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Ho Chi Minh’s bedroom
Source Wikimedia and Esemondo

Pressed on all sides to show conclusive evidence regarding the extra-judicial killing of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama has released a number of Osama’s home videos which were found in the “million dollar palatial mansion” that was the hidden lair of the desert wolf.  Obama hoped by releasing these he would both prove that Bin Laden was actually living in the home in Abbottabad and that he continued to be the Dark Lord of Al Qaeda.

In light of the United Nations Rappateur’s interest in the legalities of the execution Obama needs to do two things.

First, he needs to show the American people that in the absence of a corpse they can see, or videos of the raid they can view, or photos of the dead body, or testimony they can hear from the soldiers or the wife of Bin Laden or his daughter who saw the execution, that he did indeed hit the right house.

Second, he needs to show that Osama was still “a clear and present danger” when they executed him.  The lawyers too will be needing especially to prove that Osama was “still active in operational planning” when he was killed and that he could be counted as “an enemy commander in the field”.  If they cannot do this they stand wide open to legal charges of War Crimes.

So Obama gives us Osama’s home videos which they found in the house.

It is therefore unfortunate that the videos prove nothing of the sort.

The picture above is of the bedroom of another bête noir of American administrations past, and of another pain that those administrations would have dearly loved to see bumped off.  It is, of course, the bedroom of Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the North Vietnamese.  It is the home of someone who is certain in his mind what he wants to do.  The furniture may be simple, austere even, but there is a distinct sense of style, a personal minimalist presence which can still be felt.  It is a simple room certainly, but it shows his interests, two recently published books sit on the bedside table slightly out of shot.  Ho is a leader clearly keeping up, not just with world events, but the latest in literature and the thoughts of others.  Despite the spartan nature  of the room it has much in common with the homes of many CEO’s and busy administrators.  There is a lack of distracting clutter, a sense of calm conducive to thought, space, light and clarity.  A quiet place for inner contemplation.  You can tell he is the kind of professionally minded man who believes if you are going to control a country you have first to be able to control your desk.

The picture here is entirely different.  Here, a grubby, dirty broken old man in a beanie hat sits hunched in a blanket, rocking back and forth, whilst holding a TV remote, staring at a cheap small old fashioned cathode ray tube TV.  No state of the art plasma screen for this boy.  Here is a vision of a British pensioner waiting on his winter fuel allowance.  A lost man surrounded by chaos.  It is the house of Bin Laden.

At the risk of going all Lloyd Grossman on everyone, would this be your idea of the home of an arch terrorist still controlling and guiding his followers all across the world? A man who is deep in operational plans?   Nope, mine neither.

Litter strews the floor, heaps of unwashed laundry lie untouched in other shots.  The TV is perched on a cheap unit minus some drawers and the satellite box is connected by wires hanging off the walls.  The room is undecorated and shabby, and just plain filthy.  You can almost smell the wee.

The whole compound seems inadequately wired up, as he leaves an overloaded plugblock stretched across the floor.  And, we should remember, that this smelly little man is the heir to a building company.   You would have thought he might have picked up some skills along the way.  On this evidence he was never going to have a second career as “Bin Laden Designs and Interiors” more a sort of Islamic Jan Steen.  Various other obsolete electrical items clutter the room.  It’s uncertain they even work.  I wouldn’t bet on it though as he has left his electric drill lying about the room slightly out of shot on this take.  He can’t be bothered to tidy it away.

I don’t know about you, but far from thinking this is the leading mind and CEO of Terror Inc., we have in front of us some pathetic old mental case that I would not trust to look after a corner store for a Tuesday afternoon.  The kind of sad old man living in squalor that Social Services find every day.

And where on earth is his wife in all this?  What is she doing?  Good grief you’d think she could waft a duster about occasionally.  And you’d think Al Qaeda with all it’s wealth and connections could run to a bottle of Cillit Bang, and a floor mop too.  A lick of paint wouldn’t hurt either.  God what a depressing dump.

Still an effective and a dangerous enemy ofAmerica?  Not a chance!

These videos, rather than making Obama’s case that Osama was still a clear and present danger and an effective member of Al Qaeda, are simply unsustainable.  He looks limp as a kitten.

Obama’s case has been weakened.

Copyright David Macadam 2011