Where's Osama?

It's times like these, when double-decker buses and tubes are exploding around us, that our thoughts drift back to those early days of the millennium, when a certain man by the name of Osama bin Laden was the talk of the town. So today we wonder: whatever happened to Osama? and take a trip down Memory Lane (if you don't remember where that is, it's at the intersection of Alzheimer's Avenue and Senility Street).
When we last saw Osama, he was spewing hatred in front of a rock formation that geologists were sure was either of Pakistani or Afghan origin. These days, Afghanistan has pretty much been ruled out as his current hideaway, so all eyes are on Pakistan and its leader, General Pervez Musharraf.
According to journalist and fundamentalism expert Ahmed Rahid, Musharraf knows his Taliban well enough to negotiate a ceasefire (as requested by Bush) for the Afghan presidential elections. So why can't he catch and deliver bin Laden?
The answer is: he probably can, but he won't, for several reasons. First, Pakistan is currently strongly in America's Cool Book. Nonetheless, Pakistan's arch-enemy India is constantly currying favors for the US, and with apparent success (India makes a mean curry, after all): America signed a ten-year defense agreement with India and is doing nothing to block India's support for anti-Pakistani rebels in Afghanistan. If Musharraf would deliver Osama, he would lose his trump card.
Second, Musharraf has made dubious political allies and is ruling over a pretty Osama-friendly people (support for bin Laden was weak after 9/11, but has steadily grown since). Handing over bin Laden could spell political isolation for the general, and the threat of Iraq-like insurgency.
Luckily for us, Bush has vowed to attack and punish any country that harbors terrorists. So not only will US troops soon invade Pakistan and take over the country, they will also turn it into a peaceful, freedom-loving and organized state, just like they did with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by cronopio at 02:18 PM, July 15, 2005