Why Pakistanis are not unconditionally enthusiastic about the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Also in Slate, William Saletan wants to know more about what happened in Abbottabad, Daniel Byman analyzes the future of Al-Qaida, Anne Applebaum applauds America's use of human intelligence over expensive technologies, and John Dickerson notes the silence from those who criticized Obama's military tactics. And don't miss Christopher Hitchens' article on Bin Laden's legacy, or Dave Weigel's coverage on the scene outside the White House. For the most up-to-date-coverage, visit The Slatest. Slate's complete coverage on the Osama Bin Laden assassination is rounded up here.
In one meeting with businessmen at the Islamabad chamber of commerce, the chamber's president argued that if the United States wants to help Pakistan, it should leave. Another businessman argued that the United States needs to build a power plant in Pakistan as a symbol of friendship. Yet another urged the United States to let Pakistan construct the controversial oil pipeline to Iran and erect a giant American flag there as a symbol of American magnanimity—as if that would somehow fix America's image in Pakistan. None of them seemed conscious of the contradictions.
The overall impression was one of deep indecision. Pakistanis want help from the United States, but not if it has strings attached. They're grateful for foreign aid, but they also resent the dependence it creates. "Our [American] friends, while we thank them for helping us, should strongly encourage us to help ourselves," says Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, president of the Pakistani Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, a pro-democracy organization based in Islamabad.
Given the complex history, the United States can't expect unadulterated outpouring of gratitude for anything. Not even for killing Osama.
Video: Hillary Clinton comments on the death of Osama Bin Laden
Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.
Photograph of Osama Bin Laden's hide-out by Aaamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images.