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08 June 2006


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'Zarqawi was largely the creation of the collective American mind. In fact, he was the leader of less than 10% of the Iraqi insurgents.'

And of the U.S military. Wasn't there a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of al-Zarqawi aimed mainly at the Iraqi public that also spilled over to the U.S The aim was to turn Iraqis against al-Zarqawi by portraing him as a foreigner. Washington Post had a peice on it a while back.

It was of course nice for the administration to get a piece of good news to show some progress in the GWOT.

By the way I wonder who the framed picture was for. GWB? In that case civilization have certainly progressed since the practice was to deliver the heads directly to the soverign of slain enemies. The frame makes a nice addition to the collection with Saddams gun.


Washington Post, April 10, 2006

[quote]One internal briefing, produced by the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, said that Kimmitt had concluded that, "The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date."[/quote]

Pat is right here - nothing will change on the ground just because a PsyOps campaign died away.


> Is it important? Not very much.
Unless Zarqawi's head was a quid pro quo from the sunnis, in which case the only obstacle to peace would be the Sadr/Badr duo and the interior death squads.

Patrick Henry

I agree with your Take Pat..One Bad guy less...Good News..But I think we have to anticipate this may have just Created 5000 new Martyrs..to take his place..

He was noted because he was extremely Vicious..and Brutal and Carried out Thier trademark acts of TERRORISM..to the Max..

Acts so violent and Alien they Command Attention and Media...which uis what the Terrorists really Want..

Its Intended to be that Way...Thats why they call it TERRORISM..

TO TERRORIZE... To SHOCK AND~AWE(Western Minds)..To Intimidate..To PUNISH..

It is already being Proclaimed around the M/E that he is a Righteous Martyr who has Done His Service and now is "Claiming" His reward..

Yes...we have to wait and see..There may be Severe Retaliation...and we must be prepared there..Heightened Security. Anticipate .More IEDS and Killing..etc

Or some Response elsewhwere in the World..

You know them Pat..You Probably know how they will want to retaliate..and Respond...

None of thier Loss's for Several Decades have slowed them down Yet..The West needs to understand the Culture...and Thier Mind Set..

To them it is a "Holy WAR"

I Hope for the Best..and Anticipate the Worst..

I hope Pat..as you point out...the Continued Formation of ther Iraqi Government will be a positive Step Forward..

Because We have Invested so Much In That Process..and it would be nice to see something good start to happen and come out of all this "Committment"


Only two things are known for certain about Zarqawi. One, he fought in Afghanistan. Two, he had one leg. Other than that he's more myth than man; I'm not sure I even buy that the dead guy is Zarqawi, or dead. There's no way to know.

If it was Zarqawi, I bet he was offed by the Iraqis because they want "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" under Iraqi control.


What I want to know is...

How much money we spend creating this amateurish propaganda?

And what exactly do we accomplish by throwing so much resource creating this super lame-O-craptacular media trick?

But don't worry folks. My feeling: Zarqawi ver. 2.0 will come out soon enough, when these bozos need another media distraction to do CYA.

Note to Pentagon psych op dumbasses: You know, if you spend about the same energy creating this bogus BS as you actually tackling real problem. We might actually be in better position now... less people die, less waste... less BS.

Lying doesn't accomplish anything, except delaying the innevitable and poluting the information matrix.


Pat is right here - nothing will change on the ground just because a PsyOps campaign died away.

Posted by: b | 08 June 2006 at 03:05 PM

You know is a psych-op operation when news pattern (breaking news) changes considerably from other similar event. (eg. It's the big paper being told to print the story, instead of them seeing it themselves.)

Charlie Green

Actually, I saw the Zarqawi mythology as an effort to connect SoDamnInsane with 9/11. Al Z. was a standin for Osama (Even though he was hiding in Iraq to escape from Bin Laden's wrath was my understanding.) for propoganda purposes.

"Such tangled webs we weave, e'er the other to deceive". Or however it goes. Science was my forte, not literature.


Wow, Pat. You just laid it out:

"We Americans and our Israeli friends are obsessed with our own conception of what the mentality of people different from us ought to be. We can not deal with the reality of completely different and adversarial world views and mind sets. We account for systematic hostility toward adoption of our ways by attributing this "backwardness" to "bogey men" who from sheer evilness and perversity lead their fellows astray. Having done this, we then build them up in our minds and media as "supermen" whose elimination will end resistance to our "program" of "modernity.""

I love this analysis because well, it so trenchant, so insightful, so difficult for all of us to accept and really understand. Those of us on the left can snipe and snark about this or that about the Bushies but really and c'mon, there are really deep issues here that affect us all, about another mindset, another reality which we must understand AND defeat. But we will not be able to accomplish the latter without the former.

Perhaps a better question is: do our leaders share Pat's wisdom about the nature of our erstwhile enemy, or do they just play patriot games with simplistic notions of the so-called enemy OR, do they really get Pat's critique and are playing us for fools?

Duck of Death

My question is what has happened recently that would have diminished Zarqawi's value as propaganda tool to the point that they took him out. I think I read somewhere that AQ leadership had lost confidence in him...did that play a role?

