We’re in the habit of watching the disarmingly cute and sincere Katie Curic deliver the CBS evening news, but recently I’ve had to hold my nose, so to speak, when watching this administration propaganda, or what to my mind has become administration propaganda. A case in point: last Thursday’s program carried the clear implication that all insurgents in Iraq are basically Al Qaeda fighters, the same ones who blew up the towers on 9/11. A video of Al Qaeda’s number 2, the wretched Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was shown encouraging the fight against Americans, as proof that it’s Al Qaeda we’re fighting in Iraq. This is good news for the administration because who could be against us fighting a war against the perpetrators of 9/11? Only left-wing hippie creeps, that’s who!
Well, unfortunately, this is all BS! If I may quote from Glenn Greenwald’s excellent article in Salon,
Making matters much worse, this tactic was exposed long, long ago. From the Christian Science Monitor in September, 2005:
The US and Iraqi governments have vastly overstated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, and most of them don’t come from Saudi Arabia, according to a new report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS). According to a piece in The Guardian, this means the US and Iraq “feed the myth” that foreign fighters are the backbone of the insurgency. While the foreign fighters may stoke the insurgency flames, they make up only about 4 to 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgents.
And in January of this year, the Cato Institute published a detailed analysis — entitled “The Myth of an al Qaeda Takeover of Iraq” — by Ted Galen Carpenter, its vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, documenting that claims of “Al Qaeda in Iraq” is “a canard that the perpetrators of the current catastrophe use to frighten people into supporting a fatally flawed, and seemingly endless, nation-building debacle.”
So who are we fighting in Iraq? Well, to quote Glenn Greenwald again, “The vast, vast majority of them are Iraqis motivated by a desire to acquire more political power in their own country at the expense of other Iraqi factions and/or to fight against a foreign occupation of their country. To refer to them as “Al Qaeda” so casually and with so little basis (other than the fact that U.S. military officials now do so) is misleading and propagandistic in the extreme.” This statement neatly sums up what most objective observers believe, objective observers from the old Iraq Study Group to Juan Cole and including many, many others.
Katie Curic by contrast is under the wing of the corporate media, which leans basically to the right in the political spectrum. What “liberal media”?!