January 18, 2005
On November 17 of last year, I speculated that CARE director in Iraq, Margaret Hassan, was abducted and presumably killed as part of a counterinsurgency operation—a victim of phony terrorist groups created by foreign intelligence—on the part of either the United States, Israel, the British, or a combination of thereof, a dirty trick in the dirty war against the Iraqi insurgency ( http://kurtnimmo.com/blog/index.php?p=419 ) . One journalist wrote to say I had no evidence of this, I was in fact conspiracy mongering, and such speculation is a basically disservice to others opposed to war for it essentially makes the antiwar movement out to be wild-eyed crackpots. I wrote my blog entry, subsequently reposted widely on the internet, after doing considerable research about the history of counterinsurgency. I quoted from and summarized several articles—written by Andrew Rubin, Julian Borger, Richard Sale, and Seymour Hersh—to make the case Hassan was the victim of a counterinsurgency op engineered to make the Iraqi resistance look bad. In addition, I quoted Michael McClintock:
US military (and CIA operative) officer Major Edward Geary Lansdale’s "psy-war tactics" used in the Philippines against the Huk. Lansdale’s methods "centered on measures of deception similar to those employed in the British and French colonial campaigns in Kenya and Indochina," including the creation of bogus guerilla units used to discredit the enemy.
Further research turned up little on the Kenya counterinsurgency program—that is until I read Seymour Hersh’s latest installment on the Strausscons (The Coming Wars: What the Pentagon can now do in secret: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=8931 ) published by the New Yorker and posted on their website. Quoting John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California, Hersh includes the following:
When conventional military operations and bombing failed to defeat the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya in the 1950s, the British formed teams of friendly Kikuyu tribesmen who went about pretending to be terrorists. These "pseudo gangs," as they were called, swiftly threw the Mau Mau on the defensive, either by befriending and then ambushing bands of fighters or by guiding bombers to the terrorists’ camps. What worked in Kenya a half-century ago has a wonderful chance of undermining trust and recruitment among today’s terror networks. Forming new pseudo gangs should not be difficult.
As I noted, Lansdale adopted at least some of the British counterinsurgency tactics in the Philippines and was considered "eminently qualified to advise on unconventional warfare and the American role in Indochina" and elsewhere in the Third World, as Michael McClintock notes ( http://www.statecraft.org/chapter8.html ). He also writes:
Only in 1961, when a presidential demand was made for a purpose-built counterinsurgency establishment, was the Special Forces/Special Warfare Center development of unconventional warfare adopted across the board as the foundation of a military doctrine of counterinsurgency. The military core of unconventional warfare, the organization, tactics and techniques of America’s covert CIA and Special Forces "guerrillas," provided a nucleus for the new doctrine of counterinsurgency.
As stated previously, I believe the CIA (and military intelligence) is busy at work discrediting the Iraqi resistance with such tactics, although of course I cannot prove it. As John Arquilla writes, forming "new pseudo gangs should not be difficult," especially in the chaotic environment of Iraq (and soon, as Hersh points out, Iran).
Obviously, the U.S. military realizes it cannot defeat the Iraqi resistance through conventional military means, as the British were unable to defeat the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya. Considering the long and violent history of the CIA—and the fact the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed creating fake terrorist groups to discredit Cuba (Operation Northwoods) as a pretext to invade Cuba and depose Castro—I find it entirely plausible that Hassan, who was against Bush’s invasion and occupation (and influential as the director of a high-profile NGO), was kidnapped and possibly murdered, although her body has yet to be found. It makes infinitely more sense for a "pseudo gang" of Iraqi terrorists—possibly criminals, paramilitaries from the Allawi government, or freelance mercenaries under the direction of U.S., Israeli, or British intelligence—to engage in such vile behavior, not the Iraqi resistance who would only lose from committing such horrendous violence against those striving to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people.
* * *
As if to lend credence to the assertion that the Allawi government consists of people of the sort who would kill innocent people—exactly the sort of people the Strausscons need in Iraq—the Sydney Morning Herald reports that a "former Jordanian government minister has told The New Yorker that an American official confirmed to him that the Iraqi interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station last year". ( http://www.uruknet.info/?p=8963 ) Note the word "suspected," not convicted criminals.
"A well-known former government minister told me that an American official had confirmed that the killings took place, saying to him, 'What a mess we’re in—we got rid of one son of a bitch only to get another one’," writes Jon Lee Anderson for the New Yorker. The Sydney Morning Herald adds "that Anderson was present during an interview conducted by the Herald’s chief correspondent, Paul McGeough, in late June, with a man who said he witnessed the executions by Dr Allawi."
"The man," writes Anderson, "described how Allawi had been taken to seven suspects, who were made to stand against a wall in a courtyard of the police station, their faces covered. After being told of their alleged crimes by a police official, Allawi had asked for a pistol, and then shot each prisoner in the head. [One of the men survived.] Afterward, the witness said, Allawi had declared to those present, 'This is how we must deal with the terrorists.’ The witness said he approved of Allawi’s act, adding that, in any case, the terrorists were better off dead, for they had been tortured for days."
No doubt it would be a guessing game to speculate who tortured the suspects—Allawi’s thugs or "our" thugs, the same thugs who rape children and beat people to death at Abu Ghraib.
One thing is for certain—Allawi is precisely the sort of "son of a bitch" the Strausscons need in Iraq, not that it will ultimately make much difference because eventually Allawi will be living in Miami or swinging from a lamppost in Baghdad.