Friday, May 6, 2011

The Mortality and the Myth of Osama

Nothing succeeds like success; nothing fails like failure. That is again shown by brilliantly carried out operation by US Navy’s Seal-team 6 to kill, capture and submit Osama’s body to the sea. This with it ended the goriest chapter in the history of Islamic terror, so far.

Osama was living in a three-floor mansion in the heart of Pakistani military establishment for last five years, would confine himself to just few secured rooms. While he was resting here, the US was spending billions of dollars to nab him.

He had become a mythical figure. He had a strong presence in his absence. There was no confirmation whether he was dead or alive. The buzz emanated from Afganistan in 2002, fuelled by Pakistani establishment, that he suffers from chronic renal problem. It was made to believe that if he is not already dead, he would die soon courtesy to kidney failure. But the raiding Seal-team 6 found him with his ‘nth’ wife. Like most facts about him, his renal disease also seems mythical.

So when the myth was cleared-a mortal, helpless Osama appeared who tamely fell to the American bullets. Now what survives is a prolonged debate again fuelled by lack of information or contradictory information: what happened in those 40 minutes of American raid on most wanted terrorist of the world given asylum in Pakistan? Debate range from whether Osama could have been captured alive; to legality of American operation on Pakistani soil; to Pakistan vouching that they have an army that can retaliate to cause 'terrible catastrophe'; to India claiming that they can do what Americans just did; to Americans asserting that if need be such an operation can happen again.

But this particular act is done. The mortality of Osama had the last laugh over his myth. Pakistan could do nothing, at least the ‘state-actors’. The ‘non state-actors’ seem to be gearing up to act. But they as of now are occupied with the succession battle in Al-Qaida.

I refrain from being judgemental as reality is not black and white, but manifests itself in complex mix of shades of grey. But i will say this: Osama most gloriously represented the dark influence of negativity and destruction. He caused phobia in the minds of Americans (and the rest of the First World) who were till then rest assured in their misplaced sense of security that comes with perceived invincibility. 9/11 shattered this myth.

A huge chunk of Muslim feel wronged and insulted by the West, even those who live in the West. It is an explosive grievance they carry. This sense of being wronged has to be addressed. Or else there will be many Obamas revenging many Osamas in the future. May peace prevail? But peace that follows violence seethes with anger. Worried.

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