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Sleeping Through History

Updated on July 4, 2011

While I Was Sleeping

I woke up the Morning of May 2nd and logged into my e-mail, where a peace and justice list had a link to something about the death of Osama Bin Laden. I dismissed it.

I went and logged onto my Facebook and got the news that it was true. American forces had tracked him to a compound in, of all places, Pakistan.

To begin with, I think the objective of this was to send a message to Libya's Col. Gaddafi. If the US can track and kill Bin Laden, anyone is vulnerable. Whether or not this possible message is heard and acted upon will be determined in the upcoming days or weeks.

The major question that needs to be asked is, "What took so long?" Why couldn't Bush do this. The answer is one that many in the American Right may not want to accept. Bin Laden was more valuable to Bush alive than dead.  He was the boogeyman that was needed to keep the American People scared, for awhile it worked; Bush had a free hand to attack Americans civil liberties and pursue a war based on questionable evidence from questionable sources.   

A second question now that needs to be asked is "now what", and the answer to that is not what a lot of people are going to like to hear.  The 'War on Terror' is far from over.

Terrorist groups, like any other criminal organization realize that deaths within their organization go with the territory.  There are likley plans for succession and reorganization.  The fact that Bin Laden was likely more a figurehead or spiritual leader than a field commander may make this more a propaganda victory than anything.  Al-Quadea also to many, is more of a moniker than an organization, a collection of regional terror groups as opposed to a unified movement.

With the death of Bin Laden, these regional fanatics may have a martyr and something to unite behind.  I could see terrorist activities spiking in the months to come, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Palestine and Israel.  Al-Qaeda could possibly grow stronger and more unified, not weaker.  Combine that with how many in the Middle East see America at war not with terrorists, but with Islam in general, and we could only be seeing the beginning of a new phase.  

In conclusion, I'll say that many on the right may be relieved that Bin Laden was killed as opposed to being captured.  I wonder how many of them would like to be reminded of how much of this "War On Terror" has it's roots in "St. Ronnies" efforts to escalate the Cold War.


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    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      7 years ago from West Allis

      If we really want to learn from history about America's focus on terrorism, we should look at the Native Americans and cases like Geronimo. Geronimo wasn't even the leader of his tribe, and he had a few "warriors" and starving family members on the run with him and yet Washington painted him as a murderous bandit that had to be captured and destroyed for national security sake. American's are so guliable when it comes to national security. Anytime the government brings these words out, the nation just nods and agrees. At one time, Nelson Mandella was considered a terrorist. I think the real truth is, most people are too frightened to learn from history. It's better to side with overreaction, vengeance and violence, than to take the course of peacemaker and work with the ones called "enemy." Are there more Nelson Mandella's out there or are they all unforgivable, merciless tyrants? Peace

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      The extremists have their own agendas, and the death of OBL will not dissuade them in the long run. What we have done and not done in the past in the Middle East lies at the heart of the problem Had we invested in alternate energy sources decades ago, and not sold armaments to just about anyone who would buy them over there without giving a thought to the ramifications, we might not have been faced with the tinderbox in which we now find ourselves.

      When we will learn from history?

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      I don't think an investigation undertaken months before the revolt in Libya had anything to do with Ghaddafi. I believe getting Osama was the objective, but wonder what?

      voted up

    • Credence2 profile image


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      The point that now that the target has been taken out, can we get credible committment to downsize our presence in the region. After all the twists and turns since 9/11 can we begin to reduce our military expeditures. The pot will and probably remain stirred up anyway in the troubled areas. I don't see that it is worth any more American blood or treasure

      Thanks, for hubbing.....

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 

      7 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Great Hub, TPC. The sad truth is revealed by a Chief of Staff for Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, when he says, "We spent 3 TRILLION dollars to get a man who couldn't have spent more than half a million dollars to topple the WTC towers--that's not a very good return on our dollars.

      "Osama bin Laden has crippled our nation economically--we need to start realizing the cost of occupying targets of no importance."

      Wilkerson is one of the few who lived in the realm of the Pentagon and 'got it,' and tho' right-wingers may think this is a victory--it has been a losing proposition from the moment the US entered Iraq.

      A small force seeking the elusive terrorist would have been the best response from the beginning, but the hawks of America wanted to make some money and rape the wealthy American coffers--were in the black by 1 TRILLION dollars in 2001--after Clinton.

      St. Ronnie didn't do middle America any favours. He destroyed main street across a once greater nation.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      America never learns. I heard kids in college in the 1990's saying:"History doesn't pertain to me, it's past, I wasn't there, I didn't have slaves..........blah........blah.....blah" See why we just don't get it? Good hub.


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