Sun 5 Dec 2010
Two protracted wars drag on as the so-called “War on Terror” seems to be winding down in theory. In another year our hunt for the infamous Osama Bin Laden will be almost a decade old. The detour into Iraq, toppling a brutal dictator and ensuring a far more Iran-friendly government in Iraq, is reaching a deadened end, if you do not count the numerous advisors who will remain in and out of uniform. Then there is Afghanistan, which was the bane of the Brits in the 19th century, the Soviets in the 20th century and most probably the Americans and NATO in the 21st century. Billions of dollars and thousands of lives later the reason the United States originally got involved in the region, specifically to capture Bin Laden and bring him to justice, remains unfulfilled. Whether cooling his heels in a Pakistani border cave or a Swat safe house, the suspected mastermind of the 9/11 bombing is still out there somewhere.
Imagine if Bin Laden could be captured? Well, if you read German, you have a guide. While in Vienna earlier this fall I picked up a copy of Bin Laden Enthüllt, a comic book by Mohamed Sifaoui and Philippe Vercovici (Frankfurt: Eichborn, 2009). This imaginative work starts with the capture of Bin Laden by American troops and then tells his life story through his CIA interrogation. This appears the closest anyone has come to capturing Bin Laden, so it is worth a read. If you don’t read German, you can enjoy the illustrations.
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