Gone but not forgotten - the bin Laden revival tour
Dead man walking, with assistance
"I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a ... kidney patient," Gen. Pervez Musharraf said on Friday in an interview with CNN.
Musharraf said Pakistan knew bin Laden took two dialysis machines into Afghanistan. "One was specifically for his own personal use," he said.
"I don't know if he has been getting all that treatment in Afghanistan now. And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak. ... I would give the first priority that he is dead and the second priority that he is alive somewhere in Afghanistan." CNN Jan 18, 2002
But he can't be dead, at least he couldn't have been dead on Jan 18, 2002 because the living bin Laden and his network (created with U.S. assistance) represented the rationale to invade Iraq. It's bad enough that Bush and Blair invaded the wrong country to catch bin Laden. But, my lord, invading the wrong country to catch a dead guy would be even more unforgivable, if that is within the realm of imagination.
"Donald Rumsfeld had the chance when he was US defence secretary in December 2001 to make sure Osama bin Laden was killed or captured, but let him slip through his hands, a Senate report has found.
"The report by the Senate foreign relations committee is damning of the way George Bush's administration conducted the aftermath of its bombing campaign in Afghanistan, saying it amounted to a "lost opportunity". It states that as a result of allowing the al-Qaida leader to flee from his Tora Bora stronghold into Pakistan, Americans were left more vulnerable to terrorism, and the foundations were laid for today's protracted Afghan insurgency. It also lays blame for the July 2005 London bombings on a failure to kill the al-Qaida leaders at Tora Bora." Guardian Nov 29, 2009
So, we had bin Laden at Tora Bora. But he was sick and in need of dialisis. He got away. Who knows if the machines followed? And in January 2002, Musharraf, our cooperative ally at the time, said the guy is dead.
Obama needs bin Laden too!
“If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out”. Candidate Obama, Oct 20, 2008
Obama masked his aggressive doctrine behind the face of bin Laden, who may well be dead, and, at the same time, by implication behind the horror of 911.
After using General Eikenberry's heroic report as temporary reprieve, President Obama is anticipated to announce more troops to Afghanistan. That was the right country to find bin Laden at one time and that rationale was the start of what turned into a years long occupation.
Will Obama play the part of political necromancer and roll away the stone for bin Laden's resurrection?
Stay tuned. There's more naked aggression around the corner.
P.S. But if bin Laden was dead in 2002, that means that this pre-2004 election video of the al Qaeda leader was likely a fake. We would have suspected that then if these reports from 2002 analysis by a highly respectable lab had been aired to any degree. But they weren’t and the bin Laden threats provided the rationale for a stolen election. Dead or alive, bin Laden is the gift that keeps giving for those who favor perpetual crisis and war in the oil rich Middle East and South Asia.