News and events

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden is a good example of a moral issue that for me is more grey than black and white.

I would like to think that I would never wish anybody dead, nor be glad at hearing of someone’s demise.

But if ever I were to waver on that, it would be for someone who caused the deaths of thousands of people.

There are questions over the operation of course. At first they seemed to be claiming that he was armed, and used a woman as a human shield. Now they’re saying he was unarmed… but reaching for a gun?

The compound was described in some reports as a “mansion”. Gotta say it doesn’t look much like a mansion to me.

The future

I think we all know it doesn’t mean the end for al-Qaeda of course, nor for global terrorism.

But as some commentators have said, perhaps other events are overtaking them. Perhaps we can hope that the democracy movement and protests in Egypt and elsewhere will continue to spread, bringing change to the Middle East that makes extremists obsolete and/or marginalised, as most of them are in democracies around the world?


Have to pity MX. The biggest story of the week, and it was breaking just as they were going to press. Normally they have their stories written by midday, but this was emerging at about 12:30pm, and wasn’t confirmed until about an hour later.

Credit to them though; they managed to re-do their front page (though I saw some copies without the OBL story). However they obviously got the page done before the detail was confirmed, as it referred to bin Laden’s death being a week earlier, using a bomb, citing Fox News’s “multiple sources”.

MX: bin Laden dead

Whoops. I suppose in that situation you just have to do what you can.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

15 replies on “Osama bin Laden”

I wouldn’t count too much on countries like Egypt to lead the way.

I just read today that the Muslim Brotherhood are going to run for the presidency there.

Hello Taliban 2.0.

I’m glad I don’t rely on MX for news. Or entertainment. It’s perhaps handy for soaking up spilled coffee. I don’t know how News can operate 2 daily papers legitimately (let alone ethically, but I doubt they lose any sleep over ethics.)

I was confused about the (quoting today from Rudd) bipartisan support for the abolishment of the death penalty (for which Australia has campaigned in the UN), while Gillard “welcomes the death of Bin Laden”.

Seems to be a disconnect. If she welcomes the death without a trial, then she should welcome the death after a trial.

I got on the train in Sydney 6:10 PM Monday 2nd, got given Mx, no Osama. When getting off the train, noticed man next to me had left his on the seat, with Osama’s photo. I got copies of both May 2 editions of Mx. Woohoo.

The new democratic movements in the Middle East shown great courage in their fights for freedom.
The Middle East will not know peace until the US can restrain Israel which persecutes the Palestinian people and enrages Arab opinion everywhere.
In Egypt the Moslem Brotherhood is a long established organisation,and has made rt clear that they support a pluralistic democracy and to compare them with the Taliban sho great ignorance of the situation.
To my knowledge they have NOT said that they will contest the Egyptian presidency,but only that will stand for the parliament..

Bush, Blair and Howard are responsible for the deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people. When is it their turn?

While the MX is interesting to read very many of the stories in it seem to be quoted almost word for word from the news on Bigpond. The stories are often the same ones in the “oddspot” section of th news.

@Jed, MX have a small number of journalists in each city, but most of the national/international reports come off AAP and other wire services, which is where Bigpond (and other web sites) get their material too.

@jon, I suppose you’ll be asking the same about Obama, right? After all, he ordered the hit on Bin Laden, has increased Predator drone attacks into Pakistan and Yemen, increased the number of troops into Afghanistan, launched a third war in Libya which has killed thousands, has kept Guantanamo Bay open despite promising on his second day in office (21/1/09) that he would close it a year later (21/1/10- it’s 12/5/11 today, oh well!), has introduced military tribunals as well! Basically, Obama has continued everything Bush did, plus added ANOTHER WAR! What, your standard doesn’t apply to him as well?

For the record, I was glad Bin Laden was croaked- even celebrated with a cigar too! It’s not so much celebrating his death as it is celebrating the completion of the mission and the pursuit of justice. I’m not a big capital punishment guy, but there are some people beyond salvation, and are better off to society dead! This guy and his minions hate us and our way of life- it doesn’t matter what we have done. The difference between him and us is that we mourn the deaths of innocents- he revelled in it! Furthermore, his jihad against us would never end with a peace treaty, only with him dead. Hope he’s burning in hell!


Yeah they might be roses and flowers now, but wait till the fundamentalists play their card.

The brotherhood aren’t directly running but the head guy is running as an independent.

Wont cry tears over OBL’s death – but I don’t think anyone’s death should be celebrated. Misery and hate shouldn’t be applauded, whether it comes from their side or ours. I only hope his death reduces the number of terrorist strikes and innocent suffering – but I’m not overly optimistic that this will be the case.

Whether you’re ecstatic, happy, or otherwise about OBL’s death, surely the “leaking” of incorrect information by those responsible supposedly on our side is a bit of a concern? I for one prefer to be able to trust my government and that of our allies, but we seem to be given so many reasons to not trust them. Why provide so much information to the media (eg. about whether OBL resisted, was armed, used a human shield) when it had not yet been confirmed? What’s wrong with a press release “OBL has been killed in his compound. Further details will be released when they can be confirmed”? Every example of lying or misrepresentation of the truth (or presentation of rumour as fact) by government and their PR people erodes the value we can place in their words and the trust we can have in them.

BTW. I’m non religious and against the death penalty – don’t see why sadistic murderers, etc should be put to a painless death rather than suffer in confinement for the rest of their natural lives. Executions in the field to protect others under threat, however, is a different story.

Before the righteous set up, I should append to that last sentence “…when other non-lethal options are not reasonably available”.

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