Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

Obama Reports Death of Osama Bin Laden – Why Should We Care?

In late 2003, I was working in a supermarket meat room slowly saving money to fund a trip to Asia.  My coworkers were quintessential working class Americans, staunch believers in the virtues of Capitalism and the existence of the American Dream, self-professed conservatives to the core who firmly supported any and all military action undertaken to defend “our freedoms.”  And so it was not surprising when, on December 14, I clocked in to work to be greeted by the exultant manager.  “We got ‘im!”  he proclaimed gleefully.  For some inexplicable reason, he and my other coworkers seem to have derived some sense of self-worth from the capture of a Middle Eastern dictator who had previously had the tacit support of our own U.S. government.

My response then was the same as it is today, in the wake of the fresh claims that Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan:  who cares?  Just as the capture of Saddam Hussein bore little relevance to the concerns of ordinary Americans, so too does the purported death of Bin Laden – also a one-time ally of the United States – have little impact on the life of the common person.

Osama Bin Laden may or may not have been responsible for the attacks of 9/11.  Even if one accepts the official narrative of the events of that day, killing Bin Laden fails to address the core issues at the heart of modern terrorism.  Attacking Al Qaida addresses the symptoms of the disease but not its root cause; it’s like bailing out a sinking ship but ignoring the holes in its hull.

If terrorism exists, it exists because we encouraged it by our own actions.  The actions of American corporations – and the puppet government that it controls in Washington – are the real cause of hatred against America, and therefore the cause of any acts of violence against us.  If the United States was not engaged in five concurrent wars, we would have far fewer enemies.  If the U.S. military empire did not have outposts in some 150+ countries, if American corporations – aided by the IMF, World Bank, and U.S. government policies – were not involved in the systematic exploitation and suppression of developing nations around the world, it’s hard to imagine there would be much motivation to join radical groups like Al Qaida.  If the U.S. did not continue to offer unrelenting financial and military support the brutal Israeli regime, if we hadn’t directly caused the deaths of some 500,000 Iraqi children, if we hadn’t suppressed democratic movements in nations around the globe, there would be no reason for anyone to hate us.  Contrary to the Bush/Obama mantra, no one “hates us for our freedoms.”  In actuality, if the U.S. refrained from any sort of interference  – either militaristic or economic – in the affairs of other nations, we would have no enemies whatsoever.

The most relevant revelations from today’s headlines have nothing to do with the demise of Osama Bin Laden at all.  Instead, we should be looking at the subtext, the background details of the major media stories which actually communicate the crucial information.  Where, after all, did this strike occur?

Mr. Obama said he was briefed last August on a possible lead to bin Laden’s location. He said the terrorist leader had been hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The president said he authorized a mission last week to “get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.”

Mr. Obama said a small team of Americans Sunday carried out the operation on the compound.

Does anyone care that this strike took place in Pakistan, a country with which we are not even formally at war?  Have the American people authorized a war in Pakistan?   Yes, U.S. military actions in Pakistan have been common knowledge for at least several years, but why isn’t there more outrage?  Is it because the average American’s knowledge of geography is so poor that he presumes Afghanistan and Pakistan to be the same country?  Since when is it acceptable for a president to unilaterally authorize military action in a foreign country?

The answer should be obvious, but reveals itself in the very language Obama has chosen.  Take a closer look at the above quotation, and ask yourself where you’ve heard similar rhetoric:

 The president said he authorized a mission last week to “get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.”

The above quote could easily have come from a news story from 2002.  What we see, both in action and in words, is a faithful continuation of the Bush regime.  The policies and even language of the Obama administration is virtually indistinguishable from that of his predecessor, and yet somehow, in today’s twisted, frenzied, media-induced fantasy-land, Obama is portrayed as a fanatical socialist, a staunch champion of the progressive left.

Clearly, critical thinking has died in the American mainstream.   I could care less about Osama Bin Laden being brought to justice.  Bring Barack Obama to justice.  Bring George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to justice.  Bring Timothy Geithner and Alan Greenspan to justice.  Bring Jeffrey Imelt of G.E. and Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobile to justice, not some Islamic fanatics living in a cave in Afghanistan.  The real criminals, the real terrorists, reside right here in the United States, on Wall Street and Capitol Hill, not halfway around the world in whichever countries happen to hold strategic American interests.

Don’t buy the hype, folks.  Watch the magician’s hands, not the colorful cloth he’s waving in front of your face.

6 responses to “Obama Reports Death of Osama Bin Laden – Why Should We Care?

  1. Pingback: + The Killing of Osama Bin Laden – ►Jeni Wren

  2. Don May 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Nice to hear that i’m not the only one who feels this way. There may still be hope for rational thought in this country.

    • Andrew May 3, 2011 at 12:49 am

      One can only hope that the crowds gleefully chanting “USA! USA!” to celebrate death are not indicative of the average American’s mindset.

  3. Pingback: Celebrating Death with Religious Fervor is the American Way « Failed Empire

  4. Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    wow, written very well

  5. Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    i was never sold on the hype, nothing changed but the skin color, and I am a AA, only way this lives is if they can pollute the minds of the young

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