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Truth about Terror

What are we to make of the New York Times describing terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as a "Jordanian militant?" I mean, this guy is one of the most vicious al Qaeda thugs in the world; right now he's behind much of the violence in Iraq and has been active in the worldwide terror network since at least 1990.

On June 17th of this year, a U.S. intelligence official provided my researcher Nate Fredman with the following information: In early 2000, Zarqawi traveled to Afghanistan to assume a leadership position in an al Qaeda training camp. There he and his associates trained other terrorists how to develop and distribute "toxins."

Zarqawi stayed in the Al Qaeda area until war broke out after 9/11/01. He actively fought against U.S. forces and was wounded. After the collapse of the Taliban, he fled to Iran and then traveled to Iraq where his wounded leg was treated in a hospital run by Uday Hussein.

In the summer of 2002, Zarqawi went to Northern Iraq to train terrorists with the group Ansar al Islam, which is affiliated with al Qaeda. After the U.S. invaded Iraq, Zarqawi went underground to organize resistance. The CIA believes Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostage Nicholas Berg, and there is now a $25 million bounty on his head.

U.S. intelligence officials say there is no question that Zarqawi is associated with al Qaeda, but to the New York Times, he is a "Jordanian militant." That seems to be a rather benign description of a vicious terrorist killer, doesn't it?

The reason the Times and some other liberal media operations continue to downplay Zarqawi and, indeed, the entire worldwide terror threat is twofold: first, the liberal press does not want another pre-emptive strike against terrorists like the one the USA launched against Iraq. By denying Zarqawi was an al Qaeda guy, the liberal media can falsely claim Saddam had nothing to do with al Qaeda.

And secondly, the anti-Bush press believes that terrorism is the president's strongest issue. So keeping the very real danger of coordinated terror down is good political strategy for those who want to see President John Kerry.

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Does al-Zarqawi also have a secret underground fortress where he's breeding zombie Nazi Supermen?

Seriously, this article is rife with inaccuracies and half-truths. Just what one would expect from Bullshit O'Reilly.

Let's start with the obvious one: al-Zarqawi is possibly dead.

Iraq Militants Claim al-Zarqawi Is Dead

Al Qaida-linked extremist suspected of planning attacks

Undated photo of suspected al-Qaida commander Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi.

The Associated Press

 

Updated: 6:31 a.m. ET March 04, 2004

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A Jordanian extremist suspected of bloody suicide attacks in Iraq was killed some time ago in U.S. bombing and a letter outlining plans for fomenting sectarian war is a forgery, a statement allegedly from an insurgent group west of the capital said.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniyah mountains of northern Iraq "during the American bombing there," according to a statement circulated in Fallujah this week and signed by the "Leadership of the Allahu Akbar Mujahedeen."

Moving on...

I mean, this guy is one of the most vicious al Qaeda thugs in the world; right now he's behind much of the violence in Iraq and has been active in the worldwide terror network since at least 1990.

On June 17th of this year, a U.S. intelligence official provided my researcher Nate Fredman with the following information: In early 2000, Zarqawi traveled to Afghanistan to assume a leadership position in an al Qaeda training camp. There he and his associates trained other terrorists how to develop and distribute "toxins."

There's much debate as to whether Zarqawi is affiliated with al-Q'aeda, given a longstanding rivalry between him and bin Laden. Zarqawi runs an organization separate from Al Qaeda called Tawhid. One indication of his independence is that when he founded his training camp in Afghanistan in 2000, he did so near the western city of Herat, on the Iranian border, hundreds of miles away from Al Qaeda's camps.

Furthermore, in in January, American forces found a letter believed to have been written by Zarqawi to Al Qaeda leaders hiding on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It requested aid in fighting the Shiites of Iraq: "You, gracious brothers, are the leaders, guides and symbolic figures of jihad and battle. We do not see ourselves as fit to challenge you if you are convinced of the idea of fighting the sects of apostasy; we will be your readied soldiers."

The tone of the letter is that of someone outside Al Qaeda appealing for its help. And Al Qaeda's leaders seem little interested in fomenting a Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq; in the audiotapes he has released in the past year, Osama bin Laden has made no mention of the Shiites.

The CIA believes Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostage Nicholas Berg, and there is now a $25 million bounty on his head.

