As reported in The Nation on May 16, Chairman US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry has said that the extreme secrecy surrounding every aspect of the US raid in Abbottabad was essential to protect the lives of the professionals who were involved and ensure that they succeed in capturing Osama bin Laden. Now, so far as the security of the professional (assassins) is concerned, they would have been quite safe, had they stayed back home. As for the other excuse for secrecy, ensuring capture of Osama bin Laden, it is not good enough a reason to just barge into any country, in violation of international laws and sovereignty of the country concerned. Needless to say, such adventures cannot be accepted by any country, for any reason because the US does not own the whole world and the writ of the President of the United States is restricted to his country. However, the leader of a country that was created by systematically hunting down to near extinction the original inhabitants of the territory, Red Indians, and which is so fond of attacking countries on fabricated charges, like Iraq, and feels compulsion of having a war or two in hand at all times, would not understand that. Pakistanis captured and handed over to the Americans many high-ranking Al-Qaeda leaders and they could have done the same with Osama. Anyway, Americans had him under surveillance for months and even acquired a house near his residence to keep a watchful eye on the compound, so there was absolutely no risk of him slipping away. That would have been a much simpler and cheaper option. Americans also had the opportunity of nabbing him years earlier when he was stuck in the Tora Bora mountains but they let him slip, perhaps intentionally, so that they could return to the region later on the pretext of catching him. That begs another question. If Osama was really that dangerous, why did they leave him loose for so long earlier, and even now? John Kerry did say specifically that his goal is not to apologize and we can understand that. Tendering an apology demands courage and decency which are not exactly the attributes of American leaders. Through unjust and brutal Iraq invasion, George Bush caused the death of nearly a million innocent Iraqis and he refuses to apologize for that. Kerry also said his goal is to talk how to manage the relationship and put it back on track. I hope our civilian and military leaders see Americans exactly for what they are and formulate their policies accordingly. They are here for sinister motives, and are definitely not our friends and this time round, they have the active support of nearly the whole Christian world plus Israelis and of course Indians whom they want to promote as leaders in our region to counter China. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, May 17.