Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Loathsome clerico-fascist dead.

Even as we speak, hoards of loyal readers of The Age/Sydney Morning Herald are putting pen to paper about the death of Osama bin Laden to write to the papers claiming, variously, that the death was “murder”, that he “should have faced trial” and that “violence never solves anything”.

Sharper minds than mine have dealt with these issues already but just for the hell of it, here’s my two-cents worth.

It was murder/he should have faced trial.

Personally, I would have loved to see the bastard hauled off in chains to court but that was never going to be a realistic option. The US troops involved in this were apparently given instructions to take him alive if possible but I think things had reached a state where it was unlikely bin Laden was going to stick up his hands and use the Arabic equivalent of “fair enough Guv’nor, you got me bang to rights, I’m coming quietly”.

There was an exchange of gunfire, during which bin Laden was shot dead. I fail to see how this was murder.

Violence never solves anything.

Well, sometimes it does – it certainly did for the fascists pretty good in 1945.

As Obama said in his speech announcing bin Laden’s death, “the American people did not choose this fight” and at the risk of repeating myself, bin Laden chose to attack the US and other western countries not for their vices but for their virtues.

The fact that bin Laden despised the west for its (relative) free, open, secular nature shouldn’t be forgotten.

He wasn’t that fond of Jews or women either.

40 comments:

Alex said...

While I'm sure there are plenty of tossers who are calling this an unwarranted murder and so forth, most of the criticism I've heard, has been about people celebrating like their team just won the grand-final. And I can kind of agree.

Look, ideology is a powerful thing; and if defending what I value as "basic human rights™" requires the slaying of millions of Bin Laden's ilk, I can accept that. But I do so regretfully. I may partake in some tasteless, off-colour humour (because if I couldn't laugh, I'd spend all my time crying), but even in the most justified case of self defence, I don't see people killing each other as a source of joy or merriment. If anything, it's a good reason to reflect on just how fucked-up things are.

And I think anyone who celebrates because this is a huge blow to global terrorism that just made the world an immeasurably safer place, is kidding themselves.

Mr E Discharge said...

Bin Laden chose to attack the US and other western countries not for their vices but for their virtues.

The fact that bin Laden despised the west for its (relative) free, open, secular nature shouldn’t be forgotten.

He wasn’t that fond of Jews or women either.


Ramon,
I think that if you ever took the time to read Bin Ladens actual writtings on the subject rather that quoting the "Womens Weekly Handy Lift-out Guide to the Middle East Conflict", you'd find his principal conflicts with the US and "the west" generally had very little to do with "hating our Freedoms".

His stated demands were the removal of US bases from Saudi Arabia and an end to the US funding and tacit support for Zionist Persecution and Genocide of the Palestinian People.

I feel no reason to celebrate the death of this one man, in view of the tens of thousands who have lost their lives and the millions displaced during the "hunt".

eat my shorts said...

I'm glad he's dead. He seemed like a right old cunt (not to be confused with a cunt-cunt, which is a different thing altogether).

However, I don't think this is going to do a whole lot to stop Al Queda or terrorism in general.

It made me feel a bit queasy seeing all the Americans whooping & cheering on tv. But, it makes me a bit queasy to see Americans whooping & cheering on tv, generally speaking.

patchouligirl said...

Bin Laden arranged the murder of 3000 innocent civilians, including children. He has finally answered for his crime and I hope it brings some closure for the families and friends of those who perished.

It isn't appropriate to have a celebration over anyone's death but I can understand why they feel the way they do about it.

Mr E Discharge said...

Bin Laden arranged the murder of 3000 innocent civilians,

Patch,
Surely you mean "Bin Laden allegedly arranged the murder of 3000 innocent civilians".

patchouligirl said...

Bin Laden claimed responsibility. Allegedly.

Alex said...

Al-Jazeera has a transcript of one of the videos in which he touches on his involvement in the attacks. I believe there's also a video in which he appears with two of the hijackers while they study flight manuals.

Patch, I don't think anyone knows the exact number of civilians (including children) that have been killed by coalition forces in Afghanistan since 2001, but I can bet it's a lot more than 3000. Now, sure, you can make a distinction between targeting civilians and collateral damage, but at the end of the day, those people are just as dead, and, I imagine, their loved ones are no less aggrieved. That kind of ugly shit is unavoidable when you have this kind of conflict and it's why I don't think touting "payback" as a means of justification is a good idea.

