What a year this has been so far. I was just remarking this to a friend the other day and since then we've had the unfurling of Barack Obama's birth certificate (fake!) and the assassination of Obam...oops Osama Ben Laden (fake again!).
I may have missed something out but lets see what we've had so far:
1) the Arab Spring: 2 regimes down (Tunisia, Egypt), one with a promise of transition (Yemen....although theres some back-pedalling going on at the moment), two tottering (Syria, Bahrain) and one nasty little war (Libya)
2) Earthquake, tsunami and smouldering radiation crisis in Japan
3) Barry Soetero proves he's a natural born
4) The Royal Wedding (OK, cross that)
5) the martyrdom and subsequent celestial gang-bang of Osama Ben Laden with 72 virgins
and almost trivial in comparison, the ongoing economic crisis, a(nother) coup d'etat in the Ivory Coast etc....
Back to OBL. He's dead, definitely. If he wasn't, then the potential for embarrassment from a newly-minted videotape will be huge and Obama can kiss re-election goodbye. The question is, how long has he been dead? Was he really in hiding all these years or did he shuffle off the mortal coil sometime in 2001 or 2002 as many informed experts have insisted? Was the myth of OBL propagated to exploit curtailment of civil liberties and the powers-that-be finally decided to pull the plug on what was becoming a less productive and tiresome charade? (At some point the US would have to hold up some tangible sign of success for the Afpak venture and this could be the perfect opportunity to declare victory and pull out, a chance of killing two birds).
Nevertheless the whole truth has yet to emerge. No casualties even with one helicopter downed? OBL grabbing a woman as a human shield against the heroic SEALS (maybe he learned this from the Israelis)? And the sea-burial just sets off alarm bells. Sorry, I just don't buy the crap on ostensible sensitivity to Islamic burial practices. Again we sheep have been given less than the whole truth, the main-stream media cheer-leads from the official script and the idiots flood the streets at midnight and fist-pump USA,USA,USA. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad OBL got his just desserts (whether last week or ten years ago), but I hate it the way the bastards piss on our heads and try to convince us that it's raining.
And just to be contrary. Assuming things played out as described, OBL wouldn't have minded greatly. He's accomplished most of his goals: bankrupted the US, lured them into multiple quagmires (not that the neo-cons needed much encouragement), turned muslim public opinion against the west and ripped the mask of US foreign policy for many (right up till 2003 I still considered the US as a generally benevolent empire).
I think the mind-set of those crowing this as some great victory are just incapable of grasping where the likes of OBL are coming from. He was a billionaire's son FFS, he could have spent his life chasing tail in the Riviera but instead he chose the precarious life of a jihadi in Afghanistan fighting communism and immediately continuing on against what he considered an existential threat to the Islamic way of life. Certainly he would welcome martyrdom (Bismillah, Let the orgy commence.......) and the chance to go out in a blaze of glory. Make no mistake, for all his faults the man was brave and willing to die for what he believed in (and lets not speculate on the size and consistency of the shit stains Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bush, Blair and Obama would have discharged in a similar situation). He was also intelligent and a brilliant strategist. OK, lets assume that OBL and AQ were responsible for 911, given his stated aims then, did he not manage to provoke the US into empire-crumbling overreach? Considering the disparity between the forces arrayed against each other, what he has accomplished (i.e. the potentially fatal wounding of the American imperium) with the meagre forces at his disposal is nothing short of stunning. He could well be a military genius of the calibre of an Alexander or Napoleon.
Anyway, worrywart that I am, I'm facing the rest of the year with a sense of foreboding. What other game-changing events could be on the cards? Here's my prediction for at least two of these ten events occurring in the next 7 months.
1) Assassination of a major political leader
2) Collapse of the eurozone
3) Collapse of the dollar and the end of reserve currency status
4) Massive worldwide nuclear contamination from Fukushima
5) War with Iran
6) Contact with an alien civilization (good news for a change)
7) Massive social unrest in China
8) Fall of the House of Saud (more good news)
9) India-Israel-US operation to neutralise Pakistan's nukes with consequent political fallout
10) Death of Kim Jong Il and unification of the Koreas (would be nice)
Does anyone else have this sense of history speeding up, hurtling down some dark highway? Gulp, maybe the Mayan prophecy is true after all.