Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bush's Fake Sheikh

Greg Palast with today's 'must read':

Did you see George all choked up? In his surreal TV talk on Thursday, he got all emotional over the killing by Al Qaeda of Sheik Abu Risha, the leader of the new Sunni alliance with the U.S. against the insurgents in Anbar Province, Iraq.

Here's what you need to know that NPR won't tell you.

1. Sheik Abu Risha wasn't a sheik.
2. He wasn't killed by Al Qaeda.
3. The new alliance with former insurgents in Anbar is as fake as the sheik -- and a murderous deceit.

In other words, Abu Risha was the PR hook used to sell the "success" of the surge.

The sheik wasn't a sheik. He was a fake. While proclaiming to Rick that he was "the leader of all the Iraqi tribes," Abu lead no one. But for a reported sum in the millions in cash for so-called "reconstruction contracts," Abu Risha was willing to say he was Napoleon and Julius Caesar and do the hand-shakie thing with Bush on camera.

There are some real sheiks in Anbar, such as Ali Hathem of the dominant Dulaimi tribe, who told Rick that Abu Risha was a con man. Where was his tribe, this tribal leader? "The Americans like to create characters like Disney cartoon heroes." Then Ali Hathem added, "Abu Risha is no longer welcome" in Anbar.

"Not welcome" from a sheik in Anbar is roughly the same as a kiss on both cheeks from the capo di capi. Within days, when Abu Risha returned from Dubai to Dulaimi turf in Ramadi, Bush's hand-sheik was whacked.

On Thursday, Bush said Abu Risha was killed, "fighting Al Qaeda" -- and the White House issued a statement that the sheik was "killed by al Qaeda."


Who got Abu Risha? Nothing -- NOTHING -- moves in Ramadi without the approval of the REAL tribal sheiks. They were none-too-happy, as Hathem noted, about the millions the U.S. handed to Risha. The sheiks either ordered the hit -- or simply gave the bomber free passage to do the deed.

But creepy and deadly or not, these capi of the desert were effective in eliminating "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia." Indeed, as U.S. military so proudly pointed out to Rick, the moment the sheiks declared their opposition to Al Qaeda -- i.e., got the payments from the U.S. taxpayers -- Al Qaeda instantly diappeared (my em).

This miraculous military change, where the enemy just evaporates, has one explanation: the sheiks ARE al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Just like the Sopranos extract "protection" payments from New Jersey businesses, the mobsters of Anbar joined our side when we laid down the loot.

Here's the money line:

So the great "success" of the surge is our arming and providing cover for ethnic cleansing in Anbar. Nice, Mr. Bush. And with the U.S. press "embedded," we won't get the real story. Even Democrats are buying into the Anbar "awakening" fairy tale.

This Iraqi got it right: the surge is a crock.

We knew that. Funny how as soon as we started coughin' up the loot, the windows quit gettin' broken. A "return on success" is how it's described by our little punk chimp.

I'm glad things are better in Anbar. It's good for the Marines to take fewer casualties, but I'm not exactly thrilled about getting to pay for 'ethnosectarian' genocide. 'Ethnic cleansing' sounds almost nice, like sweeping and swabbing to make the joint look better. It's MURDER.

The sheikhs punk'd Bush bad, but that's not hard to do, and he gets the talking points he wants even if they're complete bullshit.


More on this at AlterNet. 'Must read' #2, with video:

RR: There have been a lot of reports about the fact that the people who the U.S. is working with, the supposed "freedom fighters," the "counter-insurgents" are former insurgents. They were Iraqi al Qaeda before they started working with the Americans. That is troubling because if they were fighting the Americans once, they'll fight Americans again. And more troubling for the future of Iraq is the fact that many of the tribes that the U.S. is working with are war criminals who are directly responsible for ethnic cleansing and who are using American support to prepare for sectarian civil war. The U.S. is funding Sunni militias. They already funded the Shia militias. They're now funding all sides of this sectarian war.

Please read. It behooves us to know more than we are allowed to get from the MSM.

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