FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com
(DV) Random: Haditha, Zarqawi & the Politics of Distraction







Haditha, Zarqawi & the Politics of Distraction 
by Jack Random
June 12, 2006

Send this page to a friend! (click here)


Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the man who rose from obscurity to prominence with the assistance of the American propaganda machine, is dead -- killed by two 500 lb. bombs that annihilated his not so “safe house” in the suburbs of Baghdad. Concurrently, the final pieces of the Iraqi government fall into place with the appointment of the critical Ministers of Interior and Defense, yet the leaders of the occupation fall over themselves explaining that it is not the end, not even the beginning of the end, that in fact the war will go on as if nothing has changed. 

We have missed another opportunity to declare “victory” and withdraw. We could have claimed that we beheaded the snake, thus defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq, and left the rest for the Iraqis to decide.  Instead, we went out of our way to minimize our own success. 
Rumors persist that the killing of Zarqawi was executed on the orders of Al Qaeda with the implied blessings of Osama bin Laden. Zarqawi was not only a ruthless killer but a killer of fellow Muslims, a man with a loose screw who did more harm than good to his own cause. 
Did Al Qaeda give him up to exploit him as a martyr? 
The one thing we can be sure of is that we do not know the truth. Our government has already announced, with their condemnations of whistleblowers, truth tellers, honest reporters and intelligence leaks, with the revelations of paid “journalists” and official misinformation programs, that they will not hesitate to deceive when it serves their cause. 
We are told our forces were hot on the trail of Zarqawi for some time. Why did we choose to take him out now? Why not wait until election eve? Was it our first opportunity to eliminate the face of terror in Iraq or was it an opportunity to shift the focus away from the Haditha massacre? Why did we use Daisy Cutters when a precision strike force might have preserved evidence, exposing the hierarchy and chain of command of Al Qaeda in Iraq? What if we had captured Zarqawi alive? 
Many questions uniformly ignored by American media: Indeed, why should we ask the hard questions when we have already accepted the premise of an endless occupation? 
We look at Haditha with the understanding that it was an aberration, an understandable if gruesome side effect of a war where the “enemy” has no face and wears no uniform. We have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs to accept the virtue and nobility of our soldiers yet the evidence is compelling that the killing of Iraqi civilians is commonplace. Haditha was unique only in that a courageous Iraqi photojournalist chronicled the horror before our noble warriors could bury it. Ask Specialist Jody Casey, a sniper in Baquba, who reported that soldiers were told to carry shovels so they could plant them on dead civilians and claim they were roadside bombers. 
War compels acceptance of hard realities. Atrocities are always committed in war. Accusations of betrayal and treason are always leveled against dissidents and truth tellers. The hardships and horrors of war are always covered in hard copy (no photos) while the glories are always chronicled in pictures and video. 
In a war that was unnecessary, unjustified and immoral from its inception, every loss of life is reprehensible. We rightly mourn our fallen soldiers but rarely acknowledge the massive loss of life by the Iraqis we were supposed to liberate. By the numbers reported on CNN for the month of May, for every American soldier killed (14) one hundred Iraqis died (1,398). 
The price of Iraqi “freedom” is severe indeed. 
In a week dominated by the horrific photo of a dead terrorist, we might have missed the resurgence of the Taliban in the war we left behind. We might have missed the deteriorating situation in Palestine. In our obsession with sporting events (World Cup, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals), we might have missed the triple suicide at Guantanamo Bay -- another reminder that our crusade for democracy does not include any semblance of democratic justice. 
Back in the USA, our politicians are fully engaged in the politics of distraction: Immigration is the new threat to our security. Decadence is the reason our Christian god has turned his back on us. Drugs in baseball are why our kids are no longer willing to fight our president’s war. 
I have said it before and I will say it again: Until the war is over, there are no other issues. We cannot begin to address global climate change, dependency on oil, preparedness for inevitable disasters, home foreclosures, declining wages or an exploding debt as long as our resources are being drained by the occupation of Iraq. 
The issues of poverty (the working poor) and immigration are inextricably tied to the war as their ranks supply the “volunteer” forces that must fight and sacrifice for the honor of our disgraced war leaders. 
The issues of gay marriage and steroids in baseball have no more immediate bearing on the course of the nation than whether Edmonton can come back to win the Stanley Cup. 
The only question before us is how to extricate ourselves from a misbegotten disaster in the land of ancient Mesopotamia. 
It has been six months since Congressman John Murtha called for a conditional redeployment of our troops. He was isolated by fellow Democrats and all but derided as a traitor by the treacherous neocon snakes in the White House. They counseled patience and assured us, despite all appearances, that we were winning the war but the facts on the ground tell a different story.  We are not only losing, we have already lost.  We lost when we launched this war on a foundation of lies and deceptions. We lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people when our lies were exposed in Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Haditha and a thousand other “unfortunate incidents.” 
It is clear to all the world that we are not the great liberators we were supposed to be. We are the root and cause of all the horror and destruction. We are the sole reason for the resistance that we refuse to call by its rightful name. We are the dominant source of sectarian violence and we can play no part in mending the divisions we have created. 
It is clear that we cannot defeat an Iraqi resistance that only grows stronger with each passing day, a resistance that has no connection to the madmen of Al Qaeda, and that possesses the inherent virtue of a just cause: defending their own country from a foreign invader. 
It is equally clear that we cannot end this war while our leaders in the White House still covet the oil they have secured through an illegal privatization scheme. 
The only road to peace is the path of impeachment. 
Let the proceedings begin.

Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website: Random Jack.

Other Articles by Jack Random

* Misconceptions in the Immigration Debate: What Would Crazy Horse Do?
* Requiem for American Democracy
* Paradigm Shift: Embracing the Power of Green
* Remember the Bastille: A Response to Mickey Z
* Designated Fall Guy: Replacing Rummy
* Libertad Y Justicia Para Todo!: Liberty and Justice For All
* Barry Bonds and the Steroids Saga
* Defiling the Grave of an American Hero: The Censoring of Rachel Corrie
* Starving the Beast: Programmed Ineptitude
* Constitutional Suspension: An Abdication of Democracy
* Right and Responsibility Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed
* Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan: Challenging the Pro-War Democrats
* The State of the Union: A Stumbling Illusion of Strength
* The Presidential Power Grab
* Surrealistic Pillow: The West Virginia Mining Disaster
* Pataki & Bloomberg: How to Bust a Union
* The Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal
* France and the Burning Embers of Repression
* The Activist Court & the Neoconservative Agenda
* The Agnew Factor: Clearing the Impeachment Path
* Iraq and New Orleans: The ABCs of Police Lawlessness
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster
* No Tears for Rehnquist: The Legacy of a Chief Justice
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers
* Hugo Chavez and the American Slug: Pat Robertson’s Call for Assassination
* The Lie of a Strong Economy (Beneath the Towers of Avarice)
* Fooled Again: Major Party Turnabout
* The New War Candidate: Major Paul Hackett for Congress
* Free Judy! The Fine Art of Calling a Bluff
* Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in Haiti
* Blame the Democrats & Move On: The Federalist Court
* Against the Wind: The Inevitable End of the Iraqi Occupation
* London and Madrid: Reflections on the War on Terror
* Judith Miller: The Anti-Hero
* Schizo Scherzo: The Last Waltz
* The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
* Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
* Recall the Governator
* The Gates of Hell: Occupied Iraq
* May Day: The Rise & Fall of the Middle Class
* The Papal Aristocracy: Confessions of a Nonbeliever
* No Citizen Left Behind
* A Marine Comes Home: The Untold Story of War
* The Compassionate Leader -- In a Time of Crisis
* In Defense of Barry Bonds
* Defending Dan? Rather Not
* David Went to Canada...& Johnny Got His Gun