The Rich Tapestry of Life

Welcome to my page of random mutterings.

Those of you who know me will see a calm veneer. You will also know that I'm easily annoyed. I think it's healthy.

I allow myself to be annoyed most of the time. It doesn't take much. People who use the letter 'H' twice in 'Southampton', txt spk, Tom Jones, and suchlike annoy me in equal measure.

Here you will find tidbits that annoy me, amuse me, and enlighten me, and I shall share them with you, to annoy, amuse, and enlighten you.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Osama, Obama, O'Hanlon and Oh Dear.

“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” – Mark Twain

Succinct and brilliant, because that's exactly how I feel about Osama bin Laden.  Yesterday on my Twitter feed I posted this:  While I sort of understand the Americans dancing on bin Laden's grave, are they aware of the landmine lurking just below the surface? I'm glad the bastard is dead, but surely any normal person must understand that there will be hell to pay for having killed him?

Do the Pakistanis really expect us to believe that they knew nothing of the world's most wanted man living in their answer to Aldershot, barely 5 minutes away from their equivalent to Sandhurst?  I do not believe that they didn't know he was there. It is beyond the realms of all things sensible to even give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m not saying they’re all corrupt, but even the CIA stated that to have told Pakistani Intelligence would more than likely have resulted in the operation being compromised. That’s absolutely damning.

I’ve heard people banging on about the aid we give to Pakistan. £350m a year for the next 4 years as I understand it. Surely it’s a touch fatuous to say that we should get a refund and close the door on Pakistan completely? The very fact that we’re giving them aid enables us to keep relations friendly and lines of communication open that may be handy in future. I also think it’s fair to say that some people are sticking the boot in on Pakistan because in their own minds it somehow legitimises their own prejudices.

A woman who stated that she was of Pakistani extraction said the other day on James O'Brien's LBC mid morning phone in that 'westerners' don't understand Islamic law, culture and traditions, and that the only reason the raid was even carried out was because we of 'the western world' want to force our will upon the people of Pakistan and Muslims in general. Have you ever heard so much shit? What chance to do any of us stand if second and third generation British Muslims STILL think along these lines?

Surely the facts are quite plain? The Arab spring is evidence enough that people from the North African states and the Middle East are finally waking up to alternative forms of government, and are slowly recognising that for centuries they've been oppressed by crazy despots who will do absolutely anything to hang on to power - even if it means murdering their own innocents. Every single head of state in the entire region and beyond must be absolutely shitting themselves that they're next in line to be unceremoniously dumped into the Arabian Sea off the side of an aircraft carrier.

We'd better get used to being vigilant. And we'd better get used to being a target, because I should imagine that there are those out there who are extremely pissed off with the US and the Western World as a whole. I have to say that I find it stupid that the Americans were celebrating so openly as they did yesterday. Fundamentally I agree that it is extremely unwise to celebrate the death of this man and if the Americans think that 9/11 can never happen again, I'd suggest they think again. On top of that I'm somewhat offended by some of their points of view, too... About how we in Britain would feel differently if an attack as awful as 9/11 took place here. I grew up in an era where there wasn't a week went by without some poor bastard being blown up by the IRA. The real reason that what happened in Manhattan on the morning of September 11th 2001 shocked the US so much was because they casually assumed that something of that scale could never happen on their own soil. I rather think they're falling back into that attitude and God only knows what price there will be to pay if I'm right. Actually, Ayman al-Zawahiri probably knows, too, but there’s no way he’s going to tell anyone.

It's been a fascinating few days. I've had people telling me that I shouldn't rejoice over the death of a fellow human being. I've heard people saying that he shouldn't have been killed because 'two wrongs don't make a right', and we're teaching our children the opposite. To my mind people like bin Laden are below human. Why shouldn't I rejoice? Give me one good reason? Obviously Christmas won't be the same in the bin Laden household and his 406 wives will each miss him, but have we seriously forgotten that thousands and thousands of innocent people have been killed as a result of bin Laden and his organisation? I’m not saying that I’m going to go dancing in the street blowing whistles and playing Rule Britannia, but inwardly am I not allowed to be a little pleased?

I think it’s okay to have a little giggle about all of this, too. I’m not going to be disparaging about your faith or denomination if you indeed have one; after all you’re as entitled to think that your faith is the best thing since sliced bread as I am entitled to think it is all utter bollocks. The idea that we go to heaven is a convenient one, isn’t it? Old Osama and his underlings somehow managed to convince thousands of people that they’d have a never ending supply of virgin quim and other wonderful things but that to get them they had to blow themselves and a few other people to bits. Desperate, and not in a bloody funny way, either. I rather prefer to think that all suicide bombers and other nasty folk who kill in the name of religion are greeted at the gates of Heaven by a Susan Boyle lookalike who escorts them to a room where they are repeatedly sodomised by 911 horny elephants. Perhaps that’s a bit too much to ask.

We hear people harping on about the serious threat to our country and how it is now worse than it was when Osama was still under his turban. We’re forever being told that an attack is imminent, that we’re all going to die in a hail of plastic explosives and bone fragments. Like I said before I grew up being vigilant. It’s not new to me. Some folk think that the establishment is able to exercise control over the public by putting the fear of Allah into them and while I disagree with that stance, part of me still believes that they could even be right - even if it is only a little bit right.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m glad Osama probably now has an even worse case of crabs than he had before, but that I’m not daft enough to think that by killing him we’re out of the woods. There are hundreds like him out there. The American over patriotic reaction to his assassination is dangerous. What did they hope to achieve by behaving like they did?

I think back to September 11th 2001, and I remember all of those people on the streets in Gaza and the West Bank celebrating the fact that thousands of innocent people had just been murdered on live television. I remember how disgusting I thought that was. And then on May 2nd 2011 I see Americans behaving similarly. I accept that bin Laden was but one man, and I accept that the two issues are very different.

But I’m left with the overwhelming urge to ask those people who took to the streets of New York and beyond to celebrate the assassination of Osama bin Laden: Have you learned nothing?


  1. Cheers Jim, I enjoyed reading your blog, for the right reasons, I hasten to add, as it reflects mine and I suspect the majority of the "British" people's feelings on this whole miserable affair.

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