Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Regarding Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - "Plus ça Change!"

Abu Musab as-Zarqawi, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

Не кажи "гоп" заки не перескочиш*, and don't count your chickens before they hatch, and the are more Zarqawis in that sea!

Okay, so Zarqawi is dead. So? Did the streets get any safer? No. Not for 30 innocent Iraqis who got snatched, KIDNAPPED, off of the "free and democratic" streets of Baghdad. Not for PFC. Mancheca, who was tortured and killed. Not for many people who actually LIVE in Iraq. In fact, I know of at least two Iraqi bloggers who could care less about Zarqawi, and think that he was a United States creature:

"What is the meaning of life in Iraq?

All the beautiful meanings of life there are lost. For panic is the daily feeling, morning and night; militias for killings, free, incessant assassinations, sudden road blocks that kill people without a reason, bodies cast on the streets, which no one removes, on to a security chaos, the confusion of the government and the occupation forces, and- big statements.

But with nothing positive in reality, on the ground.

People are fed up, and began to despair from the improvement of things…

Then, comes the happy declaration about killing AL-Zarqawi. Well then; if we assumed that the chaos and the destruction in Iraq for the past three years was caused by this hateful maniac, now he is announced dead, so, some real, positive change is supposed to happen in Iraq.

We shall see…

But we say: AL-Zarqawi is just an illusion they created to raid the Iraqi towns, kill the men, and imprison them. And now; the show is over- and as they created his existence, they created the story of his killing.

Very well, thank you, but we want a positive outcome, not a muscle show, and the manufacture of bogus military victories.

This story of killing AL-Zarqawi didn't effect the Iraqis much, for how much they saw of the daily calamities they live through; the shortages of water, electricity, and fuels, to the bombings, free killing, on to the criminal militias controlling the streets. But the American citizen doesn't know about the sufferings of the Iraqi citizen... and the story of AL-Zarqawi is one concerning the American people more than the Iraqi people. It is considered a powerful media hit, and a great military victory to the occupation troops in Iraq- there, in America.

But to the Iraqis, it is just a play, and empty talk, like the play of capturing Saddam Hussein and his trial, what did the Iraqis get out of it?

Did it bring on security and settlement, water, or electricity to the houses? Did it stop the bloodshed of the Iraqis?

Of course not…"

That was Faiza Al Arji, blogger of the blog: "A Family in Baghdad" She is an engineer, and the mother of Raed Jarrar, who operates the "Raed in The Middle" blog.

But my next blogger, Riverbend is living in Baghdad NOW, and can give almost real time reports on how much of a difference the "new day" in Iraq has made:

"A new day for Iraqis" is the current theme of the Iraqi puppet government and the Americans. Like it was "A New Day for Iraqis" on April 9, 2003 . And it was "A New Day for Iraqis" when they killed Oday and Qusay. Another "New Day for Iraqis" when they caught Saddam. More "New Day" when they drafted the constitution... I'm beginning to think it's like one of those questions they give you on IQ tests: If 'New' is equal to 'More' and 'Day' is equal to 'Suffering', what does "New Day for Iraqis" mean?

How do I feel? To hell with Zarqawi (or Zayrkawi as Bush calls him). He was an American creation- he came along with them- they don't need him anymore, apparently. His influence was greatly exaggerated but he was the justification for every single family they killed through military strikes and troops. It was WMD at first, then it was Saddam, then it was Zarqawi. Who will it be now? Who will be the new excuse for killing and detaining Iraqis? Or is it that an excuse is no longer needed- they have freedom to do what they want. The slaughter in Haditha months ago proved that. "They don't need him anymore," our elderly neighbor waved the news away like he was shooing flies, "They have fifty Zarqawis in government."

So now that Zarqawi is dead, and because according to Bush and our Iraqi puppets he was behind so much of Iraq's misery- things should get better, right? The car bombs should lessen, the ethnic cleansing will come to a halt, military strikes and sieges will die down... That's what we were promised, wasn't it? That sounds good to me. Now- who do they have to kill to stop the Ministry of Interior death squads, and trigger-happy foreign troops?"