It shouldn't be forgotten that a lot of the cunts on the other side are also sacrificing their own lives and the lives of others for, what is in their minds, "the greater good".

Perseus said...

Mr. E: bin Laden was not the President of Saudia Arabia, nor indeed an elected and/or appointed government official of any nation, or any open and fair international organisation (such as Amnesty International) therefore, he had no right to take up arms against anybody or any body, for any of the reasons you mentioned.

He was the leader of a violent and fascist rogue organisation, steeped by medieval religious belief, membership of which lead one, slowly in some cases, quickly in others, towards murder and/or death.

Women's Weekly or not, the world is better off without him.

Mr E Discharge said...

Ah Perseus,
Good to see that your knee is still in fine jerking order.

My only point was to object to the childish meme that all of this horror was the result of a group of religious zealots having a pathological hatred for the morals and values of the west in general and the US in particular.

It would be so nice if life were that simple.

But to think otherwise raises to many questions. Questions about an American foreign policy of interference and manipulation of the internal politics of countries in the middle east since the fifties, starting with the removal of the democratically elected government of Iran by the CIA at the behest of British Petroleum.

Questions about the thirty year bloodbath that followed under the tender rule of The Shah and his 60000 strong Savak Police force.

Questions about US support for the brutal regime of Sadam Hussein, up until he decided to disobey his minders, and try trade oil for currencies other than US Dollars. Bad move.

Questions about supply of overwelmingly disproportionate quantities of arms to the Zionist Regime for use against the fifty percent of their population that had the misfortune to live in land illegally occupied in defiance of literally hundreds of UN mandates.

I could go on.

Thank God/Allah we have phrases like "they hate our freedoms" so nobody need take time to actually think about cause and effect and we can all get back to business as usual.

Perseus, I'd be fasinated to hear your specific reasons as to why to world is a better place as a result of the death of this one man.

Alex said...

bin Laden was not the President of Saudia Arabia, nor indeed an elected and/or appointed government official of any nation, or any open and fair international organisation (such as Amnesty International) therefore, he had no right to take up arms against anybody or any body, for any of the reasons you mentioned.

I'd wager him and his mates probably see themselves as brave freedom-fighters, taking up arms against an overwhelming evil -- a bit like those fellas fighting against Gaddafi, in Libya, at the moment.

patchouligirl said...

Sorry if this is simplistic but if it wasn't for Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks would the Americans have been in Afghanistan at all and would all those additional deaths have occurred?

Do you reckon there's terrorists in remote parts of Afghanistan who are right now thinking 'how come Bin Laden gets such comfortable digs in town while we're stuck in a cave?' or 'I wonder what records/files Bin Laden had in that compound with him?' I hope so.

Alex said...

if it wasn't for Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks would the Americans have been in Afghanistan at all and would all those additional deaths have occurred?

I agree; and I'm sure there were a number of things, outside of Bin Laden's control, that influenced him to turn out the way he did. But if that's a valid excuse, then nobody ever has to take responsibility for their actions and civil society falls apart*.

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if he had detractors, even within Al-Qaeda. Scarily, some of them probably thought he was too moderate.

*Also, in no way am I arguing that nothing good has come out of the invasion. The Taliban were cunts and there are a lot of people in Afghanistan that are much better of without them running the show.

Melba said...

Hello everyone. Been a while, how are you, well I hope.

I'm with Mr E on his overall analysis and comments on this. As you, Perseus and Ramon, knew I would be if I ever popped up again here. It's a simplistic view to say that 'he hated us/our freedoms and that's why this happened.'

Or as Mr E said:

'Thank God/Allah we have phrases like "they hate our freedoms" so nobody need take time to actually think about cause and effect and we can all get back to business as usual.'

Seeing the celebrations in America made me feel uneasy as well, as it has several other people who have commented. Was it not very similar footage that outraged the west in times past when Arabs have danced around smiling and clapping when they 'scored a hit'? Can you not see the irony of this and that it's not just a simple matter of right or wrong here but perspectives. (I know that'll get me into trouble. Oh well, it's been a while.)

