The grand design of George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney was to leave Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq after the first Gulf War that "ended" in February of 1991. Coalition forces were poised on the banks of the Euphrates River, ready to enter Baghdad and capture or kill Saddam, but how can you keep Boobus Americanus scared and into his wallet if you do not have an appropriately scary villain?
Once Saddam had been captured in December of ’03, some months after "major combat operations had ended," as announced by Dubya on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, a new villain had to be created when the insurgency refused to roll over and play dead for the conquering hero. Materializing out of nowhere to head the insurgency and cut off a few heads was none other than, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Several months ago, several writers, myself included, questioned the very existence of this ghost-like villain who was at once everywhere, yet nowhere to be found, leading the insurgents in their war against the wonderful forces bent on forcing democracy, at the point of a gun, on those who had not the good sense to request it.
Now, after a plethora of hard evidence has been published that points to Bush, Cheney and company, as liars, torturers and leakers, others are beginning to wonder if Zarqawi is as powerful as our government claims.
Contacts in the military intelligence fields have their doubts Zarqawi exists based on some pretty sound reasoning. First of all is the 25 million dollar reward being offered for his capture. In the war torn country of Iraq, poverty and unemployment abound. Damn good intelligence can be bought on the street for $100. Some people in Iraq have even turned over members of their own family to coalition forces for money. To believe that no one would drop a dime or an email on Zarqawi for 25 million dollars is preposterous.
Another reason to disbelieve the government’s line on Zarqawi is the flow of intelligence concerning his supposed activities. The vast majority of intelligence on Zarqawi flows from top to bottom; in other words, the intelligence on Zarqawi comes from higher commands in the military structure while intelligence flowing from the collection activities of the intelligence operatives on the ground, in combat, involving Zarqawi, are nonexistent. If Zarqawi was as active as we are led to believe, traveling with an entourage of bodyguards, someone on the ground would see this activity and certainly put themselves in line for 25 million. Intelligence flowing from top to bottom only, is a sure sign of fabricated intelligence.
When U.S. Army forces captured Abu Talha, known as the Emir of Mosul, in June of 2005, the Multi-National Force-Iraq website claimed Talha was Zarqawi’s "most trusted military commander." While it is believed information obtained from Talha was directly responsible for the capture of Abu Bara and Mullah Mehdi within a month of Talha’s capture, Talha consistently claimed to have never even seen Zarqawi! Considering the interrogation techniques now in vogue in our military, one would have to believe if Talha gave up his underlings, he would surely have given up Zarqawi, if he had any information on him at all.
Another reason to doubt Zarqawi is leading the insurgency is our hi-tech ability to locate anyone in the country who uses a cell phone and the ability to direct a J-Dam laser-guided 500lb bomb to their exact location. Cell phones are the almost exclusive form of communication used by the insurgency in Iraq. Our signal intelligence units, traveling throughout Iraq, are able to pinpoint the exact location of a particular cell phone using a 10-digit grid. If the major form of communication within the insurgency is the cell phone, and if one particular individual (Zarqawi) is commanding the activities of his forces, he must be using a cell phone. Inside sources tell me that was how Abu Talha was captured.
Lies permeate the entire Iraq fiasco, from the reasons perpetrated on the American public to justify the invasion, to the stories of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman. Can we dare believe anything that emanates from the mouths of those connected to the state and their war machine? A seemingly valid question would be: if the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq does not exist, could it be that al-Qaeda itself does not exist to the extent claimed by the state?
But, with a boogeyman de jour, some manufactured intelligence and a few fake videos; Boobus will continue to toe the line and beg for protection from those who have turned their wartime technology on him.
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.