About two years ago I happened to have lunch with a former senior official in the American intelligence community. I asked him what we, in the media, don't know about the world. You don't know about the war against terror, he said. You don't know how successful we are at striking jihadi terror.
A few months ago I happened to meet a senior Washington diplomat. You've failed at everything, I told him. Wrong, he said, we're succeeding in Pakistan. Mankind is unaware of what could have happened in Pakistan and does not know how we prevented it. Our secret war there saved Pakistan from jihad and saved the West from the repercussions of Pakistan's falling into Islamic terror's hands.
The most important news of the past few years is the not-news about the concealed way in which the United States is keeping world peace.
Now we are beginning to know. The intelligence, helicopters, special units. It is impossible to overestimate the achievement's importance. After a decade of a persistent and Sisyphean hunt, the United States finally managed to put its hands on the ace of spades.
Nine and a half years after going up against America, the man behind the attack was killed. This has considerable pragmatic importance - the weak Al-Qaida will become weaker.
But mainly it has symbolic importance. In the isolated compound near Islamabad, the empire proved it is still an empire. America still has what it takes. Uncle Sam is not helpless.
The paradox is fascinating. Barack Obama is winning a war George W. Bush went out to fight. Obama's democratic America is winning thanks to the dirty war it is conducting in Pakistan, without the High Court of Justice and B'Tselem.
What is forbidden to Israel in the war against terror is permitted to the United States. That is how victory was achieved. That is how the twin towers' blood score was settled. That is how a liberal from Chicago has greatly improved his chances of winning a second term in the White House.
But despite his death, Osama bin Laden has not had the last word. His attack on Manhattan and the Pentagon on 9/11 led the United States into the entanglements in Afghanistan and Iraq. Within a year America is supposed to draw down from these battlefields.
Obama who killed Osama will neither hesitate nor wait. He will end both wars. But Afghanistan and Iraq are like the settlements - it was easy to start them but it will be very had to end them. The Taliban in Afghanistan and Shia in Iraq will avenge bin Laden for many years after his bones crumble on the ocean floor.
For the Americans, yesterday and today are days of celebration. Rightly so. They proved daring, resolve and operative ability. Islamabad is their Entebbe.
But the Americans must not be confused. The victory over bin Laden is the previous war's victory. The new war is on the future of the Arab world. In this war America, driven by destructive political correctness, is still making every possible mistake.
If the United States does not apply the same brutal sobriety it demonstrated in Pakistan to the Middle East, the American celebrations will not last long. The chaos that could break out between Kandahar and Marrakesh may cloud the victory over bin Laden under pillars of smoke.
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