Osama, Is It Him?

Robert Fisk: “We invaded Afghanistan to find Bin Laden and we fight and die in Iraq to kill his supporters – yet still he eludes us, still he threatens us, still he taunts us.

How much longer can this nonsense go on? President Jacques Chirac warns that France – of all countries – might use nuclear weapons, if attacked. On whom, I wonder? America blows Pakistani children to pieces and claims it has killed five wanted men, including a bomb-maker. But there’s absolutely no evidence. Bin Laden says that America will be attacked again unless it accepts a truce in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Weren’t we supposed to be winning the “war on terror”? Oh no, the “experts” tell us, Bin Laden and al-Qa’ida are losing, that’s why they want a truce. Some hope.

It’s a game. Bin Laden has no intention of calling an end to his own war and nor has George Bush and nor has Tony Blair. The Bin Laden offer, almost certainly, is intended to be rejected. He wants Bush and Blair to refuse it. Then, after the next attack, will come the next audio tape. See what happens when you reject our ceasefire? We warned you. And we’ll ask: is it him? So why no video tape? Never before in history have so many wanted men sent pictures and messages and video tapes out of the dark.

The irony, of course, is that Bin Laden is now partly irrelevant. He has created al-Qa’ida. His achievement – that word should be seen in context – is complete. Why bother hunting for him now? It’s a bit like arresting the world’s nuclear scientists after the invention of the atom bomb. The monster has been born. It’s al-Qa’ida we have to deal with.” (truthout)