Osama Bin Laden his last interview by mark ulyseas

13 Comments

This interview was conducted in the third quarter of 2010 in Afghanistan, at a place which is a six-hour drive from Kabul airport. Many details have been omitted to safe guard those that were instrumental in setting up this interview with Osama Bin Laden. I was instructed to upload parts of the interview onto my blog sites after I had received instructions from Kabul.


The telephone call brought news from Sharif in Kabul.

“As-Salāmu `Alaykum bhai jaan”.

‘Wa `alaykum s-salām, who is this?”

“Sharifbhai, you wrote to me that you want to visit Afghanistan, why?”

Oh, I want to do a series of articles on Afghan cuisine, is this possible”.

“Hahaha…yes, very possible…but I will suggest other interesting subject”

“What should I do?”

“I will contact our embassy in Delhi. You go there after three days, brother, with your passport. All will be arranged,  wa `alaykumu s-salāmu wa rahmatu l-lāhi wa barakātuh.”

Ten days later I arrived in Kabul with a  carry bag containing some clothes, a small camera and notepads. Sharif  was adamant I didn’t bring a laptop.

As soon as I exited the airport two Pashtus approached and bundled me into a jeep with curtains and drove me away. Some minutes into the drive one of them tied my hands and the other put a black cloth over my head. Then they pushed me to the floor of the vehicle. No one spoke.

The smell of mobile oil and exhaust was overwhelming. I cried out to my companions, one of whom bent down and in a gruff voice told me that if I wanted to do the interview I had to comply with the conditions.

What conditions? What interview? With whom? Had Sharif sold me out to theTaliban?

The drive lasted, I think, around six hours. When the vehicle finally stopped my captors led me up some stairs and sat me down on a mat. When they removed my blindfold and untied my hands I noticed we were in a room. The walls were bare. In one corner was a bed on which rested a man with a turban and white flowing beard. The single tungsten bulb shed a warm light while the air smelt of antiseptic and sweat.

A cat sat in the green doorway looking at me. I could hear a baby crying.

Just then a man in army issue trousers but no shirt was dragged in. His body was badly bruised. Skin appeared to have been peeled off by some sharp instrument. I couldn’t see his eyes for they were blood soaked. The fingers on his right hand had been crudely chopped off.

The old man rose slowly from his bed, coughed and looked at me. It was then that I realised I was face to face with the most wanted man on the planet. I was terrified. Sharif had set me up.

“This man’, he said pointing to the captive,” came to one of the villages with his friends in the night. They shot Islam who was sleeping next to his wife. These are animals. Take him out, cut his throat and send his head as a message to those foreign troops”, he said in a quiet voice and started coughing again.

The man was dragged out and a burka clad woman entered with a cloth to wipe the blood off the floor, while another entered carrying two steel mugs of water. One was handed to me. The water smelt strangely of roses and tasted a bit salty. The second was placed on a low table next to the bed.

Osama stood looking at me while playing with his prayer beads. His eyes were bright like a predator sensing his prey.

“They think we are fighting for the Muslims. They are wrong. This about a new world order. For too long the USA and its friends have ruled with their foolish policies. Look at the Arab countries that do business with the West. They shall all face their own people next year (2011). What we have put in place will soon bear fruit. One by one these Arab leaders that call themselves Muslim will fall.”

I replied,“Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Syria and even Qatar appear to have strong leaders. How can their people rise up against them? Do you think this can be changed by your people?”

Osama smiled, reached for the cup of water on the table, took a sip and flung it on the floor. The guard sitting behind me hit me on my shoulder with the butt of his gun. The pain was unbearable as I fell to the side.

“You are an idiot. I made a mistake by listening to Sharif. I should hand you over to my men. Do you know what is happening in the streets in these countries you talk about? How the common people survive? And these rulers call themselves Muslim? Islam is about brotherhood. All is one and one is all. But that’s not the case right now. Let me tell you, “ he said pointing his finger at me, “the first to fall will be Egypt. Mubarak is a thief. He will be shot. And if the Army doesn’t do it, we will. And Syria? Assad thinks his country is his family business. He too shall pay.

Understand one thing, Islam is our religion it is not our political agenda. In fact Iran has sent agents to discuss future arrangements. But how can we trust them? Look at their people, they want western democracy.”

“Why is violence necessary to bring about a new world order? Isn’t there any other way that it can be done?” I asked hesitantly keeping my eyes on the floor mat, too afraid to look into osama’s eyes.

