Your usual must read from Mark Steyn in the OC Register - this time, taking a look at why the Pakistanis felt they could hide Osama with impunity.
Steyn relates the story of the British revenge for the massacre at Khartoum (great Chuck Heston movie that I highly recommend) as they did a little of their own massacring at the Battle of Omdurman in 1897. General Kitchener (later Lord Kitchener who whipped the Hun and Turks in the Middle East during World War I) proceeded to set an example by cutting off the head of the leader of the revolt - the Mahdi (yes, that one).
Not a lot of that today. It's hard to imagine Osama's noggin as an attractive centerpiece at next year's White House Community Organizer of the Year banquet, and entirely impossible to imagine America's "educators" teaching the tale approvingly. So instead, even as we explain that our difficulties with this bin Laden fellow are nothing to do with Islam, no sir, perish the thought, we simultaneously rush to assure the Muslim world that, not to worry, we accorded him a 45-minute Islamic funeral as befits an observant Muslim.
That's why Pakistani big shots harbored America's mortal enemy and knew they could do so with impunity. Bin Laden was a Saudi with money, and there are a lot of those about funding this and that from South Asia to the Balkans to Dearborn, Mich. They've walked their petrodollars round the Western world buying up everything they need to, from minor mosques to major university "Middle Eastern Studies" departments. By comparison with his compatriots, Osama squandered his dough. In that long-ago Spectator piece, I wrote, "Junior's just a peculiarly advanced model of the useless idiot son - a criticism routinely made of Bush but actually far more applicable to Osama, who took his dad's fortune and literally threw it down a hole in the ground."
A lot of American policy followed it. A decade on, our troops are running around Afghanistan "winning hearts and minds" and getting gunned down by the very policemen and soldiers they've spent years training. Back on the home front, every small-town airport has at least a dozen crack TSA operatives sniffing round the panties of grade-schoolers. Meanwhile, at the UN, the EU, at the Organization of the Islamic Conference, in the "Facebook revolutions" of "the Arab spring," the Islamization of the world proceeds: Millions of Muslims support bin Laden's goal - the submission of the Western world to Islam - but, unlike him, understand that flying planes into buildings is entirely unnecessary to achieving it. Will being high-flying Jetsons with state-of-the-art gizmos prove sufficient in a Flintstonizing world? The Pakistanis are pretty sure they know the answer to that.
Yes, but holding up Osama as a "trophy" - even just his head - is "not what America is all about."
Read the whole marvelous thing.