Is Osama bin Laden Really Dead This Time?

A link from Regime Change in Iran to M. Ledeen at NRO:

     …according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year’s message in conjunction with the Muslim Haj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time.

Ledeen notes the passing of many leaders in the Middle East and says we are in a transitional moment, a time of rapid change which is ours to shape…or not:

     This remarkable tempo of change is not likely to diminish, as old and/or sick men are in key positions in several countries: Israel’s Shimon Peres is 82. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is 82 (and his designated successor, Prince Sultan, is 81, and was recently operated for stomach cancer). Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, although probably in his sixties, is said to have serious liver cancer, and is not expected to survive the next year.
And, of course, the patient activities of the Grim Reaper are not the only source of revolutionary change in the region. Saddam was a relatively young man (mid-sixties) when he was toppled by Coalition forces; the deposed Taliban leaders were relatively young as well (Mullah Omar is barely 50); and the likes of Bashar Assad, the Iranian mullahs (Khamenei is probably in his early sixties), and even the legions of the Saudi royal family have to contend with mounting animus from the West, and mounting cries for freedom from their own people.
Much of the demographic component of rapid change comes from the enormous disparity between leaders and people…

Ledeen is always at his best when he is in prophetic mode, as he is here:

     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.

The “winners” of this moment will shape it and leave their legacy. For us, even though Arafat and Osama (please be right, Mr. Ledeen) are gone, we are left with their smoking craters.

And it’s hard as hell to climb out of such deep, destructive holes…

5 thoughts on “Is Osama bin Laden Really Dead This Time?

  1. He was wounded, seriously, at Tora Bora and later died on the Paki frontier. His remains were cremated and the ashes burned a second time so that Western forensics can never know with any degree of certainty that he is gone. It was his last act of defiance

  2. We have to believe he is dead. He would be doing his cause no good at all by not speaking publicly for more than a year. It’s hard to imagine what would prevent him from making at least an audio recordsing, if he possibly could.

    The particulars of his death are just rumors, but the fact of it seems almost undeniable.

  3. If he was actually sheltered by Iran at any point, it would be an interesting datum — indicating that the fanatics of the Shiite and Sunni side can get along if they have a common enemy, namely US

  4. The problem with digging out of the hole is cause there are terroists in that hole with us digging deeper. So we have to use some nukes to blow up their shelters, before we can dig out again. Horizontally.

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