Well of course it’s safe. Emmanuel Goldstein is dead.
As I trust you’ve all noticed that the Middle East has been completely reconfigured over the past few months with the precipitous fall of dictator-clients one right after another. (Egypt being the most spectacular) The U.S. (which is to say the CIA and its operatives) has largely stood back and “let events unfold” only attacking “From a distance” via “drones” in Libya because we want the oil. THe people meanwhile (remember them?) taking their cue from passive resistance tradition pioneerd by Gandhi and MLK have won far from inconsiderable victories totaly at odds with Al Queida’s calls for Jiihad. We shall see just how far they’ll be able to go in the coming months (I am of course pessimistic) but the actiosn they’ve taken have rendered Al Qeuida irrelevant.
And thus ‘low-hanging fruit” for propaganda purposes. But let’s jusp into the Wayback Machine for a more informed view. Shall we Sherman?
As Michel Moore made clear years ago in Fahrenheir 9/11 Osama Bin Ladin came from a very high placed family with direct connections to the Bushes and everyone else in the power structure. The quant notion that he was living in a cave was a very clever piece of propaganda mise en scene. Of course he was living in Pakistan – in a Palace for fuck’s sake! If truth were told (and you know it won’t be) he’s been there for years. But we have no further need of this “Emmanuel Goldstein” whose actual power was conferred by us (more about that shortly.) He was from first to last a titular figure semi-presiding over various semi-connected groups. Basically they got lucky with 9/11. Since then a few select bombings in Europe have been successful but in the U.S. exploding underwear boy and the Times Square would-be bomber have been Beyond Pathetic.
IOW he was merely a cog in an ideologcal wheel as Dubbya indicated very early on.
And why should he? After all —
Surely the facts are up for grabs.
“Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In a 1998 interview, he gave his birth date as March 10, 1957. His father Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family. Osama bin Laden was born the only son of Mohammed bin Laden’s tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas. Osama’s parents divorced soon after he was born; Osama’s mother then married Mohammed al-Attas. The couple had four children, and Osama lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister.”
And you can be damned sure said household wasn’t located in a cave.
“Osama was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim.From 1968 to 1976 he attended the “élite” secular Al-Thager Model School. Osama studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University. Some reports suggest Osama earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979, or a degree in public administration in 1981. Other sources describe him as having left university during his third year, never completing a college degree, though “hard working.”
How Dubbyaesque !
” At university, Osama’s main interest was religion, where he was involved in both “interpreting the Quran and jihad” and charitable work. He also wrote poetry.”
No threat to Rod McKuen I’m sure.
“In 1974, at the age of 17, Osama married his first wife Najwa Ghanem at Latakia.According to CNN national security correspondent David Ensore, as of 2002 Osama had married four women and fathered roughly 25 or 26 children. Other sources report that he has fathered anywhere from 12 to 24 children.”
No wonder he had kidney trouble!
“His father, Mohammed bin Laden, was killed in 1967 in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot, Captain Enos Fingy, misjudged a landing. His eldest half-brother and head of the bin Laden family, Salem bin Laden, was killed in 1988 when he accidentally flew a plane into powerlines near San Antonio, Texas, USA.”
Thus his interest in planes as weapons?
“The FBI described Osama bin Laden as tall and thin, between 6’4″ and 6’6″ (193– 198 cm) in height and weighing about 165 pounds (75 kg). Interviewees of Lawrence Wright, on the other hand, describe him as quite slender, but not particularly tall. He had an olive complexion and was left-handed, usually walking with a cane. He wore a plain white turban and no longer donned the traditional Saudi male headdress. In terms of personality, bin Laden was described as a soft-spoken, mild mannered man.”
“After leaving college in 1979 bin Laden joined Abdullah Azzam to fight the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and lived for a time in Peshawar. From 1979 through 1989 under U.S. Presidents Carter and Reagan, the United States Central Intelligence Agency provided overt and covert financial aid, arms and training to Osama’s Islamic Jihad Mujahideen through Operation Cyclone, and The Reagan Doctrine. President Reagan often praised Osama’s Mujahideen as Afghanistan’s “Freedom Fighters.”
And we know how well we treat our CIA assets.
“By 1984, with Azzam, bin Laden established Maktab al-Khadamat, which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the Arabic world into the Afghan war. Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden’s inherited family fortunepaid for air tickets and accommodation, dealt with paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihad fighters. Osama established a camp in Afghanistan, and with other volunteers fought the Soviets.
It was during his time in Peshawar that he began wearing camouflage-print jackets and carrying a captured Soviet assault rifle, which urban legends claimed he had obtained by killing a Russian soldier with his bare hands
By 1984, with Azzam, bin Laden established Maktab al-Khadamat, which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the Arabic world into the Afghan war. Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden’s inherited family fortunepaid for air tickets and accommodation, dealt with paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihad fighters. Osama established a camp in Afghanistan, and with other volunteers fought the Soviets.
It was during his time in Peshawar that he began wearing camouflage-print jackets and carrying a captured Soviet assault rifle, which urban legends claimed he had obtained by killing a Russian soldier with his bare hands”
“Osama believed that the restoration of Sharia law will set things right in the Muslim world, and that all other ideologies—”pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy”—must be opposed. These beliefs, along with violent expansive jihad, have sometimes been called Qutbism (the ideology of Sayyid Qutb). He believed Afghanistan under the rule of Mullah Omar’s Taliban was “the only Islamic country” in the Muslim world. Osama consistently dwelt on the need for violent jihad to right what he believed were injustices against Muslims perpetrated by the United States and sometimes by other non-Muslim states, the need to eliminate the state of Israel, and the necessity of forcing the US to withdraw from the Middle East. He also called on Americans to “reject the immoral acts of fornication (and) homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury,” in an October 2002 letter>”
IOW his greatest enemies were —
“It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was the December 29, 1992 bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden in which two people were killed.
