Michael Roberts, 2 May 2011
Obama speaks to the world — Pic by Rex Features
The killing of Osama bin Laden is a major triumph for President Obama and USA. It is a momentous symbolic victory. “Yes We Can” has been confirmed and underlined. It will boost Obama’s re-election chances immeasurably. The triumphalism displayed on the streets and in media outlets in the USA reveals the depths of patriotism as well as the hostility to extreme Muslim fundamentalism. Parenthetically and laconically one can note that there is no question of a war crimes charge being raised by Ban Ki Moon Incorporated against the US special forces responsible for the collateral killing of Osama’s “civilian” son and other civilians who may have died in the assault. The story of this commando strike is pictured as an “act of justice” not as an “outrage.”
This victory for Obama is also a victory for Osama. Having trod the path of mujahid in the path to Allah, he is now a shaheed at the feet of Allah. He is not fused with transcendental forces in the fashion secured by Tamil heroes/heroines past and present or Japanese kamikaze in wars past, but sits distinct as monad OSAMA bound in devotion to Allah.
He is thus immortal and his kinfolk will be mighty pleased by this sacrificial outcome – a perspective and philosophy which the vast majority of the people in the individuated West will never grasp.
This victory of the shaheed Osama will also generate repercussions and ramifications. There will be acts of vendetta directed at USA, Americans and the West in general. The Salafi ideology will receive a boost and the failed Al Qaida objectives of overthrowing “the near enemy” and hurting “the far enemy” will receive another burst of energy as new buds spring forth in the form of Islamic youth — in the West, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, everywhere — attracted to the cause.
Salafi thinking is rhizomic (Handelman 2011) and does not require an Al Qaida fountainhead.
So, this fourth World War will simmer for decades to come.
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