When US President, Barack Obama, announced on Sunday night that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a dawn raid by US special forces it raised more questions than it provided answers.
One thing that is indisputable is that this announcement represented the opening shots in Obama’s Presidential re-election campaign as he desperately seeks to shore up his waning support in the light of his savage austerity plan of cutting $4 trillion from the federal budget.
Bin Laden, it now appears, had been living for some time in a compound specially built to house him in 2005 in the military town of Abbottabad situated 30 miles from Islamabad.
Abbottabad is home to three Pakistani army units and thousands of military personnel.
The compound itself, a three-story building surrounded by 18ft high barbed wire topped walls, must have stuck out like a sore thumb.
Clearly the US were not trying too hard to track him down.
US imperialism has always had an ambivalent attitude to the man behind the World Trade Centre attack in 2001.
Bin Laden, a member of a fabulously wealthy Saudi Arabian family, came to prominence in the pro-imperialist war against the left-wing Afghan government established after the revolution of 1978 and supported by the Soviet Union.
Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organisation were feted by the US for their anti-communism and their anti-Arab nationalist positions.
From the start then, Bin Laden was very much a pro-imperialist, armed, trained and encouraged by the US to fight the Red Army in Afghanistan and later as an enthusiastic supporter of the first Gulf War when world imperialism first invaded Iraq.
The falling out between Bin Laden and the US came about when it became clear that the US had no intention of leaving Saudi Arabia alone and insisted that its troops were stationed in that country.
This quarrel with US imperialism resulted in the Twin Tower attacks of September 11, 2001.
This terrorist attack led first to the invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taleban government that had sheltered Bin Laden, but then was used as an excuse by Bush to move on to imperialism’s real objective – the invasion of Iraq and the seizure of its oil wealth.
Not only had Iraq absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, but the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein was hated by Bin Laden for being socialistic and Arab nationalist.
The September 11 attack was not a blow struck against imperialism, it was an act of terrorism that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and as such served the interests of world imperialism.
Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda organisation continues this pro-imperialist policy at this very moment, with its members fighting along with the forces of counter-revolution in Libya.
Bin Laden then was nothing more than a reactionary Arab bourgeois.
His anti-socialist, anti-communist and anti-Arab nationalism made him a useful tool for imperialism which helped create him.
His subsequent falling out with imperialism in no way alters this.
The manner of his death also reveals the weakness of imperialism and the divisions that now exist between the ruling class of Pakistan and America.
The attack was launched as a virtual invasion of Pakistan by US troops under great secrecy as the Americans freely admit they do not trust their ‘allies’.
Apart from demonstrating US imperialism’s total contempt for notions of national sovereignty, it shows the deep divisions over the question of Afghanistan and who will have control over the region’s vital gas and oil pipelines.
While Pakistan and the US may fall out, what unites them, along with Bin Laden, is a hatred and fear of the coming Arab socialist revolution that will sweep them all away.