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Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Laden’s Death

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Posted on May 1, 2011
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Chris Hedges, speaking at a Truthdig fundraising event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, made these remarks about Osama bin Laden’s death.


Click to listen to the audio, or read the transcript below:

I know that because of this announcement, that reportedly Osama bin Laden was killed, Bob [Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer] wanted me to say a few words about it … about al-Qaida. I spent a year of my life covering al-Qaida for The New York Times. It was the work in which I, and other investigative reporters, won the Pulitzer Prize. And I spent seven years of my life in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I’m an Arabic speaker. And when someone came over and told ... me the news, my stomach sank. I’m not in any way naive about what al-Qaida is. It’s an organization that terrifies me. I know it intimately.

But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world. The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout, in particular the Arab world, following 9/11—and that this presence of American imperial bases, dotted, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha—is one that has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

And the killing of bin Laden, who has absolutely no operational role in al-Qaida—that’s clear—he’s kind of a spiritual mentor, a kind of guide … he functions in many of the ways that Hitler functioned for the Nazi Party. We were just talking with Warren [Beatty] about [Ian] Kershaw’s great biography of Hitler, which I read a few months ago, where you hold up a particular ideological ideal and strive for it. That was bin Laden’s role. But all actual acts of terror, which he may have signed off on, he no way planned.

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I think that one of the most interesting aspects of the whole rise of al-Qaida is that when Saddam Hussein … I covered the first Gulf War, went into Kuwait with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was in Basra during the Shiite uprising until I was captured and taken prisoner by the Iraqi Republican Guard. I like to say I was embedded with the Iraqi Republican Guard. Within that initial assault and occupation of Kuwait, bin Laden appealed to the Saudi government to come back and help organize the defense of his country. And he was turned down. And American troops came in and implanted themselves on Muslim soil.

When I was in New York, as some of you were, on 9/11, I was in Times Square when the second plane hit. I walked into The New York Times, I stuffed notebooks in my pocket and walked down the West Side Highway and was at Ground Zero four hours later. I was there when Building 7 collapsed. And I watched as a nation drank deep from that very dark elixir of American nationalism … the flip side of nationalism is always racism, it’s about self-exaltation and the denigration of the other.

And it’s about forgetting that terrorism is a tactic. You can’t make war on terror. Terrorism has been with us since Sallust wrote about it in the Jugurthine wars. And the only way to successfully fight terrorist groups is to isolate [them], isolate those groups, within their own societies. And I was in the immediate days after 9/11 assigned to go out to Jersey City and the places where the hijackers had lived and begin to piece together their lives. I was then very soon transferred to Paris, where I covered all of al-Qaida’s operations in the Middle East and Europe.

So I was in the Middle East in the days after 9/11. And we had garnered the empathy of not only most of the world, but the Muslim world who were appalled at what had been done in the name of their religion. And we had major religious figures like Sheikh Tantawi, the head of al-Azhar—who died recently—who after the attacks of 9/11 not only denounced them as a crime against humanity, which they were, but denounced Osama bin Laden as a fraud … someone who had no right to issue fatwas or religious edicts, no religious legitimacy, no religious training. And the tragedy was that if we had the courage to be vulnerable, if we had built on that empathy, we would be far safer and more secure today than we are.

We responded exactly as these terrorist organizations wanted us to respond. They wanted us to speak the language of violence. What were the explosions that hit the World Trade Center, huge explosions and death above a city skyline? It was straight out of Hollywood. When Robert McNamara in 1965 began the massive bombing campaign of North Vietnam, he did it because he said he wanted to “send a message” to the North Vietnamese—a message that left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead.

These groups learned to speak the language we taught them. And our response was to speak in kind. The language of violence, the language of occupation—the occupation of the Middle East, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—has been the best recruiting tool al-Qaida has been handed. If it is correct that Osama bin Laden is dead, then it will spiral upwards with acts of suicidal vengeance. And I expect most probably on American soil. The tragedy of the Middle East is one where we proved incapable of communicating in any other language than the brute and brutal force of empire.

And empire finally, as Thucydides understood, is a disease. As Thucydides wrote, the tyranny that the Athenian empire imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. The disease of empire, according to Thucydides, would finally kill Athenian democracy. And the disease of empire, the disease of nationalism … these of course are mirrored in the anarchic violence of these groups, but one that locks us in a kind of frightening death spiral. So while I certainly fear al-Qaida, I know its intentions. I know how it works. I spent months of my life reconstructing every step Mohamed Atta took. While I don’t in any way minimize their danger, I despair. I despair that we as a country, as Nietzsche understood, have become the monster that we are attempting to fight.

Thank you.


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By al-CIAda, May 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An article in the French daily Le Figaro confirms that Osama bin Laden underwent surgery in an American Hospital in Dubai in July, 2001

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RIC111B.html

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By binaman, May 2, 2011 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is something fishy about this story”.  I’d say. Bush denied they were even
interested in going after the “most wanted man in the world”.  Back then he was
too much a part of the overall scenerio, the bad guy that could always be
brought out to remind the crowd of why we need this trillion dollar miitary and
wars off into the misty future.  There are real reasons there, but not the kind
that get the lynch mobs itching for blood, or justify the slaughter of Iraqis and
Afghanis we’ve witnessed for 10 years.  Murdering for oil and empire is a
legitimate imperial goal, but admitting it is horrible PR. 
I have great respect for Chris, but I really disagree that the imperialists just
blew it after 9-11, and if they’d only just acted a bit more humble the world
would have fallen at their feet.  There’ve been too many John Perkins moments
in these past decades and trail of plunder and mahem even the media whores
can’t totally cover up.  The whole 9-11 thing, whether Bush crowd had a hand
in planning it or just stumbled on a turn of good fortune was all about putting
juice behind the war cries, all about a “Pearl Harbor moment” to push through
plans for rearranging world relations that were long before in the works. They
were not about to transform the pentagon into a Zen Buddhist shrine.
  This hit job was likely all about timing, after all.  The Pakistanis pulled back
their protection (how many millions did that cost?)  so that the heroes could
rapple down from their helicopters (something to erase the horrid memory of
those helicopters on the Saigon embassy roof).  Maybe this is the exit strategy. 
Obama Wayne can blow the smoke out of the barrel, “Well boys, the bad guys
dead, time to get back to the ranch”.  Its a lost war, but far worse is the
appearance of defeat and weakness.  Now they can say, we got our man after all
and work to obscure, as they always (Vietnam, Central America, etc.)  the
mangled bodies left strewn in their wake.

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By basho, May 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

“After all, we are the leader of the free world, and they look upon us as role models. ” ...rogello

Only in your dreams mate. The rest of the world is no longer in this dream state. smile

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By NZDoug, May 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

why do all the photographs of this guy look like they are religious holy cards?
Whos his art director?

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By markincorsicana, May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Terrorism has been with us since Sallust wrote about it in the Jugurthine wars”
Sallust also said “namque pauci libertatem pars magna iustos dominus volunt”. Few desire freedom, most desire just masters. People haven’t changed much.

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By Virginia777, May 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

“I despair that we as a country, as Nietzsche understood, have become the monster that we are attempting to fight.”

I feel the same way, Chris Hedges.

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By Leefeller, May 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

I am indifferent on Osama bin Laden’s demise, so he ceases to exist, supposedly he caused the demise of many other people around the world,... I do not know if that is true but this is what I have heard! Whats the old saying you live by the gun you demise by the gun?  Sounds like he got what he wanted, I suppose he is with his 22 virgins now?

Obama said the problem was in Pakistan during his campaign speeches two years ago, he was right. Bush was in the White house for eight years as the Vietnam evader,.. it is well known that Bush couldn’t find blackberry seeds in skunk shit, and any moron on the street surly knew bush couldn’t find Osama bin Laden in Iraq.

So now here it is, Obama has a feather in his cap, some of the Republicans are going to say Osama bin Laden was already dead?

Republicans have some kind of mental deficiency which makes the empty space between their ears a great place to park a bowling ball or copious amounts of stupidity and bigotry. (not all Republicans you should know, it seems just a large segment of them to me)

Now the Tea Bags will want to see Osama bin Laden’s original hard copy death certificate and the cause of his death and some Republicans may even suspect Osama bin Laden was not a Christian and may have been a Muslim,... so it will be a matter of time when the Republicans and Tea Bags will ask to see Osama bin Laden’s original birth certificate.

ITW, interesting point about Osama bin Laden not being real dead, if true, I suspect he is probably wishing he was! ...Conspiracies aplenty.

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By schaiken, May 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

A friend likens Bin Laden to the Biblical Amalek, the essence of evil. I don’t think it’s useful to think that way.

Amalek is conceptual: Darkness, as opposed to Light, without provocation.

Bin Laden’s crimes are heinous, unthinkable, hateful, but not without specificity of purpose and vision. From his perspective, he was in a war. He was able to take down the USSR (with our help) in Afghanistan. Why couldn’t he take us down? Guerilla warfare: use our own technology against us.

Stunning. Awful. Bad bad bad. But for us not to fully boldly bravely examine our own role in the creation of that monster leaves us less smart—less humane—than we need to be.

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By katsteevns, May 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Lew Ciefer
I believe Nixon killed more than all those Democrats combined.

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By truthforall, May 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

How many of us know that Osama bin Laden’s role in the events of September 11,
2001 is not mentioned on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted notice
(http://www/fbi.gov/wanted.htm).  In 2006, Rex Tomb, chief of investigative
publicity for the FBI explains, “The reason 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin
Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin
Laden to 9/11. . . . He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection
with 9/11 . . . . .”

The Ithaca Journal asks, “If the U.S. government does not have enough hard
evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11, how is it possible that it had enough
evidence to invade Afghanistan?” Indeed.

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By cruxpuppy, May 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Bin Laden has been dead for years. He died of kidney disease. He was a convenient idiot in the CIA machinations against the USSR. 911 was domestic terror to create the political will for war in the ME. It has never been investigated. The terror war is macabre political theater. The dead are real; the reasons they died are fictional. Chris Hedges has no perspective because at the time he was engaged in the creation of the myth. Speaking Arabic doesn’t guarantee perspective, or even understanding…..but it is a fine accomplishment just the same…

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By Inkey41, May 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Truly a thought provoking article by Chris Hedges, made all the more valuable for all the equally thought provoking responses it engendered…and I read ALL of them.

