The River

Thursday, June 15, 2006

U.S. Identifies al-Zarqawi's Successor [annotated]

[Headline writer engages in subconscious acknowledgement of U.S.-created psyop nature of “Al Qaida in Iraq,” a name that is itself too-conveniently perfect for hammering home the idea that invading Iraq is about fighting Al Qaida and avenging Sept. 11.]

The Associated Press [all of us are stupider than one of us]Thursday, June 15, 2006; 9:22 AM

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The U.S. military said Thursday the man claiming to be the new al-Qaida in Iraq leader is Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian with ties to Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said al-Masri apparently is the same person that al-Qaida in Iraq [makes me laugh every time] identified in a Web posting last week as its new leader _ Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, a nom de guerre. Al-Muhajer claimed to have succeeded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a June 7 U.S. airstrike, and vowed to avenge him in threatening Web statements in recent days. [this reflects poorly on the military communications dept., which forgot to forward the memo regarding preference for the easier to say and spell “al-Masri.” If it’s any consolation to the writer who thought up Al-Muhajer, they did keep “Abu.” In addition, this psyop, er, news report, relies on one source, a military spokesman who can obviously be counted on to give the unvarnished truth, but remember, it’s blogs that you can’t trust]

The military showed a picture of al-Masri wearing a traditional white Arab headdress [aaahhh! an Arab] at a Baghdad news conference. [Videos are still in production]

The Afghanistan-trained explosives expert is a key figure in the al-Qaida in Iraq network with responsibility for facilitating the movement of foreign fighters from Syria into Baghdad, Caldwell said. [Covers the Afghanistan training camp legend, the sinister “expertise” in those notorious IEDs, and the foreign fighter flypaper myth. A nice recovery by the writer(s)from the slip-up on the name.]

He has been a terrorist since 1982, "beginning with his involvement in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was led by al-Zawahri," Caldwell said. [can’t you just see the resume? “Graduated Afghanistan U. with a Terrorist Mastermind degree. Minored in improvised explosives. More than 20 years experience as a terrorist.]

The spokesman added that raids in April and May in southern Baghdad recovered material confirming his high-level involvement in the facilitation of foreign fighters. [There’s been a major push to promote “raids,” with the Zarqawi raid as the lead product, and the benefit of casting future raids in a favorable light. At least the memo detailing the summer’s major campaigns filtered down to the individual contributors]

"Al-Masri's intimate knowledge of al-Qaida in Iraq [ha] and his close relationship with (al-Zarqawi's) operations [military editor’s change, AP reporter forgot to remove parenthesis] will undoubtedly help facilitate and enable them to regain some momentum if, in fact, he is the one that assumes the leadership role," Caldwell said. [still negotiating with his agent]

He said, however, that al-Masri's ability to exert leadership over al-Qaida cells remained unclear and there were other "al-Qaida senior leadership members and Sunni terrorists" who might try to take over the operations. [in a chaotic atmosphere, always wise to keep your options open]

Caldwell singled out Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Iraqi, who in the past had been identified as al-Qaida in Iraq's deputy leader in statements by the group, and Abdullah bin Rashid al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Mujahedeen Shura Council _ five allied groups in the Sunni Arab-dominated insurgency. [the writers still can’t believe they went for "al-Iraqi" and "al-Baghdadi," even if only in lesser, one-off roles; that’s what happens when you continue to work during happy hour and at least one wise-guy says something like "never underestimate the stupdidity of the higher ups"]

I wonder what special form of credulity informs the editorial decision to pass off blatant ripoffs of Fox melodramas as news.
it sells. the public is just a target market. our role in the GWOT is to buy it, go shopping. Not so much credulity as understanding your job. You're "succeeding" and no one really mentions the whole journalistic fraud thing. The new luxury car your pining after is what mostly occupies your thoughts.
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