Exit Strategies

In Over our Head in the Great Game


Greg Cochran called me Sunday night, and while we were saluting our brave commandos' success at wreaking vengeance on the man who killed 3,000 Americans a decade ago, we got to wondering about the place that President Obama had mentioned as bin Laden's home: Abbottabad.

I don't like unpleasant surprises, so I try to maintain a skeptical attitude. Yet, even I was shocked to learn where Osama bin Laden had been hiding: in a sizable compound constructed in 2005, right down the road from ... the Pakistan Military Academy.

(The bin Laden estate is "B" on the above Google Maps satellite photo, while the front gate of the West Point of Pakistan is "A".)

In other words, while hundreds of American soldiers have died searching for bin Laden in the mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, our purported ally Pakistan was actually hosting him in comfort at the heart of their national security apparatus.

And they were collecting billions from the American taxpayer to help track down bin Laden for us!

I'm horrified.

The behavior of the most powerful elements within Pakistan's government is more cynical, mercenary, and shameless than even I had imagined. I had assumed that Pakistan wasn't trying terribly hard to catch bin Laden and that even some within the state might be on his side. But this looks far worse. This isn't like when Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003 in his spider hole. Osama was living large in the heart of Pakistan's security elite.

The Pakistani ruling class didn't even try to make it look like they couldn't find bin Laden.

As I may have mentioned over the years, I have had doubts about Washington's strategy of Invade the World / Invite the World. Yet this news surprised even me over how badly we had been played for suckers by the locals. We Americans are too naïve to play the Great Game. We are in over our heads.


As I pointed out in VDARE.com in 2008, the idea that Obama had been born in Kenya was always the most implausible of a host of unlikely theories circulating about the Hawaiian-born politician.... I noted:

"It's especially unlikely that [Obama Sr.] would have taken his heavily pregnant bride on such a grueling trip to Kenya. ... See, back in Kenya, he already had a wife-Keiza, and two kids, Roy and Auma. His bigamous marriage to Obama's mother was a criminal act in Hawaii. Fortunately, for Barack Sr., the state of Hawaii didn't know about his other wife."

Since President Obama had the birth certificate all along, he could have published it whenever it would most deflate his opponents, such as right before the November 2012 election. It's easy to imagine an extremely deft politician like FDR keeping the long form certificate in his desk drawer, occasionally sliding it open to chuckle over the pie-in-the-face he was baking for his rivals.

Yet just a few days after celebrity landlord Donald Trump started complaining about it, Obama caved in. That seemed very strange at the time. I chalked it up to Obama finally running into somebody who was an even better media self-promoter. But I didn't feel terribly satisfied that I understood what was going on.

But, now, it seems plausible that Obama did it to boost his credibility before the bin Laden attack—especially if it had already been decided to arouse Muslim suspicions by dumping the body at sea.