The latest issue of the slickly produced Islamic State magazine, Dabiq, pays tribute Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Abu was all the rage a decade ago as the United States tightened its grip on Iraq. He was portrayed by the Bush administration and the war propaganda media as the evil mastermind behind the “insurgency” following the U.S. invasion in 2003.

Apparently, the editors of Dabiq and the upper echelon of the organization and its titular head, the mysterious Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are unaware of the fact al-Zarqawi was the stuff of a Pentagon psychological operation.

They are also clueless when it comes to his CIA pedigree. “Al Zarqawi had been recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan war. This was confirmed by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his historic presentation to the UN Security Council on 5 February 2003,” writes Rafiq A. Tschannen.

“Zarqawi, Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp,” Powell said.

The CIA, MI6, the British SAS, and Pakistani intelligence established and oversaw the camps Powell mentioned. So important were the camps in the CIA’s war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the director of the agency, William Casey, toured them in 1986.

As for the Pentagon’s al-Zarqawi op, it was reported by none other than the Washington Post in 2006.

“The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program,” Thomas E. Ricks wrote for the newspaper. “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.”

In short, al-Qaeda in Iraq, supposedly led by al-Zarqawi, was a Pentagon fabrication. It would later morph into ISIS.

The al-Zarqawi propaganda campaign run by neocons at the Pentagon – legendary for their lies and distortions – attributed all kinds of nastiness to the one legged terrorist (including beheadings) and placed him at the pinnacle of the insurgency in Fallujah, Tal Afar and Samara. It was used to discredit and villainize the real resistance to the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

The Pentagon’s al-Zarqawi op had the same basic goals as the current ISIS op which is far more successful. Al-Zarqawi “is said to be determined to ‘ignite a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites.’ But is that not precisely what US intelligence is aiming at (‘divide and rule’) as confirmed by several analysts of the US led war? Pitting one group against the other with a view to weakening the resistance movement,” Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2006.

As I noted in 2005, as the neocons and the propaganda media attributed one terror plot after another to the mysterious Jordanian, “the purpose of al-Zarqawi is to engender widespread fear of Muslims and rally the masses behind the concept of forever war directed against Islam.”

The same procedure is now underway with ISIS. The ISIS psychological operation, with its gruesome beheadings and mass murder of civilians and captured soldiers, all of it duly and sensationalistically reported by the war propaganda media, is designed to keep the war on terror and the clash of civilizations agenda rolling to its final destination – the balkanization of the Middle East and ultimately the undermining of Russia and China, as Thierry Meyssan notes.

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