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How an Iraqi Militant Group Manipulates Bush into Staying

CNN is reporting the capture of a top "Al Qaeda in Iraq" figure:

The U.S. military on Wednesday announced the arrest of a senior leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, an insurgent who, the military said, is casting himself as a "conduit" between the top leaders of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq.

Khalid al-Mashadani, an Iraqi also known as Abu Shahed, was seized on July 4 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and is in coalition custody, the military said.

"He served as the al Qaeda media emir for Baghdad and then was appointed the media emir for all of Iraq," said Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, who briefed reporters.

He is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in al Qaeda in Iraq.

Good news for supporters of Bush's war right? Except for this tidbit that appears later on in the story:

Bergner also said al-Mashadani was a leader in the Ansar al Sunna terrorist group before joining al Qaeda in Iraq two-and-a-half-years ago.

Er, come again? Where does this "Ansar al Sunna" come from? I thought these were the same people who attacked us on 9/11?

But of course, people like al-Mashadani aren't and never were members of Al Qaeda until after our occupation of Iraq. In fact, these people really aren't genuine Al Qaeda at all. Those folks are rampaging through north-west Pakistan where Al Qaeda's main headquarters are located. We don't really know the extent of the ties between those who have now labeled themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" and the real Al Qaeda (you know, that bin Laden guy) and the administration's propaganda on this certainly isn't to be believed since they have no credibility on anything concerning Iraq anymore.

What we do know is that a group of Islamic militants previously known as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad which was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq", and that members of two other militant groups, Ansar al-Sunna and Ansar al-Islam, have joined them. These militants have effectively manipulated George Bush into continuing our occupation of Iraq simply by labeling themselves "Al Qaeda".

Think about it, a simple name change by this group is the sole justification that Bush now offers for continuing our occupation of Iraq in the midst of a civil war. He repeatedly says Iraq is all about Al Qaeda, but neglects to inform the American people that there was NO Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before we invaded, and that the people who now call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" are NOT the same people who attacked us on 9/11 and are NOT the same people who have re-established a base of operations in Pakistan. They are pretenders who have cleverly co-opted the Al Qaeda label in order to manipulate the simpleton Bush into continuing our involvement in the disaster that has engulfed us in Iraq.

Confronting and dismantling the lies of this administration is really a full time job that I sometimes find exhausting, but I am determined to continue until we have undone the damage that has been done to our country.

So let me make this simple for the right-wingers and neocons embittered by the debacle of Iraq:

If you want to fight the "real" Al Qaeda go here.

If you want to fight a bunch of people who pretend to be Al Qaeda then go here.

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Comments (15)


al-Qaeda mocks your organizational chart.

U.P. Man:

Hey Larkin, are you really that dumb?

President Bush never said Iraq attacked on 9/11.
We don't have the same people in congress now as we did on 9/11 does that make us a different country?

If President Bush stated we needed to fight terrorist, you would ask who they are and what do they call themselves.

For people who claim to be nuanced you sure can't handle a little name change?


Read Robert Kagan in Policy Review.



Yes I would. We're not at war with a tactic called "terrorism".

Maybe if you'd stop purposefully misnaming things and being willfully ignorant you'd realize we are indeed at war with terrorism. Hence, "The Global War on Terror". As much as it plays into your isolationist fantasies, this isn't and never was "The War on Taliban". Our invasion of Afghanistan was a direct strike back for 9-11.

Terrorism is as much and ideal as it is a tactic. The Palistinians exemplify that nicely.

We're not at war with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, or the Maoists in Nepal, or even the Janjaweed in Sudan and for good reason.

Not directly. That good reason would that there is a real limit to how many doors we could or should kick in to get to them. Their organizational skill, political goals, geographic location, if they're a threat to us, and more need to be taken into account when weighing the viability of such actions.

Be realistic, you can't expect to launch simultaneous attacks on every terrorist group in the world, even though the fact that we're not fits nicely into your point of view.

"The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq, " Bush said, "were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th,

Why else do you think they would have changed their name to al-Qaeda...because they like how it's spelled? They changed their name to al-Qaeda to be identified as the group that attacked the Great Satan.

And al-Qaeda attacked us...same "folks" now, get it?

You see this as a manipulation of Bush as if he's just trying to blindly stamp out anything with that name. As described before, in case you've been away for several years - Global war on Terror.


In fact, these people really aren't genuine Al Qaeda at all.

What? Do you need documentation to be "genuine al-Qaeda"?

Lee Ward:

"Terrorism is as much and ideal as it is a tactic."

Common conservative fallacy.

Terrorism is a tactic, nothing more - but it's a proverbial red-flag waving in the face of conservatives, and it strikes so much fear and loathing in the hearts of the (both religious and ethnic) racists bigots that are driving US policy in the Executive branch that it becomes much more than just a simple tool for our political and idealogical enemies - it becomes the all-encompassing enemy 'proxy' for the mindset that just cannot comprehend and grasp how to go about defeating this enemy - so they attack the tactic instead of the people behind the tactic.

Terrorism scares the holy shit out of Dick Cheney, and our nation is paying a very dear price for his cowardice.



Terrorism is a tactic, nothing more -

I disagree. You may have noticed much of modern day terrorism takes root in a particular world religion.
I'm also thinking specifically of that abomination Farfour the mouse, that's teaches Palestinian kids that blowing yourself is Allah's will.

