It makes absolutely no sense.
Margaret Hassan, director of the humanitarian group CARE International, who has joint British-Iraqi citizenship, was kidnapped yesterday morning in Iraq. Although nobody has claimed responsibility for abducting Ms. Hassan, the immediate assumption is she was grabbed by the Iraqi resistance or al-Zarqawi, the latter accused of all manner of barbarity, including beheading kidnap victims.
But why would the resistance kidnap somebody who has provided humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq for 25 years? Is it possible the Iraqi resistance wants to deny the Iraqi people humanitarian assistance?
Of course not.
In America, the corporate media answers the above question every day—the Iraqi resistance is fanatical, murderous, nothing more than a loose confederation of terrorists, criminals, Islamic madmen, demented sadists who blow up car bombs in crowded market squares and kill women and children, their own neighbors.
However, there is another possible explanation: the kidnapping of Margaret Hassan is part of a counterinsurgency operation devised to make the resistance look bad and thus turn world opinion against it.
Before you tell me to don my tinfoil hat, consider the following: as crack investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in June, Mossad is busily at work in Iraq, primarily in the Kurdish areas of the country. A senior CIA official confirmed this, according to Hersh. In April, the Canadian National Post reported the existence of U.S. military special operations troops in civilian clothes, “illegally hunting down civilians and government figures, sabotaging civilian facilities and arming selected local thugs to execute reprisals, flouting the international laws of war,” as Henry Michaels of WSWS characterized it. Michaels notes the following:
Citing intelligence sources, United Press International reported last week that the unsuccessful bombing operation to murder Saddam Hussein and his family and cabinet ministers on March 20 was preceded by intensive infiltration of CIA agents into Baghdad, the recruitment of Iraqi spies and the insertion of special operations troops into the capital. … The people of Najaf [as reported by the Financial Times on April 5] were introduced to their new government this week a virtually unknown opposition group that claims to represent all Iraqis, cruises around the streets on US special forces vehicles, and is doing its best to present itself as part of a spontaneous â€˜intifada’ against the Iraqi regime. … Members of the group, called the Iraqi Coalition for National Unity (ICNU), rarely stray from their US vehicles and special forces minders, grinning broadly for cameras from atop Humvees and raising their weapons in victory…. Co-ordination between ICNU and US ground forces in Najaf is tight, handled by special forces and CIA operatives. (My emphasis.)
Consider, as well, the appointment of John Negroponte as the Bush administration’s ambassador to Iraq. Negroponte played a key role in Reagan’s illegal contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. “Honduras became the main staging ground for attacks on Nicaragua by the right-wing contra army,” writes Lance Selfa. “A huge increase in military aid turned Honduras into a virtual U.S. base. Meanwhile, the Honduran military used its power to suppress not only those in the country who opposed the contra war, but also virtually anyone who fought for human rights and workers’ rights.” (Note: CARE does not specifically bill itself as human rights group, but rather a “humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.”) “Negroponte will be Washington’s man in Baghdad just as he was Washington’s man in Honduras,” Selfa predicts, “organizing ‘private contractors’ and shadowy militias into death squads against ‘insurgents.’ Or directing the torture of suspects in Iraq’s military prisons. Or turning the U.S. embassy into the biggest nest of spies in the region.”
CIA covert operations have a long and sordid history, going back to the founding of the organization in the late 40s. On June 18, 1948, the National Security Council issued directive 10/2 authorizing “propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberations [sic] groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” (See U.S. Covert Actions and Counter-Insurgency Programs , posted on the GlobalSecurity web site.)
The CIA has conducted “thousands of operations over the years,” writes John Stockwell, a former CIA agent, and “there have been about 3,000 major covert operations and over 10,000 minor operations… all designed to disrupt, destabilize, or modify the activities of other countries.”
In addition to sabotage and “demolition,” the CIA has a track record of killing innocents with suicide bombs. On March 8, 1985, 80 people were killed and 200 injured when a car bomb exploded in Beirut, Lebanon. “The bomb went off outside a block of flats and close to a mosque as worshippers were gathering for Friday night prayers in a densely populated Shia Muslim suburb … near the home of a leading fundamentalist Shia Muslim cleric, Sheikh Muhammad Husain Fadlallah,” explains the BBC. Reagan and his CIA director, William J. Casey, according to the Washington Post, were responsible for planning and executing, along with the Saudis, the terrorist attack against Fadlallah.
More than a few of the kidnappings in Iraq appear to be CIA, military intelligence, or Mossad operations. For instance, when Simona Pari and Simona Torretta of the Italian humanitarian organization Bridge to Baghdad were kidnapped recently, witnesses described the kidnapping as “extremely professional” and said a well-dressed man wearing a suit and tie had led the operation, according to the Guardian. Of course, it is possible the Iraqi resistance, or a criminal gang interested in ransom, pulled off the kidnapping of Pari and Torretta, but the question remains: why are so many kidnappings directed against humanitarian organizations, obviously not the preferred target of a resistance determined to drive the United States out of Iraq? It simply does not make sense—unless the kidnappings and bombings are designed to foment chaos and portray the resistance as murderous nihilists and cold-blooded criminals.
Since it is obviously impossible for the United States to defeat the Iraqi resistance, it makes perfect sense for the CIA—possibly in alliance with other covert intelligence operations, for instance the documented Mossad operation in northern Iraq—to covertly engage in terrorism, which the White House and the corporate media subsequently blame on the resistance.
In fact, Mossad and other Israeli intelligence organizations have a well-documented history of doing precisely this sort of thing—from the Lavon Affair to funding Hamas and deceiving the United States into bombing Libya. The motto of Mossad is: “By way of deception thou shalt do war.” According to former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky, Israel has supported radical fundamentalist Muslim groups for years (see previous link). Ostrovsky also claims Mossad “trained both sides in the bloody ongoing civil unrest in Sri Lanka: the Tamils and the Sinhalese, as well as the Indians who were sent in to restore order.” Is it possible Mossad and the CIA are also responsible for the creation of the elusive super-terrorist al-Zarqawi and have planned and executed suicide, car bombings, and beheadings?
Finally, for those who harbor doubts the United States would organize, front, and unleash terrorist groups against innocent civilians, consider Operation Northwoods, a terrorist operation against Cuban civilians designed to be blamed on Castro, as proposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962.
“The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States,” suggests the declassified memo sent to then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. “We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States … Harassment of civil air, attacks on surface shipping … Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft.”
Luckily, for innocent Cubans, McNamara and Kennedy rejected Operation Northwoods, although they were hardly admirers or Cuba and Fidel Castro.
Is it possible Iraqis are not so lucky?