No apology for violating Pakistan air space: White House
The United States "makes no apologies" for making unilateral military strikes against al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, the White House confirmed late Tuesday.
"We make no apologies about that," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when asked that US should not have gone unilaterally inside Pakistan to get Bin Laden.
"He was enemy number one for this country and killed many many innocent civilians. And no apologies," Carney said.
On Monday, Pakistan termed the US commando operation in Abbottabad that killed Bin Laden an "unauthorised, unilateral action" without its knowledge.
The White House said America has never been at war with Islam. "This has never been a war against Islam. President (George W) Bush said that; President (Barack) Obama has said that. Osama Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims, as well as people of other faiths," Carney noted.
"It has been our cooperation with Muslims in Pakistan and other countries, as well as Muslim Americans, which has helped in our overall effort to fight al-Qaeda and protect Americans, to protect this country," he said, adding that taking action against Bin Laden does not mean that one shouldn't be entirely respectful of Islam, which the US is.
"It doesn't change the fact, the President's very strongly held conviction and expressed conviction, that this has never been about Islam, because, in fact, Osama Bin Laden was a mass murderer who killed many Muslims," he said.
Carney said Bin Laden was a relic of the past, in many ways.
"The kind of yearning for individual freedoms that we've seen... protest on the streets of the Arab world in these past few months represent a movement that is in the polar opposite direction that Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda wanted to take the Arab world," he said.
"I think that that's an important point to make and to observe because he's in many ways, the symbol of everything that those folks who have been demonstrating on the ground for their voices, for their rights, for their individual aspirations, he's a representation of everything they don't want," he said.