Readers in Council,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Celebrating the death of another is morally questionable, but I would not hesitate to express more than a little satisfaction at the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, which I do not doubt in the least. Come to think of it, there are many others, high and low, whose passing would not fail to satisfy. But the war on terror narrative is notoriously manipulated. All the focus on Osama bin Laden and the crimes he is said to be responsible for make us forget that the primary goal of al-Qaida - the removal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia - is not unreasonable.
The primary goal of al-Qaida was/is not the destruction of America based on psychotic hatred for American values or lifestyle. That’s President George Bush speaking, not Osama bin Laden. By and large, Americans seem to be so indoctrinated with their national mythology that dissenting opinion is effectively smothered. And when nonconforming opinion is aired, too often name-calling is used as a distracting strategy, preventing dialogue and further limiting opinion. From the start the U.S. exposition of the worldwide“war on terror” rested somewhat on tailored opinion. Remember all those American teachers, academics, and reporters who were fired from their jobs after 9/11 only for publicly wondering “Maybe the Arabs have a point?” Freedom of thought was the first domestic victim of the war on terror, and right from the start the narrative was shaped by limiting the range of ‘acceptable opinion.’
It may not be unreasonable to ask Americans to keep their military out of other people’s countries. And doing so would solve many of their economic woes.
But I could be wrong.