One of the concerns raised after the successful raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was whether the attack — objectively a violation of Pakistani sovereignty — would stir anti-American sentiment among the people. If the epicenter of the attack gives any indication, CNN’s Nic Robertson told Eliot Spitzer yesterday, those worries have been overblown. Even in the immediate wake of the Navy SEAL operation that killed bin Laden, the pro-Islamist political party could only muster a weak 600 or so people to protest OBL’s achievement of room temperature and a record one-way deep-sea dive. That’s not terribly impressive for a city that approaches a million residents.
Instead, Robertson says, most people feel pretty good about seeing bin Laden meet justice, although they’re not terribly happy to see that their military can’t detect an American incursion to a point within walking distance of their leading military academy, and that their intelligence service was either unable or unwilling to find the world’s most wanted terrorist within a two-hour drive of the capital of their country. A rise in anti-American sentiment doesn’t appear to be an issue, but the Pakistani government and military will not get off so easily: