After the attacks on the twin towers on 9-11, former President George W. Bush proclaimed in the jargon of the old west that Osama bin Laden was wanted: “Dead or Alive.” George W. Bush claimed that he was going to smoke him out of his cave, as if this whole sophisticated operation had been planned and coordinated from a cave in Afghanistan. Then, came the war against Afghanistan, ostensibly because the Taliban were protecting Osama bin Laden, and there was no other way to capture or kill him. History is full of examples where this was not the case, and that criminals or wanted men can be killed or captured even when protected by powerful armies. Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo, was killed by two Czech exiles, who were parachuted into Czechoslovakia by the British for that particular mission. Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, was captured by the CIA and imprisoned on an island by Turkey, although he too was protected by an army. Noam Chomsky has accurately stated that capturing Osama bin Laden was an international police operation and not an excuse for a war, which has lasted 8 years and is increasing greatly in intensity, resulting in many more Afghan civilians being killed, burned, blinded or crippled and an ever increasing amount of radioactive uranium blowing in the wind from US bombs. In fact, in the Punjab area of India, there are startling increases in birth defects and cancers similar to those seen in Iraq. The children show uranium levels in their blood many times the normal level. The only controversy seems to be whether this is coming from the wind from Pakistan and Afghanistan or whether it is due to the coal fired electricity generating plants in the Punjab area of India. Burning coal is already known to release heavy metals like lead into the atmosphere, and if the coal was contaminated with uranium, I suppose this alternative explanation is also possible. Needless to say “clean coal” is an oxymoron, which Obama went around the country parroting in his pre-election speeches.
After a period of time, former President George W. Bush was asked a question at a news conference about the progress in capturing Osama bin Laden. His response was: “I really don’t give it much thought.” Now this is a radical departure in thinking from “Wanted- Dead or Alive” to “I really don’t give it much thought.” It indicates that the real purpose of invading Afghanistan had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. How hard can it be to capture a man who needs kidney dialysis and would need to move from cave to cave with all his equipment at high altitude? As a former mountain climber I know how difficult it is to function at high altitude, and at a high enough altitude one becomes subject to altitude sickness and even higher, one’s organs can start to break down. So, I find this whole theory of Osama bin Laden moving continuously at high altitude and having kidney problems to be ludicrous.
There is a controversy about whether Osama bin Laden is alive or dead. Newspapers like the Pakistan Observer and the Sydney Morning Herald have proclaimed him dead as early as 2001. The French Secret Service believes him to be dead, and Benazir Bhutto on David Frost’s program, shortly before her own assassination, claimed a man named Omar Sheikh had murdered Osama bin Laden. American spy satellites have astounding magnification and resolution and they are trained all along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. For Osama bin Laden to remain alive it seems he would have to go to even more remote areas like the Himalayan mountains and that would be even harder on his health. Then, there remains the question of whether the US is interested in capturing him at all, considering his value in inspiring fear in the American people. There was the claim that he was in a cave in Tora Bora in 2001 and they surrounded only three sides of the cave complex, and they allowed him to escape. It seems very stupid, unless that was their intention.
So the whole question is similar to the children’s game of Where’s Waldo. Personally I think Osama bin Laden is dead. He had kidney problems- hardly a prognosis for a long life. However, the CIA and Osama bin Laden had a close personal working association. After all, the CIA trained him to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. He is still a very useful bogeyman- dead or alive. When American support for the Afghanistan war is lagging, the CIA can pull out one of his tapes, probably doctored, and frighten the American people back into supporting the war again.
I personally haven’t witnessed Obama talk much about Osama bin Laden in reference to Afghanistan. It is now all about stopping the Taliban, bringing them democracy and ending terrorism, as if dropping bombs on people and occupying their country was not also terrorism. The so-called War on Terrorism is treated as a real thing, when a war on a tactic of war makes absolutely no logical sense.
Personally, I believe Osama bin Laden had very little to do with the events of 9-11. From watching videos like Loose Change and others, the official story of 9-11 makes no sense. The mainstream corporate media call people who don’t believe the official story “looney conspiracy theorists.” There are so many illogical flaws in the standard explanation that make the real looney conspiracy theory their own. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see the CIA files for the JFK assassination and that of his brother Robert, Martin Luther King, the various assassinations and coups in foreign countries, their present knowledge of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and the events of 9-11? It would solve so many mysteries of the past 50 years.
The real reasons for the US invasion of Afghanistan were to extend the American empire into a very important region near the oil rich republics of Central Asia, formerly controlled by the Soviet Union, and to build a pipeline from those republics to the Indian Ocean. This would be immensely profitable to US oil companies as India and China are greatly increasing their use of oil. Another possible reason for invasion is the immense profitability of heroin. I know this will seem utterly contradictory to most Americans as there is supposedly a “War on Drugs.” However, read Alfred McCoy’s book The Politics of Heroin or The Big White Lie by former DEA agent Michael Levine. The CIA has been involved in drugs for many decades. In Bolivia in 1980 the so-called Cocaine Coup took place. Michael Levine had been tracking some of the largest cocaine dealers in South America and these drug smugglers and a group of Nazis, including Klaus Barbie, were about to take over the government of Bolivia. Michael Levine of the DEA wanted to arrest these men but was told to back off by the CIA. The CIA wanted the coup to take place and the reactionary, fascist government to come to power. The same thing happened to DEA agent Celerino Castillo when he tried to arrest Felix Rodriguez at the Ilopango air base in El Salvador. The CIA told him that Felix Rodriguez had a “get out of jail free card” for helping in the fight against the communists, even though he was a drug smuggler. Felix Rodriguez, alias Max Gomez, was an anti-communist Cuban exile who fought at the Bay of Pigs, helped the Contras and was present at the assassination of Che Guevara. The so-called War on Drugs is just a camouflaged war against those people who want a more equitable distribution of wealth.
Whatever the real truth about 9-11 happens to be, the US government used the events of 9-11 and the demonization of Osama bin Laden to accomplish a great deal of what would have been impossible before because of the resistance of the American people- the passage of the Patriot Act and other restrictive measures and starting both the Afghan and Iraq wars. The tragedy of 9-11 and Osama bin Laden were to the United States what the Reichstag fire was to Nazi Germany. This makes Osama bin Laden an important and mysterious figure in world history.