Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bin Laden: not wanted, dead or alive

Past Peak quotes a lengthy excerpt from "The New Pearl Harbor" by David Ray Griffin, concerning bin Laden's miraculous escape from Afghanistan. Had the Americans not let him escape, his capture would have produced psychological closure on the issue of terrorism against America, and made it almost impossible to attack Iraq. As the Iraq attack was already inevitable at the time that the Americans were pretending to try to capture bin Laden, there was no way that they were going to ruin everything by arresting him. They even avoided bombing the area where they knew he was in order to avoid the disaster of inadvertently killing him.

I note that it is now fashionable to believe that bin Laden has been dead for some time. I suspect he is still alive, if only because his followers would have made a great deal of his 'martyrdom' had he croaked. In any event, it is not important whether he is alive or dead. It has long been apparent that Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri is the real leader of al Qaeda, and bin Laden just a combination of spokesmodel and sugar daddy, so it doesn't matter if bin Laden is alive or dead. He is effectively alive as long as media material purporting to come from him is accepted as valid by the press and a significant portion of his fans around the world. He is closer to a media celebrity than a fighter, a sort of Che Guevara for our time. Much like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is almost certainly dead and is just being used by the Americans as the bogeyman on which to blame the foreign resistance in Iraq, bin Laden is an effective propaganda machine as long as people believe he is alive.