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Osama bin Laden

On March 4, 2010, the 22nd-ranked University of Maryland’s Men’s basketball team pulled an upset win over then fourth-place ranked Duke University. After rushing the court, Terrapin fans them promptly stormed into the streets of College Park, blocking traffic, destroying property, screaming and rioting. 

They clashed with police officers, fully decked in riot gear. The incident garnered national attention when a student was filmed receiving a brutal beatdown from nightstick-wielding cops despite his posing no threat whatsoever to anybody.  After his arrest, the police report accused him of aggressively approaching a horse, which was proven false by the video. Several officers, as well as the Prince George’s County Chief of Police, lost their jobs over the incident, several more were indicted and may face jail time. The victim of the incident, Andrew McKenna, was forbidden from revealing his settlement, but rumors swirled around campus that he quit his job the day he received it.

I remember the riot vividly. I remember students chanting curses at the police in unison. I still see the snowballs, pumpkins, and other objects flying through the air toward the line of riot police. I recall a young student, soaked in pepper spray, pleading that he...More >>

The 2nd Annual Essay Contest for The Propagandist introduced us to some excellent works by our regular contributors as well as first-time pundits. Our readers were treated to critical analysis of issues as far-ranging as Turkey's democratic drift, the threat of jihadism in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden and the consequences of the Arab Spring.

(A quick apology to our contributors and readers in getting the results out. We know we're a few days late. Hopefully, the winner wasn't counting on the prize money to help make a mortgage payment over the weekend.)

Without further ado, the winning submission of the 2nd Annual Essay Contest for The Propagandist is (drumroll, please)...

Here's an excerpt:

This recurring tendency of Jews, such as Murane, to pay greater attention to their own moral performance than to the necessities of survival is a trait which Ruth Wisse characterizes as “moral solipsism”.


In displaying the resilience necessary to survive in exile, many Jews have come to fetishize weakness, and believe that they could pursue their mission as a “light unto the nations” on a

...More >>

Al Qaeda's most senior operative in Somalia is taken down during a shootout at a government checkpoint.

And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

More >>

Note to any Al Qaeda would-be successor to Osama bin Laden: the established life expectancy for someone in your chosen career path is approximately one month.

An overnight attack by an unmanned aircraft killed Ilyas Kashmiri, an Al Qaeda-linked operative blamed for several high-profile attacks in Pakistan and India, local news reports and a statement by his banned militant organization said Saturday.

If borne out, this would be the second major U.S. anti-terrorism coup in quick succession following the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden early last month by Navy SEALs. Analysts had identified Kashmiri as a possible Bin Laden successor.

Now, who wants the job? Any takers? Sheesh. Don't all put your hands up at once.More >>

The political opposition in Pakistan wants to conduct an investigation of the Army. Given the circumstances of these past weeks, that's the least they should be asking for, right?

Unfortunately, they only seem to want to investigate how Americans were able to conduct the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, without the Army knowing (or presumably, stopping them on grounds of national sovereignty). They don't seem at all interested in finding out how the arch-terrorist could live in a big city just outside a major military facility for at least five years.

Perhaps that's because they already know the answer to the second question.More >>

The political far-right certainly has its own share of idiots and lunatics. But the far-left's conspiracy-theorists and identity-politics chieftans have gained a significant amount of mainstream acceptance over the years. Their views have often given (pseudo-)intellectual support to clerical fascists and power-mad thugs.

Time to cut them down a notch.

First, the indomitable Christopher Hitchens lashes out at Noam Chomsky for his less-than rigorous intellectual stance about Osama bin Laden and 9/11:

It's no criticism of Chomsky to say that his analysis is inconsistent with that of other individuals and factions who essentially think that 9/11 was a hoax. However, it is remarkable that he should write as if the mass of evidence against Bin Laden has never been presented or could not have been brought before a court. This form of 9/11 denial doesn't trouble to conceal an unstated but self-evident premise, which is that the United States richly deserved the assault on its citizens and its civil society. After all, as Chomsky phrases it so tellingly, our habit of "naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk … [is] as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes 'Jew'

...More >>

With the death of Osama bin Laden, the USA's erstwhile "ally" in the war on terror, Pakistan, has been exposed (again) as a net exporter of jihadist terrorism. What should the USA do about it? Take our poll.

It took barely 24 hours for the troops-out-of-Afghanistan chorus to break into an outpouring of editorials demanding the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan now that Osama bin Laden is dead. Now you have your prize, they smugly hummed, so let's call it a day. Though there is sometimes an underlying resentment that bin Laden was taken from this world--like when Chris Hedges says his "stomach sank" upon hearing the news--the stoppist opportunists are seizing what they can from the moment anyways.

The "bin Laden's done, now let's desist" argument suffers from numerous fallacies, the first of which is an appalling historical amnesia. It's not in the very distant past that the US already once washed its hands of Afghanistan prematurely after some fairly significant covert meddling in Afghan affairs, in the interest of their own foreign policy objectives.

As Afghanistan turned to face a post-Soviet world at the dawn of the 1990s, it found America's back turned, and much of the rest of the international commmunity followed suit. Into the post-Najibullah void poured the competing muj factions who unleashed violence and chaos over a population in desperate need of a functioning state, rather than a...More >>

There's just no way of dancing around the engorged and furious elephant in the room anymore: Pakistan's support of international terrorism for their short-sighted regional strategy threatens the world. Salman Rushdie cuts to the chase:

In the aftermath of the raid on Abbottabad, all the big questions need to be answered by Pakistan. The old flim-flam (“Who, us? We knew nothing!”) just isn’t going to wash, must not be allowed to wash by countries such as the United States that have persisted in treating Pakistan as an ally even though they have long known about the Pakistani double game—its support, for example, for the Haqqani network that has killed hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan.

This time the facts speak too loudly to be hushed up. Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man, was found living at the end of a dirt road 800 yards from the Abbottabad military academy, Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point or Sandhurst, in a military cantonment where soldiers are on every street corner, just about 80 miles from the Pakistani capital Islamabad. This extremely large house had neither a telephone nor an Internet connection. And in spite of this we are

...More >>

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