Sunday, November 20, 2005

Recruitment campaign for free

The more White House and Pentagon deny allegations, the more it’s a sign that the truth is coming to light.

In 2004 they frantically denied charges of torturing Iraqi prisoners only for TV channels to be inundated of unmistakeable evidence to the contrary. Last spring, Newsweek was threatened with libel actions for reporting about American soldiers soiling religious books and being blasphemous towards symbols of Islam. Two weeks later US Army top cadres hummed and hawed before conceding that it was true- some of their troops had been peeing over copies of the Quran. Cue last week's international hoo-ha over a dossier concerning the US Army's deployment of white phosphorous (a lethal chemical weapon) in Iraq.

Mess notwithstanding, the American papers had their lips collectively sealed while their British colleagues didn't fare much better: it took them days to announce the news and still nipped it in the bud pretty much straightaway. Presumably it didn't quite go along with the increasingly clumsy propaganda of a liberated Iraq.

After 48 hours of pathetic denial, in the end the Pentagon came clean and confirmed that they had indeed used white phosphorous in the battle of Falluja. Never had the trite notion of clamping down on Saddam’s chemical weapons seemed a less likely justification for war. Fair enough, many were in good faith as they backed the war. Yet what else is needed for them to register how naïve (at best) their stance has been along? What do you expect when an administration like Bush’s is left to deal with a task like that?

As Iraq shows no sign of stabilising and US soldiers piss on the Quran, torture prisoners and cluelessly preside over the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians, we can only sigh at the simultaneous thought of Al-Quaeda toasting over the most successful recruitment campaign of their history. And they didn't even have to spend a penny on it.

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