The killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan wasn't about justice but it was about vengeance.
President Obama simply said that 'after a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden'. Which was, of course, the intention. I doubt that the Obama administration wanted to capture him alive so he could tell all at his trial about his dealings with the CIA, the United States' murky relationship with Saudi Arabia and so on.
Reuters reports that the US commandos were given orders for 'a kill operation' in which bin Laden would have been taken alive only if he 'clearly' surrendered. There is a lot of flexibility in that word 'clearly'. We will never actually know whether bin Laden refused to surrender.
While no one will shed a tear for the man who orchestrated such violence and suffering, its less than edifying to see politicians and the corporate media gloat over his death while ignoring that an extra judicial killing took place and that Pakistan had its national sovereignty violated in the process.
I've also not enjoyed the triumphalism I've seen demonstrated in the last day or so. The fist pumping of Geraldo Rivera on Fox News was ugly. But that's Fox News for you.
George Bush's jingoistic response was predictable. He basically declared that 'they' had got the bastard and that validated the whole so-called 'war on terror' and the enormous loss of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq and now, Libya.
I expected very little from Bush 3 and he delivered as much in his White House speech.
Barack Obama could have brought down the curtain on the United States' chauvinistic and imperialist adventures in faraway lands. He could have taken the opportunity to announce that the 'war on terror' was over. He could have announced that he was finally going to keep his election promise to close down the Guantamano prison camp.
He could have signalled a progressive change in American foreign policy, one that didn't involve the United States acting as the self-appointed 'Big Daddy' for the rest of the world.
But he didn't. Instead the killings and mayhem will continue in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The United States will continue to trample on other countries whenever its feels its interests are threatened.
I have friends in the United States who are very angry with Obama's speech. Admittedly they share similar political views to myself but I suspect that even some American liberals would have been uncomfortable with Obama's deliberate association of 'the war on terror' with the 'struggle for equality for all our citizens.'
According to Obama fighting a futile war in Afghanistan is comparable to, say, Martin Luther King and the historic struggle of the civil rights movement.
This is the sort of nonsense that we expect from the likes of George Bush and Fox News, and it demonstrated again just how reactionary Obama has proven to be.
While Glen Beck of Fox News got hauled over the coals by American liberals for trying to attach the liberating message of Martin Luther King to his right wing agenda, the silence is deafening when Barack Obama does exactly the same thing.
Personally I'm more than irritated that Obama could talk about 'equality for all our citizens' when he has spent the last several years bailing out corporate America and Wall Street while plunging more and more ordinary Americans into poverty. Not much 'equality' going on here, Mr President.
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