Western suit, tie, short hair, and well-trimmed beard – so goes the appearance of Osama bin Laden on the computer at the recreation center of the National Counter-Terrorism headquarters. The US has reduced its most wanted terrorist into a caricature, though a ‘bourgeois’ image of him. Reduced?
Americans (and for most of the world, as well) know that the purported leader of Al Qaeda is still hiding somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan. The last audio message from bin Laden has reinforced the idea among US intelligence services that his health condition has seriously deteriorated. His voice is said to be seemingly tired. This belies the claim that bin Laden had died. He’s said to be feeble, but still alive. Aw, shucks! Some have speculated that the recorded voice of the #1 and most infamous bogeyman of recent history was digitally manipulated.
The latest US analysis suggests that the movement led by bin Laden is losing its strategic ability and, above all, lots of operational capability. Aw, shucks (again).
This is what you get with a propaganda material. Sooner or later, the legendary figure becomes just another urban legend. In no time at all, Osama bin laden has become a mere speculation and object of analysis among intelligence officials who would have caught bin Laden if they truly had reliable intelligence.
Today, Osama bin Laden has been reduced from bogeyman to caricature within the premises of no less than the anti-terrorist agency (who is supposed to catch him) of a country (that only created the terrifying image of him).
Sad. Funny. Laughable. Ridiculous. Pathetic. (I wasn’t describing bin Laden.)
What do we know? We might be made to believe that bin Laden can die anytime of pneumonia while holed up in the severely cold hinterlands of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But then again, he just might be playing baccarat in a casino in Monte Carlo.
No one knows (*shrugging shoulders*).
Moral of the story: when you create a myth, you can recycle it into a cartoon.