Sounds like an unhappy camper to me! And did the death of Zarqawi bring more jobs to Iraqis? Whoopdidoo, 4 hours of electricity! Hey, I live here in Syracuse, NY, and we've had some really dog days over here ourselves. But we can still run home to central air conditioning! In Iraq they are lucky to have ceiling fans that work! My mom's old enough to get a little cold for air conditioning, so we spend a few hours without it. Luckily I can keep my ceiling fan on 24/7 or I'd swelter! Riverbend's lucky to have hers on for 4 hours!

As for the killing? I doubt if any peace will be anything more than an interruption. Muqtada al-Sadr appears to have every intention of gaining control of Iraq. Shiite and Sunni kill one another with impunity. Ethic cleansing on par with post Raj lndia and Pakistan is taking place, and Zarqawi's old outfit seems to be it's grisly old self again as Pfc. Mancheca would've attested to if he could've.

Last week was a rather fascinating week in Right Wing Cloudcuckoobury. First it started out as an exercise of poor desperate Rick Santorum's attempt to latch onto Bush's ephemeral Zarqawi "coattails," by grasping at straws. Somehow, magically, he and Rep. Hoekstra have found the missing WMD's! Except that they turned out to be something from before the last Gulf War, and it all looked very old, decrepit - and depleted. The canisters looked like something you'd find in your grandfather's worn out tool shed. They weren't very well stacked either. Nope, apparently neatness didn't count in the care and maintenance of potent WMD's, not in Cloudcuckoobury! Sean Hannity jumped all over it! Even though the decrepit ness of those things stared him in the face from FOX's own clips! All of FOX from NEWS to RADIO from O'Reilly to ''FOX Across America," went gaga over it! Finally, the Pentagon itself had to shut down the whole shebang by saying that those weren't the WMDs that Bush trumpeted, far from it, they were depleted and useless. David Kay himself put some holes in Santorum's balloon.

But that wouldn't stop our courageous Right Wing Don Quixote from bravely (and desperately) reaching for a log to help his campaign stay afloat. So he kept up his Hail Mary play on "Imus in The Morning"**:

"DON IMUS: 21 till the hour talking with uh, Senator Rick Santorum who's locked in a very tight race down there, in Pennsylvania for his Senate seat and uh, how are the polls now? Just kind of curious.

RICK SANTORUM: Uh, they're all over the map, everything from single digits uh, I guess two recent ones were eight and nine and then there's one that came out yesterday, sort of an outlier uh, that has it sort of double digits but, uh, you know this is going to be a race that's going to come down to one or two points in the end. I don't think that either side would say that that's not going to be the case and uh, just gonna, uh, we'll battle it out, and I feel very confident that in the end we're gonna win. Just because of you of course.

IMUS: So at this point you're ahead by double digits in some polls?

SANTORUM: No, no, no, no, I'm not ahead. I'm behind. But you're hanging in there with me I know that.

IMUS: I don't know if I heard that knock, knocking.

SANTORUM: Yes, but you're, you're hanging in there with me?

IMUS: Yes I am actually. Uh, now what is this, what's this nonsense about a smoking gun you found. What the ...

SANTORUM: Now wait a minute, uh, first uh, I never said the word is smoking gun and in fact uh, Peter Hoekstra who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and I who have been, uh been working on this, was very clear and said that this is not a silver bullet this is a piece, another piece of the puzzle. Uh, see uh, we found, we knew that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and had used them, uh during the Gulf War, used them on his own people, so we knew that uh, going into uh, to this, to this war we also knew uh, that and we know from the Duelfer Report, uh, that , he had weapons programs, weapons research being conducted, ongoing, for everything from biological to chemical, uh and, and, and, and, and, attempts to put together a nuclear program although it wasn't nearly as advanced as, as we had thought, but, it was clear from the Duelfer Report that he could have recons, when sanctions were lifted, the report said that he could have had Anthrax within four weeks as an example, so, we knew he had programs, but what the Duelfer Report said he did not have, was stockpiles of chemical or weap, biological weapons and what this uh, unclassified version of, of the report that we had seen the classified version of said that in fact we have found, over 500 weapons, chemical weapons, uh, with sarin and uh, mustard gases in them, that uh, were uh, in the country, and you could, you could say 500 amounts to a stockpile from my perspective as well as, an additional thing that this unclassified version of the report says, is that there are assessed to still exist additional munitions, filled, uh, and unfilled munitions from uh, from the pre Gulf War period, in Iraq.

