by Eric Margolis
As Americans turn increasingly against President George Bush's calamitous
war in Iraq, and revolt spreads through Republican ranks, the White House is
again resorting to its tried-and-true ploy of fanning grossly inflated fears
The president just made two preposterous claims last week that insult the
intelligence of his listeners. First, Bush insisted US forces in Iraq are
fighting "the same people who staged 9/11."
Second, withdrawing US forces from Iraq, as the Democratic-controlled
Congress is urging, means "surrendering Iraq to al-Qaida."
These canards mark the latest steps in the Bush administration's evolving
efforts to mislead Americans into believing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
are all part of a global fight against al-Qaida.
When marketers want to change the name of an existing product, they first
place a new name in small type below the existing one. They gradually shrink
the old name, and enlarge the new one until the original name vanishes.
That's what's been happening in Iraq. When the US invaded, Iraqis who
resisted were initially branded "Saddam loyalists," "die-hard Ba'athists,"
or, in Don Rumsfeld's colorful terminology, "dead-enders." Next, the
Pentagon and US media called the Iraqi resistance, "terrorists" or
"insurgents." The reason for invading Iraq, the White House insisted, was
all about removing the tyrant Saddam, seizing weapons of mass destruction,
defending humans rights and implanting democracy.
Then, a tiny, previously unknown Iraqi group that had nothing to do with
Osama bin Laden appropriated the name, "al-Qaida in Mesopotamia."
This was such a breathtakingly convenient gift to the Bush Administration,
many cynics suspected a false-flag
operation created by CIA and Britain's wily MI6. Soon after, the White
House and Pentagon began calling most of Iraq's 22 plus resistance groups,
The US media eagerly joined this deception, even though 95% of Iraq's
resistance groups had no sympathy for bin Laden's movement. . . .
Polls show that in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, White
House disinformation strategy has worked. Today, an amazing 60% of Americans
still believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks. . . .
[Eric Margolis, contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada,
is the author of War at the Top of the World.]
Bruce Morton, "Selling an Iraq-al
Qaeda Connection," CNN, March 11, 2003
Standard Schaeffer, "'Al Qaeda Itself
Does Not Exist'," CounterPunch, June 21, 2003
Deborah Charles, "Panel Says No
Signs of Iraq, Qaeda Link," Reuters, June 16, 2004
Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Terrorized by 'War
on Terror'," Washington Post, March 25, 2007
Clark Hoyt, "Seeing Al
Qaeda Around Every Corner," New York Times, July 8, 2007
Peter Zeihan, "The
Many Faces of Al Qaeda," worlddefensereview.com, July 10, 2007
Michael R. Gordon and Jim Rutenberg, "Bush links Al
Qaeda in Iraq to 9/11; critics reject connection," International Herald
Tribune, July 13, 2007
[About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi
civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and
Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military
figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of
the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he
said.--Ned Parker, "Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlined," Los Angeles
Times, July 15, 2007]
"Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: US Indirectly Funding Al-Qaeda
Linked Sunni Groups in Move to Counter Iran," Democracy Now!, July