Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

London Evening Standard
Monday, Sept 8, 2008

Secret advice from a foreign power, thought to be America, helped to shape the dossier that said Saddam Hussein could attack within 45 minutes and set out the case for war in Iraq.

MI6 chief John Scarlett, then chairman of the Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), turned to the foreign country as final touches were put to the now discredited dossier, it has emerged.

The document, which the Government is accused of ‘sexing up’ in the weeks before it was made public, contained a string of claims that later proved false.

These included the warnings that Saddam could launch weapons of mass destruction ‘within 45 minutes’ and that it was ‘beyond doubt’ that he was developing nuclear weapons.

Both claims were the key to convincing the public and Parliament of the threat posed by Iraq and were essential to putting together the legal case for war.

Now it has been revealed that Mr Scarlett canvassed foreign help – which sources claim came from America’s CIA – in the days before the dossier was published.

Full article here

By IgnoranceIsntBliss


LINK

While it was known that Woolsey was again thumbing Iraq later that day, this new clip is the first time anyone thumbed Iraq on national TV. (In propaganda) “you gotta keep repeating yourself for the truth to sink in”. –GWB

PNAC member and former Director of CIA James Woolsey named Iraq as a suspect of 9/11 at 2:26AM, 9/12/01, just over 2 hours after the day of 9/11.

James Woolsey just so happened to be a signatory in the Letter to President Clinton on Iraq, in 1998, which called for the removal of Saddam from power at that time. He was also one of the signers of another PNAC document, Statement on Post-War Iraq, on March 19, 2003. Woolsey served on the Rumsfeld Commission, and was a Commissioner on the National Commission on Terrorism which delivered the Report of the National Commissionon Terrorism to President Bill Clinton in June 2000.

While he wasn’t a participant in writing of the infamous Rebuilding America’s Defenses document, he was already a member at that time. This document, which was an uber-imperialist’s wet dream wishlist, called for a technological transformation of the military and imperialist domination of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian lands and regimes while highlight states like Iraq and Iran as action item threats.

Pessimism was expressed in the manifesto when they complained that “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Full coverage of Woolsey and PNAC in the Bill Moyer’s film: “Buying the War”.

It’s funny they might say that, because on 9/11 they got just that, including a green light to exploit their Iraqi imperial ambitions. At least 16 memebers of PNAC are or were in the Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and even little brother Jeb Bush. It’s of little surprise that they didn’t ensure that “a new Pearl Harbor” didn’t happen. It’s not like they didn’t have some idea, as according to the 9/11 Commission Report the government had “tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands” of terrorism warnings, yet GWB wasn’t that concerned about terrorism.

Then on the night of 9/11, at 2:26AM, James Woolsey, a frontman stooge of Neo-American Imperialism, was already thumbing Iraq as a suspect sponser state of the 9/11 attacks.

“The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today.” –GWB

In the aftermath, PNAC’s imperislism manifesto ended up reading like a prophecy chart come true, as they got their “New Pearl Harbor”, and their 20 plus point list of technolgical transformation, and their green light for ultra-neoimperialism including the invasion Iraq, and so on.

Today Woolsey can be often seen in the media pounding the war drum and grandstanding for American Imperialism. He is Vice President of Booz Allen & Hamilton, the lead contractor for the Total Information Awareness program. He is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board to the Secretary of Defense. Woolsey attended the September 12-14, 2006, elitist deep-integration North American Union forum entitled the “Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment”, held in secret at Banff Springs Hotel, in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

See Also:

Woolsey’s PNAC Signatories
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=James_Woolsey
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._James_Woolsey,_Jr.
http://www.newamericancentury.org/

NOTE: This TV action sitcom superhero portrayal of Osama & friends was originally meant as a short segment of a much larger “TV-emulator”,  “quagmire” of a film that has been back-burnered for too long. A while back, I decided to do a detailed writeup of the premise behind it for justification for posting this tiny thing as a standalone ‘film’, because it covers a very important piece of history.
Here it is:

By IgnoranceIsntBliss

Prelude: The Cold War:

Our story begins during the Cold War. The nature of the Cold War remains fuzzy to most people, despite it lasting some 45 years, and the primary reason is because it was a covert war.

It is generally characterized as a battle between the 2 “superpowers”, or empires. It was best characterized as the United States (USSA) and the USSR competing in conducting covert operations in foreign nations on a global scale. It was obviously a struggle between 2 competing cross-spectrum economic systems and political ideologies. Extreme capitalism on the “right” (ultraconservatism), and extreme socialism (communism) on the “left’.

The means and methods the 2 sides used for control in their goals of imperial conquest were virtually identical:

1) Destabilization: This caused nation-states and various regimes to “need” the support of whichever side “they” identified with.

2) Revolutionary Uprisings: A primary vehicle for destabilization and covert regime change, or for ‘controlling’ “secular’ regimes. Revolutionary factions were trained in all forms of terrorism to reach their political goals.