Is killing ever justified, and, even if so, does it ever solve anything?

Is a “spiritual leader” who inspires violence guilty, even if he doesn’t carry out the crimes?

Personally, I would condemn both Hitler and Bin Laden as guilty, because they are the spiritual figureheads who propelled the resulting acts of violence. I can also see why killing them sends a message that one abhors what they have inspired. Yet Hitler’s death did not end Nazism, nor will Bin Laden’s death end Terrorism.

In watching the news, especially since 9/11, I have often thought that if I were a Muslim or, in fact, any one currently a citizen of the Middle East, I would be hard pressed not to hate the Americans, and all the other nations messing about with my country, wreaking so much havoc, destruction, and death.

It has always been true that the worst atrocities committed by man are done in the name of religion or nationalism. Often these idealistic reasons are actually cover-ups, masking the real incentives of greed and hunger for power.

That being said, throughout history, no nation or, for that matter, any people is really exempt, since we have all been guilty of trying to eliminate the “bad guy.”

There are only two ways for the peoples on our planet to ever achieve a peaceful co-existence: one, if we are attacked by aliens, then we would unite against our enemy, but that is no real guarantee of peace, since in that eventuality, we well might all be annihilated.

The only real answer is number two: for all of us to want peace above all else—to be able to put aside all our prejudices and avarice, and truly want to become brothers and sisters in a world of love and fellowship, all working together for the common good.

It is not any government who is to blame, ineffectual and often corrupt as it may be. It is we, especially those of us who reside in a Democracy, who, bottom line, are the deciding factor. If we want peace, we have to demand it of our leaders, and mostly of ourselves. If we can’t get along with our relatives and our neighbors, how can we expect countries to get along?

Yes, very Utopian and very idealistic, unlikely to happen anytime soon, but still possible. At least that is my hope and my dream.

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By Cliff Carson, May 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

It seems that too many people think strike and counter strike happens in a vacuum.  It doesn’t.

I see people writing on here that the killing of Ben Laden was “Murder”.  It wasn’t.  Ben Laden declared War on the United States back around 1991.  For what he saw as crimes against his country.  So the killing of Ben Laden was a result of war, not an accident, just going after the enemy.  Agree so far?

On the other hand, Osama Ben Laden attacked the United States after he had declared War on the United States.  Not before.  Was the attack on the Twin Towers any different from the attack on Iraq?  There never was a declaration of war was there?  And wasn’t the WMD lie heavily promoted by Bush and the boys?  Regime Change?  Remember that before the Iraqi invasion Saddam had offered to go into exile to avoid an invasion.  Compare those facts with what recently happened in Libya.  A bombing attack on Qaddafi killing his son and three Grandchildren, when no war has been declared, and the pretext was to “Protect Civilians” and a denial that Regime Change was the thrust.  How many would agree that is a BS excuse?

There must be a reason for the attack on Libya and it certainly isn’t “Protecting Civilians”.  I heard today that over 30,000 civilians have already been killed there.  Seems there is a great bloodbath coming. 
Now what did Libya do that so provoked the United States, Britain, and France, plus their Toadies, into fomenting strife and encouraging Regime Change.  Wasn’t Qaddafi OK with our Most Moral, Most Ethical Government for the past decade or more? What changed?

I suggest you start googling looking for the Qaddafi plan to bring the Countries of Africa together and form their own African currency.  A Plan to stay away from the World Bank and the IMF.  Now that really pissed off the Powers that be-spell them money changers.  Think that might have been the reason for the Arab Spring - Do you think there was clandestine behavior by the International Financial Corporations to foment discord in these countries?  Just google- Qaddafi African currency plan - and see what you come up with.

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By john, May 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

God, what a bunch of whining America-haters. Sucks to be you, with all that rancor and unhappiness rattling around inside. Is there anything about our nation that you actually LIKE? (...I’m waiting….) I thought so. Why not pick a better country and go there.

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By RenZo, May 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

They caught him and killed him at close range, like a mob hit. And they invaded Pakistan (again) to do it. Surely this will calm everyone down. Or not. Looking for an alleged criminal in secret, then shooting him (instead of arresting and trying him) is extralegal, in the realm that illegal, failed states operate.

I don’t care that Osama is dead, not a bit. I do care that he was killed, somehow, in my name. I care that the US President ordered it, execution style, Caesar-style, autocratically. There is no law that permits him to do that. In fact, his admission of doing it amounts to a confession of murder and conspiracy to murder. Is it not chilling that US Presidents no longer think it proper to hide their crimes and lie about their complicity in violating the very laws they swore to enforce?

Empire is like an addiction: those in control endlessly want more more more and usually it doesn’t end until the addict (US) hits bottom. The controllers will not hit bottom; they will move to Dubai or Bern and live behind gates. We, the people (US), will hit bottom.

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By StopTheInsanity, May 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

so many absurdly tragic elements to this.

i’ll name but four:

1) it is typically Amerikan that the death, disfiguration and disenfranchisement of tens-upon-tens-upon-tens of thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere is considered worth the murder of one;

2) minor-league terrorists like Osama Bin Laden could and can only dream of committing the kind of major-league crime-and-carnage that are Amerika’s stock and trade;

3) Osama Bin Laden’s successful legacy—the self-evisceration of the Amerikan empire—lives on (if you’re unemployed or underemployed and/or have been kicked out of your house: was killing, maiming and displacing tens-upon-tens-upon-tens of thousands and Osama Bin Laden worth it?); and

4) the fake-Left will no doubt use Osama’s assassination as a selling point for brand-Obama (keeping in mind that Obama and Amerika have killed and terrorized—and are killing and terrorizing—infinitely more people than Osama and others ever could or can). the bulk of LieDig.com’s reporting on this spectacle are a textbook case in point.

but arrogant ignorance and willful indifference are as Amerikan as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet.

so, enjoy the spectacle!

addendum: Hedges’ point regarding Hitler, speaking as a Jew through adoption and an Italian by birth, is valid. Which is to say, as with Obama’s crimes, carnage and terrorism, it is The People, individually and collectively who choose to blindly follow or morally resist. The People overwhelmingly outnumber fascists like Hitler and Obama, yet we let their illusory power destroy us with smiles on our faces.

“never again” really means, “as often as you (insert crazy, charismatic sociopath and sociopathic cause here) want”.

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By RayLan, May 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

rico
““bin Laden, who has absolutely no operational role in al-Qaida”

A classic rico ‘non sequitur’. Illogic, the only refuge of the visceral Right.

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By Shenonymous, May 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

It must be their nature, right?  All publics are too quick to seek
blood, the blind euphoria of public executions are as old as
stoning, which was prescribed in the Old Testament as a method
of execution for crimes such as murder, blasphemy or apostasy.
But we do not really know how old is the OT.  Although there is
no mention of stoning in the Qur’an, the practice has come to be
associated with Islam and Muslim culture, where stoning to death
is a legal form of punishment for the “adultery of married persons”
(zina al-mohsena) in Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria (about one-third of
the 36 states), Pakistan, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates.  Some
countries have repealed the law and has never been put into practice
in Nigeria or as a state punishment in Pakistan or Iraq, although some
communities have had incidents who appreciate punishment in the law. 

Bloodless hangings are also a favorite entertainment for the hoi polloi,
and of course the romantic guillotine for which blood-lusted France is
most noted.  The English hooded executioner slick axman was also a
public draw, as was the burning at the stake especially for Early
American witches.  And speaking of the Romans, mustn’t forget the
use of the Colosseum and the feeding the convicted to the lions or
gladiator battles.  The Roman crowds loved the gore. Deadly public
gatherings caused a contagious form of mingled universal identity
that would have drawn Romans to the Games in droves, where they
banded together in a show of strength and power, very much like
crowd dynamics at football games today, in which whole stadiums of
fans chant ditties in support of their own team and in revulsion of the
opposing team.  Firing squads did not attract quite that many of the
public.  Did you know there is an 8-volume history of public
executions just in England from 1573 to 1868?  Tickets anyone?

This observation of the “irony that it took a man accused of being a
secret Muslim, to kill the most radical Muslim of all times…” is astute
but I am not so cynical that mankind shall not be able to learn to
resolve “conflicts with wisdom and foresight!” at some time, uh…some
unspecified time, in the future (Phew! I got out of that one!). 

It might be true that the human animal has war built into its nature,
but just as built in is this oddly human thing called a consciousness
that can tell the difference between right and wrong and learned to
develop societies of coexistence.  Some clans of nonhumans have also
evolved into peaceful interacting groups, such as the Bonobos.

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By drklassen, May 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“By Lafayette, May 2 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

He obviously does not know how to count - 8812 is the number of deaths attributable to al Qaedda in “

And how many have we killed now in response?  Some estimates put the *civilian* deaths at about 200,000.

Civilian deaths.  Folks whose only crime was being the way of US Jingoism and bloodthirsty vengeance.

“CH has a warped sense of moral justice. A shame he missed a golden opportunity to contain his nonsense, which makes a mockery of those who gave their lives (French, American, British, Iraqi, Afghani, et al) combating terrorism.”

Just how does one combat a tactic?  With terrorism of our own?  That’s like knocking your kid to the ground to teach him not to hit his little sister.

“The shame of it all is that bin Laden may be dead but the terrorism likely will continue unabated.”

Kinda Chris’ point…

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By joell, May 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

@Shenonymous, May 2 at 2:44 pm
“Because we are Americans, and no nationalism intended, is why we care when Americans are killed.  We care when others are killed as well but…...”

The   average American   doesn’t really give a damn about the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, Afgans &  Pakistani’s killed by this country.

In my conversations with individuals like Shenonymous,  the shallowness of the concern   for others killed ,  is   so obvious,  its almost like we’re not   talking about humans.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

While I am revolted by those cheering the death of a man (who can forget those dancing as the WTC fell?) I will not shed a single tear or note of sympathy for the son of a bitch.  One of his wives was shot to death because he pulled her in front of him to use her body to shield himself.  Still, I cannot cheer at a killing though maybe breathe a sigh of relief.