“Do you think Gandhi could practice non-violent methods against these people today? Tell me? These governments only understand violence. When they are threatened with violence they listen. Our people have done good work and our message is loud and clear. Yes I would prefer to discuss matters but how can this happen when our Holy Land is ruled by a regime ‘loyal’ to the West…but this will not happen…so violence is the only path to creating a new world order. We had begun our jihad in Pakistan. We own Pakistan. No one can change this. Afghanistan will be liberated in 2011. And when this is done a message will be sent to the West. When they receive it they will know that a new world order has come and they will have to talk to us not with bombs and guns but with folded hands.”

“Will Al Qaeda be the control center?” I said in a low voice.

Al Qaeda is not an army. It is a political party with an agenda to create the new order through a program of networks of groups that usually work independently. We have no direct control over what they do but we supply the arms and finance their operations. And like a bank we call in our loans, sometimes when our people get too undisciplined. We too have our honor. You remember Daniel Pearl. I personally gave instructions not to kill him because we will lose sympathy with the left-wing media. Yet Omar disobeyed me and killed him. So we had him betrayed to the West.”

“You have mentioned a new world order. What will this order be?”

“Not now, at a later stage I will send for you. We will talk again. I am tired.” He replied in a rasping voice, then lay on the bed and turned his face to the wall.

The guard behind me pushed me to stand up and then blindfolded me, tied my hands and led me to a vehicle waiting outside. On the drive back I kept thinking of the beheaded prison, the curious smell of antiseptic that pervaded the room and Osama’s eyes. Was his vision of a new world order a myth, a dream or a violent reality in the making?

I suppose we will have to wait for 2011 for the answer.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Advertisements

Earth Day, World Leaders Urge You to Take Action for the Amazon!

Leave a comment

A message from Amazon Watch. Please read this and let your conscience act now!

I received this today in the mail.

Dear Mark,

In honor of Earth Day, please watch this short video and take action to defend the Xingu River basin. The Brazilian government is pushing for Belo Monte Dam construction to begin in the next few weeks.

Watch & Share this new Amazon Watch video:
“A Call for Renewable Energy in Brazil”,
featuring Amazon Watch’s Christian Poirier, James Cameron,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former president Bill Clinton

As you may know, last month I journeyed back to the Brazilian Amazon with James Cameron and this time, he brought Arnold Schwarzenegger. We returned to the Arara village on the threatened Big Bend of the Xingu River and were met by hundreds of villagers, the legendary Kayapo Chief Raoni, world-renowned climate scientists and local movement leaders. Their resounding message was the same: “We urge the Brazilian government stop the Belo Monte Dam and pursue truly renewable energy alternatives!”

Following the visit to the Xingu, we traveled to Manaus to the Global Sustainability Forum where world leaders, including Clinton, reminded Brazil that it is responsible for “the stewardship of the greatest rainforest of the world”, and called on Brazil to lead the world on a green energy pathway.

“You need more electricity. You need it to be clean. You want to preserve native cultures and you need to preserve the rainforest. If you reach a critical juncture, you’ll change it forever and it can’t be recovered and the rest of the world is depending on you because about 20% of non ocean oxygen comes from you…The whole world needs you to resolve this.”

Unfortunately, the Brazilian government doesn’t appear to be listening. After dismissing demands from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States to suspend the dam’s licensing process until serious human rights violations have been remedied, the government is fast-tracking the dam’s full installation license and seeking to initiate construction as early as next month.

It is urgent that the Brazilian government hear the call from Brazilians and the international community to defend the Amazon, indigenous rights and reconsider its plans for the Belo Monte Dam and 60 other large dams planned for the Amazon. Energy efficiency and clean renewable energy, such as solar and wind, are viable and essential solutions to more dirty dams. The entire world depends on it.

Watch and share this video. Take action today by signing and sharing a petition to the Brazilian government.

For the Amazon and Mother Earth,

Atossa Soltani
Executive Director

Please help us to spread the word by sharing this video on
Facebook and Twitter!

Sal Mubarak to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Leave a comment

Indians in general have always viewed the Royal Family and in particular Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a symbol of the greatness and the endurance of the English. Though times have changed this view has prevailed. And if anyone wants to know why, just watch the  Indian news reports when a member of the Royal Family visits India.

The Queen represents sanity and continuance of an English legacy, amidst rancid politics of oneupmanship.

Sal Mubarak aur Sau Saal Jiyo Maharani.
Maharani Zindabad.

