Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dead or alive?

A French newspaper printed a leaked Saudi intelligence document today that claims Osama Bin Laden is dead -- he supposedly succumbed to typhoid in Pakistan last month. French President Chirac said the information isn't confirmed, the CIA claims to have no knowlege of it, nor has there been any such announcement from Al Qaeda.

The report of OBL's death is just one of many over the past few years, and it's not as significant as the detail that he allegedly died "in Pakistan". There's increasing evidence that Pakistan is enabling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan; and sheltering Al Qaeda types. The Pakistani authorities should come clean about this. If Pakistan is that Taliban-friendly they may be in a position to act as an intermediary in negotiations with the insurgents. Negotiations may not be a solution to the Afghanistan situation, but they could greatly improve it. The present all-military no-negotiations approach isn't working, and it won't ever work as long as Pakistan is maintains its current schizophrenic status of being an ally while supporting the "enemy". Our soldiers are dying, and apart from anything Stephen Harper says about the "value" of military casualties, I don't see how our kids dying improves our military's reputation.