******************
Funny how those sycophants who are sobbing for bin Laden waited until he was sought out, apprehended, and killed in a firefight, to make their sympathies for him known on this website.  Sitting at your computer is so comfy.  The notion of justice seems to need discussion but no significant discussion will develop here.  I’ve just wakened the
inarticulate name-callers!  LOL

*******************

Well put, She.  One doesn’t have cheer his death to realize the justice of it. 

One correction, Arabian Sinbad: Osama Bin Laden wasn’t an old man.  I’m hardly an old man and he was two years my junior.  I still have 10 years to the “official” retirement age of 65.

With all the false flag fantasies flying around there is one nobody seems to have picked up on, that is the MOST obvious:  The Tom Clancy one.  Namely, they GOT bin Laden, but faked his death so they can milk him for what’s in his head, very Soviet-like.  I have no evidence, just it’s what I would predict as the best option. OBL’s death is great theater, and even better if nobody realizes he’s still alive, but now a prisoner.  If he’s dead, and in the ocean, he can’t be a hostage target.

I’m sure the tin foilers will love THAT!

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By ControlledDemolition, May 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

Chris, m’man.  Osama bin Laden is arabic for Lee Harvey Oswald.

You say, “I was there when Building 7 collapsed.”  Okay, did you personally hear of the advanced warnings of its collapse?  BBC apparently had scripted pre-knowledge of its “gravitational” collapse.  The Twin Towers, by the way, had 200,000 tons of structural steel and “collapsed” in about 13 seconds.  Wow.  Can’t you agree we should have a real investigation conducted with physical science instead of political science?  Say something.

“We responded exactly as these terrorist organizations wanted us to respond.”  Exactly right, but you seem to miss the point.  Yes, terrorist organizations (criminally insane sociopaths?) did 911.  I further agree with Bush that “the terrorists hate us for our freedoms,” but through the brilliant propaganda to create a public myth surrounding 911, they have decimated our Bill of Rights and so have taken our freedoms away ... I should say, our rights are superceded whenever we are under war conditions.  Terrorists, indeed.

You better despair in the face of the darkness of 911, which foreshadows all your other astute observations on the fall of the U.S.  But I have hope.  When the Truth wins out over the lies, even the Liberals, Democrats, Journalists, TruthDig columnists, and all the others you decry as having failed us, will get a spine.  That’s my hope.  The fact is that there is overwhelming evidence that 911 was false-flag.  Gatekeepers who prevent rational discussion of the facts (who attack personalities instead, or who refuse to even examine the arguments) are accessories after the fact to mass murder and treason.  We need an open and public independent investigation—or, let’s just hear you say, “I’d support an independent investigation.”

Bismillah, er-rahman, er-rahim.

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By ardee, May 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

I must say that, given the complexities of the issues involved, the many faceted and complex history that leads us to this seemingly endless war against barely out of the bronze age peoples I find many perceptive and even compassionate postings. I guess that is why I continue here.

Discounting the ravings of our newly arrived ( but I doubt that, just re-branded I think) and immaturely named Lucifer, and who would actually waste time on them, I find a couple of points of refutation necessary.

How the spittle spewing OzarkMichael can read the comments here and then post that crap is beyond my ken, and that is enough said about that as well. Insincerity , and that encompasses both Michael and Lew in this instance, deserves short shrift.

Considering that the post of Shenonymous only vaguely insulted some here , and that alone is miraculous, I will attempt a rebuttal in kind.

She would have us shed tears for the three thousand dead, and she is absolutely correct. Yet she rails against those who sympathize for bin Laden, though I found no such here, but her words were so pretty that exaggeration and inaccuracy are almost forgivable, almost excepting that she seems to make a habit of such…but I try to be polite here.

Certainly there seems some evidence linking bin Laden to 9/11, though he denied it rather vehemently I recall, and certainly violence is to be condemned in any form and for any reason I avow. Yet violence is where one finds it, and bin Laden may have been a psychopath, may have I emphasize.But all third world nations, Islam included perhaps even especially, certainly have ample reasons to hate the West.

While She sheds her tears for dead Americans numbering in the low thousands I believe there should be tears as well for the hundreds of thousands, millions even, of dead Iraqi’s, Afghans, Pakis, Somalis, Libyans, Palestinians, etc.,etc.,etc. For centuries Europe and America have exploited our world to our benefit and in our name. We have installed puppets into office who looted and tortured and murdered so that our business interests would have a stable place to invest in and profit from. Profit that never benefited the people of those nations, only the despots we so dearly love and so quickly ally ourselves with.

AlQaeda, the Taliban, oh heck heres a list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_designated_terrorist_organizations

are, in the end, products of our own foreign policies, our own greed and our desire to live in inflated luxury, a lifestyle that comes with such great cost that we find ourselves in a permanent state of war with the peoples of this little planet that tire of short and brutal lifespans so we can all drive gas guzzlers, own laptops and sink, unconscious into our own third world hell.

I guess shenonymous would call this shedding tears for bin Laden, because, after all, she must remain true to her zeal for the status quo, she must continue to defend her democratic party and her nation even when it means false and phony insults to all who do not fall into line behind her.

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By entropy2, May 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

@NABNYC - I think you’re missing the point. There is a growing number of us on the left who no longer choose to be caught up in the nationalistic frenzy that is leading our country and our world to ruin. Especially when we see that the benefits derived from our jingoistic fervor go right in the pockets of the plutocracy.

And insofar as BHO is a participant in this inexcusable waste of blood and treasure, (nominal Dem or not) he is not exempt from criticism and rejection as a leader.

Personally, after tens of thousands of deaths, our economy in ruins and the Bill of Rights shredded, I don’t see a hell of a lot to celebrate.

If you’re looking for happy dances and high-fives I would suggest HuffPo.

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By rico, suave, May 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Hedges- “bin Laden, who has absolutely no operational role in al-Qaida”

Sort of like how Exxon and Shell etc have no “operational” involvement in grabbing Mid-Eastern oil. They’re only capitalist “mentors” to rapacious governments after all, so should be given a pass by Hedges as well.

Shame, shame, shame.

All time lows for the apologists at truthdig.

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By rico, suave, May 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

“And when someone came over and told Jean and me the news, my stomach sank.”

It doesn’t get any more pathetic than this for truthdig.

Shame, shame, shame.

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By NABNYC, May 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

I have been puzzled by some left/liberal/progressives today who are insistent on being critical of the killing of bin Laden, claiming it was not right or good, or maybe someone else was involved in 9/11, or we don’t have jobs, or we are waging wars.  Of course those things are true.  But exactly what is the point of being such an oppositional personality type that no matter what Obama or the Democrats do, there is a knee-jerk criticism because they didn’t pass real health care, for examlple.

This does not strike me as being reasonable, fair, or providing real leadership.  It looks like pouting.  And I’m perplexed.  There is no doubt bin Laden was a leader in al queda, promoted the murder of Americans as well as people around the world, sought to create a fascist Muslim government to control the entire world, hide women in burkas and sell them in lots to bored middle-aged men who like variety.  Bin Laden is so much like George W. Bush they could be twins.  Born into rich families, inherited lots of money, cruel and uncaring in the face of the suffering of others, meglomaniacs with a fanatical religious world view, quick to condemn others to death, living off of inherited wealth, and never did a day’s honest labor in their lives.  What’s to like?  The guy was a pig.  A man born into wealth who used his position to advocate murder, fascism, and subjugation of women.  I mean both of them, in that sentence.

It is obvious to me that the only good response to the killing of bin Laden is to say:  Yeah, we did it, now let’s end the wars and bring the troops home, rebuild our country.  It’s the perfect time.  Obama did what the punk-ass bush didn’t, which is to get the guy who started these attacks against the U.S. in the first place.  We got him, let’s go home. 

People are at a tipping point in this country, looking for leadership.  They won’t find it in the democratic politicians, so that means progressive voices should pitch in.  And anyone who mourns the death of bin Laden, or acts sad about it, who says we’ve done bad things too, is just missing the opportunity presented here to rally people to end the wars finally.

And yes, I’m really really glad bin Laden is dead.

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By Lew Ciefer, May 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

By Arabian Sinbad, May 2 at 5:16 pm Link to this
What an irony that even Rush Limbaugh, the notorious crazy racist, is now praising Obama for killing Osama!

Don’t know much ‘bout history Sinbad ... it took a PEACE LOVING DEMOCRAT!

WWI - Wilson (democrat

WWII - Roosevelt (democrat)

Korea - Truman (democrat)

Vietnam - Kenneday, Johnson (democrat)

Libya - Obama (democrat)

It’s in man’s nature to war. We need to admit it and get to it.

War ... huh ... what is it good for ... wealth creation, culling of the herd, economy, and reelection campaigns!

Anyone feeling sad about the death of that rat is sick. Study on what Osama and Wahhabi Islam has perpetrated on Muslims througout the world ... especially Muslim women.

Osama is nothing more but another barbariann rebel killed by the forces of an empire. There’s thousands of them in history books. Until the empire sinks into total decline and the barabrian new comers that defeat it become the new empire barabrians remain barbarians.

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By Lew Ciefer, May 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

By Arabian Sinbad, May 2 at 5:16 pm Link to this
What an irony that even Rush Limbaugh, the notorious crazy racist, is now praising Obama for killing Osama!

Don’t know much ‘bout history Sinbad ... it took a PEACE LOVING DEMOCRAT!

WWI - Wilson (democrat

WWII - Roosevelt (democrat)

Korea - Truman (democrat)

Vietnam - Kenneday, Johnson (democrat)

Libya - Obama (democrat)

It’s in man’s nature to war. We need to admit it and get to it.

War ... huh ... what is it good for ... wealth creation, culling of the herd, economy, and reelection campaigns!

Anyone feeling sad about the death of that rat is sick. Study on what Osama and Wahhabi islam has perpetrated on Muslim througout the world ... especially Muslim women.

Osama is nothing more but another barbariann rebel killed by the forces of an empire. There’s thousands of them in history books. Until the empire sinks into total decline and the barabrian new comers that defeat it become the new empire barabrians remain barbarians.