Happy Birthday to the Queen, may you live a 100 years.
Long Live the Queen. 🙂

Act Now to Stop Amazon Drilling on No Drill Day

Leave a comment

amazonwatch.org

Message received from Amazon Watch.com

Dear Mark,

It was exactly one year ago today: a terrifying explosion, flames engulfing an offshore oil rig, 11 men dead. The beginning of one of the most horrifying environmental tragedies in US history – BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of course this wasn’t the first major oil catastrophe. Twenty-two years ago, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled millions of gallons of crude into Prince William Sound. Nearly 50 years ago, Texaco (now Chevron) commenced oil operations in the pristine Ecuadorian Amazon that ravaged the rainforest and devastated local communities.

Today, as part of international “No Drill Day”, Amazon Watch celebrates the dignity and courage of frontline communities around the world who are fighting to create clean and healthy environments. From the Gulf Coast to the Niger Delta to the Amazon rainforest, people are standing up for alternatives to reckless oil drilling.

In that spirit, we’d like to share a glimpse into the life and culture of the courageous Achuar people of the Pastaza and Morona river basins in the Peruvian Amazon, who have succeeded for decades in keeping oil drilling out of their ancestral territory.

The relentless pursuit of oil has reached the remote Peruvian Amazon and now the Achuar people find their way of life threatened by yet another oil company, Canada’s Talisman Energy. But the Achuar are standing up for their rights, and are united in steadfast opposition to Talisman’s planned expansion of oil operations into their ancestral territory.

On “No Drill Day”, stand with the Achuar by sharing this story on Facebook and Twitter and signing the petition to Talisman. We have a chance to prevent yet another oil-related tragedy from occurring.

In solidarity,

Mitch Anderson
Corporate Campaigns Director

Why do people continue to smuggle or buy drugs in Bali?

Leave a comment

Hotel K by Kathryn Donella

There has been, and sadly continues to be, Bali bashing by the international media. Anything that does not fit into the ‘paradise’ image of Bali is immediately seized upon and highlighted. Even legitimate drug busts by Bali Police appear to attract an unending stream of abuse, misinformation and sanctimonious comments by those that base their views on Chinese whispers.

It is easy to pontificate on the drawbacks of Indonesian Law, the omissions and commissions of the Bali Police and the ‘perceived’ corruption within the system. No one can deny that there exists some truth in all this (thanks to the KPK).

However, the question needs to be asked –

Why do people continue to smuggle or buy drugs in Bali when the death penalty prevails here?

Some attribute this growing phenomenon to:

– International drug cartels: Example – Timothy Geoffrey Lee, 44, arrested by Indonesian Police on a request received from the NSW Police after they had busted a European drug syndicate importing ecstasy into Australia (street value $30 million).

– Family Businesses – The Corbys ?

– Individuals – Michael Sacatides, 43, caught with 1.7 kilos of methamphetamine.

Others claim it is merely a demand and supply chain like prostitution, fueled by la dolce vita, the good life and that it feeds those tripping the light fantastic in an imaginary psychedelic world.

But is this true? Does tourism generate a need for drugs? And is Bali exclusive in its predicament?

It is said that the three sisters – Bali, Goa, Ibiza – are the playgrounds for jetsetters and those seeking a temporary release valve from the pressures of work…hence the devil-may-care attitude to recklessly taunt fate by imbibing banned substances.

The ‘only’ difference between the three is that Bali, Indonesia, imposes the death penalty.

Even with the stakes so high there continues to be a constant flow of arrests – people from all walks of life attempting to smuggle drugs into Bali. The end result of these misadventures is an overflowing

Kerobokan jail, harassed officials and damaging publicity for the island’s administration.

The recently released book Hotel K by Kathryn Bonella rips apart the secure walls of Kerobokan jail and reveals the sordidness/wretchedness inside it.

A copy of this book should be kept in every hotel/villa room in Bali as essential reading for all tourists, and a warning.

It is also a known fact that ‘undesirable’ locals are selling drugs. The continuing arrests and incarceration of these ‘gentlemen’ is ample proof that the scourge has sunk deep into the system.

If overhaul of the system is to be undertaken then the first step should be to ease the pressure in overcrowded prisons and the resultant inhumane conditions, which includes buying and selling of drugs within the precincts of the jail.

The present situation at Kerobokan Jail is reflective of medieval times.

Maybe it is time to bite the bullet and consider this option as a first step towards working on a lasting solution.

All foreign inmates serving up to five years should be deported after payment of an amount in US$ as a reimbursement to the Bali government for costs incurred by it on board and lodging. All personal details along with a mug shot and drug offense/s or any other offense must be uploaded onto a special website for such felons so that anyone in the world has access to the data.