IMUS: Well, a Defence Department official is saying I believe on the FOX NEWS website, that, that these weapons are not the WMDs that this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had and, they are not the weapons of mass destruction for which, apparently this country went to war, so...

SANTORUM: Well, I don't know who this anonymous Defence Department official is, and it's some anonymous person that's, you know, whispering in the hallway, uh, but I can tell you that uh, having talked to a lot of people in the administration, uh, and certainly talking to a lot of my colleagues this was the weapons of mass destruction that we thought that he had going in that I thought when I voted for this war, uh, that he did not, that he lied to the weapons inspectors, that he had not gotten rid of his chemical and biological weapons, and that uh, that he was avoiding detection from UNSCOM, if you remember this was the UN committee that was supposed to, tuh find these weapons and have them destroyed, uh, he had uh, he had not had those, he had not destroyed those weapons, and it's very clear, that uh, he had lied to the inspectors, and was avoiding a detection of these, of these weapons, so I don't know who the Defence Department, what, what they thought we were looking for, but certainly this was some of the weapons that I thought we were looking for.

IMUS: Well the administration is not jumping all over this one. I'll tell you, the President, I talked to David Gregory, he's in Budapest with the President this morning, the President says, President said they weren't there, we made a mistake and ...

SANTORUM: Yeah, well uh, all I can tell you is having talked to the administration uh, and lots of folks over there, what they are focused in, and they keep saying this is, 'We need to look forward. I don't want to debate this issue any more about weapons of mass destruction, uh, we need to just look forward in what we want to do in the future.,' and that's very admirable, but the bottom line is the American public has a right to know what we haven't, what we found and what we haven't found, and that last report uh, by the Intelligence Community that came out was the Duelfer Report which said that no stockpiles existed, and there was headlines everywhere in the country: 'No WMD's'. Three members of the United States Senate yesterday on the floor of the Senate said that we found no weapons of mass destruction. That is factually incorrect. We have found at least 500, and in fact, having read the classified report, let me assure you there are others.

IMUS: Yeah but, an, another unnamed Pentagon official is saying were, uh, pre 1981, 1991 rather munitions, that they were in such a degraded state that they couldn't be used uh, for, assuming for what they were designed for, and perhaps anything else, so ...

SANTORUM: That's not (inaudible) again, I can't comment on what the classified report is, but let me just assure you that I, I'm not sure that Pentagon official read the report, just let me put it that way.

IMUS: See, here's what has to happen Senator Santorum, is you guys all have to finally say: admit you were wrong, that this was a hideously horrible idea, and that you're sorry that you got us into this and you're going to get us out of this as quickly as possible, and go on and fight the real war on terror.

SANTORUM: We are fighting the real war...

IMUS: I want you to say that now.

SANTORUM: We are fighting

IMUS: Say 'I'm sorry I got you into this you guys .'

SANTORUM: No, I can't, I can't say that, because I, I deeply believe that this is a, one of the more vitally important wars that maybe one of the, maybe thee most important of um, certainly of our time, in the last fifty years that we have fought, because these are folks, and you heard, we had this discussion, uh just uh just a few weeks ago, in talking about Iran. This is a mosaic of organizations and nation states that have clear designs on destroying not only the nation of Israel, with Iran, it's been very clear about that but, but, but the entire West. And they have now the resources thanks to oil, and they have, they're developing the capability you see, uh, North Korea trying to launch a rocket. Uh, they're working with Iranian, uh, scientists, and uh North Korea's working with Iranians not only in the development of rocketry, but in the development of nuclear weapons, this is a very serious threat, this is a threat that not, not only was in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Iran in other places around the world, and, and, to suggest that somehow or another that it's an isolated one group call Al Qaeda, is a fundamental misunderstanding of what we're fighting against.