It was after this bombing that al-Qaeda was reported to have developed its justification for the killing of innocent people. According to a fatwa issued by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, the killing of someone standing near the enemy is justified because any innocent bystander will find their proper reward in death, going to Jannah (Paradise) if they were good Muslims and to Jahannam (hell) if they were bad or non-believers.The fatwa was issued to al-Qaeda members but not the general public.
In the 1990s bin Laden’s al-Qaeda assisted jihadis financially and sometimes militarily in Algeria, Egypt and Afghanistan. In 1992 or 1993 bin Laden sent an emissary, Qari el-Said, with $40,000 to Algeria to aid the Islamists and urge war rather than negotiation with the government. Their advice was heeded but the war that followed killed 150,000–200,000 Algerians and ended with Islamist surrender to the government.
Another effort by bin Laden was the funding of the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997, which killed 62 civilians, but so revolted the Egyptian public that it turned against Islamist terror. In mid-1997, the Northern Alliance threatened to overrun Jalalabad, causing Bin Laden to abandon his Nazim Jihad compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farms in the south.
A later effort that did succeed was an attack on the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. Bin Laden helped cement his alliance with his hosts the Taliban by sending several hundred of his Afghan Arab fighters along to help the Taliban kill between five and six thousand Hazaras overrunning the city
In 1998, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri co-signed a fatwa in the name of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders which declared the killing of North Americans and their allies an “individual duty for every Muslim” to “liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Mecca) from their grip”. At the public announcement of the fatwa bin Laden announced that North Americans are “very easy targets.” He told the attending journalists, “You will see the results of this in a very short time.”
In December 1998, the Director of Central Intelligence Counterterrorist Center reported to the president that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the USA, including the training of personnel to hijack aircraft.
At the end of 2000, Richard Clarke revealed that Islamic militants headed by bin Laden had planned a triple attack on January 3, 2000 which would have included bombings in Jordan of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman and tourists at Mount Nebo and a site on the Jordan River, the sinking of the destroyer USS The Sullivans in Yemen, as well as an attack on a target within the United States. The plan was foiled by the arrest of the Jordanian terrorist cell, the sinking of the explosive-filled skiff intended to target the destroyer, and the arrest of Ahmed Ressam.”
And then came —
“Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush stated that he now hoped to “kill or capture” Bin Laden. Subsequently, Bin Laden retreated further from public contact to avoid capture. Since that time, numerous speculative press reports had been issued concerning various hearsay stories about his whereabouts, and also about alleged evidence of his death. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda had continued to release time-sensitive and professionally-verified videos demonstrating Bin Laden’s continued survival as recently as August 2007. Most recently, U.S. Army General Stanley A. McChrystal had emphasized the continued importance of the capture or killing of bin Laden, thus clearly indicating that the US high command continued to believe that Bin Laden was probably still alive. Some of the conflicting reports regarding both his his continued whereabouts and previous mistaken claims about his death have included the following:
Many claims as to the location of Osama bin Laden were made in the wake of 9/11, although none were ever definitively proven and some placed Osama in different locations during overlapping time periods. After military offensives in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 failed to uncover his whereabouts, Pakistan was regularly identified as his suspected hiding place.”
“A December 11, 2005, letter from Atiyah Abd al-Rahman to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi indicates that bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership were based in the Waziristan region of Pakistan at the time. In the letter, translated by the United States military’s Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, “Atiyah” instructs Zarqawi to “send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership … I am now on a visit to them and I am writing you this letter as I am with them…” Al-Rahman also indicates that bin Laden and al-Qaeda are “weak” and “have many of their own problems.” The letter has been deemed authentic by military and counterterrorism officials, according to The Washington Post.
In 2009, a research team led by Thomas W. Gillespie and John A. Agnew of UCLA used satellite-aided geographical analysis to pinpoint three compounds in Parachinar as bin Laden’s likely hideouts.
In March 2009, the New York Daily News reported that the hunt for bin Laden had centered in the Chitral District of Pakistan, including the Kalam Valley. According to the report, author Rohan Gunaratna states that captured Al Qaeda leaders have confirmed that Chitral is where bin Laden is hiding.”
“In the first week of December 2009, a Taliban detainee in Pakistan said he had information that Bin Laden was in Afghanistan in 2009. The detainee said that in January or February (of 2009) he met a trusted contact who had seen Bin Laden about 15 to 20 days earlier in Afghanistan. However, on December 6, 2009. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the U.S. had had no reliable information on the whereabouts of Bin Laden in years. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gillani rejected claims that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan.
On June 7, 2010, the Kuwaiti Al Siyassa reported that Bin Laden was hiding in the mountainous town of Savzevar, in north eastern Iran. The Australian newspaper online published the claim on June 9.
On October 18, 2010, an unnamed NATO official suggested that bin Laden was “alive and well and living comfortably” in Pakistan, protected by elements of the country’s intelligence services. “
“A senior Pakistani official denied the allegations and said the accusations were designed to put pressure on the Pakistani government ahead of talks aimed at strengthening ties between Pakistan and the United States.”
Oh those ties are pretty strong. After all we allowed Pakistan to habor Emanuel Goldstein, the better to keep his “threat” relevant — until he was deemed irrelevant by historical forces not (as yet) in our control. Thus he became “Fair Game.”
And now our Multi-National Corporate Anthem
Oh I know what you’re thinking: “David E — How can you be so cynical? Can’t you derive any satisfaction from this?”
OK — HERE! Miss M will sing us out.