Eden Hill Journal

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mixed Signals

Juan Cole today posts from an interview with an important head of reconstruction in al Anbar province in Iraq. The interview was translated from a Jordanian newspaper, Al-Arab al-Yawm. No links were given to the source or to the BBC report cited by Cole. In the interview, the Iraqi official says this:
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[Al-Abdallah] There are two types of occupation now in Iraq, the American and the Iranian; both are using groups from outside Iraq under the names of Al-Qa'idah or terrorism. Sometimes, these sides are managed by both parties and conduct activities inside Iraq. For this reason, the Iraqis are confronting them, because the features of the third party are not known. It tries to kill Iraqis, nothing more. It is not actually resisting the Americans or the Iranians, but targeting the Iraqis only.
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Oddly enough the interviewer doesn't seem to pick up on these claims. Cole mentions them but not in any way that highlights the seriousness of them.
If I am not misreading or being mislead by the translation, doesn't Al-Abdallah here say that America and Iran are the sponsors of Al-Qa'idah and terrorism? Doesn't he explain that these acts of terrorism target the Iraqi people and not the occupying forces?
The Bush regime and the US media have been programming the American people to believe that it was because of "Al-Qa'idah" that we needed to maintain our military presence in Iraq, that once the terrorist threat had been overcome, we could remove our troops, but that it wasn't likely we would succeed in that mission for decades. As long as al-Qaida was a force in Iraq, the American presence was justified because of al-Qaeda's role in 9/11.
But here is a prominent Iraqi official from the very province that Bush and General Petraeus cite as the solution for the problems in Iraq seemingly saying that al-Qaida and the terrorists have been serving the United States. And the media isn't even picking up on it! Even in this Jordanian newspaper interview, the next question ignores these claims.
My guess is that in the Arab world there is and has been all along a widespread perception that al-Qaida serves the American interests. It's not news in Iraq nor anywhere else in that region. The American media is in denial, though, and has done an excellent job of concealing that perception from the American public.
What this official seems to be saying here is that the local Sunni insurgency successfully forced al-Qaida out of Al-Anbar province forcing the American forces to look elsewhere if they wanted to continue terrorizing the Iraqi people. The recent emergence of al-Qaida in other regions of Iraq including regions surrounding Baghdad itself would seem to prove this point.

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