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Monday, May 02, 2011

OSAMA BIN LADEN DEATH DAY

Friday, July 28, 2006
Reprinting my blog posts

the tora bora conspiracy
"Osama bin Laden turned Blackwater into what it is today," Clark said. – Virginia Pilot, series on Blackwater, the mercenary company, July 24, 2006

In one of his weirder essays, “Secret Societies,” De Quincey claimed that at the age of seven (an important age for de Quincey – the age when his father died, and the age when he started dreaming vividly), he was introduced to the literature on secret societies – specifically, the dreaded Illuminati – by a thirty four year old woman. She loaned him Abbe Barruel’s Memoires pour servir a l’histoire du Jamcobinisme, a book that recounted the “dark associations” of a vast society organized to over throw Christianity. De Quincey was particularly – or perhaps morbidly – fascinated by Barruel’s use of a disease metaphor that has perennially clung to the conspiracy discourse

“I had already Latin enough to know that cancer meant a crab; and that the disease so appalling to a child’s imagination, which in English we call a cancer, asoon as it has passed beyond the state of an indolent scirrhous tumour, drew its name from the horrid claws, or spurs, or roots, by which it connected itself with distant points running underground, as it were, baffling detection, and defying radical extirpation.”

De Quincey, at seven, asks the right questions: ‘Then, also, when wickedness was so easy, why did people take all this trouble to be wicked? The how and the why were alike incomprehensible to me.”

“The mysteriousness to me of men becoming partners (and by no means sleeping partners) in a society of which they had never heard, - or, again, of one fellow standing at the beginning of a century, and stretching out his hand as an accomplice towards another fellow standing at the end of it, without either having known of the other’s existence, -- all that did but sharpen the interest of wonder that gathered about the general economy of Secret Societies. Tertullian’s profession of believing things, not in spite of being impossible, but simply because they were impossible, is not the extravagance that most people suppose it. There is a deep truth in it. Many are the things which, in proportion as they attract the highest modes of belief, discover a tendency to repel belief on that part of the scale which is governed by the lower understanding. And here, as so often elsewhere, the axiom with respect to extremes meeting manifests its subtle presence. The highest form of the incredible is sometimes the initial form of the credible.”

Albert Pionke, in Plots of Opportunity, his study of conspiracy literature in Victorian England, highlights the notion of a general economy of secret societies – the phrase being marked, for the literatus, by Bataille’s notion of general economy. But LI loves those last two sentences – English eccentricity finding its metaphysics.

Myself, I take a literary interest in conspiracies. I’ve noticed, however, much talk about conspiracy theory lately on the blogs, including a post on Charlotte Street contrasting conspiracy theory and incompetence. I think Mark Kaplan is responding to the conspiracy theories that still revolve around 9/11. In fact, there are nothing but conspiracy theories that revolve around 9/11. The orthodox view, which I share, is that the 9/11 attack was the result of a conspiracy devised by the leadership of Al Qaeda. Other theories finger other devisers of the attack – none of those theories seem to me to be convincing on any level. De Quincey’s question to the woman who gave him Barruel’s book was, why are the illuminati conspiring to overthrow Christianity? Her response was that then they could commit all kinds of wickedness, to which the wise child replied, but they could commit all kinds of wickedness anyway.

On the other hand, I have nursed my own conspiracy theory about another incident in the “war on terror … ttt-terrorism… ttt-terrorists.” In fact, I am very surprised that this incident has attracted so little attention. Perhaps it is because the Lefty side that opposes Bush has such ambiguous feelings about the Afghanistan war that it doesn't want to investigate what it means to leave a terrorist group on tap. I’m talking, of course, about the battle of Tora Bora, and the escape of Bin Laden into Pakistan.

Here is an instance, I think, when incompetence and conspiracy are two faces of the same coin. What really happened at Tora Bora has been reported, as most of the fuck-ups of the non-war have been reported, long after it really happened. To disarm the news, simply delay it for enough years that people don’t care any more – that does seem to be the strategy of the Big Fix in D.C., and it certainly works on the journalists. None of them, so far, have taken the hint from Suskind about Bush’s meeting with the CIA in August, 2001 and deepened it, so we still don’t know have a complete sense of our unpreparedness due, almost uniquely, to the apathy of the reigning potentate.