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By Lew Ciefer, May 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

By Arabian Sinbad, May 2 at 5:16 pm Link to this
What an irony that even Rush Limbaugh, the notorious crazy racist, is now praising Obama for killing Osama!

Don’t know much ‘bout history Sinbad ... it took a PEACE LOVING DEMOCRAT!

WWI - Wilson (democrat

WWII - Roosevelt (democrat)

Korea - Truman (democrat)

Vietnam - Kenneday, Johnson (democrat)

Libya - Obama (democrat)

It’s in man’s nature to war. We need to admit it and get to it.

War ... huh ... what is it good for ... wealth creation, culling of the herd, economy, and reelection campaigns!

Anyone feeling sad about the death of that rat is sick. Study on what Obama and Wahhabi islam has perpetrated on Muslim througout the world ... especially Muslim women.

Osama is nothing more but another barbariann rebel killed by the forces of an empire. There’s thousands of them in history books. Until the empire sinks into total decline and the barabrian new comers that defeat it become the new empire barabrians remain barbarians.

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By drklassen, May 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Shenonymous:  My comments, and most of those I read here, are NOT in sympathy with bin Laden.  To the contrary, they are musings on what we let bin Laden turn US into.  What we let him bring out in US.

It never ceases to amaze me how un-Christian this so-called Christian nation is; and this act of murdering bin Laden merely underscores that.

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By Railbird, May 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

I confess, I had never heard of Thucydides but among friends, for a few years now, I have predicted for America what Thucydides predicted for Athenian democracy, that “the tyranny that the empire imposed on others it will eventually impose upon itself.  Excess of order ends in tyranny.  There are drones in the futures of our descendants but our neighbors to the south (when the drug war regains footing) will likely see them first.

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By Arabian Sinbad, May 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

A sober and thoughtful perspective by a man of great substance; thank you Chris Hedges!

However, I can’t resist to put my own linguistic twist to this event and it goes like this:

It took an Obama to kill Osama!

What an irony that it took a man accused of being a secret Muslim, to kill the most radical Muslim of all times.

What an irony that even Rush Limbaugh, the notorious crazy racist, is now praising Obama for killing Osama!

From now on, all politics, economy and entertainment industry will be for a while capitalizing on the event of killing one old man for immediate material gain. Then the euphoria will pass away, and we are left with the vicious cycle of revenge and counter-revenge which only benefits the merchants of death.

What a sad reality humans have sunk deeply into, with no hope of resolving human conflicts with wisdom and foresight!

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By Rogelio, May 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

I am jubilant, like many other Americans, that Bin Laden is dead. However, I do not see his death as a time to celebrate. Yes, we took down the mastermind behind al-Qaida who was responsible for 9-11. However, is the celebration of someone’s death a way to behave? For those of us who “celebrated” his death, how do we explain to our children that we are behaving joyously because someone died.

Our “joyous” behavior is just another slap in the face for the Muslim extremists who despise what America stands for. For those who sang, “We are the Champions,” in front of the White House, I ask the simple question; champions of what?

Again, it is momentuous time in our history, but our behavior leaves a lot to be desired to the rest of the world. After all, we are the leader of the free world, and they look upon us as role models.

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By Cliff Carson, May 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

An excellent look by Hedges into a tortured world of intrigue and ultimate change.  Osama Ben Laden, a one time proxy fighter for the United States in Afghanistan, you might say a hero of the Afghan Arabs in the United States -Soviet Proxy War for the Oil Corporations seeking control of an Oil Pipeline to be built through Afghanistan.
Now here was a man born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth, who could have lived his life kicked back with riches to exceed that of any modern day Rockefeller.  Yet there he was in the Afghan Mountains living in caves risking his life every day to fight the Soviets.  He was backed by America, armed by America, and financed by America, except for the Millions of his own and what he could raise though his name to defeat the Soviets.  He and the CIA were joined at the hip.
So what happened?
You people who read and who remember know exactly what happened.  In the Kuwait ( another war built on deception) affair the United states coerced Saudi Arabia into giving up Saudi land for an American Military Base.  And one Osama Ben Laden who had fought for years as an ally of the U S, said “If the United States places a Military Base on Saudi land, for that Blasphemy,  I will declare war on the United States”. Anybody remember that?  So the U S got their base and sure enough Ben Laden publicly declared war on the US.  9/11 happen a few years later.  That is real change.  From Ally to Foe.
When 9/11 occurred, some of us were sitting around sipping cold ones discussing what the U S should do, one in the conversation said we should find out who did it and bomb their country ( remember right at first no one knew who did it, and Bush and boys were pumping hard to blame Iraq).  I offered a suggestion that before we go bombing anyone we should, once we found out who, we should find out why .  Had we done that the public probably wouldn’t have gone for the WMD lie.  And over a million people wouldn’t have died.  I think the American public is too quick to seek blood-any blood. 
In any event Ben Laden seems to have fought most of his life for his principles.  He didn’t have to, but he gave up a life of luxury for 30 plus years of daily fighting for those things he believed in.  Now that he is dead maybe all the troops can come home and stop this madness.  Mr Hedges, I wish you had visited what was but now is.
What I have said here is a different perspective that looks at cause and effect.  Sometimes that can be very important.

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By rend, May 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hingston.

Spot On!

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By Cliff Carson, May 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

An excellent look by Hedges into a tortured world of intrigue and ultimate change.  Osama Ben Laden, a one time proxy fighter in Afghanistan, you might say a hero of the Afghan Arabs and the United States-Soviet Proxy War fighting those Soviets.  And all that started over the control of an Oil Pipeline thru Afghanistan.

Now here was a man born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth, who could have lived his life kicked back with riches to exceed that of any of the modern day Rockefeller.  Yet there he was in the Afghan Mountains living in caves risking his life every day to fight the Soviets.  He was backed by America, armed by America, and financed by America except for the Millions of his own and what he could raise though his name to defeat the Soviets.  He and the CIA were joined at the hip.

So what happened?

You people who read and who remember know exactly what happened.  In the Kuwait (another war started thru deception)war the United states coerced Saudi Arabia into giving up Saudi land for an American Military Base.

And one Osama Ben Laden who had fought for years as an ally of the U S, said “If the United States places a Military Base on Saudi land, for that Blasphemy, I will declare war on the United States”. Anybody remember that?  So the U S got their base and sure enough Ben Laden publicly declared war on the US.  Later on would come 9/11.

That is real change.  From Ally to Foe.

When 9/11 occurred, some of us were sitting around and over cold ones were discussing what the U S should do, one in the conversation said we should find out who did it and bomb their country ( remember right at first no one knew who did it, and Bush and boys were pumping hard to blame Iraq).  I offered a suggestion that before we go bombing anyone we should, once we found out who, next we should find out why they did it before we did anything.

Had we done that the public probably wouldn’t gone for the WMD lie.  Especially when the identities of the Hijackers were nearly all Saudi, with none being Iraqi.

I think the American public is too quick to seek blood. 

In any event Ben Laden seems to have fought most of his life for his principles.  He didn’t have to, but he gave up a life of luxury for 30 plus years of daily fighting for what he believed in.

Now that he is dead maybe all the troops can come home and stop this madness.

Mr Hedges, you should have mentioned that once upon a time he was an American hero who turned because he felt that he had been wronged by those he risked his life to help.

What I have said here is a different read that looks at some cause and effect.  Sometimes that can be very important.

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By redslider, May 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Chris, understands the process. Bloodshed is more than skin deep, and stains imperialist and revolutionary alike, becomes a ceremony in which all who participate get splashed and, in time, can become hard to tell apart in their commitment to violence for its own sake.

There is one opportunity in the death of Ben Ladin, however, where violence might actually have served to back away from the mutuality of fear and suspicion. It turn’s on Hedges’ observation that,

“the only way to successfully fight terrorist groups is to isolate [them], isolate those groups, within their own societies.”

It is a piece of collateral damage from the U.S. initiative in carrying out Bin Ladin’s assassination. That intent, to eliminate this one leading figure,  had always remained a perfect opportunity for moderate Muslims to visibly demonstrate their public insistence that jihad and conquest of non-Muslims was not part of their belief system or agenda.

Moderate Muslims and their clerics issue or passively consent to fatwas against novelists and cartoonists, but have remained curiously silent on isolating and going after people like Bin Ladin themselves. Moderate clerics have never issued a fatwa against him. Moderate Muslims have never played a major role in ending the reign of terror by al qaeda or other extremists which they publicly disavow. Had they, rather than the U.S., dealt with Bin Ladin, their position might no longer be doubted. A missed opportunity, I’d say.

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By Andrew Hingston, May 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges should not feel the need to mention his Pulitzer, his knowledge of
Arabic, his routine, though uncanny, ability to be in the right place at the right
time (journalistically speaking), his former employment at the NY Times, etc.,
etc.  Anyone who has read one of his articles has learnt all this.  If you have
read two, then it’s been seared into your brain: here is someone of authority,
bravery, gravitas.

The problem is not that we’ve humiliated the Muslim world with out attempts to
run the show.  The problem is that as a nation and a culture we’ve burnt
ourselves out in the process, and we haven’t done the job well enough.  I
wonder if the late Romans saw ahead to the collapse of their Empire.  If they
did, it doesn’t seem to have made them change our ways.  Nothing seems to be
making us change our ways either.  We all saw that Bush-Cheney were
diabolical lunatics.  So we elected Obama, who promised change and both
looked and sounded very different.  But he has been hardly different at all. 
Except that he likes to compromise at least once an hour.  Bush-Cheney never
compromised, or at least never admitted compromising.  Obama must have
taken the famous negotiating course at Harvard, and there he must have
specialised in the compromising sort rather than in the door slamming, shoe-
banging, blackmailing, arm-twisting, blood-draining sort practiced by, say,
Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

No matter.  He’s got his man—though he’s been awfully messy about
gathering the evidence.  Couldn’t they have cut off the man’s head and hands
and brought them home in a box?  Fingerprints?  Passport?  Bockbuster Video
membership card?  Something tangible to put in the Smithsonian Institution? 
And why did Obama say, “...there was a firefight, and then they killed him.” 
Makes it sound as though they had actually captured him and then they killed
him.  Excuse me, but that is a No No.  Morally, legally, the whole nine yards.  No
No NO.  The Nazis did that sort of thing—“Take no prisoners”—so if anyone
ought to be compared to the Nazis, perhaps our names are also on the list. 