There's plenty of evidence that Zarqawi was not involved in the Berg execution: for one thing, the speaker on the videotape who identified himself as al-Zarqawi didn't have a Jordanian accent. Nor is there any evidence the individual on the tape has an artifical leg or hand tattoos, which Zarqawi does.

50 problems with the Nick Berg video

The reason the Times and some other liberal media operations continue to downplay Zarqawi and, indeed, the entire worldwide terror threat is twofold: first, the liberal press does not want another pre-emptive strike against terrorists like the one the USA launched against Iraq. By denying Zarqawi was an al Qaeda guy, the liberal media can falsely claim Saddam had nothing to do with al Qaeda.

Yeah, Bill. Liberals *heart* terrorists. :rolleyes:

For a better look at al-Zarqawi, check out this article in the Guardian.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of the organisation responsible for the beheadings in Iraq, is regularly portrayed by the US government as a terrorist mastermind, responsible for activity in places as widespread as Hamburg, Chechnya, Madrid and Mombasa.

But while there is no doubt that Zarqawi has committed awful crimes, experts say that accusing him has become an easy fall-back for the authorities as they struggle to contain the insurgency. There is no unanimity on whether Zarqawi is a henchman of Osama bin Laden or a rival.

"There is a lot of speculative stuff which, as far as one can tell, is based on rumour," said Paul Wilkinson, director of the centre for the study of terrorism and political violence at St Andrews University. "On the face of it, it does not look likely that, however fanatical and assiduous, a terrorist would be active in so many theatres."

Finally, if Zarqawi is such a threat and Bush, as O'reilly claims, the only man for the job when it comes to fighting terror, why is it that Bush passed up so many opportunities to take Zarqawi out?

Long before the war, the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger...

In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma [the autonomous northern Iraq region not controlled by Saddam Hussein]. The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council...

Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe. The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it...

In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq. The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it. Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam."

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Bill O'Reily's rightwing lies aside, can anyone explain to me who the 'coalition' is defending in Iraq?  And against what?
Speaking to a joint meeting of Congress, the interim Iraqi prime minister thanked the U.S. on Thursday for liberating his country, saying that despite some setbacks, progress is being made.

"We are succeeding in Iraq," said Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, addressing members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Iyad Allawi addresses Congress, Vice President Dick Cheney, left, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert (AP photo) 

Allawi said he understands the sacrifices the U.S. continues to make, referring to the more than 1,000 soldiers killed and the recent kidnappings and killings of American civilians.

"We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom," Allawi said. "I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain."

CBC story

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Well that settle sit, then. The former Baathist Prime Minister of Iraq (who is in power because of the Americans), says everything's okay. Please ignore the man behind the curtain.

"We are succeeding in Iraq," said Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, addressing members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

No quick democracy in Iraq

Iraq lacks the economic, social, and cultural conditions that set the stage for democratic change elsewhere. It has no previous experience with democracy, hasn't experienced prolonged periods of economic growth and rising living standards, and, as a Middle Eastern nation, does not benefit from regional, locally grown pressure to democratize.

The building blocks of a modern democratic political culture are not institutional in nature. The building blocks are not elections, parties, and legislatures. Rather, the building blocks of democracy are found amidst supportive cultural values. In short, the long-term survival of democratic institutions requires a particular political culture.

A democratic political culture demands the non-violent transfer of power, extends legal protection and equality of opportunity to women, tolerates religious, ethnic, racial, and social minorities, and recognizes the importance of fundamental political liberties such as freedom of speech and popular participation in decision-making.

Larry Diamond, an expert on democratization, bluntly states that "Iraq lacks virtually every possible precondition for democracy." Absent tangible support for liberal political norms and values, and without the foundation of a pluralistic civil society, it is next to impossible for democracy to take root. That reality was borne out over the past generation in numerous countries where authoritarian regimes were displaced by newly democratic regimes but democratization failed due to shallow foundations.[

...

Democracy is an evolutionary development rather than an overnight phenomenon. No single day of good news from Iraq changes that reality.

Note that this assessment comes from the right-wing Cato institute.

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Let's start with the obvious one: al-Zarqawi is possibly dead

Oh come on now, who else would you like to be conveniently dead?

