Osama bin Laden is dead but there are many more hobgoblins to take his place. This won’t change much if anything. After the celebration is over they will still be at war against terror; and it will still be a war they can’t win using these tactics.
I’m not going to try to defend Osama or claim that he had justification for what he did; however I am going to take into consideration the justified complaints that an enormous number of people have around the world about the way the US is conducting this war. Three thousand people died on 9/11/01 in NY and Washington which is of course unjustifiable; however it is also unjustifiable that the US has been bombing countries around the world for one reason or another for decades and this has antagonized many people and led them to hate us. These are rarely reported or when they are they are described as necessary. They would never accept that explanation if it was used against us yet they expect the rest of the world to accept it when we use it against them.
The list of incidents where the USA has misused its power is long as those who have paid attention to alternative media know. The most extreme example is Vietnam where the USA killed two million people in a war based on lies that had no popular support from the people of Vietnam. There were numerous activities in Central America most of which used proxy fighters. And of course there were the support of many tyrants in the Arab world before they became our enemies or were over thrown, including the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein and many others, even Osama bin Laden who was supported by the USA before he became widely known. Although I don't have exact numbers on hand, partly because the US government and media don’t even try to do a good job investigating it, I'm reasonably sure that for every one innocent American killed by terrorists there have been many more innocent foreigners killed. By declining to address this they're guaranteeing that the problem won't be solved.
The USA has supported many other tyrants some of which are still in power although due to the uprisings in the Middle East it may not be for long. There are plenty of people who have been tortured and suppressed in other way due to the foreign polices of the USA. This has created an enormous breeding ground for terrorists or disenfranchised people that don’t like the USA and are willing to support anyone who challenges the USA even someone like bin Laden.
This isn’t just the oppression due to military power but it also includes economic oppression of many people and the destruction of the environment by industry that works closely with the US corporations that are protected by the USA.
We now have people protesting all over the country because the republicans are trying to suppress workers rights; they should consider the fact that the multi-national corporations are doing much worse to the people abroad. In fact this is what is enabling them to suppress workers rights here so effectively. The globalization of trade hasn’t included the globalization of workers rights, educational opportunities, or environmental protection. This has enabled them to force US workers to compete with virtual slave labor and industries that make short term profits by destroying the environment.
If they truly want to protect democracy and win the “war on terror” they need to completely change their tactic=s and focus far more on improving the educational system and allowing the majority of the public to have much more say in how the economy, the government and other important civic activities are run.
And on top of that serious doubt should be given to the way they handled the disposal of Osama bin Laden so fast. They buried him at sea within hours after killing him allegedly for Muslim military reasons. Why would they do something so foolish? This is almost as bad as cleaning the limo and dry cleaning Governor Connolly’s bullet damaged suit shortly after JFK was killed. They could have handled this much better in a way that would allow verification without violating Muslim tradition if they tried. They could have buried it where it could be investigated if need be or they could have waited a couple more hours to receive input from the Arab world to avoid the inevitable conspiracy theories. There may be many people who will latch onto this foolish move to keep the image of Osama alive to keep fighting. And it seems to imply that the government continues to hold the attitude that the public should believe anything and everything they say simply because they tell us to; even when there is overwhelming evidence to indicate that they don’t deserve this trust at all.
Since I first posted this they have managed this issue even worse. They’re now trying to use this as an argument to convince the public that torture was used to help find bin Laden. There have been many researchers that have covered this and provided compelling evidence that this doesn’t work; these principles haven’t changed and they never will the only thing that has changed is the circumstances they are presenting this argument to the public. One of the credible researchers on this subject is Alfred McCoy author of “A Question of Torture,” who has provided a compelling argument that there haven’t been any cases where torture have accomplished the job but there have been many cases where it has backfired by stepping up the cycle of violence. I also made a more detailed argument on the subject in my blog post, Torture as a First Resort. There are a large number of people attempting to manipulate the emotions of the public and unfortunately they’re having a great degree of success. This is unfortunately going to make it easier for those that are corrupting the system to continue doing so and the majority will continue to have to pay the price.
