ISSN 2330-717X

Bin Laden Corps: Obama’s Campaign Tool – OpEd


By Hassan Hanizadeh

The alleged assassination of Osama Bin Laden by the United States and Pakistan raises the question whether the body of Laden has turned into campaign propaganda for Obama or not.

The news of his assassination by Pakistani and US forces comes as the US faces two dramatic changes on the domestic front.

First is the 2012 presidential election which is expected to be the most costly one in the history of US elections.

In this election the party that convinces the US public opinion regarding the results of the ‘war on terror,’ the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and to reconstruct of the fragile US economy will manage to win the majority of votes.

Another important issue for the democrats, which has considerable importance at the time being, is the issue of the US economy and the saving of the US dollar from further depreciation in the international market.

The news about Bin Laden’s death was quick to affect the value of the dollar. As soon as the news got out the rate of the US dollar increased in the international market.

On Monday, Barak Obama appeared in front of the television and surprisingly announced the death of Bin Laden.

Pictures of the body posted on internet sites showed that the death was not recent and that some time had passed since the death.

The question that quickly came to mind was why didn’t the US try to capture Bin Laden alive? This is because the al-Qaeda head would have definitely been able to shed light on their terrorist activities. If he had been captured alive he could have named most of the members of the al-Qaeda terror cell.

Bin Laden, who is a Saudi terrorist, was brought up in the dry and undemocratic climate of the Arabian Peninsula and has grown up to scorn anything it is western in nature. The violent atmosphere of Saudi Arabia and the spiraling mid-evil school of thought of Arabs in this nation made an inflexible anti-western character out of Bin Laden.

Still we cannot just consider him as a simple terrorist because he chose the place and time of his attacks against US forces in a smart manner.

The September 11 attacks painted a mystical perception of Bin Laden in the minds of Western nations and the Arab world. At a time when Western nations viewed Bin Laden as the head of a terrorist organization, Arabs, namely Saudis, viewed him as a national hero.

Over the past 20 years, international media outlets have painted an ambiguous and suspicious image of Bin Laden, which is different from the realities on the ground.

Bin Laden was able to use the undemocratic climate of Arab countries to reach his political and terroristic goals. He attracted young Arab men who were fed up with the unbearable political and social environments in their countries and created stone-hearted and obeying soldiers out of them.

His attacks on civilian and military targets in the United States proved that al-Qaeda had a hidden core in all countries of the world that would take actions with the direct or indirect orders of Bin Laden.

Even some Arab leaders such as former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made secret contacts with Bin Laden.

The US envisions of Iraq and Afghanistan failed to put an end to al-Qaeda’s activities in the Middle East despite the fact the US paid a heavy human and financial price for these two wars. And now that nearly ten years have passed since the US invasion of Afghanistan the US has yet to bring stability and security to the nation.

Therefore, as the presidential elections are approaching, Obama feels he needs justification for withdrawing US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The first justification is that Obama is trying to convince people that he has permanently eliminated the head of the largest terrorist organization in the world. Therefore, Obama has declared the operations of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as ‘complete’ as he needs to withdraw his forces from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Another issue that can use Bin Laden’s death as a propaganda tool for the democrats is the upcoming US presidential elections.

The democrats, namely Obama, need a head start for their election campaign and need a strong advertising process; and apparently the rotting body of Bin Laden was the best campaign advertisement.

Based on non-media reports, Osama died of Kidney failure months ago in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan. But the democrats kept his death a secret as the leaders of this party where in need of a campaign maneuver for the 2012 elections.

The death of Bin Laden does not have much importance for the world and the truth of the matter is that al-Qaeda is structured in a way that Bin Laden’s death will not result in the network’s collapse.

Now Ayman al Zawahiri has announced himself the leader of the group and has called on his comrades to follow his orders.

Due to his academic education as a surgeon and his experience with al-Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri will be able to give the group more mobility. Therefore, it seems news of Bin Laden’s death has internal use for the democrats and Obama in addition to its military significance.

On the other hand, one must not assume that the activities of al-Qaeda have come to an end with the death of Bin Laden. Actually, the US and the West need to be wiser than the past and monitor the activities of the second generation of al-Qaeda leaders.

Under such circumstances the US will not be able to stem out terrorism without genuine cooperation with other influential countries of the region. The US and its allies need to abandon their old ‘good terrorist Vs bad terrorist’ policy and must fight the concept of terrorism altogether and not based on their interests.

Press TV

Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

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