Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Remember where you were?

Six years ago the world was shocked and horrified by television images which showed some buildings on fire in New York. Not the fact two skyscrapers were destroyed and the Pentagon was partly damaged: it was the symbolic value of the event which sent out shock waves through the world. How could this happen in the free world? In the economic heart of America? In the land of the brave and the free?

Everything focused on one man: Osama bin Laden. ‘We will smoke them out of their holes and bring them to justice’ seemed to be America’s first political top priority.

Who could have thought six years ago the Taliban was going to be destroyed, Saddam brought to Justice, Ali Chemical-I the death penalty, Iraq would get a multi-party government for the first time in its history with Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites united, Iran’s position was going to be stronger than ever and bomb attacks in London and Madrid would follow.

I did not, that is for sure. But what I am amazed about is that although the political landscape in the world has changed, governments were brought down and UN resolutions ignored, Osama is still on the run. Today, on September 11, Al Qaida realised a video with a statement of Osama bin Laden, who last appeared on TV in the summer of 2003, just before the US presidential elections. How is it possible that the most powerful nation in the world has still not captured him? Dead or alive. How come the CIA, MI5 or the Mossad really have no idea where he might be? And if they do, why do they not do everything they can so they will be able to show the American people - sooner than later - that they ‘got him’? Perhaps because Osama does not have any oil… That sounds too easy for me, but it raises questions, and makes you wonder, might there be an agreement, a ‘plan’? If you like conspiracy theories do not hesitate and watch an impressively edited documentary: ‘Loose Change’, which was very controversial in the States and was banned by several US, British and European television stations. Forget Michael Moore: this is real propaganda.

If you believe in the theory, it probably will not ever happen again. After all, the ‘Pearl Harbour’ effect has already been created, so could this never happen again? Perhaps Osama will not be able to cause such a disaster again personally, but here is a remarkable detail of a recent political summit, to illustrate security is never a thing which can be fully controlled by big armies or well trained bodyguards.

It took just a few minutes for a satirical skit by comedians to pierce the $250 million Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting security cocoon in Sydney last week. With three black cars, a couple of motorbikes and men in black running alongside, the motorcade breezed through two police security checkpoints arriving outside the Intercontinental Hotel where US President George Bush is staying.

The security faux pas was only detected when the motorcade turned around and an Osama Bin Laden look-a-like figure climbed out of the limousine, drawing immediate police attention. Eleven people - the comedians and their support crew - were frisked, arrested, detained and charged (The Star, Malaysia)