.

Sent by nmendoza | 12:54 PM | 9-5-2008

my view is the underlying reason to go to iraq rather than just hunt for binladin is because to find 1 person is way way way harder than it is to go after a large group of people. So to satisfy the america publics anger towards the 911 attack they quickly went and attacked iraq (scapegoat). Honestly i dont think the military will ever find Bin Laden. Bin Ladin himself knows the significance of him being found find him america claim victory and since he hates america so much of course he will do anything to prevent the military from finding him. Its just really sad and with all these attacks in iraq we are basically brewing the next generation terrorists and many generations after.

Sent by jeremy ling | 2:34 PM | 9-5-2008

If the United States wants to Find Bin Laden, the first thing we need to do is actively search. I don't feel any safer since Homeland security was implemented in 2001. The Bush administration took their eyes off the Ball, President Bush didn't care enough to find this man.
The American people need a leader who will not quit under pressure. I feel that going after Sadam was the wrong move we should have gone after bin laden. Now, We have no allies in the war against terror because of the idiot policies of this idiot president. God help us if McCain gets elected he won't do any better either.

Sent by Tom Smith | 10:31 PM | 9-5-2008

With all the sophisticated instruments, we know exactly where Osama Bin Laden is at. It's not "time" to get him yet. When the time is right we will grab him. A few weeks before the 2008 US Election. That should cement John McCain into the White House.

Sent by Greg Danko | 6:24 AM | 9-6-2008

Just as we have never relented in the pursuit of Nazi war criminals, so too, we must never relent in the pursuit of bringing bin Laden to justice. But we must completely reassess our strategy, as the tactics of the last seven years have been a total failure. I do not believe bin Laden has a great influence on the Al-Qaida operations in 80 countries around the world. There is no magic bullet to solve this difficult situation. I believe America should be a more responsible world citizen and use more diplomacy to reduce tensions and seek to resolve differences. Let's give extremists less reasons to hate us.

Sent by Dan in Port Hueneme | 11:34 AM | 9-6-2008

Can you believe that 19 guys got up one morning and executed the most professional suicide commando attack on the US in history, and it was all planned, supplied, organized, housed, fed, given flying lessons and supplies by a guy in a cave in Afghanistan?
And, if you search the names of the terrorists, you come up with names like Osama Basnan and Omar al Bayoumi (among many others) that openly admitted complicity in aiding and abetting the above, then were allowed to leave the country and go wherever they please (also, please search those names, any site you want).
So in addition to the impossible of the first paragraph, you have the traitorous wonderland of the second.

Sent by Lionel Bottari | 2:47 PM | 9-8-2008

hes probly dead

Sent by alex | 9:38 AM | 9-10-2008

Too little effort was put into the Osam pursuit. A lot of resources were wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps the administration just wanted to be seen to be "really serious" about rooting out terrorism. They can only succeed in that by eliminating all the war-orphaned families and their sympathisers, or America will forever keep wondering why there is so much hatred on it from the M-E.

Sent by edir | 3:48 AM | 9-11-2008

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