Saturday, April 19, 2008 THE MYTH OF 'AL QAEDA' NOW BEGINNING TO BE RECOGNISED BY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA. It’s interesting to note that, at long last, the mainstream media is hinting that the words ‘al Qaeda’ has simplistically become a metaphor for those that are fighting the US in Iraq and elsewhere and that ‘al Qaeda’ is not, as they have pushed for years, a specific organisation that is led and organised by the equally metaphoric and very dead ‘Osama bin Laden’. Michael Cooper and Larry Rohter of ‘The New York Times’ today wrote: “As he campaigns with the weight of a deeply unpopular war on his shoulders, Senator John McCain of Arizona frequently uses the shorthand “Al Qaeda” to describe the enemy in Iraq in pressing to stay the course in the war there.” It’s a step in the right direction for the mainstream media to at last concede that ‘al Qaeda’ is indeed merely ‘shorthand’ for those that battle against US occupiers of various countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. In much the same way as the Americans invoked the words ‘al Qaeda’ to denote those that raise their hands against them in defense of their lands, the Israelis today refer to all Palestinians that are fighting for their lands back as ‘terrorists’. The Israelis tried for a while to cast Palestinian fighters into the ‘al Qaeda’ mould but it was quickly revealed that those the Israelis ‘captured’ turned out to be Israeli intelligence patsies. They have occasionally tried it on since but haven’t of late been silly enough to actually insist that ‘al Qaeda’ is active with Palestinian fighters. SOURCE... Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is just one group, though a very lethal one, in the stew of competing Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias, Iranian-backed groups, criminal gangs and others that make up the insurgency in Iraq. That was vividly illustrated last month when the Iraqi Army’s unsuccessful effort to wrest control of Basra from the Shiite militia groups that hold sway there led to an explosion of violence. The current situation in Iraq should properly be described as “a multifactional civil war” in which “the government is composed of rival Shia factions” and “they are embattled with an outside Shia group, the Mahdi Army,” Ira M. Lapidus, a co-author of “Islam, Politics and Social Movements” and a professor of history at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in an e-mail message. “The Sunni forces are equally hard to assess,” he added, and “it is an open question as to whether Al Qaeda is a unified operating organization at all.” SOURCE... Isn't that something? The MSM media is finally catching on.