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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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Whooping it up with the black ops boys ...
The Abu Musab al-Zarqawi show


1 June 2005

The last week of May was a nail-biting time for fans of the greatest soap opera to come out of the War on Terror – the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Show.

By week’s end the world’s most wanted terrorist – scourge of the occupation and Shiite Muslims, representative of Osama bin Forgotten – gravely wounded in battle, had made his way to the safety of Shiite Iran. Think about that. He manages to get from the west of Iraq, across the war-torn country, through dozens of checkpoints, to seek safety among apostates he had sworn to expunge from the face of the earth. If you believe that, I have a second-hand Nissan Bluebird to sell you.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a real Zarqawi. Nobody is willing to tell what really happened to him, but at some point before the invasion of Iraq he vanished from the real world and entered the twilight zone of black operations to become a symbol of evil and a master of disguise. Nowadays he hides out in the CIA complex at Langley, Virginia, a basement in Baghdad’s Green Zone, an office in Kuwait … or maybe all three.

Are the black ops boys who script the Zarqawi character having fun? We can only imagine the mirth as they workshop their man’s next adventure over a Budweiser or three, the snickers as they upload his latest message to the internet, the hysterical laughter as they follow the earnest accounts of his evil deeds in the world’s media. With journalists as compliant as this, it must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

For those who haven’t been following the Zarqawi show here’s a synopsis:

The wicked Wahabist first came to notice when Colin Powell tried to coerce the UN into backing the invasion of Iraq. Our man was his key bit of evidence for collusion between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Zarqawi, having lost a leg in combat, had an artificial one fitted in one of Saddam’s hospitals, Powell claimed. Oddly enough, he was said to be hiding out among his bitter enemies in Kurdish-controlled territory, then protected by the US enforced no-fly zone. Really?

After the invasion of Iraq the Coalition Provisional Authority “discovered” a CD containing a letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden in which the dastardly insurgent railed against Iraq’s Shiite majority and outlined his plan to foment civil war in the country. Naturally, Coalition spokesman trotted out this proof of the evil of the Resistance on every possible occasion. Not only was Zarqawi behind every car bombing in Iraq he then went international and masterminded the Madrid train bombing.

Then, just in time to counteract the shock of the Abu Ghraib scandal, Zarqawi beheaded the missing American contractor, Nick Berg. Trouble was, the tin-leg terrorist was seen on the notorious beheading video stepping nimbly forward to wield the knife. Ah, the US spokesmen glibly admitted, maybe his leg wasn’t shot off after all, maybe we were wrong about that. Pity about the 100,000 Iraqis who died in the invasion, but, hey, everybody makes mistakes.

After the Berg job, Zarqawi vanished for a while, before surfacing in Fallujah, where he provided the excuse for the Yanks to flatten the city, with the loss of tens of thousands more lives. There was vague media talk of US troops finding Zarqawi’s torture chambers, but strangely, no pictures or first-hand accounts. Alas, the man himself vanished … to be useful another day.

He popped up in the West of Iraq, near the Syrian border, where he became the subject of the recent Operation Matador. A few more towns were flattened but gosh, no Zarqawi.

Which brings us down to the last week of May, when the world’s press began to run with stories by embedded journalists to the effect that Zarqawi had been wounded in an ambush. At first this stuff was attributed to statements on those mysterious Islamic websites (“the authenticity of which couldn’t be confirmed”) that only embedded journalists get tipped off about and that vanish after a few hours.

The US army spokesman played inquiries with a straight face. “We don’t know whether it’s fact or fiction. He continues to be our number one target”, he said. Naturally.

So did the puppet Iraqi prime minister’s “security advisor” who added: “In all cases there are many probabilities. Maybe he is not wounded and he posted this statement on the internet to say he is wounded and then post another statement to say that he is treated and fine and he is like superman”.

Indeed. Like Superman: mythical figure with fabulous powers.

But then the plot had thickened. By Thursday 26 May the mainstream media were breathlessly reporting that a struggle for succession had broken out within al-Qaeda Iraq Inc., which was leaking like Australia’s Liberal Party during a leadership contest. Half the organization was spending hours on the phone to Western journalists, who were offering direct quotes from a variety of talkative terrorists. Yeah, right. How likely is that?

On that day Donald Rumsfeld, no less, told thousands of US paratroopers that Zarqawi was cornered like Hitler in his bunker (he must have just seen the movie). Even hardened observers like me were thinking the scriptwriters had decided to kill off their creation. Perhaps he’d evaded his pursuers so often they were looking incompetent. Perhaps they were risking making him into a kind of Robin Hood.

But it wasn’t to be. How could they replace an asset as useful as Zarqawi? Even as Rummy was speaking the black ops scriptwriters were moving their prize asset out of harm’s way.

Iran. Yes, that’s it. Let’s get him to Iran. That’s more evidence of Iranian perfidy. Another reason why we should bomb the crap out of them.


Don’t buy the novel folks, wait for the musical.


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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. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

New evidence and observations on the Berg case
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