Anyway, I recently came across Army Times reporter Sean Naylor’s account of the battle. According to Naylor, the incompetence factor (although he doesn’t put it so bluntly) can be laid at the feet of General “Kick me in the ass” Franks, who operated in our heroic Afghanistan war as a conduit for the senilities of Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld, of course, didn’t want the Afghanistan war to involve regular troops, on the theory that that is where the Russians went wrong. No, we’d used bombing and our super duper special forces – initial decisions that we are paying for today. Anyway, the American force that approached Tora Bora at the end of November, 2001 was extremely small, and depended on Afghan allies that were busy feuding with each other. According to Naylor, as the siege proceeded, the Air Force flew over the twenty mile passage between Tora Bora and Pakistan and recorded “hot spots” on their heat sensing equipment. Now, CENTCOM, unbelievably, had never considered the possibility that Al Qaeda’s forces could escape from Tora Bora – thus, there were no guards on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But the hot spot data did provoke some consultation:

“The Generals in Kuwait recommend[ed] bombing the positions as soon as possible. But Franks [who, you will recall, bravely lead our heroic troops from a boat in Florida] and his staff did not see it like that. “They might be shepherds,” was Control Command’s attitude, according to two officers who sat in on the video-teleconferences in which the matter was discussed. At CFLCC that theory didn’t wash. The idea that scores of shepherds were tending to their flocks at 10,000 feet in the middle of winter was implausible.”

Implausible is a kindly word. Let’s recall what was happening back at the scene in Tora Bora. This is from the NYT Magazine’s rather thorough article about it in 2005:

“The American bombardment of Tora Bora, which had been going on for a month, yielded to saturation airstrikes on Nov. 30 in anticipation of the ground war. Hundreds of civilians died that weekend, along with a number of Afghan fighters, according to Hajji Zaman, who had already dispatched tribal elders from the region to plead with bin Laden's commanders to abandon Tora Bora.” – Mary Ann Weaver, NYT, 9/11/05

Recall, also, that at the time Franks was displaying this untoward shepherdophilia, the U.S. was accepting payment from the Northern alliance in captives gathered at random – the camel driver, the Avon salesman, the cab driver – and subjecting them to the waterboarding, beatings, and sometimes murder that they obviously richly deserved.

So if it wasn’t kindness that drove Franks, what could it be? Well, LI’s search for a theory would begin by asking who would gain an advantage by a stripped down force of Al Qaeda escaping to Pakistan. Hmm. Well, they would provide a ready reminder of “terror” if there were people in the military and in the White House who intended to use the 9/11 attack to provoke, for purely political reasons, further wars that would aggrandize their shaky political position and – oh joy – unleash the fruits of the war culture, giving the government an excuse to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, especially in the Red States, and sweetening the retirement of every general who went along.

The problem with this theory is that it implies that the White House is full of cretinous, treasonous creatures who would flush the interests of the country down the toilet if it gave them an extra meal or two at Signatures restaurant.

Hmmm.

In any case, how nice and thoughtful of OBL to be around, and popping out whenever needed, at the small cost of a few collateral deaths in Casablanca, London, and Madrid.

One of the very grateful people should be the founder of Blackwater, the mercenary company. The Virginia Pilot’s JOANNE KIMBERLIN AND BILL SIZEMORE have written a six piece series on that company. Here are highlights from different articles in the series.

“Blackwater wants all doors open. The company says it has more than two dozen projects under way, an almost dizzying pursuit of new frontiers.

“Among them:

-- In addition to its ongoing assignments guarding American officials and facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, Blackwater has won contracts to combat the booming opium trade in Afghanistan and to support a SEAL-like maritime commando force in Azerbaijan, an oil-rich former Soviet republic.

-- On the home front, Hurricane Katrina's $73 million purse has persuaded Blackwater officials to position themselves as the go-to guys for natural disasters. Operating licenses are being applied for in every coastal state of the country. Governors are being given the pitch, including California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom a Blackwater official recently visited to discuss earthquake response.

"We want to make sure they're aware of who we are and what we can bring to the table," said Seamus Flatley, deputy director of Blackwater's new domestic operations division. "We want to get out ahead of it."

-- Last year, the company opened offices in Baghdad and Amman, Jordan. More recent expansion plans call for a Blackwater West in Southern California and a jungle training facility at the former Subic Bay naval base in the Philippines.”

From the first article:

“The company had spent its first three years struggling for an identity, paying staff with an executive's credit card and begging for customers.

"But in 2000, in the fallout from the terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole, Blackwater found its future: providing security in an increasingly insecure world.

"There is nothing humble about the company today. In March, Fast Company business magazine, under the heading "Private Army," named Blackwater President Gary Jackson No. 11 in its annual "Fast 50" list of leaders who are "writing the history of the next 10 years." It made special note of the company's estimated 600 percent revenue growth between 2002 and 2005.

Blackwater has rocketed from obscurity to the big time in less than a decade. Peter Singer, author of "Corporate Warriors" and a scholar at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, says that although Blackwater might not be the biggest player in the private military industry, "they've certainly gained the biggest profile."”

“While the company had struggled early on, its timing was excellent. Several forces had created a perfect storm for the rise of the private military industry.

"Instead of peace, the end of the Cold War created a power vacuum and a chaotic world order, putting millions of former soldiers out on the market. At the same time, there was a growing trend toward privatization of government functions. The result: a $100 billion-a-year global business.”

Ah, all the disgusting details. Definitely check out these articles at the Virginia Pilot’s site. Yes, who did benefit from OBL’s escape? Hint – it wasn’t shepherds.

Thursday, January 04, 2007
As faithful readers of LI know, we are stout conspiracy theorists. No, we don’t think the CIA took down the World Trade Center by implanting JFK’s assassin shattered brain in a comatose Mohammed Atta. Our theory, much simpler, has been that in December, 2006, somewhere in the U.S. government, the decision was made to allow Osama bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora. We referenced Army Times reporter Sean Naylor’s account of the battle in this post. Recycling ourself (oh, the egotism!):
Anyway, the American force that approached Tora Bora at the end of November, 2001 was extremely small, and depended on Afghan allies that were busy feuding with each other. According to Naylor, as the siege proceeded, the Air Force flew over the twenty mile passage between Tora Bora and Pakistan and recorded “hot spots” on their heat sensing equipment. Now, CENTCOM, unbelievably, had never considered the possibility that Al Qaeda’s forces could escape from Tora Bora – thus, there were no guards on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But the hot spot data did provoke some consultation:

“The Generals in Kuwait recommend[ed] bombing the positions as soon as possible. But Franks [who, you will recall, bravely lead our heroic troops from a boat in Florida] and his staff did not see it like that. “They might be shepherds,” was Control Command’s attitude, according to two officers who sat in on the video-teleconferences in which the matter was discussed. At CFLCC that theory didn’t wash. The idea that scores of shepherds were tending to their flocks at 10,000 feet in the middle of winter was implausible.’

We bring this up because, thanks to the Tiny Revolution site , we went to an article in the Christmas Time Magazine and had one of those moments, you know, like when a Warner Bros. cartoon Tom Cat sees a shapely femme cat – all eyes bugging out, wowowowoweeee! For amidst the confab of the heavy hitting journalists Time had gathered to ruminate over what went wrong in Iraq, we read this, from Lawrence Wright, the (Austin) author of The Looming Tower:
“TIME: Did the failure to capture Osama bin Laden play a role in the decision to go to war?
GORDON: I was at Tora Bora at that point, in December '01. The desire to have a war plan for Iraq has already been telegraphed to [General] Tommy Franks at Centcom. Franks is actually struggling with Tora Bora, with his unhappiness with the results in Afghanistan, just as he is on the eve of returning for a very important meeting at Crawford with the President. I think they made a very quick decision that in principle Iraq was next on the agenda.
WRIGHT: Al-Qaeda essentially was dead after December 2001. The war on terror, you know, had succeeded. [If we had] captured the leaders, I think people would've felt a sense of finality and might not have had that impulse to roll into Iraq. I'm not sure [the Administration] would have had the public support.”


