By Ghali Hassan
03 April, 2006
Like all imperialist forces,
the US is heavily relaying on misinformation propaganda campaign to
promote and enhance its imperialist ideology. Violence and war crimes
against defenceless civilians are depicted as “fighting the enemy”.
The mass murder of Iraqi civilians by US forces is normalised and welcomed
with deafening silence. The purpose is thought control, or as it is
called “perception management” designed to enhance US images.
The campaign is part of a wider Western strategy to mislead the public,
remove historical memory and justify more wars.
According to George Orwell,
newspeak is a form of propaganda to cover up criminal actions, especially
killing people unjustly and deliberately, with a veneer of justification
and reason. In Iraq, the occupying forces are increasingly covering
the truth with lies and deception, blame the Iraqi people for the violence
they have inflicted on them, and to remove the Occupation as the generator
The three-year US Occupation
of Iraq is becoming increasingly violent and the occupying forces are
killing Iraqi civilians with impunity while encouraging Iraqis to fight
each other. The atrocity is aided by massive Western propaganda campaign
to demonise Iraqis and portray not only Iraqis but also Muslims in general
as fanatic and violent. This includes: 1) the Occupation is a benign
“peace mission” and necessary “to prevent” civil
war; 2) Iraq is a “breeding ground for terrorists”–
as if the illegal invasion and Occupation of Iraq are not the greatest
acts of terrorism; and 3) Iraqis are responsible for what is happening
to them. Each of the three is a falsehood Western elites (Left and Right)
have adopted these falsehoods to justify their attacks on the Iraqi
people and to jump on the misinformation propaganda of Occupation bandwagon.
A recent secret Pentagon
‘roadmap’ on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary
of Defence Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for the total control
of information before they become available to the American public.
The aim is to pacify and remove the public influence on foreign policies.
Furthermore, the US continues the practice of paying journalists, including
Iraqis, to plant stories in the Iraqi news media in favour of the brutal
Occupation. The purpose is thought control, or as it is called “perception
management”, designed to enhance US images, including military
On the morning of 19 November
2005, US troops deliberately massacred 15 Iraqi civilians, including
seven women, three children and four students in the town of Haditha,
northwest of Baghdad. The US army alleged that the dead civilians were
“insurgents”. However, eyewitness testimonies and news reports
from the area contradict the US allegations. Credible reports supported
by local witnesses show that the US Marines were acting in revenge after
they were attacked by the Iraqi Resistance. Indeed, the Marines executed
Iraqi civilians while they were sleeping, as Aparisim Ghosh of the Time
magazine reported. Victims in the town told the Time that “the
Marines came in and they killed everybody inside”. An eyewitness
Khaled Ahmed Rsayef whose brother was among the dead told the Time:
“It was a [premeditated] massacre in every sense of the word”.
The other eyewitness is 9-year-old Eman Walid. She told the Time: “First,
they went into my father’s room, where he was reading the Koran,
and we heard shots. Then, the soldiers came back into the living room.
I couldn’t see their faces very well--only their guns sticking
into the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the
chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny”. The Time
also reported that there were no signs of Iraqi Resistance fighters
around the scene of the massacre in which four houses were destroyed.
The massacre was videotaped by a Haditha journalism student and handed
to Hammurabi Human Rights group. The cowardice attack destroyed four
families and left a girl and her young brother terrorised and traumatised
On March 15 2006, US forces
raided a house in Isahaqi, near the town of Balad about 60 miles north
of Baghdad. According to Iraqi Police, and eyewitnesses on the ground,
US troops gathered 11 people into a single room and executed them, before
destroying the house as they left the area. The initial Iraqi Police
report said: “American forces used helicopters to drop troops
on the house of Faiz Harat Khalaf situated in the Abu Sifa village of
the Isahaqi district. The American forces gathered the family members
in one room and executed 11 people, including five children, four women
and two men, [and] then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles
and killed their animals”. According to Mathew Schofield of Knight
Ridder news; “The Iraqi police identified the dead as ranging
in age from 6 months to 75 [years old]. Iraqi police said that the five
children, four women and two men were found together in the wreckage
of the house” all with gunshot to the head. The bodies were found
handcuffed and lined up under the rubble.
