Osama and Obama


Last night, I saw some of the celebrating on TV over the assassination of Osama bin Laden, and I think it's all very nauseating.  Of course, the word "assassination" would never be used about this in the mainstream media.  We just hear the President and others boasting of "justice" at last (for 9/11) after long years of Americans fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But this is not justice at all.
 
Justice looks so different from what we're seeing that it should disturb all of us deeply to see how the media abets government lies and omissions.  Justice in so-called civilized societies usually involves a trial, at best with a reasonably impartial judge and jury.  Evidence is presented, testimonies are taken, and the accused has the opportunity to speak in his own defense. 
 
In the case of Osama's guilt for masterminding the attacks on 9/11, achieving justice would have involved arresting Osama and other perpetrators and putting them on trial in an international court of law.  Their crime was a violation of international law, and it should have been punished by an international court.  In the same way, when any country is attacked by citizens of another country, the victims should have the right to bring the perpetrators to justice in international court.
 
But that's not at all what happened here.  The USA does not recognize any international laws but rather sees itself as above them.  Instead of pursuing the individual perpetrators of 9/11 in a just manner, they bombed and invaded two sovereign nations.  They punished entire countries and their populations for the actions of some individuals.  Not surprisingly, these invasions coincided with plans and policies that the US government already had concerning those countries.  The attacks on 9/11 were used as a pretext to justify the invasions as well as other measures (e.g., the Bush Doctrine of preemptive first strike & the Patriot Act) which increased the US government's powers, including its legal prerogative to disregard international law and civil rights. 
 
What's more, the pilots of the hijacked planes on 9/11 were ALL from Saudi Arabia except for one who came from the United Arab Emirates.  Not one of them was an Afghan or Iraqi.  Osama bin Laden himself was a member of a wealthy Saudi family with business ties in the USA.  Punishing Afghans and Iraqis never made any sense at all.
 
If there were justice, American leaders who were responsible for invading Afghanistan and Iraq (not to mention other countries) would themselves be on trial in international court.  They would also be held responsible for harboring in the USA terrorists who are responsible for murderous attacks on people in other countries.  But the reality is that those terrorists are safe from justice because they were serving US interests.  It is only the enemies of the USA and US allies who are labeled "terrorists" in our corporate media.
 
So here we are now.  The US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have devastated two whole societies, causing nightmarish suffering and millions of deaths among civilians there.  Yet, now that Osama bin Laden has been tracked down and killed by US Special Forces, we are being told to think only of "justice" for those few thousand Americans who died on 9/11 and the hundreds of others who suffered in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?  But what of the millions of Afghan and Iraqi lives their wars have ruined?  And what about the landscape contaminated with their depleted uranium shells, producing the current high rates of cancer and horrific birth defects in Iraq?  What of the wedding parties blown up by missiles and drone attacks, which went on in Pakistan as well?
 
A US hit squad invades a home in Pakistan and murders people there, and we're supposed to cheer at justice being done by and for Americans.  Hooray!   And of course the commentators also mention that the military presence in those invaded lands needs to be continued–as part of our ongoing war against terrorism.  Terrorizing people to stop terrorism?  Building pipelines and securing oil reserves for American "justice"?
 
Would it have been so difficult for the awesome technology of the American military to manage capturing Osama alive?  Don't they have any kind of gas, for instance, that could have knocked everyone out in Osama's compound?  Maybe the US military doesn't deal in anything so tame, so the only gases they have are lethal biological or chemical weapons (like the ones they sold to Saddam for use against Iranians and then Iraqi Kurds).  It seems to me that the US was determined NOT to capture Osama alive, and NOT to permit him any chance of telling his side of things. 
 
Might it have conflicted with the official US story of events if Osama had explained the reasons for the attacks of 9/11 or mentioned his past dealings with the CIA?  Maybe he wouldn't have confessed, "Yes, my followers and I simply hate freedom and democracy!"  Maybe he would have said something about the offensive presence of US military in Saudi Arabia, the Muslim holy land, or the injustice of US support of Israel despite its increasing oppression of Palestinians and expansion of settlements in defiance of UN resolutions.  Or maybe he'd have mentioned other US policies in the Middle East that have been horribly cruel and unjust, such as the sanctions on Iraq that were estimated to have caused the deaths of half a million children.  Maybe he would've only mentioned some of the things we've already heard about occasionally for brief moments, but aren't they worth hearing about? 
 
Personally, I think it would have been VERY interesting to hear the views of this terrible arch-enemy whose punishment was supposedly the original focus of the US war on terror when it began a decade ago.  But there's no chance of that now.  We're just asked to cheer at the justice of Americans in assassinating him and dumping his body at sea–like the unexamined rubble from the twin towers.
 
I don't think names really have any special significance, but the similarity between "Osama" and "Obama" seems a bit eerie to me.  To me, the coincidental similarity represents the simple fact that they are both terrorists.  Only one of them is viewed that way in our media, and probably by most people in the West.  But I think the other one is actually far worse in terms of the suffering and death he has presided over to serve his group's interests, even if he wasn't the President who actually started the wars.  Obama's predecessor as reigning terrorist and hypocrite is probably playing golf somewhere.

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