How many trillions will this have cost before we move on to some other
problem?  I would rather all the money, ingenuity, determination, bravery,
intelligence (real and military), and stamina had been put into something more
useful to my children.

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By kogwonton, May 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Is anyone else’s Bullshit-O-meter sounding off like a tsunami siren? If not I wold suggest removing your head from… well, you get the picture.

Interestingly, one week ago we were hearing alleged threats from alleged terrorists that, if OBL is killed or captured, they will unleash a nuclear terror storm. Sounds to me like Obama Bin Slippin (in the polls) is finally looking at election 2012. But please, who keeps a joker up their sleeve?

Osama has been dead for years - at least a year before Benazir Bhutto was murdered. I think he died long before that or the Pentagon wouldn’t have had to whip up so many fake videotapes of him. Even the most recent photograph of his alleged corpse doesn’t even remotely look like the greying beanpole we know OBL to have been.

Beware of military ‘exercises’.

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By chip, May 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

I need to correct my previous statement about our vast intelligence network maybe fixing wall street.
I forgot they let 911 happen in the first place.

Damn, we are so screwed.

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By Lafayette, May 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

OFF THE CLIFF

CH: But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world. The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout, in particular the Arab world ... has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

CH dives off the cliff, yet again, with his penchant for journalistic elasticity. The world is relieved at the news that a terrorist mastermind is dead and he finds the moment appropriate to put the blame for the entire mess on Uncle Sam.

He obviously does not know how to count - 8812 is the number of deaths attributable to al Qaedda in the attacks listed here. (Sorry if the page is in French, but it’s the best historical accounting of al Qaeda terrorist attacks since they began in 1992 that I can find.)

Ask the families of those 8812 killed, CH, if they think the atrocious terrorist acts listed have not “engendered hatred” of al Qaeda. There are no innocents in this war on terror and least of all its author, Ossama bin Laden.

CH has a warped sense of moral justice. A shame he missed a golden opportunity to contain his nonsense, which makes a mockery of those who gave their lives (French, American, British, Iraqi, Afghani, et al) combating terrorism.

POST SCRIPTUM

The shame of it all is that bin Laden may be dead but the terrorism likely will continue unabated.

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By peterjkraus, May 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

We are Them. Always have been, always will be.

Thanks, Chris, for the truth.

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By Shenonymous, May 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Because we are Americans, and no nationalism intended, is why we
care when Americans are killed.  We care when others are killed as
well but living in a violent world cannot be in our sole charge to
vindicate, nor can we preemptively, contrary to our history, just
waltz into a country to right the wrongs that might be going on. 
Besides, whose sons would you send?  Your own?  I don’t think so. 
I wonder as I read all of the comments here, what American went to
sleep easily on September 11, 2001 when a few thousand people,
not all Americans, were murdered?  I would wager that none of the
naysayers genuflecting to Hedges can even imagine the nearly three
thousand dead people. The graphic pictures of the field of the WWI
dead only approximates it.
http://www.greatwar.nl/picnic/hundredsdead.html
take a look… if you dare.  And why are so many Arabs rejoicing at Bin
Laden’s death? 

Definitely not a right winger, though there are hard Leftists who will
rave against this centrist liberal, who dares to disagree with you.  I
find I have to agree with the minority of commenters on this forum.

Imagine your sister or father or someone you love completely
decimated and nothing left of them except as mixed in with the dust
of the falling buildings, or crushed in a downed airplane, or the more
than a hundred burned to death in the Pentagon.  One cannot know
palpably what it would be to be one of those pulverized.  Imagine
being vaporized.  If you say you slept peacefully then you cannot be
a compassionate human or an American.  Osama bin Laden has railed
violence against the United States for years before he had his minions
destroy 2996 people in all.  Then inspired all the terrorist attacks in the
world who bragged their hands did them.  And killed how many
Muslims who did not agree with his jihad?  Do you have any idea?  How
do you justify his complicitness in those murders?  How do you really
excuse it to yourself?  The sentimentality given to murderers is a
psychosis.  Life and death.  Life is cheap, death is dear.  Death is
cheap, life is dear.  Depends on your point of view.  I would think
one’s conscience would say a person has the right to live out their
lives naturally even though there are many who do not. And we cannot
imagine all those who died from American retaliation, or what each of
those deaths felt like. No excuse for them either, but that does not
absolve Bin Laden. His life for theirs.  Zimmerman May 2 7:22am is
right.  Those who hate America really ought to go live elsewhere, but
maybe you already do.  No one on this forum will leave who do live
here and we cannot be sure how many do not. 

Funny how those sycophants who are sobbing for bin Laden waited
until he was sought out, apprehended, and killed in a firefight, to
make their sympathies for him known on this website.  Sitting at your
computer is so comfy.  The notion of justice seems to need discussion
but no significant discussion will develop here.  I’ve just wakened the
inarticulate name-callers!  LOL

So of course after you answer my questions, I invite you to call me any
name you like.  Here I’ll give you a few, or maybe you can make new
ones up:  Shrew, Shrewnonymous, Shepotamus (my fav), hernonymous,
witch… I’ve left off a few, but you will remind me I don’t doubt it for a
second.  You don’t think I care do you? Enjoy yourself, and don’t say I
never gave you anything.

It is true, though, the Right will never give Barack Obama credit for
anything, but neither will the hard Left.  And the killing of Bin Laden
does not mean anyone accused of a terrorist act does not deserve a
trial.  We need our theater.

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By Bilbo, May 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Remember what George Carlin said?
“I don’t believe anything the government tells me.”

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By frecklefever, May 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

WHEN JOHN AND BOBBY KENNEDY SIGNED OFF ON THE ASSASSINATION
OF THE DIEM BROTHERS….IN VIET NAM..THEY SEALED THIER OWN
FATE…THOSE DANCING ON BIN LADENS GRAVE MIGHT WANT TO KEEP IN
MIND KARMA HAS THE ULTIMATE RECKONING ...WE DON’T NEED MORE
SADNESS…

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By lancemfoster, May 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
or the LORD will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them

Proverbs 24:17-20

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By Desert Dude, May 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Things must be looked at in their historical
perspective and whether they are right or wrong in their
context. 

Ralph Nader staying in the FL primary was wrong.

Invading Iraq was wrong. 

Staying in Afghanistan is wrong. 

But killing Bin Laden was not.  Will it make terror go away or mark an end to Al Qaeda? 
No.  But it was right and just and I’m glad it happened.

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By Angel Gabriel, May 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Mission accomplished! Congratulations America!!! You’ve moved one step closer to
the yawning abyss - another major milestone for freedom, democracy and the
American Way! You’ve removed the symbol of resistance to your global Corporate
takeover. The king is dead! Now you can hang out the “No Vacancy” sign at
Graceland and get back to business as usual… Oh, but what’s going to happen now
without an excuse for wearing the mask of righteousness? I Guess you’ll be
needing a new enemy now….I wonder who the next tail will be pinned on? Maybe
someone could interview Dick Cheney for a sneak preview?
I never thought I would see the day that America celebrated death over life…Put’s a
real chink in the armor of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. You need a
new slogan now… Good luck with that!

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By GeorgeR, May 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Great article. Doubly so in that undoubtedly it will rub some people the wrong way. Truth is a bitter pill.

* Lenin said “The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize.” You can’t put it simpler than that. The correct response to 9/11 was to shrug and say, “is that the best you can do?” In a country where every single year drunk driving alone kills several times as many people as died on 9/11, this was eminently doable. The smartest thing Bush Jr did was to tell people “Go shopping.”

* Alas, that is not the American way. There has to be a shootout, guns blazing at noon, man to man. The John Wayne tough guy proponents (Hawks) are going to take many generations to mellow out and learn that there is greater strength in a softer posture. (Anyone heard of Judo? Anyone?) Instead of eliminating the threat by winning hearts and minds we get Homeland Security and now flying anywhere is a hassle for everyone. Freedoms gone. A win for the enemy.

* I personally don’t buy into the concept of “Muslim Soil”, “American Soil” and all that. Anyone who has studied history knows that in the long run things always change. But I do acknowledge that there are thousands who think this way and any strategy must take this into account.

* By the same token, I agree that the “Empire” concept is a major concern as well. America is like the rude relative who just can’t seem to leave. Long after the end of WWII and the Cold War and the Soviet threat, how many troops still in Germany and Turkey and elsewhere?

Anyway, thanks for this opportunity to vent. Please continue the excellent work.

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By drklassen, May 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@don: You realize that the character who spewed that phrase was doing so to cover up his crime of ordering one the murder of one of his own soldiers?

So now you use it in the same manner: to justify our assassination of a person against whom no case has been proven all in the guise of “protecting our freedoms”.

But when I look at the past 10 years, all I see are freedoms eroded, not preserved.  The president is scraping every overseas phone call without warrant; can order any person, anywhere in the world, imprisoned with no recourse; can order the assassination of any person, anywhere in the world.  To get on a plane I have to subject myself to a TSA gropefest; they can confiscate my laptop without reason, hold for as long as they like, copy everything on it.  We are, today, simply all guilty of terrorism until we prove otherwise.

Sorry, I see nothing to be thankful about there.

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By ikallicrates, May 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Once again the Democrats are behaving like Republicans, and once again they aren’t doing it as well as the Republicans. They’ve known for a long time where to find Osama bin Laden. They didn’t try to capture or kill him because he was more useful as a target of the ‘war on terror’. They chose to do so now because they want to create a Reagan-style ‘October Surprise’ giving Obama a boost in popularity on which he can coast into re-election. But they did it too soon. There’s plenty of time left before the election for the blowback which is sure to come.

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By chip, May 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Maybe now we can use our vast intelligence network
to arrest these wall street crooks that drove this great country off this cliff.

Bring our troops home now, where they are really needed.

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By diamond, May 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

“We finally kill Bin laden, but in the process we burn most of the evidence and dump his body in the ocean. And as his body sinks it will pass the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkien, The pentagon papers, Ollie North, Casey, and 9/11.”

