From under the linoleum
Old newspapers show Mussolini's imperialism looked a lot like today's

I sat on the floor and picked through the tragedy of the country we now call Ethiopia laid out on the yellowing pages. It was eerily reminiscent of the current Iraq adventure.

A tale for our times
The December 1934 assassination of Sergei Kirov

Seventy years on, the killing of Sergei Kirov casts an eerie light on the events of 11 September 2001, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the “war on Terror” and the state-sponsored hysteria surrounding the shadowy figures of Osama bin Ladin and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Ninety-three years of bombing the Arabs
It was the Italians, hell-bent on acquiring an African empire, who got the ball rolling. In 1911 the Libyan Arab tribes opposed an Italian invasion. Their civilians were the first people in the world to be bombed from the air.

Dispossessed all over again
After spending nearly two months in the West Bank the pull towards my village was growing stronger, especially after being detained twice and threatened with deportation … an Australian Palestinian returns to her ancestral home.

The tragic inevitability of a forlorn hope
Australia slides further into the Iraq quagmire
Cabinet documents recently released under the 50-year rule show that, in 1954, Liberal (conservative) Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, and key figures in his Cabinet were extremely gloomy about the prospects for success in an American war against nationalists in Indochina. But eventually they went to the Vietnam War anyway.

Bombing King David
One man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist

Some historians date the beginning of modern terrorism from the 1946 bombing by Zionist terrorists of the British military HQ in Jerusalem.

Don’t loiter near the exit
Military debacle and economic decline haunt the Bush regime

When I was just a young possum in the school cadet corps there was a hoary old war story that we all knew. It was almost certainly apocryphal, but it ruefully expressed a nasty historic truth about the US role in the demise of the British Empire.


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Is al-Zarqawi a false flag operative?

1 July 2004

If Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist leader credited with the beheading deaths of Nick Berg and Kim Sun-Il, did not exist it would be necessary for the United States to invent him. That may well be what the CIA has done.

What? Really? Is that credible? Would an intelligence and espionage service really murder its own people, or neutrals, or citizens of an allied country? Would it cynically kill harmless civilians with terrorist-style bombings? Would it snuff out the lives of innocents to make a political point or create a climate of fear?

The answer is Yes. For an example and we need look no further that the career of Iyad Allawi, the new, hand-picked, prime minister of Iraq. According to a New York Times report in June this year, former CIA operatives say Allawi, who ran a CIA-backed exile organization, the Iraqi National Accord (INA), organised a bombing and sabotage campaign in the early 1990s. The targets included a cinema and a school bus. At the time the CIA was trying to foment a military coup against Saddam Hussein and it is probable that the bombing campaign was intended to destabilise the regime by creating a climate of fear and instability.

In the espionage community, operations like this, for which no group claims responsibility, are known as “grey operations”. If they are attributed to a source other than that which carried them out, they’re called “black operations” and they’re carried out by “false flag” operatives.

In the “wilderness of mirrors” that is espionage, black ops have a long and seedy history. The British army employed them in their colonial war against Kenya’s nationalist Mau Mau Guerillas, where they fielded bands known as the “Pseudo Mau Mau” to infiltrate and hunt down the real nationalists. These bands were largely made up of common criminals or Mau Mau guerrillas who had been “turned”. In order to create a climate of opinion favourable to the colonial administration the Pseudo Mau Mau did not hesitate to kill missionaries and innocent villagers. The same tactics were used by the South African Apartheid regime in its struggle against the African National Congress. Sophisticated false flag operations carefully manipulate half-mad or opportunist followers of a cause.

Nowadays CNN and the CIA sees Zarqawi’s hand in dozens of events, ranging from the beheading of Nick Berg (where he supposedly wielded the knife) to the ricin poison attacks supposedly thwarted in several countries and the Madrid train bombing.

But if the CIA has the genuine spectre of Osama bin Laden to justify its agenda, why would it need Zarqawi?

Well, as a bogeyman, bin Laden was always a distinct liability. His long and well-documented connection to the CIA, the Bush family and the Texas oil industry are a major embarrassment. By contrast, Zarqawi is a shadowy figure with no worrying connections to the American establishment. He is the terrorist monster straight from Central Casting, almost tailor-made for the grim realities of the post-invasion period and the run-up to the US and Australian elections. Supposedly he is a Sunni from an impoverished Palestinian family in Jordan. To CNN, he is, conveniently, a “master of disguise” and “lone wolf”, acting independently of al-Qaeda.

Reportedly, Zarqawi is not much liked by the bulk of the Iraqi resistance, and why would he be? Everything he has ever done objectively aided the US propaganda machine. Particularly telling is his plan to advance the Islamist agenda by provoking civil war between Sunnis and Shias. The plot is set out in a rambling nine-page letter from al-Zarqawi to Osama bin Laden. It was supposedly captured by the occupation forces and was helpfully published on the Coalition Provisional Authority’s website. Sectarian strife is contrary to the policy of the real resistance leaders, either the secularist and Sunni fighters centred on Baghdad and Fallujah or Muqtada al-Sadr’s Shi’ite Madhi Army, both of which have emphasised unity in the struggle to defeat the American-lead occupation.

And there is a relentless predictability to the terrorist preparations and atrocities attributed to Zarqawi. In Colin Powell’s WMD speech at the UN, Zarqawi’s training camp (ironically located in the US-protected Kurdish enclave in Northern Iraq) was best evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, The Berg beheading came to George Bush’s aid just as the Abu Ghraib scandal broke; the Sun-Il job was perfectly timed to harden the Korean Government’s resolve to send more troops to Iraq.

Short of a guilt-driven confession by the perpetrators, it is in the nature of black operations that the truth can never be established with certainty, but history cautions us to distrust the official line, and to ask “who profits?”

Required reading:

• ‘The liberation of Baghdad is not far away’, an interview with leaders of the secularist resistance, Asia Times Online, 25 June 2004:

• ‘Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi?’ by Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Global Research: