Sunday, June 11, 2006

GS(3) Thunderbolt 6-11-06: When The Decider Decides to Do Nothing: What You May Not Know About Zarqawi and Won’t Hear on Network and Cable News

GS(3) Thunderbolt (6-11-06): When The Decider Decides to Do Nothing: What You May Not Know About Zarqawi and Won’t Hear on Network and Cable News

By Richard Power

In Words of Power #23: A Reality Check, What A Real World War on Terrorism Would Look Like, and a US Mid-Term Election Strategy, I wrote about what a real “war on global terrorism” would look like, and how it should be clear by now, certainly to most people, as it was to many of us before and immediately after 9/11, that this is not a “Global War on Terrorism," but, in a real way, a "Global War *of* Terrorism." Within a few days, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian Al Qaeda commander who led one small faction of insurgents within Iraq, was finally killed (after many false reports of his death). His death will do as little to quell the insurgency as the capture of Saddam Hussein, or the killing of Hussein’s sons. Indeed, it will probably intensify it.

Here are three stories about Zarqawi you won’t hear amplified in the US mainstream news media, even as it feigns to provide analysis of his death's impact. Ironically, two of the three stories I have included are from the US mainstream news media itself, but you still won’t hear them aggregated in this way on radio or TV.

On 3-2-04, Jim Miklaszewski, NBC Pentagon correspondent, reported that the Bush-Cheney regime was given three opportunities to kill or capture Zarqawi, in 2002, i.e., post-9/11 and pre-Iraq. In each instance, plans were drawn up. In each instance, the White House rejected them.
Jim Miklaszewski, Avoiding attacking suspected terrorist mastermind,
NBC, 3-2-04

Once again, with a known Al Qaeda leader in the crosshairs, the Decider decided to do nothing -- just as he decided to do nothing after receiving the 8-6-01 PDB on the imminent threat from Bin Laden, just as he decided to do nothing as Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

On 4-24-06, Thomas E. Ricks of the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military was “conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program,” and that “the effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks….” Ricks also wrote that “the military's propaganda program largely has been aimed at Iraqis, but seems to have spilled over into the U.S. media,” and even cited a “briefing slide about U.S. ‘strategic communications’ in Iraq, prepared for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describes the ‘home audience’ as one of six major targets of the American side of the war.” Thomas E. Ricks, Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi, Washington Post, 4-24-06

On 6-10-06, Tom Hayden, who has conducted interviews with Iraqis aligned with the insurgency, wrote: “Putting it simply, there are three armed movements in Iraq, and Zarqawi was dividing two against each other. First, the Sunni and secular nationalists, from former Baathists to people who simply hate the occupation. Second, the Mahdi Army of Moktada al-Sadr, an Arab Shiite who has led two uprisings against the US forces and represents the Shi’a slums from Basra to Baghdad. While harboring significant differences, these two insurgent forces share a common program: to force the occupiers out of Iraq and form a new coalition government….Third, Zarqawi’s force, which is bent on sectarian violence against the Shi’a, creating a barrier to any unity between the Sunni and Shi’a Arab nationalists. This is why so many Iraqis, based on intuition more than evidence, believe that Zarqawi served the classic British [and now American] counter-insurgency aim of dividing its enemies along sectarian lines.” Tom Hayden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Common Dreams, 6-10-06

Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: For more information, go to