Osama Bin Laden has displayed the ability to elude the intelligence organizations of a variety of first world nations. Americans, who believe Osama Bin Laden to be the mastermind of the tragic events of 9/11 have sought the terrorist leader with ever increasing fervor, but still with nothing to show for their efforts. The ever increasing amount of men, time and energy they expend on the effort seems to count for very little. Perhaps it is time for Americans to really think seriously about what they hope to gain from this concentrated and seemingly endless effort to catch Osama Bin Laden. Of course finding Osama Bin Laden would mean bringing a terrorist to justice and for this we would all be grateful. But while we wait for that glorious day, we can take a few moments to also consider the fringe benefits of finding Osama Bin Laden.
1.Thank Heaven It’s Over. Perhaps one thing we would notice right away is that if we found Osama Bin Laden we could all enjoy never having to see or hear of the search for Osama Bin Laden again on television, radio, on line or in newspapers. Nor would we have to be periodically annoyed by Osama’s latest taped address to America. Once Bin Lade is safely in U. S. custody in an American facility, we might have to see Bin Laden footage as he enters prison or a military tribunal but we would after all be saved from the parade of endless file footage of the bleak “badlands” of Pakistan or Afghanistan. That certainly would be a fringe benefit almost as welcomed as not having to watch O. J.’s white SUV on television anymore.
2.How Smart We Are. Once we find Obama we automatically receive the fringe benefit of bragging rights among international intelligence agencies. Our own national intelligence agencies can come out of hiding and stand redeemed. So it took 4,5, 6 , 10 years to find him, once we find him, we can all relax and blithely claim once again that we have the best intelligence system in the world, can’t we?
3.A Political Benefit. Some Americans will find that a great fringe benefit of finding Osama Bin Laden will mean that they no longer will have to listen as closely to news reports. It hasn’t been easy these last few years for the American voter. He or she hears a report but isn’t sure if it was about Osama or Obama. Removing the Osama Bin Laden story from the news by finding him will definitely reduce that kind of politically damaging confusion for Americans and for Osama or Obama.
4.International Benefit. Here’s another fringe benefit of finding Osama Bin Laden that you might not have considered. A look at the international news will validate the fact that Pakistan really has other things it needs to deal with besides harboring Osama Bin Laden . Having a major terrorist figure allegedly hiding out in your country is a bad thing for a whole bunch of reasons. Pakistan has been walking a tight rope fearful of disappointing its sometimes friend the U. S. but also afraid of disappointing its other time friends, everyone in the Muslim nationalist movement. With Bin Laden safely incarcerated, Pakistani leaders will be able to get back to the real job of deciding who is going to rule their nation after all.
5. For Republicans Only. After many months of looking with as little success as those who are currently seeking Bin Laden, Republican staffers assigned to finding President Bush’s legacy could take a vacation. More exciting than the saga of ” The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” would be “the President Who Found Osama Bin Laden”. What a relief it would be for our president to finally know how it is that he will be remembered throughout history.
6. A Gift for Hollywood. As happy as Mr. Bush might be to find his legacy, the Hollywood community would be nearly as pleased to learn that it could at last release the story it has half in the can already. Perhaps something along the lines of “Bourne Meets Bin Laden”. As long as the real terrorist is still out wandering the catacombs of the Middle East, Hollywood, always a stickler for propriety, would find it just a little too tacky make a picture with his name in the title. But once Bin Laden has been taken into custody, Hollywood will enjoy the fringe benefit of being able to cash in on what should be a blockbuster release.
7. Al Qaeda elections. No one can argue that one of the goals the American government has proclaimed during its involvement in Iraq is the establishment of democracy. What a wonderful fringe benefit of finding Osama Bin Laden it would be if as a result his terrorist organization had to chose a new leader. Think of the possibilities: a free and open election for Al Qeada leadership with an international election inspection crew. Okay, now maybe that goes too far.
8. Last but Best. We all know that when our intelligence forces capture Osama Bin Laden he immediately comes off our international most wanted list. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the most important fringe benefit of finding Osama Bin Laden will undoubtedly be that the full brain power of our hide and seek teams can now be turned lose on other important affairs of state like say – finding Whitey Bulger.