saudi newspaper declares bin laden "dead"
An analysis in the English-language Saudi newspaper The Arab News speculates that Osama bin Laden is indeed dead, noting that a person of his evident ego would not likely remain silent so long.
More interesting is the article's dismissal of bin Laden's influence; the piece declared the al Qaeda leader dead politically if not in fact:
Even if he were still alive physically, Bin Laden is dead politically. He may live some more years in the hide-outs of the tribal zone in Pakistan just as some Nazi fugitives survived in the remote areas of Argentina and Paraguay.
Bin Laden is the known face of a particular brand of politics that committed suicide in New York and Washington on Sept.11, 2001, killing thousands of innocent people in the process.
The article goes on to describe six unique conditions the writer contends no longer exist in the post-Sept. 11 world, including a perception of American unwillingness to fight, easy access to finances, and European allies looking the other way.
Bin Laden could survive and prosper only in a world in which the six elements just mentioned remained in force. That world no longer exists: thus Osama Bin Laden no longer exists.
His ghost may continue to linger on, partly because Washington and Islamabad, among others, find it useful to keep it in the headlines for a while. Bush still has an election to win next November and Musharraf is keen to keep his country in the limelight as long as possible. But the truth is that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Remember you first read it here.
(via Ipse Dixit)