Of course, like paranoiacs, conspiracy theorists are aces at reading silence. Silence is a multiply intentioned text, and you can lose yourself in it and wind up on a drip in the State nuthouse quicker than you might think. Myself, I saw the Q and A shift from Wright’s comment with amazing quickness.

As I’ve said before, the Tora Bora conspiracy is almost perfect. The left pretends that Al Qaeda wasn’t even dangerous – it was merely a version of high spiritied Boy Scout Jamboree, with a harsher handbook. The right, of course, is hell bent on excuses to break into Iraq and shed some real blood – the little Keegan under the pants gets hard at the very thought of all that wondrous raghead blood being spilled by our F/X. Osama was always an excuse for them. As for the moderate to moderate liberal, why, conspiracy is out of the picture. No, society is one big SAT test, and though some of the players might cheat – those are the ones that have to go to jail again and again, and my, isn’t it just a coincidence that they are mostly black males, who have, by coincidence, been the subject to rancid and consistent bigotry in this country for four hundred years – the test is sound, the teacher is honest, and as for the guys who run the SAT – you couldn’t meet a sweeter bunch of guys. Honestly, listening to President Bush, a man who can really make you laugh (he owns a marvelous ranch, too, and the nicknames he thinks up! reminds me of my roommate back at UMass – some of those frat parties were really a lot of fun!) and not some broad who might be getting into a “catfight” (1) – well, you just don’t suspect people like that of letting slip the leader of the first attack on the continental U.S. since Pancho Villa took Columbus, N.M.

So it was a perfect crime. Nobody wanted to believe it was happening. And it was victimless - or the equivalent, since the victims were only the volunteers that have been sent to Iraq over the last three years, plus the Iraqis - dead that are, to be frank, culled from the Low Use population.

Saturday, July 05, 2008
Rashid
LI noticed, with resignation, that the press largely ignored Ahmen Rashid’s book on the war in Afghanistan. It came out last month, and we reviewed it in the Statesman. There must be other reviews around somewhere, but I haven’t seen them. This is because s Rashid handily dispatches the media woven legends of the war, and shows how appallingly the Bush administration conducted the war in 2001 – 2002, guaranteeing its continuance and expansion. The latter point is never, ever expressed with any energy in these here States. Over the years, I have developed a sort of instinct about the lines that separate the serious from the never spoken in this country that arises from the comments sections in political blogs. One thing that leads to complete lack of response – to silence – is to mention what happened in Afghanistan in 2001-2002. Luckily, campers, LI does have notes – on this very blog! – recording the deadly propaganda offensive. Our fave piece of thumbsucking vis-a-vis Afghanistan came from Jack Shafer at Slate. On the eve of the Iraq war (March 27, 2003) Shafer, a gung ho journalist who would really, really have liked to have been there, bullets whizzing by his head, but, sadly, had instead to take up the burden of informing us folks at home of our superduper victories, criticized the late Johnny Apple, a NYT reporter who had apparently worried that we were getting into a quagmire in Afghanistan, with a contrarian bolletino that was stuffed with the narrative the press stuck to for years:


“Apple's fear that dropping bombs on civilians wouldn't "win Afghan 'hearts and minds' " and that the country would prove ungovernable even if the United States won turned out to be unfounded. Two weeks after his comparison of Afghanistan to Vietnam, the allies liberated Kabul, and 16 months later the place is at least as governable as San Francisco.”

Now, that Shafer thinks that if American bombed him, eviscerating his wife, burning the skin off his children, destroying his property, and perhaps incapacitating him for life, that he'd cheer them on, is a view that radiates from an inability to imagine that is so deep, has been nourished so long by a predatory lifestyle, that it can well be called a form of moral autism. To put Shafer’s screed in the proper perspective of evil, hubris, and warmongering, this is from the Slate of June 17,2008:

What is going on in Afghanistan?
In the past week, Taliban fighters staged a prison raid and freed at least 1,000 of their brethren. Soon after, they mounted offensives on seven villages and are moving in on the southern stronghold of Kandahar. One of the fiercest Taliban leaders, Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, a major U.S. ally during the days of resistance to Soviet occupiers, is bringing in foreign jihadists from all over the region to help his cause.
Meanwhile, Taliban attacks are up considerably from last year despite increases in NATO and Afghan troop levels. Gen. Dan McNeill, who recently finished a 16-month tour as NATO commander in Afghanistan, said last week that we need 400,000 troops to control the country. There are now just 110,000 (including 58,000 from the still-green Afghan National Army) and few prospects for recruiting many more—none for remotely approaching McNeill's desired head count.


