Anorak News | Anyone Seen Osama?

Anyone Seen Osama?

by | 11th, September 2006

ANYONE seen Osama bin Laden?

We’ve looked. We’ve journeyed to the Tora Bora caves. We’ve scanned the faces of people at airports. We’ve even checked the boxes at Arsenal’s new Emirates stadium. But nothing. Anyone seen him?

The Guardian’s Declan Walsh investigates. In a piece entitled “The hunt”, Walsh advises us to “try Peshawar’s smugglers’ bazaar on the road to the Khyber Pass”.

And as we prepare for the trip – taking care to pack Viagra, David Hasselhoff CDs and other contraband (we need to blend in) – we read on.

And we learn that we will not be alone. We have far more chance of bumping into another hunter than we do of seeing the world’s most wanted man – especially if Osama reads the Guardian and has been alerted to avoid the aforesaid smuggler’s den.

As Walsh tells us: “Guessing the location of Bin Laden’s lair is the favoured parlour game of south Asia, played out along the 1,500-mile Pakistan-Afghanistan border where the participants – spies, soldiers and journalists – believe he is hiding.”

It’s not easy. Finding Osama would have been a neat way to mark the fifth anniversary of the attack on America. But there is no sign of the man. But the legacy of his actions lives on.

The Independent’s front page details some faces of the War on Terror. It’s the “biter legacy of 9/11”.

“2,973 – Total number of people killed (excluding the 19 hijackers) in the September 11, 2001 attacks
“72,000 Estimated number of civilians killed worldwide since September 11, 2001 as a result of the war on terror
2 Number of years since US intelligence had any credible lead to Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts
1,248 Number of published books relating to the September 11 attacks.”

But the Times’s leader reminds us that the war did not begin with Islamic imperialists murdering thousands of people in New York.

As the paper says: “The actual account of what has brought contemporary terror about can be found in the expulsion of Muslims from Spain in the 15th century (a deed done before Columbus set sail for the Americas) or, at the latest, a defeat outside the gates of Vienna 200 years after.”

The paper says Al-Qaeda is the “product of a very long history”. Israel and the Palestinians, Iraq and Afghanistan have not helped, but this war is not rooted in such conflicts – the war is the pursuit for a lost Muslim world.

It is al-Qaeda’s imperialist ambitions that lie at the heart of the war. One aim is for Muslims to unite under a common flag.

It is an intriguing point.

As the Washington Post has reported: “When Osama bin Laden called the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon ‘a very small thing compared to this humiliation and contempt for more than 80 years,’ the reference was to the aftermath of World War I, when the last caliphate was suspended as European powers divided up the Middle East.”

And in a recent speech, George Bush cited a letter from Bin Laden to the former Taliban leader, Mullah Omar Indeed. Bush said Bin Laden has declared Iraq “the capital of the caliphate”.

The letter was found by coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2002. But they never found bin Laden.

So the search goes on. Although he may have already served his purpose of fomenting war and dividing the enemy…

Posted: 11th, September 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink