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Analysis Last Updated: Sep 15th, 2006 - 01:16:13

The Zarqawi affair, part 3 of 15
By B. J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 14, 2006, 00:39

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�Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to 'kill all military age males,' according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press.� [Source]

"They did (their job) honorably, they did it admirably.� Paul Bergrin, defendants� civil attorney [Same source]

Previously, I asked the question: if the specific conditions of a nation (such as Iraq) impede it from repelling an invasion by a technologically superior enemy, does this enemy expect that nation to submit to its order and accept being conquered?

Considering 1) the unrivaled military position of the United States, 2) its motives for invading and destroying Iraq, 3) and the outlines for world hegemony as specified in the National Security Strategy of the United States of 2002, the answer is yes. Meaning, the United States expects the Iraqis to surrender, submit to its imperialist order, and cease resisting conquest.

If that were the case, then we have a problem. In the entire history of civilizations, people have always resisted slavery and conquest, regardless of the technological superiority of the invaders. If any doubt, take notice of the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Lebanon.

In sum, any individual, group, or nation has the inalienable right to resist foreign occupation regardless of all existing conditions. By the same standard, it is the inalienable right of individuals, groups, or nations to express solidarity with the people of an occupied country, or even fight in its war of liberation.

To debate this matter, and since resistance against foreign occupiers of a land is a matter of personal choice, then even �Zarqawi� had the right to exercise that option in occupied Iraq, in spite of his political or religious inclinations. In defense of this position, I would argue that subjective objections, reductionist counter-argument, or circumlocutory spins to void this conclusion would not change the essence of the matter, i.e., people have the right to resist foreign military occupations anywhere.

On the other hand, if Zarqawi existed and he committed all the crimes attributed to him, and if the U.S. or independent groups can prove this, then we should have no problem in denouncing his brutal legacy and celebrate his blessed death. Yet, neither the U.S. nor anyone else has ever proved anything on this issue. All that we have heard from Bush, et al, were allegations, stories, spins, and rumors. To support this view, I can only say this: since Bush based his entire imperialist enterprise in Iraq on lies and deception, it is axiomatic that no successive stages of that same enterprise can develop without more lies and deception.

Moreover, a multitude of writers, including anti-empire critics, feel entitled to decree who must and who must not fight U.S. military occupation of Iraq. This is a dead-end quest. In fact, from the viewpoint of an anti-colonialist struggle, it is selfish and a shortsighted political praxis. For instance, if solidarity with the occupied Iraqis is contingent upon the condition that no elements designated by the United States as �enemies,� �terrorists,� or �extremists� should be present in the struggle, then the entire political discourse on the American onslaught on the Arab states is hypocritical. Simply, how can these writers endorse two contrasting things at the same time: opposing U.S. conquest of Iraq and Afghanistan, but believing in the ideological gimmicks used to achieve them?

Regarding the composition of the Iraqi resistance, it is fundamental to stress that the U.S. list of exclusions is politically motivated. In essence, the U.S. blacklists anyone who resists the occupation.

For example, when the contradictory Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, criticized the occupation, the U.S. invented the story that he killed Majeed al-Kowie, a pro-occupation Azeri cleric, and sought to prosecute him through his Shiite comrades. But, when Muqtada, declared a truce with the AOR (American Occupation Regime), the U.S. called him a firebrand cleric. Afterwards, when Muqtada rose against the occupation, the U.S. changed his adjective to, �radical.� Then, after he kept a low profile and stopped talking against the AOR, the U.S. just called him, the �Shiite cleric.� The latest: When the U.S. tried to provoke an inter-Shiite conflict (as happened in the city of Diwaniya on August 29), American name-callers went back and branded him as the �anti-U.S.� cleric, etc.

The case of Harith al-Dhari (an Arab Sunni Muslim) who presides over the Association of Muslim Scholars is even more eloquent. Al-Dhari has been very consistent since the first day U.S. forces set foot in Iraq: he uncompromisingly rejected the occupation regime and wanted the U.S. to withdraw its forces. What did the U.S. call him because of his resolute stand? U.S. commanders and media invariably called him, �the Sunni hardliner, etc.�

As expected, the U.S. blacklisted all legitimate Iraqi forces that oppose its occupation, including Baathists, former Iraqi army personnel, resistance movements inspired by Islam, nationalist movements, fervently Islamist forces, and ordinary people who cannot co-exist with or accept the occupation regime. What did the U.S. expect from its blacklists? No need to speculate: to induce the American public into thinking that anyone, whom the U.S. accuses of resistance, is a �terrorist� and an enemy of the new �freedom� it gave to Iraq.

Again, why do critics of the U.S. in Iraq also oppose these forces? The general assumption is that the Iraqi resistance does not have strong credentials as a resistance movement. Of course, this is U.S. propaganda. The fact that the legitimate president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was a despot and even a dictator has no relevance in relation to the motives of the invasion and subsequent occupation. The important thing is that other Baath Party members and constituents have a national agenda and have the right to liberate their country. The same discourse is valid for all other Iraqi forces regardless of political or religious beliefs.

To repeat, it is unsettling to see progressive writers insist on certain qualifications for resistance fighters. Concisely, the theory that anti-occupation forces should have a pedigree of political purity or �democratic� credentials before earning a privileged entrance into the resistance is duplicitous at best. In fact, there is no relation between resistance to a foreign occupation and the political inclinations of the resisters. As a nation is diverse, so is its resistance movement.

Further, if we put preconditions on the resistance, then we are inevitably following the Zionist tactics in Palestine, where the settler state decreed that it could not live with an independent Palestinian state on its side unless this state vows to adopt western-style �democratic� institutions. As you know, this is a bogus condition. The issue is not the nature of a future Palestinian political system but the occupation.

