Osama Bin Laden is dead. He is (pardon the awful pun) binned.
The Christians all over the world are jubilant. Surely, the killing of Bin Laden is a proof, if proof were needed, that God has finally decided to climb down from the fence and announce to the doubters that He is Christian. Christians are the f**king daddies.
Remind me again what Osama is supposed to have done. Oh yes! He was the mad Islamist, the chief executive of the organization which had become, in the last decade or so, the major shareholder in what passed for the minds of the young men (and possibly women, let’s not be sexist about this) in many Islamic countries as well as young Muslim men (and possibly women) in the Western countries. The dividend was the promise of 72 virgins whom the martyrs could enjoy forever in the afterlife once they had performed the holy duty of slaying down infidels (although the 72 beauties would technically not be virgins once they have been had, unless Allah, in his infinite mercy, kept the supply lines open).
There was also the small matter of Christian armies attacking and pillaging Muslim lands, Christian governments propping up dictators and plutocrats in the Middle East by providing them with weapons (for a reasonable price, of course) so long as they toed the line, all because the ancestors of the Arabs, by geographical lottery, happened to have parked their camels next to oil reserves.
Osama was the mastermind behind the aeroplane attacks on the World Trade Centre. This, over the years, has been accepted by most of us as a fact. We tend to forget that precious little by way of evidence has been provided by the world’s lone superpower (for how long?). True, Osama released videos from time to time in which, surrounded by scary, bearded nutters, he left no one in doubt that (a) he was not overtly fond of Western countries; (b) he did not like Westerners; (c) he wouldn’t be sorry to see us all dead; and (d) he was more than willing to lend a helping hand and send us on our way to that place where the Pope thinks homosexuals are going. I am not sure what these videos suggested other than that Osama was a crazed sociopath, a Santa without the body fat and love of humanity. However, if spouting deranged, reactionary drivel was a crime, Jeremy Clarkson would be waterboarding in Guantanamo Bay. Osama was as much likely to be an Arsenal fan as the conceiver of the World Trade Centre atrocity.
What seems undeniable is that Osama got under the skin of many. Over the years we were repeatedly subjected to the unedifying spectacle of George W Bush (who was immune to the necessity of being liked) ranting against him in a language that had a passing resemblance to English, and BLiar turning all healthy stomachs with his insincere rhetoric (was it Mark Twin who said, ‘You can straighten a worm but the crook is in him and only waiting?’). Recently old Muammar in Libya was bleating that Osama was behind the rebellion against his regime.
Where Osama actually was was in Pakistan, living in the kind of mansion crusty old relics in Surrey buy when they start getting fussed about getting mugged.
It looks as though Osama, for several years, was hiding—if living in a humongous mansion surrounded by concentric walls, some of them eighteen feet high, can be called hiding—only a few kilometres away from Pakistani army’s biggest training camp, in the town of Abbottabad, itself only a hundred kilometres away from the Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
The Pakistanis and the ISI (which, according to leaked documents thanks to the organization founded by a hacker who may or may not be guilty of statutory rape, is considered by the Americans as a terrorist organization) are totally flabbergasted that Osama was in their midst all these years. They had no idea, you see. They can’t believe it. If you believe that I suggest you also book a sky-ride over London attached to the underbelly of a pig. Call me cynical but I think Pakistanis are telling the biggest porkies since the commandant at Auschwitz gave evidence at the Nuremberg trials. (Ach! Zose Chambers? Ze vere for burnink garden rubbish and zis and zat.)
What surprises me is that the Americans are acting surprised that the Pakistanis are surprised. The Pakistanis, the Americans are saying, have some serious questions to answer. How come Osama went on living in Pakistan in an establishment that would have been difficult to ignore from the outer stratosphere only a few kilometres away from the army base? The answer, which the Americans know only too well—because they are not stupid—is that he was allowed to.
The Pakistanis knew all along where Bin Laden was. They hid him and protected him all these years while purporting to be America’s ally in what George W Bush described as a war on terror.
In case the Americans have not wizened to the fact, let me announce it on this blog. The Pakistanis hate the Americans. They have no trouble accepting aid worth billions of dollars from the Americans, and still they (the Pakistanis) hate them (the Americans). If the Pakistanis have their way they would send volunteers to the White House with explosives wrapped to their genitals.
This is a country that has become a sanctuary for all types of Islamic fundamentalists and, as the neighbouring India has been kvetching for years, has been exporting terror to all parts of the world.