Yes, it’s a glorious day all right, linked to a glorious history: Jessica Lynch - fake, the pulling down of Saddam’s statue- fake photo opportunity, the photo of the marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima -fake, the reasons for invading Iraq -fake, the reason for invading Afghanistan-fake, 9/11 -fake, Bay of Tonkin-fake, the attack on the SS Liberty- false flag operation. My guess is that bin Laden either died years ago or died of old age or kidney disease in that compound and this is just another example of ‘the truth is whatever we say it is’. People who have consistently manufactured historical events for their own dark purposes cannot be trusted on this one either. If he was alive and living in that compound, commonsense tells us that the CIA knew damn well that he was there, so it’s more than likely he died of old age and this is another fake historical event manufactured by the American elites to fool the people yet again. And then they toss him in the sea? Why? Bizarre beyond belief.

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By Art X, May 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

It’s good bin Laden is no longer free, and if he resisted detention, maybe the shooting was morally justified. The wild happiness and round-the-clock news coverage about the world’s strongest nation killing the symbolic leader of a loose-knit gang of occasionally-effective zealots does not reflect too well on we US-Americans.

It’s quite ironic that the NY Times right-wing columnist Ross Douthat tells us today that bin Laden was never an “existential threat.” Some of us were saying that on September 12, 2001, but the pro-war elites assured the nation that we needed to be very afraid and give our “leaders” all kinds of power to wage war abroad, as well as at home (e.g., the PATRIOT Act). And, of course, there is no assigning or accepting of responsibility for the terrible consequences of our overreaction—the “leaders” and the despicable class of commentators and think-tank factotums who purport to tell us what to think continue on as before, secure inside the walls of the heavily-guarded compound of American plutocracy…

I realize this is my one-note tune, but it’s time to move on, time to become the democracy demanded by free people ...
http://democracylight.blogspot.com

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By omop, May 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

As some one old enough to remember the pre Osama Ben Laden Era I would
thinkg anyone would be remiss in not admitting that his persona/activities/views
real and unreal have had the most dramatic effect on the US of A since his fighting
[ with US arms and financial support ] days against the REd Army in Afghanistan.

TRUTHDIG might do its readers and others a truly outstanding service in
educational history in recording the dramatic changes in the day to day life of the
average citizen during the time we all became aware of OSB and his followers.

This is one man whose impact [real or imagined] on the American way of life
cannot be ignored.

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By Michele, May 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges gets paid to spread doom and gloom - and he never disappoints. 
Even when having the audacity to intimate that Hitler was in any way less
responsible for the acts done in his name simply because he - and Osama Bin
Laden - “signed off” on acts of murder (vs. actually carrying them out personally). 

What kind of rubbish is this?

The fact remains, Osama Bin Laden lived a (literally) sheltered life in a million
dollar plus compound, far from any cave, surrounded by yes-men as well as numerous females (er, “wives”) whom he was using as human shields.  Uh, definitely the hallmarks of a spiritual mentor and guide.

Sometimes Hedges nails it, and sometimes he misses the mark.  He missed it by a wide margin on this one.

Good riddance to Osama Bin Laden.  Better late than never.

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By burkai, May 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Let us rejoice in the slaying of others!...
What Chris has to say goes against the majority of ‘America’s’ thinking but few
indeed in this world understand or experience the evolutionary course of an
actualized human being. To step outside the drama and observe the sad nature
of humans killing humans reveals how far we still have to go in our evolution.
I am a Special Forces soldier who has experienced the jubilation of killing
others who were trying to kill me or my friends. It took me many years to
escape the blinding trap of drama and the false reality of what is black and
what is white.
Party on. You too will be killed by ‘something’ and eventually become
nothing more than a moment’s thought. What you hold onto is what you
become.
De Oppresso Liber
http://www.OneTao.com

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By Jarowe92, May 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(Typos corr.; apologies & thanks] I thought I know who Hedges was, and what he stood for. But this is nauseating.  It is a craven apology for Hitler too, whom Hedges says also didn’t have any operational role in Nazi demonicism and the demonic war on the Jews and Roma and Slavs and Gays and Communists and the disabled, but was only their “spiritual leader. Hitler, the nonoperational spiritual leader. And Bin Laden, the nonoperational spiritual leader. Two peas in pod. We must have been sick to have gone after both. Both, spiritual leaders, were basically implicitly innocent. Osama didn’t kill a single person with his own hands.  Hitler never personally killed a Jew. (It’s possible, too.) We have become the enemy for going after, first one, and then the other. Maybe according to Hedges Pol Pot was just a nonoperational “spiritual leader” of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields. And Stain “spiritual leader” of the Soviet KGB and Gulag Archepelago. Maybe Dr. Mengele was the nonoperational “spiritual leader” of Nazi “medicine.”  I can almost see all their angelic wings fluttering overhead in the midst all this gentle lighter-than-air “spirituality.” And we have become Bin Laden-Pol Pot by opposing it. Vomitable.

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By LocalHero, May 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Hey Don (Zimmerman),

This is for all of you right (Fascist) death-mongers.

“To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than
to commit ordinary murder.” - Albert Einstein

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are
punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the
sound of trumpets.” - Voltaire

“As long as we believe in absurdities we shall
continue to commit atrocities.” - Voltaire

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By jarowe92, May 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought I know who Hedges was,and what he stood for. But this is nauseating.  It’s an apology for Hitler too: Hedges says he didn’t have any operational role in Nazi Germany either, and the war on the Jews and Roma and Slavs and Gays and Communists, but was “only” their—i I can get his repulsive characterization o them out of my mouth—“spiritual leader.” Hitler, the nonoperational spiritual leader.  And Bin Laden, the nonoperational spiritual ledader. Two peas in pod. I guess we were “sick to go after both. Both, spiritual leaders, were basically implicitly innocent. Osama didn’t kill a single person with his own hand.  Hitler never personally killed a Jews. We have become the enemy or going after, first one, and then the other. Maybe according to Hedges Pol Pot was just a nonoperational “spiritual leader” of the Khmer Rouge, too. And Stain just “spiritual leader” of the Soviet KGB and Gulag. Maybe Dr. Mengele was the nonoperational “spiritual leader” of “Nazi medicine.”  I can almost see all their angelic wings fluttering overhead. Pure as the driven snow.  And we have become them by opposing them. Vomitable.

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By Palindromedary, May 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Like General Smedley Butler said “War is a Racket” and the criminal “murder inc.” corporations and weaselly, gutless politicians continue to gain wealth and power by killing people. They trash human rights and our constitution and besmirch our names while pretending we are a nation of honor and dignity. We are on the same path as NAZI Germany.

I can barely watch the news on TV without disgust in what I am hearing. They claim they killed OBL and they hide the evidence, yet again (hiding evidence…they’re good at that) by saying they “gave OBL a traditional Muslim burial…at sea”. Uh, duh, how dumb do they think we are? How gullible do they think the people are? There’s a pattern here…they hastily shipped all of those steel beams from the WTC over seas to be melted down before anyone could investigate. That’s destroying evidence of a crime scene. Looks like they are doing the same thing with OBL’s body. So we are just supposed to believe these lying twits that they killed OBL? How do we know that OBL wasn’t killed years ago? How do we know that OBL is not still alive…still a CIA asset? Can’t believe anything the government or their network lapdogs tell us….it’s all suspect…propaganda. They are getting us prepared for another false flag event to further imprison our minds and freedoms. The news media are really laying it on thick, aren’t they? Really playing up the probably lies that OBL was the “mastermind” behind 911. The real masterminds are key powerful people in the US and probably Israel. And now OBL is a martyr for those who know how criminally blood thirsty the US has become.

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By heavyrunner, May 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

“Goldstein is dead. Long live Goldstein!”

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength!”

We shot him in the head and buried him at sea, according to Muslim law out of our deep respect for Islam. A trial would have been so inconvenient, as there was no actual evidence he had anything to do with 9/11. And the discovery phase of the trial would have shown that Bin Laden was a product of the U.S. spy agencies.

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By michael roloff, May 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Indeed, vengeance makes the world go round, the same
old place.

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By heavyrunner, May 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

“Goldstein is dead. Long live Goldstein!”

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength!”

We shot him in the head and buried him at sea, according to Muslim law. A trial would have been so inconvenient, as there was no actual evidence he had anything to do with 9/11. And the discovery phase of the trial would have shown that Bin Laden was a product of the U.S. spy agencies.

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By jzk, May 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

As Pogo said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

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By Lew Ciefer, May 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

I’m not only very pleased to hear of OBL’s demise but also EXTREMELY OVERJOYED to learn that most of the American left—especially those of the government propaganda arm, the MSM—have grown to stop fearing and love the bomb!

I heard that even tenured professors at Harvard, Yale and Berkeley were thumping their chests and yelling “USA!” “USA!” “USA!”

TODAY the “continuity” of the dreaded “Bush Policy” is beloved and embraced once renamed the “Obama Policy.” EVEN “Targeted Assassination” is much ballyhooed without even a feeble cry of war crimes or war criminality from the usually vociferous anti-American left! And more importantly, the normally America hating left has now embraced the American flag, patriotism, nationalism, and even ... THE AMERICAN MILITARY ... is today no longer baby killers, murderers, Nazis, terrorists, and all those other adjectives used to denigrate and humiliate the American military!

Welcome aboard American democrats, lefties, progressives, socialists, and commies! Feels good doesn’t it?

I know ... I know ... you’re thinking “It’s not the same.” I know that!

I know that these democrat military actions like the OBL targeted assassination, the war in Libya, the escalation of the Afghan war, etc. are very different from that of the Bush administration. Under democrat regimes the U.S. military uses humanitarian bullets and bombs! The dead from Democrat led action is humanitarianly killed. Big difference!

Take for example all those not reported by the MSM “collateral damaged” (<- that’s a PC word for dead mutha-effers) from all those Obama ordered missile strikes in Libya; at first one might be tempted to question the action when one thinks of severed body parts flung all over the walls, streets, autos, bystanders, etc. But not to worry because those are humanitarianly severed body parts and collateral damaged. That’s a helluva lot different from those U.S. baby-killing terrorist missiles and bombs launched when Bush—a dirty republican war criminal, so I’ve been told—was at the helm.