Further a written guarantee must be obtained from the country of the convict that the said convict can never leave it for the duration of the balance unserved sentence in Indonesia. Or, that the convict serves out his/her sentence in a jail in the home country.

— As for Indonesian convicts the same conditions should apply but payment can be made in Rupiah supported by a written guarantee from the Banjar/local community heads that the convict has to do community service for the remainder of the unserved sentence. This would help in rehabilitating felons and ease the congestion in prisons. More importantly it will have a positive effect on the international image of Indonesia as a modern republic.

I am aware the above suggestions voiced by many well meaning and concerned folk in Bali and elsewhere is a small step towards sanity but then we have to start somewhere, and what better way to begin than by creating international goodwill and at the same time help save lives.

Let us show the world our humanity.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om


Wake up and smell the Kopi Bali !

Leave a comment

An open letter to the Governor of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika

Om Swastiastu Bapak Pastika,

Why is Bali, the island of the Gods, on sale?

Why is it being desecrated by unbridled mindless development?

Has Bali lost its way in the maze of international trade and commerce; Or has the ethics of a vibrant ethos been put on sale to the highest bidder/s ?

Every sphere of island life, including the environment, has been infiltrated and contaminated by the pawning of family heirlooms, all for a dollar. And in this disgraceful gold rush, the majority of ordinary Balinese have been ‘overlooked’.

Here is a brief survey of Bali today.

01. Education

School children must buy their textbooks from their teacher.
There is no standardization of textbooks.
In government schools tuition fees are waived for all students till Class 6. But the overheads like uniform books etc. have to be paid for.
Many children drop out after Class 9 (on completing SMP) because their families cannot afford to pay the tuition fees etc. for Classes 10 onwards (SMA). One can see them working in warungs and other businesses at the bottom rung of the workforce.
Unsubstantiated reports reveal that Bali has a shortfall of 9,000 teachers for the Balinese language and Hindu religion.

02. Employment

The minimum wage is often not paid to thousands of Balinese workers. And  interestingly the majority of their employers are ‘Indonesian’.

Basic costs like the increase in price of cooking gas and food grains etc., has created   a piquant situation whereby workers are now spending a higher percentage of their    earnings on food; Added to this is the stark reality that the basic minimum wage (US$ 73.66 to 86.56) is not paid by many commercial establishments in Bali even though there is an existing Law. Many employers in the Tourist industry pay around  US$ 40 – 60 and sometimes add ‘food’ as a perk.

03. Health

Free health service is for a minority. Many Balinese on the lower rung of the ‘social’  ladder have to make do with the ‘local’ doctor. Clean drinking water and basic hygiene is lacking in many rural areas. This has resulted in skin diseases and even leprosy. Furthermore, the burgeoning tourist industry has directly contributed to the increase in HIV/AIDS on the island. In the documentary Cowboysinparadise unprotected sex appears to be the rule rather then the exception.

The continuing Rabies  problem that has killed over a hundred Balinese has yet to be brought under control.

And latest reports reveal that Bird Flu is on its way back to haunt the island.

04. Agriculture

Subsistence rice/other farmers are starving.  Suicides are believed to be common. Their land is slowly being ‘sold/mortgaged’ for villas of vanity. And yet there is no one to help them. They pay water charges to the Subak Authority, the government taxes them and the Banjar takes a slice of the harvest. Who protects the farmer?

05. Environment

Garbage appears to be a problem. Media reports continue to spew out data of the seriousness of the problem including skin diseases, breathing problems, eye and stomach infections and contamination of food etc.

The cutting of trees has caused denudation resulting in the rise in surface temperature, depletion of natural water sources and contamination of underground water.

Plastic and other waste are thrown into sacred rivers, into the sea and/or simply discarded by the roadside. The ubiquitous plastic bottle is now a tourist attraction. The Balinese have become so lazy that they don’t even remove the cellophane packing on sweets before offering the same to the Gods. In this way through religious acts tons of garbage is produced.

All supermarkets and other outlets are promotional centers for the use of plastic bags.

06. Yayasans

Great business and an easy way to deflect cash to ‘other’ projects. Yayasans are proliferating in Bali like cancerous growths. Many have been set up merely to ‘earn’ money and not to provide charity service to the less fortunates. Who checks these NGOs and audits their accounts? Is there a Freedom of Information Act that helps a citizen to view their accounts and activities? Or, is this area (Yayasans) reserved for a privileged few who have the ‘right’ connections?

