Letters on the killing of Osama bin Laden
5 May 2011
Dear David North,
Thank you, and agreement with the sentiment expressed.
Something’s wrong with the pitch America’s been given here. Is it that those in power want to ramp up the slogan, “Let them hate us as long as they fear us”?
Is there any examination and realization as to the myriad reasons for the hate generated?
And the use of language and propaganda to massage public and international opinion: the killing is called “the death” of Osama, “the leader” of the organization, while no American was “harmed” in “making the world a safer place”.
So the justification to Bradley Manning’s treatment—torture—as another example of how American justice makes the world a safer place: safer for the warrior profiteers of Wall Street, of armament profiteers, of “security” profiteers, of “national interest” profiteers, ad nauseam. Those who would keep secret their crimes, no wonder they will crush those who expose them with a “he broke the law”.
4 May 2011
Great article; lays out many reasons why so many of us reacted not with “overwhelming relief,” but with outrage and scorn.
Another thing that gets me: the official story has it that the body was “buried at sea,” allegedly in accordance with the individual’s religious beliefs. This from the same ruling class that demonstrates its cultural sensitivity by such things as instructing members of the “interrogation teams” at Guantanamo to engage in urinating on Korans, flushing them in toilets, &c. It’s disgusting, and this claim of “proper maritime burial” strains credibility at the best; at worst smacks of being typical of US government cover-ups, and other forms of its most malicious chicanery and propaganda.…
Thanks! Always excellent reportage at the WSWS.
4 May 2011
Yes, the mass media’s response has been ugly and terribly one-sided indeed. Did you see Jon Stewart’s program Monday night? Really sad.
New Hampshire, USA
4 May 2011
After the Bin Laden killing, I found, as after other events I knew would be celebrated with false and offensive triumphalism in the press, that I had to take a media “fast” from major mainstream news sources such as the New York Times. The WSWS was one of the only web sites I cared to visit for some sort of thoughtful perspective. (I think I also checked Al-Ahram weekly, an English-language Arabic site based out of Cairo.)
I knew at the WSWS I would find an analysis containing both condemnation for the true criminals (the US military and our political leaders), and some sense of humanity for the victims (their latest assassination targets). I needed that right now.
Unfortunately, I learned some of the repugnant details that I had been trying to avoid, such as the image of Obama, et al. watching the arranged murders on their TV. One word that comes to mind is barbaric. Others: shameful, repellent, sadistic. Morally bankrupt.
A friend noted that Obama, a graduate of supposedly our finest law school, could say with no sense of absurdity: “Justice has been done”.
I respect your usual conscientious debunking of this media garbage. For this chapter in particular, it must have taken particular determination, because this was truly stomach-turning. Even filtered through your well-aimed critique, the details of this incident are horrific.
4 May 2011
Well exposed and clarifying editorial. Yesterday at work when I was asked by my colleagues about my impressions of Bin Laden’s assassination, I let them know that it raised more questions than it provided answers and proceeded to convey my viewpoint. What alarms me principally is the agreement by most individuals with the storyline from the media and government on practically all issues without consciously analyzing the internal contradiction of an argument. Instead, a constructed abstraction is accepted as the legitimate quality of the facts observed. To say the least, my position is considered by them not only unrealistic, but false. It is always encouraging to read the WSWS. Your article helps the building of consciousness over the blind forces. Thank you.
4 May 2011
Thank you for the article. I could find nothing to disagree with in it. We must work to change this bloody oil-thirsty government.
4 May 2011
Thank you for providing that bit of sane commentary after a day of the most repulsive and disgusting propaganda.
3 May 2011
Very interesting article but for one thing: how do we know that the man in the mansion who’s said to be Osama bin Laden actually is OBL? According to some Internet articles I have seen, the Pakistani media reported bin Laden’s death in 2002, and a few weeks before her death in 2007, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said in an interview that bin Laden was already dead. There is also the fact that after the Abbottabad attack, the US quickly dispatched OBL’s body at sea, which seems highly unusual. One would think that, given the level of brutality the US armed forces have descended to, they would display the body publicly—but it would make a lot of sense for the Americans to get rid of the body quickly if it’s not actually OBL.
3 May 2011
The USA empire’s killing of Osama Bin Laden means it has eliminated a major competitor for leadership in the terrorism business. Moreover, OBL’s rise as an Islamic jihadist was initially financed and fully supported by the US government. Now, with OBL out of the way, the US Military War Machine hopes to continue its bloody colonialist occupations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and many other parts of the world unimpeded. Finally, the empire hopes to use the killing of OBL as a tactic to intimidate anyone potentially thinking of opposing US Imperialism in the future.
2 May 2011
A good article and one raising several questions. Some decades ago, a UK TV broadcast of Rio Lobo (1970) was interrupted by coverage of the Iranian Embassy siege—from outside, of course. Then we returned to the movie dealing with rough justice in the Wild West. Later, we learned how British Security Forces (the SAS) murdered those inside.
How long will it be before we learn what actually happened inside that palatial compound? Why could not those accomplished Navy SEALs (celebrated in a film starring Charlie Sheen) capture Bin Laden and bring him to justice leading to an international trial? Was it because he was Obama’s version of Hitchcock’s The Man who Knew Too Much? Using someone as a human shield echoes the cowardly action used by Martin Sheen’s presidential candidate in Cronenberg’s film version of King’s The Dead Zone. The Hollywood screenplay influence of a villain showing his true colors at the end is unmistakeable in this account. Did not the potential valuable information about Al Qaida that interrogation (a now questionable procedure) could have elicited not lead to an order to bring Bin Laden back alive? Anyway, it all gave fuel to another Obama circus media event where he could trump Trump once again, stir up the bozos celebrating the event in Times Square and elsewhere, and continue his wars of aggression knowing full well that a potential retaliation would improve his ratings in the poll just like his predecessor following 9/11. This is a sad event, made even worse by the current occupant of the White House who shows no maturity in either political leadership or understanding the possible consequences of what will surely follow.
2 May 2011
This event may have some significance for the American presidential elections. Surely Obama will cast himself as the liberal lawyer in his remake of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. As I’m listening to the BBC news, they are announcing that Osama Bin Laden’s body has been buried at sea. The American administration obviously considered the effect an accessible land burial might engender (i.e., pilgrims and pilgrimage). However, I assume his frozen corpse will be under guard. In case reports begin to grow that he has risen from the dead. And it is necessary to prove he hasn’t. In the interplay between religion and myth, the reanimation of the dead is a regular occurrence.
P.S. It is obviously much easier now to justify winding down the NATO Afghan disaster. Mission accomplished, etc.
2 May 2011