The Army Times reported on
15 March 2006 that Riyadh Majid, the nephew of the killed head of the
family — Faez Khalaf — told AP at the hospital that U.S.
forces landed in helicopters and raided the home early Wednesday. Khalaf’s
brother, Ahmed, said nine of the victims were family members who lived
at the house and two were visitors”. The killed family was not
part of the Resistance, they were women and children,” Ahmed Khalaf
said. “The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get
only death”, he added.
On Sunday night 26 March
2006, US forces and their Iraqi collaborators attacked Al-Mustapha Mosque
in the Ur neighbourhood in east Baghdad and deliberately killed 37 unarmed
worshipers including the 80-years old Imam in charge of the Mosque.
Eyewitnesses on the scene observed US soldiers entering the Mosque unprovoked
and started shooting at random. A video-tape showed several civilians
bodies and spent 5.56 mm shell casings ammunition, the type used by
the US soldiers. “It’s an organized crime with serious political
and security implications. It aims to incite a civil war ... To kill
such a great number of the faithful of the family of the Prophet after
handcuffing and torturing them is indefensible. It's an attack on the
dignity of Iraqis that strips away any credibility from the slogans
of freedom, democracy and pluralism flaunted by the American administration”,
reported the French daily, Le Figaro quoting an Iraqi communiqué.
“They went in, tied up the people and shot them all. They did
not leave any wounded. [The victims] were unarmed”, added the
Guardian of London on 28 March 2006. Indeed, the puppet government justifiably
accusing US forces of committing the massacre, and the Baghdad “provincial
governor” has suspended all cooperation with US forces.
Consistent with the US policy
of dehumanising and identifying all Iraqis as the “enemy”,
US forces aided by the BBC – the mother of all deceptions –
and US mass media have falsely and deliberately portrayed the victims
of being “insurgents” and “terrorists”, and
gave contradictory accounts of the massacre. But careful examination
of these acts suggests deliberate acts of state terrorism to promote
As it has always been, the
US fabricated “terrorism” – disguised as “liberty”
and “democracy” – to keep the public engulfed with
fear and justify a violent imperialist ideology. The atrocities are
purposely masked with lies and distortion in order to put the blame
on the so-called “Iraqi forces” and clear the Occupation
from any wrongdoing. These criminal acts are part of the Bush-Blair
larger messianic mission of ultra-violence and conquest propagated as
Western common values.
Leading the misinformation
propaganda campaign is President George W. Bush. In his news conference
at the White House on 21 March 2006, Bush said: “It's -- confidence
amongst the Iraqis is what is going to be a vital part of achieving
a victory”, he said, “which will then enable the American
people to understand that victory is possible. In other words, the American
people will -- their opinions, I suspect, will be affected by what they
see on their TV screens”.
On the invited list –
for the first time in three years – was veteran correspondent
Helen Thomas. It was a pre-arranged propaganda coup to justify the illegal
and war against the Iraqi people. The question and the answers were
well-prepared and designed to manipulate public opinion. Bush was fluent,
and Helen Thomas had very little to say except ask the one question.
It was what Bush wants to say after three years of a criminal occupation
proceeded by an illegal act of aggression. Bush mentioned Tel Afar as
a “model” of America’s “success” in Iraq.
Like Fallujah, Tel Afar is a destroyed city. The majority of its population
are ethnically cleansed refugees and the rest is imprisoned in a concentration
camp patrolled by US forces and their ‘Occupation dogs’.
Tel Afar is another model of US criminal atrocity. The aim is –
like always – to feed a rosy picture of the Occupation to the
American public and the rest of the world.
The Bush’s line of
distortion was repeated in Australia by Prime Ministers John Howard
and Tony Blair. John Howard used no other media outlet than the ABC
to tell Australians that; in Iraq, “I don't think things can be
said to be getting worse. I think they can be said to be getting better”.
Tony Blair used the Australian Parliament House to promote a relic colonial
ideology of changing peoples’ culture and assimilate them into
the Anglo-American culture through arms conquest and ultra-violence.