07. Infrastructure

Congratulations soon Bali will have another airport, rail system, a South-North highway…so even more tourists can travel comfortably across the isle. As for the Balinese, no problem they can give their under age children motorbikes to ride to school; many of whom die under the wheels of vehicles, but who cares? The dollar is most important not the lives and welfare of the citizens.

08. Property Development

The property market in Bali is infested with carpetbaggers who hawk land in Bali any which way. Their offices dot the isle like fleas on a dog’s back. They have seduced the Balinese with money and surreptitious deals which has resulted in unplanned, rampaging construction across the isle which interferes with the Subak system, does not adhere to the basic concepts of Asta Kosala Kosali (Balinese architectural code). More importantly the age old Balinese rule that did not allow any building to be built taller then the nearest coconut tree in the area has been dispensed with.

Of course you are aware of the now defunct international hotel that was being built at Padangbai where the whole face of a seafront hill was cut away destroying the ecosystem in the area: and the new Korean project that appears to be coming up in Karangasem (part of the property is in a ‘protected green zone’) !

The ownership of properties, the power of attorney and other twisted land deals are often given protection by Heads of the local community. So no ‘honest’ government officer dares ‘investigate’.

09. Banjar/Desa Adat

The Banjar system and the Desa Adat have failed miserably in containing the rapid dilution of Balinese culture. Very soon Balinese ceremonies will be reduced to theatricals devoid of any spirituality.

The dollar has infiltrated Balinese communities where women vie with one another to spend enormous sums (often borrowed or obtained from sale of land) on offerings (with expensive imported fruit), costly kebayas; while children race around on new motorcycles and/or fiddle with the latest brand of handphone (they too need to keep up with their friends).

The Balinese language as we know it is going out of fashion. It is not cool to speak Balinese. Bahasa Indonesian ‘Jakarta’ street jargon is ‘in’.

The Balinese ‘joint’ family compound/unit is being torn asunder by consumerism. Young married couples are now frequently setting up home away from these units. Apparently they want their privacy and do not want to share their personal wealth with the extended family.

It is said that the Javanese sell Bakso to buy land and the Balinese sell land to buy Bakso.

10. Hinduism

Balinese Hinduism has survived the Dutch, Japanese, Sukarno, Suharto regimes and the horrible terrorists attacks. However, there appears to be an insidious attempt to ‘short circuit’ the Hindu ethos of the isle through the continued process of purchase of land by ‘other’ Indonesians who bring with them their own brand of Islam. The mushrooming of mosques in the West of Bali towards the North, Gilimanuk, the growing number of Muslims flooding the isle, many illegally working in Bali is cause for concern. Now I am not suggesting a communal approach but consider this – If the Balinese continue to be at the receiving end of tourism then they will have to pay the price which is dilution of a culture, infiltration by non-Balinese into all aspects of life on the isle (if this has not happened already) and being relegated to second class citizens.

And this can happen because Bali does not have a say in Jakarta.

  1. Electricity comes from Java.
  2. The Pornography Law 2008 applies to Bali, too, in spite of the resistance put up by Bali’s politicians.
  3. And more importantly a large part of Bali’s revenue goes to Jakarta.

The future existence/survival of the vibrant ethos of Hindu Bali is at stake here and who will come forward to protect it?

And will Bali continue to prostitute itself for the sake of the greater good of Indonesia?

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Have we forgotten Erwin Arnada?

Leave a comment

The Jakarta Post : Letter: Have we forgotten Erwin Arnada?
| Fri, 04/08/2011 8:00 AM |

Free Erwin Arnada !

How does the Indonesian justice system work? And is there consistency in judgments in relation to and the implementation of the law and respect for civil and human rights?

I am referring to Erwin Arnada, editor in chief of the now defunct Playboy Indonesia, languishing in jail at the whims of right wing Muslim fundamentalists who pressurized the courts to impose a two-year sentence in a maximum security prison.

And what was he accused of — merely being the editor of a magazine that is considered to be an American icon? The said magazine did not have any indecent photographs nor was it obscene in any manner. The Committee to Protect Journalists, cpj.org, worldwide has made representations to the Indonesian government but to no avail.

So have we, the media, forgotten Erwin Arnada, who did not commit a crime but is serving two years in prison, because it is not news anymore?

While at the same time reporting that the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd have approached the Indonesian government with a request for leniency regarding convicted Australian drug smugglers on death row and Schapelle Corby.

I suppose in the final analysis the truth remains that the lives of innocent incarcerated Indonesians appear to be dispensable by their own government and courts.

This is shameful.

Mark Ulyseas
Bali
The Jakarta Post -01
Committee to Protect Journalists
First Amendment Coalition
Truthdig

Older Entries