17 May 2007
It’s ages since I’ve dumped on my favourite newspaper, the Independent for its ‘news’ coverage but I broke down and bought the damn thing because of what I found on the front page this week.
Under the head of “An American Nightmare” (15/5/07) we read that US troops have been “kidnapped” by “al-Qu’ida”. It’s not clear who holds the by-line for the front page, either Rupert Cornwall or Patrick Cockburn, not that it matters either way as on turning to page 2 we find that both are singing from the same song sheet.
The copy on the front page asserts without question that the US troops have been “kidnapped by al-Qu’ida in Iraq” but on page 2 in a piece by Rupert Cornwall we read that:
“[There is] no firm proof” merely a “belief” by US commanders that it’s an ‘al-Qu’eda’ operation. But no matter, the paltry issue of proof doesn’t seem to trouble Cornwall who insists that it’s “the ruthless fanaticism of al-Qu’ida pitted against the unshakeable determination of the US military”
This is how it works isn’t it; big headlines proclaim nothing more than an assertion as fact, covering their tired, sorry arses with the above, thus absolving themselves (they hope) of doing nothing worse than regurgitating US propaganda. But the damage has been done; firmly embedded in the public’s mind is firstly the idea that resistance to the occupation couldn’t possibly take place without ‘outside’ help and secondly that there is some kind of dual standard at work, for when US or UK military occupation forces are captured, they are “abducted” or “kidnapped”. We saw it with the capture of the 15 UK sailors. It took a US military person to point out that the Iranians had every right to protect the integrity of their frontier. 
Retired Colonel Ann Wright has defended Iran’s detention of 15 British navy personnel as a legitimate right to protect its national sovereignty.” — U.S. colonel defends Iran’s right to detain Britons
As for Iraqis, their abduction and worse, being held as hostages by the occupation forces doesn’t even make it into the ‘news’, yet the facts speak for themselves with innumerable accounts of relatives being held hostage to be exchanged for alleged terrorists.
“Female relatives have been literally taken hostage by U.S forces and used as bargaining chips. Aside from the violence related to the arrests, those women who were detained by the troops often suffer as well from the sense of shame associated with such a detention. There has been mounting evidence not just of physical assaults and torture but also of rape.” 
You’ll search in vain for a front page headline in the Independent that reads ‘An Iraqi Nightmare-Women Taken Hostage By US Forces’ followed by an-depth report on the trauma including rape, suffered by them.
But this is how it works, day-after-day, across the media spectrum the same line is trundled out, the same buzzwords, ‘abductions’, ‘kidnappings’, ‘paraded before the media’ and so forth.
The objective is to remove the word WAR and OCCUPATION from the discourse, for to admit that they have been captured in battle is to admit that there is a national resistance to the occupation, which is why ‘al-Qu’eda’ or alleged Iranian involvement is endlessly peddled by these mouthpieces of the imperium echoing the same propaganda line laid down by the US during its occupation of Vietnam, where the national resistance forces “infiltrated” ‘South’ Vietnam, their own country!
Switching to the companion piece by Cockburn we find the following incredible statement:
“Paradoxically this dangerous place [Youssofiyah], where even heavily armed US troopers cannot survive, is a birthplace of civilisation.”
Clearly he doesn’t appreciate the irony of his own words for it stands alone as a statement that condemns the US presence, though I’m pretty sure, given its context that the commentary was directed not toward the occupation’s destruction of Iraqi civilisation but to ‘al-Qu’eda’.
So too with ‘sectarian killings’, for implicit in the media coverage is the notion that if it weren’t for the occupation’s presence, Iraqis would be annihilating each other in even greater numbers, for underlying the coverage is the assumption that Iraqis have no sense of national identity, merely ‘tribal or religious allegiances’ that ‘al-Qu’eda’ and Iran are exploiting.
What we do not know aside from the predictable assertions about ‘al-Qu’eda involvement’, is in whose pay are these death squads? Divide and rule is as old as colonialism and agent provocateurs a principle weapon of occupation. Israel has ‘perfected’ the technique of ‘inserting’ their own, paid assassins into the Occupied Territories and has been acting as ‘advisors’ inside Iraq ever since the invasion (if not before). The Israelis experience in urban warfare techniques gained in the Occupied Territories have also trained US troops. 
And sensing the deep trouble the occupation forces are in, the ‘surge’ notwithstanding, the BBC for example now sets up virtually every ‘news’ story on Iraq with a preamble about ‘al-Qu’eda’ and Iran being behind the increasing resistance to the occupation. This is spite of the fact that not a single shred of proof exists to substantiate the allegation.
What must not be allowed to happen is any sense by the public that a war of national resistance to the occupation is being waged, thus everything must be done media-wise to push the line that Iraqis are the victims of ‘external manipulation’, that their allegiances lie not with their country but with their ‘tribe’ or religious beliefs, reinforcing the illusion that ‘Arabs think differently’, they’re not like ‘us’, as the pundits say, on the ‘Arab Street’.
A ‘news’ report on the BBC Website (16/5/07) tells us:
“The Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of militants led by al-Qaeda, has said it is holding the soldiers.” 
But who says it’s led by ‘al-Qu’eda’? The sources for the allegation are the US military, who is not well known for telling the truth. Why doesn’t the BBC insert the word “[allegedly] led by al-Queda”? As to the claim by ‘The Islamic State of Iraq’, well who are they? Websites claiming this an’ that are a dime a dozen, any fool can set one up and claim whatever they want to.
As I’ve pointed out before, no investigation ever takes place of these Websites, yet tracking down the owners is as simple as doing a ‘Whois’ on the domain/IP address of the ‘al-Qu’eda’ Website. 
Lacking any justification either for the invasion or the continued occupation, a massive propaganda campaign is being waged by the ‘forces of darkness’ which utilises the vast resources at the disposal of the state to turn day into night if need be and without a single voice of opposition to this disinformation campaign being given airtime.
The real ‘enemy’ is the public, who, if apprised of the vast confidence trick being played on them by the ‘champions of democracy’, would demand to know what the hell is going on! And as the situation moves from grim to disastrous for the occupation, so the ‘al-Qu’eda/Iran’ card gets played with ever-greater frequency.
The plain fact is that every imperial ‘adventure’ follows an identical path of disinformation with the victims of the aggression presented as mere onlookers whilst an ‘international conspiracy’ by the ‘enemies of democracy’ conveniently exploits the situation.
Interestingly, whilst conspiracies by the imperium are dismissed with tedious regularity as fantasies, no such incredulity is found when it comes to ‘al-Qu’eda’, yet the sheer volume of bullshit surrounding the existence of ‘Osama’s international network of terrorists’ reveals not a shred of evidence that it even exists let alone has the ability to organise global plots that require the resources of a nation state to carry out.
1. ‘British Captain: We Were Gathering Iran Info:’
ONE of the 15 freed hostages admitted Britain WAS gathering intelligence on Iran, a previously unbroadcast interview revealed last night. snipurl.com/1fhbm
‘In His Own Words:’
Captain Chris Air of the Royal Marines revealed to Sky News that he and his colleagues had been gathering intelligence on the Iranians. Here follows the full transcript of that interview news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1259451,00.html
2. ‘Iraqi Women – Four years after the Invasion’ by Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, March 19, 2007 www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=31502&s2=20 and ‘Americans imprison nine-year-old boy as hostage’. Quds Press, Translated by Muhammad Abu Nasr, Free Arab Voice, www.uruknet.de/?p=31868
3. ‘Mossad In Iraq-Facts of Zionist Terrorism’ www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=31955&s2=08.
See also ‘Just a little “Gossip”’ Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues www.uruknet.de/?p=31613 and ‘It Seems to Me…’ Nolan K. Anderson, ePluribus Media www.uruknet.de/?p=31064 and ‘Israelis at Abu Ghraib?’ TrustMe.com
4. ‘US sets reward for missing troops’ news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6663831.stm
5. The alleged beheading of Nicholas Berg in 2004 prompted me to track down the Website where the video was displayed. This is what I found:
Domains: al-ansar.net, al-ansar.biz, ansar.ws
Host: Jazzira Net
Umloj, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
Whois summary for al-ansar.net/ansar.ws:
R., Rachid firstname.lastname@example.org
184 High Holborn
London, London WC1V 7AP
2078312310 (this a fax/data line, I phoned it)
I asked the question at the time; why didn’t the authorities investigate this address and conduct one of their infamous raids on the premises? Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer. ‘Psyops?’, 13 May, 2004.