And the whole world realizes the difference too, because there isn’t a single cry from Europe demanding that Obama be arrested and tried as a war criminal. The world do luv a mocha savior!

Our mocha savior was right when he said—shortly before raising the alert level and increasing surveillance on the U.S. population—that it’s “a great day in America and the world is much safer today.” 

Five dollar gas, record high inflation and home repossession, ten to twenty percent unemployment, record government debt ... none of that matters anymore! OBL is dead, dead, dead and our Mocha Savior and the American war-mongering (<- finally) left is responsible! 

As a Christian/Muslim non-believer all I can say is thank you god!

Semper Fi do or die! KILL! KILL! KILL!

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By prisnersdilema, May 2, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Government keeps secrets quite well all the time, consider the manhattan project.

What I have discovered at truth dig is that right wingers that come here, know full well
that they are not going to persuade, progressives that their political views are right. No
that’s not their reason at all. Instead they come here so their ego can have something to
push against, so they can make their anger seem reasonable. Jerking off their anger,
against progressives lowers their internal toxic load of anger for a little while and they
feel a sense of catharsis, for a moment.

But that does nothing to solve the real underlying issues, of self doubt in their belief
system. Trying to convince others of their right wing views they convince
themselves, and deal with the doubts in their belief system. With the certainty of reason,
they convince themselves that their anger toward progressives, is not just lunacy.

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By Zebunnisa, May 2, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a well written opinion piece! Another great source
for such analysis is Democracy Now! They broadcast a
great show today focusing on the Bin Laden killing. Im
sure people are familiar with The Nation’s Jeremy
Scahill. He was there with security experts Joshua
Foust and Matthew Hoh and Pakistani intellectual Tariq
Ali and journalist Mosharraf Zaidi. Best part (for me):
the show can be accessed easily online:
http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2011/5/2

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By thethirdman, May 2, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

I believe so many people all share the false premise that we don’t love violence. 
We never say that “killing people is wrong.”  We say that killing Americans is
wrong.
We are human animals who protect our own and kill those who are not “us.”  Just
remember that, and there really isn’t any hypocrisy.  We love to fight just as much
as Arabs, or Chinese, or Europeans, or Africans.  That’s just the way it is.
In the whole history of America, we have never believed that killing people is
wrong, just the opposite in fact.

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By therese, May 2, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why do we kill people, who kill people, to show that killing people is wrong?

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By Barbara Kavanagh Crowley, May 2, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My first thought was - what are they covering up or distracting us
from? Is this another Nixon strategy to keep the wars going until
Obama is elected again?

Could it be they are going to announce a full scale invasion of Libya?
Or worse?

So I listened to Obama’s remarks and almost got sick. Stirring up the
bogus patriotism. Never a mention of invading wrong countries or the
hundreds of thousands we have have murdered. Trying to pretend this
will help the families of 9/11 victims. The speech was embarrassing and
an insult to the intelligence of the American people. I also HAD to listen
to the media showing off their ignorance. That was pathetic.

Watching my country destroy itself is very painful.

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By thethirdman, May 2, 2011 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

You guys are all tools.  A secret is a hard thing to keep.  The Army can’t even
keep attack helicopter videos secret because of leaks from a kid.
Regardless of his past, UBL was part of the 9/11 plot, and he has always been a
symbolic target for the US.  Everyone knows this day would eventually come. 
Nobody, not even MSM, is saying terrorism is over, they are just celebrating the
killing of an enemy.  Which one of you is going to tell me that UBL was not an
enemy of the United States?
The kids dancing on the lawn of the White House are all douches, but this
country is full of douches, you guys should be used to that by now.
You guys always talk about the decline of this country, maybe it’s your inability
to deal with reality that is responsible for at least half of the decline.
Ozark Michael is the only one here talking any sense.  And no offense Michael,
but that really scares me.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I drank the cool aid, I’m one of those sheeple, following
Hitler’s corporate media, ready to believe the lies of the State…
But sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar.  The US set out to kill UBL and
OBAMA, not Bush, did it.  That has to make us all smile.

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By oddsox, May 2, 2011 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Hedges writes:
“(bin Laden) functions in many of the ways that Hitler functioned for the Nazi Party.”

I haven’t read Kershaw’s bio on Hitler, but have read “Inside the Third Reich,” by Albert Speer. Hedges is correct, if bin Laden wasn’t a military strategist, neither was Hitler.

There will be other comparisons made between Hitler and bin Laden. 

Certainly today, 2 May 2011 is similar to 30 April 1945 in more ways than their proximity on the calendar: 

—Another mad murderer is dead, brought to justice upon this Earth, with God’s judgement forthcoming. 

—Their victims remain dead as well, but to the survivors, a small measure of comfort and relief.

—Their respective causes remain alive.  We must remain ever vigilant.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 2, 2011 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What this means is that no one accused of a terrorist act deserves a trial.  Our criminal justice system is being dismantled before our eyes.  What we will have is a two tier system with rights of the accused granted to elites only.  The kind of justice meted out off shore is going to come home.

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By don zimmerman, May 2, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is for all of you left wingnuts.

” I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to! “.

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By Maani, May 2, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Although it is heartening to see so many so skeptical of this report - either because they believe OBL died some time ago and this report was timed for political and/or propaganda purposes, or simply because they have learned to distrust almost anything the government tells them after the false flag operation of 9/11 - there is one scenario that no one has mentioned yet.

The “death” of OBL makes future - and possibly near-future - false flag attacks more likely.

Consider the following scenario.

The death of OBL helps “heal wounds,” bring America together at least a little more (“nationalism,” anyone?), and makes the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as much a celebration as a continued memorial and rememberance.

And on 9/11/11 - in solidarity with 9/11, and in response to the “killing” of OBl - “Islamic suicide bombers” blow themselves up during 9/11 memorials in NYC, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Houston and Miami.  Not that many people are killed or injured, but the acts still serve not only to darkening the American mood, but to provide the U.S. government with further opportunities to curb civil liberties, control the populace by fear and, possibly, even invoke martial law.  (Yes, that’s pretty radical, but it COULD happen.)

Only there WERE no “suicide bombers”; they were false flag attacks, carried out in a similar manner to 9/11 via the complicity of individuals and agencies of the U.S. government.

Crazy idea?  Maybe.  But I’m less likely to question that Obama is a Christian born in Hawaii than I am that such a scenario is possible.

Peace.

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By mackTN, May 2, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

A thoughtful guy, Chris Hedges.  We obliterated a country, Iraq, because of one
guy, Saddam Hussein—killed as many people as he did, both ours and theirs,
disrupted countless lives and a region, paved the way for a recession that has
also disrupted lives and hopes. 

What will all these wars really gain in the end?  How long will we keep fighting
them?  How much money will we pay to middle eastern countries to try to keep
them in line? 

Now what?  Peace?  Is the object to make us so feared that we are invulnerable
to attack?  What’s it’s done is make us all suspects, we are all as suspicious as
any middle easterner. 

BTW, putting Rumsfield on the air was absolutely revolting.  He was determined
to endorse Gitmo as the source of the info that brought down bin laden.

Why dump the guy at sea—sounds like he was flushed down the toilet.

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By katsteevns, May 2, 2011 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

samosamo

What do you think of the peace movement initiating it’s own brand of a new pearl harbor, say a nationwide hunger strike of activists? Our leadership can decide which issue would best be addressed and go for it.
  Hunger strikes are usually conducted by those who really are convicted about their cause or else have nothing to lose. We may still at this point have something to lose, but this too will soon be gone. SO WHY WAIT UNTIL WE ARE ALL HUNGRY TO HAVE A HUNGER STRIKE?...at which point that weapon will no longer be effective. I think many know that all this wishful thinking that is going on in the back of our minds is just to placate our true feelings as we watch the ship go down.
I think a hunger strike would wake up alot of people and accomplish some serious work. If it fails, I would say there are worse ways to go out….just ask a Middle Easterner.

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By Big B, May 2, 2011 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

I hate to dust off my tin-foil hat and speak the obvious, but….

We finally kill Bin laden, but in the process we burn most of the evidence and dump his body in the ocean. And as his body sinks it will pass the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkien, The pentagon papers, Ollie North, Casey, and 9/11.

With this much bullshit floating around it becomes far more likely that the Lindberg baby was kidnapped by aliens and died in the Roswell crash. Former CIA poo-bah Casey told us what we think we know, we don’t really know, you know?

What big event is about to happen that we needed to blame on the killing of Binladen?

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By CJ, May 2, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

As I was saying elsewhere here about vengeance vs. justice. Jesse James was a
more complex, and some believe heroic, man than Bin Laden, who was hero to
perhaps millions. James too was pursued with the same violent vengeance at
(largely) collective heart. Finally murdered by Bob Ford paid by government to
do the deed. (Many believe that that body was not James’, and indeed it’s
possible the current body isn’t Bin Laden’s, as Hedges wonders.)

Well said by Hedges, who knows more than I ever will about Bin Laden and his
camp.

And well said by Mr. Freeze here, very well said concerning media which today
is even more intolerable than before, if that’s possible. The racist (at bottom)
nationalism excreted by mainstream media is truly sickening. It’s difficult to
find the words anymore to express the nasty absurdity that’s become fatuous
big media, along with pal politicians.

What the hell are these people talking about? What do they think about? What is
their objective? They come over as brainwashed, so soaked in nationalism, so
identifying with country they’ve become incapable of so much as natural-born
conscience. They are the completed “one-dimensional” of whom Marcuse
wrote. Bent and empty, yes the monster of whom Nietzsche wrote. And
dragging us down with themselves.

This morning, Buffett on CNBC (approx.): “Never bet against America.” Say
what? What’s the game? Is it a game? In short, YES, for him and his. It IS
Hollywood, spectacle, or Hollywood spectacle, if they’re always the same thing.
We had a B actor as head pol acting out a deadly script for thousands. We have
become hardly more than a Hollywood Western, complete with cliches not even
derived from something like reality: “Never bet against America.” What crap,
what drivel, how stupidly empty.

