Node Of Evil - Fair And Balanced Reporting

For those who feel the war on terrorism
could use a little "Structural Adjustment".

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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Regularly scheduled programming:

The Observer has an excerpt of a new book about al-Qaeda up on their website (link via Cursor). It reads like a keeper, one of these days I'll put together a best-of list of articles about some of the events we've covered so you can get a reasonably nuanced version of the black/white story which we usually hear. One prescient paragraph from the article is well-timed considering the revelation in the recently-released 9/11 report that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of links between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein:

'Indeed claims of any links between Saddam and al-Qaeda were based on a fundamental misconception of the nature of modern Islamic militancy. They depended, largely, on the idea that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born militant allegedly sheltered by Baghdad, was close to bin Laden. Yet Western European intelligence reports, compiled in 2003, reveal that his group was formed "in opposition" to al-Qaeda. Again, if only if al-Qaeda is, wrongly, conceived of as a single organisation encompassing the whole of contemporary radical Islamic activism could one say that al-Zarqawi was "al-Qaeda". It is also true that representatives of bin Laden did have some contact with Saddam Hussein's regime, as the American administration has often said. But bin Laden rejected all of Baghdad's approaches - a point that is less often made by hawks in Washington.'

I believe al-Zarqawi was mentioned specifically by name in Powell's speech to the U.N. as the link between al-Qaeda and Hussein. General statements to that effect were also made in the State of the Union speech and elsewhere by various Bush administration officials. Needless to say, we hope that the 9/11 report and statements by others who are acquainted with the facts will put an end to the myth that al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were in cahoots.

Andrew 9:36 AM : |


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