Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Obama Kills Osama to Remain Alive

Almost a decade after Osama Bin Laden’s inauguration as the most wanted man on the planet it took American soldiers 40 minutes to kill him. Today the American people rejoice with the feeling of utter relief for the bogeyman hiding in the dark closets of their minds is gone.

The truth is, it cost the United States billions of dollars and thousands of human lives to eliminate a man who was apparently hiding in plain sight. After years of scouring dusty caves it was revealed that Bin Laden had in fact been residing in a mansion in Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden’s death comes as no shock to the Arab world. We believed it inevitable but it was the timing that was unforeseen.

Had Bin Laden been killed only a few months earlier the reactions of the Arab world would have been resentful and possibly more heated. But as the news comes to us at a time where the plates of the Middle Eastern political world are shifting, Arabs seem more subdued and indifferent. Osama Bin Laden neither had a presence in the Arab revolutions nor reacted to them.

Ten years after the September 11 attacks Bin Laden’s status and influence on Al Qaeda has dwindled. While killing him nine years ago would have been credited as eliminating a leader, killing him today is viewed more as the death of an iconic figure for Al Qaeda, a mascot if you will.

The timing of Bin Laden’s death is nothing short of genius. With the Arab uprising in full swing there seems to be a list of dictators/villains to take his place. Bin Laden filled in the spot vacated by Saddam Hussein’s death and so the question is who will succeed Bin Laden on America’s most wanted Middle Eastern face of evil?  

The American presidential elections have to also be factored into this equation, which resulted in the quick sudden death of the world’s most feared man. George W. Bush Jr. declared the war on terror to secure his second term at the presidency and while President Barack Obama proved the impossible by being the first black President of the United States at the end of his first term his promise of ‘change’ hasn’t yet made a huge impact on the average American. And while Obama tried his best at playing the peace card he finally realised that Bush Jr. had played it right all along knowing that nothing matters more to the American people than regaining their throne as the most powerful and untouchable country in the world. 
Revenge was the final dish on Obama’s table, served cold, the American people ate it graciously. Has this move secured Obama’s second term at presidency just as it did for his predecessor? We await the answer in 2012.

This article has been published in The Gulf Today newspaper on May 4th, 2011.


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