We can understand the necessity of the American propaganda machine to convey the death of Bin Laden the way it did, if we understand the lack of significance of Islamic fundamentalism in the recent movements in the Middle East, which is the basic idea through which American Imperialism has conducted its policy in the region.
On 1st May Barak Obama announced the assassination of Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, by Navy seals and the U.S. government released some short videos, claiming that they were confiscated at Bin Laden’s compound. Since then, there has not been a day that the U.S. propaganda machinery not made a new sensational claims regarding this “most important achievement” in fighting terrorism and the Al Qaeda terrorist group.
Claims made by the U.S. government since this incident have been so contradictory and at times so untrue and unfounded that U.S. officials have been forced to retract them. John Brennan, the Chief Counter-Terrorism Advisor to Obama, claims that Bin Laden used his wife “as a shield”, and the following day it is rejected by the White House. In one instance, while it was officially announced that Bin Laden’s body was identified by his daughter and yet again it is later refuted. In another instance, it was declared that Bin Laden put up a fight against the assailant U.S. forces and later it was announced that he was not armed and that he was captured alive and later was killed. So, what does Such contradictions regarding the killing of the U.S. government’s “enemy number one” and “the most wanted man in the world” indeed demonstrates but a clear attempt to hide the truth?
The contradictory stories regarding the killing of Bin Laden are not just one or two. For example, while the U.S. Officials announce that “the information about this operation has not been disclosed to any other country, including Pakistan”, On Monday, the day after the operation, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, thanked Pakistan for assisting the U.S. forces and told the Associated Press that: “the cooperation of Pakistan with American forces led to identifying the compound in which Osama Bin Laden was assassinated.” The last masterpiece, in the series of lies and contradictory stories, was when a video was released and displayed that Bin Laden was busy watching himself on the television and practicing how to address the people of the world. Again, this story was also exposed by the world media to be a fabrication which caused further embarrassment for the Obama’s propaganda machinery.
The revelation of such blatant contradictions about the killing of someone who has had undeniable and close ties with the CIA and the past repeated claims of his death – by others as well as American officials – demonstrates how people realising the true nature of imperialism, do not trust the stories and take the news with a pinch of salt. For this same reason, it is pertinent that all such claims be examined carefully. This is the subject scrutinised in this writing.
The first point is how the U.S. government refrains from publishing a photo of Bin Laden’s body. It is interesting to note that the same people who celebrated Bin Laden’s death as “the most important victory in a decade for the national security”, refused to publish a photograph to confirm that victory. It was claimed that the reason these photographs are not published is because they are “violent, bloody, and gory”. And therefore, “President has decided not to publish the photos of a dead Osama.” This is claimed by the same people whose violent picture of torture of numerous victims in the recent years in Iraq has been published widely. It is claimed by the same people who use the identification of Bin Laden’s compound, in the city of Abbottabad, as a justification for torture, especially “waterboarding.” Therefore, the refusal of publishing Bin Laden’s photos and the quick release of his body into the sea should not be mistaken for consideration of people’s emotional side and the Administration’s devotion to religious rituals; it should be looked upon as misconstrued stories in order to hide certain facts and truths from the public. It is interesting that the same people who would not publish the photos of the person “at the top of their wanted list” due to their “violent nature” and it would cause distress amongst general public, claim at the same time, as James Carney, the Whitehouse spokesperson, puts it “Bin Laden was not armed when he encountered American forces” and adds but “American forces killed him in a gunfire exchange.” The fact that a man who is surrounded by one of the most skilled forces in the American military is killed while unarmed, and further that according to American law he should have been tried first, in itself demonstrates that the people make such decisions, at the top most political echelon, are in no way amongst those who are remotely concerned with what the public opinion thinks of violence and humanity.
According to the news published about the incident: “American forces arrested and tied up, with plastic ropes, all those who could resist so they could proceed with the operation.” Therefore, we must examine what necessitated the assassination of Bin Laden while he was already arrested. This is while, according to the Guardian, “Bin Laden’s twelve-year old daughter” was present in the room and “witnessed the killing of her father.” Knowing that there are no bounds to the cruelty and violence of imperialism, it is utter naivety not to comprehend that the U.S. officials are trying their best to hide something. Such hypocritical response takes place while since September 11, the question of whether Bin Laden is dead or alive, has constantly been the topic of discussion in the West and the U.S. governments.
