Escaping Iraq is Tomorrow's Winning Slogan

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Conflicts And War, Iraq, Terrorism Views: 3351

Outside the United States, very few are willing to accept the widely circulated argument of U.S. officials that the Iraqi resistance resembles terrorism. Because of that, the U.S. is ferociously pushing to breathe life in the dismissed theory of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The deadly attack on the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad might have been all that the Pentagon needed to play the "al-Qaeda card", once more. 

Even before the last causality was pulled from underneath the rubble of the shattered U.N. building in Baghdad, blown up by an apparent suicide attack on August 16, American officials repeated a tired argument: al-Qaeda is to blame. 

Al-Qaeda, of course, shouldn't be discounted, but the apparent obsession by U.S. officials to indict the group, or others affiliated with it, seems of greater political significance to the Bush administration than preventing such devastating attacks from being repeated. 

When a car explosion toppled much of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad on August 07, U.S. officials blamed Ansar al-Islam, subsequently, al-Qaeda. Despite the little proof that such cooperation between Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda exists, U.S. officials now refer to both groups as if both were synonymous. 

While internationally, many theories were offered to explain the motives that could've possibly fueled the embassy attack, Pentagon officials seemed only interested in theories concerned with al-Qaeda. 

The same scenario is being repeated, even duplicated, in the case of that U.N. blast. 

Of course, the possible motives of the attackers on the U.N. building and those perpetrators of the Jordanian Embassy attack seem far apart. Additionally, the methods in which both attacks were executed - a detonated car vs. suicide bombing, also represent different styles of different groups.

But the duplication in the scenario has little to do with the nature, motives and methods of the attacks, and much to do with the U.S. response to both.

A U.S. official had reportedly told CNN that "intelligence reports in the past two weeks indicated Ansar al-Islam might be planning a major attack in Iraq." It was also reported "a top U.S. official in the country also said he suspects the group could have launched Tuesday's strike that killed at least 17 people." 

Officials immediately reasserted the alleged links between Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda, while U.S. civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer said. "It's quite clear we do have terrorists inside Iraq now."

What terrorists? And where did they come from? Bremer also offered an answer. 

"After the war, it appears that a number of terrorists from the Ansar al-Islam group have re-infiltrated into Iraq," Bremer said, "We are concerned about that. We also have other foreign terrorists who've been arriving from other borders." 

Bremer disclosed the destinations from which these foreigners came, specifying Syria, Yemen and Sudan. 

Meanwhile, many so-called terrorism experts have been crowding American television stations, offering their own explanations of al-Qaeda's alleged involvement. 

James Rubin, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State also blamed "Islamic extremists". "Let's face it, if you are a terrorist in the Middle East and you have a mission to kill Americans, Iraq is now the place you're going to want to go," he exclaimed.

But why push the al-Qaeda and "Islamic extremists" card at this point of time, when the occupation of Iraq is going sour, with resistance attacks mounting and with opinion polls across the United States reflecting a population that is increasingly disgruntled by the botched Iraqi mission? 

The answer is simple. The U.S. pretexts used to wage the war on Afghanistan, following the terrorist attacks of September 11 are of no use now, and to recreate them, the al-Qaeda wildcard has to be replayed once more. 

It was of no surprise to see Bremer declare, following the August 16th U.N. blast in Baghdad: "It's part of a global war against terrorism that was officially declared on us on September 11."

The relationship between the September 11 attacks on the U.S. and attacks against the U.N. - that refused to legitimatize the U.S. war on Iraq, despite the huffing and puffing of the U.S. administration - seems only clear to Bremer and to mainstream media-sanctioned terrorism experts. 

The U.S. occupation administration is trying to make the best out of worsening situations. If the Bush administration appeared perplexed and confused in the midst of the chaos, it is likely to endure the harsh blame of its opponents, nationally and internationally. To lessen the blame, and to reinforce its agenda of internationalizing the responsibly of 'rebuilding Iraq' - while alone remaining the only determiner of the fate of the occupied Arab nation, the U.S. government is desperately working to revitalize the pretext of international terrorism. 

Few are impressed. 

The Arab League is still refusing to share in the responsibly of "securing" occupied Iraq. 

World governments - most notably Spain and Japan, that agreed to send some of its troops to Iraq, are enduring political storms that are yet to settle.

Germany's foreign ministry spokesman Walter Lindner said that his country would remain out of the military engagement fiasco in Iraq. 

And Britain is still distracted and angry at the tragic death of former weapons inspector David Kelly, with Prime Minister Tony Blair himself now preparing to testify before the inquiry to Kelly's death. 

With the international arena not yet ready to follow the U.S. lead in Iraq, the already puzzling Iraq equation is getting yet more mystifying, and the U.S. linear style of military and political analysis is not helping the situation a bit. 

The U.S. is desperately hoping to locate an al-Qaeda thread in Iraq, to justify the war, even in retrospect, to legitimatize its occupation and to solidify the battered alliances it forged following the September 11 attacks. It's also eager to re-win the gullible trust of the American public, which is dwindling by the day. 

But in Iraq, the equation seems to be raveling into scores of mini equations, hypotheses, theories and predictions, which collectively add to the chaos and uncertainly.