3) Instigating Regional Conflicts: This caused the target nation states (wherever there were “interests”) to need to buy weapons from the military-industrial-complex driven empire-states (USSA & USSR). Often times the empires would even support both sides of a conflict if they had the opportunity.

Both sides were equally guilty of these crimes or at least the intentions of such. The victory all came down to efficiency. Obviously, the U.S. won, and so did the economic system as evidenced by today’s “globalization” (most global states were “nationalist” systems before the end of the Cold War).

U.S. Style Covert Control:

Choice examples of U.S. style Cold War “foreign policy”, for this essay, are as follows:

1: Create or support conservative violent uprisings to overthrow leftist regimes that maintained or sought to establish “nationalized” natural resources.
A choice example of this would be Nicaragua Contras who were radicalized Christian revolutionaries. This is what the “Iran-Contra” conspiracy was about.
en.wikipedia.org…

2: Installation of right-wing military dictatorships.
The best example of this would be Operation CONDOR, which the U.S. supported all throughout the 1970’s. This conquest involved overthrowing the democratically elected governments of most of the nations in all of South America. It involved assassinations (terrorism), and the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of political dissidents (people protesting the hijacking of their country).
en.wikipedia.org…

Then for the other ‘heathen’ side of the globe (Middle Eastern Asia), different and somewhat opposite tactics were employed:

A: The installation of ‘secular’ regimes.
With this strategy the U.S. would put the secular regimes into power, if necessary, and then destabilize the region with radical Islamists. This would create a need for U.S. weapons and even presence in the form of military bases for “security”. Choice examples would be Saddam Hussein (who the CIA put into power), Egypt and so on. These are 1970’s examples. This sort of behavior actually goes back to 1953 with operation AJAX in Iran.
en.wikipedia.org…

B: Supporting monarchist or similar repressive regimes.
A good example here would be Bahrain and Saudi Arabia; again, 1970’s examples. Ideally, in all of the covert conquests, existing regimes would be persuaded or coerced into playing the ideal roles for their regional scenarios.

There are other forms and examples, but these are the most prominent.

X: Destabilization:
Ultraconservative’s (radical Islamists for example) were/are still guided and supported overall by the U.S. to play out their roles in destabilizing their regions (thus requiring the regimes to need U.S. backing).

While the Islamists are ideal tools for destabilizing a region, they’re not what the U.S. considers ideal regimes to hold power. While the US may seek to destablize ‘regions’ to gain influence and control, conversely it seeks regimes that will stabilize US led “globalization” efforts to gain resources and cheap slave labor. Regimes that destabilize globalization, whether secular or radical Islamic, are typically what you’d find on “terrorist state sponsors” lists as evidenced by Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran and so on. Islamist regimes, in resource rich lands generally tend to destabilize globalization so they’re generally not given enough support to achieve their goals, while the secular regimes are.

Islamist revival movements gained followers across the Muslim world, but failed to secure political power except in Iran and Sudan.
-9/11 Commission Report; p.53

A good analogy for this destabilization concept is when leaders use fear mongering to scare their populations into supporting imperialistic militarism or domestic police state programs. You scare their grasp on security and self-“control” and they’ll accept the “solution”. This tactic can and often is applied to not only individuals but also entire regions. It’s a particular favorite of imperialist powers as far back as well recorded history goes. Of course, the USSR used similar but somewhat politically-opposite tactics, and so on.

Now there’s destablization in general, and then there’s more direct thuggish destabilization. Ideally, you install regimes in regions that are sure to produce opposition to ensure the new regimes codependency on US weapons and “aid’. This is a sort of ‘endemic’ self-sustaining destabilization. But then there often comes a need for directly focused destabilization to attain specific political goals, and this is where ‘focus groups’ such as Al Qaeda come in.

Afghanistan 1979-89: The Cold War Final Showdown:

The general version we get is that we helped the poor Afghani’s defend their territory from the “Evil Empire” the USSR, or, the other “superpower”. Then, after they (the mujahadeen) “won” the imperialist driven conflict, some of them branched off into “Al Qaeda” and decided to go after US, the remaining “superpower’.

1977-1981: The Nationalities Working Group Advocates Using Militant Islam Against Soviet Union
1978: CIA Begins Covert Action in Afghanistan
July 3, 1979: President Carter Approves Covert Aid to Anti-Soviet Forces in Afghanistan
December 8, 1979: Soviet Forces, Lured in by the CIA, Invade Afghanistan
Early 1980: Osama bin Laden, with Saudi Backing, Supports Afghan Rebels
1982: Pakistani ISI Begins Recruiting Arab Fundamentalists to Fight in Afghanistan. Afghan opium production rises from 250 tons in 1982 to 2,000 tons in 1991, coinciding with CIA support and funding of the mujaheddin.
1984: Bin Laden Develops Ties with Pakistani ISI and Afghan Warlord
LINK

And now our story begins to take shape.