On the other hand, when the Washington Post, quoting intelligence analysts, states: “with finding phone numbers and emails stashed in Bin Laden’s clothes the strong ties between Al Qaeda and high ranking Pakistani officials was exposed and this makes the concern about security for Pakistan’s nuclear and military industry that much more important.” If such statements are true, that some phone numbers and email addresses were hidden in Bin Laden’s clothes (sounds more like a joke), then logically it was not necessary to kill such person, especially when he was not armed and was captured alive to get to these information, and secondly, would such an important figure not have a lot more precious information in his memory? Thirdly, while Tom Donilon, U.S. National Security Advisor, has stated: “the information discovered in Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan is as large as a small university library, and is the largest terrorist data ever discovered in history.” Why these “phone numbers and email addresses” were stashed in Bin Laden’s clothes? This is while that they have claimed themselves that there were no “telephone or internet lines” at the compound. More importantly, now that such information is in the hands of the U.S. officials, what exactly has been done about it and why is the result not been published to the public? If Bin Laden was as important as Barak Obama has claimed, when he called him the “head” of the organization, who has been chased and wanted for the past 10 years, then would it not make more sense to capture him alive, knowing the extent of information he could disclose to the American government. He could divulge the necessary information lacking about Al Qaeda and its ties to all government officials in the region.
Here, a question remains: if such person was captured alive, logically could have given the intelligence services all the information that they did not know about Al Qaeda and could have shed light on the on the ties with all local governmental officials in various countries. Does the assassination of Bin Laden (if it really has happened) not demonstrate the real reason why highest American officials wanted him to take all this information with him to the abyss of the sea in order not to be exposed in front of the masses? No doubt that Leon Panetta , the former director of the CIA, is amongst these top officials. Bin Laden used to work for the CIA for many years. It is interesting to note that according to a U.S. government official: “Leon Panetta the director of the CIA, and a group of other high ranking CIA officials were watching the operation live, and when it ended applauded enthusiastically.”
When the series of the events prove that the CIA officials have “applauded enthusiastically” for killing someone who has been working for them for years, and then is captured unarmed by them, then we can see better how his “dead” is of more valuable for the U.S. government policies. In fact, such event – despite all the lies disseminated by the reactionary propaganda machinery – demonstrated that indeed a dead Bin Laden is much more valuable.
Throughout the years, while U.S. government declared Bin Laden as the “brain behind the September 11 attacks”, and put a $25 million reward for his head, and logically the U.S. intelligent services were pursuing him, we witnessed two types of reports about him in the international media. On the one hand, there were video tapes released by him, during which he would be addressing his supporters. These tapes were always an aid to rationalise and strengthen the American belligerent policies and enhanced the imperialist project of “war against terrorism.” However, many of the videos were later found to be fakes. On the other hand, there were announcements that Bin Laden is dead!
There are numerous evidence for such claims, and I present only two of them here: while American officials released a tape of Bin Laden “confessing” to the terrorist attack of September 11, later some researchers such as Richard Muller, of Berkeley National Laboratory, through his investigations proved that the tapes were indeed fake. In the past few years many had speculated that Bin Laden was dead year ago. For example, David Griffin, who has investigated the September 11 attacks and written a book under the title of: “Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?”. On 9 October 2009, he quotes Oliver North, a former member of National Security Council saying: “I am sure Osama is dead.” Also by the end of 2001, while Binazir Bhutto was the Prime Minister in Pakistan, she announced that according to Pakistan intelligent services (ISI), Bin Laden had died on 15 December 2001. On 16 October 2002, the World Tribune, quoting “Israeli sources” reported that Bin Laden was killed in a military attack by the American forces. A couple of years later, on 18 December 2004, Dale Watson, director of the Anti Terrorist Unit of the FBI, announced that there is a high possibility that “Enemy Number One”, Osama Bin Laden, is dead.
Considering the above statements, it is not a surprise that people around the world show skepticism when American security forces refuse to show any photographs of Osma’s body and announce that they have dumped his body in the sea. These inconsistencies would create a popular disbelief when the authorities claimed the assassination of Osama. For this precise reason there is one important yet simple question posed by most observers. Given the degree of skepticism and mistrust of people toward the U.S. government, why is it that American forces did not capture and arrest Osama, making him spew out all the information he had and later putting this “biggest threat” on public trial for all to see. If he was to be executed or killed why did they not put him through this legitimate process making sure he gets what he deserves and then dump his body into the sea?
U.S. government’s deceptions are not limited only to the death of Bin Laden. For even when he was alive, the U.S. government took advantage of his existence in perpetuating its reactionary policies. For instance, in 1998, after the explosions in the American embassies in Dar al Salam and Nairobi, the U.S. held Bin Laden and his group responsible. They used their influence in the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution for the arrest of Bin Laden. It was under this pretext and with this rationale that the U.S. prepared the ground for invading Afghanistan, and therefore bombed his compounds. Such acts, apparently, displayed a clear animosity against Bin Laden. However, these were only actions to advance a particular policy by the U.S. government. For later on, Figaro reported that in July 2001, Bin Laden had been admitted to American Hospital in Dubai for treatment and the CIA representative in the region had met him there and it was reported to higher authorities. This coincides with the time when U.S. intelligent services were looking for him.
