Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Et Maintenant?

"There are a lot of doubts," echoed Magdy Suleiman as he was fixing falafel sandwiches for a lunch-hour crowd in Cairo's middle-class Agouza neighborhood Tuesday. "Why did they catch him now?"(...) In cafes in downtown Riyadh, bin Laden's birthplace, men Tuesday repeated another long-standing belief among some Arabs: that the terrorist mastermind never existed. "To be honest, I've never been convinced that there was such a person as Osama bin Laden," said Osama al-Obeid, a Saudi banker.  Wall Street Journal 

By midday yesterday, I had three phone calls from Arabs, all certain that it was Bin Laden's double who was killed by the Americans – just as I know many Iraqis who still believe that Saddam's sons were not killed in 2003, nor Saddam really hanged. In due course, al-Qa'ida will tell us. Of course, if we are all wrong and it was a double, we're going to be treated to yet another videotape from the real Bin Laden – and President Barack Obama will lose the next election. Robert Fisk - Independent

In reality, Bin Laden's death changes nothing, except perhaps to ensure that, economy permitting, Barack Obama is re-elected. The occupation of Iraq, the Af-Pak war and Nato's Libyan adventure look set to continue. Israel-Palestine is stalemated, though the despotisms in the Arab world that Obama has denounced are under pressure – except the worst of them all, Saudi Arabia. Tariq Ali - Guardian
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You have to hand it to Obama he took the chance to win the prize. But he may yet have cause to regret his triumph.

There seems to be a sour feeling hanging over the whole thing. The disturbing story bin Laden's daughter tells from Pakistani custody and the conflicting and confused response(s) from Washington have taken a bit of the glowing edge off the whole thing.

We now wait for the other shoe to drop.

If Al Qaeda, or what is left of it, cannot produce anything spectacular in response to the death of their icon, something, if not as grandiose as 9-11, at least as professional... not a schoolboy wearing exploding diapers, but something stunning, then we will have come the end of an era and we will have to hunt around to find the beginning of a new one

Now that the Soviet Union no longer exists and Osama bin Laden is dead, who will take on the indispensable role of the "official villain" or "bad guy", so the "indispensable nation", can be "indispensable"? Who will be the Hitler du jour, without whom it will be difficult or impossible for the USA to justify its serial invading of small countries which is what justifies in turn its massive military expenditures?

Osama bin Laden, who began his career fighting the USSR in Afghanistan was about the last relic of the Cold War left standing, unless you count the ancient Fidel Castro... What will they find to keep the military-industrial complex up and running... You can be sure that they will find something.

As Gilbert Becaud put it... What now? DS

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

If Obama takes the opportunity to get the troops out of Afghanistan, then the whole appalling circus around the bin Laden assassination - which is plainly what it was - will have been worth it.