Most of the terror links in the UK have always led to Pakistan. The general pattern seems to be that the disaffected (in many cases educated) youths travel to Pakistan, enrol in one of the many competing terrorist academies (these are boom times for them), receive training in manufacturing bombs, get a crash course in suicide bombing, and they are back in the UK to carry out the jihad.
Incidentally, the Indians are now claiming that they had twice alerted the Americans about Osama’s likely presence near Islamabad as far back as 2007 and 2008. If true, then the Americans obviously did not take the Indian intelligence seriously, an understandable error, seeing as the intelligence had come from a country that was caught napping as the terrorists arrived from Pakistan in a launch and struck at the heart of her commercial capital, Mumbai (incidentally in the same year in which the Indians were trying to teach the Americans how to do their job). The Indians would have been better advised to spend their resources on protecting their own people and leave it to the Americans to sort out Osama.
Pakistan is America’s ally in her (America’s) war against terror under duress. As Pervez Musharraf, the ex-dictator of Pakistan who usurped power in 1999 and gave himself the title of President, remarked in his memoir, he joined America after Duba told him on phone that America would bomb Pakistan into stone age if it did not collaborate. Musharraf, incidentally, is concerned that the Americans violated Pakistan’s sovereignty by keeping the Pakistanis in the dark about their mission which they carried out on their own. What was Musharraf expecting, given Pakistan’s disgraceful history? Would you keep an alcoholic in charge of your wine bar? Would you trust a fat man not to eat your pie when you popped out? Obama probably does not trust the Pakistanis as far as he can throw them (and I don’t think his upper body strength is all that great).
I am not even convinced that Pakistanis were unaware of America’s intentions. It is not inconceivable that they decided to present him to the Americans as they had had enough of him. Given the pro-Islamist mood in the country, they could not have afforded to bump Osama off themselves. Easier to look the other way when the Americans finished him off.
Obama has apparently decided that he will not release the photographs of dead Laden, even if that means that rumours will circulate on the streets of Karachi and Kandahar that the beardy is alive. A sensible decision. Also, seeing as Bin Laden was killed with a bullet to his head and eye, he would probably have resembled more a mashed potato than human face. Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush, would have had, one would imagine, no qualms about releasing the photograph, but then interpersonal sensitivity was never his strong point. Duba would also have given a jingoistic, tub-thumping speech that would have played straight into the hands of mad Mullahs from Pakistan to Iran, who would have inflamed the passions more on the streets.
It would have been better if Obama had not allowed the release of the photograph of him, Hilary (with a hand on her mouth) and some other American toads (probably from the US army) watching live as Bin Laden was killed. I must admit to an embarrassing defect in my character. Call me squeamish but on the whole I don’t think it is a swell idea to kill people. I find it faintly obscene when a bunch of people sit down to watch another human being killed as if it were Saturday night entertainment. And if you do, don’t publicise the fact. It might make you look like a Barbarian. I remember people, perfectly ordinary, middle class, educated people, discussing, with barely suppressed excitement, last night’s ‘fireworks’ when NATO missiles were pounding Belgrade day and night, in 1999, and the sordid spectacle was aired live on British television. I couldn’t make up my mind which was more disgusting: a bunch of rich European nations systematically destroying a city by dropping scud missiles from air; the media airing the carnage live for the entertainment of the aggressors; or the people treating it as entertainment on par with the Gladiators.
Just when we thought the Archbishop of Canterbury would do us all a favour and keep his gob shut, he gave the world the benefit of his opinion. The Archbishop is apparently uneasy that Bin Laden was unarmed when he was killed. Rowan Williams is not feeling uneasy that a man was killed; that a life was taken; he is feeling uneasy that the man killed was unarmed when he met his end. Would the Archbishop’s conscience have suffered less prongs id Bin Laden was wielding a Kalashnikov and had killed a few of the US squad?