Duck of Death

My question is what has happened recently that would have diminished Zarqawi's value as propaganda tool to the point that they took him out. I think I read somewhere that AQ leadership had lost confidence in him...did that play a role?


Do anyone know if there have been any studies made by independent sources on the extent of the Zarqawi network in Iraq? It's interesting how many media commentators today portrays Zarqawi as the main leader of the insurgency in Iraq.

I have always wondered to what extent he was blamed or took credit for actions done by the old ex-bathist military and intelligence networks among the sunni.


It is funny - just a couple weeks ago, they were ridiculing his sneakers and lack of prowess handling a machine gun in the out-takes of his latest video. Now that they've managed to drop some big assed bombs down his chimney, he is the linchpin of global terrorism.

W. Patrick Lang


No. They are incapable of doing anything more than talking vainly about "differences." pl

Patrick Henry

Does the location Zarqawi held his meetin when we "apprehended him .." Mean anything..

Isnt that in the Sunni Triagle..area..??

Wouldnt that br where most of the Republican Guard and Batthists and The rest of the missing Deck Are..??

Since Most violence is Sunni taking out Shia...isnt thats whats going on.. Same Old saddam loyalists still fighting the Shia..same old Hatred..same old enemys..

The Neww Iraqi government should be able to consolidate thier forces and Focus on the Old Battists as a Common Public enemy..Motivate thier security forces to eleminate that Enemy and the Civil Instability they are creating..

What role are the Kurds playing...they are hardly in the News..

Seems to me like the Batthists and Al`quaeda must be working together and consolidating resources and Planning..and Funding..and Operating out of the same area..

Since all the Bad guys seem to be in the Sunni Trangle...

I think we got Zarqawi by doing a good job...Spec ops has been after him forover a year...almost had him three times..We` are developing some resources...building a network and Getting RESULTS..

Give Credit where credit is due..

I Just hate the Media always disclosing our Operational methods...and Who..Where..When..Why..and HOW..

To Damn MUCh Information in my opinion..

I just wonder who's getting the 25 million ..Where is the money going..how will it be Used..?? By Who..For What..??

IF Zarqawi was turned..WHY..??

Better to Have a DEAD MARTYR..??

Did he just chop off one to many Shi Head..?..and put them in Boxs..Since that is His SIGNATURE..

Who would he be Pissing off..with enough Power to Have him "Eleminated"..as no longer useful..Bin Laden..??


Why did Rumsfeld plan the War this Way..??

Did he really believe a Light Invasion force would work..??

That we would be Hailed as "liberators"

No Violence..Little Resistance...A Guranteed Capiluation by the Iraqi Army..??

Did someone TELL Rumsfeld..how and When to Invade...??


That allowed so Much Intentional LOOTING and CHAOS..

Rumsfeld did not...and DOES NOT want a Large enough American Military presence in IRAQ to do the Job...


Israel better watch out to...When we leave...Iraq...there are going to be tens of thousands of new Terrorists and suicide Bombers in the Middle East
who are Suddenly going to shift thier Focus once again on Israel..


Excellent post, PL!

It's funny in a way, but we seem to like a symbolic figurehead and a face to movements, organizations, cultures.

OBL "dead or alive" and the constant video clips and pictures and write-ups. When today he is in some cave and deeply concerned an informer will out him. Zarqawi in the same way. He was used as justification for the AQ connection during the preamble to the Iraq invasion.

The nuance, the complexity of trying to understand what this insurgency and sectarian conflict is all about - way too difficult for the 3 sec soundbite talk show punditry and the "have a beer with" "brush clearing" GWB.

What happens in the next weeks as the volume of attacks remain or increase from current levels? Who will be the next bogeyman? Surprised they did not wait until Oct and had more cameras to film just like the landing in Somalia.

john pfeifler

According to today's issue of al-Quds al-'Arabi, Abu 'Abdul-Rahman al-'Araqi stood up, pledged allegiance to UBL, and assumed leadership of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

W. Patrick Lang


Is it spelled ain-kesra-ra, etc.?

These guys all seem to be using noms de guerre which end in a place descriptive? pl


A website in February apparently said a Rashid Al-Baghdadi had been named as head of the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), which seems to be the Iraqi equivalent of bin Laden's International Islamic Front in order to give a common focus to the jihad.

Reading about Zarqawi he seems to have been gone from any real leadership position by the time he was killed.

john pfeifler

ain, rae, alif, qog, yae,
( ابو عبد الرحمن العراقي ) --the Iraqi. I assume, the guy is Iraqi but shy of using his village-town in his nom de guerre.

john pfefiler

Some US press reports have begun to pick up the guy as the successor
with some confusion over whether he is the spiritual leader 'Abdul Rahman or another guy.

W. Patrick Lang


Yes, there wouldn't be a kesra on the printed page. pl

john pfefiler


Got you, should have transliterated it al-'Iraqi--sorry.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

You wrote: "We Americans and our Israeli friends". Wh do you consider them friend?

Is it personal (states do not have friends, only interests)?

W. Patrick Lang


Just a reflection of the reality of relations between the two states. pl

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