Ghali Hassan / Countercurrents.org – 2006-05-27 09:07:51
AUSTRALIA (April 3, 2006) — Like all imperialist forces, the US is heavily relaying on misinformation propaganda campaign to promote and enhance its imperialist ideology. Violence and war crimes against defenceless civilians are depicted as “fighting the enemy”. The mass murder of Iraqi civilians by US forces is normalised and welcomed with deafening silence. The purpose is thought control, or as it is called, “perception management” designed to enhance US images. The campaign is part of a wider Western strategy to mislead the public, remove historical memory and justify more wars.
According to George Orwell, “newspeak” is a form of propaganda to cover up criminal actions, especially killing people unjustly and deliberately, with a veneer of justification and reason. In Iraq, the occupying forces are increasingly covering the truth with lies and deception, blame the Iraqi people for the violence they have inflicted on them, and to remove the Occupation as the generator of violence.
The three-year US Occupation of Iraq is becoming increasingly violent and the occupying forces are killing Iraqi civilians with impunity while encouraging Iraqis to fight each other. The atrocity is aided by massive Western propaganda campaign to demonise Iraqis and portray not only Iraqis but also Muslims in general as fanatic and violent.
1) the Occupation is a benign “peace mission” and necessary “to prevent” civil war;
2) Iraq is a “breeding ground for terrorists”– as if the illegal invasion and Occupation of Iraq are not the greatest acts of terrorism; and
3) Iraqis are responsible for what is happening to them.
Each of the three is a falsehood Western elites (Left and Right) have adopted these falsehoods to justify their attacks on the Iraqi people and to jump on the misinformation propaganda of Occupation bandwagon.
A recent secret Pentagon ‘roadmap’ on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for the total control of information before they become available to the American public. The aim is to pacify and remove the public influence on foreign policies. Furthermore, the US continues the practice of paying journalists, including Iraqis, to plant stories in the Iraqi news media in favour of the brutal Occupation. The purpose is thought control, or as it is called “perception management”, designed to enhance US images, including military image.
The Haditha Massacre
On the morning of 19 November 2005, US troops deliberately massacred 15 Iraqi civilians, including seven women, three children and four students in the town of Haditha, northwest of Baghdad. The US army alleged that the dead civilians were “insurgents”. However, eyewitness testimonies and news reports from the area contradict the US allegations.
Credible reports supported by local witnesses show that the US Marines were acting in revenge after they were attacked by the Iraqi Resistance. Indeed, the Marines executed Iraqi civilians while they were sleeping, as Aparisim Ghosh of the Time magazine reported.
Victims in the town told the Time that “the Marines came in and they killed everybody inside”. An eyewitness Khaled Ahmed Rsayef whose brother was among the dead told the Time: “It was a [premeditated] massacre in every sense of the word”. The other eyewitness is 9-year-old Eman Walid. She told the Time: “First, they went into my father’s room, where he was reading the Koran, and we heard shots. Then, the soldiers came back into the living room. I couldn’t see their faces very well — only their guns sticking into the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny”.
[Time] also reported that there were no signs of Iraqi Resistance fighters around the scene of the massacre in which four houses were destroyed. The massacre was videotaped by a Haditha journalism student and handed to Hammurabi Human Rights group. The cowardice attack destroyed four families and left a girl and her young brother terrorised and traumatised forever.
The Isahaqi Massacre
On March 15 2006, US forces raided a house in Isahaqi, near the town of Balad about 60 miles north of Baghdad. According to Iraqi Police, and eyewitnesses on the ground, US troops gathered 11 people into a single room and executed them, before destroying the house as they left the area.
The initial Iraqi Police report said: “American forces used helicopters to drop troops on the house of Faiz Harat Khalaf situated in the Abu Sifa village of the Isahaqi district. The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people, including five children, four women and two men, [and] then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals”.
According to Mathew Schofield of Knight Ridder news; “The Iraqi police identified the dead as ranging in age from 6 months to 75 [years old]. Iraqi police said that the five children, four women and two men were found together in the wreckage of the house” all with gunshot to the head. The bodies were found handcuffed and lined up under the rubble.
