Thursday, June 08, 2006

Re-Inventing al-Zarqawi

"For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi's role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the "U.S. Home Audience" as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign."
Washington Post, April 10, 2006
If, like us, you've found today's coverage of a subject the media and its talking head guests know next nothing about -- terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his reported death -- vastly un-nourishing to the mind, you may want to read Mary Ann Weaver's in-depth article in this month's Atlantic Magazine.

The on-line article originally was titled "Inventing Al-Zarqawi." Oddly, however, earlier this morning it seems to have been re-titled, "The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

The full article is available for free, at least for now. Here's your teaser:
"If you want to understand who Zarqawi is," a former Jordanian intelligence official had told me earlier, "you’ve got to understand the four major turning points in his life: his first trip to Afghanistan; then the prison years [from 1993 to 1999]; then his return to Afghanistan, when he really came into his own; and then Iraq." He thought for a moment. "And, of course, the creativity of the Americans."
Why do we get the feeling, now that al-Zarqawi is dead, that someone will have to invent another one?

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