Furthermore, if we accept the simplistic intellectualizations on who should or should not resist, then who would remain to resist the occupation?

I would submit that no one would volunteer or bear arms to free Iraq from the American military occupation except those whom the U.S. occupied, killed, and tortured, i.e., the Iraqis themselves. This is especially true, when we consider a few important factors. First, a majority of the Iraqi Arab Shiite are accepting slaughter by American death squads rather than fighting the invaders, and the objective of their clerics (Hakim, for example) is a Shiite Emirate under U.S. instigation and Israeli planning. Second, Iraqi Kurds, communists, some secular Sunnis, as well as, the Sunni Muslim Brothers, have become the tools of U.S. colonialism in Iraq. Well, if we subtract all these groups from our calculation, who would remain to resist?

To conclude, when a nation is under occupation, all or any one of its citizens have the right to recover their lost sovereignty and the right to exist without foreign domination. If principles matter, we must support even an uprising by one individual, if that individual does not want to live under foreign military domination.

Inevitably, this brings us back to Zarqawi. If we are to accept the indoctrination imparted by the Bush Regime that any Iraqi or Arab fighting its occupation of Iraq is a �terrorist,� �Zarqawist,� �Qaedaist,� �Baathist,� or whatever, then the resulting political discourse is futile at inception. It would prove two things simultaneously: 1) the success of U.S. imperialism despite its criminal conduct and moral bankruptcy, and 2) our failure despite our political awareness.

As stated, if �Zarqawi� or any one else wanted to fight in Iraq against the American occupation, then where is the problem? We should remember that solidarity with the oppressed, the occupied, and the disenfranchised has always been present in human history.

The great American novelist Ernest Hemingway led by example. He sided (as a reporter and photographer) with the Republicans (Loyalists) against the fascists of Francisco Franco (supported by the United States, among others) during the Spanish Civil War. Ernesto Che Guevara abandoned his position as a minister in the Cuban government to lead Latin America�s uprising against feudal governments supported and financed by the CIA. Cuba sent forces to Angola to fight against UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, whom the United States financed to destabilize the post-independence leftist government in Angola. And, when Israel attacked Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in 1967, Iraq, Morocco, etc., sent forces in support of the attacked nations.

Based on the foregoing premises, developing a discussion on Zarqawi requires, therefore, that we apply ample width, breadth, and depth in our thinking and analytical tools. For instance, take the creation of a name such as Zarqawi and relate it to a myth -- in this case, �Islamic terrorism.� As you know, in myths personal names do not matter; what matters is the continuation of the myths.

For example, a few days after the U.S. announced the �death� of Zarqawi, American commanders in Iraq announced the name of his successor, al-Masri. But despite the clamor about the change of command in the al-Zarqawi group, the daily mass destruction of the Iraqis continued but without anyone ever mentioning the name of al-Masri. Why is that? First, the U.S. did not have time to drum up the name of al-Masri, and second, the U.S. came up with a better hoax: unknown Shiite militias or the �Mahdi Army� of al-Sadr are doing the killing . . .

Yet, despite the �death� of Zarqawi and the circulation of the name of his successor, the daily mass killing of Iraqis continued, but without ever the name of al-Masri mentioned (during the month of July alone, the Iraqi �government� announced that over 3,500 Iraqis died violently.) Because an organization such as �al-Qaeda� cannot evaporate over night, then where is al-Masri? Bush came up with another substitute hoax: Shiite militias tied to Iran and sectarian violence! Of course, violence exists in Iraq because the United States initiated it with the invasion and then promoted it from the first day of the occupation.

But the question that still needs an answer is this: who is committing the violence while attributing it to this or that side?

Let us reprise for a moment my argument on pretexts. For the pretext to continue, a myth (hoax) must survive and continue beyond the termination of the person who represented it. Moreover, it is not a speculation to affirm that if the name: Zarqawi were not available, the CIA could have come up with any other name, and then build it up to specification, inflating it by creating a biography, personal traits, actions, and by highlighting assigned �evil traits and designs.�

As U.S. Special Forces, gangs, and mercenaries were adorning the Zarqawi hoax with gruesome killings and explosions in selected parts of Iraq, and as the U.S. propaganda machine commenced circulating his name, it is important to recall how far and deep the hoax has traveled. In this regard, imperialist media, news agencies, the usual analysts, pro-occupation Iraqis, most Arabs, and many others -- each for his own purpose -- embraced the hoax and began spreading it as if they were in a trance.

Despite all that, can anyone (excluding supporters, beneficiaries, and acolytes of U.S. colonialism) verify that Zarqawi was alive between the day the U.S. announced his existence and the day it announced his death? Specifically, is it not odd that only the United States and the Qatari network, al-Jazeera, are the sole sources of information on Zarqawi and al-Qaeda?

Before answering let us pose more questions. Is it not equally odd that only the United States knows 1) the URLs where �Zarqawi� published his Islamist tantrums, and 2) the timing and window of opportunity in which to view them before they disappeared?

Specifically, why is it that only the U.S. is privy to the specific instant when a �terrorist� website is born? How do they know where to look, and who provided them with the web address. Has any one ever seen or read such a thing called:, or

It is very possible that these questions will remain forever unanswered. But asking them is vital for any investigation into what the Bush administration calls �Arab or Islamic �terrorism.� As a reminder though, stating that the U.S. has access to all this information thanks to its intelligence agencies is ludicrous. The cooked intelligence on Iraq prior to its invasion is the most eloquent response to the administration�s stratagems. In the end, U.S. claims about intelligence reports verifying rumors or audiotapes have only one purpose: deceive and silence domestic critics.

So we can shred the Zarqawi hoax, I have to re-ask a question: can anyone verify that Zarqawi was alive between the day the U.S. announced his existence and the day it announced his death?

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist. Email:

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