“The Legacy of Bin Laden” By Immortal Technique

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Immortal Technique wearing Defiance t-shirtWhen news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces there was really only one person I wanted to hear from, rapper and activist Immortal Technique. His debut album Revolutionary Vol. 1 was released three days after 9/11 and he’s been one of the most outspoken artists on the aftermath and implications of that day in the last decade. On his second album Revolutionary Vol 2. he rhymed on “Cause Of Death”:

“My words’ll expose George Bush and Bin Laden/ As two separate parts of the same seven headed dragon… And just so Conservatives don’t take it to heart/ I don’t think Bush did it, ‘cuz he isn’t that smart/He’s just a stupid puppet taking  orders on his cell phone/ From the same people that sabotaged Senator Wellstone”

As news spread on Twitter Immortal Technique wrote on his Twitter page, “I wrote a very long essay about Bin Laden and Afghanistan and our involvement with it, but I doubt any of you really want to read it all.” He eventually posted the essay on XXLMag.com writing”… for the sake of logic and truth, and to put the recent events surrounding Osama Bin Laden in perspective, I have decided to address several points about America’s tumultuous relationship with him.

We have included an excerpt below but urge you to read it in its entirety.

1. First Impressions

There are people in this country who, when they speak, give you the impression that we never negotiate with terrorists; that our mission is to overthrow dictatorships; that we help the people gain true freedom; and that we do not torture people… But without lending any weight to conspiracy, there is documented evidence that at Guantanamo Bay, at Bagram Airforce base, and other secret locations we have tortured thousands, many wrongly accused, to obtain information. We have supported many more dictatorships than we could ever possibly overthrow because it was necessary for us to be able to have access to natural resources including their cheap labor. Why else would the clothing manufacturers in Honduras quietly lobby for the coup in 2009 and support it? Because the people who make their clothes might Unionize. Collective bargaining, health standards (not even American ones, but that of the nation they are in), humane conditions, all mean cutting into the profit margin and, in case you haven’t noticed, that matters more to corporations than people’s lives. Why do you think a dictatorship like Mubarak’s or the King of Saudi Arabia’s never received the same vitriol and hatred as the democratically elected regime of Hugo Chavez? Because it is not Communism or Socialism or even radical Islam that this country is opposed to. It is any form of government, any regime or any person that stands between the United States and it’s interests that should be considered marked for death. (By the United States, I mean the entities—be they corporate or of some other means—that are responsible for our elected officials being in the positions of power they hold.)

Actually, we have always “negotiated with terrorists.” Iran Contra. “The Surge,” not in troop strength, but also the surge in money we paid armed militias and armed gangs to not fire at American troops. Etc… So it’s clear, we only care about one kind of terrorist. Our terrorist. That person or organization is our dog, and our dog alone. When others use such tactics against us, it is evil, unkind and inhumane. But when we use these approaches against enemies who have already been demonized, then we find some gentle complacency over it instead of the anger and betrayal at our American standard of war. For nothing damages the American pride more than to acknowledge that underneath the stars and stripes, we can be just wicked as everyone else in the world…

READ Immortal Technique’s full essay “The Legacy of Bin Laden” at XXLMag.com.

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