Al Qaeda Is It?

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”?!

  1. Danielle’s avatar

    Marde,
    You know your generation dealt with the realization that the American government devises an agenda and will at any cost achieve their goals. Nowadays they are extremely skilled in public relations. They “sell” war. My generation has learned how the American government creates chaos to achieve their goals. 9/11, Pearl Harbor, World War 1 all achieved the same goal of uniting the country in nationalism and patriotism in order to protect against they that will harm us. Well I don’t buy an ounce of it, not an ounce. I have my no doubts about 9/11, there is too much secrecy, there is too much invested in the event, and the root of it all is fear. Of course one must be real and know there are jihadists following an ideology which was formed by opposition to our own actions. Are they right and we wrong? They and their followers believe them to be right. We and our allies believe ourselves to be right. If Al Queda is the ultimate enemy it doesn’t make any tactical sense not to put all efforts toward capturing and suppressing their agenda. But they are not the ultimate enemy. Americans are fighting an ideology, a belief. It’s all about the effect and not the cause. The intellectuals point this out clearly and they are passed over since they are too much in the mind and not action. Hippies who believe in utopianism are so far out of touch with “reality” they have no credibility. Liberals are too emotional. These are all attacks on the person designed to strip them of validity. Anyone who has any understanding of critical thinking should see this as the first sign of the fallacy of ad hominem. Succumbing to this thinking is halting critical thought on the argument given. How can there be a fair and balanced media when it is controlled by corporate conglomerates who are protected by our government in the name of progress and opportunity?

    As always thanking you for sharing and uniting thought boundless between the generations.

    Wishing health, balance and joy to you and yours.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks for your long and thoughtful response, Danielle. It shows the generations can communicate! Just to add to your thoughts, we have to be careful not to sweep all believers in Islam, even jihadists, under the same rug. There are extremists in every religion and often these rise to the top of the barrel and take control. Even the word jihad, as I understand it, doesn’t always imply a warlike agenda, but often a strictly religious, even personal, one. So, yes, we have to be on guard against those Islamic extremists who want to do us in, but this has to be reality-based. We are fed unreality by the Bush administration and the corporate media goes along with it. However, I make an exception of the New York Times editorial page. They weren’t always reality based and they did help us get into the Iraq war, but now they appear to have changed, unlike the Washington Post’s corresponding page. I enjoy reading the NYT editorials now. Also, Paul Krugman, in my estimation is a must read among the NYT op-eds.

    I just hope the younger generation doesn’t get swayed by Ralph Nader again, or even Michael Bloomberg now, as a third party candidate. This would help elect a republican. The democrats are far from perfect, but any democrat would be preferable to a republican in my estimation.

  3. Danielle’s avatar

    “The democrats are far from perfect, but any democrat would be preferable to a republican in my estimation.”
    I am tired of choosing between two parties. I have recently found a concept called fusion voting which would allow a third party endorse a candidate from a different party. This will give validity to the numerous parties struggling to survive in a Democratic and Republican arena. I certainly do not want to experience the circumstances of Hillary Clinton. She, along with many other Democrats, are so corporately attached things like NAFTA in the name of expanding Democratic free trade only benefits American born corporations and their investors. I want Kucinch but will probably vote for Obama though. Guillani would be worse than Bush. It is time for change and not this pretty, pr generated Change that is being touted for the sake of the word change. Ralph Nader should continue the good work he has dedicated his life to not the presidency of the United States.

    My perceptions of politics and spirituality are simultaneously evolving by coming into contact with others, especially those older and more wise than myself.

    I was introduced to some videos from Yogiraj Siddhanath who spoke of an earth peace meditation that reminded me of one of our first conversations regarding energies and their effect on the world. Very interesting.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    Hi Danielle again. Thanks for commenting! I just looked up Yogiraj Siddhanath and see that he is a SatGuru or True Master. Regarding energies and their effect on the world, were you thinking of the conversation we had in my Quantum Universe post, I think it was, in which you gave a link to a YouTube video by John Hagelin? He claims that Transcendental Meditation produces a reduction in crime and social stress by means of energy transfer or a kind of collective consciousness. Would that this were true! Would be nice! Maybe there is truth to it but I sure would need to investigate a lot more before I accepted it as reality…… I agree that many democrats are corporately attached but they are far less so than most republicans I think. And the danger is, if we don’t all pull together and help a candidate who has a realistic chance of winning, we could end up with another tragedy like what happened in 2000 and got George W Bush elected! What a tragedy if Guillani got elected! I agree he would be worse than Bush.

    Wishing you good health and balance in life’s struggles.

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