For perspective, however, one must consider the nature and relationship of the Bush’s and Saudi’s, which is rather common knowledge these days, but stretches back into the 70’s when GHWB was the CIA Director and established his Saudi / Bin laden relationship. Many of the ‘tactic’ examples above actually occurred during his tenures with the CIA in the 70’s and his vice-presidency during the 80’s, and much more.

This assistance was funneled through Pakistan: the Pakistani military intelligence
service (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISID), helped train the rebels and distribute the arms.
www.9-11commission.gov…

Post-Cold War: Finding an “Enemy”; Gaining a Tool:

At least since the Cold War there has been a need for excuses to maintain our imperial posture while distracting Americans from noticing that we’re an imperialist state. This is easy to do with “justifiable” and covert wars, but when the wars aren’t justifiable or covert people begin to wake up to the reality. ‘Coincidentally’, a new “Islamofacsist” ’empire’ (anti-US Imperialism ragtag groups scattered throughout a vast region) began to appear.

These groups were none other than the majuahadeen religious freedom fighters that “we’ trained during the Afghan War. Their number one leader was the Bush connected Saudi money handler that helped the CIA coordinate the mujahadeen uprising, while his family and their associates were the ones in the Middle East who stand to gain from his anti-American exploits and the future “War on Terror”. Ironically, the imperialist-elitist leaders from the U.S. even stand to gain from his groups future exploits.

1980 and on: The U.S. itself as a Tool for American Imperialism:

The US is used for volunteer mujahadeen solider & fund-raising from early in the Afghan conflict. Mujahadeen support centers are established throughout the U.S.

A Muslim organization called al Khifa had numerous branch offices, the largest of which was in the Farouq mosque in Brooklyn. In the mid-80’s, it had been set up as one of the first outposts of Azzam & Bin Laden’s MAK.[40] Other cities which included branches of al Khifa included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Tucson.
www.9-11commission.gov…

The upcoming group, “Al Qaeda”, is later useful for agenda setting terror attacks throughout the US. It’s usefulness is 2 pronged: On the one hand it has effective use for domestic policy setting, and the other bring use for a new ‘never-ending’ “War on Terror” scheme of global imperialistic domination.

It is later found to be connected with the OKC bombing, and of course 9/11. Of course, the OKC connectosn are completely ignored by the government as it weakens their anti-militia stance, and this is all about control.
www.newsmax.com…

1989: Azzam, the primary leader of the mujahadeen, and seeker of peaceful political movements for revolutionary change throughout the Middle East, is mysteriously assassinated. Western journalists would later assert that UBL was responsible the assassination.

Enter Iraq:

Ever since Hussein was placed into power by the CIA, he became increasingly arrogant and impossible to play like a puppet by the US establishment. Efforts to use traditional CIA tactics like overthrows and assassinations were futile thanks to his use of body doubles and family centralized power.

1989: Usama returns home.

He denounced Saddam Hussein, claiming the Iraqi leader was about to invade Kuwait. In Saudi, such behaviour did not endear him to the authorities. He was told to shut up and refused, but all the time he was quietly advising the Saudi King Fahd of the danger coming from Iraq.
www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk…

August 1990: Saddam invades Kuwait after being given the green light by the US.

UBL pleads to Saudi royals to summon majahadeen to fight Hussein. The Royals, and the policy setting U.S., decide that the job is too big for the mujahadeen. UBL’s mujahadeen strategy dispatched to northern Iraq to fuel a Kurdish insurgency, to destabilize Hussein in his weakest moments. U.S. levels Iraqi forces, but then decides to back off since imperial control couldn’t be fully established with the multi-national coalition, plus Hussein might finally obey.

This plan fails, UBL attempts to work with Kurds through the 90’s. Saddam grows even more defiant to the US over time. We all know the rest.

Bin Laden had in fact been sponsoring anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan, and sought to attract them into his Islamic army.
-9/11 Commission Report; p.61
Libya: Putting Qadhafi in Check:
“We are not in need of bin Laden, we don’t need his money and we don’t need his protection and we don’t want to use him or be used by him.
www.iol.co.za…
LIFG’s next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-M15 officer David Shayler.
www.jamestown.org…
Here classic Mafioso bullying “protection” tactics are used twofold: On the one hand Qadhafi can seek ‘protection” from Al Qaeda, or on the other hand he can “join” the United States in “combating” the former. It’s really a no-brainer for any regime that’s trying to seek respect in the “civilized” world, as to take option one would only secure his name in the history books as a ‘barbaric’ state sponsor of terrorism.
Ironically, the common thread running through Libya, bin Laden and the U.S. is the 1979-1988 Afghan war.
www.jamestown.org…
LIGF was founded in the fall of 1995 by Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
en.wikipedia.org…
Far from being soul-mates, Qadhafi and bin Laden have long been at odds; it was Qadhafi who, in March 1998, issued the first Interpol arrest warrant for bin Laden, a fact little known in the West.
Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s decades-long confrontation with the West has never given him much purchase among militant Islamists in Libya. In fact, the LIFG has waged a violent insurgency for ten years – with a hostility toward the eccentric dictator so implacable that it refuses even to negotiate with his envoys.
www.jamestown.org…
These groups came into open conflict with security services in the mid 1990s and also made a number of assassination attempts against Qadhafi, most notably in 1996 and 1998.
www.jamestown.org…
Operation a success, and the sellout:
A Canadian intelligence report says al-Qaeda-backed militants in Libya want to assassinate Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, providing a possible explanation for the dictator’s recent attempts to improve relations with the West.