The students celebrating in the streets are clearly an example of a herd mentality; these people almost certainly wouldn’t be doing so if they truly understood the history of how the USA was acting abroad. The use of this as a campaign issue will only distract from other issues that are more important and they can continue using emotional responses to make decision based on lies to expand the corruption and continue the destruction of the environment and the suppression of wages. However this can only go on for so long since the destruction they’re doing is cumulative and it will create a much bigger disaster of one kind or another if they aren’t stopped from using these tactics. Between the environmental destruction, the economic destruction and the constant incitement of hatred they’re bound to create a collapse of society one way or another. Whether this is gradual or sudden remains to be seen; but if the public takes the initiative to reform the system they can avoid it.
The current Mass Media can’t be trusted to do this considering the way they’re handling it. In a recent talk show they discussed the fact that they shot an unarmed man and they justified this by claiming that Osama bin Laden killed thousands of unarmed innocent civilians on 9/11. The obvious follow could be that the US has been killing thousands of unarmed civilians over the decades in what is often referred to as collateral damage in the conflicts that are, to a significant degree, based on the Capitalist ideology. This isn’t done since these victims are, as Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky put it, unworthy victims, unlike the people in the towers and the Pentagon. There is one big problem with that, for those that are willing to consider it. The Pentagon was the center of command for the military that has been oppressing many people; and the World Trade center was the economic center for the economic institutions that have been used to oppress a lot of people. Many of these people are still innocent of course but not all of them are necessarily as innocent as they’re made out to be. The people working in the economic sector may not have fully understood how the system they help support is suppressing a lot of people around the world but they still provide work that enables the most corrupt to continue business as usual. There are certainly a lot of children and other innocent people in the 9/11 disaster that were killed. On the other hand, many of the people involved in the “collateral attacks” are children and poor people that never had any political power or the ability to harm anyone even if they wanted to. This isn’t worth considering in a society where how innocent you are is often based on how much political power you have. Without political power these woman and children get little or no publicity and when they’re killed in an attack there is often cheering by crowds that don’t even know what is happening except for the propaganda that is spoon fed to them. The bottom line is we are continuing a policy of killing people who disagree with us whether we admit it or not.
To make things worse they’re continuing to spread more propaganda that makes little or no sense and there are many people who continue to believe it. The latest that I know of is a report that Al Qaeda has admitted that Osama was killed in the attack. And on top of that they’re reporting that Al Qaeda is now planning reprisals; regardless of how legitimate this threat is we are now expected to stay on alert indefinitely and trust our leaders no matter what they tell us. The main reason why this should be suspicious is the fact that Al Qaeda is a fragmented organization and they have no way of confirming the source of information that allegedly comes from them. Another big reason is the fact that it fits right into the neat propaganda package of the day. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that Osama is dead as indicated previously; however the methods they are using this are highly suspicious so I am keeping an open mind. They have been using the constant of war to keep us in fear. You might get the impression that Kevin the Lost Bunny of the Apocalypse is running the government and the Mass Media. The current tactic of using retaliation over and over again without addressing the “collateral damage” fairly is clearly guaranteed to fail. Even though the Government Mass Media and a large percentage of the US public isn’t willing to acknowledge this major problem the Muslim world and many of the other people that are being oppressed by the tyrants acting with support of the US, the Multi-national corporations and the US military itself when they impose “collateral damage,” have no choice since they live with it every day and many of them are fully aware that the US government is responsible. They’re providing a breeding ground for terrorism that will never disappear as long as the US continues using these tactics.
Regardless of whether Osama died in this raid I think the matter should be dropped so I prefer to discuss it as little as possible, if at all, in the future. The reason is that an argument about whether he is dead or not could drag out for months if not years. If the objective is to keep the public distracted, while the powerful implement their policies, then the argument could serve that purpose just as well as other propaganda. Therefore I will try to focus future attention on issues that are important whether or not the Mass Media continues to focus on them. In fact this has often been what I have tried to do in the past.
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Until the public learns to recognize the fact that those in power are using Hobgoblins to implement divide and rule tactics we will not have a sincere democracy; nor will we be able to address many of our biggest problems.
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