Thread: The Al-Zarqawi Myth
06-18-2005, 08:23 AM #1
The Al-Zarqawi Myth
The risks of the al-Zarqawi myth
By Scott Ritter
An interesting phenomenon is taking place today in the Iraqi city of Falluja.
For months now, the Bush administration had been building up the image of a massive network of foreign terrorists using Falluja as a base for their terror attacks against targets associated with the interim government of Iyad Allawi and the US military which backs him.
One name appeared in western media accounts, over and over again: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a wanted Jordanian turned alleged "terror" mastermind. Almost overnight, Zarqawi's terrorist group, al-Qaida Holy War for Iraq, expanded its operations across the width and breadth of Iraq.
Al-Zarqawi was everywhere, his bombers striking in Mosul, Baghdad, Samarra, Najaf, Baquba, Ramadi and Falluja. Islamist websites published accounts of al-Zarqawi's actions, and the western media, together with western intelligence services, ran with these stories, giving them credibility. The al-Zarqawi legend, if one can call it that, was born.
The problem is, there is simply no substance to this legend, as US marines are now finding out. Rather than extremist foreign fighters battling to the death, the marines are mostly finding local men from Falluja who are fighting to defend their city from what they view as an illegitimate occupier. The motivations of these fighters may well be anti-American, but they are Iraqi, not foreign, in origin.
There is, indeed, evidence of a foreign presence. But they were not the ones running the show in Falluja, or elsewhere for that matter. As a result, the US-led assault on Falluja may go down in history as the tipping point for the defeat of the US occupation of Iraq. The January 2005 elections are now very much in doubt, and anti-coalition violence has erupted throughout Iraq (including from sources claiming to be aligned with - no surprise - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi).
Reflecting back, one cannot help but wonder if al-Zarqawi was used as a lure to trap the Americans into taking this action. On the surface, the al-Zarqawi organisation seems too good to be true. A single Jordanian male is suddenly running an organisation that operates in sophisticated cells throughout Iraq. No one man could logically accomplish this. But there is an organisation that can - the Mukhabarat (intelligence) of Saddam Hussein.
According to former Iraqi intelligence personnel I have communicated with recently, the Mukhabarat, under instructions from Saddam Hussein, had been preparing for some time before the invasion of Iraq on how to survive, resist and defeat any US-led occupation of Iraq. A critical element of this resistance was to generate chaos and anarchy that would destabilise any US-appointed Iraqi government.
Another factor was to shift the attention of the US military away from the true heart of the resistance - Saddam's Baathist loyalists - and on to a fictional target that could be manipulated in an effort to control the pace, timing and nature of the US military response.
According to these sources, the selection of al-Zarqawi as a front for these actions was almost too easy. The Bush administration's singling out of al-Zarqawi prior to the war, highlighted by Colin Powell's presentation to the Security Council in February 2003, made the Jordanian an ideal candidate to head the Mukhabarat's disinformation effort.
The Mukhabarat was desperate for a way to divert attention from the fact that it was behind the attacks against Iraqi civilians. Iraqis killing Iraqis would turn the public against the resistance. It needed a foreign face, and al-Zarqawi provided it. A few planted CD disks later, and the al-Zarqawi myth was born.
In its attempts to use the al-Zarqawi myth to distract and defeat the US military and the interim government of Iyad Allawi, the Mukhabarat is engaged in a dangerous game. In embracing the al-Zarqawi myth, the Mukhabarat has engaged the forces of Islamist activism to a degree never before seen in modern-day Iraq.
According to my contacts, the goal in creating a foreign Islamist face for the violence taking place in Iraq is to get the Iraqi populace to turn away from Iyad Allawi and the US military as a source of stability, and endorse the return of the Baathists (under a new guise, to be sure), who would then deal with the Islamists by shutting down an operation the Mukhabarat thinks they control.
But engaging these activists may not be without cost. Having created a fiction, there is a potential danger of it becoming a reality. Al-Zarqawi may not be the real force behind the anti-US resistance in Iraq, but many now, in Iraq and throughout the Muslim world, believe him to be.
Having created this giant the Mukhabarat may not be able to control it. The real danger in Iraq is not the inevitable defeat of the United States and the interim government of Iyad Allawi, but the fact that the longer it takes for the United States to realise that victory cannot be achieved, the more emboldened the Islamists become.
Right now, the Mukhabarat controllers of the al-Zarqawi network think themselves clever as they watch the US military play into their hands through the destruction of Falluja, and the futile search for a phantom menace.
But the tragedy that is the war in Iraq is far from over, and it may very well be that it is al-Zarqawi and his followers, and not the Baathist Mukhabarat, who will have the last laugh. And, as always, it will be the people of Iraq who will pay the price.
Last edited by CAUSASIAN; 06-18-2005 at 08:27 AM.
06-18-2005, 08:29 AM #2
Zarqawi was formerly reported to have lost a leg in a US missile strike, although the U.S. military now believes Zarqawi still has both legs. The nature of this report has changed a great deal over time. Early in 2002, there were unverified reports from Northern ******** members that Zarqawi had been killed by a missile attack in Afghanistan. Many news sources repeated the claim.
My personal opinion is Zarqawi is a US creation, in terms of exaggeration, or in terms of creation.
He probably died in Afghanistan, and the US is using him as a tool to latch on to an enemy, so it can focus on a enemy.
Zarqawi is to stupid of a man, if you look at his history, in terms of intelligence to be running such a highly smart campaign.
06-18-2005, 09:57 AM #3
Interesting point of view.
06-18-2005, 10:11 AM #4Retired Vet
Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
06-19-2005, 07:06 AM #5
The world falsely belives that Abu Musab is behind the insurgency.
That is totally false. There are independent Islamic militants, Baath Intelligence officers, and other elements.
Abu Musal Al-Zarqui is a legend, that has been created, intentionally or my mistake.
He hasnt made one video of himself, although he seems to love the attention.
06-19-2005, 07:08 AM #6Originally Posted by BOUNCER
And whenever the troops withdraw, the insurgents will claim victory.
I have been saying this for months, I feel the insurgents want America and Britain to stay. They would be disappointed if they retreat.
06-19-2005, 07:35 AM #7
I'm afraid you are right, the minute we withdraw from Iraq the insurgency will take power and civil war will follow. You can't force democracy on those that don't want it. There must be another reason we are staying there, I just can't figure it out.
Iran is the only country in that area that might go for a democracy but only if they install it themselves and that will still be a few years away.
06-19-2005, 07:44 AM #8Originally Posted by Benches505
Originally Posted by Benches505
06-19-2005, 07:45 AM #9
The US cannot retreat now. The US doesnt want to look like they retreated because of the insurgents. And they dont want the insurgents to get too arrogant and emboldened. The US in a way is stuck in Iraq.
George Bush is in a position I would not want to be in.
06-19-2005, 09:09 AM #10
and dont forget the role of the israeli lobby in the usa , this lobby is want the usa to stay in iraq because its like a protection for israel and a threat for Syria , again the USA foreign policy is working for the israeli interests not for the US interests.
06-19-2005, 02:42 PM #11Retired Vet
Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
Your preaching to the converted, we've had the same situation here in Ireland for over 30yrs now. Victory will be our's.
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