Me and Osama McGee
by Edgar J. Steele
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don't mean nothing, honey, if it ain't free...
            - song lyric, "Me and Bobby McGee" (Kristofferson/Foster)

 October 23, 2001

If nothing else, you have to admit that we live in interesting times (yes, the same ones on the business end of that ancient Chinese curse).   Try as I might to focus on other things, I just can't help thinking the other shoe is about to drop.  There is simply too much in the air to suggest otherwise.

Recently, the Russians issued a 3-week moratorium on travel to the US.  Even Mikhail Gorbachev cancelled a US speaking tour this month at the urging of Russian officials.  "Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently is prohibiting nearly all government officials from flying to the United States during the next three weeks," the Omaha World-Herald said Oct. 10.  And there unconfirmed rumors of Russian diplomats leaving the country in droves. Maybe they are just heeding the warning recently issued recently by our own FBI.  Maybe they know something that we don't.
Scary side note:  In responding to questions about the cancellation of his US speaking tour, Gorbachev said he hoped that from the present crisis a "new, international world order" would be created.
Contrary to American TV and newspaper accounts, it appears that the undeclared war in Afghanistan is not going as well as expected.  Though Senor Bush promised we would not waste million-dollar cruise missiles on empty tents, it appears as though that is exactly what we are doing.  Sure, some are hitting strategic targets, if there is any such thing in that already-devastated little country, but they appear to be killing more civilians than Taliban soldiers.  And then there are those disturbing Internet rumors about American special forces taking heavy losses, losses that are being hushed up by our own government.  Some of us remember how long it took for the body bags from VietNam to reach a critical mass sufficient to trigger acknowledgment from the American government. 
65,000 National Guard and 35,000 Army reservists have been called to active duty and are now undergoing training at the US Army School of Urban Control at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  There is no "urban" in Afghanistan, boys and girls.  CNN broadcast a few segments on this, displaying a training mockup of a guard station with a road barrier and a sign that said "Homeland Security Internal Checkpoint."  The training mockup included a machine gun emplacement and a prisoner holding pen.  The arm that crossed the road carried a sign that said "100% ID checked."  There is more about this particular story that could have been penned by George Orwell, but let's save that for another day.  The important thing is the scope and import that is apparent to the preparations being made.
A front-page article in Pravda, Russia's leading newspaper, on October 8 carried the headline "Martial Law Implemented in the US."  So this is what Russia thinks martial law looks like, eh?  I always wondered.
The Washington Post reported, two days ago, that some in the FBI "are beginning to that say that traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside if they are to extract  information about the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorist plans."  Among the techniques under consideration:  "threats to family members or resort to torture."  The Washington Post has long been used by US Government authorities to float trial balloons, so as to gauge public reaction.
A provision in a Department of Defense appropriations bill that  just passed the Senate by a vote of  99-0 (!) will require millions of gun owners to render many personal weapons inoperable, turn them in to authorities or become criminals of the state. Called "demilitarization," and contained in Section 1062 of S. 1438, this bill targets all weapons which once were used by the military, such as the M-1 Garand and M-1 Carbine, the Model 1911.  Even military surplus ammunition comes within the ambit of this bill.  There are hundreds of thousands of weapons reached by this bill now in the hands of American citizens.
On October 11, the AP wires carried an item reporting that Michael Canavan, head of security for the FAA, quit in protest because Bush administration officials wanted him to reassign sky marshals from those flights deemed most likely to be terrorist targets to those planes carrying "Cabinet members taking commercial flights to demonstrate that air travel was safe and thereby encourage Americans to return to the skies."
How much of the foregoing have you seen reported in the controlled American media?
A particularly strong stench hangs over America these days and it is not that of cordite, the prevailing odor borne by the evening winds through Kabul.
Osama bin Laden has become an almost mythical figure in the arab, particularly Muslim, world.  Should he survive and return to Saudi Arabia, throwing out the present Saudi regime as he wants to do, akin to what happened in Iran, he will likely be hailed as a messiah and accorded divine status.  Even if we get him, there is an infinite lineup of Muslims to replace him.
This guy lives in a cave.  His followers undertake suicide missions for him.  Think about that and contrast it with every enemy this country has faced in the past, always motivated by political or economic goals.
He doesn't have a thing but his religious fervor and an army spread throughout the world that feels the same.  This is Jihad, a religious war.  This is something new for us.  This will make VietNam look like a stroll in the park, mark my words.
Osama bin Laden is now backed into a corner.  Dangerous in the best of times, now he truly has nothing to lose.  He has the freedom to do anything.  Anything.
We say he admitted destroying the World Trade Center, but he didn't say any such thing.  In fact, he has denied it outright, in one of those interviews that our government is not allowing the controlled press to disseminate because it might contain "hidden messages" to sleeper cells of terrorists.
We say he's in a cave, yet we bomb cities in our attempt to take him out. 
We pretend we are the good guys. We drop food the Afghan citizenry won't eat and can't digest.  There are reports of them burning and burying the food packets because they believe that is how the CCH/Ebola virus outbreak on the Afghan-Pakistan border started.
We say he did it, but he couldn't have.  The WTC attack required the complicity of air traffic control in several cities and, likely, our air force.  The alleged suicide hijacker/pilots are turning up alive (seven of them, so far).  Too much points to bombs going off in the buildings after the planes crashed into them.  There is a mountain of evidence that many in this country and elsewhere had foreknowledge of the WTC disaster.  Things are beginning to slip out, just as they did following the OKC bombing.
I don't know how this will end.  I only know it will end badly.


"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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