The more the chaos intensifies, the more countries that want to wash their hands of it and further distance itself from the U.S. government and its futile plans. 

To prevent such a scenario from happening, the U.S. government would need to provide solid answers and display a wiser vision, which the latter seems to lack. 

When asked whether the perpetrators of the Baghdad blasts are known to them, Bremer responded by saying: "We know in general terms who's behind it ... It's people who are fighting against the liberated Iraq that most Iraqis have welcomed. It's people who do not share the vision of a free Iraq with a vibrant economy." 

If this is the best explanation the U.S. is able to offer, then the Iraq swamp is likely to deepen, to the point that "Mission: Escaping Iraq", could become the winning slogan in future Presidential elections.

Ramzy Baroud is the editor-in-chief of and the editor of the anthology entitled "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion," now available at:

To buy "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion" CLICK HERE

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Conflicts And War, Iraq, Terrorism
Views: 3351

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Older Comments:
My opinion (from before America's invasion of Iraq) remains unchanged. Iraq needs to be rearmed, re-armored and completely capable of providing its own forces with close (combat) air support. Logically, I would think that America ought to commit to providing Iraq with the heavier stuff, on demand, from Qatar - at the discretion of a (constitutionally authorized) Iraqi military. America needs to trust Iraq's better judgement, with respect to Iraq's own region. I would say there also needs to be some limitation on the intrusion of American politics (into matters pertaining to regional conflict) with respect to Iraq's better judgement - perhaps in the nature of a thirty, sixty or ninety day "lead time" in all but the most drastic policy changes effecting America's support of Iraq.

On a related note, by now surely Israel has all the WMD she requires to deter a threat from whatever military superpowers might be operating in the region - such as Iraq. It would seem to me that if Israel were willing to allow a people - in some way subjected to her authority - to be treated so shabbily that even WMD is at risk of loosing some of its effectiveness as a deterrent to conventional military encroachment into Palestine, it is perhaps something that Israel ought to consider for herself (without lobbying efforts by official representatives of the United States Government). I am not sure how the liberation of Palestine will ultimately be accomplished - but I don't expect that concerted "diplomatic attempts" to influence the State of Israel will lead to any lasting, positive resolution of the primary reasons for the problems faced by the citizens of Palestine.

And who knows? Perhaps Muslim Americans will be placed in charge of America's official efforts - within the national bounderies of the (primarily Muslim) Iraqi republic. Insha'Allah.

Assalamu alaikum.

--Yahya Bergum

Is al-Qaida so desperate to see Saudi Arabia overrun that they are now inciting our Shiite brethren (in sect-less Islam) to that end? What is a mind which reasons supposed to make of all this? Can I safely assume that Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) will not give "my reward" - for which I have labored - to whomever pleases Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) if I knowingly act in error in the course of my labors?

A'uzoo billahi minash-shaitannir-rajeem.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

--Yahya Bergum (who is most certainly no prophet)

4 arrests in mosque bombing
Suspects connected to al-Qaida

In my opinion, America should primarily have Muslims serving as officers (and administrators) in Iraq. In that way, Muslims in Iraq might correctly act against other Muslims, for the purpose of securing Iraq.

While I am not sure of the accuracy of the translation - verily, from Allah and to Allah we're carried. May good peace be with you.

--Yahya Bergum

UMAR said:
truth hurts fact is already shown but it is only a matter of time for the us escape

UMAR said:
truth hurts but facts is already shown its only a matter of time

Mr. Baroud spends a lot of time making the same points over and over. Why not address the real reason for this attack. Why would people destroy the best hope of a more impartial and humanitarian effort in Iraq? It is not that Mr. Baroud shouldn't criticise the current US administration, I do that all the time myself, my criticism is that he offers no alternative. What is your plan Mr. Baroud? How do we stop these kind of attacks, and who is behind them? Most importantly, how do we truly help the people of Iraq get their country rebuilt and back in their hands?

Praise be to Allah, may I be mindful of the unfolding plan of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). Ameen.

'Mission Escaping Iraq'. Come on. You are deluding yourself. Read Daniel Ellsberg. A US president will do anything and everything in its power to win re-election. GW Bush does not want to be the president responsible for US defeat in Iraq; and neither does his successor (in 2005 or later). So, we are in this Iraq mess (and the Middle East/South Asia) for quite a number of years. Remember, nobody has any magic wand to end this war; US will not pull out voluntarily (because a superpower does not do that); it will either have to defeat the arabs or will have to be defeated by the arabs on the battlefield; it is that simple (a superpower by the name of USSR did not pull out of Afghanistan; it was defeated there). It is very easy to start a war; it is extremely difficult to end it.

Foreign Terrorists. Well, US loved those 'Arab Afghanis aka foreign terrorists when US supplied guns/money/stinger missles/training to them' in Afghanistan to defeat USSR. Well, these are the same people operating in Iraq fighting Anglo/US occupiers. What an irony. And US hates these 'foreign terrorists'.

Foreign Terrorists. Ask any Iraqi "Are there any foreign terrorists in Iraq?". He will invariably reply "Of course, there are foreign terrorists in Iraq; we see them every day. They are in our streets. They terrorise us, our women and children, everyday. And they wear the uniform of US Army and British Army; and they carry the biggest guns and largest bombs".