Propaganda Or What?

This is just weird. McPaper has it too.

The article is about an alleged blueprint found among Zarqawi’s documents (but maybe they were found in an earlier raid, as well, no one is really saying, wink-wink) “for trying to start a war between the United States and Iran” as AP writes. I read the whole article. It’s just weird, weird, weird. My first thought is that this is some of that black-ops Pentagon propaganda stuff we taxpayers have been paying for that unfortunately made it back to the U.S. traditional media. It just reeks of it, if you ask me. Like this line from the article:

For another view see Juan Cole. Like I said, this thing is weird.

More after the jump.

The document said the insurgency was being hurt by, among other things, the U.S. military’s program to train Iraqi security forces, by massive arrests and seizures of weapons, by tightening the militants’ financial outlets, and by creating divisions within its ranks.

Oh, really? Aren’t those the same talking points being used on Capitol Hill right now?

Here’s my favorite:

“Generally speaking and despite the gloomy present situation, we find that the best solution in order to get out of this crisis is to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups. . .”

I swear to God that sounds just like what John Bolton said the other day, or last week, or a few months ago, or something.

But this graf made my bullshit detector sound off like an air raid:

The language contained in the document was different from the vocabulary used by al-Qaida statements posted on the Web. For example, it does not refer to the Americans as “Crusaders” nor use the term “rejectionists” to allude to Shiites.

Indeed, it seems the writer is trying to signal this in that weird journalisticese code we mere mortals are not allowed to decode:

Much of what is in the statement from al-Rubaie echoes results that the U.S. military and the Iraqi government say they are seeking. It also appears to reinforce American and Iraqi arguments that al-Qaida in Iraq and its operatives are a group of imported extremists bent on killing innocent civilians.

Our money is being well spent, isn’t it?

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • Iraqis say they have al-Zarqawi battle plan
    Al-Qaeda ‘treasure’ reveals plan to start war between United States and Iran


    Friday’s Globe and Mail


    It just doesn’t make a lot of sense? See the article I posted in my dairy From Atlantic Monthly

    It’s a very detailed article about Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It claims Zarqawi was only a symbol–that he never was the leader of al-Queda in Iraq. His goal was to unseat the monarchy in Jordan. Zarqawi and Bin Laden didn’t get along with each other from their first meeting.

    The last paragraph is particularly salient:

    “Zarqawi had the ambition to become what he has, but whatever happens, even if he becomes the most popular figure in Iraq, he can never go against the symbolism that bin Laden represents. If Zarqawi is captured or killed tomorrow, the Iraqi insurgency will go on. There is no such thing as ‘Zarqawism.’ What Zarqawi is will die with him. Bin Laden, on the other hand, is an ideological thinker. He created the concept of al-Qaeda and all of its offshoots. He feels he’s achieved his goal.” He paused for a moment, then said, “Osama bin Laden is like Karl Marx. Both created an ideology. Marxism still flourished well after Marx’s death. And whether bin Laden is killed, or simply dies of natural causes, al-Qaedaism will survive him.””

  • The people who get their news from the “Fair and Balanced” did not have a cue and more people will die because of the house of cards and lies. -VZ

  • …one, which I think is even more succinct (and perhaps more explicitly accurate):

    He continued, “The Americans have been patently stupid in all of this. They’ve blown Zarqawi so out of proportion that, of course, his prestige has grown. And as a result, sleeper cells from all over Europe are coming to join him now.” He paused for a moment, then said, “Your government is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

    Yep, that’d be what they did alright – if you can, track down some of the old State BIR stuff on Zarqawi – they had it pegged right straight from the beginning MHO, they just got swarmed over by the admin and “common wisdom”. Pffft common wisdom, it is to laugh. Good int is a business of artists folks, write that down.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • As I read the article, it sounds like the document was found before the raid on a computer somewhere:

    We can verify that this information did come off some kind of computer asset that was at a safe location,” he said. “This was prior to the al-Zarqawi safe house.”

    It sounds to me like there are two major possiblities here – it’s propaganda, probably put together by CJTF-7 as part of their IO on Zarqawi, or it’s real (god forbid, it could be a mixture of both – my little brain isn’t up to that this morning). I particularly love how there’s a little in here for everyone, depending on their perspective:

    Me, I lean towards the notion that this is an IO document; in my world that would mean that the Iran element is something that’s intended primarily for an Iranian audience, so that they’ll think twice about the logistic support they may be providing to elements of the insurgency – this is I think a smart move and very much in line with a lot of the other IO stuff that was pulled involving Zarqawi (remember that doc supposedly from Zawahiri to Zarqawi that some folks thought sounded awfully western in its outlook, notably the pretty sharp Pat Lang). All of this stuff seems designed to strip off support from the core Sunni wingnuts and come to a negotiated settlement with the mainline Sunnis, which beats the hell out of continuing fruitlessly to kill them without any end or objective in sight. If it’s actually real, in my world this is blowback against the Iranians – as I mentioned earlier a number of times, I figured any support offered to the Zarqawis of the world (and clearly they gave at least a small amount and may have given much more) would come back and bite them in the ass.

    In Juan Cole’s view it would seem that the document is accepted as genuine and a indicator that the notion that the Iranians are providing support is insane. This may be correct, but my worldview argues against it. I don’t know what he’s going to say if it proves out to be false. I suspect that most folks’ll just take it as another indication that something’s fishy in what the government has to say on Iraq and leave it at that.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • our government never said that false stories could not be foisted on the American public or the Iraqi population. Until they say that it is wrong and that they will stop it will be impossible to ever take them at their word.

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