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02 May 2011

We just totally won the War on Terror!

Gallery snapshot. View gallery of We just totally won the War on Terror!

Osama Bin Laden has been killed. And as the figurehead of the most notorious terrorist organisation in the world today, surely this is as close as it gets to winning the war on terror? And since our first game was designed as a humble protest - a feeble attempt to stop that war - we can no longer justify its production or sale. Therefore, we are triumphantly shutting up shop, effective immediately. USA! USA!

Nah, only kidding. There's bills to pay and Tom needs new shoes. Still, we're very happy that the war on terror is over. Man, it sucked for a good ten years there, but we finally kicked Terror's butt. As Ed Miliband said on the news, "we woke up this morning, the world a safer place, but our vigilance against terrorism must and will continue". In other words, we are protecting you, but still be afraid. This is the kind of double-think that has characterised the 'war on terror' since its inception.

the jubilation is spontaneous and child-like, tapping into a sense of primal, universal justice that needs no courts to validate Take the actual operation. The night-time raid was carried out in secret, with all the nobility and justice of a gangland slaying. It's not applauded when it's the Bloods and Crips on the streets of LA and it certainly wouldn't be celebrated round the world if carried out by Pakistani secret service, complete with gunships and heavy artillery, in the hills of West Virginia. And yet president Obama talked of the operation that brought Osama Bin Laden "to justice". His predecessor, George Junior, echoed this sentiment, he said: "America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done".

The awkward implication of such triumphalism is that if this is "justice", why bother with courts? If America (and the world, apparently) is happy with summary execution as a form of justice, then why is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed - alleged "mastermind of 9/11" - being tried at great expense in a civilian court in New York City? Why not put a bullet in his head and throw him in the lake to sleep with the fishes like Osama? After all, Osama wasn't even formally connected with 9/11, according to the FBI themselves (check the 'wanted for' list of crimes on the FBI Most Wanted page), but the guy who is the self-proclaimed mastermind gets a "fair trial"? Seems ... contradictory.

Of course, it's not good news for everyone. As some have already pointed out, Osama Bin Laden was regarded not as an evil terrorist, but as a great hero by many people all over the world. Ronald Reagan, for example, would no doubt be saddened by the news, were he alive today.

Ronald Reagan and the Founding Fathers

It's not repeated often enough that he remarked of Bin Laden and his fellow Mujahideen: "These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America's founding fathers". Reagan even received the leaders of the Mujahideen in the White House (see photo above) and then dedicated the space shuttle Columbia to them, calling them "freedom fighters". (This was before they mutated into Al Qaeda and became ungrateful terrorists, using all the training, organisation and Stinger missiles we gave them against us).

Why was Reagan so effusive in his praise for this rag-tag band of fanatics and dangerous extremists? They were fighting back the Soviet forces who were occupying Afghanistan during the 1980s. Naturally the Russians insisted they were there not to occupy, but to liberate the country - and that they were there at the invitation of the Afghan government ... but the Ruskies were fools to think we'd fall for a line like that.

In one of those ironic twists that only history is capable of delivering, Bin Laden became the nominated reason we invaded Afghanistan 15 years later. As George W. Bush said, there should be "no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts (9-11 attacks) and those who harbor them." These words, from Bush's infamous September 2001 speech, were mirroring Henry Kissinger's own sentiments, earlier: "Those who provide support, financing, and inspiration to the terrorists are as guilty as they are." This being true, Kissinger and Bush would of course be both first in line for a special-forces middle-of-the-night execution. Worse, the entire country of America would stand guilty and exposed, open to invasion, for harbouring such criminals.

Working under the service of several administrations, Kissinger has provided undeniable "support, financing, and inspiration" to state terrorism in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, Iran, Bangladesh and most of the countries of Central and South America. The accumulated death toll from these acts can scarcely be guessed at, but clearly eclipses, several times over, Bin Laden's crimes. It's only natural, then, that Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973; an honour he shares with the current president for his services and dedication to peace and justice throughout the world.

To be fair, Kissinger's prize was awarded before he had a chance to conduct many of his more heinous crimes against humanity, such as his support of Suharto's genocide of the East Timorese which saw the slaughter of over 100,000 men, women and children. Presumably, Obama's premature Peace Prize was given to him in anticipation that he, like Kissinger, would go on to achieve similar heights of international terror and destruction. He has certainly got off to a good start.