The Army Times reported on 15 March 2006 that Riyadh Majid, the nephew of the killed head of the family — Faez Khalaf — told AP at the hospital that US forces landed in helicopters and raided the home early Wednesday. Khalaf’s brother, Ahmed, said nine of the victims were family members who lived at the house and two were visitors”. The killed family was not part of the Resistance, they were women and children,” Ahmed Khalaf said. “The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death”, he added.
The Al-Mustapha Mosque Massacre
On Sunday night 26 March 2006, US forces and their Iraqi collaborators attacked Al-Mustapha Mosque in the Ur neighbourhood in east Baghdad and deliberately killed 37 unarmed worshipers including the 80-years old Imam in charge of the Mosque.
Eyewitnesses on the scene observed US soldiers entering the Mosque unprovoked and started shooting at random. A video-tape showed several civilians bodies and spent 5.56 mm shell casings ammunition, the type used by the US soldiers.
“It’s an organized crime with serious political and security implications. It aims to incite a civil war … To kill such a great number of the faithful of the family of the Prophet after handcuffing and torturing them is indefensible. It’s an attack on the dignity of Iraqis that strips away any credibility from the slogans of freedom, democracy and pluralism flaunted by the American administration”, reported the French daily, Le Figaro quoting an Iraqi communiqué.
“They went in, tied up the people and shot them all. They did not leave any wounded. [The victims] were unarmed”, added the Guardian of London on 28 March 2006. Indeed, the puppet government justifiably accusing US forces of committing the massacre, and the Baghdad “provincial governor” has suspended all cooperation with US forces.
Consistent with the US policy of dehumanising and identifying all Iraqis as the “enemy”, US forces aided by the BBC – the mother of all deceptions – and US mass media have falsely and deliberately portrayed the victims of being “insurgents” and “terrorists”, and gave contradictory accounts of the massacre. But careful examination of these acts suggests deliberate acts of state terrorism to promote US interests.
Deliberate Acts of State Terrorism
As it has always been, the US fabricated “terrorism” – disguised as “liberty” and “democracy” – to keep the public engulfed with fear and justify a violent imperialist ideology. The atrocities are purposely masked with lies and distortion in order to put the blame on the so-called “Iraqi forces” and clear the Occupation from any wrongdoing. These criminal acts are part of the Bush-Blair larger messianic mission of ultra-violence and conquest propagated as Western common values.
Leading the misinformation propaganda campaign is President George W. Bush. In his news conference at the White House on 21 March 2006, Bush said: “It’s — confidence amongst the Iraqis is what is going to be a vital part of achieving a victory”, he said, “which will then enable the American people to understand that victory is possible. In other words, the American people will — their opinions, I suspect, will be affected by what they see on their TV screens”.
On the invited list – for the first time in three years – was veteran correspondent Helen Thomas. It was a pre-arranged propaganda coup to justify the illegal and war against the Iraqi people. The question and the answers were well-prepared and designed to manipulate public opinion. Bush was fluent, and Helen Thomas had very little to say except ask the one question. It was what Bush wants to say after three years of a criminal occupation proceeded by an illegal act of aggression.
Bush mentioned Tel Afar as a “model” of America’s “success” in Iraq. Like Fallujah, Tel Afar is a destroyed city. The majority of its population are ethnically cleansed refugees and the rest is imprisoned in a concentration camp patrolled by US forces and their ‘Occupation dogs’. Tel Afar is another model of US criminal atrocity. The aim is – like always – to feed a rosy picture of the Occupation to the American public and the rest of the world.
The Australian Echo Chamber
The Bush’s line of distortion was repeated in Australia by Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Blair. John Howard used no other media outlet than the ABC to tell Australians that; in Iraq, “I don’t think things can be said to be getting worse. I think they can be said to be getting better”. Tony Blair used the Australian Parliament House to promote a relic colonial ideology of changing peoples’ culture and assimilate them into the Anglo-American culture through arms conquest and ultra-violence.
