Ever heard of the story where Akbar asks Birbal to find the biggest fools in his kingdom? Birbal walks around looking for fools and is rewarded with a candidate on that very night. The night air is cool and the full moon is shining down benignly on the Earth below. A tranquil night, interrupted by the restless presence of one man. This man is looking agitated and is frantically searching for something in the clearing in the moonlight. Birbal asks him what he is searching for, to which the poor man wrings his hands in despair and tells him he has lost an expensive ring. Birbal asks him, “Did you lose it here?”
“No”, says the man, looking positively teary faced now, “I lost it there under the trees, but it is brighter here. So, I am looking for it here…”
I know that is one man, but is seems to me that entire regiments of armies are guilty of the same thing several centuries later.
“Which is the best hiding place in Afghanistan?”
“The deep caves in the mountainous regions..”
“Good! Don’t spare a single cave.” says the commander and the commandos comply for a full decade. The sheep, and wildlife are tired of having commandos peeping into their humble abode every night, but the poor animals have no choice. This is for a global war on terrorism – so if you think having a soldier peeping into the snow leopard’s cave at night, so be it, they tell themselves and mumble themselves back to sleep.
The best hiding places may be in the mountains, but was Osama in the mountains? No…he was watching the manhunt for him with considerable interest for a while from his mansion in a different country housed in the Army Cantonment area, and then he himself lost interest in the search for him. How long can you watch bumbling children play hide-n-seek in the wrong location?