Not saying it's a bad thing Osama has been dispatched. But I am so wary of propoganda, and anyone who thinks that is the exclusive domain of the 'baddies' is truly naive. To wit:

- the soldiers were reported that they were surprised the see the luxury in which Osama and his crew were living.

Has anyone seen the interior photo of the bed? Luxury? Squalor more like.

- Osama was holed up in a million-dollar mansion

Has anyone seen the exterior shots of this 'mansion'?

Other questions - how do we know that the troops were apparently given instructions to take him alive if possible? Because *they* told us so? How do we know it was unlikely he wouldn't surrender? Oh that's right, because he was the devil. How do we know he was given a respectful burial, because burial at sea is not an acceptable type of Muslim burial.

Finally Ramon, old fellow old chum, your last line, why slip that in? Bin Laden was a muslim so it's a fair assumption that he wasn't fond of Jews, however he didn't deliberately target Jews did he? He/al Qaeda targeted America and American interests. And women? Again, customarily these types of muslims are not progressive and therefore don't have the best attitudes towards women. But he didn't have a manifesto against women. So why put that in? Isn't it enough to say he was a terrorist and a bad guy and that's why they went after him. You don't need to qualify any further I don't think, but it was a bit tricky to do so.

PS there are reports now that he was unarmed, there were family members there including an early teen daughter who saw him killed. Oh and how about America going into Pakistan without telling them. Was that not some sort of arrogant breach of international law as well?

patchouligirl said...

How do we know it was unlikely he wouldn't surrender?

Hands up everyone who would allow themselves to be taken alive if they were Bin Laden.

patchouligirl said...

As for respectful burial - what about the people whose bodies were never recovered from 9/11? Where was their respectful burial?

Melba said...

I'm not saying he deserved a respectful burial, patchouligirl. I'm saying the Americans are saying he did, but they tossed him off a ship into the sea. They should say 'fuck him, we tossed him off a ship into the sea, he doesn't deserve better' rather than pretending something different.

And none of us know how Bin Laden was likely to act under any circumstances. What do we know about him, nothing that I can be sure of.

Alex said...

how do we know that the troops were apparently given instructions to take him alive if possible? How do we know it was unlikely he wouldn't surrender?

He knew what the resources, capabilities and history of the US were and he still spent years antagonising them (a bit like poking a sharp twig into the bum of a wild rhino). He also talked about how ace martyrdom was. I always assumed he was willing to die for the cause. Also, I would've thought that it'd be in Obama & Co's best interests to take him alive. Then they could make some speeches about "the triumph of western justice" and see to it that he was tried and executed - a la Saddam. Of course, even if there were orders to take him alive, it doesn't mean that somebody down the command chain didn't simply disregard them. We'll never really know, I suppose. Maybe it's all just a conspiracy to cover up what the CIA had going on in Afghanistan during the cold war. *wink*

it's not just a simple matter of right or wrong here but perspectives. (I know that'll get me into trouble.

Pretty accurate, I would say. Indeed, it's our perspectives that shape our determination of right and wrong.

Mr E Discharge said...

Hands up everyone who would allow themselves to be taken alive if they were Bin Laden.

Patch,
As somebody who has been mugged at gunpoint on two separate occasions, I can tell you that the choice between life and death can get kinda vivid and being confronted by a bunch of Navy Seals carrying AR-15s would put surrender high on the list of preferred outcomes. Especially when unarmed and with family members present.

Mr E Discharge said...

My principal problem with all of this is that a rational discussion of the events has been made meaningless by the almost universal acceptance of a couple of trite phrases, and that what should have been a political discussion for the world has been turned into a religious one.

My son was a naval intelligence officer aboard a US Carrier in New York Harbour during 911. He's still traumatized by the events of that day.

Both he and I have many unanswered questions.

Melba said...

Alex, how do you know he talked about how ace martyrdom was? How do you really know, be certain enough to state that as a fact? I'm not a Bin Laden apologist; what I am trying to say is why do we just accept what we are told? Why doesn't anyone question all of this? And especially,why has no one on this thread dared to look at the lead-up to September 11 and the possible reasons why a bunch of people might have wanted to attack America. It's complex and difficult I know to consider, and involves looking at culpability on America's part (at the most), or a non-blameless position (at the least.) I refuse to be mindless about something like this.

