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Africa: Osama's Death: How the Letter O Helped Obama

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011 by United States Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. He was the founder of al-Qaeda, which was responsible for the September 11 attacks in the US. Here is reaction and analysis from the African blogosphere.

Clay Onyango says that there is one reason why Osama was killed during President Obama's administration:

Take time to analyse this two names..OSAMA and OBAMA.You might think these two are relatives, and both from western part of Kenya,where they are given names starting with letter O.

It is believed that most people from this part of Kenya are intelligent,Obama is very intelligent probably more than Osama, and of course Osama was not a fool,he too was intelligent. I mean to carry such a terror attack in September 11 was well thought. He knew he could not penetrate the US intelligence through their borders,and that’s why he chose the air attack.

President Bush could not capture Osama for almost 8 years and this is because his name does not start with letter O,probably if he would change it to OBUSH,it would work.
And Why do you think Oprah is intelligent? Her name starts with letter O,she has probably some Kenyan blood too.Are you expecting kids, give them names beginning with letter O.

Collins explains why Osama's death has much significance to Kenyans:

Interestingly it has taken Obama(whose father was a native Kenyan) to nail Osama ! The Kenyan Television stations are now running Al Jazeera and CNN live feeds in recognition that this event has much significance to the Kenyan people who have been on the receiving end of several Al Qaeda cordinated terrorist attacks including the initial 1998 US Embassy bombings in Nairobi.

In Kibera, Nairobi there was a rally to celebrate his death:

In Kibera,a sizable crowd joined the rest of the world in this moment at a peace rally in Katwekera.The rally which started at mid morning is still ongoing and has been dubbed a “public celebration for the death of Osama.” Hoisting the stars and stripes flag of USA,the Kenyan flag and a third flag of PEACE;Kibera crowd had no tears for Osama.

It was good riddance for these residents who made it a point to remind those who don't know that Bin Laden was a cold blooded killer responsible for the 1998 terrorists attack in Nairobi which left 222 people dead and thousands maimed.

Nwachukwu Egbunike wonders whether it is right to celebrate Osama’s death?:

Obviously the death of Osama is good news. A man who sent thousands to a premature embrace with their forefathers is certainly noting less than evil. No justification can stand to morph his heinous crimes into a palatable event. That said, the manner of US’s capture raises enough questions, I have no intention to go into that either. Besides, though Osama is gone, that does not necessarily translate into a ‘safer’ world. I stand to be corrected, but my guts tell me that soon more Osama’s will arise and they will have one single mission, to avenge his death.

Back to Martin Luther King’s quote [see quote below], is it right to celebrate Osama’s death? Something similar happened here in Naija, when General Abacha died, the whole nation erupted in wild jubilation. I was still an undergraduate and there was an instantaneous all night party on campus as soon as Abacha’s death was confirmed. This of course is a pointer, to those who inflict pain on others, forgetting that someday they will be equally pay retribution. Osama certainly deserved the death he got. Our planet also has been spared the stench of darkness. However, methinks we are gradually losing our humanity by gloating over the death of another man!

Martin Luther King's quote: “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy (emphasis mine). Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Kumekucha considers Osama a “royal coward” just like Laurent Gbagbo:

The lesson is clear. Behind the tough talk from fugitives resides the soft underbelly that epitomizes superlative cowardice. Professor Laurent Gbagbo hid behind his wife Simone before capture and now Osama tried to use his wife as a human shield. He may have lived large and sounded tough but that bravado melted when the time of reckoning came.

Conspiracy theorists will be working overdrive flogging the tired lines of imperialism and Osama being the handiwork of US itself. But the bottom line for those Kenyans who have bored the raw brunt of his his murderous rage is he met his match. Live by the sword, die by the very blade.

Akwaaba Accra hates CNN because of Osama Bin Laden:

Right now, I’m sitting in an internet café in Accra. CNN is playing. I can’t think of the last time I was exposed to such terror and bloodthirsty rhetoric. The newscasters are worried about how Muslims in Africa and the Middle East will respond to this. This is in addition to their use of phrases like “Islam’s terrorism”. They seem to be painting a picture that the rest of the world disagrees with the idea that terrorism should be combated. That’s not the impression that I get from “the rest of the world”, and I’m there right now.
It’s infuriating. How can the popular media betray Americans like this? Why are they fueling paranoia and fear? It’s bizarre and not realistic at all. It’s understandable, if barbaric, that people are celebrating so much in the streets in DC. But why all this dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric from our “news” sources? If you’re watching CNN or any American news channel right now, please keep in mind their inexplicable and hazardous bias that only fuels violent sentiment. I don’t understand why they are intentionally so inflammatory. Are ratings worth the lies?

Diasporadical believes that justice has been done but “don’t come out of your basement bunker rejoicing just yet”:

Anyway, Osama did commit a lot of heinous atrocities and was a symbol of all things negative. Obama is not wrong in stating that ‘Justice has been done.‘
The world however better brace itself for a rocky aftermath and not begin to think sh*t just got better. Alas, there is a shockwave of potential retaliations and so many other things to be scared about so don’t come out of your basement bunker rejoicing just yet.

What if movie heroes killed Osama?:

2) Jack Bauer broke into his house against CTU instructions. He tied Osama onto a chair and asked him to confess he was Osama. When he refused to talk, he cut off his fingers, shot his family and then called Chloe to tell the president Osama was dead.

3) Arnold Schwarzenegger started at the border. He coloured his face, set up bombs everywhere, killed each soldier five times as the bombs blew up on by one, He then told Osama to surrender if he did not want him to kill his family and after some hesitation, Osama surrendered. To his horror, Arnold then killed his family so the shocked Osama asked him,”You said you wouldnt kill my family. Why did you lie?” To which Arnold replied, “Am a politician now …” then shot him in the head.

4) Bruce Lee came in and said, “You Killed My Master. And for that you have to die!” And Osama asked, “So you will beat me to death using Karate?” To which Bruce Lee said, “No dumbass. This is the 21st Century.” He then took out a pistol and shot him.

5) Jason Statham got into the house, and in a Heavy British accent told him, “I am the transporter. I am here to transport your soul to the other side.” Then he shot him. Thats when the wife rushed towards his body, and in a bid to resuscitate him, she opened up his robe to nurse the gunshot wounds. Jason Statham shook his head, then shot her too and said, “Rule number two. Never open the package”

Following the decision by the US government not to release the pictures proving the death of Osama Bin Laden, Jide warns:

So, any photos of Osama Bin Laden you find, and you see him dead with gun shot wounds; just know it is a photoshop stunt.

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

1 comment

  • Hello,

    The title of your write-up is quite interesting, there are however some serious facts beyond this O relationship.

    Years ago, The Economist suggested the aspirant senator anglicise his name to O’Bama, the in December CNN showed a picture of Osama bin Laden with the caption Where’s Obama http://www.akinblog.nl/2007/01/obama-osama-oh-bummer-obama.html

    However, it is quite pertinent that on Monday morning as I disputed the concept of justice being served for revenge having been served, I found myself saying, Obama sees the end of Osama. http://www.akinblog.nl/2011/05/obama-sees-end-of-osama.html

    Though it is a bit contrived one must not forget that Obama is a surname whilst Osama and Oprah are first names.

    Regards,

    Akin Akintayo

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