Why is it that you are wanting so bad for this not to be al Zarqawi? And why are you so intent on trying to prove that he has no affiliation with al qaida? It's obvious, the left so badly wants these terrorists ("insurgents") to be Iraqi's who are angry about the invasion. And if these terrorists are fighting for the freedom of Iraq why do they call themselves supporters of al Zarqawi and fly his flag as they behead their victims? Your arguments fail to grasp the concept of terror cells and the age old concept of "my enemy's enemy is my friend".

Yeah, Bill. Liberals *heart* terrorists. 
Well honestly you do seem to like defending them.
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Why is it that you are wanting so bad for this not to be al Zarqawi? And why are you so intent on trying to prove that he has no affiliation with al qaida? It's obvious, the left so badly wants these terrorists ("insurgents") to be Iraqi's who are angry about the invasion. And if these terrorists are fighting for the freedom of Iraq why do they call themselves supporters of al Zarqawi and fly his flag as they behead their victims?

See: try and bring some intellectual honsety into a debate stemming from Bill O'Reilly, and this is the thanks I get.

Honestly, it's like you take debating lessons from Bill himself.

Your arguments fail to grasp the concept of terror cells and the age old concept of "my enemy's enemy is my friend".

I haven't made any arguments, just presented facts to counter the partisan propaganda of FoxNews, propaganda explicitly aimed at getting Bush reelected. If you'd care to dispute the facts, maybe articulate why they are incorrect, go ahead. But garbage like:

Yeah, Bill. Liberals *heart* terrorists.

Well honestly you do seem to like defending them.

doesn't really prove anything beyond your own limitations as a debater.

And why are you so intent on trying to prove that he has no affiliation with al qaida?

Because I find the term "Al Qaeda" has become a catch-all, used to describe what is a highly fragmented and idelogically heterogenous insurgent movement. It's an attempt to turn Al Qaeda into an all-powerful, long-armed bogey man. In other words, it's just plain dishonest.

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By the way, I'd be interested to read your take on this:

Who seized Simona Torretta?

Torretta's life is in danger, along with the lives of her fellow Italian aid worker Simona Pari, and their Iraqi colleagues Raad Ali Abdul Azziz and Mahnouz Bassam. Eight days ago, the four were snatched at gunpoint from their home/office in Baghdad and have not been heard from since. In the absence of direct communication from their abductors, political controversy swirls round the incident. Proponents of the war are using it to paint peaceniks as naive, blithely supporting a resistance that answers international solidarity with kidnappings and beheadings. Meanwhile, a growing number of Islamic leaders are hinting that the raid on A Bridge to Baghdad was not the work of mujahideen, but of foreign intelligence agencies out to discredit the resistance
Nothing about this kidnapping fits the pattern of other abductions. Most are opportunistic attacks on treacherous stretches of road. Torretta and her colleagues were coldly hunted down in their home. And while mujahideen in Iraq scrupulously hide their identities, making sure to wrap their faces in scarves, these kidnappers were bare-faced and clean-shaven, some in business suits. One assailant was addressed by the others as "sir".

Kidnap victims have overwhelmingly been men, yet three of these four are women. Witnesses say the gunmen questioned staff in the building until the Simonas were identified by name, and that Mahnouz Bassam, an Iraqi woman, was dragged screaming by her headscarf, a shocking religious transgression for an attack supposedly carried out in the name of Islam.

Most extraordinary was the size of the operation: rather than the usual three or four fighters, 20 armed men pulled up to the house in broad daylight, seemingly unconcerned about being caught. Only blocks from the heavily patrolled Green Zone, the whole operation went off with no interference from Iraqi police or US military - although Newsweek reported that "about 15 minutes afterwards, an American Humvee convoy passed hardly a block away".

And then there were the weapons. The attackers were armed with AK-47s, shotguns, pistols with silencers and stun guns - hardly the mujahideen's standard-issue rusty Kalashnikovs. Strangest of all is this detail: witnesses said that several attackers wore Iraqi National Guard uniforms and identified themselves as working for Ayad Allawi, the interim prime minister.

I wouldn't put such a thing past the old Saddamite Allawi.