“The last time we heard talk like this was from a former army corporal in Germany speaking about the values of the Aryan race”, writes author Jeff Archer of MalcomLagauche.com. Three years ago, Tony Blair told the biggest lie of the century — that Iraq could launch an attack on Britain using chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.
We know now that the Iraqi people had no chemical or biological weapons and Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack, as clearly stated by George W. Bush. The entire nation of once prosperous Iraq has been destroyed. City after city have been indiscriminately attacked with real WMDs, including napalm, phosphorus and Depleted Uranium in a deliberate act of aggression designed to inflict as much harm as possible on the Iraqi civilian population.
War Crimes on a Massive Scale
All the destruction and bloodshed is the result of a decision agreed upon by the three Anglo-American demagogues, and aided by an offensive misinformation propaganda campaign promoted by the mass media to justify war crimes on massive scale. Blair’s “battle for modernity” is a pretext for attacking Islam, which is identified in the West today as “Islamism”.
For the three Anglo-American demagogues, “Islamism” writes, Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University in New York; “is a US-sponsored propaganda gadget manufactured to generate and sustain an illusory enemy to justify warmongering and global domination”. In other words, a diet of distortion, fear and racism is feed to the public in order to provide justification for violent ideology.
The war which the three demagogues continue to promote is responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. It is responsible for the illegal mass arrest, imprisonment, torture, abuse and murder of thousands of innocents Iraqi men, women and children. The “democracy” and “freedom” that the three demagogues claim to be spreading around the world is the mask of war and ultra-violence. The three demagogues have one thing in common; to continue the current violence against the Iraqi people.
Iraq Was Better off before the Invasion
In today’s Iraq, a large percentage of Iraqis live in abject poverty. Iraqi families now get less food than before the invasion and during the 13-years long genocidal sanctions. And as a result of this murderous Occupation, essential items have gone missing from the food ration card which was the brainchild of Saddam regime. Prices of staples like rice, sugar, flour and vegetable ghee are soaring.
Unemployment is as high as 70 percent. Iraqis without income find it extremely hard to make ends meet. Electricity and drinking-water supplies are at their lowest levels. The healthcare services are in state of near collapse, and more than 400,000 children are malnourished. Acute malnutrition among Iraqi children between the ages of six months and 5 years has increased from 4 percent before the invasion to 7.7 per cent since the US invasion.
Basic human rights for Iraqi women have disappeared as a result of an Imperialist and backward US-crafted constitution. Life in US-occupied Iraq is far worse than at any time in the past. Every day since the invasion, Iraqi lives have gotten progressively worse, not better, as the Australian demagogue alleged.
How ‘Civil War’ Helps the US Occupation
The situation is accurately put by an Iraqi recently. He writes: “Three years have passed and Iraq has been destroyed as a state and as a nation. Its natural resources have been plundered [with billions of dollars that could otherwise have been spent on rebuilding Iraq have been looted], its civilisation and cultural heritage looted, its religious heritage desecrated, its people raped, tortured, drilled, murdered and even melted. Cynicism nowadays refuses the call for an immediate and complete withdrawal of occupation forces for fear of “civil war”, which has been the aim of the US Administration to justify ongoing Occupation.
Furthermore, as Iraqis are increasingly demanding the end to the Occupation, US warmongers are now openly and unashamedly advocating “civil war” in Iraq. While all the fabricated pretexts to occupy Iraq have expired, the US continues to divide Iraqis and promote civil war in order to destroy of what left in Iraq. One of George W. Bush closest advisors, the Islamophobic Zionist Daniel Pipes said recently: “I don’t think, from the point of view of the coalition, it is necessarily that bad for our interests…. In the first place, there would be fewer attacks on our forces in Iraq as they fight each other … More broadly outside Iraq, there would be fewer attacks on us as the Shiites and the Sunnis attack each other”. In other words, civil war is good for West and should be encouraged. Only the Nazis were known to have promoted such criminal ideology in the past.
