All-purpose al-qaeda

We’ve had “terrorist” incidents in Britain and Scotland recently, and a broken steam line in New York City had New Yorkers cowering in fear of terrorists. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown quickly declared: “We are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda.”

John Feffer, writing in Asia Times, said: “Since September 11, the United States has been kept in an artificially prolonged state of fear. The Bush administration has used this fear to advance a fundamentally irrational and un-American agenda. As a result, America has misidentified terrorists, seen weapons of mass destruction where they don’t exist, and supported quick-draw military solutions when diplomacy would have been more appropriate.”

The “al-Qaeda Festival” is in full swing. Witness the reappearance of Osama bin Laden with a “new” video. And don’t forget the recent rash of reports that Osama is dead or he is not.

The administration has tried to link bin Laden and Iraq to 9/11. President Bush has presented the image of al-Qaeda as a monolithic global terror network with hundreds and hundreds of operatives.

There are some problems with that presidential assertion. To begin with, the al-Qaeda group in Iraq did not exist on Sept. 11; it came into being after we invaded Iraq. CIA officer Edward Gistaro told a congressional committee: “As the president described yesterday, we’re dealing with an al-Qaeda that has a decentralized command-and-control structure. And I don’t want to leave a false impression that we’re talking about a monolithic organization.”

Gistaro said the National Intelligence Estimate described the group in Iraq as an “affiliate” of bin Laden’s organization, but not under his direct command.

The White House has repeatedly promoted the idea that al-Qaeda is our major enemy in the world, and stated it has become bigger and stronger. Michael Ware has been an international correspondent for CNN, based in Baghdad. He was sharply critical of the administration’s claims. Ware said: “al-Qaeda would be lucky to make up 3 percent of the insurgency. They’re trying to play the American public.”

Ware continued: “The whole notion of ‘better to fight them over there than over here,’ let’s bring them in like a honey pot and draw them to Iraq and kill them, is absolutely ludicrous. In fact, it’s so ludicrous, it’s downright dangerous, because what they’re doing is, they’re creating an entire generation of jihadis that did not exist. Iraq has been a total disaster in terms of limiting the number of jihadis on the planet.”

To buy the idea of “better over there than here,” we would have to believe that the security system in the United States is second rate and could not detect and prevent any effort to attack this country. It can only be done with the complicity of the U.S. government.

It has been noted many times that few things today are as they seem. That is true of the “war on terror” as well. Larry Chin, associate editor of the Online Journal, states: “It is a well-established and deliberately unaddressed historical fact that the CIA created ‘radical Islam’ and Islamic ‘terrorism’ during the Cold War. It is also a documented fact that the U.S., its allies, and their intelligence agencies (CIA, Pakistan’s ISI, Britain’s MI-6 etc.) have—from the 1970s to the present day—continued to use and guide terrorist groups, including ‘al Qaeda,’ as intelligence and propaganda assets. ‘Islamic terrorism’ is a manufactured weapon of Western geostrategy, serving Anglo-American interests.”

Chin said western support and management of these groups draws little attention, and he adds that all major “terrorism” events in recent times have been U.S. or U.S.-allied covert operations, after which political manipulation and cover-up takes place.

Osama bin Laden was recruited by our side during the Soviet-Afghan war. As Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa put it: “ironically under the auspices of the CIA to fight Soviet invaders.”

Like most CIA assets, bin Laden and his colleagues did not know they were fighting on behalf of the U.S. and western strategic interests. Bin Laden was quoted as saying at the time: “Neither I, nor my brothers, saw evidence of American help.”

Chossudovsky said CIA support of the “jihad” was not direct, but operated through Pakistan’s ISI. Abdel Monam Saidali, of the Al-aram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, told the professor that bin Laden and the “Afghan Arabs” received “very sophisticated types of training that was allowed to them by the CIA.”

Osama is on the payroll? Can that be true?

Another fact in all of this is that the drug trade, terror and oil all are linked. Mike Ruppert, in his book Crossing the Rubicon, the Decline of the American Empire at the end of the age of oil, reports: “During the 1980s, the heroin trade in the region (Central Asia) exploded, and Osama bin Laden, fighting alongside the likes of opium warlord and CIA protégé, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, got his first taste of guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics in Afghan and Pakistani mountains. Those mountains became riddled with reinforced caves, in many cases built by the bin Laden Group and paid for by the CIA.”

Shortly after Sept. 11, President Bush vowed he would spare no effort to capture Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. We’re still waiting. Maybe we don’t want to catch him. Earlier this month The New York Times reported a secret mission in 2005, aimed at capturing senior al-Qaeda officials in Pakistan’s border areas, was called off at the last moment presumably because higher ups in the Bush administration feared it was too risky and might sour U.S. relations with Pakistan.

Al-Qaeda is everywhere, behind every tree and under every rock. The idea that this relatively small band of fanatics is all-powerful is ludicrous. If there is a false flag attack in this country, either before the election or next year, watch the fingers point at bin Laden and company. When people are frightened, they are much easier to control. That is why the German population, back in the Hitler era, said nothing against Nazi excesses. They wanted to believe Hitler would protect them, just as Americans today think Bush is doing everything to protect us.

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, had it right: if you tell a big enough lie and repeat it often enough, people will believe it.

Editor’s note: Many people have stated, “I miss Joe Baker in your paper.” Others­ have said, “You paper is more credible now that Joe Baker is gone.” I disagree with the latter and agree with the former. After recovering from various health ailments, Joe Baker is no longer a “former” columnist for this paper. While he is still retired, our readers will still be able to enjoy or rail at his occasional column. At a more relaxed pace, he continues his survey of the world media through the internet, which keeps us all better informed and excercising our critical thinking skills. We all need to know we don’t live in an American vacuum plugged in and constructed by corporate media, which is supposedly “fair and balanced” and “mainstream.” The Rock River Times welcomes back Joe as he casts his bread upon the waters of the world to see what surfaces or bites out there. Frank Schier.

from the Aug. 22-28, 2007, issue

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