Al-Qaeda to the rescue

By Pepe Escobar (Asia Times Roving Eye)

When the going gets tough, count on the Ministry of Truth to get going.

The end of Ramadan was imminent. The jihadi chattering classes of that fuzzy entity, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), went on overdrive. It was jailbreak galore from Libya to Pakistan via Iraq. And all this in perfect synch with two successive fatwas issued by that perennial bogeyman, former Osama bin Laden sidekick Ayman “Doctor Evil” al-Zawahiri.

Imagine a rushed crisis meeting at the highest levels of the Orwellian/Panopticon complex:

“Gentlemen, we have a golden opportunity here. We are under siege by defector spy Edward Snowden – liberated by the Soviets – and that terrorist hack Greenwald. Snowden may be winning: even among US public opinion, there’s a growing perception we may be more of a threat than al-Qaeda.

So we must show we are vigilantly protecting our freedoms. Yes; we’re gonna scream Terra, Terra, Terra!”

Instantly, we have the closing, with much fanfare, of plenty of US embassies and consulates in the “Muslim world” and a State Department “worldwide” travel alert – soon expanded by Interpol. Confusion ensues – with many trying to figure out whether backpacking in Thailand or eating fresh caviar in Baku is a surefire way of not being blown up.

Instantly, we also have US and Western corporate media falling in love with the Terra Terra Terra meme all over again. And woe to those who think this has anything to do with Islamophobia. You thought that Terra was gone? No, Terra is omnipresent, omniscient, lurking everywhere. Terra Wants You. Trains and boats and planes – you’re nowhere safe.

Yet the fabulous specific intel unearthed by the Ministry of Truth amounts to some lowlife jihadi boasting on the net that he and his buddies will be doing something nasty someday somewhere in multiple, unspecified locations all across Middle East-Northern Africa (MENA).

False flag approaching
A closer examination of these “thousands” of freed al-Qaeda ready to wreak havoc all over the world reveals most may be “our” friends after all.

The jailbreak in Benghazi (probably 1,000) – does not exactly concern the Friends of NATO of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group variety; their militias are already in power, busy dissolving Libya into perennial failed state status.

On the double jailbreak in Baghdad (could be as many as 1,400), their destination is across the desert to Syria, to engage in jihad alongside the Friends of Obama/Cameron/Hollande/House of Saud in the combo Jabhat al-Nusra/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But wait a minute; if they are “our” friends in Libya and Syria, how come they are our enemies in Pakistan and Yemen?

In Pakistan (probably 500), they will disperse in the tribal areas and lay low – otherwise they will be droned according to Double O Bama with a license-to-kill list. No alert, by the way, applied to Pakistan (as in the embassy in Islamabad and the consulate in Peshawar, for instance), nor in Indonesia. So it’s not the “Muslim world”; it’s basically MENA. And specifically Yemen. But Obama last week told the Yemeni president that al-Qaeda was in retreat. So what is it then? AQAP has been de-retreated?

The bottom line is that the Bush-Obama continuum never ceases to reassure us – not to mention that old fox al-Zawahiri. Doctor Evil, as warped a strategist as he is, figured out a while ago that if the “al-Qaeda” global bogeyman myth is now “stronger than ever” it’s thanks to the Obama administration and its poodles, European and Persian Gulf-based, with their Three Stooges strategy from Libya to Syria. Afghanistan is a completely different story; there’s no “historical” al-Qaeda left, only a handful in the Pakistani tribal areas.

So al-Zawahiri knew the bogeyman would inevitably be resurrected, in total synch with his recent fatwas, because “long” – or “infinite” – war equals perpetual funding for the Orwellian/Panopticon complex. And a convenient foreign enemy is essential; no one in Washington could possibly admit on the record the real “enemy”, as in strategic competitor, is the Chinese dragon.

Doctor Evil and the Orwellian/Panopticon complex are on the same side – and that explains why he’ll be allowed to be a motor mouth fatwa machine for as long as he wants, and won’t be nabbed like some patsy in the underwear bomber mould. The complex is back in offense. Reform the NSA? Interfere with our metadata? What for? We have just alerted the US government to “pre-9/11” levels of terrorist chatter!

AQAP might well decide not to participate in this worldwide “pre-9/11” script. Real jihadis, after all, are not foolish enough to be caught by XKeystroke. So here’s a Dylanesque riddle for you. All along the watchtower, a false flag is approaching – said the joker to the thief. There’s too much Terra confusion, and we won’t get no relief.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. He has also written Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

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