invasion of Iraq and the ugliest of lies of the lie machine that propagated and
justified these barbarous acts will forever remain among the greatest and
unpardonable crimes against humanity.” -- Jose Luis Zapatero, Prime Minister of
Spain, 20 May 2005.
governments and the mass media to manipulate the population has been an
obsession of Western powers. The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq by
U.S. forces provides the best recent example of murderous atrocities based on
In their seminal book ‘Weapons of Mass Deception,' Sheldon Rampton and
John Stauber wrote: “[T]he Bush administration has engaged in a deliberate and
extraordinarily aggressive effort to rally public support for a war on Iraq,
using propaganda, misinformation, distortions and outright lies." From the
big lie of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) invented in Washington and London
to the big lie of Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi, the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind,
resort to deception is the art of Western powers.
Despite mounting evidence that Al-Zarqawi was killed in northern Iraq at
the beginning of the war, his phantom is used to justify the ongoing atrocities
in Iraq. “[Al-Zarqawi's] family, in Jordan, even held a ceremony after his
death,” said Jawad Al-Khalessi, a Muslim Imam in Baghdad. “Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi
is thus a bogyman used by the Americans, an excuse to continue the occupation.
He's simply an invention by the occupiers to divide the people,” added
The alleged presence of Al-Zarqawi has two important purposes for the
U.S. Occupation: it provides a way to distort the image of the legitimate Iraqi
Resistance; and it allows the occupying forces to present the war of Occupation
as a war against Al-Qaeda, the created enemy. Al-Qaeda has replaced Communism.
“The primary aim of the Pentagon's ‘Strategic Information' program [or
propaganda] is to distort the truth in a way that controls the storyline
created by the media. Al-Zarqawi fits perfectly within this paradigm of
intentional deception,” writes American author Mike Whitney.
Al-Qaeda (the ‘Base' in Arabic) was the C.I.A.-sponsored training camp
for the Afghan Mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden and the likes. The group
was created and financed by the U.S. administration against the Soviet
occupation of Afghanistan. They were called "freedom fighters" by
former U.S. President Roland Reagan.
As a result of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda has
disintegrated. Its members have been killed, imprisoned and some have melted
away in the population of Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, in George Bush's
“war on terror," today's Al-Qaeda is alive and fighting on many fronts. In
other words, Osama bin Laden is much more useful alive to U.S. imperialism and
propaganda than his dead body. Al-Qaeda has become a convenient phantom to
justify an ongoing war on defenceless peoples.
The continuing existence of Al-Qaeda is a very useful pretext for the
Blair-Bush axis and allies. It provides the necessary tool to instill fear and
manipulate domestic public opinion. A U.S. army conscientious objector from the
82nd Airborne Division told the Canadian Refugee Status Commission: “We were
told to consider all Arabs as potential terrorists . . . and we were stimulated
to encourage an attitude of hatred that gets your blood boiling.” The recent massacre
of unarmed men women and children in Fallujah is a case in point.
Just before the destruction of the city of Fallujah, in which thousands
of innocent men, women and children have been murdered, U.S. forces justified
the assault as a necessary step to “enhance democracy” and “flush-out”
Al-Zarqawi and his men. After Fallujah was destroyed, and a large number of its
people were slaughtered by U.S. forces, Al-Zarqawi was not found -- because he
died a long time ago. Fallujah has since become the symbol of Iraqi Resistance.
During the U.S. attacks on Mosul, Ramadi and Al-Qaim, the phantom of
Al-Zarqawi continues to play an important role in Western propaganda. It was
reported that Al-Zarqawi had survived the assault on Fallujah and is fighting
the U.S. forces on many fronts. Nothing could be further from the truth. The
attacks were directed primarily against members of the Iraqi Resistance and the
Iraqi population at large.
“Al-Zarqawi is nothing more than a weapon of mass deception in the hands
of the US army, which enables the latter to hide its ‘black propaganda'
activities, used to mount the population against the [Resistance],” said
Mohamed Hassan, a former Ethiopian diplomat and Middle East specialist.
The U.S. attacks on the city of Tal Afar have also been justified as a
“necessary operation against Al-Zarqawi and his groups of foreign
fighters." A sole journalist from the Iraqi daily Azzaman, who was the
only journalist in town, refused to support the U.S. version. Most of the
fighters were Iraqis fighting against foreign occupation forces. The attacks on
the city of 300,000 people are described by complicit Western media as a “joint
U.S. and Iraqi” operation. However, Azzaman reported: “Iraqi soldiers are too
few to spot among the thousands of U.S. marines. [U.S.] troops now see all men
able of carrying arms as suspects and many of those attempting to flee have
been arrested.” Like Fallujah, a large number of innocent civilians have been
killed and the fate of 400 Iraqi young male detainees is not known.
In contravention of the Geneva Convention and international law, water
and electricity have been cut off, and the occupation forces are preventing any
food and medical assistance to enter the city, increasing an even worse human
disaster and enlarging the U.S. atrocity against the Iraqi people. Like
Fallujah, the majority of Tal Afar's population are now displaced refugees in
their own country.