IMUS: I hope you're right about all of this. What uh, do you have any plans, uh, let's just say uh, things don't work out and you lose? Are we, are we looking at any options in that area or is, are we, are we thinking win, win?

SANTORUM: Never consider the possibility of losing. When you start to do that then you, you start to make decisions and do things you shouldn't have.

IMUS: Well I'm right, right with you ...

SANTORUM: You are. You've been awesome! I, I, I don't know of any supporter I've had that's been more forth and just absolutely with me, uncompromising, always defend me. You never criticize me, you're there with me a hundred percent of the time. You're awesome! I appreciate it!

IMUS: Of course I criticize! I think you're crazy about this whole war thing of course!


IMUS: But I like you, cause I think you're a good man, I think, I know you have a good heart, you keep your word, uh, the, the work you've done on this combating autism uh, uh, bill far outweighs this nonsense about these weapons and stuff but, talking about this point I also am supporting by the way, Congressman Harold Ford Jr., in Tennessee and he's in a tight race. I'm not bailing on him either so ...

SANTORUM: I, I, I appreciate you're steadfast ...

IMUS: You're quite welcome sir, thank you very much.

SANTORUM: Thank you sir. (inaudible) Bye, bye.

IMUS: Senator Rick Santorum here on the 'Imus in the Morning' radio program. Jack Nicholson is next. Fourteen 'til the hour."

A funny thing happened on the way to finding the WMD's:

FOX NEWS itself had to shoot down the ploy only hours afterwards when it's own reporter had to concede that the weapons were not effective enough to be the WMD's we imagined post 1991, and that they were basically toothless.

And now there are reports that these weapons were sold to Saddam by ... The Carlyle Group! An AMERICAN company!

Boy ol' Ricky must be feeling oh, so secure in his position now!

Back to the smelly bog of failure Dicky! Stick your hand out, and say "goodbye!"

The next twist on the rollercoaster ride was given by General Casey. You see, the week before, when John Kerry and Carl Levin presented their competing legislation for reducing the troop strength in Iraq, they were shot down. Now General Casey's proposing troop reduction. Is he a "cut'n run" guy?

And then there were the revelations that over the past 6 years, The New York Times was NOT the first to reveal that we were tracking terrorist financing!

Yes, we found that in inumerable instances the Bush Bunch itself revealed in many instances that they were tracking financial records from day one. On September 24, 2001, just 13 days after 9/11, Bush, Powell and O'Neill were in the Rose Garden to say:

" We know that many of these individuals and groups operate primarily overseas, and they don't have much money in the United States. So we've developed a strategy to deal with that. We're putting banks and financial institutions around the world on notice, we will work with their governments, ask them to freeze or block terrorist's ability to access funds in foreign accounts. If they fail to help us by sharing information or freezing accounts, the Department of the Treasury now has the authority to freeze their bank's assets and transactions in the United States.”

Now, how would Dubya be able to tell us these things without tipping his hand? Does anyone in al Qaeda NOT have at least a radio? If they were money movers you BET they were listening!

And here's a quote from a Fact Sheet September 24, 2001, on the White House Website that must've had everyone within reading distance slapping their foreheads in exasperation:

"A Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTAT) is up and running. The FTAT is a multi-agency task force that will identify the network of terrorist funding and freeze assets before new acts of terrorism take place."

Ah! But Dubya actually caught the spirit of the whole thing almost a year before 9/11 happened when he said:

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."

Anyone would didn't get that memo after 9/11 deserved to be caught!

Hmmm! Seems that hasn't happened to Osama yet. I wonder why.


A Family in Baghdad

Sept 24, 2001 Fact Sheet introducing FTAT and the Executive Order for tracking Finances

"President Freezes Terrorists' Assets" Sept 2001

*"Don't talk smack before you jump!" Paraphrased translation of a traditional Ukrainian saying.
** Transcript provided by yours truly.

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