Monday, May 2, 2011

With Osama bin Laden’s Removal, a Less Corrupt Pakistan

The troubles in Pakistan make more sense in light of this morning’s news. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been holed up at the edge of an elite military facility in a district capital there. The kind of severe political problems seen in Pakistan, which have included the rapid assassination of active political figures, can rarely occur without official corruption, and it is hard to imagine a more corrupting figure than a fugitive billionaire-investor drug dealer cult leader on a mission to overthrow civilization. The location of bin Laden’s fortified mansion makes it clear that he was working with factions within the Pakistani military.

The removal of bin Laden from Pakistan can only result in an instant reduction in corruption in that country. To avoid investigation, bin Laden’s collaborators in the military and administration will now be obliged to act as if they had no knowledge of the scheme to destabilize and overthrow their country, which will mean they can no longer meet to coordinate bombings, assassinations, drug running, and other criminal activities. Al-Qaeda will attempt to carry on in Pakistan, but like any criminal organization that faces a serious risk of arrest for the first time, it will find that it is far more limited in what it can do. In addition, many al-Qaeda members do not agree with bin Laden’s vision of destroying civilization, so al-Qaeda will either shrink or be further weakened by internal dissension.