Terrorism, unfortunately, is far beyond tactics.

But if you'd like to see it transcend tactics and ideology to finally become culture, continue to dismissively call it a tactic and blame our government for everything.

Yes, Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq before we invaded, and I do wish Bush followed his dad's example by not marching into Baghdad.

But as Colen Powell warned,"you break it, you own it". Isn't an early withdrawal from Iraq (before the government of Iraq officially requests it) denying this responsibility?

Yes, the Iraqi government and Iraqi people will eventually have to take charge make their government work. But can you deny the 100's of suicide bombings that have been targeted at Iraqi civilians? Do you call this a civil war or trying to create a civil war? Isn't it in the best interest of the US to ensure a full scale civil war doesn't break out due to these terrorists? And isn't it the moral responsibility of the US to help the Iraqi government fight these terrorists?



Bush labeled it the "war on terror" so that he could justify attacking Iraq.

Bush could have justifiably attacked Iraq under UN sanction rules before 9-11 even occured. Your reasoning is deliberately flawed to allow you to dismiss the overall struggle and blame it on one man.

Do you not recall that he was asking Richard Clarke the day after 9/11 if Saddam was involved in those attacks?

It was a valid question.

I think we should be at war with the bastards who killed 3,000 Americans (including my cousin who was a NY firefighter) on 9/11.

We are, and my condlences to you and yours. Your cousin must have been a brave and selfless individual.

Those people have never been caught (excepting for KSM) and Bush let them escape at Tora Bora. Now, they have a new base of operations in Pakistan and Bush refuses to go after them there. As was recently reported, they passed on an attempt to hit Al Qaeda leadership targets in Pakistan.

No, most of them have likely been killed or scattered to the wind. This isn't a war of vengeance, Larkin. This is a war against something larger than that.

You can critique the handling of certain situations, that's fine...but be mindful that things are rarely as simple as "passing on an attempt".

We've completely blown it with this grand diversion in Iraq. We've allowed Al Qaeda to regroup and now it's a bigger threat than ever according to our intelligence agencies.

I challenged this yesterday. If a single editorial cites "Intelligence Agencies" saying something that's actually rather vague, it doesn't make it concrete evidence.

Bush insists on continuing this diversion because some Islamic militants in Iraq have decided to call themselves "Al Qaeda".

I addressed this in my previous post.

Besides it's contradictory to say:

"Bush labeled it the "war on terror" so that he could justify attacking Iraq.

and then going on to say:

"And now, Bush insists on continuing this diversion because some Islamic militants in Iraq have decided to call themselves "Al Qaeda"."

Al Qaeda is a terrorist group. You saying Bush wants to stay in Iraq to fight terror group, but then decrying the War on Terror as an excuse to attack Iraq, is circular logic.


"..that's teaches Palestinian kids that blowing yourself is Allah's will."

UP! I meant to say "blowing yourself up".



Bush used the war on "terror" to justify attacking a country (Iraq)

Seems to me we went looking for weapons of mass destruction.

And now, he's using the same war on "terror" to justify continuing the occupation of a country in the midst of a civil war whose roots lie in the centuries-old conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites.

There's no terrorism or terrorist groups in Iraq now?

Bush continues to conflate our struggle with those who attacked us on 9/11 and the Islamic militants in Iraq because that is the last remaining argument he has to justify keeping our troops there.

Those who terrorize are terrorists. Calling them "Islamic militants" are a way for you to dissolve the connection between the two and dicredit the war in Iraq as one man's doing.

Though yes, I definitely could stand to do some reading on Sunni and Shiite.

The bottom line is that Bush doesn't ever want to bring our troops home from Iraq.

In your opinion.


Guess what, when you wear a bomb vest filled with ball bearings and walk into a crowded market to detonate it...you're a terrorist. Same with car bombs. Don't sanitize what's being done and refuse to label them terrorists just to try and make a point. That would be amoral.

If your goal is simply to fight Islamic militants why not go someplace easier like Somalia? Answer: there's no OIL there.

Amazing, one reason shot down another pops up. It's like playing whack-a-mole over here sometimes. Who supplies the vast majority of our oil? No one in the middle east.


bD, have a read of the Badger.

Think about it. What other possible reason is there to stay?

Too many for me to bother taking the time to list. Been done before. And that's not a cop out, I just have no desire to wind back the clock to address, again, old liberal arguments because the new ones aren't holding enough water.

Those who call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" have a small presence and are estimated to be responsible for less than 15% of the attacks on our troops. Yes, they are responsible for some of the most spectacular suicide bombings but the Sunni insurgents also use that tactic by planting bombs in the trunks of unsuspecting Shiites at checkpoints.

Seems like many are underestimating the role of AQ/Jihadists in Iraq. I define these terrorists as those engaging in acts which would only be intended to incite a cycle of violence between Shiite and Sunni. Attacking US military is bad, but that could be defined as an insurgent tactic. These suicide bombs against mosques and Iraqi civilians (mostly Shiite) only serve to create a larger civil war that would lead to a failed state.

Below are some stats I received from http://engram-backtalk.blogspot.com/ (which seems to be backed by valid references):

So far this month, 928 civilian deaths have been recorded by the media. Here is how they break down:

Number killed by al Qaeda suicide bombers: 339
Number killed Shiite death squads in Baghdad: 338
Number killed in other ways (mortar rounds, shootings, etc.): 249


Yes, but not with logic! :P


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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