President Obama announced the demise and disposal of Osama Bin Ladin a few days ago to a stunned world, and as I listened to Brian Lehrer’s radio show, one of his guest’s comments cemented my feelings about the end of the Osama saga.
The Brian Lehrer’s guests’ comments, paraphrased, was to the effect that death and dying of anyone is not a happy event, but, nevertheless, there are a reading of some obituaries which are happy events.
It is difficult to take pleasure or rejoice at the death of a fellow human being, a feeling of safety or comfort perhaps. A feeling which I actually echoed on Sunday, in reaction to the death of Gaddaffi’s son, etc
In view of, and considering the following, I come to the demise of Osama Bin Laden with ambivalence. I am a New Yorker. I have called New York home since 1988 and the attacks on September 11, 2001 came close to home in real and metaphorical sense.
It is personal. It was an attack on my hometown. It was an attack at my workplace and I was a direct victim, I barely survived without physical injuries, but still with financial and emotional scars. The emotional scars are still too often reawakened, every time that I see a jet plane too close to buildings!
It is the case that millions of people across the world have been jubilant in triumphal and celebratory elation. New York City quite understandably, as the epicenter or ground zero of the September 11, 2001, witnessed gyrations upon gyrations of phantasmagoria of celebrations in the aftermath of the news of Osama’s death and disposal at sea
On a personal level, I never rejoice at the deaths of persons for whom I have no respect and whose public policies I consider outrageous or wrong headed; so it is, that I could not celebrate the death of Ian Smith, formerly of Rhodesia, even though he was a racist, who lead a brutal, murderous minority regime in against Black majority.
Similarly, I resisted the temptation to rejoice over the death Piet Botha, former political head of the Apartheid system as it then was in South Africa
There are times I have been close celebrating or rejoicing the death, including the death of Ronald Reagan, who had labeled Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress a terrorist and terrorist organization respectively as part of American foreign policy at the time.
And on the domestic front in America, Ronald Reagan’s domestic policies were adjudged by all measure, as unfriendly and anathema to the best interests of African Americans etc
Too many innocent lives were interrupted and turned upside-down since September 11, 2001. There are 650, 000 casualties of wars since the September 11, 2001. Two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which has seen the death of over 5, 000 Americans in Iraq alone, and the death, maiming and displacements of many other American troops, with brain injuries, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
There are a million Iraqis dead, maimed, displaced and missing. There are also thousands of people dead, maimed and displaced in Afghanistan and Pakistan, all in the name of fighting global terror!
And in all of these, many innocent persons across the world have been killed, maimed, displaced, harassed and humiliated or caught in the crossfire between real and imagined terrorists on the one hand, and governments fighting to reduce, decimate or eliminate terrorists and terrorism
It is hoped that this news culminates in a return to a semblance of normalcy, for millions of people. The way life is lived, has changed since September 11, 2001.
Visits to private offices, state and federal offices were no longer routines… Air and train travels were no longer uneventful as they were on September 10, 2001
There are 150, 000 Americans troops in Afghanistan, perhaps all, or at least, most can now come home to safety, and it will help to reduce the Billions of dollars, taxpayers monies, which have been spent and is spent daily in the aftermath of September 11, 2001
On a personal level, as a direct witness, victim of, to September 11, 2001 I have continued to flinch upon sighting jet planes flying too close to high rise or sky-scrappers in New York City, where I live.
Who can forget airport searches in the name of heightened security in trepidation of terrorists and terrorism? Who can forget all the striping and searches, of disabled and septuagenarians, and the “don’t touch-my-junk-guy, just because they were going through an airport traveling legitimately? I too, have experienced the very invasive searches and privacy issues as often as I took off my shoes at airports!
I still have flashbacks upon sight of planes when I am within tall buildings or even outside premises of tall buildings. It is the economy of New York City, with a seeming direct correlation to my financial health, have not recovered since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The financial meltdown of 2007-2008 took the bottom out of a recovery for New York economy and my finances which were gingerly attaining a semblance of recovery.
A stretch it is not, to assert the events of September 11, 2001 and the foreign wars which followed, led to an overstretching of American military assets and capacities; as well as the financial implications which comes the deployments of hundreds of thousands of women and men in uniform, with the necessities which comes as natural consequences of their deployments.
Arms, ammunition and foods have to be moved with fighting women and men of the American Armed Forces across the world, but, more particularly to Afghanistan, Iraq and Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Bahrain and parts of the former USSR etc.
It is public knowledge that American military have been overstretch and it follows that America’s current public debt and burgeoning deficits are partly from these wars, necessitated by declarations of global war on terror as initiated by former US president George W. Bush
I prefer a rather somber circumspection in all of this… I am not in the mood for triumphal, celebratory hoopla
Hopefully, there are no “spectacular” reprisals, retaliations or retributions following Osama’s demise… We hope that Osama, even in death, is not used as a recruiting tool and as predicate for vengeance and more vindictive killings worldwide.
It is understandable that it most probably was logistically impossible to have arrested Osama Bin Laden without incidents or even deaths. But, for two reasons, the arrest and trial of Osama would have accomplished public good.
