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Between the Lines: After Bin Laden

Long before U.S. troops killed al-Qaeda's leader, he and his movement had become largely irrelevant.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Ding, dong, the witch is dead. Osama bin Laden, the author of the 9/11 atrocity in the United States and various lesser terrorist outrages elsewhere, has been killed by American troops in his hide-out in northern Pakistan. At last, the world can breathe more easily. But not many people were holding their breaths anyway.

President Barack Obama issued the usual warning when he announced that bin Laden had been killed by American troops in a compound in the city of Abbottabad: "The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda. Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al-Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us." But that wasn't quite right either.

No doubt attacks will continue to be made in the Arab world in the name of al-Qaeda, but the original organization created by bin Laden has been moribund for years. Outside the Arab world, there have been no major terrorist assaults for about five years now, and bin Laden's death is unlikely to change that. The whole enterprise was never what it seemed.

Bin Laden was a revolutionary before he was a terrorist. His goal was to overthrow existing Arab governments and replace them with regimes that imposed an extreme form of the Salafist (Islamist) doctrine on the people instead.

Once all the Muslims had accepted that doctrine, bin Laden believed, they would benefit from God's active support and triumph over the outside forces that held them back. Poverty would be vanquished, the humiliations would end, and the infidels ("the Zionist-Crusader alliance") would be defeated. It was essentially a form of magical thinking, but his strategic thinking was severely rational.

Successful revolutions bringing Salafist regimes to power were the key to success, but for the revolutions to succeed they must win mass support among Arab and other Muslim populations. Unfortunately, only a very small proportion of Muslims accepted Salafist ideas, so some way must be found to win them over. That's where the terrorism came in.

Terrorism is a classic technique for revolutionaries trying to build popular support. The objective is to trick the enemy government, local or foreign, into behaving so badly that it alienates the population and drives people into the arms of the revolutionaries. Then, with mass popular support, the revolutionaries overthrow the government and take power.

The Bush administration duly over-reacted to 9/11 and invaded two Muslim countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, on a futile quest to "stamp out terrorism"—which was, of course, exactly what bin Laden and his colleagues wanted the United States to do.

However, almost ten years after 9/11, it is clear that bin Laden's strategy has failed even though the United States fell into the trap he had set for it. Muslims everywhere were appalled by the suffering inflicted on Afghans and Iraqis, and many condemned the United States for its actions, but they didn't turn to the Salafists instead.

When popular revolutions finally did begin to happen in the Arab world five months ago, they were non-violent affairs seeking the same democracy that secular countries in the West and elsewhere already enjoy. The Salafists have become virtually irrelevant.

Which is not to say that there will never be another terrorist attack on the United States. Bin Laden had not been in operational control of al-Qaeda for many years, because regular communication with the outside world would have allowed US forces to track him down long ago: the compound in Abbottabad had neither telephone nor internet connections. The real planners and actors are still out there somewhere.

The question is: what can the Salafists possibly do now that would put their project back on track? And the answer -- the only answer -- is to goad the United States into further violence against Muslims, in retaliation for some new terrorist atrocity against Americans.

There have been no major attempts by al-Qaeda to attack the United States in the past ten years because it was already doing what the terrorists wanted. Why risk discrediting President George W. Bush by carrying out another successful terrorist attack, even if they had the resources to do so?

But the probability of a serious Salafist attempt to hit the US again has been rising ever since American troops began to pull out of Iraq, and President Obama's obvious desire to get out of Afghanistan raises it even further. Bin Laden's strategy has not delivered the goods for the Salafists, but they have no alternative strategy.

Bin Laden's death would provide a useful justification for another attempt to hit the US, but it wouldn't really be the reason for it—and it probably wouldn't succeed, either. Bin Laden's hopes died long before he did.

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Here are ten facts that prove the Bin Laden fable is a contrived hoax….

1) Before last Sunday’s raid, every intelligence analyst, geopolitical commentator or head of state worth their salt was on record as stating that Osama Bin Laden was already dead, and that he probably died many years ago, from veteran CIA officer Robert Baer, to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, to former FBI head of counterterrorism Dale Watson. In addition, back in 2002 Alex Jones was told directly by two separate high level sources that Bin Laden was already dead and that his death would be announced at the most politically opportune moment. Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, a man who held numerous different influential positions under five different Presidents, serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under the Nixon, Ford and Carter, told the Alex Jones Show last week that Bin Laden died of marfan syndrome shortly after he was visited by CIA physicians at the American Hospital in Dubai in July 2001.

2) The official narrative of how the raid unfolded completely collapsed within days of its announcement. First there had been a 40 minute shootout, then there was no shootout and just one man was armed, first Bin Laden was armed then he was not, first Bin Laden used his wife as a human shield and then he did not. First the compound was described as a “$1 million dollar mansion” then it turned out to be a rubbish-strewn dilapidated compound that was worth less than a quarter of that. Almost every single aspect of the official narrative has changed since Obama first described the raid last Sunday as the White House struggles to keep its story straight.

3) The alleged body of Bin Laden was hastily dumped in the sea to prevent any proper procedure of identification. The White House claimed this was in accordance with normal Islamic burial rituals, however numerous Muslim scholars all over the globe disputed this claim, pointing out that Muslims can only be buried at sea if they die at sea. While the White House claimed that Bin Laden’s death on May 1st was proven by DNA and facial recognition evidence, such proof was never released for public scrutiny and the Obama administration refused to release photos of Bin Laden’s dead body, suggesting a cover-up.