“Some of these families live in deserted villages or in makeshift camps
where they do not have access to basic essentials like food and water. We are
in need of urgent relief to offer assistance to nearly 5,000 families who have
fled the city and sought asylum in nearby poor villages,” said a statement by
the Iraqi Red Crescent.
While Westerners watch their favourite TV shows, the U.S. and its
collaborators are waging full scale war against the Iraqi people. After the
massacre of Tal Afar, U.S. occupation forces are moving into the Euphrates
valley to destroy more Iraqi towns and cities, and at the same time commit more
war crimes against the people of Iraq. The “international community” has failed
to condemn the violence perpetuated by U.S. occupying forces, and also failed
to provide the minimum assistance to a nation considered to be a founding
member of the “international community." The Iraqi people are left at the
mercy of a new form of Western terrorism. The aim is not to fight the
Resistance, but to kill Iraqis en masse and destroy their nation, with the
blessing of a puppet government constituted of criminals and conmen.
In its recent meeting attended by world's leaders, the UN was unable to
define terrorism, because, according to the U.S., terrorism has no definition.
Any act of violence not practised by the U.S. and its allies is defined as
terrorism. We know who is waging a war of terror on the defenceless people of
Iraq. It isn't Al-Qaeda or Al-Zarqawi: it is the U.S. and Britain who are
terrorising the Iraqi people on a daily basis. Iraq is not the frontline of
terrorism; the Iraqi people are defending themselves and their country against
Meanwhile, in Baghdad, the car bombings which targeted civilians were the
work of Al-Zarqawi “suicide bombers” against Shiites to “foment civil
war." we are told. There was no evidence to substantiate the allegations,
and Iraqis have a different idea. Although most of the bombings were timed and
remote-controlled bombs, the majority were premeditated attacks. Furthermore,
Iraqis acknowledge that there were few attacks executed by “suicide bombers."
However, in the West, “suicide bombing” is becoming everything Muslim,
fabricated and promoted by the mainstream mass media, including the Arab CNN,
As I wrote earlier, Iraqi sources argued rightly that the U.S. forces and
their collaborators are behind every major sectarian killing and kidnapping in
the country. The promotion of Shiite-Sunni conflict is the creation of U.S.
forces. The attacks on specific religious groups, such as on Shiites, were
aimed at provoking sectarian strife among Iraqis. After every large killing of
civilians, the U.S. and mainstream media are deliberately blaming the Iraqi
Resistance for the violence. The main aim is to distort the image of the
Resistance and weaken its popular support in Iraq and abroad.
The fact that Iraqi Police in Basra were able to arrest two British
soldiers (the SAS) working under cover, whom Iraqi police accused of planting
bombs against civilians, was a case in point. Furthermore, thousands of
prominent Iraqi scientists including doctors, intellectuals and politicians
have been murdered by Israeli Mossad and C.I.A. agents. Similar patterns of
Western terrorism against civilians have their history in the British
occupation of Kenya and India, and in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The
U.S. plan to divide Iraq -- on ethnic and religious lines -- and control its
wealth was prepared several years before the war. It was no secret. One only
needs to read The New York Times to get an idea about the U.S. Zionist
ideology. In addition, the U.S. is promoting religious fundamentalism against
U.S. forces and their collaborators are the only benefactors of ongoing
violence in Iraq. The U.S. is deliberately destroying the fabric of the Iraqi
society. Since March 2003, more than 100,000 have been killed -- based on the
estimation of the Lancet report in November 2004. The majority of these war
crimes were committed by U.S. and British forces against innocent men women and
The war is one of the -- most cowardly fought wars in the history of mankind.
Iraq was forced to disarm -- by the tool of U.S. foreign policy, the UN -- before
Iraq was massively attacked by the most modern WMD. It was a one-sided war of
large armies against the defenceless people of Iraq. It had nothing to do with
WMD, ‘democracy' or human rights. It was a war to control Iraq's oil resources,
enhance U.S. hegemonic domination, and promote Israel's Zionist expansionism.
Since the invasion of their country by U.S. forces, Iraqis have only
known mayhem, all forms of human rights abuses, including torture, and a
culture of corruption not seen in Iraq's history. The U.S. is continuing the
process of the complete destruction of Iraq. U.S. corporations are not
rebuilding Iraq; they are busy building prisons to incarcerate Iraqis, and military
bases in order to continue the colonial occupation of Iraq. The imperial
deception is so efficient that even well-educated people in the West, and
Americans in particular, have been manipulated to the extent that they were
unable to differentiate between the destruction of a society by violent
military forces and the promotion of ‘democracy' and ‘freedom.'
The invasion and occupation of Iraq was a premeditated murderous act of
aggression. It was the result of the Anglo-American power resorting to deception
to manipulate the population into accepting a criminal attack on a defenceless
nation. A campaign of lies and deception continues to justify the violent
occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces. The only effective remedy for the crimes
committed against the Iraqi people is the immediate and full withdrawal of U.S.
forces from Iraq.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.