There is a good argument that the Archbishop and his likes should stop poking their noses into matters that are not religious and concern themselves with marrying tinpot royalties. But then again it may be argued that what we are witnessing is a clash between two religions: Christianity and Islam. These two have been at each other’s throat for centuries and they are at it again. The Western governments might justify their aggression using phrases like democracy, liberal culture, but don’t be fooled. At its heart this is about who has got the exclusive access to the Supreme Being. The Archbishop or the Pope, despite their airs of wise and considerate men (less apparent, it has to be said, in case of the Pope), is no different from the Mullahs who preach the Muslim masses. They are all out there, peddling their faiths and trying to prove the supremacy of the one over the other. The bearded Mullahs in Vaziristan, lacking the guile and the Archbishop, do it openly, while the Archbishop attempts the same using subterfuge, while trying to appear as a wise old owl. There is little doubt that many of us in the West consider our culture superior to the Muslims; that the leaders do not say so openly, the political correctness (which in the eyes of many in the West has come to have a pejorative connotation) itself is a sign of our superior culture. Frequently (and understandably) boundaries between culture and religion are blurred. Many of us in Britain may have stopped going to church on Sundays, but how many of us can say that we do not believe in Christian values? And if our culture, our values, our way of life, is superior to the Muslims, it follows that our religion, which has given us these values, is superior to theirs too. The reality is we in the West are guilty of intolerance towards ethnic and religious minorities which we are too quick to accuse the Muslims of. Take France, where they have banned the hijab and veil in public places. How is that different from the Saudis where wearing a veil is a requirement? In both countries women not adhering to the dress code would face prosecution. The restrictions in Saudi, we nod our heads sagely, is an example of the religious fanaticism of the despicable Saudis. The French have banned Muslim veil not because they have a right wing, xenophobic headcase as their president but because they have genuine security concerns. Hypocrite? Moi?
And what has David—call me Dave—Cameron has to say about all this? What pearls of wisdom has he come out with? For a start he is relieved. That’s a relief. We don’t want our prime-minister to worry his little brain when he is holidaying in whichever Mediterranean resort with his equine wife. (We are all in this together, remember?) The man has enough problems as it is on his plate such as recommending children of his friends for internships, and further discrediting the already discredited Nick Clegg (who has the skin of a pachyderm, spine of a paramecium, and morals of a sewer rat). Dave shares the concerns of the Americans about involvement of Pakistani army and intelligence services with al Qaeda. (I can’t remember the last time a British prime Minister did not share the concerns of the Americans. I guess it has something to do with the special relationship we enjoy with the Americans, although you would be excused for suspecting that Americans treat us like a household pet, say a dog, who, loyal to the master he might be, should never forget his place, which is at the bottom of the staircase.)
Dave too thinks that Pakistan has serious questions to answer. (He can ask all the questions he wants till his throat runs dry, he is not going to get an answer, an honest answer at any rate, from them; and the Pakistanis, if you think of it, would be no more deceitful and duplicitous than we Brits have been over the decades when it comes to foreign matters). At the same time Dave does not want to be too harsh on the Pakistanis. He wants to work with them. He wants the democratic forces in Pakistan to strengthen. Quite how he is going to achieve this, something which has not happened in that country in the more than sixty years of its existence—Pakistan has seen more coups and military dictators than you and I have had hot meals—he has neglected to explain. But that is not important. What Dave is all about—what he has always been all about—is blathering sentiments which mean nothing. Also, this patronizing comment makes a few suppositions: (1) there are democratic forces in Pakistan; and (2) they need (or want) our help. The reality probably is the Pakistanis loathe us as much as they loathe the Americans and would respond to Dave’s offer by telling him to find sex somewhere else.
Dave may think that he is an egg that is trying to be good; he may believe that he offering the Pakistanis a branch that is olive. But he is going to be treated by they who fuck like a stupid rectum of a farmyard animal that has long ears. And that would be right. Because he is a stupid rectum of a farmyard animal.
So the Americans finally got their man. What happens now? Osama was probably responsible, directly or indirectly, to the deaths of many innocents (although I should hazard a guess that Duba and BLiar, between them, were responsible for the loss of even more lives. In an ideal world all three would be standing trial for crime against humanity, with Duba facing the additional charge of crime against English language), but he served an important function for us in the West. He was somebody on whom we could focus our hate. Osama and his Al Qaeda filled the vacuum created by the collapse of Soviet Union. He made life easier for us. It helped us to neatly divide the world between the goodies (us) and the baddies (mad Muslims). Who will be the next bogyman? (Alex Ferguson? Robert Kilroy Silk? John Prescott?) Who knows? But we can rest assured that there will be someone. Leo Strauss said it years ago: Keep the population in fear and keep it in its place.
As for Osama, I sincerely hope he does not get a nasty surprises when he meets the virgins awaiting him.