Find Osama Bin Laden, Gordon Brown urges Pakistan
Is the first reference GB has ever made to Bin Laden? I've not been able to find any but I certainly can't remember him talking about the chap in such direct terms before. Let's ignore for now the silly macho language of "taking out" (I assume he's suggesting assassination, rather than going on a date, but you never know) and see what he's talking about.
It appears that after several months of talking up the threat from "The Afghan/Pakistan Border Areas" Brown has noticed that we only have troops in the Afghanistan part of it. Well, about time the chaps on the other side pulled their weight! He presumably failed to notice the huge Pakistani offensive in the border regions some time ago.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Britain wanted Pakistan to "join us in upping our game" in tackling terrorism on its border with Afghanistan.
This is quite fun. We've just "upped our game" by sending an additional 500 troops out (at some point in the near future). Surely our partners in the T(he) W(ar) A(against) T(errorism) can step up and match our noble efforts? Well, for that recent offensive linked above the Pakistanis were able to mobilise 30,000 troops to fight the militants in the border areas.
How arrogant are this government that they believe that they are in a position to tell another country to "up their game" when the latter have thrown so much more effort at the problem?
Of course, this is not looking at the more general question of why do we want to be targeting the two leaders of Al-Qaeda in the first place? Luckily Gordon has some excellent points on that matter:
We want, after eight years, to see more progress in taking out these two people at the top of al-Qaeda, who have done so much damage and are clearly the brains behind many of the operations that have hit Britain"
Well, for over two of those eight years, Gordon Brown was our PM and if this was such a big deal, maybe he should have mentioned it somewhat sooner. Otherwise, he just sounds like someone flailing around for something to distract us all from the terrible situation we're in.
Still, lets ignore that and examine the quote more closely. I'll even assume that he knows something I don't about the volume of damage caused by these two men and just look at the last bit.
"Clearly the brains behind many of the operations that have hit Britain"
How many operations have "hit" Britain? Even including essential failures in the list, I can only think of three attacks that have actually "hit" Britain. The other 'attacks' I can think of don't actually seem to include any attacking.
- Tube/Bus Bombings Mk I
- Tube/Bus Bombings Mk II
- Car Squibs and Airport Ram Raiders
The last two didn't even do any real damage! The closest either 2 or 3 got to doing damage was setting themselves on fire and falling onto Smeaton's fist a few times.
Where are these "many" operations that "hit" Britain? Is Brown living in a fantasy bunker, with plaster falling from the ceiling as Terrorist bombs explode around him? The bloody IRA was a damn sight more effective than this!
The 7/7 bombing was horrific. It has been tentatively linked with Al-Qaeda. Khan apparently spent some time in Pakistan and an informant (who luckily claims to have been telling the truth) saw him at a training camp which itself was linked to Al-Qaeda.
Even assuming that attack was perfectly linked to Al-Qaeda, are we really supposed to believe that Bin Laden was sat in a cave in Pakistan discussing which Tube stations would make the best targets?
The point is that a well designed Terrorist network like Al-Qaeda is supposed to be will show almost no effect if you "take out" the person running it. Does anyone believe that any of the senior Al-Qaeda command structure has actually had a hand in anything outside of Pakistan recently?
Gordon is supposed to be an educated, intelligent man. He should certainly have educated, intelligent advisers. Why the sudden demand to kill an essentially valueless target? All he will achieve is pissing off one of the few countries who have actually been showing a position of strength to the militants.
Perhaps Gordon is slipping further into the traditional Fuhrer Bunker fantasy and has now started ordering around imaginary armies!