It is interesting to note that the above meeting took place only two months prior to September 11; and even more interesting is the fact that only one day before the terrorist attack on 9/11, he was admitted in a military hospital in Pakistan for blood dialysis. The news about this incident was reported by CBS on 28 January 2002. It was even reported that “the military hospital had replaced the regular military personnel with an elite personnel that has close ties with the Pentagon.”
Considering all the facts, some of which were mentioned here, we can conclude wholeheartedly that what we have been told by the U.S. propaganda machinery, regarding the attack on Osama’s compound, his death, and the throwing of his body into the sea, bears no truth in it and is a total fabrication. We ought to realise and comprehend that if in the past, the reactionary Imperialistic forces created a monster, from one of their well known CIA agents, i.e. Bin Laden, and then under the pretext of arresting him, have shouted for war against terrorism for a decade, and have indeed advanced their imperialistic policies, now they wish to exploit his dead body to propagate the same reactionary policies.
Sometime ago, the Washington Post quoting a CIA agent wrote: “Had U.S. government and CIA not had Osama, they would have invented one like him.” Today, it is obvious and clear that even if Osama had died years ago, the reactionary policies of the U.S. government and the CIA would require the story of killing of Osama once again, in order to use it to their ends, as when he was alive.
It has been a decade since the 9/11 disaster and the ruthless killing of thousands of innocent people. An examination of events since then can demonstrate that the creation of horrifying stories of an “invincible” one and only Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (as the most dangerous enemy of the U.S.) has resulted in nothing but advancing the policies of world capitalism and imperialism. The same policies have had nothing but dire consequences for the working classes and the oppressed throughout the world.
Everybody knows that it is for years that U.S. presidents, from Clinton to George W. Bush, and now Obama, have all used the Osama card, by creating a fictitious war against terrorism, and have advanced an all-out-war against the workers and the oppressed people of the world. If in the past a live Bin Laden was used as an instrument to flare up belligerent policies and increase the spread of atmosphere of suppression and fear in the world, now a dead reactionary and mercenary Bin Laden, together with “Rambo-like” U.S. military forces are to advance same old reactionary policies. These events are taking place under a condition that gave rise to the uprising of the people in the Middle East and North Africa. Under the conditions that the social unrest and the deepening crisis have increased and the uselessness of the policies of the imperialists have become ever more apparent, and has demonstrated the ever increasing exasperation of the masses of the status quo. The operation to “annihilate” Bin Laden with the leadership of the President has intensified the “war against terrorism” and has won him a “victory” – albeit temporary – in the upcoming elections.
The “war against terrorism” and the monster of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden were instruments to pursue the imperialist policies in relation to the competition between imperialist forces in order to divide the global market. A policy that exploits both a “dead” and a “live” Osama at the same. The uprising of the people of the Middle East and Africa has demonstrated the uselessness and futility of imperialist policies of insisting that people of the Middle East perceive an Islamic fundamentalism as the only option. With this in mind, we can develop an understanding of why it was necessary for the U.S. to put forth Osama’s death the way it did. Contrary to what some may claim, that the death of Osama Bin Laden is the end of terrorism with the forces of contention between the “neo-cons” and “Islamic fundamentalists,” it has in fact opened the doors for the continuation of the same policies. By announcing the severed “head” of the most notorious terrorist group, they are now encouraged to continue in the same light. That Islamic fundamentalism is still the “real enemy” reminding people of the region that its demise is not real. For this same reason, with the death of Bin Laden, the Taliban immediately announced that “the death of Bin Laden will result into more spread on insurgency.” In reality, with the death of Osama, the imperialist propaganda machinery is trying to revive a weakened Islamic fundamentalism back to life. Without a doubt, the demise of the fundamentalist movement has made imperialist think tanks contemplating new alternatives and methods to replace this three-decade-old phenomenon. But progressive and anti-imperialist political forces must not pick up where imperialists have left off. Doing so will only demonstrate their betrayal of the aspirations of the toiling and working classes. Terrorism and an emphasis on reactionary antagonistic war is not just a tendency within monopoly capitalism. It is in fact part of the true nature of imperialism since its inception. So if any political group claims that with the end of “neo-conservatism”, terrorism “will also cease to exist”, would be demonstrating their inability to comprehend the reality of the situation and willing aligning itself with the imperialistic propaganda machinery.
It is in fact contrary to what is claimed by the U.S. government that “The death of Bin Laden makes the world a better place to live.” The struggle of the workers and the oppressed people of the world has demonstrated that the world will be a safer and better place to live once those who cause and foment injustice and mass killings are overthrown. This will not be fulfilled however, until the capitalist system is destroyed and disposed of in the dustbin of history. Through this process a world without oppression, war, and exploitation will become possible.