As though there were some kinda competition between u.s. and those…people!
Ah, the clash of civilizations, I’m forgetting. Right, Mr. Ozark. NOW we’ve
showed ‘em! I can’t recall “them” invading and colonizing u.s. None dropped
into Texas to try to make lousy deals for u.s. and when that didn’t work took oil
by force. Never mind rule of law in THAT case.

Hedges is absolutely right about the teaching of violence on the most massive
scale possible, taking into account atomic bombings of Japan, which were also
justified and much celebrated at the time. Japan was scary too, and fought
viciously without regard for “rules of war or law,” but also without pretense.
They were seeking to follow the West’s example in colonizing Asia, according to
Toland, et al.

Violence is at our collective heart and it’s what we really impose, as opposed to
anything like democracy, which can’t be imposed in any event. Hedges has
noted our addiction to war. We’re addicted to violence in general. Every kind of
violence. Our prisons are teeming with people treated with violence each and
every day. We still apply the death penalty, along with Iran, North Korea, the
“axis of evil,” and China.

Passion is human, understandable as individually human, while passion cannot
be characteristic of any state. Certainly not of any supposedly democratic state.
For media in collusion with, or as, state to lay claim to passion, to promote
acting out of passion is so grossly irresponsible as to deserve prosecution and
upon conviction some kind of separating out, though not even they sentenced
to serve terms in violence, aka, the prison industry where original slavery is
continued. (The First Amendment is not excuse, not intended as excuse.)

Hedges’ and other voices at Truthdig are merciful, if still not heard by power
that continues in fantasy (subsequently acted out) of doing evil disguised as
good. It gets no more bizarre, even given capitalism. We claim to stand for
justice, harbor habeas corpus…

then instantly sell out for vengeance, even when—in FACT and far more often of
late—we started it and not “them.”

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By mrfreeze, May 2, 2011 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

DRZing -

“Typical mainstream journalism.

Circle jerk voyeurs.”

I’ve never seen it put more succinctly. Thanks for that.

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By prisnersdilema, May 2, 2011 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

The right will never give Obama, credit for anything, they are already saying that Osama, has been frozen for 2 years, and that he was thawed out to boost Obama’s popularity.

That being said the death of terroists is a victory for them, because they have everything to die for.

while we, on the other hand, have a culture in which we have everything to live for. So, death to us seems unfair, and unjustified. This gives us every reason to make peace, and them every reason to die.

Eventually our dying will become an unbearable burdern to us. This is how we lost in Viet Nam. And this is how we lose in the middle east.

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By xrm, May 2, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

It’s quite simple. We’re using the ‘Global War on Terror’ as a guise under which
perpetual resource wars will be conducted and the bloated budget of the military
industrial complex can be justified. Iraq was conveniently dragged into the fray
because of their oil. We’re in Afghanistan to consolidate U.S. presence in the oil
and gas rich Caspian Basin with its geopolitical significance toward potential
enemies Russia and China, and encircling Iran.

It’s perverse and idiotic that Americans think terrorist hate us for our freedoms or
that we went over their primarily to fight terror.

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By D.R. Zing, May 2, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Yep. Great speech, Chris. Courageous.

I just read the Wash Post article describing Bin Laden’s death. Everyone they quoted said Bin Laden’s death is a great event.

They did not bother to reach out to a single person, such as yourself, who has stated that terrorism is a tactic that cannot be defeated with war.

Nor did they bother to contact the legion of writers who have stated repeatedly that our misguided war on terror serves as recruiting tool for terrorist organizations.

Typical mainstream journalism.

Circle jerk voyeurs.

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By samosamo, May 2, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

****************


ardee,

““Though this is a bit rough, as Hedges was no doubt speaking
extemporaneously, many phrases shine through.

I wonder if Americans now expect the “terrorism” to cease? I
wonder how disappointed some will be when it continues
unabated? I wonder how long it is going to take for our people
to finally understand the fact that it is our nation, in our name,
that commits the most acts of terrorism on this planet.”“
****************

I think hedges could well have asked: ‘Does anyone think
america is in need of another ‘new pearl harbor’.  After all that is
in the PNAC agenda and it doesn’t really say how many ‘new
pearl harbors’ the u.s. needs.

Wonder who will start lobbing nukes around the board first.

Blowback are unexpected retaliations due to covert attacks
carried out by their military or intelligence agencies that the
public never knew about at the time.

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By felicity, May 2, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Hedges’s article should be published in every
American newspaper. 

Some have suggested that future historians will call
the last 30 years, chaired by America, the Age of
Absurdities during which time the American public
fell into some kind of public neurosis, a belief that
the last 30 years have been perfectly normal. (Not
surprising, as humans invariably equate normalcy and
sanity with conformity.)

Hedges’s article could lay the ground work for the
historians’ label.

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By TDoff, May 2, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges is right again. That it took US ten years and hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of our own maimed and thousands of our own dead and millions of others displaced and hundreds of thousands of others dead and maimed at our hands to find and assassinate our number one enemy, one man, Osama bin Laden, is, obviously, NOT a victory for US.

Osama bin Laden, even in death, is the winner. Just look at the shambles US society has become in the past decade. Osama bin Laden was not the sole cause of the US fall. But he did point out, and fight against, US amorality, US drive for empire, US arrogant insistence on protecting ‘US’ interests, wherever they might lie in the world, US disregard for the needs and wants of others in pursuit of US, usually illusory, ‘gain’.
But ‘US’ interests are in reality only the interests of US corporations and US plutocrats, the drive for more and more money and power, and those interests are most often diametrically opposed to the true interests of the US people as a whole, as the current US condition reveals.
And the previous administration and it’s NeoCon Cabal proved Osama’s thesis, and played right into his hands, reacting as the unthinking knee-jerk reactionaries they were, and are, seeking profit from disaster.
It could certainly be argued that an impartial observer (perhaps ‘god’?), would score the past decade, Osama 1, US 0.

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By Betrayed, May 2, 2011 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

This makes me wonder what Chris Hedges is really all about.  Is he blind, a deep
operative or in certain ways a complete idiot?
Chris, I suggest you take another look at the collapse of Bldg. 7:
http://www.911docs.net/collapse_of_wtc7.php

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, May 2, 2011 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Gee..and all it cost us was thousands of lives, our economy and what was left of our freedom.

“Another such victory and we are lost.” -Pyrrhus

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By Randall Wallace, May 2, 2011 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How Convenient!  10 years later while the American population is the most angry and skeptical that it has been in 40 years, oil and other commodities are spiking to all time highs, and the richest power chiggers are taking at the fastest rate in history - and now it’s time to give a real shot of koolaid to the ailing crowd.
Why didn’t they capture him?  I have some questions I would have liked to ask!

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By Don Zimmerman, May 2, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You all get to make these comments as you sit comfortable in your easy chairs in your offices protected by the very government that you denigrate. Hedges and the rest of you should move to Iraq or Pakistan and practice your freedom of speech there. Oh that’s right ,that would take courage and true conviction. You would rather get in your Volvos and gather at your Starbucks and pontificate on how intellectual you are. Nice life . Why don’t you thank the people that have made it possible for you.Oh and bring your wives and daughters , I’m sure they would like it there. Nice and sunny

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By Mad Goy, May 2, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. It is truth because there is a body. Interesting is that the body was rapidly thrown in the sea! You never know when someone would ask to check the dentistry aspects of a possible identification…

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By leo, May 2, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There will be another “bin Laden’ who will be even more desperate, determined,
ruthless, etc ...

This will never end.

Why religion when all it brings is hatred? 
Why nationalism when all it brings is war?

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By Jim Yell, May 2, 2011 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is one thing that 67 years have taught me it doesn’t take two to make an argument. My personal feeling about Osama is “Good riddence to bad trash”. Sadly it is only a dollar short and a day late.

I have no problem with Chris Hedges judgement that we have become the monster that we have condemned.

The real question is not “Have We Hurt the Exaggerated Feelings of the hypocritcal Muslim, but have we been “punked” by our own Military-Industrial Complex who have used Osama’s existence to justify the distruction of and meaning of our democracy?

Keep in mind that I am also thinking of the Hypocritical and Aggressive Fundamentlist Christians too.

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By California Ray, May 2, 2011 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

Nice (political) speech, Mr. President. Can we stop torturing people now?

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, May 2, 2011 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Ah, yes, now the Media is saturating the airwaves with the the “mission accomplished” narrative and ALL AMERICAN MILITARY ARE HEROES. APPARENTLY ALL OUR SOLDIERS ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KILLING OF OBL. Now we can justify the 10s of thousands of war deaths, the destruction of villages, towns and cites, and never-ending spending on the military. I’m afraid that I have a very different perspective:

I was attending a funeral last week and yesterday was returning home. I had the displeasure of going through security at an east-coast airport. It was early and not very busy. The TSA was giving all the military people preference in going through line (like they were the football team in High School and got to cut in line) and making a big scene by shaking their hands and thanking them for their service. It’s the kind of uber-nationalistic bull shit that makes me want to puke. I am always embarrassed and disgusted by the phoney patriotism and “soldier worship.” Now we must endure sword rattling and gloating that only the American Media can churn out 24/7. It’s a symbol of our desperate need to “bring closure” to 9/11 which, in the big scheme of things was predicable, avoidable and which allowed some very cynical and evil men here in our government to seize political dominance.

I’ve never been all that shaken-up by 9/11. Anyone who has travelled the world and who has even the slightest understanding of history knows that it was a relatively minor event in the big scheme of things. Every time a politician or business leader opens up his/her mouth and says “after 9/11….....” one knows that more money and lives will be lost. One knows the Pentagon and its contractor co-conspirators are cooking up some scheme to spend more of our tax payer dollars to “protect the homeland.” For me, it’s all just theatre and bad theatre at that.

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By Wikileaks for Nobel, May 2, 2011 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

This post is to try to get all these emails to stop coming to me (only way I know how to do this).

Carry on…

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By surfnow, May 2, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

What, and the 2 dozen navy seals who reportedly finally took him out couldn’t have done the very same thing on 9-12-2001? With all the flag waving and cheering no one in the msm will ask that simple question. And why did we divert all of our forces to a nation that had zero to do with 9-11 ?  3thousand billion dollars to destroy Iraq, a million dead civilians 5 thousand dead Americans later and this is what we have left to cheer about?  we are just so over as a nation.

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