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Bin Laden Now Wanted 'Dead and Alive'

April 22, 2002

Ranan R. Lurie's April 17 commentary conjecturing the death of Osama bin Laden was not only racist but also naive. First, to speak of some "sword-waving" tradition in the Islamic world as though there was not an equally developed counterpart in our own culture ("axis of evil" ring any bells?) is a blatant attempt to create an "us and them" mentality. Further, likening Bin Laden to an "Islamic mini-god" in the eyes of his followers is sacrilegious (as calling George W. Bush America's "lord and savior" would be) and a blatant misrepresentation of even fundamentalists' beliefs.

Lastly, when we ask about who has the most to gain from convincing the public that Bin Laden still lives, the obvious answer is the United States. Bin Laden's death would be a powerful martyrdom in the Islamic world and would strengthen his cause. However, by claiming that he still lives, the U.S. administration can continue to use Bin Laden as a boogeyman to scare critics of its asinine "war on terrorism" into silence. Lurie's commentary only serves to protect the secretive, dangerous agenda of Bush's reactionary administration.

Chris Wiebe

Vancouver, Canada

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Lurie states that Bin Laden no longer exists, then goes on to explain that the latest video is old, not current, so therefore he is dead.

Mr. Lurie, did it ever occur to you that he planned this to make people think he is dead? I say he is alive and well and being protected by one of the other countries there. There has been no proof otherwise, and until there is a body that can be positively identified as being him I shall not believe what anyone else says.

Jon Fleischer

Redlands

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