"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
What Ever Happened to Osama bin Forgotten?
What ever happened to Osama Bin? Forgotten? Rarely do you hear the name Osama anymore. The talking heads of the media rarely question his whereabouts. The Long Island Light Brigade of Hannity & O'Reilly, the Fat Cracker Brigade of Limbaugh & Hastert; the Wailing Wall Brigade of Perle & Ledeen; the Frantic Fraulein Brigade of Coulter & Parker hardly seem bothered by his fugitive status.
Reportedly, our fugitive is a diabolical criminal who caused the death of 3000+ Americans and drove our nation hastily into war with two countries but you would hardly know it by reading the papers. What-in-the-world ever happened to that evil genius, Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the World Trade Center attack? What ever happened to America 's Most Wanted criminal, the one with the $25 million dollar bounty--wait, make that $50 million dollar bounty, on his head? Speaking of bounties, who collected that multi-million dollar bounty for the capture of Saddam Hussein? Curious how we've never heard anything about it. Maybe word has gotten out that America is a lying tightwad and what we really stand for are empty promises, a happy smile sticker pasted over a radioactive and ruined countryside. Happy hand grenades and have a nice day.
Osama Bin Forgotten, a name plastered on placards and signs along American highways by a guy known as the Freewayblogger, confronts the uncomfortable question: Where-the-hell is OBL? Now that Robert Stack, the resonant voice of the "Unsolved Mysteries" TV show, is dead, the conscience of a country seems to have grown equally mute. What ever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Why no TV interviews with the elusive evildoer by intrepid reporters? What does Osama Bin Laden really want?--that was asked after 911--everyone wanted to know then. Now fewer and fewer appear to care, especially among the Neocons and their jesters. Maybe, just maybe, OBL doesn't really exist. Think about it for awhile. In the cult classic movie, "The Usual Suspects," the powerful and satanic Keyser Soze doesn't really exist but we learn of his fictional existence as the curtain falls. Osama, according to our powerful intelligence agencies and the Neocons, is a satanic figure so powerful as to command a platoon of suicide bombers to carry out a flawless hijacking mission on the exact same day the Pentagon conducted NORAD maneuvers over the east coast. Not even Keyser Soze was that powerful.
Speaking of elaborate fictions, what ever happened to Operation Iraq Freedom? Forgive Iraqis for feeling a little less free, a little less grateful for a wrecked and occupied country, and a lot more hostile. Sure, the brutal dictator we provided with billions of dollars worth of weapons for a quarter century, bought and paid for by Iraqis (thus bankrupting the country), the weapons, by the way, we now so sanctimoniously condemn--has been captured, but how come we're still hanging around? Could it be we went to war because of all that other WMD--What Motorists Demand?
What ever happened to the Army National Guard? Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, a man not known to mince words, put it succinctly: the Guard should be here at home, guarding the nation. Period. The criminal abuse of the National Guard and the ready reserve, for an obscene occupation masquerading as liberation, will have long term, detrimental effects for this country, predict most knowledgeable observers. "Versailles on the Potomac does not care about the rest of the country in any respect, so long as the tax dollars keep coming in," wrote William Lind, in "Destroying The National Guard."
Speaking of destruction, w hat ever happened to all the brasshats, all those colonels, generals and CIA-employed operatives involved in the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal? Anybody hear? Probably nothing, certainly nothing more than a reprimand. Like nothing ever happened to those hotshot pilots, who swooped low and sliced the cable of that gondola carrying those Italian skiers, sending them all plunging to their death. Like nothing ever happened to that Navy submarine commander who rammed that Japanese fishing boat, sank it and drowned those students. Like nothing ever happened to the pilots who bombed the wedding parties in Iraq and Afghanistan and killed a bunch of innocent civilians. What ever happened to a sense of justice in this country? Why all the concern for Laci Peterson and Jon Benet Ramsey but not for the millions of Iraq mothers who have their children dismembered by cluster bombs or poisoned by depleted uranium? What ever happened to a sense of Christianity in this country, not the smarmy love-thy-neighbor Christianity but the more difficult love-thy-enemy virtue that Jesus preached? Too tough for the telegenic Pharisees in their tailored suits, I believe.
What ever happened to civic virtue, an outraged sense of justice, a belief in truth and fairness? Maybe these virtues never really existed despite what we teach kids in school. For example, Colonel David Hackworth, who has mentored a few thousand kids in his day, warns of a draft but both Bush and Kerry denied emphatically, in a nationally televised debate, that they'll reinstate selective service. Kerry added--ominously--that he would add another 40,000 troops to the mix, which sounded like an escalation of the Iraq war. Shades of LBJ! What ever happened to an idealistic young Navy commander who returned from a war and called it for what it was--a debacle? Johnny, we hardly knew ye. What ever happened to that infamous deck of cards? Sure, they were fun for awhile and even spun off a few parodies, but are there any evildoer aces still out there, any jokers or wild cards or one-eyed jacks? Anybody hear about any recent captures? Anything in the news about the trump card?
Osama (or someone playing the part), was once a CIA contract agent in our Cold War fight against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan, but has become a double agent, a messianic killer lately, according to intelligence reports. Perhaps OBL--or the actor playing his part--is awaiting a dramatic capture a week before our elections. Imagine the millions of swing voters, twisting like creaky weathervanes, minds swept free of doubt, the vicious Keyser Soze captured and a triumphant Bush/Cheney assured of four more years. But probably not. Like the mythic DB Cooper, Osama may have died long ago or be hiding somewhere in seclusion, close to death. The need for capture is beside the point. Even George W. Bush admitted as much. As long as the terror of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden--like Keyser Soze--can be conjured regularly, the populace can be subdued and controlled. And that is why we rarely hear much about Osama anymore.