May 18, 2011

The Legend of Osama: A True Fiction

Osama has been hunted down but this CIA operation has left a few questions unanswered. Osama has played a role somewhat similar to that of hitler in a different era. The most powerful nation of the 21st century has never tried so hard and never invested so much wealth and energy to destroy a single man. Never before the Americans had spent a whole decade to combat a single entity; a man who had destroyed their pride (The Twin Towers) 10 years beck. Ironically, Osama had to die as his kidneys were failing rapidly and he was just alive on dialysis. This made his captivation more certain as it strictly narrowed his mobility. The questions that arise now are: Why did a kid born with a golden spoon in his mouth chose to become the most dreaded terrorist of all time? And how did he evade captivation for so long?

If we peep into his experiences, we can easily find out the answers. Osama used to be an ordinary teenager like other wealthy Saudis who used to visit the mountains above Beirut just for the sake of recreation in summers. He began to change when he joined King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in the year 1975. There he came in touch of Islamic Radicalisms after the defeat of Nasser and his disgrace in the war against Israel in 1967. He was such a sensitive individual that shortly after finishing his study at the university, he joined the rebels (Jihadis) against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

While fighting as an Arab mujahideen during this decade long war, he came into contact with Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of Islamic Jihad in Egypt, and Abdullah Azzam from Palestine. Al Qaeda was the outcome of this long association.

After returning to Saudi Arabia from Afghanistan as a war hero, he began to arrange public gatherings and proclaimed the need to restore the true values of Islam in Arab society. This made him a sweetheart of the religious establishment, but a great thorn for the Saudi government. In the year 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait and reached perilously close to the Saudi border, Osama begged the royal family not to seek American help and offered to help with his own fellow Jihadis. He wanted to build a series of tunnels and forts along the Iraqi border just like he had built in southern Afghanistan to restrict the Soviet from using their armour. But the Saudi government rejected his plea and sought American help and also allowed them to raise a massive airbase in the country.

In 1994 the inevitable happened; his Saudi citizenship was cancelled and after seeking Sudan’s refuge, finally settled in the caves of Afghanistan’s mountainous region. Al Qaeda, the foundation-stone probably was laid far before by Azzam, Zawahiri and Osama in Peshawar in the year 1988, was formally inaugurated in 1996.

How did Osama manage to evade captivation for so long? There is no doubt that Osama was in the safe protection of Pakistan’ Army in Abbottabad, though in the coming days the two countries, USA and Pakistan would certainly try to mould the story in a completely different foil. Islamabad’s lame excuse that there has been a major intelligence flaw is hardly believable as the house where Osama took shelter was just a stone’ throw away from the military academy of Pakistan’ garrison city Abbottabad. Moreover, not only Osama, but also his wives and nine children were living with him. Osama was definitely not irresponsible enough to can bring his family to stay in such a place which he doesn't consider safe. Just imagine that he came there with three bodyguards! It’s easily concludable that Osama had come to live out the rest of his life in peace. This would never have been possible without utmost support and protection from the Pakistani army.

Though Osama is dead now, the larger-than-life myths that have grown up around him are still there. Pakistan couldn't not sterilise them, nor the Americans. Osama’s fellow Jihadis and the other subordinate terror groups still consider Osama as a potential unifying symbol. These people never depended upon him for inspiration or for logistical support in the recent past. Rather, in their eyes Osama had the same stature as that of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Osama remained as a powerful and igniting symbol in his last days and he was no longer an essential part of the ongoing revolt.