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The Media Watchdog

Foreign Correspondent
by international syndicated columnist & broadcaster Eric Margolis


13 September 2004

Three years after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, America's politicians and media still continue to gravely deceive the public about the so-called war on terrorism.

Now, the definitive book on terrorism has appeared that should be mandatory reading for all who care about this crucial issue. It's a bombshell that blows apart the Bush Administration's claims to be winning a war against `evil.'

`Imperial Hubris,' by Anonymous (actually, Michael Scheuer) was written by the CIA's senior terrorism analyst and in-house expert on Osama bin Laden. It is totally unprecedented that a serving CIA officer has been allowed to publish a book, and one that is clearly a dramatic and pointed rebuke to the neoconservatives who drove the US into two wars.

Scheuer's work is a goldmine of information and brilliant analysis. It breaks taboos and sweeps away the clouds of lies about al-Qaida, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It is also the latest sign of the increasingly bitter, behind the scenes struggle being waged in Washington between the pro-Israel neoconservative Pentagon and National Security Council, and the CIA and State Department on the other.

` US leaders refuse to accept the obvious — we are fighting a worldwide Islamic insurgency — not criminality or terrorism..'

he writes,

`The US has only made `a modest dent in enemy forces.'

None of bin Laden's reasons for waging war on the US `have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy (as President Bush claims), but everything to do with US policies and actions in the Muslim world,' notably unlimited support for Israel's brutal repression of Palestinians, and the destruction of Iraq.

`For cheap, easily accessible oil, Washington and the west have supported Muslim tyrannies bin Laden and other Islamists seek to destroy.'

`The war has the potential to last beyond our children's lifetimes and be fought mostly on US soil.'

Osama bin Laden, says Scheuer, is no terrorist or madman, but is seen across the Muslim World as a skilled warrior and man of honor, courage, and humility. He is the sole Muslim leader standing up to predatory western powers and, the author suggests, is Islam's greatest hero since Saladin.

US and British military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq `are completing the radicalization of the Islamic World,' a prime bin Laden goal. George Bush's misbegotten invasion of Iraq was, `icing on bin Laden's cake.'

The threat today facing America, `is the defensive jihad (holy war), an Islamic military reaction triggered by an attack by non-Muslims on the Islamic faith, on Muslims, on Muslim territory..'

Muslims are increasingly fighting back. Since their incompetent, usually corrupt governments have largely useless military forces (Pakistan and Turkey excepted), many individuals and groups have adopted with what amounts to private-enterprise warfare against the west.

The Muslim World believes it is under total attack led by President Bush and ally, Israel's Ariel Sharon: a massive effort to crush all who oppose US domination, destroy Islam's inherent political role, eliminate Muslim charities, impose western values on the Islamic World, and maintain compliant puppet rulers — what is known as `spreading democracy' in Bush's lexicon.

Terrorism, as the great humanist Sir Peter Ustinov observed, `is war of the poor; war is the terrorism of the rich.'

Says Scheuer, citing Chechnya, Kashmir, China's Muslim Uighurs, and Uzbekistan, `America stands by governments determined to exterminate Islamic fighters struggling not just for independence but against institutionalized barbarism.' He adds, US military operations in the Muslim World validate bin Laden's contention the US is attacking Islam and supports any country willing to kill or persecute Muslims.'

Breaking the ultimate taboo, Scheuer observes of the US's `one-way alliance' with Israel: `Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to the tiny Jewish state and its policies.' Meaning: Israel's powerful US lobby and media supporters have made its war with the Muslim World into America's War.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are lost causes, Scheuer concludes. No member of the US government has dared make this admission until now. But Scheuer is perfectly correct.

The US is totally unable to create legitimate governments in either chaotic nation, only puppet regimes, supported by American bayonets. If the US stays, it will bleed endlessly; if it retreats, the US faces political disaster. Washington, he charges, has no strategy and is merely making up policies as it stumbles forward.

In one of his most acute insights, Scheuer explains the US cannot for all its riches buy its way to victory in Afghanistan or Iraq. `Honor is still the currency of value in the Middle East, more so than goods and services.' Blood links trump all other affiliations or loyalties.

Honor is why Afghanistan's Taliban refused to hand guest and war hero bin Laden to the US, and why he has still not been betrayed in spite of a US$25 million reward in a nation where annual income is $147.

At least there is one person in Washington who understands the violence surrounding the US — and had the courage and patriotism to tell Americans the truth: that a cabal of ideologues and far rightists is driving the nation into a no-win war against the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.

This writer does not agree at all with Anonymous' unsettling conclusion that the US has only two choices: wage a no-holds barred, no-prisoners war to the death against the entire Muslim World or simply pull out of the entire region. But there a many ways in which the US can begin showing the world's Muslims that it is not a mortal enemy. These ways begin in Palestine, Iraq, and Chechnya.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2004.

Published at since 1995 with permission, as a courtesy and in appreciation.

To read previous columns by Mr. Margolis: Click here

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