Osama is Calling…





Colin Powell couldn't contain himself. Osama bin Laden was back in touch. As Powell rushed past the press on his way to a congressional hearing, he paused to advise CNN's Wolf Blitzer to be sure to pay attention to what bin Laden had to say. It's important, Powell intimated.

Then he was off to the races. The Senate microphones weren't even warm before Powell began spreading the word: Listen to Osama. Hear the man.

Powell claimed not to have heard the tape, himself, but he was sure that the international fugitive would make the Iraq war case for the administration. Better than an "axis," Osama would provide the "nexus."

"This nexus between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored,'' Powell told the Senate Budget Committee.

There was the U.S. Secretary of State, acting as a herald for the mastermind of September 11. Hear his words, Oh Honorable Senators. It is he, Osama, with a message for us all.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer claimed not to have heard the tape either, but Powell had already told Fleischer everything he needed to know. "Based on what Secretary Powell has said, it gives rise to concern about the ties between al Qaida and Iraq," said the bald prevaricator. Reporters were invited to listen for themselves.

Back in the CNN studios, Wolf Blitzer appeared confused, if not shaken. Hadn't Condoleezza Rice hinted back in October, 2001 that the media - especially quick footed CNN - were acting against the national interest by providing a forum for bin Laden-speech?

Reporters for the Reuters news agency found the events of the morning strange - and strangely timed:

It wasn't a United States news network that scooped Al-Jazeera on Tuesday in breaking word of the latest purported Osama bin Laden tape - it was the Bush administration, which seemed eager to play the tape to the masses....

It turned out Al-Jazeera hadn't even played the tape before Powell's revelation. The news network said it received the tape just as Powell was making his comments.

By Wednesday, Fleischer was in rhetorical flower. Thanks to the administration's timely heads up and implicit encouragement, the whole country had heard the Words of Osama. Now Fleischer could get on with the rest of the script: "If that is not an unholy partnership, I have not heard of one. This is the nightmare that people have warned about, the linking up of Iraq with Al Qaida."

Somehow, none of the Bush men appeared to be experiencing a nightmare. On the contrary, their collective pleasure was hideously palpable. Fleischer was confident, self-assured, like a conductor on an on-time train.

But hadn't he railed at the press, back in 2001: "At best, Osama bin Laden's messages are propaganda calling on people to kill Americans. At worst, he could be issuing orders to his followers to initiate such attacks."

What had changed?

That very morning, CIA chief George Tenet told a Senate Committee that nothing had changed. When Osama bin Laden speaks, people and things blow up. As the New York Times reported:

Tenet told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that he did not know if the latest message amounted to a call to arms, and was thus a prelude to a terror attack.

But the director noted that two previous messages last autumn were followed by attacks soon afterward. One was on a French oil tanker. Another killed a United States marine in Kuwait. In a third, a bomb destroyed a Bali nightclub popular with Westerners, leaving nearly 200 dead. And in a fourth attack, a bomb exploded in a Kenya hotel, killing 3 Israeli tourists and 10 Kenyans.

"So one of the things we're looking at is, he's obviously raising the confidence of his people," Tenet continued. "He's obviously exhorting them to do more."

Exhortations magnified by the Great Satan, itself.

The homeland color code is bright orange, Al Qaida "chatter" is "the most specific we have seen," and lives will surely be forfeit - in what magnitude, no one knows.

And the Bush crew are enjoying it.

Welcome to chaos, the essential condition for successful piracy. To understand the mentality of the U.S. regime, one must grasp the logic of the pirate class that George Bush represents. Spawned by hyperactive, speculative capital and politically preeminent military industry, this new class is fundamentally parasitical. It has few direct connections to or interest in the well-being of the domestic economy, except as a source of tax revenues to be spent on itself. Having seized the state machinery of the only superpower, it turns American coercive might against the full range of the planet's existing institutions, with the goal of destroying them.

Unlike monopolists, who seek stable markets with themselves on top, these American pirates wage war against commercial and political order, itself. Their goal is to break down every impediment to their ability to impose the terms of relations among nations.

The pirate class are creating the conditions in which they can convert U.S. power directly into capital. Thus, the war against Iraq. Every obstacle to unlimited freedom of American action must be eliminated.

George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are derided for failing to foresee the consequences of their insults to France and Germany. They are characterized as hopelessly shortsighted for herding their Arab clients down a road that leads to mass uprisings and the gallows. The Bush men are belittled as irresponsible yahoos when they declare the United Nations irrelevant. It is said that they are stupid and self-destructive, with no long-term vision.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bush pirates have a consuming vision that begins with chaos and carries them to a new epoch - a world in which order is the product of their whim and will.

What we are describing is hegemony. We must urgently ponder its meaning. The hegemonist understands that the existing order - any order - is his enemy.

In their war against order, chaos is the weapon of choice for both Bush and bin Laden. This week, the American regime felt the need to crank up the chaos.

That's why they couldn't wait for Osama to call.


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Issue Number 29
February 13, 2003

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Other commentaries in this issue:

Toward a Black Democratic primary... More faith-based foolery... A benediction for

The Issues
Blacks favor peace, whites opt for war... Affirmative action's heavy-hitter allies... Shoving vouchers down DC's throat

Behind from the Start: Black kids begin school disadvantaged

Commentaries in Issue 28 February 6, 2003:

Send in the Clowns: The GOP’s two-ring Black "outreach" circus

Condoleezza: Appointee-in-Chief... Shock, awe and revulsion... Plain language on Blacks and Hispanics

The Issues
Desegregating U.S. African policy... Haitian poor ignore capital "strike"... A more colorful anti-war movement

Guest Commentary 1
"Shrub" Bush's Pathological Focus On Saddam Hussein by Alvin Wyman Walker, PhD, PD, PC

Guest Commentary 2
...AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST: Shunned DC Demands Full Voting Rights, First Primary By Sean Tenner

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.