US propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan.

Image via Wikipedia

One evil mass-murdering terrorist leader is dead… You know where this is going: when are they going to get the rest?

I’m talking about George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice— Obama too, and Clinton– Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Brown, Cameron, the Queen of England (hope the special branch aren’t monitoring this- hi guys! don’t rape or deport me)….

Those who led the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan are self-professed terrorists. Their stated strategy in both invasions was a doctrine of “shock and awe”- bombing the shit out of people then sending in the tanks to wipe up whoever hasn’t surrendered. Incidentally, they have to date killed far more people htan Bin Laden ever did. This isn’t a moral argument that they’re better or worse than him. Terrorism is just warfare on a low budget and not committed by a state. If Bin Laden had all those US tax dollars at his disposal, he’d wreak as much havoc as Bush and Obama have.

Just to clarify: I don’t think the people I listed above should be killed. Waste of time. Worse, it creates a martyr. Instead, organize your unions, agitate against austerity. Defeat their ideas. Likewise, killing Bin Laden is significant in no way except as a propaganda coup.

Again, don’t kill Osama- don’t fucking bother. Defeat his ideas. But the Bush administration showed little interest in WHY 9/11 happened. The USA and its allies have spent the last ten years, it seems, desperately trying to prove everything bin Laden ever said. Bin Laden says “Yanks out of Saudi Arabia and Israelis out of Palestine”— what dya know: they invade Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya.

Bin Laden once said an interesting thing. Bush was displaying his acute political and social awareness, saying They hate freedom. They love terror. They’re jealous of our Democracy. Bin Laden said in response something like, Will he tell us then why we did not attack Sweden.

Let me repeat, the killing of Osama Bin Laden is insignificant except in one sphere: that of Propaganda.

Blah blah blah, big political coup for Obama. Yeah, two fingers up to the bankers’ president. What I mean is it’s already being employed as a retrospective justification for the meaningless “War on Terror” and more particularly for torture.

Shooting a guy twice in the head is being trumpeted as a vindication of a doctrine, embraced by the entire US political elite. This is the idea that that invading, occupying and remoulding countries, wholesale bombing and arbitrary imprisonment and torture can somehow make the world a safer and more democratic place.

Saddam Hussein being probed for his dental records on international TV (then hanged on Youtube) and Bin Laden shot and dumped off the side of an aircraft carrier (?? fuel for conspiracy theories I’ll read with only a very asmall pinch of salt) are all they’ve got to show for this ridiculous idea.

The triumphalism resulting from this “victory” has brought a lot out of the woodwork of the newspapers. I gotta say I’m shocked. I was very very naive, I guess. We haven’t heard much about that war on an emotion in the last couple of years, right? I kind of thought that not a lot of people believed in that whole narrative anymore. I had a nasty shock reading John Waters’ article on Libya a few weeks ago (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0318/1224292506317.html)

—I didn’t think anyone still had that hollywood view of the whole thing.

But this latest coup has brought back the Hans Zimmer soundtrack and the Jerry Bruckheimer production values to the “War on Terror”. So far I’ve seen the RTE, Evening Herald, Financial Times and Irish Times. The yanks are all hot damn! high-five! rot in hell! – to be expected. In New York, where they lost a lot of people, jubilation was as great as the street parties you’re going to see in Baghdad when Bush dies.

But our media outlets and world leaders all echo this, though maybe with a little more distance and fake dignity. Fact is, the horrific outcome of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan did not make our best n brightest fundamentally rethink their fucked-up world view– it just made them go quiet. Now this has happened, dropped like an anchor of bullshit in the stormy sea of reality. They have something to cling to again, this and the royal wedding maybe, after a very distressing few years for those who espouse a policy of brainlessness.

But all power to the revolutions now sweeping the Muslim world. No trust in the new dictators or in the imperialist hijackers. Bin Laden’s irrelevant. Those on the streets of those shitty cities who are not going to accept anything less than a new world mean so much more than two bullets to the head of a reactionary nut.

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