Videotape offers proof of bin Laden's guilt
The evidence could not have been more damning. There was Osama bin Laden himself on camera admitting everything, leaving nothing out, bragging about it, celebrating it and showing absolutely no remorse whatsoever.
Need we more evidence that this man was responsible for Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon? We do not, but if it is available it will surely be used in whatever court or military tribunal this man ends up in, if he lives that is.
So the evidence, to anyone who is half-open to the truth, is absolutely clear.
What, though, is the significance of this videotape plucked a private residence in Jalalabad? After all, the military campaign in Afghanistan went forward without this kind of explosive evidence. Bin Laden already had a $25 million on his head. So this really changes nothing.
The significance, however, is that the video should wash away any doubt he was responsible and silence the critics who say we are going after the wrong man, in the wrong place. But more importantly the videotape should provide some insight into how some of our close friends and not so close friends in the Muslim world will react.
We speak here of Saudi Arabia. Here is a nation that has a very close relationship with the United States because of its vast oil reserves and is considered one of the most moderate in the region. Yet it is also a nation that is ruled by a royal family, tolerates no political opposition and routinely steps on individual freedoms. It also has its own den of fanatics who support the likes of bin Laden, himself a Saudi.
So the rulers in Saudi Arabia find themselves walking a tightrope between keeping its customers in the West happy and pacifying its own militants who present a danger to their rule. The result is that all sorts of terrorists are rooted in Saudi Arabia.
So far the Saudis have been slow to cooperate with the United States in the investigation surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks. Now the pressure to act will be great indeed. Bin Laden said himself in the videotape that a number of his top supporters were in Saudi Arabia.
Now the question is, will the Saudis act or will they continue to pander to terrorist elements.
It will be interesting to see how other nations in the region react as well.
Nearly all the nations of the Muslim world, to one degree or another, strangle freedom while many of them (Egypt is another standout) deal gingerly with their own radicals.
It's time that all nations of the world, and most especially those in the Muslim World, declare an all out war on Osama bin Laden. Anything less than that is simply unacceptable.
The Anniston Star, Dec. 14