The Obama administration announced last week that the U.S. military has killed Osama Bin Laden. The media and the politicians want us to feel avenged as we are forced to relive on television the devastation of the September 11th attacks. Those who lost loved ones among the 3,000 deaths will never stop mourning.
But at the same time, the so-called war on terror waged on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan has created a much larger death toll. Besides the 7,100 US soldiers, 2.3 million Iraqis and over 100,000 Afghans have lost their lives. An average of two Afghan children were killed every day last year. Nothing justifies this loss of life.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. has relied upon the worst possible thugs and villains to run things. The ruling parties are more intolerant, more oppressive, and more brutal than the previous regimes. Life has gotten worse with people thrown out of work, starving, without access to clean water, electricity, or basic health care. No matter what the politicians say, the only thing the U.S. brings to the world with its military interventions is brutality and death.
So what right does the United States have to assassinate anyone in another country? No attempt was made to catch Bin Laden alive, and nothing resembling a trial, or even evidence was brought forward. His identification with the attacks of September 11th, and his support for them might be provocative, but that does not give the U.S. the right to act as the world’s judge and executioner.
In fact the U.S. has not only carried out this assassination but many others as well. For example, on April 22nd, a U.S. drone launched a missile in Pakistan killing 25 people including families with children. And again on May 6th, a drone’s missile struck near a restaurant in Pakistan killing 15 people. Supposedly these were strikes against terrorists. Ordinary people just got in the way. No wonder the reaction of people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Middle East is one of outrage. How dare the U.S. government carry out assassinations in the name of justice, while brutalizing people in the Middle East.
In fact the assassination of Bin Laden and the so-called war on terror are part of a bigger manipulation – our feelings and fears are used to justify and carry out war and occupation in the interest of U.S. corporations.
The attacks of September 11th were first used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan, based on the tentative links that the Taliban government had with Osama Bin Laden. Then the politicians and media spokesmen collaborated in telling a bigger lie – that Bin Laden and his group were connected to and supported by Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. This claim has been shown to be false beyond a doubt. However, behind these manipulations and lies we can see the interests of U.S. corporations.
Afghanistan is the site of a potential pipe-line for Central Asian oil and natural gas. The Taliban regime was supported by the U.S. until 1997 when the Taliban refused conditions for Unocal to develop this pipeline. September 11th gave the U.S. a pretext to remove this political obstacle by waging war. They then installed Hamid Karzai, the current president of Afghanistan and former Unocal consultant.
Iraq contains the fifth largest reserves of oil in the world – oil that is absolutely necessary to the industrial and energy needs of the world economy. Left in the hands of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the U.S. was sure to be cut out of any future deals to develop the oilfields of Iraq. During the 1990s Clinton and Bush Sr. used sanctions to keep Iraqi oil off the market, but hungry European corporate developers were pushing for sanctions to be lifted. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 made sure this would not happen. U.S. Oil corporations preferred to let blood flow rather than oil, if they couldn’t profit.
We should not be fooled by the hypocrisy of Obama and his administration. They don’t stand for justice. They stand for corporate profit. The biggest terrorist of the century isn’t in Iraq or Afghanistan, it’s right here among us – the U.S. government and its military.