“The last time we heard talk like this was from a former army
corporal in Germany speaking about the values of the Aryan race”,
writes author Jeff Archer of MalcomLagauche.com. Three years ago Tony
Blair told the biggest lie of the century that Iraq could launch an
attack on Britain using chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.
We know now that the Iraqi
people had no chemical or biological weapons and Iraq had nothing to
do with the 9/11 attack, as clearly stated by George W. Bush. The entire
nation of once prosperous Iraq has been destroyed. City after city have
been indiscriminately attacked with real WMDs, including napalm, phosphorus
and ‘Depleted Uranium in a deliberate act of aggression designed
to inflict as much harm as possible on the Iraqi civilian population.
All the destruction and bloodshed
is the result of a decision agreed upon by the three Anglo-American
demagogues, and aided by an offensive misinformation propaganda campaign
promoted by the mass media to justify war crimes on massive scale. Blair’s
“battle for modernity” is a pretext for attacking Islam,
which is identified in the West today as “Islamism”. For
the three Anglo-American demagogues, “Islamism” writes,
Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University in New York; “is
a US-sponsored propaganda gadget manufactured to generate and sustain
an illusory enemy to justify warmongering and global domination”.
In other words, a diet of distortion, fear and racism is feed to the
public in order to provide justification for violent ideology.
The war which the three demagogues
continue to promote is responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of
thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. It is responsible
for the illegal mass arrest, imprisonment, torture, abuse and murder
of thousands of innocents Iraqi men, women and children. The “democracy”
and “freedom” that the three demagogues claim to be spreading
around the world is the mask of war and ultra-violence. The three demagogues
have one thing in common; to continue the current violence against the
In today’s Iraq, a
large percentage of Iraqis live in abject poverty. Iraqi families now
get less food than before the invasion and during the 13-years long
genocidal sanctions. And as a result of this murderous Occupation, essential
items have gone missing from the food ration card which was the brainchild
of Saddam regime. Prices of staples like rice, sugar, flour and vegetable
ghee are soaring. Unemployment is as high as 70 per cent. Iraqis without
income find it extremely hard to make ends meet. Electricity and drinking-water
supplies are at their lowest levels. The healthcare services are in
state of near collapse, and more than 400,000 children are malnourished.
Acute malnutrition among Iraqi children between the ages of six months
and 5 years has increased from 4 percent before the invasion to 7.7
per cent since the US invasion. Basic human rights for Iraqi women have
disappeared as a result of an Imperialist and backward US-crafted constitution.
Life in US-occupied Iraq is far worse than at any time in the past.
Every day since the invasion, Iraqi lives have gotten progressively
worse, not better, as the Australian demagogue alleged.
The situation is accurately
put by an Iraqi recently. He writes: “Three years have passed
and Iraq has been destroyed as a state and as a nation. Its natural
resources have been plundered [with billions of dollars that could otherwise
have been spent on rebuilding Iraq have been looted], its civilisation
and cultural heritage looted, its religious heritage desecrated, its
people raped, tortured, drilled, murdered and even melted. Cynicism
nowadays refuses the call for an immediate and complete withdrawal of
occupation forces for fear of “civil war”, which has been
the aim of the US Administration to justify ongoing Occupation.
Furthermore, as Iraqis are
increasingly demanding the end to the Occupation, US warmongers are
now openly and unashamedly advocating “civil war” in Iraq.
While all the fabricated pretexts to occupy Iraq have expired, the US
continues to divide Iraqis and promote civil war in order to destroy
of what left in Iraq. One of George W. Bush closest advisors, the Islamophobic
Zionist Daniel Pipes said recently: “I don’t think from
the point of view of the coalition it is necessarily that bad for our
interests... In the first place, there would be fewer attacks on our
forces in Iraq as they fight each other … More broadly outside
Iraq, there would be fewer attacks on us as the Shiites and the Sunnis
attack each other”. In other words, civil war is good for West
and should be encouraged. Only the Nazis were known to have promoted
such criminal ideology in the past.