Then where would he have be tried on American soil or Bagahram Air Force Base or Guantanamo or in civilian or military court? How would such public good through have been served?
First, it would have established America, in the hearts and minds of all the world, that America is a nation of laws, a nation which practices rigorous due process, including fair trial.
Secondly, such arrest and trial of Osama, would have put paid to any possibilities of conspiracy theories regarding Osama’s life and death, whether he actually committed the crimes for which he was accused and whether he is now truly dead at last. Many American officials have argued that Osama and September 11, 2001 were the predicates for invading and occupying Iraq, which in turn, gave America a bruised face by way of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.
Osama never really lived in the no-man-land or in Helmand Mountains or Waziristan or Lawless Tribal Areas? He actually lived in a mansion-compound near Pakistani military installations and retirement community for Pakistani military retirees is some sorts of garrison community! Osama and Al Quieda have had ten years to plan succession and we fear that we may not have heard the last from them and Taliban.
Osama is dead, buried in watershed, watershed moment? At www.Nigeriavillagesquare.com someone commenting on Osama’s demise of Osama, used the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
. with a twist, an ingenuous twist another retorted, and it is, to wit, Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, rephrased into the title of this article, Dead At Last, Dead At Last, Thank God Almighty!
There are many persons who are now, expressing skepticism, and it is okay to for this demonstration of a healthy skepticism to be expressed, a dose healthy skepticism is good for all of us, human history is laden with disinformation, chicaneries and shenanigans, particularly, spectacular ones by western nations (Bay of Pigs) anyone? All is fair in love and war! It does reminds one of prisoners’ dilemma and conundrum.
All those who are not certain or satisfied are so entitled, they should be applauded for not following the herd mentality or group think. It takes audacity and gumption, to think independently, and one do not have to be a conspiracy theorist, to show reservation and while questioning the “given” information
We should appreciate the temerity, of those who are hesitant, even if it does not make these skeptics popular icons amongst those who are certain beyond doubt!
All said, President Obama should ensure that Palestine nation-state becomes a reality during the pendency or subsistence of his administration. The long-suffering of the people of Palestine deserve that much.
America trained and armed Osama Bin Laden for America’s purpose base on a shortsighted policy hinged on expediencies. America and other nations will do well, never to substitute expedient or myopic policies in place of robust, profound and well-thought-out policies! It is the case that Osama Bin Laden was a creation of the United States, who became a literal Frankenstein!
OBITUARY: Osama Bin Laden
“The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 changed Bin Laden’s life forever. He took up the anti-communist cause with a will, moving to Afghanistan where, for a decade, he fought an ultimately victorious campaign with the Mujahideen.”
“Intelligence experts believe that the US Central Intelligence Agency played an active role in arming and training the mujahideen, including Bin Laden. The end of the war saw a sea change in his views.”
“His hatred of Moscow shifted to Washington after 300,000 US troops, women among them, were based in Saudi Arabia, home of two of Islam’s holiest places, during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. Bin Laden vowed to avenge what he saw as blasphemy.” “Along with many of his Mujahideen comrades, he brought his mix of fighting skills and Islamic zeal to many anti-US factions within the Middle East.”
There is a paradigm shift in the politics of the Arab world, the Middle East and North Africa, the dictatorships, the tyrants, authoritarian and totalitarians regimes in these places and regions were opposed by Osama with violence and violent means.
The intractable and internecine crises in the Middle East, particularly the volatile, explosive and toxic relationship between Palestine and Israel can now be resolved without further delays and excuses
But the youths of these regions have since the commencements of the continuing so-called Arab-Spring, that they have preference for peaceful means as the road-map to political reforms and democratization in their various nations.
They have through their peacefulness nonviolence acts in Tunisia, to Egypt, to Bahrain, to Syria, Yemen to Saudi Arabia etc, that generalizations against Muslims as Islamic Terrorists, with blood-lusts and thirst for blood is erroneous and quite unfair! Democracy, due process and the rule of law is unfurling through these nations and regions
Nobel Laureate President Obama has more than enough established his national security strengths.
He has more than proven that he can answer and adequately respond to telephone calls to the White House at 3:00AM and that he is not a terrorist sympathizer and that he does possess a birth certificate.
President Obama has also proven that he can get hot and heavy like any hot-red-blooded American, whether in dealing with the Somali pirates, or the intransigent Gaddaffi of Libya or Osama Bin Laden an American number one enemy, who was number one on Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI most wanted list!
President Obama must be careful not appear to be trigger happy or act and portray himself as a warmonger! We know that he has argued at West Point and in Oslo, that there are necessary wars, which have to be fought, even by him, as a man of peace.
He has proven that, we know, he is now at the risk of appearing to overcompensate, in reaction to the unnecessary doubts which were cast upon him, regarding his readiness as American president and commander-in-chief of her enormous armaments, armada!
President Obama with Osama thrown under the bus, and now as water under the bridge, is entitled to an authentic and genuine “Mission Accomplished” on Osama and the big-forrrkknnng-deal on Health Care Reform a la Veep Joe Biden, President Obama can now return to his real day job of providing the enabling environment for Americans to continue to create health, wealth, happiness and buoyant prosperity!