Saturday, May 30, 2009

The ontology of Osama bin Laden

The traditional ontological question asked by schoolchildren around the world after tackling the tough issues of God and Santa Claus - Is there an Osama bin Laden? - is usually answered in two ways: yes, as he is still alive, or no, as he is dead. Conspiracy theorists favor the dead answer, as that makes him a boogeyman used by the Americans as the excuse to do all sorts of mischief in the areas where he is supposed to be hiding.

I've always thought it odd that if he was who he said he was, and he is really dead, the surviving members of his organization didn't make something out of his death, the cult of the martyr. He just faded out like the Cheshire Cat, with no use being made of his death. Odd.

Of course, there is a third possibility, that he is still very much alive, but retired from his lifetime job as an asset of the CIA. He's tanning on the same beach with Mohamed Atta!

If the rest of his organization belatedly discovered he had been working for the CIA, they wouldn't be keen to make a big deal out of him after he disappeared. He had lots of money, and the assistance of the Americans would ensure he received the best medical care. He made a famous escape from Tora Bora while the Americans watched. His connections to the CIA appear to go back to the 1980s. He displayed an amazing ability to predict American political decisions. He denied having had anything to do with September 11. The big beneficiaries of the actions and events blamed on him were the opposite of the people for whom he claimed to be working. He sure looks like a CIA asset. If a CIA asset retires we don't say he is 'dead'. He just retired.

Of course, 'al Qaeda' itself is just a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been under Western intelligence influence since it was founded (under the same colonialist idea that the best strategy is divide and conquer), and under specific CIA direction since it was used as a weapon against Nasser. It's main spokesman, Adam Gadahn, is a Jew whose grandfather had been member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League. Al Qaeda's main purpose now seems to be to provide the excuse for Americans to continue to fight Wars For The Jews. That's an oddity that needs explaining.

The world's a convoluted place. The fact that al Qaeda is under CIA influence doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own goals, or that it is insincere in its statements. The fact that Osama was a CIA asset doesn't mean that he wasn't attempting to play the Americans to further his own goals while he continued to work for them. The CIA runs all kinds of people, and no doubt recognizes that this kind of ambiguity is part of the game. You still get the full pension, and the retirement on the beach, even if your motives are a little complicated.
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