Bin Laden is dead but our depressed life is still around

The much trumpeted death of Osama Bin Laden brings many questions to the fore: where is the body? How come he got buried in the sea? Was he a seaman or a pirate? What is burying people in the sea in accordance with Islamic rituals? Who killed him? Americans or Pakistanis? Did he die in the firefight or was he captured and riddled with bullets making a presentable photo of his corpse impossible? And so and on. The jubilation of Americans in New York and Washington DC could also be understood within the confines of revenge and closure or nationalism of the kind Bin Laden would have understood. However, the fact remains that at the end of the day the vast political hype to benefit Barack Obama can hardly cover the reality of a president who has failed to live up to his words and a continuing condition of terror, war and devastation in many parts of the world. Bin Laden is dead but Bin Ladenism continues with a vengeance.

Osama Bin Laden was first and foremost an American baby, nurtured by the CIA against what Washington called the Evil Empire. The snake eventually turned against its charmer much as the American pampered (anti Iran) Sadam Hussein became the enemy of the superpower. Pakistani intelligence worked with Osama and other fundamentalists to spread radicalism far and wide and not only to harass the Soviets—after all the Talibans are the creation of Pakistani intelligence and if Bin Laden lived in clandestinity so near Islamabad it is sure it was done with the connivance of high level Pakistani officials. Of course these are details that do not interest much the ordinary Joe and Jane in America who function under the assumption that there is a clash of civilization and that brown and black persons and/or Moslems are jealous of America and want to destroy it. If Hizbollah is the party of God Jean d’ Arc was a “ fou de dieu” and there are many American Christian fundamentalists out there in fanatic cuckoo land burning the Quran and insulting other religions and beliefs. The fire burns in almost all houses. But we all know we live in a confused and troubled world where justice and fairness and balance are not to be found that easily. Bin laden is the one that got away, the failed experiment, “our own monster” as the Americans should have said. American ties to Saudi Arabia (Wahabism) and Pakistan (fundamentalism of the Madrasa type) and the urge to be the victor of the cold war gave birth to Osama and all the other anti Soviet mujahedeen praised by Washington but who later rose against America itself. No one is really jealous of America and there is no clash of civilizations as such—in this case just American spawned vermin trying to attack their womb.

The victims of Al Qaeda are understandably happy to hear their enemy is dead but it is clear that real closure does not really come from crude vendetta. The execution of Bin Laden (Obama’s order was “kill him!”) does not also say much about someone who had received the Noble Peace Prize. Obama disappoints big time and the death of Osama is not going to salvage him. The sad part of this entire charade is that whether Bin Laden dies or not the Al Qaeda curse is upon us all. From the Maghreb to Yemen and beyond autonomous Al Qaeda groups have flourished with their own leaders and strategies. The death of Bin Laden will only strengthen their resolve and fanatic determination. The Taliban are alive, well and raising hell. Obama is now forced to face the question of whether America will withdraw from Afghanistan or not? If so much hype is made on the mere fact of the death of Bin Laden (historic, great turning point, the end of Al Qaeda, etc) the next logical strip would be to ask America to withdraw from Afghanistan. Forget Mollah Omar and the Taliban, the devil is dead. Alas, life is complicated. The death of Bin Laden is not the end of Al Qaeda. The problem or danger is still out there, the hydra has many heads. This is why misplaced euphoria is a mistake not to mention that gloating over the death of one person is copying Bin Laden himself and reveling in death in a medieval way. If Obama had ordered the killing and not the capture and trial of Bin Laden the burden is heavy on him and giving him the thumb down will be in order.

Bin Laden’s tactic was to kill innocent civilians under the assumption so long as America bombs innocent people their innocent people have to suffer the consequences. It is not a rationale that can easily be dismissed if one is the victim of the constant outrage and trampling of human rights by arrogant Western powers. Africans subjected to watch America, Britian and France sustain tyrants and then find the opportunity to invade and cause havoc upon our heads are not very sympathetic to an America playing the “I am the victim” tune. Few people said bravo to Al Qaeda for killing all those people in the Twin Towers or killing innocent Africans in Kenya and Tanzania but then again if truth be told few people sympathized with America’s so called war on terror, its intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hypocrisy of it all was plain to see and one had to be a True Believer American to swallow the propaganda hook, line and sinker. Those who kill are not always punished. America and the west shelter many assassins and murderers. The list is long. Baby Doc Duvalier of Haiti and many African tyrants call France home. Many Red Terror criminal from Ethiopia live safely in the USA and it was Washington that organized the exile of butcher Mengistu Haile Mariam to Harare (where he still lives). Just a few examples. Osama killed 3000 in New York while Mengistu killed more than 250,000 in Ethiopia but of course all lives and souls do not weigh the same in Washington’s scale.

For those who had to suffer from Osama Bin Laden’s criminal action proper closure should have come through due process of law and not following Bin Laden in his path of murder and revenge. Moreover, it is proper to point out amidst the euphoria and crude boasting (“an American bullet killed Bin Laden”!) that the demise of Bin Laden may augur worse than was before. The man sought the martyr’s death and he has achieved it. Throwing him into the sea so as to deny him and his followers a shrine is nonsense too as he is now engraved in the hearts of his followers more than ever before. Most people do want to see their enemy dead—this is base and primary feeling. History does teach, however, that death of one man will not be the end of evil. The source of the evil must be sought and America, as it celebrates the death of Bin Laden, should very well look into itself and examine if, surprise surprise, its policies are not one of the mothers of the hatred that send people to such drastic measures and choices.