• $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • other
  • use Paypal

CALLING ALL COUNTERPUNCHERS! CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners to the “new” Cuba. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads or click bait. Unlike many other indy media sites, we don’t shake you down for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it. So over the next few weeks we are requesting your financial support. Keep CounterPunch free, fierce and independent by donating today by credit card through our secure online server, via PayPal or by calling 1(800) 840-3683. Note: This annoying box will disappear once we reach our fund drive goal. Thank you for your support!


Where’s Osama?

by Nelson P. Valdés

Let us suppose, for a moment that Osama Bin Laden had something to do with the events of September 11.

Let us suppose, also, that he understood how the United States government would react.

Let us suppose that he, like those who actually implemented the September 11 attacks, were concerned with Saudi Arabia since most of the parties involved were born there. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is important because: a) it has a strategic amount of oil on which the US depends, b) the Saudi royal family is split, one faction supported the Taliban and the other is thoroughly corrupt c) Mecca and Medina–the two sacred places of Islam, happen to be in Saudi Arabia.

So where could Osama bin Laden be today? Afghanistan? Hardly.

Assuming that bin Laden and associates will use their many years of guerrilla war experience, then they should understand the military value of symbolic actions and the use of the global mass media.

Imagine the symbolic value of Osama bin Laden within Mecca.

Let us consider the benefits from Osama bin Laden’s perspective:

The moment it is announced that Osama bin Laden is inside Saudi Arabia and in the most sacred Mosque of Islam, havoc will follow. The U.S. war effort will have to be reassessed. If the war on Afghanistan was unleashed to capture bin Laden, then — will a war be waged against Saudi Arabia as well?

Probably the stock market and the price of oil will not escape such news either. The political stability of Saudi Arabia will be a black box that no one could decipher.

The Saudi government would be compelled to act, yet would be frozen by the political consequences of taking proactive military measures at Mecca or Medina.

The United States government would be tempted to use its military forces within the Arabian peninsula but indecision could be expected, for immediate action could create very serious consequences throughout the Muslim world.

The potential political and economic crises confronting the United States government could unleash a major debate within the ranks of U.S. conservatives on what to do. It is doubtful that the consensus of waging war could be continued.

It would not be surprising if recriminations surfaced within the country as people asked about the capabilities of the “intelligence” community.

The world community could conclude that the policy makers in the United States, including its intelligence agencies, had totally mishandled the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy.

What ensues thereafter would be certainly hard to imagine.

Nelson Valdes is a professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico.

Nelson P. Valdes is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico.

October 13, 2015
Dave Lindorff
US Dispatched a Murderous AC-130 Airborne Gunship to Attack a Hospital
Steve Martinot
The Politics of Prisons and Prisoners
Heidi Morrison
A Portrait of an Immigrant Named Millie, Drawn From Her Funeral
Andre Vltchek
Horrid Carcass of Indonesia – 50 Years After the Coup
Jeremy Malcolm
All Rights Reserved: Now We Know the Final TTP is Everything We Feared
Omar Kassem
Do You Want to See Turkey Falling Apart as Well?
Paul Craig Roberts
Recognizing Neocon Failure: Has Obama Finally Come to His Senses?
Theodoros Papadopoulos
The EU Has Lost the Plot in Ukraine
Roger Annis
Ukraine Threatened by Government Negligence Over Polio
Matthew Stanton
The Vapid Vote
Mel Gurtov
Manipulating Reality: Facebook is Listening to You
Louisa Willcox
Tracking the Grizzly’s Number One Killer
Binoy Kampmark
Assange and the Village Gossipers
Robert Koehler
Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
Jon Flanders
Railroad Workers Fight Proposed Job Consolidation
Mark Hand
Passion and Pain: Photographer Trains Human Trafficking Survivors
October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
Luciana Bohne
Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria