There was considerable public debate between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Obama White House about displaying the cadaver of the killed Islamic militant to the world to prove that the man who had made America look foolish on 9/11 was indeed gone for the good of the world and that of the Muslims whom he was trying to liberate by declaring war on the United States. I argued on Twitter, just as I had about the Libyan intervention, that it is beneath the dignity of an American president to consent to a vulgar display of corpses of war before his water burial in the Arabian Sea. And that Bin Laden was a casualty of war. The president seemed to have agreed with my perspective.
There are methods which any sophisticated intelligence agency in the world can pursue to ascertain the identity of the man they worked so hard to contain, capture or kill. And the CIA must be trusted that they had the right man.
Osama Bin Laden was a complicated turncoat. Born to a wealthy Saudi immigrant from Yemen and having inherited considerable wealth, he was a disgruntled intelligence operative for Saudi Arabia and the United States before he moved away from both countries after his genuine disenchantment with corruption in the Saudi ruling establishment for which he blamed the United States after Gulf War I. His objective was to destabilize American capitalism. He had blamed free trade as the principal reason for the plight of the Muslims. And so he plotted, extraordinarily successfully, on a shoestring budget of $1 Million, to decapitate the United States on 9/11.
America has not ended its war with Bin Laden yet, then alive or now dead, and for good reason one can only hope, for Bin Laden’s war was economic. He well understood that he will not be able to confront the military might of the United States (more than $1 trillion have been expended since 9/11 on counter-terrorism. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld well understood this asymmetry.). Therefore, he catalyzed through 9/11 a series of missteps within the establishment of the world’s largest power to render its economy vulnerable. And he may be succeeding.
Reaction to September 11, 2001 in the United States was as predicted by Al Qaeda: American capitalism shot back with a reckless abandon and brought about the housing crisis; the Pentagon fired back in Afghanistan and recklessly in Iraq, at any cost, to kill the terrorists before it dawned on it to think about better ways to end terrorism; US intelligence detained, rendered, captured, tortured, and killed based on thin evidence (former Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s 1% Doctrine) to save the government from further embarrassments, at the hands of an unprecedentedly diffuse threat, more than trying to secure the American people, in contravention of America’s most cherished principles, let alone the Geneva Conventions which came more than a century later.
This insanity in the world’s mightiest democracy of a purportedly free people continued until the mastermind himself was shot in the head on May 2, 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan after CIA and Pentagon drones buzzed incessantly over sovereign foreign territory. Operation Geronimo, codenamed after an Apache American-Indian warrior-holdout, as if the United States was still justifying the systematic genocide of American-Indians since the founding of Jamestown in 1607, dressed up as a Freemason mission, was watched live by the US elected establishment just in time for the Nobel-winning president’s reelection campaign in the secure White House basement. A great and expensive Pentagon war game was ended by a president, to whom identity is paramount, who put his foot down to assert American identity as he understood it.
This victory could prove to be Pyrrhic because Washington is giving up America’s liberties: political and economic. The looming threat, as Afghanistan which produced Bin Laden is being meandered to a conclusion, are the simple basics of geopolitics which Osama Bin Laden and his loyal Egyptian lieutenant and successor Ayman Al Zawahiri well understood: weaken the enemy before the enemy can be razed to the ground, in an Islamic version of Confucianism.
The spectacular violence of 9/11 could conclude in the end of American capitalism as the world knows it because of the self-inflicted decline of American debt and the dollar at the hands of China and Asia. Bin Laden has succeeded in taking America to war with itself, wielding its open society and the complacency and hubris of its power as weapons, just as he did using a very American invention, a civilian passenger jet, to implode the twin symbols of free trade, which had eclipsed the Statue of Liberty, for those across the waters from America from the day they were erected because, he was correct, free trade since 1993 had become a weapon of war rather than a vehicle of liberation.
China and the rest of Asia will be doing the dirty work for Bin Laden in his death, as the United States will be forced to exit the Saudi holy lands of the Muslims of the world by the rise of Asia, the new customer for the oil wealth of Middle East and North Africa.