My point is none of us have seen him speaking in English on the news, or read his manifesto, or even read an interview with him, with interpreters. Everything and anything has been filtered through the US machine; I can't remember even hearing one of his taped messages, but even if I did, it wasn't in English. Just saying that none of us know. I'd love to know what Arabic speakers have heard from him. There would be Arabs out there who are moderate and anti-jihad but also independent thinkers/operators from the US. I wonder what they think?

And to call me a conspiracist is facile; it means you don't want to consider something else than a narrow mindset. And it's lazy because it means you don't want to work at trying to understand the whole of something. (Being pre-emptive here. Sorry don't mean to offend but it's a while since we got feisty here.)

Mr E Discharge said...

Melba,
Spot on!

patchouligirl said...

I agree Melba that we don't hear the other side of the story. I'm not so sure that scrutinizing everything the Americans do is productive. Who would you prefer as world police?

Mr E - That list of preferred outcomes was a rather short one. 1. Die now. 2. Surrender, get tortured for information and then executed. 3. Oh there is no 3.

Melba said...

Good question about the world police, patch. I think it would be better if countries could self-regulate (fat chance?), mind their own business (fat chance again?) unless it's absolutely necessary to intervene, in which case a body like NATO or the UN. I don't know much about NATO, I know they get a fair bit of criticism, but a conglomerate of nations, with a more balanced representation than NATO. That would be my answer I suppose. Not just one nation that has taken it upon themselves (as America has) to be the overlord, or sorry police officer.

Mr E Discharge said...

Patch.
When you've had a loaded gun stuck in your face, let me know what you decide. Until then spare me.

Mr E Discharge said...

We have a world police force, it's called INTERPOL! They are currently holding warrants for the arrest of one G W Bush and a Mister Richard Cheney.Something about "Crimes against Humanity".

Alex said...

Mr E:
My principal problem with all of this is that a rational discussion of the events has been made meaningless by the almost universal acceptance of a couple of trite phrases

That's pretty much what goes in place of meaningful political discussion everywhere, now, isn't it?

I'm sorry to hear about your boy. I've spent a fair bit of time around war-veterans and their families and PTSD sure ain't no picnic.

I think you're being a bit hard on Patchy, though. Back in my cuntier days, I got into a few nasty altercations that I honestly didn't expect to come out of. I'm certain that what went through my mind was different to what would've went through yours. Just as I'm certain they both would've differed from what went through Osama's. It just seems to me that your "I don't want to hear your opinion unless your experience is as big as mine" position, might be a tad unfair.

Patch:
I'm not so sure that scrutinizing everything the Americans do is productive. Who would you prefer as world police?

I disagree. I would think that if you're going to have anybody in that position, you should be scrutinising the shit out of them -- and preferably, have some measures in place, should they get too far out of line.

Alex said...

Melba:
it's a while since we got feisty here

Yeah, I've missed it, too. So, okay, first of all, I think you're reading more sarcasm into my comments than was intended. I wasn't actually trying to finger you as some kind of conspiracy nutter (although, that last bit did sorta sound like you were saying -- There isn't a single English-language document on this subject, anywhere in the public sphere, that isn't just American propaganda". -- which is sorta worrying.)

How do you really know, be certain enough to state that as a fact?

The internet makes it easy to access stuff like Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, and other, smaller services, in the region, that supply news in English; there's the interviews he's done with western journalist, three or four of which he appears to have endorsed in a video statement; and there's that book that was written by the bloke who runs that London-based Palestinian newspaper (Al Quads Arabi?), who spent some time with him in the mid-nineties (In this day-and-age, there's no reason why any of us should have to be relying on Woman's Weekly liftouts). I really would shudder to think that "The US Machine" was somehow manipulating all of it. On top of that, it's not too difficult to hunt up a forum/blog/channel (yes IRC still lives) and have a yarn/browse the thoughts of people living in those places. If you really would like to know what Arab speakers have heard from him, I suggest you do just that. I don't think you're likely to find any single definitive opinion on the subject, but it's a worthwhile exercise, if you're curious.