4) Despite the fact that the White House released “situation room” photos which purported to show Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and the rest of Obama’s security staff watching the raid which killed Bin Laden live, it was later admitted by CIA director Leon Panetta that Obama could not have seen the raid because the live feed was cut off before the Navy SEALS entered the compound. The photos were described by many as having “historical significance,” forming a “captivating” record of Obama’s greatest success and being the “defining moment” of his Presidency. One image showed Hillary Clinton with her hand over her mouth as if witnessing an anxious or crucial moment in the raid. Media reports at the time claimed that the photos represented the moment when “The leader of the free world saw the terror chief shot in the left eye.” However, the photos were staged as a PR stunt for public consumption, nobody in the photos ever saw Bin Laden killed live, nor did they see the Navy SEALS even enter the compound.

5) As even mainstream journalists began to cast suspicion on the official narrative behind the raid, the media reported that Al-Qaeda itself had confirmed every detail of Obama’s address the the nation. However, the conduit for such a claim was in fact an organization called SITE, which is a notorious Pentagon propaganda front run by the daughter of an Israeli spy that has been caught on numerous occasions releasing fake cartoonish “Al-Qaeda” videos at the most politically expedient times for both the Bush and Obama administrations. The SITE organization is nothing more than a contractor for the U.S. government, receiving some $500,000 a year annually from Uncle Sam, and yet the corporate media instantly swallowed and regurgitated the claim that “Al-Qaeda” had confirmed the official story after SITE directed them to an anonymous posting on an Islamic website.

6) Almost every single neighbor that lived near the alleged Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad that was interviewed by news reporters said with absolute certainty that they had never seen Bin Laden and that they knew of no evidence whatsoever to suggest he lived there. Since the town is a staging ground for the Pakistani military, which has a training facility situated virtually a stone’s throw away from the alleged Bin Laden compound, residents were required to show ID when they moved into the area. Pakistani troops and anti-terror police in the town refused to confirm that Bin Laden had lived in the house. Barack Obama himself admitted to 60 Minutes that the White House was only 55/45 sure that Osama lived there before the raid and this uncertainty prompted concerns that the US Navy SEALS sent in could have targeted a “prince from Dubai” or some other individual that was not Bin Laden.

7) The videos released by the White House this past weekend which purport to show Osama Bin Laden making Al-Qaeda tapes in October-November 2010 are almost identical to footage first released by Pentagon front group SITE nearly four years ago. Remember, a May 2010 Washington Post story reported how the CIA had admitted to making fake Bin Laden videos. Despite the White House’s insistence that the footage of Bin Laden is recent, he looks younger and healthier than tapes released almost a decade ago, having apparently dyed his beard black. A separate video that purports to show Bin Laden in his compound flicking through satellite TV channels depicts a much older looking man with a gray beard. Analysts have pointed out that the man has different shaped ears to real Osama pictures from back in 2001. A doctor has also pointed out the fact that the man in the tapes released Saturday has no problem moving his left arm, whereas video from 2001 clearly illustrates how Bin Laden was unable to move his left upper extremity because of a permanent injury probably related to damage to the peripheral nerves. Why the cameraman would film the back of Bin Laden’s head as he watches television is also dubious. Residents in the town of Abbottabad claim the man in the “television” video is not Osama, with one individual claiming that the man labeled by the White House as being Bin Laden is actually his neighbor, a man named Akhbar Han.

8: Despite the fact that numerous neo-cons came out on the days after the alleged raid to erroneously assert that torturing terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay led to the discovery of Bin Laden, Osama himself, the supposed world’s most wanted terrorist and a treasure trove of terror information, despite the fact that he was unarmed, was not taken in for questioning, he was instantly shot in the head according to the official narrative.

9) The US government has been caught on several occasions within the past decade staging military operations for the purposes of generating contrived, pro-war sentiment amongst the American public. Both the “rescue” of Jessica Lynch and the death of Pat Tillman were complete fables, scripted and staged at complete odds with the truth and unleashed on Americans as part of a psychological warfare offensive to elicit support for the war on terror, almost identical to what we’re seeing now with the Bin Laden sideshow. Given the fact that the US government has been caught red-handed scripting tales of pure fiction in order to justify the war on terror, notably in the cases of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, why on earth should we believe them now?

10) Despite the fact that Obama announced last Sunday on live television that the world was now “safer” because Bin Laden was dead, his administration, with the aid of the fearmongering mass media, instantly seized upon the situation to terrify Americans into being afraid of imminent “reprisal” terror attacks inside the United States, later claiming that Bin Laden had formulated an “aspirational rather than operational” plan to derail US trains that travel over 500mph, although no trains in the US can actually travel at such speeds. This led “terror experts” to salivate over how TSA agents were now needed in shopping malls to stick their hands down Americans’ pants, while New York Senator Chuckie Schumer called for the no fly list to be expanded to trains and subways. Obama hurried to ground zero for a photo op as he desperately tried to use the Bin Laden hoax to whip up phony patriotism as a means of boosting his flagging poll numbers. Others, like Democrat Bill Richardson, exploited the situation to try and push through policies that had no connection to Bin Laden or terrorism at all, like cap and trade. The haste with which the whole Bin Laden fable was exploited for political points scoring and as a psychological ploy to return Americans to a post-9/11 state of intellectual castration was painfully transparent, clearly suggesting that the entire farce was planned well in advance to achieve precisely those goals in the run up to 2012.

Posted by Tommy on 5.11.11 at 16:56
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