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Friday, June 09, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Whoever died in the real or imagined airstrike in Hibhib, the mission was certainly accomplished: All the news websites are filled with Zarqawi stories instead of Haditha stories, for the second day running. That's ALL this was about.

The WSWS give a sober review of the nonsense, while Chris Floyd recalls the whole sordid Zarqawi fairy tale:
The reputed end of Zarqawi's reign of terror comes a mere four years after U.S. forces had pinpointed his hideout and were prepared to destroy his entire operation, only to be forestalled by the White House. Before the war, Zarqawi and his band of non-Iraqi Islamic extremists had a camp in northern Iraq, in territory controlled by American-backed Kurdish forces, who had wrested it from the hands of Saddam Hussein. U.S. Special Forces, CIA agents and other American personnel had a free hand to operate there; indeed, anti-Saddam Iraqi exiles held open meetings in the territory, safe from the reach of the dictator.

In June 2002, American forces had locked in on Zarqawi's location. They prepared a detailed attack plan that would have destroyed the terrorist band. But their request to strike was turned down not once, but twice by the White House. Administration officials feared that such a strike would have muddied the waters in their public relations effort to foment war fever against Saddam's regime.

At every turn, the Bush team had painted a picture of Saddam Hussein as a powerful dictator able to threaten the entire world. They had implied, insinuated and sometimes openly declared that he was in league with al Qaeda. But this wildly successful psy-ops campaign would have been undermined by a raid on Zarqawi, which would have exposed the truth: that Saddam was a crippled, toothless despot who had lost control of much of his own land and couldn't even threaten vast enemy armies within his own borders much less his neighbors or the rest of the world. It would have also exposed the fact that the only Islamic terrorists operating on Iraqi soil were in areas controlled by America and its allies which, now that Mr. Bush's invasion has opened the whole country to extremist terror, is still the case.
...
Oddly enough, Zarqawi first vaulted into the American consciousness just after the public exposure of earlier U.S. atrocities: the tortures at Abu Ghraib prison in the spring of 2004. With story after story of horrible abuse battering the Administration during an election year, Zarqawi, or someone just like him, suddenly appeared with a Grand Guignol production: the beheading of American civilian Nick Berg. This atrocity was instantly seized upon by supporters of the war to justify the "intensive interrogation" of "terrorists" even though the Red Cross had determined that 70 to 90 percent of American captives at that time had committed no crime whatsoever, much less been involved in terrorism, as the notorious anti-war Wall Street Journal reported. Abu Ghraib largely faded from the public eye indeed, it was not mentioned by a single speaker at the Democratic National Convention a few weeks later or raised as an issue during the presidential campaign that year.

Today's news has likewise knocked the new atrocity allegations off the front pages, to be replaced with heartening stories of how, as the New York Times reports, Zarqawi's death "appears to mark a major watershed in the war." Thus in his reputed end as in his reputed beginning, the Scarlet Pimpernel of Iraq has, by remarkable coincidence, done yeoman service for the immediate publicity needs of his deadly enemy, the Bush Administration.
The media and the congresscritters have a new take on aWol's favorite Texas saying: "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me a thousand times? Oooh! I like that! Do it some more!"

That the Bush administration and the Pentagon have lied repeatedly, about WMD's and ties to 9/11 and body armor and Haditha and pretty much everything else, is common knowledge. That they deliberately and admittedly use disinformation in Iraq and elsewhere is also well known. Still, every new announcement they make is treated as pure fact. What if they told a lie and no one repeated it?