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What Osama’s Killing Means

After the impromptu celebrations, the street parties and the hoots of joy at the U.S. Seal team’s killing of al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, cooler heads may find the hootenannies to be premature.

That’s because despite political and U.S. press claims to the contrary, the killing has done nothing to weaken al Qaeda. In fact, according to one counter-terrorism insider, al Qaeda is stronger today than it was 10 years ago, before the strikes of 9/11.

Leah Farrell, a former Senior Counter terrorism Intelligence Analyst for the Australian federal police, reported in the latest Foreign Affairs just this fact.

She writes:

…[S]ince fleeing Afghanistan to Pakistan’s tribal areas in late 2001, al Qaeda has founded a regional branch in the Arabian Peninsula and acquired franchises in Iraq and the Maghreb.

Today, it has more members, greater geographic reach, and a level of sophistication and influence it lacked ten years ago.*

As for Osama, he hasn’t had operational or command and control power for years now. Thus, his loss will have minimal impact on the organizations’s actions or plans.

It’s important to keep in mind that we are discussing a war between one of the most powerful and resourceful states in history, and a group. Seriously, who’s at a disadvantage?

U.S. Special Forces could’ve knocked off Osama the week after Sept. 11th. Why didn’t they?

Because if they did there would’ve been no pretext to invade Iraq. The public, its great thirst slaked by vengeance, would never have supported it — and the neo cons in the White House wanted in –desperately.

So Osama, like Mubarak, Like Ben-Ali, and like Quaddafy, have outlived their usefulness to the empire.

Remember then Gen. Colin Powell’s quip (during the 1st Iraq war)? “We’re running out of boogey-men!”

The media and political establishment like to raise up demons to unsettle American comfort.

Osama fulfilled that function for ten years.

They don’t need him anymore.

[col. writ. 5/2/11] (c) ’11 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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