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Monday, June 12, 2006

The Politics of Pronouns: "We the People" or "Us vs.Them" - by Eric Margolis

  
"Zarqawi will be dead soon," two of his disgruntled Jordanian supporters told me in March. "He will be betrayed by his own men."
 
And that's likely what happened last week. Tipped off that Iraq's most wanted man was in a rural house, U.S. aircraft bombed it, killing some of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's top aides, a woman and a child. Who will collect the $25-million bounty offered by the U.S. remains to be seen.
 
Zarqawi, the poster boy of so-called Islamic terrorism, was born in Zarqa, a Jordanian of Palestinian refugee parents. He came closest to fitting the term "terrorist" of anyone since the late, unlamented mass killer, Abu Nidal.
 
Both were vicious mad dogs who revelled in mass violence and cruel executions. They quickly forgot political goals and devoted themselves to wanton, often aimless bloodshed.
 
Few will miss Zarqawi. But his assassination is not "a major victory against al-Qaida," as U.S. President George Bush claimed.
 
Contrary to erroneous reports in the western media, Zarqawi's so-called "al-Qaida in Iraq" was not truly part of Osama bin Laden's movement.
 
After the U.S. invaded Iraq, Zarqawi, who had been a member of an anti-Saddam militant group, set up his own small radical group. In a clever ploy to achieve instant notoriety, Zarqawi proclaimed it "al-Qaida in Iraq."
 
The real al-Qaida was most displeased by Zarqawi's brazen trademark infringement. This deception was enhanced by faked letters "intercepted" by U.S. forces claiming to show Zarqawi was acting under bin Laden's direct orders.
 
Along with his deputy, Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, bin Laden strongly opposed Zarqawi's bloody attacks on Muslim civilians, his decapitations of hostages as "un-Islamic."
 
Iraq's 20-odd resistance groups battling U.S.-British occupation also strongly denounced Zarqawi's murderous car and truck bombing rampages aimed at igniting a civil war between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.
 
Numerous Iraqi resistance leaders and some Arab media even claimed Zarqawi and his henchmen were covert "agents provocateurs" working for the U.S. and Britain to stir up ethnic tensions as part of Britain's old "divide and rule" techniques.
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