Michel Chossudovsky comments:
The "War on Terrorism"
At this critical juncture, the Bush administration desperately needs the "war on terrorism" as a justification for the killings of civilians in
Iraq, which it describes as "collateral damage".
In recent weeks, a barrage of media reports have surfaced on Al Qaeda links to the Iraqi resistance movement. The insurgents are described as Islamic
extremists and fundamentalists: "hard-line Sunnis, foreign extremists, and, now, Sadr and his disenfranchised Shiite followers" (US News and World
Report, 19 April 2004).
The secular character of the resistance movement is denied. In an utterly twisted logic, Al Qaeda is said to constitute a significant force behind the
Iraqi insurgents. According to official statements, Al Qaeda mastermind Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is in Fallujah, which has become a so-called "hotbed
for foreign fighters". In the words of Newsweek, "Saddam may not have had direct ties to Al Qaeda, but the jihadists are eager to fill his shoes."
(Newsweek, 19 April 2004)
Meanwhile, perfect timing, the 9/11 Commission has declassified the controversial presidential PDB memo of August 6 2001 pertaining to Al Qaeda's
pre-9/11 plan "to attack the American homeland."
The disinformation campaign ultimately consists in convincing the US public that the "defense of the Homeland" and the occupation of Iraq are part
same process, involving the same enemy. In the words of former CIA Director James Woolsey in a CNN interview:
"the Iraqi intelligence, trained al Qaeda in "poison gases and conventional explosives" And had senior-level contacts going back a decade. And the
Islamists from the Sunni side, from the al Qaeda, work with people like Hezbollah. They're perfectly happy to work together against us. It's sort of
like three Mafia families, but they insult each other, but can still cooperate... I think it's Islamists totalitarian masquerading as part of a
religion. Certainly if anybody in the intelligence community is surprised by this, the really surprising thing would be that they are really
surprised. Some of them have had a idea fix for a long time, that al Qaeda would never work with the Ba'athist and the Shiite Islamist would never
work with the Sunni. It's just nuts. They work together on important things. It's not that one necessarily controls the other. It's not sort of
like state sponsorship, but cooperation, support here and there against us, sure, they've been doing it for years and years and years.(CNNFN, Lou
Dobbs, Tonight, 15 April 2004)
The Osama Tape
Meanwhile, another mysterious Osama tape has emerged
In the tape, Osama acknowledges responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the 3/11 (2004) train bombing in Madrid:
"I [Osama] am offering a truce to European countries, and its core is our commitment to cease operations against any country which does not carry out
an onslaught against Muslims or interfere in their affairs as part of the big American conspiracy against the Islamic world.... The truce will begin
when the last soldier leaves our countries. [Iraq]... Whoever wants reconciliation and the right (way), then we are the ones who initiated it, so
stop spilling our blood so we can stop spilling your blood.... What happened on September 11 and March 11 was your goods delivered back to you."
In other words, Osama bin Laden offers "a truce" if the various European countries involved in Iraq accept to withdraw their troops. In return, Al
Qaeda will declare a moratorium on terrorist attacks in Europe.
Without further investigation, the Western media have described the tape as an attempt by "Enemy Number One" to create a rift between America and
its European allies.
The tape in all likelihood is a hoax of US intelligence. The propaganda ploy consists not only in upholding the US led-occupation of Iraq as part of
the broader "war on terrorism", it also provides a pretext to Western governments, pressured by citizens movements across Europe, to remain in Iraq.
In the words of president Jacques Chirac, "nothing can justify terrorism and, on that basis, nothing can allow any discussion with terrorists."
Underlying the Osama tape is the presumption that the "extremists" in Iraq are the same people responsible for the 9/11 and 3/11 terrorist attacks.
It follows, that the "anti-war zealots", by opposing the US led occupation, are in fact providing ammunition to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda:
"bin Laden's deranged fantasies are frighteningly similar to those many anti-war zealots harbor both here and abroad... He also apparently tries to
justify the attacks of 9/11 as retaliation for U.S. support for Jews in Palestine, and U.S. invasions in the Gulf War and Somalia. "Our actions are
reactions to your actions," he said.
This is gibberish, but it is typical of a megalomaniacal mind. Even Hitler, after all, insisted his attack on Poland was in self-defense. Evil often
comes cloaked in the counterfeit robes of virtue.
But it's also easy to see how such arguments can gain traction among impoverished Arabs who long have been repressed by their own governments and are
searching for answers.
The United States should be grateful for this latest tape. It puts a lot of things in perspective. Europe and the United States are at war together,
and the enemy is someone of flesh and blood who can be frightened -- enough so that he feels it necessary to propose a truce. (Deseret Morning News,
Salt Lake city, 15 April 2004)
Amply documented, Al Qaeda is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus. This is a known fact to the governments and intelligence services of
America's European allies. It is corroborated by US Congressional documents. Al Qaeda is a US sponsored intelligence asset.
And more than ever, in the face of mounting resentment, the Bush Administration and its European allies desperately "need Osama" to justify their
military presence in Iraq.
The Iraq war is presented as a "Just War". The latter is predicated on the existence of an "outside enemy" (Al Qaeda).
Under this criterion and with the full support of Western public opinion, the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, whose Taliban rulers had "provided a
safe haven for Osama bin-Laden".
Before the war, Osama was said to be supporting Saddam. In the wake of the war, the propaganda ploy now consists in presenting Osama as a spokesman
for the Iraqi resistance.
Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of War and Globalization the Truth behind September 11 ,