Shafer wasn’t mislead by the subtle Bushies, but, instead, was one of the misleaders. He wrote well after the failure at Tora Bora, after the failures of the Anaconda campaign, after Kunduz. Kunduz? Rashid has a passage about the Kunduz airlift in his book. I’d bet 99.9 percent of the American population has no idea what that is. I’ll quote my review:

“The trouble began in the early phase of the war the press celebrated, back in 2001. Osama bin Laden's escape from Tora Bora has been well documented; Rachid notes that "Pakistani officers ... were amazed that Rumsfeld would not even put 1,000 U.S. soldiers into battle," and concluded that America was not serious about the war. This reaffirmed Musharraf's belief that the Americans would grow tired of Afghanistan and allow it once again to fall to forces more pliable to Pakistani ministrations, namely, the Taliban.

Less noted was another great escape. In Kunduz, in the northeastern part of Afghanistan, the U.S. surrounded 8,000 Taliban, Arab and Pakistani forces in November 2001. The Pakistanis were ISI, Pakistan's secret service, who were fighting with their Taliban allies against the Americans. At Musharraf's request, the Americans allowed Pakistan to send in two planes and airlift its people out. It's unclear who, precisely, was evacuated, but according to Rashid's sources, "Hundreds of ISI officers, Taliban commanders and foot soldiers belonging to the IMU (an Uzbekistan guerilla group) and al-Qaeda personnel boarded the planes."

So, I was pleased that someone was dispatched from the Olympian heights of the NYT to interview the guy.

It is still a bit of a kid glove interview. It doesn’t deal with what Rashid shows of Rumsfeld’s dealing, for instance, with Afghanistan, for which he should certainly be on trial right now. But it actually acknowledges he exists. Amazing!

Summing up: the disappearance of osama bin laden and the my pet goat presidency
The time seems ripe for going over the way in which the Bush administration deliberately let Obama bin Laden escape from Afghanistan to manipulate an unnecessary and disastrous global war on terror. We’ve done this before, of course. But since we are now in the passenger seat, watching the consequences rush forward through the driver’s window – and since the usual shitheads, the O’Hanlon-Kagan crowd, are suggesting their usual shithead policy to deal with it (send U.S. soldiers that are apparently created by magic to occupy a Pakistan that is just aching and shaking to have its nukes taken away by a loving ally) – it is always a fun and fitting thing to marshal the facts and inferences. Where at one time malign, fucked up behavior on the part of the Bush administration might have seemed implausible, after seven incredible years of devious behaviors, second and third rate thinking, and a consistently juvenile policy of thoughtless aggression, wrapped in an impenetrable aura of entitlement and impunity, our theory seems all the stronger. Dismayingly, it has never made a dent in the blogo-chatter sphere.

The facts are pretty simple. Six years ago, the CIA, which had the most connection with opposition groups in Afghanistan, had succeeded in using a limited American force, in conjunction with a number of Afghani warlord-headed forces (given a misleading unity as the “Northern Alliance”), and supported by heavy air cover, to force the fall of Kabul (November 13) and drive Osama bin Laden’s paramilitary force into the mountainous region southeast of the capital city. The fall of Kabul was greeted as a turning point in the quick war by the press. By December 10, the Defense department was treating the defeat of the Taleban as a fait accompli, and issuing misleading press reports, like this one:

“Al Qaida fighters near Tora Bora are reported to be putting up stiff resistance as the operation to dislodge them from their mountain stronghold continues. U-S officials say the operation is making moderate progress as anti-Taleban forces on the ground push forward on several fronts. The American military is still not sure where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is, but officials believe they have a general idea.
In the southern part of the country, Afghanistan's new interim leader, Hamid Karzai, has settled a dispute between tribal chiefs over who will control Kandahar, which the Taleban surrendered Friday.

