— The Erimtan Angle —

Rumours have been going around about the demise of the notorious Taliban leader . . . and now, the eminent Robert Fisk weighs in to say that “he has [already] died three times before, most spectacularly at the hands of Pakistan’s notoriously vicious – and notoriously slipshod – Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) in 2011. Untrue on that occasion, of course. Bin Laden himself died at least twice before the Americans assassinated him in 2011. Even George W wrote him off in 2002. Then he was dying of cancer. Then he was dying of kidney failure. The Top People’s Paper even killed off Ayatollah Khomeini – of cancer – long before the old boy expired”.[1]

Fisk takes a few steps back to tell the possibly dead man’s story: “Mullah Omar, possibly the son-in-law of Bin Laden but very definitely one-eyed, declared himself the Emir of the Faithful in 1996 – even dressing up in the Prophet’s cloak (if it was the Prophet’s cloak) in Kandahar – then led his Taliban purists to victory against the mujahedin fighters who had driven the Russians out of what quickly became the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He was head of state for five years until he gave political asylum to Bin Laden after 9/11 and ended up on the run with a $10m bounty on his head. He approved of the elimination of murderers, adulterers and statues of Buddha, and was held in awe by young men who thought nothing of hanging television sets from trees to show their contempt for graven images – and, quite possibly, journalists”.[2]  These latest repors apparently constitute the fourth occurrence of Omar’s possible demise, rumours that might be greatly exaggerated . . . or as put by Fisk: Mullah Omar’s “latest death, according to the usual sources, could have occurred two or three years ago – before Isis began making inroads into his turf – so if he turns out to be still alive, he must surely be Emir of the Undead. Maybe the Americans should amend their $10m reward to the slightly more inspiring “Dead AND Alive”.[3]

[1] Robert Fisk, “Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead…. for the fourth time” The Independent (29 July 2015). http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/mullah-omar-creator-of-the-taliban-is-dead-for-the-fourth-time-10425159.html.

[2] Robert Fisk, “Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead…. for the fourth time”.

[3] Robert Fisk, “Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead…. for the fourth time”.

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