Without the current divisions,
it would have been impossible for the US and its vassals to occupy Iraq
for three years. The US created, trained, armed and financed the sectarian
and ethnic-based militia groups and death squads proved to be useful
imperialist tool. It is part of the “unconventional warfare”
waged by the Bush Administration against the Iraqi population. The aims
are: 1) to foment civil strife and encourage fratricidal killings among
Iraqis; 2) terrorise the Iraqi population and subjugate them to US diktats;
3) shield the occupying forces from any attack; and 4) divert public
attention from the crimes of the occupying forces. Having failed to
ignite an all-out civil war in Iraq, the US is no turning one militia
group against another. The militia have been very useful tools. Indeed,
US crimes become so obvious that the puppet government demanded that
the occupying US forces withdraw from the cities and hand overall security
to the Iraqis.
One should not be mislead
by the Bush rhetoric of Iraq is a “model for democracy”.
As Iraqis are demanding that the puppet government form a government
and shows some independence, the Bush Administration interfered. The
Bush Administration is opposed to the nomination of Ibrahim al-Jaafari
as “prime minister” for a second term despite that al-Jaafari’s
Iraqi United Alliance (IUA) won the majority of seats. The US is using
al-Jaafari – an imported stooge – as a scapegoat to break
the Alliance, and prevent the emergence of majority government. By blocking
national unity among Iraqis, the US is playing one faction against another.
Muqtada al-Sadr – who the US has sought to assassinate –
was clever enough not to buy into the US agenda and continue to work
with all Iraqis to create a national unity government.
US colonial proconsul in
Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad is on record warning Iraqis that; “you
can’t be in the government if you are against the Occupation”.
His target is Muqtada al-Sadr who is demanding unity and an end to the
Occupation. The Bush Administration aim is a divided and sectarian government
under its control; a US-appointed subordinate government with Allawi
doing photo opportunities for the Occupation. The hypocrisy is so flagrant
that most Iraqis now associate Western “democracy” with
violence and corruption. Of course, all this meddling and interference
in Iraqi affairs is part of Bush-Blair agenda. The reality is that the
US is promoting divisions, ongoing bloodshed, torture chambers and colonial
dictatorship to serve its imperialist interests. The unjust rejection
by the US and its allies of recent HAMAS’ success in the Palestinian
elections is another example of the West promotion of fraudulent democracy.
The US did not invade and
destroyed Iraq for the sake of “democracy” and “freedom”.
The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq is part of the US imperialist-Zionist
ideology. The current US campaign is to divide Iraqis and prevent an
Iraqi government of unity at all coast. As it is the case, there has
been no government in Iraq since the invasion and the promotion of “civil
war” has increased markedly.
The US-groomed puppet government
is a propaganda tool. It is a façade designed to legitimise ongoing
Occupation and cover up its associated crimes. It has no power and is
unable to provide Iraqis with the minimum services required, let alone
security. There is no national sovereignty under foreign occupation.
Hence, the Iraqi people are struggling to free themselves from the Anglo-American-orchestrated
Occupation and oppression.
Three years of violent Occupation
and Bush’s “political process” of fraudulent elections,
were designed as a veneer to cover-up deliberately instigated crimes
and unjustified violence. Propagating an Anglo-American version of “democracy”
and “freedom” to justify war crimes is like planting Anglo-American
version of “good news” in the media about a murderous Occupation.
It won’t affect the Iraqi Resistance and determination of the
Iraqi people to liberate their country from foreign Occupation. Resistance
to Western terrorism is not terrorism; it is legitimate Resistance.
Iraqi is not in “civil war”; the Occupation is the cause
of the violence.
The vast majority of Iraqis
(87-92 per cent, the Brookings Institute) is opposed to the presence
of foreign forces and demanding the end of the Occupation of their country.
In addition, 72 per cent of US troops want to end the Occupation and
more than half (60 per cent) of US citizens – despite and efficient
and self-imposed brain-washing – supports the immediate withdrawal
of US troops from Iraq.
As someone who has followed
this war closely, I see nothing can justify the ultra-violent Occupation
of Iraq. The Anglo-American has no right to be in Iraq. The invasion
of Iraq is a war crimes and crimes against humanity. The only civilised
actions are the immediate end to the Occupation, and the full withdrawal
of all foreign forces from Iraq.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth,