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Zarqawi was a symptom. The occupation is the disease.

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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:37 PM
Original message
Zarqawi was a symptom. The occupation is the disease.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. We've turned a corner in Iraq. Again.

We turned a corner back in 2003, or so we were told, with the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. "For the Ba'athist holdouts largely responsible for the current violence," said George W. Bush in formal remarks after Hussein's capture, "there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held. For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever."

That was three long years ago, and despite all the triumphalist crowing after Hussein's capture, nothing has changed. Indeed, matters are far worse now than when they put the bag on him in 2003. Empty elections have been held since then, in which most of the candidates were anonymous, because they feared assassination. The corrupt power and privilege once held by Hussein's people has been deftly transferred to hand-picked Iraqi leaders like Ahmad Chalabi, who cower behind bunkered walls while the nation they supposedly lead tears at itself, and to petroleum corporations like Halliburton that steal with both hands.

As for the torture chambers and secret police, well...the Bush administration set those up a while ago. The horrors of Abu Ghraib, and the secret "renditions" of prisoners, are perfectly legal, you see. The Attorney General says so.

Now that Zarqawi is dead - again - many would have us believe this is a stirring victory. To be sure, the Shi'ite civilians massacred by Zarqawi can take comfort that his attacks have been brought to an end. But to see this as an end to the violence is to buy into a distinctly American view of the Iraq occupation, a view that would have us believe that it is one villain masterminding all the carnage.

This simply isn't true.

A report from the UK Telegraph last year quoted a number of anonymous intelligence sources who stated, flatly, that Zarqawi was not the all-encompassing boogeyman he was portrayed to be. "We were basically paying up to $10,000 a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq," said one source in the report. "Back home this stuff was gratefully received and formed the basis of policy decisions. We needed a villain, someone identifiable for the public to latch on to, and we got one."

Said another source in the report, "From the information we have gathered, we have to conclude that Zarqawi is more myth than man. He isn't in the caliber of what many politicians want to believe he is."

More recently, on April 10, 2006, the Washington Post ran a detailed article titled "Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi." The opening paragraph reads, "The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

"One internal briefing, produced by the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq," continued the Post piece, "said that (Brig. Gen. Mark) Kimmitt had concluded that, 'The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.'"

Hm.

Our leaders would love us to believe that what is happening in Iraq is black-and-white, an issue of evil-doers attempting to shatter the hopes of democracy. Unfortunately, too many Americans buy into this Etch-a-Sketch view of our policies and practices there. The reality behind the bloodshed is far more discouraging, and hued with many shades of gray.

Those who fight and kill in Iraq did not do so because Zarqawi ordered them to. They fight because they are Sunnis with a generational hatred for Shi'ites, or because they are Shi'ites with a generational hatred for Sunnis, or because they are Kurds defending their turf, or because they don't want Iran running their country, or because they are defending their neighborhood, or because they are settling old grudges, or because they are opportunistic criminals looking to make a buck. In many instances, those who fight and kill in Iraq do so because they absolutely will not tolerate an occupying force under any circumstances.

The death of Zarqawi will not change any of this. The violence will continue, because the violence has nothing to do with him. He was a symptom, not a cause. Think of Iraq as a cancer patient. By killing Zarqawi, we have indeed cut out one tumor. But the cancer cells have metastasized, and have spread, and there will be a dozen more tumors to replace the one that has been removed. At the end of the day, the occupation itself is the cancer, and until it is removed, the tumors will continue to fester and grow.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. g.w. bush & his handlers have to go...
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King_Crimson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. With the demise of this boogeyman...
do you think there will now be another attack in the US to "avenge" his death? I honestly believe the thugs in power will exploit this somehow...on a grand scale! :banghead:
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. what will it take for all of us to stand up against
all we KNOW to be criminal, corrupt and insane?
tonight i watched a bit on the boston tea party, paul revere etc. our forefathers must be screaming!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
letsgonova19087 Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. if he was such a myth,
why devote an entire legion of special forces units to finding him? If they needed to designate someone to be a villian, why not designate someone easy to find and, when time became appropriate, knock him off? They had all of TF141 looking for him.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. welcome to du, letsgonova19087...
:kick:
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's not productive to try to make sense of what the chimp does....
Point is....he was a symptom, not a cause.

Got it?
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letsgonova19087 Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I disagree
We're not going to win any elections by saying "It's not productive to try to make sense of what the chimp does...."

We need to pick our battles and become serious about this. Any moderate-to-left-leaning voter would be horrified by half of the crap on this site.

