Associated Press photo
There is no shortage of bogeymen for the war profiteers and the war hawks anyway. Like Big Brother in 1984, the United States always has an enemy, and if there isn’t a real enemy, an enemy will be fabricated.
So news is coming out now that Osama bin Laden is dead. I knew that the wingnuts would spin this into much, much more than it is (little more than a symbolic, rather than much of a practical, “victory”), but I wasn’t expecting NBC’s correspondent Richard Engel to spin it the way that he did.
Not to pick on Engel, because I’m sure that we’re going to hear variations on the same theme from the members of the same corporately owned and controlled mass media organizations that were fucking cheerleaders for the Vietraq War, but I just listened to him state that now that bin Laden is dead, the American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will know why they were there, and now the “war on terror” is over (he said something close to that if that’s not exactly what he said).
Oh. My. God.
OK, the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been there for the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. No war, no profits. The unelected Bush regime gave the war profiteers their war. Oh, and the whole oil thing, too, of course — which is why they called it Operation Iraqi Freedom instead of Operation Iraqi Liberation.
Bin Laden and 9/11 were just an excuse for the radical right-wing traitors to do what they’d wanted to do all along. For instance, Project for a New American Century, a right-wing think tank, was pushing for the full-scale invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam Hussein when Bill Clinton was still president, and members of that very same think tank ended up in the BushCheneyCorp’s cabal after the stolen presidential election of 2000. (Google it.)
Not that Osama bin Laden is/was a great guy. Bin Laden and company killed just under 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. But since then more than 6,000 U.S. and coalition troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them in Iraq, but Iraq had absolutely fucking nothing to do with 9/11, so how — how — can anyone assert that Osama bin Laden’s death makes the whole Vietraq War, in which more Americans have died than died on Sept. 11, 2001, worth it? (Yes, it’s a fucking fact: via his bogus war in Iraq, George W. Bush killed more Americans that did Osama bin Laden on American soil.)
And after the United States has slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq alone since 2003, how can we declare the “war on terror” to be over? For us to do that, we’d have to assume that none of the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who had loved ones slaughtered by the United States will ever attempt to exact revenge.
Since the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion of Iraq in March 2003 — using 9/11 and non-existent weapons of mass destruction as the justification — the U.S. has far more enemies in the Middle East than it did before Sept. 11, 2001. And that’s just the Iraqi body count. The U.S. continues to slaughter civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan pretty much every day.
This makes us safer from future (attempted) terrorist attacks?
And is the corpse of Osama bin Laden really worth the hundreds of billions of our tax dollars that have been funneled to the war profiteers via the bogus Vietraq War?
Will bin Laden’s body get us back those hundreds of billions of dollars not just squandered, but stolen from us? Will his death resurrect our economy, including easing our federal budget deficit, a huge chunk of which is due to the expense of the bogus Vietraq War?
Bin Laden’s death won’t improve things here in the U.S. any more than Saddam Hussein’s death did.
We can celebrate all we want that ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead, but the wicked witch’s death won’t stop the collapse of the American empire.
That so many of us Americans apparently so stupidly believe that one man’s death is worth the thousands of lives and the hundreds of billions of dollars that we blew through first in order to get it is a sure sign that our empire’s collapse is close at hand.
Update (Monday, May 2, 2011): The Huffington Post gives this as the Richard Engel quote that I referenced:
“This [news of bin Laden’s death] is nothing less than breathtaking,” said Richard Engel, reporting from Bengazi, Libya. “This ends a chapter — the global war on terrorism that has defined a generation, which has defined the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan and Iraq. So many people, so many soldiers have been waiting for this moment.”
I seem to remember Engel having made a stronger comment to the effect that now our soldiers know why they have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I heard his remark live via the Internet and I didn’t write it down.
Again, the so-called “war on terror” is not over, and Iraq never had anything to do with bin Laden. For a major television “news” network correspondent to reinforce that myth is journalistic malpractice.
And I don’t even believe that “So many people, so many soldiers have been waiting for this moment.” I believe that the vast majority of Americans had, until now, mostly forgotten all about bin Laden.
I’ll give Engel a bit of a pass for having been caught up in the moment of the breaking news, but fuck.
P.S. For more commentary on this, see my mirror blog at Open Salon, where there is more discussion than there is here.