He Who Lives By the Sword 129

Osama Bin Laden had perpetrated many acts of violence. Blowback does not only affect states; Osama Bin Laden was killed by his former allies, those who used to support and arm him. Celebrations of someone’s death are always distatsteful, but Osama Bin Laden dealt in violent death and died a violent death. Of course, he who lives by the sword is a two-edged observation; it applies to Americans too, and I am afraid there will sadly be further violence in the short term.

There are questions to be asked about why Osama Bin Laden was killed rather than captured, when he would evidently be such a valuable intelligence asset. There are aspects of the official story which do not add up. I have seen the photo of his body on France 24, and plainly he was killed by a head shot; if you have to shoot someone you are trying to capture, you do not go for the head. Secondly we are told that he could not be captured because there was a fierce firefight of resistance at the house; but that no Americans were injured. So not that fierce, then. Aside from Osama Bin Laden, only two men and one woman were killed – so again, hardly a great pitched battle. The building was then torched, destrying the forensic evidence.

If Bin Laden did not kill himself, or get one of his own men to shoot him, it remains open to question why he was taken out with a headshot in a situation where resistance had been so ineffective that no American had been hurt.

It is yet another commentary on the state of Pakistan that Bin Laden was living in a large house in Abbottabad – which is by no means a backwater. It is also a major garrison town and the headquarters for military and intellligence operations in the Afghan frontier areas. (By chance, James Abbott, its founder, is one of the Great Game players I am currently studying). I simply do not believe that Bin Laden could live for years in a million dollar home in Abbottabad without significant parts of the Pakistani military and intelligence community knowing he was there.

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129 thoughts on “He Who Lives By the Sword

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  • Suhayl Saadi


    This is a good article in Monday’s Independent newspaper on the subject of double standards. Many people in/of Arab countries know this – and have stated it during these uprisings. Basically, they are saying: ‘Let’s get our own house in order!’ Many journalists and others in Pakistan also write about this tendency. If I had a brick wall against which to bang my head for every time I have encountered overt anti-Semitism (“It’s the Jews!”, intoned with a straight face and without shame at the end of a long discussion which until that point I had thought worthwhile) among the Pakistani diaspora/ in Pakistan itself, by now I would have built a palace of brick walls. Which, mentally, is more-or-less what too many people have done on this whole area. This is not to say, be in denial about what the Israeli (or US, or Indian, or whatever) state does, it is to say, stop being in denial about what your own country is doing and take responsibility and action (as far as one can) to change matters for the better! I agree with that – it’s time to wake up.

  • mark_golding

    That’s new Angrysober – I have never been called a Zionist – but do check out entanglement or the power of intention -= you will only gain from it.

  • Jon

    Yugo/Larry, I’m not sure what you mean, but I’m inclined not to waste any time on you. I suspect you just want to be abusive.
    Angry, interesting. I’m still of the view that Obama has changed, but you’re right that I should maybe take the various competing actors in the US into account. That all said, I won’t let him off the hook entirely: we cannot, like Clegg, allow people to U-turn massively (“I know I promised I wouldn’t vote for tuition fees, but…”). There were two things I know that Obama stood on, which was closing Guantanamo and standing up for workers, and I’m not seeing even an effort on either. Maybe he is making a Herculean effort behind the scenes, and that energy is ultimately frustrated?
    That all said, I think you might give way slightly on the view that sustained lobbying and charming from capitalists might incrementally alter ones view over time. I think it’s clear Obama hasn’t satisfied his base of working-class people and he needs to do something on that (though repealing DADT was laudable).
    I should be more precise in my wording regarding Israel; I’ll change that to “Israeli foreign policy is a monster and its forces need containing”. I’m happy to hear they have some socially liberal policies, and I agree there is an irony between its universal healthcare and the unconditional support it enjoys from the neo-con right in the US. But the attack on the Gaza flotilla was its Bloody Sunday, and illustrated how the corrupting force of institutionalised racism mixed with an powerful military ability has given way to open fascism. This process has been going on some time, and even (relative) moderates on the Israeli right don’t seem to be able to stop it.

  • mark_golding


    I also am ‘into’ our life/world/earth being out of balance or Koyaanisqatsi as called by the Hopi Indian. I am not sure why you refer to this imbalance as ‘hippy shit’ – I will assume however you are being facetious rather than sarcastic.
    The Hopi reveal we are coming to the end of the cycle of ‘the animals’ and beginning the cycle of the human being. A somewhat harsh statement because even animals revere and covet their own offspring while our own species are adept at slaughtering little innocent minds.
    The film ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ is of course a work of art and it is left to the individual to form his/her own interpretation from the encounter.
    I have called 2011 the year of redemption and 2012 as rebirth which fits with the perceptions of the Hopi Indian. Strangely now we witness a revolt by the suppressed and cruelly treated people of the Middle East by tyrannical rulers, we witness an attempt to demote to history the puppet of the ‘war on terror’ and we witness an unrelenting and final push to resolve the apartheid and entrapment in Palestine. The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan has now become irrelevant. All these events move us closer to God’s image of a ‘human being’ where love plays a central role.
    The collapse of the banks illuminates the greed in our social make-up derived from the very system that drives us forward, the monetary system. Even this system is now in question – why, people ask, can we not have a resource based economy? Why indeed when it is ‘profit’ that corrupts and causes wars.
    The ‘house of Rothschild, their grovellers, their institutions, their pincer movement on the ‘human’ mind is falling like a pack of cards, nevertheless the symbols on those cards remain and attempts to rebuild the temple will continue unless we, human beings, ensure our backs are straight such that never, never again can our freedoms be stampeded and ridden back into the abyss.

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