The United States and Britain announced last Friday that Col. Gaddafi had agreed to dismantle Libya’s weapons of mass destruction programs. UN weapons inspectors are to arrive in the country as early as next week.

Yesterday, Col. Gaddafi called on other “rogue states” to follow his dramatic example if they were to prevent “tragedy” from striking their nations.

209.157.64.200…

The Balkins: 1992-Present:

I’d say this Al Qaeda supported history speaks for itself. Al Qaeda, the mujahadeen, weapons an heroin showed up right about the same time the US military was ready to move in. An echo of the Afghan War, but I thought “we” were done using these measures?

1991: US Convinces Bosnian President to Renege on Agreement
1992-1995: Pentagon Helps Bring Islamic Militants to Fight with Bosnians Against Serbs
1992-1995: KSM Fights and Fundraises in Bosnia
1993: Bosnian President Said to Grant Bin Laden Passport as Gesture of Appreciation
1993: Albanian Drug Smuggling Profits Fund Muslim Arms Buildup in Balkans
1993: US Begins Construction on Airfield Used for Bosnia Arms Pipeline 1994: Bin Laden Meets with Albanian Government Officials
August 30, 1995: NATO Launches Bombing Campaign Against Bosnian Serbs
1995-1998:< STRONG>Alleged Ties Between Al-Qadi Charity and Terrorist Groups Are Uncovered; No Action Taken
February 1995: Albanian Narco-Terrorism Destabilizes the Balkans
1996-1999: Albanian Mafia and KLA Take Control of Balkan Heroin Trafficking Route
February 1998: State Department Removes KLA from Terrorism List
Shortly Before February 1998 and After: KLA Receives Arms and Training from US and NATO
May 7, 1998: Al-Qaeda Leader Visits Bosnia; US Charity Is Funding Al-Qaeda There
October 1998: Islamic Conference Calls KLA Struggle ‘Jihad’
1999: US and British Special Forces Train KLA Operatives in Albania
Late March-June 1999: NATO Begins Bombing Campaign Against Serbs
June 2001: The KLA Begins an Offensive in Macedonia
Late June-Early July 2001: KLA Forces Are Rescued by US in Macedonia
July 15, 2001: The KLA Begins Ethnic Cleansing of Tetovo-Kosovo Corridor in Macedonia
September 20, 2002: Saudi Charity in Bosnia Linked to Al-Qaeda
In the 1990s the US and UK led a military campaign to restore peace to Yugoslavia. The allies celebrated their status as the peace police of the world. A few years later, we learn that the war opened the door for the US oil industry to a vast new oil supply that had just been discovered.
www.theinsider.org…

[Note: There has been a decrease from 80% to 50% through this region, but it can be said that it’s now US controlled, while it wasn’t before.]
‘Honorable’ Mention: The Philippine’s:
They were a US colony for nearly 50 years. Eventually they were given ‘independence’ after WW2.

They finally booted our bases between 91-92, and “Al Qaeda” support moved in shortly thereafter.

In September 16, 1991, despite lobbying by President Aquino, the Philippine Senate rejected a treaty that would have allowed a 10-year extension of the U.S. military bases in the country. The United States turned over Clark Air Base in Pampanga to the government in November, and Subic Bay Naval Base in Zambales in December 1992, ending almost a century of U.S. military presence in the Philippines.
en.wikipedia.org…
Since its inception in the early 1990s, the group has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion in their fight for an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago with the stated goal of creating a pan-Islamic superstate
en.wikipedia.org…
President Arroyo has demonstrated total support for the U.S.-led campaign, offering intelligence, logical support, and the use of Philippine air space, and opening two former American military bases, Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay. Most recently, she has agreed to receive U.S. troops’ advice and logistical support in the country’s fight against the Abu Sayyaf.

By sending American troops to aid Filipino forces in defeating the Abu Sayyaf, the Philippines has become the only country besides Afghanistan to receive direct involvement of U.S. troops in the fight against terrorism.

www.cdi.org…

Why is it that Al Qaeda shows up nearly everywhere we do, and they’re also on the same side?
SEE ALSO:


Shoot-out between Saddam’s spy and al-Qaeda brings life back to streets
An enigmatic military intelligence officer from the old Iraqi Army is leading a revolt that has reduced the bloodshed in Baghdad

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Amariyah has experienced a startling rebirth since that western-style shootout. In May its streets were filled with corpses being picked over by stray dogs. American troops ventured in rarely. When they did, they used heavily armoured vehicles, several of which were blown apart by mines.

