The inevitable capture of Osama bin Laden?

a - 31st January 2004


Is there a possible parallel between the capture of the ex-President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein in December 2003 and the seemingly impending capture of Al Qaeda figurehead, Osama bin Laden sometime in 2004?

The US blagged confidently of capturing Saddam Hussein a few weeks before it actually happened. This led to the conspiracy theorists claiming that at the time of the now famous announcement by US administrator Paul Bremer to journalists in Baghdad (when he said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him...."), that they already had Saddam in captivity, and were waiting for the right time to use this major scoop as marketing weaponry for George W Bush in the 2004 Presidential Election race.
Remember those suspect pictures of the US soldiers removing the cover of Saddam's foxhole hide-out, with the fresh dates on the trees and the dried meat hanging up for curing in the middle of December?

On August 15th 2003, Colonel James Hickey, commander of the 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division stated, "We're working on a lot of interesting information right now and have good reason to believe he's still in this area..."
"He's running out of space and he's running out of support. We're going to get him and it's going to be sooner rather than later... Watch this space."
Most telling, in an interview in December 2003, Republican US Representative. Ray LaHood claimed, "We're this close (to catching Saddam)." A reporter asked him, "Do you know something we don't?" LaHood responded, "Yes, I do."
Saddam Hussein was arrested that same month.

At the time of writing this, the US administration are hinting that Osama bin Laden is nearing capture in the same fashion to how they confidently predicted the arrest of Saddam Hussein.
`We have a variety of intelligence and we're sure we're going to catch Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar this year,' said US military spokesman Lt.Col.Bryan Hilferty to the world's media in January 2004. "We've learned lessons from Iraq and we're getting improved intelligence from the Afghan people."

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Fox News Channel analyst Morton Kondracke in December 2003 that she suspected President Bush knows the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and is simply waiting for the most politically expedient moment to announce his capture.
Kondracke made the announcement about what Albright told him backstage before an appearance on another Fox show on "Special Report With Brit Hume."
Kondracke was incredulous that a former secretary of state could believe something like that about a US administration.
"She was not smiling when she said this," offered Kondracke, who believes Albright is serious about the conspiracy theory.

If and when the Bush Administration announce to the world that have indeed captured Osama bin Laden, this will be the most prolific follow-up there could be to the arrest of Saddam. The difference being that in the case of bin Laden, it would be a scoop to better the Saddam affair in the eyes of America.
Don't forget, bin Laden is the man who in the American psyche, caused the attacks on America on September 11th 2001. He is the one the American public want. The "most evil man in the world" can then be flaunted across the world media stage in a public showing of humiliation. The archetypal villain, the antichrist figure as bin Laden is being portrayed by the western media, would be no longer a threat.

But as with Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden has unknowingly (I would suspect) provided 'service' to the US global policy. Both have been used as pawns in a global chess game and when the US needed to depose them, they did so.
Saddam and his quite unbelievable tyranny was used to justify the war on Iraq which officially ended with President Bush's declaration on May 1st (Mayday) 2003 that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. Since then, 381 US soldiers have died 246 as a result of hostile action and 135 of non-hostile causes according to the military. It's hardly an end...

Saddam is gone and the world is rid of this seemingly disgusting man. The future will determine if Saddam's deposition was the motive finally agreed on by the US as being the reason for the invasion of Iraq. First it was the '45 minute attack warning', soon followed by the 'liberation of Iraq' and the final resting place for the blame seems to lie with the 'removal of a tyrant.'

So can we await the capture of Osama bin Laden very soon? I would bet my shirt on it. And if or when they do soon capture the man who has been number one on America's 'most wanted' list since the 1980's, it will be coincidentally just in time for George W Bush use the news to bolster his public image before the 2004 Presidential Election and regain his Presidency for a second term. Or maybe it's all just coincidence...

a - 31st January 2004