Friday, May 20, 2005

More al-Zarqawi Fairy Tales

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist chimera cooked up in Bush’s propaganda lab, has now “escaped” twice in Iraq, possessing super-human qualities, even though we are told he “is a semi-literate former petty thief with a low IQ.” As Mohamad Bazzi reports for Newsday, al-Zarqawi “was injured and almost captured during a recent U.S. offensive near the Iraqi-Syrian border, according to Iraqi security officials” who have as much to gain from passing of fanciful stories about an elusive super-terrorist as does Bush and his Straussian high priests of mass destruction. “Al-Zarqawi was not badly wounded, and he managed to escape during the weeklong U.S. siege of the town of Qaim, said two senior security officials who spoke by phone from Iraq and asked not to be named. The officials said their information is based on interrogations of insurgents captured in the area.”

Of course al-Zarqawi was not badly wounded because he is not in Iraq—in fact, he is dead, same as Osama is dead—and the only people killed in al-Qaim and environs were a handful of resistance fighters and a whole lot of innocent civilians, the latter according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, an organization ignored by the corporate media (in order to read such reports, one must turn to al-Jazeera) in favor of black propaganda dispensed by the Pentagon.

Bazzi continues for Newsday:

The official said Al-Zarqawi was likely a main target of the U.S. offensive, dubbed Operation Matador, which involved a Marine task force in the largest combat mission in Iraq since the invasion of Fallujah six months ago. The offensive lasted from May 8 to 15 and focused on a mainly Sunni Muslim region around Qaim, in a desert area where the Euphrates River crosses from Syria to Iraq. The U.S. military said several hundred insurgents were killed, but Iraqi officials have given estimates as low as several dozen.

If indeed al-Zarqawi was the “main target,” as claimed, then the operation was a failure, since the super-terrorist with one leg escaped to live another day and serve as an up-to-date version of Emmanuel Goldstein, Orwell’s arch-terrorist forever one step ahead of Oceania and thus facilitating Two Minutes Hate sessions on the telescreen.

In fact, for the people of al-Qaim, the “largest combat mission in Iraq since the invasion of Fallujah” was an unmitigated disaster. “Thousands of people fled al-Qaim after US warplanes and helicopter gunships pounded the region earlier this week,” al-Jazeera reported on May 17.

In Akachat, located in an isolated desert area near al-Qaim, the ICRC is providing 135,000 litres of fresh water per day to hundreds of displaced families. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society also began trucking in aid to al-Qaim from 13 May. Food and non-food items have been distributed to roughly 200 families in Rawa, 250 families in Ana and 500 families in Akachat.

Of course, for the Pentagon, the people of al-Qaim and environs—as the people of Falujah—deserved no better since “U.S. officials describe the area as a known smuggling route and a haven for foreign fighters,” that is to say “foreign fighters” that, like al-Zarqawi, do not exist or are of such a low number as to be completely negligible (a fact even reported on occasion by the corporate media).

On May 15, Mohammed Barakat reported for the Associated Press:

The U.S. military—which launched its major offensive in the area 6 days before—says the remote desert region is a haven for foreign combatants who slip across the border along ancient smuggling routes and collect weapons to use in some of Iraq’s deadliest attacks. But the fighters who remain in this Sunni town insist there are no foreigners among them.

It should not be surprising the United States is conducting “operations” on the Syrian border, described as a “haven” for the likes of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a near-retard who is supposedly responsible for any number of attacks (if we are to believe the corporate media, al-Zarqawi is the Iraqi resistance) as well as planning sarin and ricin attacks; killing a U.S. diplomat; attacking train stations in Madrid; and somehow finding the time to run a far-flung terrorist organization (Jamaat al-Tawhid wa’l-Jihad) in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. For some odd reason the average American, tuning in to Fox News for the latest scary campfire story, does not seem to find all of this the least bit odd. But then millions believed in the preposterous idea of an Osama-Saddam tag team of terrorism.

In July, U.S. officials raised the reward for information leading to al-Zarqawi’s arrest or killing to $25 million, equal to the bounty on bin Laden’s head. The Bush administration has consistently labeled al-Zarqawi as the main force behind the Iraqi insurgency. To some Iraqis, the U.S. focus on al-Zarqawi is part of a political strategy to portray the insurgency as driven by foreign militants.

And “some” Iraqis would be right—the focus on al-Zarqawi is not only part of a “political strategy” to make the Iraqi “insurgency” look like nothing more than a band of cut-throat criminals when in fact it is a bona fide resistance movement in violent opposition to an illegal and murderous occupation but also part of a larger plan to portray Muslims as terrorists, especially Muslims in Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, countries on the Strausscon-Likudite hit list. If the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi myth did not exist, the Strausscons in control of Bush’s brain would have to invent it, as Big Brother invented its nemesis, Emmanuel Goldstein.

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