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America’s Terror-war in Iraq

Mike Whitney


April 20, 2006

"The bottom line in combating the hopes and dreams of ordinary people is to resort to spreading terror through the application of extreme violence."
Max Fuller "For Iraq, the Salvador Option becomes Reality"

The failure to build support for the Iraq war has forced some dramatic changes in the Pentagon’s approach to psychological operations (Psy-ops). The fictional terror-mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been jettisoned for an entirely different narrative centered on the prospect of an Iraqi civil war. The media shifted away from the Zarqawi-myth on the day of the bombing of the Golden-domed mosque in Samarra, one of the great icons of Islam. From that point on, Zarqawi, the fabricated, fanatical psychopath has been replaced by Iraq’s "catalyzing event" which, like 9-11, is being used to conceal the vast devastation of the American occupation.

Lt. General John Vines announced last week to a group at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that Zarqawi has admitted strategic defeat in Iraq and was "on his way out of the country". Vines added that Al Qaida "no longer views Iraq as fertile ground to establish a caliphate and as a place to conduct international terrorism". It is, of course, completely absurd to think that Vines knows what a foreign terrorist may be thinking or where he might choose to move. The real purpose of Vine’s announcement was to cancel-out Zarqawi and pave the way for the Pentagon’s latest fable, civil war.

Earlier in the week the Washington Post had already exposed the Zarqawi ruse when Colonel Derek Harvey admitted that the military intentionally "enlarged Zarqawi’s caricature" to create the impression that the struggle against occupation was really a fight against terrorism. As Harvey said, "The long term threat is not Zarqawi or religious extremists, but former regime types and their friends".

Zarqawi has been an effective tool for diverting attention from the occupation, but now he is being replaced by another calculated distraction; sectarian violence. The media now focuses all its attention on the free-wheeling militias which attack mosques and marketplaces alike; disposing of hundreds of young men every week after torturing them with drills and shooting them in the backs of the head.

Whether the storyline is build around elusive terrorists or civil war, the imperial puppeteers insist on controlling the narrative by spinning a tale that is faithfully reiterated in the press. Most of what we read is simply Pentagon summaries of the daily violence. The truth must be sought at an entirely different level where the realities of a savage occupation and its cynical motives are more apparent.

The Iraqi resistance has never abandoned their original strategy to attack American troops, Iraqi security forces, and oil pipelines. Why would they… their strategy is succeeding? The idea that they suddenly shifted directions from guerilla warfare to sectarian violence following the demolition of the Golden-domed mosque is pure myth intended to persuade the American public that the uptick in violence is not created by the occupation but by deep-seated ethnic and religious divisions.

That’s not what is happening.

What’s really taking place is that American armed and trained death squads are attacking Sunnis and Shiite alike to facilitate a break-up of Iraq which Pentagon planners and right wing ideologues have sought from the very beginning. The media, of course, is assisting in the disinformation campaign by dumping the Zarqawi fantasy and spinning an entirely new storyline centered on the destruction of the golden-domed mosque. Readers should be sensitive to the reiteration of this theme in nearly every article appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post; the headwaters of the American propaganda system.

There have been three occasions when allied troops have been directly connected to the bombing incidents which are invariably blamed either on foreign jihadis or Sunni resistance fighters. The first was the famous incident in Basra where two British paramilitaries were caught disguised as Arabs with a truck-full of explosives in their vehicle. Panicky British forces destroyed the Basra jail to release the two captured SAS soldiers clearly afraid that occupation forces would be directly connected to the savage bombings that are designed to promote sectarian warfare.

An interview on Syrian TV with Ziyad Al-Munajid on the night the special-forces soldiers were caught clarifies this point, Al-Munajid said,

"This incident gave answers to questions and suspicions that were lacking evidence about the participation of the occupation in some armed operations in Iraq. Many analysts and observers here had suspicions that the occupation was involved in some armed operations against civilians and places of worship and in the killing of scientists. But those were only suspicions that lacked proof. The proof came today through the arrest of the two British soldiers while they were planting explosives in one of the Basra streets. This proves, according to observers, that the occupation is not far from many operations that seek to sow sedition and maintain disorder, as this would give the occupation the justification to stay in Iraq for a longer period. "

More evidence of American complicity surfaced in a Boston Globe article which stated, "The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering some vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior US Government officials." ("US car theft rings probed for ties to Iraq bombings", Bryan Bender)

The implication is clear; the American intelligence services have been importing stolen cars from the US to use in alleged "suicide bombing" in Iraq.

Another incident that was unreported by any other news service except Reuters was this:
American arrested with weapons in Iraq

By Reuters 2006

03/15/06 BAGHDAD
(Reuters) - An American described as a security contractor has been arrested by police in a northern Iraqi town with weapons in his car, said a provincial official.

Abdullah Jebara, the Deputy Governor of Salahaddin province, told Reuters the man was arrested in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Monday.

The Joint Coordination Center between the U.S. and Iraqi military in Tikrit said the man it described as a security contractor working for a private company, possessed explosives which were found in his car. It said he was arrested on Tuesday."

Remember, no Iraqi has ever been caught with explosives attempting to blow up civilians. The only people who have ever been arrested have been connected to the occupation.

More proof of American involvement in terrorism in Iraq surfaced after the bombing of the Golden-domed mosque. The AFP reported that the bombing "was the work of specialists" and the "placing of explosives must have taken at least 12 hours". The report continues:

"Construction Minister Jassem Mohammed Jaafar said, "Holes were dug into the mausoleum’s four main pillars and packed with explosives. Then charges were connected together and linked to another charge placed just under the dome. The wires were then linked to a detonator which was triggered at a distance."

Clearly the bombing was not carried out by rogue elements in the disparate Iraqi resistance but highly trained saboteurs executing a precision demolition to incite sectarian violence. The blast bears all the hallmarks of a covert Intelligence agency operation. Eyewitness accounts verify that American troops and Iraqi National Guard were active in the area throughout the night and that their cars could be heard running "the whole night until next morning". People living around the mosque were told "to stay in your shop and don’t leave the area".

At 6:30 AM the American troops left, just 10 minutes before the bombs went off.

There’s little doubt that the occupation is directly involved in the demolition of the mosque or that it is being used to craft a new narrative about sectarian violence.

So far, there has been no official investigation of the bombing at the mosque although every news service in the western media has used it as evidence of a burgeoning civil war.

The strategy for inciting civil war has never changed. If the United States really wanted to establish security in Iraq they would have increased the number of troops on the ground. Instead, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has convinced the White House that we are fighting "a new kind of war" that requires massive counterinsurgency operations papered over by daily infusions of propaganda. The script closely follows the directives of Henry Kissinger who summarized the current strategy in the 1980s (during the Iran –Iraq war) when he callously noted, "I hope they kill each other". That continues to be the rationale that animates the current policy in Iraq to this day.

Author Max Fuller has made a major contribution in painstakingly documenting the proof of America’s involvement in the terror war that is being waged against the Iraqi people. In "Crying Wolf: Media disinformation and Deaths squads in Occupied Iraq" Fuller’s exposes the Interior Ministry as the hub of the clandestine death squad activity. Contrary to popular opinion, he shows that the ministry is not exclusively manned by theocratic Shiites. In fact, one of the more brutal counterinsurgency groups, the Sunni-led Special Police Commandos, is headed by a former officer in Saddam’s Baath Party. (The Commandos were founded by the son of the former Iraqi Chief of Staff Falah al-Naqib, who many believed to be a CIA asset.) The connections of Interior Ministry chieftains to their CIA managers are deep and compelling. As Fuller notes, "the Police Commandos were formed under the experienced tutelage and oversight of veteran US counterinsurgency fighters, and from the outset conducted joint-force operations with elite and highly secretive US special-forces units (Reuters, National Review Online)

Fuller says: "A key figure in the development of the Special Police Commandos was James Steele, a former US Army special forces operative who cut his teeth in Vietnam before moving on to direct the US military mission in El Salvador at the height of that country’s civil war…. Another US contributor was the same Steven Casteel who as the most senior US advisor within the Interior Ministry brushed off serious and well-substantiated accusations of appalling human right violations as 'rumor and innuendo’….Casteel’s background is significant because this kind of intelligence-gathering support role and the production of death lists are characteristic of US involvement in counterinsurgency programs and constitute the underlying thread in what can appear to be random, disjointed killing sprees."

Needless, to say, the CIA does not move major assets like Steele and Casteel into a prickly situation like Iraq to shuffle papers by a water-cooler. These are the main gears in the machinery of the Iraqi death squads and they illustrate the real motive behind Washington’s campaign of terror. There is nothing either "random" or "disjointed" in the butchery produced by their labors.

Fuller adds: "The Police Commando headquarters has become the hub of a nationwide command, control, communications, computer and intelligence operations centre, courtesy of the US (Defend America)."

The administration has provided a "state of the art" communications network to "coordinate mass murder".

"DeBaathification" is a sham. Many of the top-ranking officials in the Ministry are Sunnis, including "deputy Minister for Intelligence Affairs (also leader of the Interior Ministry’s spy service) currently held by General Hussain Kamal". The intention of the Bush administration is not to promote one group over the other but to foment widespread sectarian violence that will precipitate the destruction of the state and easier control of its resources.

The much-maligned Interior Ministry does not operate independently from their benefactors in Washington nor does the newly discovered 146,000 Facility Protection Service. These militias are at least somewhat functioning under Washington’s auspices and, as the Tribunes’ Liz Sly and Cam Simpson say in "US Arming of Iraq Cops Skates close to Legal Line", they are probably getting weaponry from the US to carry out their human rights violations.

That’s because as the Los Angeles Times notes, "The entire intelligence establishment is a creation of the Anglo-American secret services, which began building at least as early as the beginning of the occupation."

Max Fuller clarifies this point:

"What is possible is that both sides of the apparent sectarian violence are run as part of a huge CIA-lead intelligence operation designed to split Iraq at the seams. I tentatively suggest that the intelligence apparatus at the Interior Ministry is contriving attacks on Sunnis and that British and US Special Forces in conjunction with the intelligence apparatus at the Iraqi Defense Ministry are fabricating insurgent bombings of Shias."

Rumsfeld, who graduated from America’s counterinsurgency wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador, is demonstrating his theories of warfare for the 21st century; a massive covert terror-campaign aimed at Sunnis and Shias alike. It is a shocking departure from the widely-held belief that security is required for governance. Instead, fear and chaos are being used alternately to pacify the population and achieve the occupation’s overall objectives. As Fuller says in "For Iraq, the Salvador Option becomes Reality", "the bottom line in combating the hopes and dreams of ordinary people is to resort to spreading terror through the application of extreme violence." That is an apt description of America’s ongoing war in Iraq.

:: Article nr. 22729 sent on 21-apr-2006 00:34 ECT


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