Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Osama: An American-Made Monster

Amidst all the celebration over the alleged killing of Osama bin Laden, a brief moment of sober reflection is entirely in order. We should look back at the facts which brought this person to international notoriety and the greatest manhunt in human history.

The Bush and bin Laden families had close business ties over several decades. This glaring point is rarely mentioned in the media. Virtually every war, including the world wars, were struggles over the control of important natural resources, especially energy. US policy experts obsessed over contriving narratives to support our feigned interest in spreading democracy to oppressed nations. The actual facts in the historic record prove beyond question our political decisions were strongly motivated by imperialist adventurism. The Bushes and bin Ladens benefited greatly from coveting and acquiring other people's goods, services and, yes, resources.

George Santayana warned that: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." America has been strapped to an ugly merry-go-round on which we try to save nations by utterly destroying them. The list of our atrocities is almost endless. The cold war was never solely about competing ideologies of democracy and communism. The driving force of East/West animosities was the conflicts of interest regarding global resources. During our relentless carpet-bombing of the entire planet, people and personal property were of secondary importance, including our own.

No one is born a terrorist. Criminals are usually the product of difficult childhoods and/or traumatic events. Osama bin Laden was born into the lap of luxury. So, it wasn't poverty which led him astray. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, bin Laden funded and supplied the rebels. Then, he personally joined the fighting. He took an interest in their cause because the Afghans and Saudis are both Wahhabi Muslims. An understanding was reached between George H.W. Bush and bin Laden that the president would help him oust the Russians. Let's not forget Osama was an active CIA asset during this period. 

Supplies would be smuggled through CIA channels in the Pakistani ISI secret service. More important, Mr. Bush promised to help with Afghan reconstruction after the mission's success. What most people don't know is Poppy Bush reneged on his promise. Along with our unilateral support of Israel; occupation of Saudi Arabia and endless wars against sovereign Arab countries, this betrayal turned bin Laden against us. Osama listed his reasons for declaring jihad against America, Great Britain and any other nations opposing what he considered to be the best interests of the Muslim world in his "Letter To America"
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver/). When you disregard his religiously-oriented diatribes, bin Laden's complaints are hard to disagree with.

His issue with the West was always our stark hypocrisy. American actions rarely reflected democratic principles. In fact, there was hardly a savage dictator we didn't support. As our stranglehold on the global economy and political alignment started to falter, each of these cruel despots fell. The survivors of these regimes have long memories. They remember our close links with tyranny and torture, despite our happy talk about democracy and justice.

There were conflicting reports that bin Laden was killed at Tora Bora or died shortly thereafter of kidney failure in 2002/3. Since then, all messages from him have been on audiotape. We have no idea when these tapes were recorded or whether the voice on them is really bin Laden's. There's no evidence Osama survived until his ignominious end on May 1, 2011 -- except for what we've been told. Is it merely a coincidence his death was blared on May Day, which is a global labor holiday? How do we know it was bin Laden's body which was tossed overboard to the sharks?

The case of the 9/11 attacks and Osama bin Laden is a docket full of holes, half-truths and lies. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of important, unanswered questions about the events and who was responsible for them. If any one of the Bush facts is untrue, then the whole story is one Big Lie. That jumbo jet didn't make that small hole in the Pentagon. If Osama bin Laden died eight years ago, then who did the Navy Seals kill in that Pakistani compound? The secrecy surrounding Osama's life and death only leads to more insecurity and speculation. Further, someone has to explain why our government was so quick to release this information when they had a roomful of al-Qaeda files to sift through which could've led to the arrest of a great number of Osama's associates. This disclosure instantly invalidated any solid leads. The very fact our leaders continue to insist torture helped to uncover Osama's hideout makes no sense because the terrorists would've closed up shop and moved to another location once they discovered a key member was captured. Terrorists may not be Rhodes scholars, but they're not stupid, either.

The Obama administration has vowed to clean up our failed and flawed approach to the rest of humanity. The president has made it clear he wants to deal with world leaders in an open and responsible fashion. Osama bin Laden was the blowback the CIA warned us about. As children, we were told you can't do evil and get away with it. America has been running on empty rhetoric for decades -- engaging in monstrous acts and expecting good results. It's about time we started practicing what we preach.

Franklin L. Johnson