Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Convenient Kill

Since there's a snowstorm of debate, questions and conspiracy theories circulating already, let me add my 2 bits. 
Disclaimer - This is not fact, but a pure thought exercise - a what-if scenario, so don't take it any other way. 

2 days ago, The biggest news in the War On Terror since Sep 11 exploded across the world - Osama's death. After a decade-long manhunt, the Prince of Terror was reportedly found and killed, ending a chapter in world history started back in the seventies. 
But let's step a minute and look at this objectively. 

Fact: Osama was responsible for engineering the September 11 attack. 
Fact: He was also the most visible and famous face of fundamentalist terrorism globally. 
Fact: After 9/11, the US effectively invaded first Iraq and then Afghanistan, removing the existing regimes and instituting a Pax Americana that, for better or worse, establishes US control in the two countries. 
Fact: Osama was Saudi Arabian, had roots in Saudi and received most of his funding from there. 
Fact: Saudi Arabia is a critical player in the Middle East and OPEC. 
Fact: Saudi Arabia also holds tremendous economic and political lobbying power in the US. 
Fact: Communism, the last 'great evil' for the west, effectively ended a decade before 9/11 with the fall of the Soviet Union. 
Fact: Saddam Hussein was militarily one of the most powerful entities in the Middle East. 
Fact: Pakistan is a nuclear power, with weapons-grade resources, technology, and delivery mechanisms. 
Fact: The Al-Quaeda, the Taliban, multiple fundamentalist terror organizations, and Pakistan's ISI and military share a close relationship, including training, support and financing. 

Now, let's step a little further back, and see how these facts relate. 

During the Cold War, the American military machine had a carte blanche for resources, development, and power. During this period, American influence spread worldwide, with interests - either controlling or influencing, or at least monitoring - if practically every country. This allowed the US to access markets globally, turning it into an economic superpower for decades. 
That ended with glasnost, perestroika and the fall of the USSR. Communism and communist influence collapsed worldwide, opening up even more markets and territories for economic expansion. Unfortunately, it also meant a fall in world paranoia and threat levels... and in relative military freedom. 
At the same time, the OPEC gained influence and power directly proportional to the US's dependency on oil to power their civilization. A new target was needed...
...and sure enough, one came along. Coincidentally enough, a force originally created and empowered by the US itself - the Afghan mujahideen, once a weapon against the Soviets. Unexpectedly, and almost randomly, war was declared. 
But not on the immediate target. Obviously, Saudi Arabia was too entrenched politically and economically in the US State machinery. And Saudi faced a very visible threat from a loose cannon who had the capability of becoming an increasingly dangerous influence on the oil supply - Iraq, with it's massive military-industrial complex. 
The solution's obvious - remove the threat. Iraq was invaded, Saddam removed, a controlled government instituted. 
The other weapon - the fundamentalist groups - were now becoming extremely dangerous. Pakistan, with Chinese-supplied tech and materials, had become a nuclear state, and one that was perilously close with the Afghan terrorists. 
Afghanistan needed to be controlled. The War on Terror moved eastwards, bombing Afghanistan into oblivion and taking over. 
Consider this - Osama was an old man, who had already achieved the pinnacle of his career on that morning when the twin towers went down. He'd made history, changed the world. The only thing he could do to top it would have been nuclear terror - which didn't happen over the next decade. His appearances dwindled, messages faded, and he vanished. Chances are, somewhere in Tora Bora, he died in a cave, in hiding, either from illness, age, the satisfaction of a job well done, or ironically, accidental bombing. 
But, there was no proof. The War couldn't be called off. The US was increasingly convinced that he was gone - but without that one concrete proof, they couldn't stop, nor continue investing men and money in an increasingly unpopular war. They needed a PR coup, a justification of expenses, a reason to continue, and a critical need to prevent the scattered terror groups from getting their hands on the nuclear weaponry loosely guarded in an increasingly unstable Pakistan. 
Enter a top-secret, superfast mission where Osama is found, killed, and disposed of within the space of a few hours. Euphoria erupts at home, and all sins are forgiven. 
Note, the War on Terror isn't won yet. the enemy is still out there, headless, faceless, hiding in the shadows. The fact that 'Osama' was found and killed in Pakistan, the home of potential nuclear terror, is particularly telling. Who wants to bet that over the next few years, increasing proof of connections to terrorism, camps, sponsors are going to be identified there... leading to a gradual takeover, just for safety's sake, to prevent the nuclear machinery from being misused. 

By the way, just to get off-topic for a minute, who are the other powerful military states that also happen to be totalitarian, and uncontrolled? Libya and Egypt. Heard of them in the news recently? 

China's simply too big, too militarily and economically powerful to take on - now. India's also big, but already culturally pro-US, democratic, liberal, and not an immediate threat - and too large a market to lose by alienating. So is Japan, the other economic contender, whose economy just got washed back by ten years. Africa and North Asia are useful dumping grounds for obsolete technology, until they reach a point where they can be useful markets. Australia and Europe's already a close ally. And I don't know enough about South American politics to comment. 

It's interesting to see how history unfolds, if you take the long view. 


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