Al-Zarqawi is dead.
That’s right. This is the second time he’s been reported dead. This time we have a Polaroid of his peaceful-looking face after an airstike apparently killed the visage of Al-Qaeda’s franchise in our imperial outpost. This time we have officials pushing the story.
Last time, it was just news reports and low-level official claims. This time, there is no news reporting getting in the way of the carefully displayed military announcement. No independent verification to muddy the water.
The timing couldn’t be better. For Bush. For the new Iraqi “government,” and for those Congressional sycophants who can’t quite run away from their support for the war come November.
In fact, the Iraqis announced and swore in a Defense and Interior Minister at the same time Zarqawi was being bumped off…taking care of two persistent problems for our puppeteers in Baghdad. Those Ministry vacancies were a huge source of criticism.
In fact, the news of Zarqawi’s re-death came during a meeting with Congressionalzoids…giving them what they needed. Some sort of victory in Iraq that also makes the bogus case for Al-Qaeda’s “International Terrorist Network” in our occupied “terror-tory.” It makes the case for referring to insurgents as terrorists.
And for Bush? Well, it takes Haditha and the mess of Iraq out of the news cycle. Perhaps for a day, perhaps for a week. And it makes our presence seem like a positive force in Iraq. We are trying to stop “the killers,” as Georgie likes to call them. It’s bullshit, of course…because Haditha and the thousands upon thousands of civilians we’ve killed did not benefit from our presence. But this is a perfect counterpoint to the boiling blood here and there about Haditha and the growing image of US occupation as torturous, murderous and self-serving.
And it’s a perfect closing of the circle…between Zarqawi and Haditha. Because both are predicated on military sources. All of our info on Zarqawi…his rise from the dead, the regeneration of his leg, the beheading of Nick Berg, the various “video” of him, the website postings…all have come without independent verification. Without any verification, in fact. No one in the media asked questions…about Zarqawi being reported dead, losing a leg in Afghanistan, about Nick Berg’s strange path to Zarqawi which had him sharing his computer and internet account with two 9/11 hijackers…and had him working on a radio transmitter at Abu Ghraib when he was beheaded by Zarqawi. No questions asked, no real verification of what we are told. Excuse me if I think Zarqawi has been a PsyOp from day one, particularly since we’ve seen Pentagon documents that say he was/is. He was. And is.
Which is the story of Haditha, right? We were told a totally bogus story. We are told what the military needs to tell us. And it took a long time to get the truth. A truth that came out because people asked questions. Because the verification was sought independently. And now we have the Zarqawi story, which has not been verified at all over the last couple years and which is…as I sit here writing this…being used to push Haditha out of the news cycle in favor of a new, shiny image of an effective military presence out to protect the Iraqi people from “terrorist killers.” A shiny image of a War on Terror. A bogus image…but shiny.
So, Zarqawi is dead again. And so is a catch-all evildoer for most anything and everything that happened in Iraq. The link between Al-Qaeda, whether real or not, is now going to be harder to make. This is the downside from this stage PsyOp… that Team Bush is not going to have Zarqawi to kick around anymore. A cynic might think this is a sign of desperation…that they really needed a victory. Really needed to counter the Haditha story of a brutal military presence with no real benefit for Iraqis. That they needed to stop the bleeding in the polls.
Okay, so I’m a cynicTweet