Now the shops and cafés are open, and schoolchildren and women stroll the streets. Mr al-Obeidi’s men patrol on foot with American troops and Iraqi soldiers.

It has been a precarious journey from al-Qaeda fiefdom to what US commanders see as a possible model for the future of Iraq. The process has not been made clearer by the mystique surrounding the enigmatic man at the centre of the revolt.

CONTINUE READING ARTICLE

ALSO:

US general says Iran helping stop Iraq bloodshed

Troops Find Iraq Torture House; Iran Helping Stem Weapons Flow

Foreign Fighters in Iraq Are Tied to Allies of U.S.

ADD THOSE TO RON PAUL’S DEBUNKING OF THE TROOP SURGE MYTH:

MORE “NEWS” (BLACK PROPAGANDA):

“As violence continues to drop and hundreds of Iraqis return home each day, a result of extinguishing the influence of Al Qaeda, many eyes are focusing on the negative impact of Iran’s involvement in Iraq.
With Al Qaeda’s violence waning, Iran’s meddling is increasingly sky-lined against Iraq’s reformation. ”
www.yorknewstimes.com…

Iran, Our “Friend”?

Posted: September 8, 2008 in 2007, Articles
Tags: ,

November 2007:

NOTE: 4 seperate articles are below…

Where the Fighters Are Coming From

US general says Iran helping stop Iraq bloodshed

Lieutenant General James Dubik, who is in charge of training Iraqi security forces, said Tehran was keeping to its pledge of stopping the smuggling of weapons to Iraqi extremists.

“We are all thankfull for the commitment Iran has made to reduce the flow in weapons, explosives and training (of extremists) in Iraq,” Dubik told reporters in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“As a result of that, it has made some contribution to the reduction of violence” in Iraq, he said.

US commanders claim violence in Iraq has dropped by 55 percent since the military’s surge became fully operational in June.

Dubik said it was still early to assess the exact contribution of Iran but “we hope that the commitment stays in effect.”

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates earlier this month said Tehran had assured Baghdad it would help stop the inflow of Iranian weapons into Iraq.

The US military has charged that Iranian-made bombs were being smuggled into Iraq to Shiite extremists and used to kill coalition forces.

Another US commander, Major General Kevin Bergner, expressed optimism that the decision to hold fresh talks between Tehran, Washington and Baghdad over the turmoil in Iraq would further help boost this commitment of Iran.

“It is important here that the commitments that have been made start to see progress that is strategically measurable and sustains over time,” he told reporters in the conference with Dubik.

On Tuesday, Tehran announced it was ready for talks with Washington over the Iraq’s security and stability.

The talks would be held in Baghdad but the final date is yet to be fixed.

Troops Find Iraq Torture House; Iran Helping Stem Weapons Flow

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311832,00.html
Brig. Gen. James Boozer said forces found execution equipment and chains in the house in the Diyala River Valley, an Al Qaeda stronghold north of Baghdad, as he touted progress in bolstering Iraqi security forces and said Iran seems to be holding to a commitment to thwart the flow of weapons into Iraq.

“I think we’re at here an historical point in the history of Iraq,” said Boozer, commander of Multi-National Division-North in Iraq.

Boozer said it appears Iran is keeping its promise to Iraqi leaders to helping stop the flow of roadside bombs into Iraq, which has contributed to a decrease in attacks.

“We’ve seen no increase in or any indication that the Iranians have stepped up the influx of arms or weapons into Iraq. It looks like they are holding up to their agreement,” he said.

In August, Tehran vowed to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to hinder the smuggling of those weapons, called explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, and ammunition into the hands of extremists.

Maj. Gen. James Simmons, a deputy corps commander, said that in October, U.S. forces logged 1,560 cases in which bombs were either found and exploded.

That compared with 3,239 incidents in March, he said. The October figure was the lowest since September 2005, he added.

“We believe that the commitments that the Iranians have made appear to be holding up,” Simmons said.

Iranian officials have publicly denied smuggling weapons to Shiite extremists. But U.S. authorities insist penetrator bombs are the signature weapon of Shiite militants.

“There has been, as you know, some finding of some EFP devices, some Iranian arms and ammo in some of these cache sites that we’ve uncovered,” Boozer said. “But it is hard to determine when they got there and how long they’ve been there.”

U.S. authorities said penetrators were used in an attack on Wednesday against a U.S. Stryker vehicle near an entrance to the Green Zone, killing an American soldier and wounding five others. Iraqi police said two Iraqi civilians also were killed.

It was the first major attack against a U.S. military vehicle in that area in the last four or five months, Simmons said.

He said the vehicle was struck by “an array” of penetrators. The attack occurred in one of the most heavily protected areas of the capital, raising questions about how the explosives could have been planted without collusion from Iraqi police or soldiers.

The general said U.S. and Iraqi authorities were investigating.