If we're serious about winning, we need to quit sitting back and whining "LIE LIE LIE" regardless of whether it was true or not. We don't need complaints, we need solutions.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. They lie about everything...
Haven't you figured that much out?
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. Who's "we"?
"We're not going to win any elections..."

"We need to pick our battles and become serious about this." Oh, you mean like advocating that the illegal wire tapping being conducted by your pres is legal, as you did on another thread? Is that some of the "crap on this site" that you believe will horrify moderate to left-leaning voters?

Do *you* find it productive to try to make sense of pathological, psychopathic liars? I don't.

Here's a solution. Hammer home every single outragious lie that has been uttered from this malAdministrations collective mouth that is responsible for the deaths of close to 2500 service men & women and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Hammer it home so that the American people will stop falling prey to those blood-thirsty war profiteers who have defiled our military, the American people, and our Constitution.



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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
21. "more myth than man"
"more myth than man" is a phrase that the Pentagon source for that story used. It is a facinating article. There have been a number of threads where that story included a link and was the subject of discussion--Although I didn't see you in any of those threads to question it.

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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
25. Hi letsgonova19087!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. But what about all his bodyguards and advisers that were killed with him?
Doesn't that prove he was an important man? There were two other men, two women, and a small girl. Doesn't that prove they were planning another major operation??
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Darn right, kentuck
That little girl had to be up to something...

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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. The occupation is not the disease
The disease is Sunnis who cannot adjust to the fact that they no longer hold power. To be sure, when the US disbanded the mostly Sunni army the already fragile situation was made worse. To be sure, when the US supported the overtly anti-Sunni Ahmad Chalabi the fears of Sunnis were made real. However, to imply that the problems that Iraq is having will go away when the US leaves is completely inaccurate. The US presence there is the only thing preventing a full blown civil war in the country.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Not really that funny
...given that the current suicide bombers were thugs in Saddam's army. Who would they bomb, themselves?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. I would speak more generally, and say that Terrorism is the Symptom
of the Disease of US arrogance and greed! Decades of it! How can B* have said "For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever" WHEN HE IS DOING PRECISELY THAT? What does he expect? He claims to be Chrisitian; shouldn't he 'turn the other cheek and love his neighbors as himself'? No, he starts a war based on lies and accuses the countries' leader of the same evils that he is now perpetrating. Oh, what a malignant, metastasizing, and corrosive disease!
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Balbus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. If a disease can't be cured,
then it's at least nice to alleviate the symptoms.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. But the disease can be cured.
No more invasions and occupations and plans for world economic hegemony by garrisoning, warfare, regime changes, and promotion of despot rule.
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tjwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
20. Yep...
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Thanks for posting this! I bookmarked it! ....n/t
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-12-06 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
24. A symptom of Psyops, that is
Edited on Mon Jun-12-06 01:37 AM by rman
Gen. Kimmitt: "The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful

Whether Zarqawi died as we are being told today, or not, from the moment Colin Powell mentioned his name during his now infamous speech to the UN which is widely seen as the catalyst for the War in Iraq (and which Powell now says will be forever a stain on his career) until now, and probably long into the future, ME experts, reputable journalists and even US military personel, amongst others have viewed the US claims about Al Zarqawi with great skeptism.

From Wikipedia:

On April 10, 2006, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military conducted a major propaganda offensive designed to exaggerate Zarqawi's role in the Iraqi insurgency. Gen. Mark Kimmitt says of the propaganda campaign that there "was no attempt to manipulate the press." In an internal briefing, Kimmitt is quoted as stating, "The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date." The main goal of the propaganda campaign seems to have been to exacerbate a rift between insurgent forces in Iraq, but intelligence experts worry that it has actually enhanced Zarqawi's influence.


Col. Derek Harvey, "who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," warned an Army meeting in 2004 that "Our own focus on Zarqawi has enlarged his caricature, if you will -- made him more important than he really is, in some ways." While Pentagon spokespersons state unequivocally that PSYOPs may not be used to influence American citizens, there is little question that the information disseminated through the program has found its way into American media sources. The Post also notes that "One briefing slide about U.S. "strategic communications" in Iraq, prepared for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describes the "home audience" as one of six major targets of the American side of the war." <22>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Zarqawi

Another reference to Gen. Kimmett's statement as reported in the WAPO here:

In the Washington Posts version of his story Ricks quotes an internal briefing, produced by the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, which revealed that Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt then the US military spokesperson in Iraq had concluded that, The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.

http://www.williambowles.info/iraq/zarqawi/zarqawi_rumours.html
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