Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 19:31 PM EDT, 2 May 2011
Today, people in the Western Hemisphere awoke to the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed in a firefight with CIA led special forces. In front of the White House and at Ground "0" in New York, crowds gathered in jubilation and celebration of the fact that after ten years and two presidencies the most reviled man in Western American history was dead.
To the victor goes the spoils and according to Winston Churchill, "history is written by the victors. But in the joy and ebullience in the vanquishment of this iconic figure, Americans must remember to guard against the promises of "war.........as it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful." ~ Frederick Nietzsche.
As I finish writing my book, I have not had the bandwidth to blog as frequently as I used to; however, followers of this blog are familiar with my style which is not to cover ground which has been exhaustively discussed, nor to promote one side against another, but to seek and present a fresh perspective on current events.
Today, talking heads have prognosticated and praised the justifiable homicide of Osama Bin Laden, while the fervent decry and plot vengeance for his martyrdom. Catch phrases and euphemism abound as grotesque pictures of a bullet ridden corpse of a man who looks like Osama surface on the net, though it is hard to tell if it is him because bullets and death take their toll on a body once inhabited by a soul.
Gruesome by any standard, these images are sure to generate millions of hits since human beings by nature have a strange fascination with the deceased whether by natural cause, accident or violence. From time to time I also fall prey to the unconscious impulse to gawk at the dead and I admit that I zoomed in on several of the photos for closer inspection. It seems an atavistic emotional and superstitious response invoked as a means to ward off and perhaps inure ourselves to the eventuality of death claiming us.
Most amazing about this entire transaction of killing Osama Bin Laden and I use that word purposely is that the CIA and special operatives were named as the killers openly, proudly, and blithely. In the past CIA operatives and other countries' intelligence operatives never revealed themselves, choosing to operate clandestinely as they expertly manipulated world events with chess-like precision. The closest visible manifestation of a CIA operative to the average Joe were Mercenary Soldiers of Fortune who went in, albeit for money, to take out individuals according the agenda of the payor.
We live in a new world order. For those of us old enough or who have lived or grown up in foreign nations, I grew up in Africa; the CIA operated in the dark shadows of people lives. They were your neighbors, your family, your friends and the fact that they were operatives was never known not even to those closest to them. For people like my father and other radicals, CIA operatives were reviled and this hatred manifested in suspicion, xenophobia and mistaken identities which often led to the murder of the innocent simply because they were suspected.
Today's announcement proved with certainty just how pervasive the erosion of civil liberties has occurred on a global scale. No longer must the tools of governments lurk in the shadows. Now governments, even those that profess Democracy, can take out anyone, anywhere, for any reason. Undoubtedly, Osama was the impetus for the misery of hundred of thousands of innocent people and was solely responsible for the malignment of Islam, but his death should serve a lesson of caution to us all.
This is the final unveiling of our own complicity in the relinquishment of our civil rights. Not because the man killed didn't deserve to die. But because his arrival on the world stage born in blood precipitated our acquiescence to the perceived lesser of two evils. The government leveraged our anguish, loss and indignation to get us to willingly abdicate the seminal constitutional right to civil liberty. Without recourse the climate in the world today is such that any member of our family, friends, neighbors or even us can be charged with sedition or other acts deemed as terrorism and subject to disappearance without due process.
In the white paper titled, "Erosion of Civil Liberties Reflects a "New Normal" in America - Not Temporary Sacrifices - since 911," an excerpt states, "around the world, counter terrorism has become the new rubric under which opportunistic governments seek to justify their actions, however offensive to human rights. Indeed governments long criticized for human rights abuses have publicly applauded U.S. policies, which they now see as an endorsement of their own longstanding practices, and as a basis for new draconian measures." (Source: Human Rights First)
Once again, this is not in defense of Osama Bin Laden nor the hundreds of other despots that terrorize people throughout the world. It is a commentary on the fact that the public's attentions are purposely redirected from the atrocities and Crimes of War that occur daily in the African nations like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and others, to individuals who serve as a propagandistic fire rod.
We must remember that trying to kill a tyrant is like trying to defeat the hydra; one may succeed in severing a head but two more will grow in its place. The nine headed hydra has one corporate and global body whose titular heads can as easily turn their eye to any individual seen as a threat to the ongoing status quo.
Justice is less about setting wrongs right in the world and it is naive of us to "expect the world to treat us fairly because we are good people. This is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian." (Paraphrased Quote by Winston Churchill)
Ten years later in America, we have been suckled on propaganda and have succumbed to self-enslavement through the possessions we "rent to own or borrow on installment. This provides us with the comfortable illusion that we are part of the privileged class and ruling elite which is something that could not be further from the truth.
The reality is that this ruling class learned well from the French Revolution. In order to persevere and maintain, they have devised a system by which the working class buy into the illusion that they are in fact a part of the ruling class. Now they own expensive clothes purchased on credit, drive "Benzettes" purchased on credit, and vacation in Disney World on credit.
Though we recognized that the products purchased invariably end up costing significantly more than their worth, the psychological payoff is such that we easily accept this system of self-enslavement without complaint. Our self-deception is completed by the perception that we are somehow a part of or that our welfare is considered during the decision-making process by which nations and their leaders maintain their countries' supremacy in an ever shifting game of power and conquest.
On that note, I recommend if you are not familiar with Aldous Huxley that you view the video interview below. The novel "A Brave New World" penned over forty years ago remains eerily relevant. A word of caution to us all - we must remain vigilant of the erosion of our civil liberties and remember the words of wisdom by Dylan Thomas, "do not go gentle into that good night."
- Pakistani doctor to be nominated for Congressional Gold Medal over Osama bin Laden raid (telegraph.co.uk)
- Osama Bin Laden Death Photos May Be Released as New Details of CIA Involvement Revealed (ibtimes.com)
- Musharraf knew Bin Laden in Pakistan: Who Else Did? (themoderatevoice.com)
- CIA informant dismissed from service (nation.com.pk)