Simmons said U.S. authorities also were encouraged by an increase in tips from Iraqi citizens about weapons caches, which he interpreted as a sign the public was turning against both Shiite and Sunni extremists.

“We had found more caches by May of this year than in all of 2006,” he said.

Simmons said most of the roadside bomb attacks recently had occurred in Sunni areas north of Baghdad.

Northern Iraq also has seen a spike in violence in recent months as extremists were pushed from strongholds in and around Baghdad.

In Kirkuk, an ethnically mixed city 180 miles north of Baghdad, a homicide bomber rammed his car into a police patrol in Kirkuk, killing six people and wounding more than 20, said police Brig. Sarhad Qadir.

The city has seen a rise in bloodshed ahead of a planned census and referendum to determine the future of the city — whether it will join the semiautonomous Kurdish region on its border, or remain under Baghdad’s control.

The bomber’s apparent target was the six-car convoy of a senior Kurdish police officer, Brig. Gen. Khattab Omar, who heads the city police department’s quick response force, Qadir said.

Three of Omar’s officers were killed, along with three civilians, but the commander survived with serious injuries to his chest and head, Qadir said. Omar was being evacuated to a larger hospital, he said.

Video from AP Television News showed a charred Iraqi Humvee being towed from the scene.

Many of the 21 people wounded were children who had been walking to school when the bomber struck. APTN video from inside a nearby hospital showed a young girl in a school uniform, drenched in blood. A child’s shoe could be seen peeking out from under a tarp covering corpses — suggesting at least one of the dead civilians was a child.

Also Thursday, the U.S. military said a U.S. soldier had been killed a day earlier in an explosion in Diyala province that wounded four other soldiers.

At least 3,865 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an AP count.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials said they were investigating whether U.S. troops had mistakenly killed about two dozen anti-Al Qaeda fighters earlier this week north of Baghdad.

FOX News’ Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

–> –>–> QUIGO –>

–> –> –> QUIGO –>

Foreign Fighters in Iraq Are Tied to Allies of U.S.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/world/middleeast/22fighters.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin
BAGHDAD — Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered allies by the United States in its fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks, according to senior American military officials.

The data come largely from a trove of documents and computers discovered in September, when American forces raided a tent camp in the desert near Sinjar, close to the Syrian border. The raid’s target was an insurgent cell believed to be responsible for smuggling the vast majority of foreign fighters into Iraq.

The most significant discovery was a collection of biographical sketches that listed hometowns and other details for more than 700 fighters brought into Iraq since August 2006.

The records also underscore how the insurgency in Iraq remains both overwhelmingly Iraqi and Sunni. American officials now estimate that the flow of foreign fighters was 80 to 110 per month during the first half of this year and about 60 per month during the summer. The numbers fell sharply in October to no more than 40, partly as a result of the Sinjar raid, the American officials say.

Saudis accounted for the largest number of fighters listed on the records by far — 305, or 41 percent — American intelligence officers found as they combed through documents and computers in the weeks after the raid. The data show that despite increased efforts by Saudi Arabia to clamp down on would-be terrorists since Sept. 11, 2001, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, some Saudi fighters are still getting through.

Libyans accounted for 137 foreign fighters, or 18 percent of the total, the senior American military officials said. They discussed the raid with the stipulation that they not be named because of the delicate nature of the issue.

United States officials have previously offered only rough estimates of the breakdown of foreign fighters inside Iraq. But the trove found in Sinjar is so vast and detailed that American officials believe that the patterns and percentages revealed by it offer for the first time a far more precise account of the personal circumstances of foreign fighters throughout the country.

In contrast to the comparatively small number of foreigners, more than 25,000 inmates are in American detention centers in Iraq. Of those, only about 290, or some 1.2 percent, are foreigners, military officials say.

They contend that all of the detainees either are suspected of insurgent activity or are an “imperative threat” to security. Some American officials also believe that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown insurgent group that claims a loose allegiance to Osama bin Laden, may by itself have as many as 10,000 members in Iraq.

About four out of every five detainees in American detention centers are Sunni Arab, even though Sunni Arabs make up just one-fifth of Iraq’s population. All of the foreign fighters listed on the materials found near Sinjar, excluding two from France, also came from countries that are predominantly Sunni.

Over the years, the Syrian border has been the principal entry point into Iraq for foreign insurgents, officials say. Many had come through Anbar Province, in west-central Iraq. But with the Sunni tribal revolt against extremist militants that began last year in Anbar, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and other jihadists concentrated their smuggling efforts on the area north of the Euphrates River along the Syrian border, the officials said.

The officials added that, based on the captured documents and other intelligence, they believe that the Sinjar cell that was raided in September was responsible for the smuggling of foreign fighters along a stretch of the border from Qaim, in Anbar, almost to the border with Turkey, a length of nearly 200 miles. They said that was why they were confident that the cell was responsible for such a large portion of the incoming foreign fighters.

