[International Herald Tribune, France]



Der Tagesspiegel, Germany

Bin Laden Photo Issue Proves Obama's Moral Superiority Over Bush


"Obama has set out to distinguish himself from his predecessor, not only by his actions, but by his morality. With his decision not to put bin Laden's head on a pike and carry it through the media landscape, he has done just that."


By Juliane Schäuble


Translated By Stephanie Martin


May 5, 2011


Germany - Der Tagesspiegel - Original Article (German)

An old and somewhat haggard looking man identified as Osama bin Laden watches himself on television, from a screen grab on a video tape found in his Pakistan hide out. It was one a a series of videos released by the Pentagon, part of a trove of data found in the raid to kill or capture him.

AL-JAZEERA VIDEO NEWS: The U.S. releases videos found in Osama bin Laden's mansion in Pakistan, May 7, 00:15:12RealVideo

With or without a photo, conspiracy theories are circulating, which is why Obama’s decision not to release pictures of a dead Osama bin Laden is the right thing to do.


People have become accustomed to seeing brutal, blood-soaked images. The threshold for showing dead bodies, seriously injured and even maimed people on television, the Internet and in newspapers, is steadily dropping. In the Internet age, nothing is secret, maximum transparency being the currency of the modern world. And even if we don't desire it, transparency will eventually come to be. Resistance is futile.


But that doesn't liberate responsible parties from an obligation to pose the question of whether or what should be published in each new case, as much for esthetic as for ethical reasons.   



Barack Obama did just that. And one must assume that he didn't take lightly the decision on whether a photo of an Osama bin Laden, killed with two shots to the head, would serve as proof of the end of terrorist number one.


A picture is worth a thousand words. The Bible tells us that people must see in order to believe. But unlike in centuries past, displaying a defeated opponent no longer receives applause. Such displays are repulsive to us, just like George W. Bush’s rumored order to his CIA chief, “Capture bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back in a box on dry ice ...”


Obama has set out to distinguish himself from his predecessor, not only by his actions, but by his morality. With his decision not to put bin Laden's head on a pike and carry it through the media landscape, he has done just that. For there’s a difference between the images of a killed “most wanted” eventually filtering through to the public and when a hunter triumphantly shows off a trophy. Most likely, Obama recalled the intense criticism directed at Donald Rumsfeld when the former defense secretary, in order to eliminate any remaining doubts about their deaths, released images of the dead sons of Saddam Hussein.


On Wednesday evening, news agencies disseminated images of the others killed in the 40-minute commando raid. While most newspapers have refrained from publishing them, they are now freely available on the Internet to anyone. They are repulsive, frightening images taken at close proximity, of individuals who were supposedly shot by a member of the Pakistani security forces an hour after the commando action.


One of the casualties at Osama bin Laden'e Pakistan hideout,

reportedly killed by Pakistan security forces after the U.S.

Navy SEALs departed with bin Laden's corpse.

[Click Here to See Photo Gallery]


Are they authentic? Possibly. But one can’t be sure. The time has long since passed when photos were considered irrefutable proof. Any child can create a photo montage. Conspiracy theories will circulate with or without a photo. That’s why demanding that the U.S. president provide a photo as ultimate proof of the al-Qaeda leader’s death is pointless. Not even bin Laden’s followers - those vowing to avenge him, question his death. Why then, do we need a final image?


The images of men lying in pools of blood now circulating on the Web - to the extent that they're authentic - show the brutal nature of events in the Pakistani town of Abbotabad. But that was never really in doubt.


The Nation, Pakistan: Afghan Official Asserts: 'Osama Blew Himself Up'

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Finally, It's Beginning of the End for al-Qaeda
Al-Seyassah, Kuwait: Osama Now Being Licked by the 'Hottest Flames in Hell'
Les Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, France: Osama's Photo: 'The Impossible Truth'
Der Spiegel, Germany: Donald Trump and the 2012 'Campaign of Lunacy'
Excelsior, Mexico: Obama Quiets 'Right-Wing Witch Hunters' ... for Now
Izvestia, Russia: Osama bin Laden: From Abbottabad to Hollywood
Frontier Post, Pakistan: U.S. Raid Exposes Pakistan's 'Unnerving Vulnerability'
Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia: Osama Died, But those Who Gain from Terror War Live
Dar al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia: Osama and His Whole Way of Thinking - are Dead
Daily Jang, Pakistan: Operation Against Osama Spells Trouble for Pakistan
Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran: Obama Seeks to 'Vindicate Bush'
Outlook Afghanistan: U.S. Must Pursue Mullah Omar as it did bin Laden
Pak Tribune, Pakistan: Senators Call U.S. Operation a Breach of Sovereignty
Frontier Post, Pakistan: Osama Episode Puts Safety of Nuke Assets in Peril
El Pais, Spain: Obama 'Decapitates' the al-Qaeda Hydra
Folha, Brazil: Bin Laden's 'Second Death'
Folha, Brazil: Death Won't Kill Osama's Violent Ways or Speech
Dawn, Pakistan: The Urgent Importance of Showing 'Mutual Respect'
The Independent, U.K.: Killing of bin Laden 'Huge Blow' to Islamist Terror
The Telegraph, U.K.: OBITUARY: Osama bin Laden
Telegraph, U.K.: Taliban Commander Vows to Avenge bin Laden's Death
Guardian, U.K.: Hamas Praises bin Laden as Holy Warrior
Telegraph, U.K.: Death of bin Laden is Rough Justice, Wild West-Style
Dawn, Pakistan:
Pakistanis Hold Rally in Honor of bin Laden
Dawn, Pakistan: Pakistan Asks U.S. Envoy to Avoid bin Laden 'Spin'

Xinhua. China: Six Children and Two Wives of bin Laden Arrested By Pakistan
Daily Star, Lebanon: Prime Minister Hariri: 'Bin Laden Got What He Deserved'

Daily Star, Lebanon: Lebanese Muslim Preachers Hail Osama for U.S. Attack


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US May 9, 12:39am]


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