The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEric Margolis Archive
Return of al-Qaida
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

How did al-Qaida, a tiny anti-Communist group in Afghanistan that had no more than 200 active members in 2001 become a supposed worldwide threat?

How can al-Qaida be all over the Mideast, North Africa, and now much of black Africa? This after the US spent over $1 trillion trying to stamp out al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

The answer is simple. As an organization and threat, al-Qaida barely exists. But as a name, al-Qaida and “terrorism” have become the west’s handy universal term for armed groups fighting western influence, corruption or repression in Asia and Africa. Al-Qaida is nowhere – but everywhere.

If you’re a rebel group seeking publicity, the fastest way is by pledging allegiance to the shadowy, nowhere al-Qaida.

Take Iraq, where fighting currently rages between the Shia government and Sunni militias in Anbar Province. Interestingly, the Sunni uprising is centered on Fallujah, which was almost flattened by US Marines and blasted apart by depleted uranium shells and illegal white phosphorus as a dire warning to Iraqis who resisted.

After the US invaded Iraq in 2003, over a dozen Iraqi resistance groups rose to fight the Americans and their new-found Shia allies. Chief among them were Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party and Iraqi military veterans. As I kept saying at the time on major US TV networks, there was no al-Qaida and no nuclear weapons in Iraq. Thank George W. Bush for Iraq’s so-called al-Qaida.

Thanks to the magic of mass media manipulation, Washington was able to divert attention from all of the Sunni resistance groups – or “terrorists” as they were branded – to a single group of cutthroats led by a mysterious, renegade Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The rest of the resistance groups simply vanished from our view.

A few have now resurfaced in western Iraq, notably the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Syria), or ISIS. It is always branded “al-Qaida linked” by western media, though no evidence is offered. Iraq’s increasingly brutal regime has also claimed it is fighting al-Qaida in Anbar Province.

Mention of the al-Qaida buzz-word has sent America’s conservative Republicans and neoconservatives into a frenzy. They are demanding that the Obama administration do something. Maybe re-invade Iraq? There are some 10,000 US combat troops just down the road in Kuwait.

US special forces, drone and manned aircraft, and CIA mercenaries are already in action around Fallujah and Ramadi. As in past years, CIA is paying millions to Sunni tribesmen to fight anti-government forces.

Crazy as it sounds, the US is considering buying attack helicopters from Russia to give to the Baghdad regime, as it is now doing in Afghanistan with the Kabul regime.

Speaking of Afghanistan, former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta admitted that there were no more than 25 to 50 al-Qaida members in Afghanistan. But now, al-Qaida has popped up in Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, across North Africa, Nigeria, Mali, Central African Republic, and so on. Somalia’s anti-western resistance group, Shebab, is also branded “al-Qaida linked.”

ORDER IT NOW

Back in the Cold War, almost all groups opposing western domination were called communists. Today, al-Qaida has replaced communism as a hot button name. The widespread – but probably mistaken – belief that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida was responsible for the 9/11 attacks has made anything “linked” to al-Qaida fair game for liquidation.

Branding your foes “terrorists” is a fine way of de-legitimizing them and denying them any political or humanitarian rights. Israel did this very effectively with the hapless Palestinians, who foolishly cooperated by bombing civilians.

However, the obvious problem here is that doing so creates an endless supply of “terrorists” and pressure to take action against them. That and oil are the reason US special forces are now beating the bush all over black Africa. It’s the never-ending “long war” that America’s militarist and neocon circles want, and against which President Dwight Eisenhower so presciently warned back in the 1950’s.

Egypt offers another grim example of propaganda becoming fact. The majority of its people who voted for a democratic government in a fair election and its leaders are now condemned as “terrorists” by the thuggish generals who overthrew the legitimate government in Cairo. Anyone daring to oppose the US and Saudi-backed military junta is a “terrorist.” They must drive terrorist cars, eat terrorist food, and have terrorist babies.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: al-Qaeda, Terrorism 
Hide 6 CommentsLeave a Comment
6 Comments to "Return of al-Qaida"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Russell says:

    How grand that a decade of decimation has cut al-Qaeda’s 3 to 18 thousand pre-GWOT supporters</a. down to the mere 975,000 presently on our ever victorious Transportation Security Administration's No Fly List.

    At TSA's present rate of existential threat inflation, everyone on Earth should be banned by 2032.

  2. ScuzzaMan says:

    Al Qaeda’s return was necessary as the imperial counterpoint to the Snowden revelations.

    It’s their ham-fisted way of saying “See? You really do need us breaking all these laws … “

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Great article!

    This is precisely the reason that Eric Margolis remains one of my all-time favorite journalist/historian/commentators.

  4. We need more articles lihe this one.

    Edouard

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In 2007 Zbigniew Brzezinski told the U.S. Senate that the “war on terror” was a “mythical historical narrative,” or in other words a complete fiction. Since the U.S. has the largest industrial military complex in the world by far and has a budget of $1.1 trillion annually there has to be an enemy. How else can they justify the huge amount spent on defense. Actually, when you think about it our military is about offense and not so much defense since we are the invaders in so many countries since the take over of Hawaii and the Spanish-American war. The greatest empire in history came about because of our vast military industrial complex and the corporations that run it. Millions of people have lost sight of what real patriotism is today.What about support the government when it is right and right when it is wrong? The truth is Henry Kissinger got it right when he said, ” America buy war like children gobble candy.” George bush: You are either with us or you are with the terrorist. The flag waving began followed by the invasions and the bombing of Iraq. Millions of Americans cheered even though Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, had nothing to do with 9/11 there seemed to be a kind of euphoria and people were getting an emotional high because we were the most powerful nation on earth with the most powerful military destroying another third world country.

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Crazy as it sounds, the US is considering buying attack helicopters from Russia to give to the Baghdad regime, as it is now doing in Afghanistan with the Kabul regime.”

    Of all the things in this article, that’s really not the crazy thing.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Margolis Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in...
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.