But look, you're right; at the end of the day, I don't know anything for certain about Osama bin Laden. Just like I don't know for certain that prayer can't cure cancer. Really, I'm just weighing up evidence to form an opinion -- one that I leave open to change, should new evidence arise.

why has no one on this thread dared to look at the lead-up to September 11 and the possible reasons why a bunch of people might have wanted to attack America

I don't think anyone's actively avoiding the issue, Melba, and if that's what you want to talk about, I for one am more than happy to listen. I can't imagine anybody here is under the impression that the United States (or any developed nation, for that matter) is getting around with a big spotless halo floating over them (I certainly hope none of my comments gave that impression) and so long as you don't end any statements with "... and that's why the hijackings were totally justified", I'm probably likely to agree with a lot of what you have to say.

Perseus said...

Mr E: Zionist Regime, Zionist Genocide... You accuse Ramon of Women's Weekly language, but you're stepping right out of the Socialist Alliance pages. What you call the Zionist Regime, I call Israel.

And I don't buy the whole "US were bad in the 1950's" line. Just cos they were bad in the 1950's, doesn't mean what they do now is bad. How long do we keep Belgium accountable for Rwanda? How long do we blame Portugal for East Timor? Let's go at the Spanish for South America. Hell, those Viking bastards, they were real bad, so Denmark shouldn't be allowed to weigh in on international matters. That seems to be your argument.

The world is a better place without rogue religious terrorists. That's the sum total of my argument.

patchouligirl said...

I don't mind a vigorous debate Alex, so don't worry about me :). I don't actually disagree with anything that's been said and sure the Americans are self serving, arrogant and prone to inventing their own history but I assumed that was a given. What superpower wouldn't behave the same way? I just reckon it's a waste of time dreaming about the UN or Interpol sorting out terrorism - they don't have the budget for it. Bin Laden was responsible for attacking America and murdering 3000 civilians and whether he got a nice funeral or the Americans lied about the exact method of his disposal or their visa into Pakistan was up to date doesn't bother me much. I doubt they can fight terrorism and adhere to the niceties of warfare all the time.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

His stated demands were the removal of US bases from Saudi Arabia and an end to the US funding and tacit support for Zionist Persecution and Genocide of the Palestinian People.

The stuff about the bases is pretty spot on but the interesting thing about bin Laden's writings is the almost complete absense of a concrete political programme.

Most of it is concerned about the war between "belief" (ie. him) and "unbelief" (ie everybody else).

This in turn grew out of political thinking in the Arab world in the 1920s and 30s in response to developments in the countries of the former Ottoman Empire and elsewhere - well before the founding of Israel.

And Melbs, calling bin Laden a misogynist and anti-Semite was a reasonably straight forward statement of fact, I would have thought.

Melba said...

I don't know Ramon. It was tacked on the end as if him just being a terrorist wasn't enough, you had to embellish but they were obvious things to say, that was my point. Why bother? Just a small picky thing, because that's the way I roll.

But perhaps more importantly, how are the lemons and The Boy?

Mr E Discharge said...

Perseus,
You disappoint me sir.*
I really expected a little more from you than the specious diatribe presented.

I use the term "Zionist Regime" as means of political deferentiation between the group of thugs and criminals that currently hold power in Israel and the general population of that country, with whom niether I nor the majority of rational thinking Arabs have a problem.

While some (you among them) see Israel as "the sole democracy in the middle east" nothing could be
further from the truth. Roughly fifty percent of it's population have been systematically diprived of their property, basic human rights, accesss to adequate medical care, education, employment and the freedom to even walk down the street.
Why? Because their religious beliefs differ from those sanctioned by the state.

And how does this brutal theocracy justify herding half the population into ghettos and treating them like animals?
With phrases like "Terrorist" or "they hate our freedoms" and quotes from an old book that proves God is on their side. Oddly Familiar.
The only "democracy" comparable to current day Israel would be South Africa under Apartheid. Home of that other noted "terrorist"
Nelson Mandella.

The actions of the US and UK in the fifties cannot be dismissed as "the past". the ramifications of the coup are still effecting the people of Iran and the region today. The current theocratic regime may have its problems but in comparison to life under the Shah and his amry of goons, life is better. For all of the US bluster about Iran being a State Sponsor of Terrorism,
and the fear of them developing a nuclear weapon because they too "hate our freedoms", it's more about the fact that like Iraq they too chose to trade oil for currencies other than US dollars. Suffice to say that if you forcibly replace the elected government of a country with a brutal Dictator who had previously been jailed for beening a Nazi Collaborator, who then subjects the populace to thirty years of some the worst human rights
abuses then seen, chances are that the people may not be quick to forgive.

