Washington’s Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist and Never Did

Al-Qa’ida Training ManualThomas Mullen writes for the Washington Times Communities that “History is repeating itself. Islamic fundamentalism is the new communism. The difference is that the U.S. is no longer capable of squandering its resources for decades whacking moles. It’s time to start playing the game smart, before America loses it for good.”:

For twelve years, the Bush and Obama Administrations have promoted a narrative about the War on Terror. It has changed slightly in superficial ways, as when President Obama gave it a new name, but the crux of the narrative has not changed. The United States is fighting a war against a worldwide terrorist organization called al-Qaeda, formerly headed by über-terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Americans are led to believe that this organization has a single mission against the United States and is directed by a hierarchy of terrorist leaders, all reporting up to a senior command located somewhere in Afghanistan. Many of the lawmakers and cabinet personnel who promote this narrative likely believe it themselves, at least to some degree.
Washington sees al-Qaeda the way it sees itself, a centralized, top-down hierarchy with a chain of command reporting up from every corner of the earth. It makes for a good story, but it’s not even remotely true. Virtually every incident involving this fictional organization refutes the narrative.

Veteran reporter Eric Margolis never believed it. He’s been reporting on the true nature of the Islamic militant groups from the very beginning. He should know what he’s talking about. He was embedded in Afghanistan in the 1980’s when bin Laden and what is now al-Qaeda and the Taliban were U.S. allies, fighting the Soviet Union.

For what it’s worth, bin Laden and other Islamic militants apparently regarded Margolis’ reporting as accurate. He was named as one of a small group of reporters who “fairly and accurately reported on the region” in alleged al-Qaeda letters released last year…

[continues at the Washington Times Communities]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • American Cannibal

    America would be NOTHING without sworn enemies.

    • Juan

      Exactly, and they are out there creating as many enemies as fast as they can.
      The show must go on, goddamnit!

  • Juan

    Of course, just like “The War on Terror,” Al-Qaeda is basically a propaganda marketing device used to scare the shit outta of anyone dumb enough to believe this shit. Which unfortunately, is a lot of fucking people.
    Though, it does look like, at least some people, are starting to realize how they’ve been played.
    Never forget for a minute that we are up against the most sophisticated propaganda machine the world has ever seen. But at least there does seem to be a battle of narratives that is currently unfolding.

    • drokhole

      Gotta keep those Emmanuel Goldsteins alive in the mindspace. Sad to see it’s still so goddamn effective. Alan Watts put it in pretty clear terms way back when (shortened for the sake of brevity, but further context can be found buried in the transcript for a three-part series of talks – Self and Other: http://deoxy.org/w_self.htm ):

      “The symbiosis between the nice people and the nasty people, between the ‘in’ group and the ‘out’ group, is as much a symbiosis as between the bees and the flowers. Because you wouldn’t know who you were, unless there was an outsider.

      In exactly the same way, politically speaking, our economy is presently dependent upon the cold war, which mustn’t be allowed to become hot. Because if there weren’t an enemy, defined as communism, nobody would be disturbed, nobody would be worried, therefore they wouldn’t put all this energy and money and taxes into a certain kind of productivity. Likewise on the other side, if those people in China and Russia couldn’t be worried about and afraid of the dirty capitalists, they wouldn’t have any means of stirring up their people to do something.”

    • alizardx

      What I see is the old neoliberal narratives unraveling. Even Bloomberg ran an article on failure of the elites and The Telegraph was talking about causes for potential revolution. Things are to the point where even legacy media propaganda organs have to report the truth occasionally to keep their credibility declining slowly.

      • Juan

        That is good to know. I can’t stand to even look at most mainstream “news” sources cuz I get way too agro.
        Thanks for that update on the legacy propaganda organs.

  • alizardx

    Even legacy media has discussed al-Queda in terms of “franchise”, not top-down hierarchy, though one generally has to get past the leads to see that.

  • DeepCough

    From The Power of Nightmares directed by Adam Curtis.

    • Rhoid Rager

      For all its holes, i still found this a good documentary. i showed it to the class i taught on north american security and defence policy at Carleton U.

      • misinformation

        The main problem with the Power of Nightmares is that Curtis puts forth the narrative that it really is a struggle between fundamentalist Islam and overzealous neo-cons who occasionally cross the line in order to spread democracy across the world.