American military and diplomatic officials who discussed the flow of fighters from Saudi Arabia were careful to draw a distinction between the Saudi government and the charities and individuals who they said encouraged young Saudi men to fight in Iraq. After United States officials put pressure on Saudi leaders in the summer, the Saudi government took some steps that have begun to curb the flow of fighters, the officials said.

Yet the senior American military officials said they also believed that Saudi citizens provided the majority of financing for Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. “They don’t want to see the Shias come to dominate in Iraq,” one American official said.

The Sinjar materials showed that 291 fighters, or about 39 percent, came from North African nations during the period beginning in August 2006. That is far higher than previous military estimates of 10 to 13 percent from North Africa. The largest foreign fighter hometown was Darnah, Libya, which supplied 50 fighters.

For years American officials included Libya on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. But last year the United States removed it from that list and re-established full diplomatic relations, citing what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described as Libya’s “continued commitment to its renunciation of terrorism and the excellent cooperation” it has provided in the antiterrorism fight.

Also striking among the Sinjar materials were the smaller numbers from other countries that had been thought to be major suppliers of foreign fighters. As recently as the summer, American officials estimated that 20 percent came from Syria and Lebanon. But there were no Lebanese listed among the Sinjar trove, and only 56 Syrians, or 8 percent of the total.

American officials have accused Iran, the largest Shiite nation in the Middle East, of sending powerful bombs to Iraq and of supporting and financing Shiite militias that attack American troops. They also contend that top Iranian leaders support efforts to arm Shiite fighters.

But whatever aid Iran provides to militias inside Iraq does not seem to extend to supplying actual combatants: Only 11 Iranians are in American detention, United States officials say.

After the raid on the Sinjar cell, the number of suicide bombings in Iraq fell to 16 in October — half the number seen during the summer months and down sharply from a peak of 59 in March. American military officials believe that perhaps 90 percent of such bombings are carried out by foreign fighters. They also believe that about half of the foreign fighters who come to Iraq become suicide bombers.

“We cut the head off, but the tail is still left,” warned one of the senior American military officials, discussing the aftermath of the Sinjar raid. “Regeneration is completely within the realm of possibility.”

The documents indicate that each foreigner brought about $1,000 with him, used mostly to finance operations of the smuggling cell. Saudis brought more money per person than fighters from other nations, the American officials said.

Among the Saudi fighters described in the materials, 45 had come from Riyadh, 38 from Mecca, 20 from Buraidah and the surrounding area, 15 from Jawf and Sakakah, 13 from Jidda, and 12 from Medina.

American officials publicly expressed anger over the summer at Saudi policies that were destabilizing Iraq. Sunni tribal sheiks in Iraq who risked their lives to fight extremist militants also faulted Saudi clerics.

“The bad imams tell the young people to go to Iraq and fight the American Army, because if you kill them or they kill you, you will go to paradise,” Sheik Adnan Khames Jamiel, a leader of the Albu Alwan tribe in Ramadi, said in an interview.

One senior American diplomat said the Saudi government had “taken important steps to interdict individuals, particularly military-aged males with one-way tickets.” He said those efforts had helped cause an “appreciable decrease in the flow of foreign terrorists and suicide bombers.” But he added that still more work remained “to cut off malign financing from private sources within the kingdom.”

American officials cite a government program on Saudi television in which a would-be suicide bomber who survived his attack urges others not to travel to Iraq. The officials were also encouraged in October when the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheik Abdulaziz al-Asheik, condemned “mischievous parties” who send young Saudis abroad to carry out “heinous acts which have no association with Islam whatsoever.”

Armed with information from the raid, American officials say they have used military, law enforcement and diplomatic channels to put pressure on the countries named as homes to large numbers of fighters. They have also shared information with these countries on 300 more men who the records showed were being recruited to fight in Iraq.

Surrounded by desolate prairie and desert, Sinjar has long been a way station for foreign fighters. The insurgent cell raided by American troops was believed to have been smuggling up to 90 percent of all foreign fighters into Iraq, military officials say.

The raid happened in the predawn hours of Sept. 11, when American forces acting on a tip surrounded some tents six miles from the Syrian border. A fierce firefight killed six men outside, and two more were killed when one of them detonated a suicide vest inside a tent, military officials said. All were leaders of the insurgent smuggling cell, including one prominent Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia commander known as Muthanna, they said.

In addition to $18,000 in cash and assorted weapons, troops found five terabytes of data that included detailed questionnaires filled out by incoming fighters. Background information on more than 900 fighters was found, or about 750 after eliminating duplicates and questionnaires that were mostly incomplete.

According to the rosters found in the raid, the third-largest source of foreign fighters was Yemen, with 68. There were 64 from Algeria, 50 from Morocco, 38 from Tunisia, 14 from Jordan, 6 from Turkey and 2 from Egypt.

Most of the fighters smuggled by the cell were believed to have flown into Damascus Airport, and the rest came into Syria overland through Jordan, the officials said.

