Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Osama bin Laden’s Death: Propaganda, Diminishing Political Capital and Re-election

The belief that government will give truth in information has been exposed as falsehood anew.

As I earlier argued we cannot take government’s word for it.


From Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, (bold highlights mine)

Virtually every major newspaper account of the killing of Osama bin Laden consists of faithful copying of White House claims. That's not surprising: it's the White House which is in exclusive possession of the facts, but what's also not surprising is that many of the claims that were disseminated yesterday turned out to be utterly false. And no matter how many times this happens -- from Jessica Lynch's heroic firefight against Iraqi captors to Pat Tillman's death at the hands of Evil Al Qaeda fighters -- it never changes: the narrative is set forever by first-day government falsehoods uncritically amplified by establishment media outlets, which endure no matter how definitively they are disproven in subsequent days.

Yesterday, it was widely reported that bin Laden "resisted" his capture and "engaged in a firefight" with U.S. forces (leaving most people, including me, to say that his killing was legally justified because he was using force). It was also repeatedly claimed that bin Laden used a women -- his wife -- has a human shield to protect himself, and that she was killed as a result. That image -- of a cowardly through violent-to-the-end bin Laden -- framed virtually every media narrative of the event all over the globe. And it came from many government officials, principally Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan

I’d add that if we can’t take the government’s word for it, then how can we be sure that Osama bin Laden had actually been killed as announced?

Butler Shaffer at the Lew Rockwell blog resonates with my thoughts, (bold highlights mine)

I have seen a number of blogs that ask “if bin Laden did die years ago, why wouldn’t the government have so announced at the time?” Because the state depends upon a fear-ridden populace to maintain its powers, bogeymen have always been in demand. A bogeyman who cannot be seen is, perhaps, the most to be feared. What made the movie Jaws so frightening was that we couldn’t see the giant shark. (Because of some mechanical problems in operating the make-believe shark, the producers used music as a substitute source of fear.) One of the most terrifying movies I ever saw was the original version of Diabolique, in which the wrongdoer never appeared until the very end of the film; his wife forever listening to his mysterious footsteps in the hallway, etc. Who better to keep Boobus terrified and crying for Big-Daddy than a ubiquitous, but unseen, monster like bin Laden? And when he’s gone, can he be traded in on the latest model: Gaddafi? (Where is Gaddafi, anyway? Has anyone seen him lately? How will Rudy Giuliani be able to sleep, knowing of the presence of this new villain? Will Rudy keep his bedroom night-light on?)

Finally, if it is true that Osama bin Laden had been eliminated as reported, then perhaps this is because Bin Laden’s political capital has been going down.

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From the Economist, (bold highlights mine)

THE announcement at the weekend that American special forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was greeted with jubilation in America, and with more restraint elsewhere. But while he was America's most wanted man and the most recognisable Islamist terrorist in the world, in reality Mr bin Laden's influence had been declining in many Muslim countries. In polling by the Pew Research Center just before he was killed, a third of Palestinian respondents said they had confidence that the al-Qaeda leader was "doing the right thing in world affairs". That compares with over 70% when the question was first asked in 2003. Support for Mr bin Laden also fell in most of the other countries canvassed. (A 2011 figure is not yet available for Pakistan as the fieldwork is still in progress.) This may reflect a genuine change in attitudes after al-Qaeda's high-profile attacks in places such as Bali and Jordan, as well as its violence in Iraq. But it could also reflect Mr bin Laden's lower profile in recent years.

Declining political capital of both Mr. bin Laden and of President Obama translates to a political maneuvering.

Whether Osama bin Laden was killed long ago or was eliminated just recently adds only to my hypothetical that Mr. bin Laden was used as a prop for the advancement of President Obama’s political career.

1 comment:

nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney said...

world is about to learn EVERY part of 9-11 is a lie