Monday, 2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden is dead!

Omar bin Laden will probably not be too distressed at the news that his father, Osama bin Laden is dead. On all accounts he was not keen on his oppressive, authoritarian father. He was destined to be his father's successor but left home in 2001 just before the World Trade Center came down.

Osama was famous for bringing those buildings down and has been top of the US "WANTED" list since then. Bin Laden was killed by a drone. Another claim to historical fame methinks. Unmanned remote warfare! I wonder if he is still alive in cyberspace? Reminds me of the lyrics from Amused to Death "We play the game, With the bravery of being out of range. We zap and maim, With the bravery of being out of range."

He was apparently killed in a mansion just outside of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, but he was apparently quite ill anyway. More mystery! Osama was born 10 March 1957 in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia and was the son of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family. He went on to create the military Islamic organisation Al-Qaeda in 1988 and said that the United States would bankrupt themselves with wars in the Middle East. It is just possible that he will turn out to be right. Ironically it was the CIA who funded the building of his training camps and military bases in Afghanistan when they were comrades in arms against the Russians.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait back in 1990 Osama asked the Saudi Royal family to let him get Sadam out of Kuwait and not to let the Americans into these holy lands. But the Saudis invited the US instead and apparently Osama never forgave them. Osama died some time before 1 May 2011 aged 54 years old. A man who achieved an immense amount in his short life. Some bad and some good. The good, I suspect, was his perception of the fundamental immorality of the Western world and it's financial system which was destined to fail. With this perception he has woken up perhaps millions of people to a less naive perception of the West. The bad, I suspect, is the damage and death that he caused.

In Obama's speech announcing the death of Osama he emphasised (understandably) the World Trade Center tragedy. But I don't agree with the simplistic good and evil analysis of the affair. It seems fair to me that the US should be out to get Osama but I don't believe the US are somehow the goodies and Osama simply the baddy. It was the Americans who built his military capacity when they wanted to defeat the Russians. They double crossed him and have used Al-Qaeda as an excuse to carry out some horrible and unacceptable behaviour ever since. The way I see it is that all these "leaders" are hardly better than each other. The Americans love the Saudis and the Saudis loved Osama. Osama wanted to bring down the dictatorships across the Middle East which were propped up by the US. History is evolving fast but it was neither Osama who brought the dictators down nor did the US manage to keep them in power against the greater spirit of humanity and the common people's inherent desire for freedom. In the battle of good against evil I would seriously caution against thinking that the US have done a good thing by killing Osama bin Laden. They have rather continued the war and the propaganda.

Anyway - That is one small chapter in world history over. Osama bin Laden is dead! I'm looking forward to the next chapter. I'm sure it will be at least as intriguing.

1 comment:

  1. I await the response of 'Call Me Al' Quaida with some trepidation...still...he did deserve to be buried at sea....all those bloody sharks deserve him!