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Looking Outward from Events: OBL in Context

The first lesson in security is Situational Awareness. This requires that one look outward from events rather than inward. For example, when there is a bomb blast, while the first instinct may be to look towards the blast, those responsible for security must immediately look outward in observation of surroundings, establish a perimeter and be prepared for another attack in order to prevent it.

Michael Ledeen's latest is a perfect example of this in an article that will surely be widely read for his revelation that his trusted sources tell him the Osama bin Laden has died of kidney failure in Iran. But it should be noted that he mentions this in only glancing fashion as he instinctively looks outward from the event and makes the broader analysis of events in context.

In short, both demography and geopolitics make this an age of revolution, as President Bush seems to have understood. Rarely have there been so many opportunities for the advance of freedom, and rarely have the hard facts of life and death been so favorable to the spread of democratic revolution.

The architect of 9/11 and the creator of Palestinian terrorism are gone. The guiding lights of our terrorist enemies are sitting on cracking thrones, challenged by young men and women who look to us for support. Not just words, and, above all, not promises that the war against the terror masters will soon end with a premature abandonment of what was always a miserably limited battlefield. This should be our moment.

Faster. Please?

Michael Ledeen offers a brilliant lesson in Situational Awareness. Read it all.


Listed below are links that reference Looking Outward from Events: OBL in Context:

» Osama Been Dead? from Move On And Shut Up
I'll wait to jump up and down on this one, but via LGF is a National Review story indicating that Osama Bin Laden died of kidney failure in December. Great if it's true, however, floating a story like this might be advantageous to the enemy, thus should [Read More]

» Part Two: Life and Death of al Qaeda Targets from Stormwarning's Counterterrorism
How many times? How many times have we read reports on the Internet claiming that one of the prime target al Qaeda terrorists have died or been captured, only later to learn that it was yet another false alarm? In [Read More]


I'd certainly wait for confirmation of this. Its always been my opinion that OBL was being protected in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but who am I? I could easily be wrong.

Considering all of the rumors that Zarqawi or Zawahiri or etc. have been killed or captured in the past, I'll wait...

Fully agreed. As with Michael Ledeen's article, this entry also does not focus on that bit of information, welcome as it may be if true.

Ledeen's point was to look around and pay attention, as we have a unique opportunity to effect lasting change in the region...and also to squander it and/or make a mess of it.

As I predicted when I posted, the attention that his article has received has been seemingly exclusively focused on that matter-of-fact statement about bin Laden's potential fate. This is to miss the whole point.

There is a lesson worth noting in Ledeen's article, and it has little to do with bin Laden's ability to exchange oxygen.

No question that the focus of attention on the Internet has been the "reported demise" and not the more global and strategic element. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the "Internet beast."

I came across an article today that adds a new aspect. Even though its potentially part of a book promotion, Peter Bergen http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/01/11/earlyshow/leisure/books/main1202261.shtml wrote, "I think if he was dead, the jihadist Web sites would light up with the great news that finally bin Laden had been martyred. So I think we'd know about it."

So I guess its Ledeen's trusted Iranian's versus Peter Bergen and his book.

At the end of the day, whether bin Laden is dead or alive, the threat of al Qaeda remains and will continue to expand its web...and the Taliban, thought by "some" to have been eliminated, have reconstituted and seems to be experiencing a resurrection in Afghanistan (forgive me for the self-promotion here: http://moonagewebdream.blogs.com/storms_counter_terrorism/2006/01/terrorist_resur.html

So here's another interesting twist in this "he's dead" and "he's not dead yet" Internet spin.


Key to this is the statement that according to this Australian professor, "that bin Laden died of massive organ failure in April last year."

This is better than the kids' game, "Where's Waldo."