Grooming Bin Laden
The title of the book is Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror. It’s an interesting book especially if you like grinding axes and hacking away at Bill Clinton. Richard Miniter, the author, certainly likes doing that.
Here’s a title that would make a better book: Grooming Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton Turned Bin Laden Into A Mastermind Terrorist.
What often goes unnoticed about US foreign policy is that it is conducted in ways that create and are intended to create enemies, enemies that can be used to justify large scale foreign policy adventures during which US power can be projected throughout the world.
Regarding bin Laden, for example, when Clinton became president, he, bin Laden, was not widely known. He quickly became know when his organization bombed two modern hotels in Aden, Yemen. Miniter argues that if Clinton had acted boldly then against bin Laden, the global war on terror would never have occurred.
Of course, this assumes that Clinton – and others – didn’t want the global war on terror to happen. However, if Clinton and other US imperialists wanted a global war on terror that would allow them to fortify and extend the US’s national security state, as it is called, then it would make more to sense not to take out bin Laden. It would make more sense to groom him; that is, to remake him into a mastermind terrorist capable of taking tall buildings down with a couple of airplanes, almost like Superman who could leap tall buildings in a single bound. To justify imperialism, enemies are essential and to justify worldwide imperialism enemies with almost mythical powers are needed. Hence, the need to groom bin Laden, who once was nothing more than an accountant.
For a little perspective, the US went out of its way to create enemies in Vietnam, enemies that had sought the US’s help in undoing the French imperialism there. Then, after refusing to sign the Geneva agreement that was intended to reunite Vietnam after elections, and encouraging the southerners not to hold those elections, the US moved millions of northern, largely Catholic Vietnamese south into the Mekong Delta where the residents were already struggling economically. Needless to say, this led to conflict which the US labeled communist inspired so it could create the conditions it needed to “force” the US to protect what it called “South Vietnam.”
There are other examples of such activity on the part of the United States, for example, in Korea. So it is not beyond belief that Bill Clinton, et. al., were grooming bin Laden to serve as the poster boy for terrorism that would be labeled “an existential threat” to the US. And given the ambiguities surrounding the attacks of 9/11, one has to wonder whether those attacks, even if not facilitated by the US, weren’t seen as a gift to US imperialists, who could proclaim, over and over, that now “everything is different.”