Do you believe me? There are dozens -- if not hundreds -- of small disconnected terrorist groups all over the world, but we only ever hear about one of them. Can you guess which one? Yes, I knew you could! It's so much easier to wage war against the terrorists if you can lump them all in together like that. And very messy otherwise.
Here's another example: the internal politics of Iraq have always been a good deal more complicated than the Shia-Sunni-Kurd triangle we've been spoon-fed forever. But even after all these years, most of us still don't get it.
Half the time we don't even remember whether we're fighting "Shi'ite militias and Sunni insurgents" or "Shi'ite insurgents and Sunni militias". And what about the Kurds? Do they not have any militias or insurgents? Maybe they have both and we don't even know it. For that matter, what's the difference between a militia and a group of insurgents? And if you really want to get technical, what's the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite?
Here's the rub: We don't know -- or at least, most of us don't know, and most of us don't really care either. The tale is too complex for most of us to digest, so it just sits there, like a lump in our stomachs, making us cranky and miserable -- and this, quite naturally, interferes with our will to succeed in Iraq.
But success in Iraq is indispensable, and the alternative is unthinkable. So the Pentagon, in its infinite yet five-sided wisdom, has started making things a lot easier now, by describing all of its victims as "al-Q'aeda in Iraq". This change will make future "news" reporting a good deal easier for everyone, since "reporters" will know quite a bit about the victims before they are actually killed. They can simply fill in a few blanks -- date, place, number of aQiI fighters killed, name of the coalition unit credited with the glorious victory -- and their day's work will be finished! Their readers will benefit as well, being spared the embarrassment of not knowing, or caring, anything at all about who's being killed, maimed, tortured, widowed, orphaned ...
But that's not even the best part! Here's a bonus: the phrase "al-Q'aeda in Iraq" provides the slam-dunk link between Iraq and 9/11 which Dick Cheney has always sought, so each time we utter the phrase, we further "legitimize" a war crime of incredible dimensions. And not only that: every time we kill some "al-Q'aeda in Iraq", we lend support to the notions that we're "winning" (whatever that means), and that the "surge" is working (and I'm referring to the troop surge, not the steadily increasing flow of refugees making their way out of their country -- although if the people who are leaving are also "al-Q'aeda in Iraq", maybe the refugee surge is working too...)
It's a lovely story, or at least it would be, if even a little bit of it were true. Instead of course the truth is the exact opposite. In a particularly egregious example, coalition forces in Iraq have recently slaughtered Iraqi civilian anti-terrorists, then reported that the dead were "al-Q'aeda in Iraq".
Let that sink in for a minute.
Americans, of course, can wallow in political truth, but as Chris Floyd points out:
... Iraqis have to deal with the brutal reality of the war. And they know that everyone killed there by the invading forces is not "al Qaeda." They know that many Iraqis being killed by the Anglo-American coalition are innocent civilians. And they are increasingly embittered at the American slander of their dead.Chris quotes the BBC report as saying:
This slander is being applied even to those Iraqis who have taken up arms against the very "al Qaeda" terrorists that the American military is purportedly protecting them from, Iraqis who are cooperating with the American-backed government and its American-trained military and security forces. The BBC reports about an horrific massacre of Iraqi civilians last week – an air attack with missiles and gunships that literally ripped to shreds the bodies of village guards who had just returned from a raid with Iraqi government forces on a suspected terrorist hideout. These men were then accused of being "al Qaeda gunmen" in Pentagon press releases trumpeting this magnificent feat of arms – accusations then duly (not to mention dully) parroted in the press.
On 22 June the US military announced that its attack helicopters, armed with missiles, engaged and killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen who had been trying to infiltrate the village of al-Khalis, north of Baquba, where operation "Arrowhead Ripper" had been under way for the previous three days. The item was duly carried by international news agencies and received widespread coverage, including on the BBC News website.which encapsulates the entire bogus agenda of these bogus clowns who now control our bogus government.
But villagers in largely-Shia al-Khalis say that those who died had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. They say they were local village guards trying to protect the township from exactly the kind of attack by insurgents the US military says it foiled...
And this is just one massacre, one village, one instance where corporate media did a bit of digging and brought us a vital truth about a shameful escapade.
How many times have similar things happened and gone unreported?
And how much more of this will we allow?
Chris Floyd: Slandering the Dead: The American Massacre at al-Khalis
BBC News: Village disputes story of deadly attack