Osama Bin Laden Myth

848 Words4 Pages
‘The world is safer’, President Barack Obama said on Monday. ‘It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden’. Few would dispute the idea that the world is a better place without bin Laden. But is it safer? Or, to put the question another way, what does the demise of al-Qaeda’s leader mean for the war on terror? The jubilation in America at the bin Laden’s death is understandable. It is also, in a sense, misplaced. As a symbolic act, bin Laden’s death is highly significant. But in terms of changing the reality on the ground, it is relatively meaningless. Far from being the grand orchestrator of a worldwide jihad, bin Laden has for most of the past decade been a marginal figure. As an organization al-Qaeda barely exists. Al-Qaeda…show more content…
Bin Laden has become the spectre haunting the West, the architect not just of 9/11 but of a worldwide assault on Western values and way of life. It is a myth that has helped fuel wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, destabilize Pakistan, reinforce autocracies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and elsewhere, and erode rights and liberties, from the imposition of draconian domestic anti-terror laws to the obscenity of extraordinary rendition to the international affront that is Guantanamo Bay. Bin Laden’s legacy has not simply been the murderous ideology he has promoted or the wanton slaughter he has unleashed. It has also been the undermining in the West of those very values that the ‘war on terror’ supposedly seeks to defend. The real challenge to bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and its medieval, terror-laden theology, has come not from the West’s war on terror but from the Arab Spring, from the revolts that have shaken the region from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Syria. The desire of the peoples across the Arab world for democratic change has not only humbled autocrats, it has also marginalized the jihadists who have played no part in the popular movements. These uprisings, and the hope that they engender, will transform the world far more than will bin Laden’s
Open Document