It’s hard, even today, to really remember the carnage of 9/11, the sense of piercing fear in what had been a placid lake of prosperity. At that moment, anything great and anything terrible was possible. People remember him with a bullhorn on top of rubble, but President George W. Bush also prevented innumerable hate crimes by simply saying that Islam is a religion of peace. That sentiment represented the best of America. But then, he gave yet another clarion call, which was more important than his call for tolerance — go shopping.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.
If wild guesses are permitted, I too like to jump into the bandwagon and try to fly a kite! My guess is both US and Pakistan knew about the whereabouts the most want fugitive on earth that’s Osama Bin Laden i.e. OBL. They both sheltered him as long as they felt it was necessary to justify the war on terror.
As made out to be, OBL was a virtual prisoner and it is not possible to lead such a life that too in a populated area without the connivance of those who were sheltering him. It is common wisdom that no one can hide for such a long time without the consent of those who were protecting him.
Now the question is who was protecting OBL? Was it Pakistan or the US? One cannot accuse Pakistan that has come out with a statement that it was sharing the information with the US about the compound since 2009, so that means from 2009 to 2011, there was a complexity on the part of both the countries to hide the most wanted mortal living on our planet.
One may also question the veracity of the fact that OBL was living in that compound for a long time. How can a fugitive like OBL hole in for a considerable period who is suppose to have been changing places as one changes its cloths. The theory is unpalatable and do not pass the test of reasons.
Even for argument sake if we accept that the fact that OBL was living there for long, then where were his bodyguards, with whom he was suppose to be moving in the Afghan mountains.
According to the US fed story, its commandos happily dropped into the compound without any resistance. They managed to get into the second floor of the building and got their target like a sitting duck and shot it in head, took the picture of the dead and carried his body. All this happened in 40 minutes and with little resistance. Is this story palatable? It may hard for someone to believe it lock stock and barrel.
Imagine “Operation Blue Star” on the Golden Temple in 1984 where Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was holed up. What kind of resistance wall he had built to protect himself. It needed tanks to crack that cordon and this did come with heavy causalities.
If OBL was living in that compound for long, why he did not had any defense mechanism laid for him. OBL knew the kind of threat he faced, he could have laid a mine in the compound and may have other layers of his defense? Why that was not so? Can the story that US commandos walked in shot him and took him away is believable?
The US operation exposes Pakistan’s defense preparedness. If the US commandos can enter the Pakistani territory and leave it unchallenged, so can any other country. The “blind spots” that Pakistani establishment say were the reasons for US helicopters being undetected is for all its enemies to make use of not for the US alone. If a government and its army cannot protect its territory, then there is every reason to pull down such a government. Such glaring lapses cannot be permitted. The lesson is better security arrangement should be in place to deter such future adventurisms.
Any way we have to believe the story that the US wants to us tell and we cannot question its veracity as they are the lord of the universe. Will they remain so forever?
The rejoicing that was seen in the US matched the glee that the Palestinian showed who they came out on streets on the fateful day of 9/11. The two images are still fresh in mind, one of gloom and despair in the US, the other of awe and glee in Palestine. It is not to condone the perpetrators of 9/11 but God alone knows, who was on the right side of the justice.
I agree with the view that no country has the right to violate the territorial sovereignty of another country; else, the rule of jungle will dominate, the strong will prevail over the weak and such unethical conduct may become the order of the day.
In case of the operation against the OBL, it was imperative that US government may have taken the Pakistan government into confidence and both jointly could have finished the job.
The other objectionable point is the clod-blooded murder of the OBL. As the story is he, the target was unarmed and offered little resistance, why he was not arrested? According to civilized norms, OBL should have been taken into custody by the Pakistani government, and then handed over to the US. A fair tail on his crimes could have decided his fate. However, not all this happened and what happed was beyond all civilized norms.
The other disgusting fact was the way OBL’s body was handled is something nauseating. Again as the story is fed, OBL’s body was literally thrown into the deep sea; because the US did not want his mortal remain to be left behind as that may make him a martyr and may become a rallying point. Its pity a civilized country can think such a way on such issues.
Once a person is dead all the animosity ceases to exist, the person is no more an enemy but reduced the status of a mere corpse. In the world of civilized people such corpse should have been disposed according to the deceased religious tents. But what was done was frightening, was it meant that way? Who was intimidate and with this will this cycle of intimidation may come to an end?
I suspect that OBL was he was mastermind behind the operation 9/11. A man who drinks water in a tin pot and looks more like a cleric and do not seem to posses any modern scientific knowledge, can be a mastermind of such a high profile operation like 9/11. Its myth that was created to satisfy the hurt feelings and in the process a Frankenstein monster was created.
There is no doubt, that OBL was an American baiter who poured his anger in words against the highhanded policies of the US against the Arab world. What he was saying not untrue as there remains seething anger that was aspiring to be canalized? OBL was a symbol of resistance against American hegemonic designs. There was nothing beyond it. His end does not solve the problem rather it aggravates them.
Is it a crime to oppose American policies and for doing so one may become an enemy of US. There is no dearth of US baiters in this world and will they all meet the OBL fate? Oh boy, where are we heading for?
To cut the long story short, the US created OBL and used him for the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets. In the process, it gave him the taste of its code of conduct. The man who held the US flag aloft on battlefield of the Great Game, and drove away the communists from Afghanistan was a disgruntled man at the end of the war.
The realization that the US policy of use individuals for its vested interests and dump them when the purpose is served made OBL a diehard US baiter. He started an organization that’s committed to armed resistance against the US and it’s this organization that represents a movement that maybe hard to contain.
It took long for the US to bottle up the Frankenstein monster that it had created. The cost of it is yet to be tabulated but suffice would be to say that a huge amount of men, material and firepower was lost in the process. To cap it all, it leaves behind a legacy that now flourishes in the minds of those who are opposed to the handed policies of the US in the world.
The big question is whether the US has bought peace by physically eliminating OBL. I have a feeling that the momentary rejoicing may be a recipe for sleepless nights in future. Such lessons of history are not forgotten and soon it may come to haunt the nation whose policy makers are basking in the glory of being the supreme power.
I feel OBL was a stupid guy. He may have shifted his base to US and lived there happily while his hunters may have been searching him elsewhere. He had enough resources to bribe through to the US mainland and get a new name identity. As clean-shaven, short hair man, wearing jeans and jacket and American cap, he could have started new life.
Was all this was possible? Well all this is flying the kite too far. Each of us is destined with over lives. How and when the end our life may come remains a mystery. Perhaps the end of OBL was destined that way and one has to be contended with that. As far as I am concerned OBL was not a hero, but then was he a villain, and if so, for whom and why?
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a Journalist based in Chennai.