Without the current divisions, it would have been impossible for the US and its vassals to occupy Iraq for three years. The US created, trained, armed and financed the sectarian and ethnic-based militia groups and death squads proved to be useful imperialist tool. It is part of the “unconventional warfare” waged by the Bush Administration against the Iraqi population.
The aims are:
1) to foment civil strife and encourage fratricidal killings among Iraqis;
2) terrorise the Iraqi population and subjugate them to US diktats;
3) shield the occupying forces from any attack; and
4) divert public attention from the crimes of the occupying forces.
Having failed to ignite an all-out civil war in Iraq, the US is now turning one militia group against another. The militia have been very useful tools. Indeed, US crimes become so obvious that the puppet government demanded that the occupying US forces withdraw from the cities and hand overall security to the Iraqis.
One should not be mislead by the Bush rhetoric of Iraq is a “model for democracy”. As Iraqis are demanding that the puppet government form a government and shows some independence, the Bush Administration interfered. The Bush Administration is opposed to the nomination of Ibrahim al-Jaafari as “prime minister” for a second term despite that al-Jaafari’s Iraqi United Alliance (IUA) won the majority of seats. The US is using al-Jaafari – an imported stooge – as a scapegoat to break the Alliance, and prevent the emergence of majority government.
By blocking national unity among Iraqis, the US is playing one faction against another. Muqtada al-Sadr – who the US has sought to assassinate – was clever enough not to buy into the US agenda and continue to work with all Iraqis to create a national unity government.
US colonial proconsul in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad is on record warning Iraqis that; “you can’t be in the government if you are against the Occupation”. His target is Muqtada al-Sadr who is demanding unity and an end to the Occupation.
The Bush Administration aim is a divided and sectarian government under its control; a US-appointed subordinate government with Allawi doing photo opportunities for the Occupation.
The hypocrisy is so flagrant that most Iraqis now associate Western “democracy” with violence and corruption. Of course, all this meddling and interference in Iraqi affairs is part of Bush-Blair agenda. The reality is that the US is promoting divisions, ongoing bloodshed, torture chambers and colonial dictatorship to serve its imperialist interests. The unjust rejection by the US and its allies of recent HAMAS’ success in the Palestinian elections is another example of the West promotion of fraudulent democracy.
Divide and Conquer
The US did not invade and destroyed Iraq for the sake of “democracy” and “freedom”. The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq is part of the US imperialist-Zionist ideology. The current US campaign is to divide Iraqis and prevent an Iraqi government of unity at all coast. As it is the case, there has been no government in Iraq since the invasion and the promotion of “civil war” has increased markedly.
The US-groomed puppet government is a propaganda tool. It is a façade designed to legitimise ongoing Occupation and cover up its associated crimes. It has no power and is unable to provide Iraqis with the minimum services required, let alone security. There is no national sovereignty under foreign occupation. Hence, the Iraqi people are struggling to free themselves from the Anglo-American-orchestrated Occupation and oppression.
Three years of violent Occupation and Bush’s “political process” of fraudulent elections, were designed as a veneer to cover-up deliberately instigated crimes and unjustified violence. Propagating an Anglo-American version of “democracy” and “freedom” to justify war crimes is like planting Anglo-American version of “good news” in the media about a murderous Occupation.
It won’t affect the Iraqi Resistance and determination of the Iraqi people to liberate their country from foreign Occupation. Resistance to Western terrorism is not terrorism; it is legitimate Resistance. Iraqi is not in “civil war”; the Occupation is the cause of the violence.
The vast majority of Iraqis (87-92 percent, [according to a study by] the Brookings Institute) is opposed to the presence of foreign forces and demanding the end of the Occupation of their country. In addition, 72 percent of US troops want to end the Occupation and more than half (60 percent) of US citizens – despite and efficient and self-imposed brain-washing – supports the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
As someone who has followed this war closely, I see nothing can justify the ultra-violent Occupation of Iraq. The Anglo-American has no right to be in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq is a war crimes and crimes against humanity. The only civilised actions are the immediate end to the Occupation, and the full withdrawal of all foreign forces from Iraq.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.
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