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I wouldn't put such a thing past the old Saddamite Allawi.
Black Dog clues into what the war is all about, for dilettantes. (Fame, maybe some power. Like Naomi Klein.) For others, war is different. So is life. La Condition humaine.

BD, have you seen No Man's Land? Please do.

As to the various foreign hostages, any foreigner in Iraq now knows the circumstances. So do mountain climbers.

"You buy your ticket, you take your chances."

These people want to be famous, do something different, write a book, collect anecdotes, avoid boredom. Let them do it at their own expense.

----

I would not make an exception for the ordinary Australian, Polish, American, Italian, British, Tongan and other soldiers. Ordinary taxpayers collectively hired these women and men to do this. These women and men soldiers wound up in Iraq. But the circumstances are that they have friends around them that they trust.

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Dear August1991,

As to the various foreign hostages, any foreigner in Iraq now knows the circumstances. So do mountain climbers.
Indeed, they bet profit vs risk, and hope to come out 'ahead'. (or headed) I have only seen a few human beheadings, and none of hm run around and flap their arms. I wonder why this is so. Studies wer done in medeival times, about the reaction of a severed human head. How long is one conscious? One man 'headed' for the guillotine said he would 'keep one eye open and close the other one' to prove he was 'aware', but failed to do so. Is 'defiance' (Anarchy) the greatest absolute?
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These people want to be famous, do something different, write a book, collect anecdotes, avoid boredom. Let them do it at their own expense

We've been through this argument before. It was hogwash then, it's hogwash now. I don't know why you feel compelled to impugn the motives of civilians in Iraq (particularly humanitarian workers: contractors out for filthy lucre seem to escape your ire), but I find the notion that we must leave fellow humans to twist in the wind totally abhorrent.

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but I find the notion that we must leave fellow humans to twist in the wind totally abhorrent.
There are 6 billion people in the world. Many of them living in conditions that defy description; often for reasons beyond their control.

But BD, you are worried about a few do-gooders from rich countries who flock to Iraq because it's the flavour of the month, sexy place to be.

Which twisting human beings are more deserving of your concern?

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There are 6 billion people in the world. Many of them living in conditions that defy description; often for reasons beyond their control.

But BD, you are worried about a few do-gooders from rich countries who flock to Iraq because it's the flavour of the month, sexy place to be.

Which twisting human beings are more deserving of your concern?

First: please prove to me that people are going to Iraq because it's a sexy place to be. You're talking out of your ass.

Second: it's not an either/or proposition. One can be as concerened for the aid worker held hostage in Iraq as they are for the refugee in Sudan.

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Bill O'Reily's rightwing lies aside, can anyone explain to me who the 'coalition' is defending in Iraq?  And against what?
Speaking to a joint meeting of Congress, the interim Iraqi prime minister thanked the U.S. on Thursday for liberating his country, saying that despite some setbacks, progress is being made.

"We are succeeding in Iraq," said Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, addressing members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Iyad Allawi addresses Congress, Vice President Dick Cheney, left, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert (AP photo) 

Allawi said he understands the sacrifices the U.S. continues to make, referring to the more than 1,000 soldiers killed and the recent kidnappings and killings of American civilians.

"We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom," Allawi said. "I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain."

CBC story

I don't see any answer to my question in your quote.

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Black Dog clues into what the war is all about, for dilettantes. (Fame, maybe some power. Like Naomi Klein.) For others, war is different. So is life. La Condition humaine.

Yes, Naomi Klein went to Iraq in an attempt to wrest power away from Allawi and set herself up as Empress of No Logostan. :rolleyes:

When in actuallity she wrote a fantastic article positing that the real driver behind the insurgency is not, as some allege, religious fanaticism or antisemetism, but rather economic factors stemming from the neocon takeover of Iraq's economy.

Baghdad Year Zero

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bump.

Zarqawi Movement Vows al-Qaida Allegiance

The declaration, which appeared Sunday on a Web site used as a clearinghouse for statements by militant groups, said al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group and al-Qaida had been in communication eight months ago and "viewpoints were exchanged" before the dialogue was interrupted.

If they were bosom buddies before, why are they just getting around to talking now? Furthermore, if this is legit (which I have my doubts about), it just demonstrates that the war on terror is bringing "ter'ists" together, increasing the danger posed by such groups.

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