by Nick Brown
(This article originally appeared at countercurrents.org)
Barack Obama is the biggest Don the world has seen. He proved this on May 1st, 2011 after his hit squad, ‘Seal Team 6,’ entered a compound where Osama Bin Laden resided, assassinated the former CIA associate and dumped his body in the ocean from a helicopter. Obama later went on television to solemnly brag to his ‘family’ and the world alike: “We got him.”
The hit was described as a victory for Americans and in Orwellian terms as an act of justice. Rather, the US has once again acted with impunity: violating another country’s sovereignty (in this case, Pakistan), abandoning any pretense of customary legal process and international law (such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and engaging in extrajudicial killings. US Attorney General, Eric Holder, describing the frightening low legal standard adopted by the US, remarked that “The killing was lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way.”
Hours prior, the US attempted to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi, a leader in Libya, with ‘precision targeted’ missiles. The US failed to kill Gaddafi, though several members of his family died in the bombings. The ‘crimes’ Gaddafi is sought for, like Osama Bin Laden, are those against US imperialism.
In a recent commentary, US intellectual Noam Chomsky posits:
“We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.”
We might go further and ask how Americans would feel about being turned into virtual slaves while having their land and resources beneath their feet used for the benefit of some other imperialist power and its ‘masses’ of consumers. How would Americans react to starving to death while their exploiters’ pets ‘suffer’ from obesity? It is only when such violence and oppression in placed within the context of exploitation that it becomes clearly understood.
As the US become more age-worn, it will only become more bold in its wielding of power and aggression. The assassination of Osama Bin Laden, watched live by Obama and his inner circle via helmet camera and satellite feed, is merely one example. The American public, for its part, celebrated the hi-tech, extra-legal raid and assassination of Bin Laden and simultaneously lauds itself as a champion of peace and democracy.
And then there is the codeword Obama used to describe Bin Laden: “Geronimo.” Geronimo was of course the famous Indian resistance fighter who was forced to surrender to the US in 1886 under the threat of a genocidal war against his people, the Apaches. America, in it own insular way, still conceives of the world through the terminology of Manifest Destiny: fighting undeclared wars for “democracy” in “tribal areas.”
Obama and his gangster family, America and Western imperialism, will always define legality and create narratives as a pretext for the violence necessary to maintain its systemic extortion of the Third World. Obama is in many ways pursuing US interests even more aggressively than Bush, his presidential predecessor. Like any mafia boss, Obama defines ‘justice’ and carries it out swiftly.
Real justice serves the broad masses of the world. Real justice will be served when the US empire is dismantled, when US troops are kicked out of every corner of the globe and the neo-tributary capitalism it serves is overthrown. Due to his anti-US campaign, Osama Bin Laden was at best a tactical ally of those suffering under US oppression and exploitation globally. However, the struggle of the oppressed and exploited ultimately lies not with the feudal bourgeoisie such as was Bin Laden, but as part of the global struggle for widespread social revolution against imperialism and all forms of oppression. New, real justice will be accomplished globally through anti-imperialist, socialist revolution and the continuation of class struggle thereafter.