Rwanda. I would thought the Belgians reponsiblity ended in 1969 when having fulfilled their obligations under the League of Nations Mandate as Trustee to oversee the transition to independence was completed, they promptly left having left the country in better shape than they found it.
If you're looking for someone to blame for Rawandan Genocide look to the Rawandan Peoples Front and the activist Catholic Clergy.


Timor. PORTUGAL?? Portugal colonised timor in the fucken mid 17th Century, putting an end to the Chinese Slave trade there. By and large things went pretty ok until they left.
Then came the Indonesians.And your point is??????


Spain in South America. You're insane.What the hell are you talking about??

Vikings. This should read 'See above'. However given that my family were Viking Raiders who arrived in what is now known as Normndy in 675 and have lived there in peace ever since,
and held in much esteem by the locals, having produced one king of England, Five Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and my cousin Richard who's a total cunt, I think we fitted in ok.

Perseus, you might do well leaving the Proust aside for awhile and reading some HISTORY!

*Again

Perseus said...

Jesus Mr. E: You missed my point entirely, and accidentally agreed with me.

No, the current Portugese administration should not be put to trial for unspeakable dumbness a long time ago. Likewise, because of shithouse choices made under Eisenhower, would you have the Obama administration sit in the corner wearing a dunce cap?

To me, chasing the Taliban away was a correction of past US mistakes! Good on 'em.

What the recent uprisings across the Arab states proves to us (and it was what I was saying all along) is that your average Arab wants to live a peaceful and democratic life, and not be subject to religious or fascist restrictions. They want peace, and freedom. bin Laden does not. He wants jihad. But he is the spokesperson for a stupid and noisy minority, and thusly, the world is better off without him (and his ilke).

I hate fascists. I hate fundies. They have no place in the modern world.

And stop with the "Israel are bad full stop" line will you? Yeah, the right-wing Zionists building their settlements because they think God promised them the leand are dickheads, and yes, they have too much influence over Israeli policy, I concede all that, but to say that the Palestinians are nothing but a beautiful and peaceful people who are victims of genocide is over the top. Hamas are fucked. Admit it, Mr. E, go on. They are a fascist religious organisation and should not have a voice. They are perpetuating the conflict, and I feel for the Palestinian people who, like the Libyans and the Syrians who are marching the streets, just want to get up, go to work, then come home and watch NCIS.

Lewd Bob said...

NCIS is shit.

Melba said...

Wow, well done Mr E. Perseus actually conceded some points in his last para there, which I don't remember him actually doing before in our previous Israel-Palestine stoushes.

Hi Persey. How are you?

And I'll go one better than you Bob. I have never watched NCIS or any of those shows but I know they are shit. Because the ads are shit.

Lewd Bob said...

Melba, here's how much of it I've watched: 3 minutes.

This is the time it took, in the VERY FIRST EPISODE, until the moment of the first product placement. Mark Hamon's character was drinking a Starbucks coffee, and so painfully obviously tilted the logo towards the camera.

Fuck it shat me, and I have never watched it since.

Lewd Bob said...

Guinness is good for you.

Mr E Discharge said...

Hamas are fucked. Admit it, Mr. E, go on. They are a fascist religious organisation and should not have a voice.

Perseus,
I don't really have hold or feel a need to hold a view as to whether Hamas is "fucked" or not. That's for the people they represent to decide.

I would have thought that being the democratically elected representatives of the people of Gaza would have entitled them to "have a voice" whether or not you agree with what they have to say.

I curious as to the criteria you use to justify your assertion that Hamas are "a fascist religious organisation" while being seemingly blind to the same tendencies on the part of the Zionist regime?

Melba said...

Uh-oh. Here we go.

Perseus said...

Extreme right Religious Zionist cunts are fucked, so are their counterparts on the Islamic right. I don't pay lip service to either, but you seem to think the Islamic ones are conscionable, or excusable. Like bin Laden.