But there's no room for such ambiguities or contradictions in today's news reports. As the crowds gather on the streets in the United States,chanting and waving their flags, it really looks like the good guys have won. Like the end of Rocky, when the crowd storm the ring, the jubilation is spontaneous and child-like, tapping into a sense of primal, universal justice that needs no courts to validate.

But there's a problem with being the good guys: we need the bad guys. After all, what's good without evil? It is meaningless. That's why Rocky II followed Rocky and that's why our next nemesis is just a name's throw away. To paraphrase Voltaire: much like God, if Osama does not exist, we need to invent him.

08/05/11 - UPDATE. Felt this was relevant. Or, at least highly moving:

Posted by TerrorBull Games on 2 May 2011 - 5 comments

Comments so far:

  1. Formidable, as always gents! Spot on.Graham Murphy from London - 3 May 2011
  2. Can I also just say, it's such a pleasure leaving a comment on your blog with the War Criminal Captcha. I like to get it wrong a couple of times first, just to get the error message.Graham Murphy from London - 3 May 2011
  3. Graham, thank you for your kind words. If we can give some little pleasure through a criminal captcha, imagine how much joy we'd bring by bringing the actual perpetrator to justice. May I suggest a night-time bullet-to-the-head?TerrorBull Games - 4 May 2011
  4. No no no, get with the times. Extra judicial killing apparently became acceptable.Michael from Edinburgh - 4 May 2011
  5. Fear and Loathing on Wall Street: Clift’s notes of the last ten+ years, and the War on Terror’s evolution Some of my friends contend CEOs of humungous, multi-nationals—Exxon-Mobile, Monsanto and Pfizer spring to mind—are not simply callous; they’re stupid as well. I disagree. As a class of people, powerful magnates are not really the ignoramuses we may make them out to be. Moreover, most Forture-500 corporate CEOs are potentially not all that much more callous than everyday ordinary Americans who have learned not to make eye contact when needy people pass them on the street, or to get choked up every time a passel of innocent children are incinerated by a drone missile in yet another far-away country whose name we can barely pronounce. No, what I strongly suspect characterizes your typical corporate big wig is neither exceptional stupidity nor callousness, but rather, fearfulness. Let me explain. Madoff On April 26, radio host, Terry Gross interviews New York Times financial writer, Diana Henriques apropos to her recently published book, The Wizard of Lies, about Bernie Madoff and the scandal of surrounding him. Henriques notes Madoff cannot face the fact that--when his Ponzi scheme goes south, and he’s finally arrested and thrown into the clink—he’s ever really lost a handle on the situation. He’s in the clink because that’s the way he wants it is all. The game, apparently, has started to bore him, and burned out by the day to day grind, he chooses the brig. Voluntarily. They never would have gotten to him if he had not let them! Rewind to Bush/Cheney In the first months of the new Administration, Bush/Cheney make a priority of energy independence. They want to roll back previous environmental protections, open the Arctic up to exploratory oil drilling. Do they show concern for what happens after oil reserves are exhausted? One would not exactly put it that way. Bush and Cheney are oilmen; Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton. In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein describes a “revolving door policy” affecting the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. This policy rewards private lobbyists for patronage they have offered by granting them political appointments later on. In exchange, politicians, when they step down from- or lose public office, are offered six or seven-figure jobs in the private sector. 9/11 and its aftermath The Chief Executives hide… President and Vice-President re-emerge. ‘The most patriotic thing Americans can do in aftermath of 9/11 is buy,’ Bush declares: War on Terror, Afghanistan, Iraq (They say it’s over....just about…What about Afghanistan?) The reasons for The War on Terror are multifaceted, including: the chance to flex our muscles; remind the world “we’re Number 1,” shore up political influence. Are there still other, covert but equally ‘satisfying’ psychologically reasons for the War? And could the War on Terror in some way gratify the popsters of corporate-dom? Consider Terror’s fallout: 1)Distracted public attention away from Wall Street shenanigans, 2)Calmed entrepreneurial fears that (although their sphincters may act up because of an over-inflated Stock Market) they can say with some probity: We’re not the only ones shitting our pants! Sources: Henriques, Diana B., on The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the death of trust Times Books: 2011, in an April 26, 2011 interview: by Fresh Air’s Terry Gross Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 2008 Sachs, Jeffrey, “The World is Drowning in Corporate Fraud.” http://www.b-fair.net/?p=2183, B-Fair Project, May, 2011Charles from Texas - 15 May 2011

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