You say Bin Layden, I say Bin Larden. And he says, “Get your burka on, luv, the infidels are here!”
Almost ten years after 9-11, the CEO of al-Qaeda has been neutralised. US Navy Seals got their man in the early hours of 1 May 2011 local time, potentially leaving the global franchise in disarray. I wonder if al-Qaeda took out a decent insurance policy.
Out of pure morbid fascination I would like to know exactly how the final moments played out because according to President Obama, Bin Laden was killed following a fire fight, not during a fire fight.
As I understand it, there is actual footage of the operation because each of the Seals was wired up with a headcam, with live images relayed to commanders and other stakeholders. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get the word ‘Playstation’ out of your head.
This concept of war imitating entertainment imitating war cropped up in a book I read recently called The Spiders of Allah, Travels of an Unbeliever on the Frontline of Holy War, by James Hider. I would describe that book as reasonably good, but there were particular sections that stick in my memory. This is one of them:
“The psy-ops squads, normally the US military’s official taunters and mockers of their foe’s fighting prowess, were this time equipped with standard surrender tapes, in which they would congratulate a holed-up enemy on his valiant fight but try to convince him the battle was over and he should take the sensible way out and concede defeat. These did not always work very well: a photographer embedded with a marines unit told me how the company he was with in a bitter fight surrounded a house with several guerrillas trapped inside, refusing to come out with their hands up. The unit called up the psy-ops guys, who played the surrender tape. That didn’t work, so they started playing loud thrash metal songs, trying to wear down the fighters’ psychological resistance, Noriega-style. Unlike the jihadists, the marines loved the music and started asking for requests. The siege became a juke-box jive session for battle-worn marines. Still the guerrillas refused to come out. This time the psy-ops soldiers put on the soundtrack to Team America, the puppet spoof that hilariously satirized the very ‘war on terror’ that had brought both the young marines and the jihadists to this stand-off. The marines started singing along to the chorus of ‘America, Fuck Yeah!’, as inside the building the guerrillas no doubt recounted the Shuhada martyr’s prayer for Muslims about to face their death. Still they refused to come out, so the marines took the easy way out and called in an air strike. The last thing the holy warriors heard before the whine of an incoming rocket wiped them out of existence was the sound of puppets singing: ‘So lick my butt, and suck on my balls.'”
I find it fascinating that high-ranking politicians (including the President), intelligence bods and military officers were sitting in a room, eating nachos and watching the game of the century, all in real time and stunning HD. At least there was no offside rule to explain to the women.
Anyway, following a religious ceremony the mortal remains of this very holy man were dumped at sea because this was deemed the best way of getting rid of a bullet-ridden, charred, smouldering wreck of a political potato that no-one wanted. That’s certainly one way of getting rid of the problem, but Bin Laden was probably always destined to become a martyr, whatever we did and however he met his demise – even if it was due to a bout of auto-asphyxiation while gripping his latest copy of Shariah Double Amputees Monthly.
And that’s the concept I want to explore here. No, not wank mags, but martyrdom, and in particular Muslim martyrdom.
I know Bin Laden wasn’t a suicide bomber but I want to go off on a tangent and talk about them. We often hear Muslim suicide bombers referred to as martyrs, but these martyrs seem highly enthused at the prospect of receiving naughty favours from virgins in Heaven. When I think of martyrdom, though, I instinctively think of a very selfless act rather than a very selfish one. Murdering yourself and innocent people, and possibly leaving behind an innocent family to fend for themselves in the present world, just so you can screw to your balls’ content for all eternity in the next world, smacks to me more of selfishness than selflessness. And, to be frank, it’s not the kind of behaviour and motivation that I expect from an ostensibly religious, pious person.
I’m not saying that murdering yourself and innocent people for no reward would make suicide bombers martyrs; I’m just providing another reason to question their integrity.
I find it disturbing how we’re generally never told much about the virgins and, more specifically, how we can be sure they will consent to sex with mass murderers. (Not exactly a “catch”, are they?) Maybe Islamic “scholars” are far too preoccupied by intellectual, theological issues to even think about these trivialities – not very scholarly, if you ask me – or maybe they just assume the women will be up for it, which itself says a lot and is pretty disturbing.
Dead suicide bombers trying to pull virgins are the celestial equivalent of Premiership footballers in nightclubs assuming every woman wants to fuck them. “I just murdered a load of Kafirs, innit. What do you mean, you don’t want to have sex with me, bitch?”
Whereas footballers assume women want to sleep with them because of their footballing skills, suicide bombers assume women want to sleep with them because of their murdering skills. At least playing football requires a high degree of skill and brings joy to millions of people.
So much for Muslim suicide bombers’ hatred of supposed western decadence and lack of sexual morality, then – seems like you just need to promise them a juicy pair of tits and a bit of skirt and they do pretty much anything, so maybe Muslim women really do need to be covered up for their own protection, after all.
Voltaire was spot on and he only needed one sentence, the clever bastard: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.