Under the agreement, Kandahar's pre-Taleban governor, Gul Agha, will resume his position. He will be assisted by Mullah Naqibullah, who accepted the Taleban's surrender.

Pentagon officials says U-S Marines are having success in preventing armed Taleban and al-Qaida fighters from fleeing southern Afghanistan into neighboring Pakistan.”

In actuality, the U.S. marines were not having success in preventing armed Taleban and al Qaida fighters from going into neighboring Pakistan. And in actuality, the U.S. had a pretty good idea that Osama bin Laden was in the cave system in Tora Bora.
Peter Bergen has written several articles about Osama bin Laden’s “disappearing act” – which is more act, obviously, than disappearance. In a 2004 article about Tora Bora, he underlines two things: one is that Tora Bora was a pretty well known location to the Americans – it had been extensively used during the guerilla war financed by the U.S. in the eighties; and the other is that far from the Pentagon throwing in its U.S. marines en masse to capture Osama bin Laden, the Pentagon was being curiously stingy about resourcing the end game:

For some perspective on Jalalabad, I spoke with Dr. Muhammad Asif Qazizada, the deputy governor of Nangarhar, the province that contains Jalalabad. In his office, in a splendid blue-domed nineteenth-century building that was once the winter palace of Afghanistan's kings, Qazizada explained why Jalalabad and the nearby mountainous redoubt of Tora Bora were the perfect places for bin Laden to stage one of history's great disappearing acts. In his early twenties Qazizada worked as a medic in Tora Bora when it was an important base for the Afghan resistance to the Soviets. At the time, he recalled, Tora Bora was a warren of caves and fortifications defended by machine guns and anti-aircraft batteries. Because it offered easy access by foot to Parachinar, a region of Pakistan that juts like a parrot's beak into Afghanistan, it was also an ideal place from which to mount hit-and-run operations against the Soviets. Indeed, bin Laden fought his first battle against the Soviets, in 1987, at Jaji, an Afghan village that abuts Parachinar.

During the 1980s, Qazizada said, Tora Bora was the object of several Soviet offensives, one of them involving thousands of soldiers, dozens of helicopter gun ships, and several MiG fighter jets; so solid were the fortifications that the Soviet offensives were held off by a force of no more than 130 Afghans. For this reason, Qazizada believes, bin Laden chose the region as his hideout and escape route in November of 2001. When the two-week battle of Tora Bora took place shortly afterward, in December, it was fought largely by the forces of local Afghan commanders, supported by small numbers of U.S. Special Forces, who called in intense air strikes against al-Qaeda's positions. But Tora Bora's mountainous topography worked to bin Laden's advantage. "It was difficult for the Americans to attack," Qazizada says, "and there was a way to flee."

What happened next was seen but not seen by the U.S. press. I’ll quote myself, here, from my more extensive post about this, July 28,2006:

“Anyway, I recently came across Army Times reporter Sean Naylor’s account of the battle. According to Naylor, the incompetence factor (although he doesn’t put it so bluntly) can be laid at the feet of General “Kick me in the ass” Franks, who operated in our heroic Afghanistan war as a conduit for the senilities of Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld, of course, didn’t want the Afghanistan war to involve regular troops, on the theory that that is where the Russians went wrong. No, we’d used bombing and our super duper special forces – initial decisions that we are paying for today. Anyway, the American force that approached Tora Bora at the end of November, 2001 was extremely small, and depended on Afghan allies that were busy feuding with each other. According to Naylor, as the siege proceeded, the Air Force flew over the twenty mile passage between Tora Bora and Pakistan and recorded “hot spots” on their heat sensing equipment. Now, CENTCOM, unbelievably, had never considered the possibility that Al Qaeda’s forces could escape from Tora Bora – thus, there were no guards on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But the hot spot data did provoke some consultation:

“The Generals in Kuwait recommend[ed] bombing the positions as soon as possible. But Franks [who, you will recall, bravely lead our heroic troops from a boat in Florida] and his staff did not see it like that. “They might be shepherds,” was Control Command’s attitude, according to two officers who sat in on the video-teleconferences in which the matter was discussed. At CFLCC that theory didn’t wash. The idea that scores of shepherds were tending to their flocks at 10,000 feet in the middle of winter was implausible.”

Implausible is a kindly word. Let’s recall what was happening back at the scene in Tora Bora. This is from the NYT Magazine’s rather thorough article about it in 2005:

“The American bombardment of Tora Bora, which had been going on for a month, yielded to saturation airstrikes on Nov. 30 in anticipation of the ground war. Hundreds of civilians died that weekend, along with a number of Afghan fighters, according to Hajji Zaman, who had already dispatched tribal elders from the region to plead with bin Laden's commanders to abandon Tora Bora.” – Mary Ann Weaver, NYT, 9/11/05

Recall, also, that at the time Franks was displaying this untoward shepherdophilia, the U.S. was accepting payment from the Northern alliance in captives gathered at random – the camel driver, the Avon salesman, the cab driver – and subjecting them to the waterboarding, beatings, and sometimes murder that they obviously richly deserved.”

The military is still scratchin’ its head, apparently, as to when OBL ‘disappeared’. For years, the standard Bushie defense of what obviously happens when you saturation bomb an area in front of a force and leave its rear untouched by explosive and unguarded by any force was that OBL could be anywhere. Now, one of the things that we have been taught, over the past seven years, is to swallow verbiage that an average six year old could debunk, since that is usually the age, according to Piaget, in which the logical faculties kick in. The age in which the logical faculties kick in for war mongers is obviously much later - sixty-five? seventy-five? hard to put a number on it. Remember, though, that Piaget drop outs run this land of ours. And benefit enormously from their pseudo-incomprehension. It is the system of the big fix. And in that vein: we bet that not a single reporter will, at Bush’s next press conference, press the president on why the facts of the case seem to lead to the conclusion that the U.S. intentionally let OBL escape. And ask whether, now that Pakistan seems caught in an act we have all seen before, that was such a bright idea. In fact, Osama bin Laden is now not mentioned in our King’s present – it upsets his dainty mechanism.

On the other hand, we know that Osama bin Laden is not as dumb as the U.S. press. He made the logical conclusions long ago. And he has followed through on his end of the gentlemen’s agreement. Instead of attacking the U.S. on U.S. soil, again, he has aided in a series of attacks that tiptoe around U.S. soil. Attacks in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain and the U.K. To attack, say, NYC again would be a dishonorable act against his host and protector, George Bush.

What a win win situation the two have produced for each other! The GWOT spawned a vast, unnecessary war that generated, in turn, an excuse for an unprecedented and pointless buildup of the military that in turn - oh the dominos! - generated unprecedented profits up and down the line for companies even only peripherally touched by the Santa Claus policy of the Pentagon; Bush sailed into a second term on the comical pretense that he had shown himself a strong leader (when, in fact, we have never had a modern president who is so paralyzed by panic in the face of critical situations - the man who kept reading My Pet Goat as he wondered who he was and why he was there on 9/11 is the same guy all the way through the past six years, a second rate golf pro’s mind stuffed into the body of another rich man’s prodigal son); and after an obvious down period following the disorganization of Al Qaeda in 2002, OBL reconstituted himself as a kingmaker in Pakistan, training the Taleban forces for edging into Afghanistan again, connected to a number of Islamicist groups who have ingratiated themselves with the Pakistani rural population in a number of ways, not least of which is a proto-social welfare system that is more efficient in rushing aid to, say, earthquake victims than the government itself. We are about to hit another harmonic convergence as Musharref increasingly looks like he is doing the dictator’s death spiral, a thing we have seen before. And we will continue to swallow lies and bullshit like troopers on our way to an ever more malformed relationship with the rest of the world.

1 comment:

John said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we could see for ourselves that this horrible man is dead, either by photo or video - instead of just having to blindly trust the government, which conveniently has already disposed of the body somewhere in the ocean?