February 10, 2011

How long can bin Laden stay on dialysis?

"Archaeologists originally set the date of the scrolls at 4,000 B.C., or just after the massacre of the Israelites by their benefactors. The writing is a mixture of Sumerian, Aramaic, and Babylonian and seems to have been done by either one man over a long period of time, or several men who shared the same suit. The authenticity of the scrolls is currently in great doubt, particularly since the word “Oldsmobile” appears several times in the text..."
Woody Allen, "The Red Sea Scrolls," from Without Feathers.

No day is completely lost when you can quote Woody Allen. For reasons best known not even to me, I became curious about the current state of the hunt for bin Laden. I know that years and years ago, George W. Bush said something to the effect that "I don't really think about it that much," when asked where bin Laden was; but W never really evinced thinking about much at all, so I don't know how definitive that is. I thought there must be more to the story. After all, when you think about it, bin Laden was the occasion for Bush to use the phrase "casus belli" in a press conference. I remember the sly grin on his face when he said those words. You could tell he was pretty sure the half-wits in the press corps probably didn't know what he meant - a chance for George to throw some Latin around at their expense! I was proud of him, I really was. He overdid it when he started using the phrase again in relation to Iraq, but that's another story.

Well anyway, the casus belli for Afghanistan was a meticulously constructed argument built upon the following premises:

1. Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind 9/11.

2. OBL lived in Afghanistan, Kandahar to be exact, and the Taliban "harbored" him, thus enabling OBL to plan "further attacks," using the Fiendish Jungle Gym Complex at his camp.

3. Anyone harboring terrorists is with the terrorists under the Bush doctrine that you are either with Bush or against him (echoing things he heard every Sunday at United Baptist: "I would that ye were either hot or cold, for if ye be lukewarm, I will spew thee out of my mouth.").

4. We must therefore invade Afghanistan, depose the Taliban, and install someone like Hamid Karzai, former PR man for Union Oil and current heroin dealer.

There may be some causal links in there confounding the "belli" part, but I think that's pretty close. Just about an airtight case, any way you look at it. Some caveats were noted:

A. Bin Laden himself denied any involvement in 9/11.

B. The Taliban, who had previously met with Cheney & others in Texas for a barbecue to discuss the construction of a Union Oil pipeline across Afghanistan (prior to W's ascension to the Bush Throne), asked for, but apparently did not receive, some sort of definitive proof that OBL was actually involved.

C. No one involved in 9/11 was actually from Afghanistan. They were all from Arab countries, principally Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, and the mastermind was probably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Gurgling Confessor of waterboarding fame, who was only too glad, between swallows, to finger OBL as much as the CIA wanted. Indeed, there seems to be a substantial pesonnel overlap between 9/11 and the Bojinka Plot and the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

But what the hell do I know? I do sometimes think, however, that one problem with a certain vintage of the Baby Boom set (among whose number you can count me and W) is that we were overexposed to the Dick&Jane primers in grammar school, and as a result a kind of infantilization of logical processes took root in the cerebral cortex and has controlled our thinking ever since. This theory, again, will make people forget neither Godel nor Boltzmann but it's maybe something to think about. That list of 1 through 4, supra, is suggestive of this weakening of the analytical faculties, because, really, that list just doesn't make any frigging sense whatsoever. And when you think that we have waged a war that has lasted almost ten years on the basis of that list, then perhaps you know all you need to know about the state of the nation, circa turn of the Millenium.

Nevertheless, I got to thinking again about the Arch-Nemesis, the Mastermind, the Lex Luthor of the Neocons' perfervid nightmares: Osama bin Laden. And it occurred to me: ten years is a long time to be on dialysis in a cave in the mountains of Tora Bora. So I Googled the Dude. The consensus of opinion turns out to be that he died on December 13, 2001, in Tora Bora, of complications from acute kidney failure. Among the people holding this view are Robert Baer, the highly-quotable ex-CIA agent who is a persistent critic of America's anti-terrorist wars; former Pakistan "President" Pervez Musharraf; the aforemention Hamid Karzai; Donald Rumsfeld, when you get right down to it; Dale Watson, head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism division; the Israeli Mossad; and lots and lots of other people. Were you aware of this general trend in thinking?

But haven't there been videos of bin Laden after December 13, 2001? Highly debatable. There is strong evidence that a "double" appears in those videos, including the famous one where bin Laden sits and discusses the fine points of the 9/11 attacks. Cynics have noted that bin Laden referred to melting "iron" in the Twin Towers, while a person trained in engineering (as bin Laden was) would have known the towers were built of steel, not iron. Plus, he appears to write something with his right hand in the video, and bin Laden was left-handed, not to mention that the person appearing in these videos is darker than OBL, with a black (not salt-and-pepper) beard, and with a broader and flatter nose.

All "9-11 conspiracy" stuff? What's harder to believe is that an abnormally tall Arab could actually make his way around in mountainous terrain for a decade tethered to a dialysis machine, with a $50 million price on his head, and not attract some attention, somewhere, somehow. Yet what is most astounding to me is why the press has never really zoomed in on this story and figured it out. Leaving aside the invasion of Iraq, which was a foreign policy aberration of George W. Bush and had nothing to do with the "war on terror," the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is built wholly and solely on the association of bin Laden with that country. So if the guy died within a couple of months of our invasion, isn't that, you know, newsworthy? Just how lame are the Mainstream Media?

I suppose if Elvis is still alive, then bin Laden might be too. Driving around somewhere in Waziristan in his vintage Oldsmobile.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:37 PM

    Everyone has obviously been wrong about everything. He didn't have kidney failure at all! Didn't need a doctor, medicine, nothing. He's been sitting in that house at Abbotabad for five years! If we didn't get the heads up from some informants at Gitmo he'd still be there. Even the Pakistani Government, local officials and all the residents didn't have a clue he was there. After patiently gathering the intelligence to confirm that this was indeed Osama's hideaway and not just some rich Pakistani recluse, Obama gave the go ahead for 'Operation Geronimo' and the rest is history. Once they 'took him out' as it were, they were able to show sensitivity to his faith by giving him a muslim burial at sea the very next day. Life is sometimes stranger than fiction isn't it.