Thursday, June 15, 2006

I am not one to think that Zarqawi is entirely the creations of U.S. Intelligence but cleary to a great extent his "myth" was. On April 10 the Washington Post ran a widely quoted story showing just to what extent, and how successfully, the military played up Zarqawi as the face of the Iraqi insurgency. As one document obtained by the Post stated, "The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date."

Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo interviewed several Arab analysts. Khalaf Al-Oliyan of the Iraqi Accord Front -- the main Sunni bloc in the National Assembly -- stated that Zarqawi was "a US-made myth to plant the seeds of sectarianism." Iraqi academic Sawsan Assaf, in the same article, stated:
Zarqawi was only a pawn.Violence is not likely to go away so long as the US-led occupation persists and continues its atrocities against civilians. Iraq's problem is and remains a brutal occupation. Zarqawi, who was not a very important man, is only a by-product of that occupation."
Iraqi commentator Dhafer Al-Ani asks:
"Who financed his activities and secured the money, the weapons and the recruits; who provided him with protection and what role did those forces that are said to have penetrated his ranks play in pushing him to carry out the atrocities he did or to undermine the Iraqi nationalist resistance?"

According to Al-Ani, "Perhaps the greatest mystery about Zarqawi was the fact that the bulk of his victims were Iraqis, not Americans." Al-Ani concludes: "None of these questions are likely to be investigated by the Americans nor the Iraqi government. It is such a strange coincidence that his agenda to divide Iraq has been similar to that of the invaders."
One wonders why the decision was made not to try to take Zarqawi alive. Apparently U.S. military forces had him surrounded. Surely Zarqawi as a humiliated captive would have been preferable to Zaraqawi as a martyr. Also he would obviously have been a high-value subject for interrogation.


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