The Bushies Just Make it Up: Iraq & al-Qaeda
Bush was out there again on Wednesday trying to link Iraq to al-Qaeda and maintaining that the US was mainly fighting it in that country. In fact, No Mahdi Army Shiites are al-Qaeda. Almost all Sunni Arab guerrilla cells are Baathist or Salafi rather than al-Qaeda. Probably of 100,000 guerrillas fighting in Iraq, perhaps 2% could be categorized in some vague way as “al-Qaeda” if you take that term as referring to a franchise. They are mainly foreign fighters and if the US left Iraq, the local Sunni Arabs would slit their throats. Some slitting is going on even now, and the Bushies celebrate that while not seeming to recognize the implication that “al-Qaeda” doesn’t amount to anything as an Iraqi political force.
But this making up things out of thin air is typical of W.’s Propaganda Presidency, or what Chris Floyd calls the “powerful odor of mendacity.”
And all along the Bushies have invoked al-Qaeda with regard to Iraq. It doesn’t matter what the real situation in Iraq is. Is it ruled by secular Sunni Arab nationalist Baathists who are afraid of al-Qaeda according to documents Bush himself captured and released? Nevertheless, Bushies find al-Qaeda in Iraq. Is Iraq dominated by Shiites allied to Iran? Bushies find an alliance with al-Qaeda. Like tax cuts, it is the answer to every problem.
On 25 July 2002, Doug Feith’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP) issued a statement linking al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein through a Dutch company named Vlemmo NV.
This sort of allegation was typical of Feith, who had been asked in January of 2002 to come up with material on the [imaginary] relationship of Bin Laden and Iraq by his superior (who had hired him apparently for this sort of purpose), Paul Wolfowitz.
Feith had been investigated by the FBI earlier in his career as a possible Israeli intelligence asset and was raised in a fringe, far-rightwing Zionist family. His father was a member of Betar, the organization devoted to teachings of fascist Zionist thinker Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and to “Greater Israel” expansionism. Persons in this tradition often believe that Israel extends into Iraq itself.
Now it turns out that Feith just made up the Netherlands firm. According to the Netherlands Foreign Minister, it does not exist. . Just like virtually none of the things Feith peddled to us has has any reality. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz put Feith in a position to lie our troops into harm’s way, as the number three man in the Pentagon. Feith bears responsibility for his lies and fabrications. His superiors are even more culpable.
See Think Progress for more of the context here.
Update: Bob Harris discovers that Vlemmo existed, but was Belgian. That it was an operational link between Saddam and Bin Laden and that it was Netherlands were the two big fantasies.