I’ve wanted to speculate about that for so long. But, it’s like suggesting the Emperor has no clothes. And look where our myth-building has gotten us: At Sunday’s World Cup qualifying in Mexico City, ‘The crowd booed the U.S. national anthem and a spattering of fans chanted ‘Osama! Osama!‘ before play started, and shortly after” a U.S. goal. So, I’ll stick my toe in the water and see what YOU think:
What caught my eye this morning: A letter to the editor of The NewStandard titled “Just Say It: Zarqawi Was Created by the U.S.

I congratulate Mr. Shumway on his article [FREE, REG. REQUIRED] but cannot understand the reticence at arriving at the most obvious conclusion of this excellent analysis: The Al-Zarqawi myth was exploded … into our consciousness by American intelligence with the unquestioning help of a most compliant or complicit press.

A cunning and dangerous nemesis was spawned full-grown from the bowels of the Pentagon like Athena from the mind of Zeus. … Their creation was given a curriculum vitae with flaws that a modicum of reasoning would detect.

The ruse of making up a persona is nothing original. …

Two dividends are obvious. The first is to sow as much discord as possible between various religious and ethnic groups … The second [dividend is] that it will attract many discontented, young, naïve anti-American militants in Iraq and the surrounding region so they can be controlled and dealt with.

The article, “Reputed Terrorist Al-Zarqawi Still Shrouded in U.S.-Fed Myth, Mystery,” is authored by Chris Shumway, a university communications instructor and media activist.

[PREFACE] However impossible it is to discern truths from fictions about the Jordanian boogeyman blamed for most of Iraq’s current chaos, Washington piles on the accusations, painting the perfect picture of a legendary master terrorist.

The Bush administration’s nearly constant focus on suspected Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi … has helped turn the Islamic fundamentalist into a figure of mythic proportions, but despite the hype and hyperbole … little is actually known about the man or his alleged misdeeds.

[So] many of the US’s claims about Al-Zarqawi’s whereabouts and affiliations have proved suspect or false that many critics view new warnings of his alleged plans to stage attacks within the US as a case of the White House crying wolf. …

… much of the previously released information about Al-Zarqawi has been contradictory. …

British journalist and author Jason Burke, according to Shumway, has done a biography of Al-Zarqawi but notes that Al-Zarqawi’s group and Al Qaeda were rivals, he never swore allegiance to bin Laden, and — probably most important — “Al-Zarqawi is part of a broad movement of Islamic militancy that extends well beyond the influence and activities of any one man.”

The Bush administration, too, has helped raise Al-Zarqawi’s profile by regularly accusing him, albeit without presenting hard evidence, of organizing dozens of deadly attacks against US military and Iraqi government targets. … However, several military analysts believe that Al-Zarqawi — now thought to be 38 years old — is not the leading figure in Iraq’s resistance [and many suggest] as early as last summer that he was working at cross-purposes with most insurgent groups. …

“We were basically paying up to $10,000 a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about Al-Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq,” an unnamed US agent in Iraq reportedly told Britain’s Daily Telegraph in October 2004.

“From the information we have gathered,” one agent told the Telegraph, “we have to conclude Al-Zarqawi is more myth than man… At some stage, and perhaps even now, he was almost certainly behind some of the kidnappings. But if there is a main leader of the insurgency, he would be an Iraqi.”

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