Osama Bin Laden Martyred by the United States
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Osama Bin Laden Martyred by the United States
S.M. Mohamed Idris
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’oon – from Allah we come and to Him we return
Osama Bin Laden died a martyr with a U.S imperialist bullet through his head. He did not surrender but resisted his murderers to his last breadth. This is the way he would have wanted to die – one more drop of blood in the cause of justice and freedom. He gave his wealth and life for the liberation of the oppressed people. His martyrdom will be an inspiration to millions of victims of U.S imperialism throughout the world.
Che Guevara, the great Cuban revolutionary, said: “Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.” Che’s words will resonate in the hearts of Osama’s constituency, the oppressed and marginalised of the Arab-Muslim world.
Osama was a master strategist. He realised that currently U.S imperialism is the main cause of the backwardness and poverty of the Arab-Muslim countries. It exploited the resources of the region, maintained in power despots and dictators who acted as its agents to safeguard its geo-political interests. It provided military and financial aid and diplomatic support to Zionist Israel, responsible for settler colonialism and apartheid in Palestine, ethnic-cleansing and serious violation of the human rights of Palestinians.
He was confronted by the sense of hopelessness, powerlessness and despondency that gripped the Arab-Muslim world. How to breathe into the masses the spirit of resistance which has been killed by over 200 years of Western colonialism? How to attack and bleed the imperialist beast to death? How to expose Western propaganda about democracy and human rights? How to get rid of the Arab dictators and despots
who denied freedom to their people? How to regain the dignity, self-worth, and honour of the Arab masses and the sovereignty of their nation? These were the burning issues that Osama and his group of mujahidin had to deal with.
They chose to confront the imperialist beast frontally. They attacked its economic and military targets. The attack on its symbols of power, the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, attributed by the US to Osama, lured the beast into Osama’s trap. Former U.S President George W Bush launched the war on terror, which in substance was a war on Muslims and Islam.
Muslims, particularly the youths, began to understand the violent and brutal nature of the beast. They saw the hypocrisy of the West in preaching democracy and human rights to Muslims while launching illegal wars on sovereign Muslim countries, violating their human rights – Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Rendition- and launching sacrilegious attacks on the Prophet and the Qur’an. They were horrified by the West shielding Israel from being made accountable for its apartheid, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine.
The war on terror was the baptism by fire for the Arab-Muslim youth in understanding the challenges facing Muslims and what needs to be done to achieve liberation. It is this heightened consciousness of the youths that ignited the peoples’ popular movements for democracy and justice in the Arab world. Osama’s contribution to this tectonic change in the consciousness and understanding of the Arab youth cannot be minimised.
The war on terror also exposed the vulnerability and weakness of the US, the only superpower, when faced with resistance from the mujahidin. The US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq believing that it can achieve a quick victory, put in place puppet regimes, and get out. The heroic resistance of the mujahidin tied down its military forces and the dream of a quick victory vanished into thin air. A decade later US forces are still mired in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Obama administration is desperately trying to find ways to quit without severely damaging US reputation. The success of the mujahidin has eliminated the fear of the superpower and served as an inspiration to the victims of imperialism
The war has led to the haemorrhaging of the U.S economy. U.S annual military expenditure is $700 billion compared to Russia’s $52.6 billion. The total cost of war in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 is around $1.2 trillion, financed by debt which has led to worsening budget deficit.
The US Federal Reserve responded to the 9/11 attacks by flooding the financial system with liquidity. The Federal Funds rate was halved from 3.5 to 1.75 per cent, ultimately falling to 1 per cent in June 2002. The availability of easy credit led to the 2008 financial crisis with high unemployment and low growth. Many respected political and economic commentators are predicting the collapse of the U.S Empire.
Osama has been slandered and demonised as a cold-blooded terrorist because of the attacks on the US navy destroyer USS Cole, the US embassy in Kenya, the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. The civilian casualties in these attacks were less than 4000. Who is the terrorist? To answer the question, compare the ‘crimes’ of Osama with the atrocities committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the 1990s the US orchestrated the UN sanctions against Iraq which led to the death of half a million children, more than the children who died in Hiroshima. When asked by an interviewer whether the price was worth it, the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.”
In 2003 the US launched its illegal war on Iraq which devastated the country and reduced what was once the most developed Arab country into a bread basket case. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimated that 601,000 violent Iraqi deaths were attributable to the U.S.-led invasion as of July 2006 which has increased to over 1 million by 2011. The whole social fabric of Iraqi society has been fractured with sectarian conflicts almost daily leading to the killing of thousands of innocent civilians. More than 5 million people have become refugees or internally displaced persons.
In Afghanistan, U.S troops have been routinely killing civilians. In December 2009, American troops dragged eight innocent children from their beds and shot them dead. The children were aged 11 to 17, six of them at high school and two at primary school. In February 2010, 23 male civilians were killed and 12 women and children wounded in a helicopter attack by U.S Army Special Forces. In July 2008, an American plane took out an Afghan bridal party of 70-90 persons of mostly women on their way to meet the groom. The bride and 27 other members of the party including children were killed. In August 2008, a memorial service for a tribal leader was hit by repeated U.S air strikes that killed at least 90 civilians, including 15 women and up to 60 children. Among the dead were 76 members of one extended family.
In Pakistan civilians including women and children have become the main victims of drone attacks operated by U.S military personnel from the United States like playing a Nintendo game. Of the 44 drone strikes carried out in 2009 only five were able to hit their actual targets but at the cost of 700 innocent civilian lives. The use of drones violates the war-fighting principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality, humanity. Philip Girald, a former CIA officer states: “Drones are currently killing people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. …the United States is not at war with any of these countries, which should mean in a sane world the killing is illegal under both international law and the US Constitution.”
Some Muslim leaders echoed the words of their masters in Washington saying that ‘the world would be a more peaceful, safer and just place now that the world’s most wanted terrorist was dead.” In the light of these facts who is the terrorist, Bush, Blair and Obama or Osama who was resisting these terrorists?
Whether one loves him or hates him, Osama will be remembered by posterity as a mujahidin who dared to stand up to the mightiest power on earth and, with God’s blessing, changed the course of history.
CITIZENS INTERNATIONAL is a global initiative from Penang, Malaysia. It seeks to analyse the causes of increased militarisation of the planet and to work towards an environment of peace and international security including the preservation of social justice, ecology and sustainable development. CI also intends to support the development of traditional knowledge systems.