In some cases, one senior American military official said, Syrian authorities captured fighters and released them after determining they were not a threat to the Syrian government. Syria has made some recent efforts to turn back or detain suspected foreign fighters bound for Iraq, he said, adding, “The key word is ‘some.'”

The Al Qaeda Exaggeration

http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/2917/81/
The foreign fighter and Iranian myths blew up in the Bush Administration’s face in a big way this week. Despite repeated declarations over the last year that the violence racking Iraq is the result of Al Qaeda operations and influence and Iranian meddling, the facts on the ground do not support these claims. The U.S. Army confirmed this week that the foreign fighters constitute a small fraction of the insurgent activity and that most of insurgent activity is the handiwork of Iraqi Sunnis. The New York Time’s Richard Oppel wrote:

The . . . insurgency in Iraq remains both overwhelmingly Iraqi and Sunni. American officials now estimate that the flow of foreign fighters was 80 to 110 per month during the first half of this year and about 60 per month during the summer. The numbers fell sharply in October to no more than 40, partly as a result of the Sinjar raid, the American officials say.

Oppel’s article contains three critical facts:

Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered allies by the United States in its fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks, according to senior American military officials. . . .

In contrast to the comparatively small number of foreigners, more than 25,000 inmates are in American detention centers in Iraq. Of those, only about 290, or some 1.2 percent, are foreigners, military officials say. . . .

About four out of every five detainees in American detention centers are Sunni Arab, even though Sunni Arabs make up just one-fifth of Iraq’s population. All of the foreign fighters listed on the materials found near Sinjar, excluding two from France, also came from countries that are predominantly Sunni.

For years the Bush Administration has insisted that there was a direct operational tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Once Saddam was no longer around, Bush and company continued to cite Al Qaeda as the culprit behind most of the murder and mayhem in Iraq. You know, fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.And in September 2006 President Bush added the bogeyman of Iran to his litany of terrorism, Al Qaeda, and Iraq (see Bush’s speech, September 6, 2006) . Just last July George Bush, during a speech at the National War College, mentioned al-Qaeda 27 times.:

McClatchy’s Jonathan Landley reports, “Bush called al-Qaeda in Iraq the perpetrator of the worst violence racking that country and said it was the same group that carried out the 9/11 attacks.”

I understand the politics of terrorism and the need to trot out Al Qaeda as the ultimate threat in order to rally public support. But, if we are honest with ourselves, it is a very anemic threat. Remember the Cold War? By God we knew how to scare the bejesus out of folks back when we faced the threat of International Communism. Those were the good old days of fear mongering. The “reds” were seeking world domination. They hated God. They didn’t believe in God. I guess you can’t hate what doesn’t exist.Oh, did I mention nukes, naval armadas, nuclear subs, million man armies, long range bombers, and sleeper agents.

Whoops. Forgot about the KGB, the GRU, and their varied success in convincing Americans to betray their country for the great good of helping the Commies take over the world.Those were the good old days. Now? We have the Global Caliphate that the crafty old Al Qaeda is Allah bent on establishing. Global Islamic rule. Sound familiar? I like to think of it as Lenin on crack with a religious bent.Violence in Iraq? Al Qaeda of course. Why should we let the fact that the so-called leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq last year — Abu Musab Al Zarqawi — was too extreme for even Bin Laden and his deputy, Zawahiri? We should not worry about truth when we are committed to a propaganda message whose central theme is feeding the American public a steady diet of fear.Some in the press are complicit in this charade. Note a story in Reuter’s today hyping the Al Qaeda threat:

Three suspected al Qaeda militants, including two sisters, beheaded their uncle and his wife, forcing the couple’s children to watch, Iraqi police said on Friday.

The militants considered that school guard Youssef al-Hayali was an infidel because he did not pray and wore western-style trousers, they told police interrogators after being arrested in Diyala province northwest of Baghdad.

Let me see if I got this straight. Two nieces, who are apparently religious fanatics, murder their aunt and uncle. But they are Al Qaeda? Really? Did they have a membership card? A video of them swearying bayat to Bin Laden? No and no. It would appear that Al Qaeda now is a convenient shorthand for a muslim extremist.Let’s just act like George Bush and label all violence as Al Qaeda. Let’s continue to remind folks that Al Qaeda attacked us on 9-11. Let’s just hype the shit out of Al Qaeda. Make them 10 feet tall, with a massive global network capable of maintaining sleeper cells intact in the United States, and just biding their time to launch a nuclear strike. Make sure we are so afraid that we will lose any ability to do critical thinking and will willingly surrender our civil liberties just to be safe from the threat of the Global Caliphate.

Or, here’s an alternative. Let’s recognize that the threat posed by Islamic extremists, while real and potentially lethal, is something we can contain without losing our minds, our lives, and our freedoms. But to take that approach requires we rediscover reason and analysis. Oppel’s fine article is a step in that direction.

FOX Anchor Calls for Terrorist Car Bombings In Iran:

Taze domestic dissenters:

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