Friday, June 09, 2006

Notable readings on al-Zarqawi and the war

Vanity Fair's Rountable Report by Craig Unger: The War they Wanted, the Lies they Needed, on the Niger yellowcake story. From the story:
For more than two years it has been widely reported that the U.S. invaded Iraq because of intelligence failures. But in fact it is far more likely that the Iraq war started because of an extraordinary intelligence success—specifically, an astoundingly effective campaign of disinformation, or black propaganda, which led the White House, the Pentagon, Britain's M.I.6 intelligence service, and thousands of outlets in the American media to promote the falsehood that Saddam Hussein's nuclear-weapons program posed a grave risk to the United States.

..But the most important consequence of the Iraq war is its destabilization of the Middle East. If neoconservatives such as Ledeen and their critics agree on anything, it is that so far there has been only one real winner in the Iraq conflict: the fundamentalist mullahs in Iran.
Links here to more of VF's Plamegate coverage.

From The Atlantic: The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, or, How a video-store clerk and small-time crook reinvented himself as America’s nemesis in Iraq.

On al-Zarqawi, comments from Juan Cole:
There is no evidence of operational links between his Salafi Jihadis in Iraq and the real al-Qaeda; it was just a sort of branding that suited everyone, including the US.

And, from the Gadflyer:
What will we do without Zarqawi? We can't fight a country, or a group or even an ideology -- we need a bad guy.
My prediction: some new thug will be elevated to brilliant and devious terrorist mastermind in the next month or two.

Included in this Gadflyer posting: quotes from the Bush administration about 'turning points'.

A similar comment from Digby:
You don't have to be a military expert to know that even if Zarqawi were the mastermind the administration portrayed him as, the war is a lot more complicated than the cheap Chuck Norris movie the Bushies have tried to market to the masses. (Think "Syriana.").
More on Zarqawi, from Robert Fisk and Loretta Napoleoni, interviewed by Democracy Now. Fisk:
You see, one of the big problems here is that we keep personalizing in this—there’s a French phrase: infantilisme, which means babyishness—in this babyish way.
You know, our horror of the week, the man we hate, is, you know, Gamal Abdul Nasser, or Ayatollah Khomeini, or Osama Bin Laden, or whoever it may be. The fact of the matter is that I don't think the personalities, per se, actually make a lot of difference anymore.

This ties in nicely with a comment on another blog, can't remember which one, now, which said the whole Iraq war seemed to be becoming a deadly version of 7th grade.

Oh, yes, and then, of course, there's On Simple Human Decency, in Harpers, by Ben Metcalf, who really, really, doesn't like the president:
(I) am a peaceful man, with no actual wish to exact payment for anyone's continued debasement of humanity by feeling the life drain out of him, slowly, through the inordinately sensitive nerves in my fingers and palms.
...I would hope him untroubled even by guilt, as might haunt any normal human being who had caused the deaths of more than 30,000 Iraqi civilians in order, it would seem, to invite the wrath of the world's people down upon the heads of his own, so deeply does my kindness extend.


  • Hmmmm.... No great surprise here that you have posted links DOWNPLAYING the significance of Al-Zarqawi's death. It is interesting that the Left can't even PRETEND convincingly that they are happy about his demise as you can see:

    "Glad Zarqawi's Gone? Yes or No"

    By Blogger PJ-Comix, at 6:12 AM  

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