John Howard on the death of Osama bin Laden:
Pakistan’s role most significant element in Osama bin Laden’s demise
THE death of Osama bin Laden not only delivers justice to the more than 3000 people (including Australians) who died in the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, but also the 88 Australians who were killed in the Bali attack of October 2002.
Bin Laden was the universal leader and godfather of the entire al-Qa’ida-inspired terrorist movement. The skill of the American special forces who took out bin Laden reminds us, yet again, of how indispensable are highly trained soldiers in the fight against terrorism. They and the crucial role of timely intelligence – also essential to bin Laden’s removal – remain vital to a free society.
Bin Laden’s death will give new heart to the anti-terrorist fight across the world, not least in Afghanistan.
The campaign in Afghanistan can be successfully concluded. Bin Laden’s death follows real progress on the ground by American and other NATO forces.
I well understand the elation felt by millions of Americans at the news of bin Laden’s death.
As someone who was present in Washington on September 11, 2001, I will never forget the outrage, disbelief and anger of Americans at the unprovoked evil hurled against their fellow countrymen and women on that day. Nor will I forget the absolute determination of the then American president, George W. Bush, to protect the American homeland against another such attack. He dedicated so much of the next seven years of his presidency to that goal. He saw it as his first responsibility. It was a responsibility successfully discharged.
Bin Laden’s death does not destroy al-Qa’ida. Others will take his place, but it is a mighty and symbolic blow against the leadership of this terrorist movement.
Intelligence agencies are right to warn of the possibility of retaliatory attacks. That is the nature of the fanatical movement with which we are engaged.
Islamic extremism is a new kind of threat. It does not employ the old aggressive measures of sending armies across borders. Rather, it relies on cowardly and utterly unprovoked attacks that so often claim the lives of the innocent.
Source: The Australian