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May 07, 2006

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****Jawa Report Exclusive**** A gruesome beheading video delivered to the Sunday Times purporting to be of slain journalist Atwar Bahjat is a hoax. On Sunday, May 7th, the Times reported that they had received a low-quality video of Atwar Bahjat... [Read More]

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Comments

Fred

Dear Mark, could you elaborate on what you mean by "PsyOps" and in whose interest it might be?

Nathan

The situation in Iraq is growing increasingly disturbing by the day.

This incident and your analysis of it reminds me a bit of the Algeria civil war in the 1990s. Various militant groups and government forces committed atrocities against civilians and others while wearing disguising uniforms and masks. They were called "ninjas." They tried to frame and undermine popular support of other groups through these terrorist activities. The phrase people would often ask is "Qui tue qui? or who is killing who? No one knew the who, why and what of it, all too similar to Iraq.

I fear that with so many competing interest/militant groups, that democracy will never flourish in this particular postcolonial country.

Also its unfortunate that Iraq is not in the position to take full advantage of being an oil rentier state. It will take years of investment and development to turn a profit as well as lots of money sunk on security costs.

I fear for the worst if history is any guide to the future.

aardvark

Fred - I'm not pushing a "PsyOps" theory, but it's not hard to imagine what one might look like: that the US released the tape to the Sunday Times as part of its PR strategy of trying to distance Zarqawi / al-Qaeda from mainstream Arabs and from the rest of the Sunni community. Even as cynical as I am, I can't believe that the US would actually *produce* this snuff film, and I don't think for a second that the US is responsible for Atwar's murder. Zarqawi or Shia death squads are each a zillion times more plausible. But who could doubt that the US would facilitate the release of the film if they discovered it (like the recent Zarqawi blooper reel everyone is having such fun with)?

At any rate, I don't think that the PsyOps theory is the likeliest - I'd guess that the tape came out of the insurgency or the Shia forces, with whoever released it trying to discredit the other. The oddness of the tape showing up in a British newspaper rather than in an Arab source or on a jihadi forum deserves follow-up, though.

 ishtar

I have 2 pics of atwar bahjat, one taken just before her death, the other after her death. Dead, she was not slain, nor stripped . She wore her heavy winter jacket over a pullover. This contradicts the whole story. If you give me an email, I will send you the two pics.

It is all a fake psyop.

ishtar

I would add that we, iraqis, believe that Atwar was killed by the ministry of interior monsters who were trained as death squads. Atwar was a sunni from samara, the same city where the golden dome was blown out by inside job as we all know. Also, we do not believe in Zarqawi which is a CIA fabrication addressed specially to the American People to believe that Iraqis welcome US troops and do not resist them!!! and that the occupation of iraq is a part of the war on terror. Nobody has ever seen or heard about zarqawi in Iraq. It is only the US army who (knows his whereabouts)and always miss him. How convenient!!

aardvark

For what it's worth, on the jihadi al-Tajdid forum, the one thread discussing the tape of Atwar's death expresses outrage and blames the Shia:

http://www.tajdeed.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?s=81fe2e2cccf0f67e1fcd909797a4983b&threadid=41204

It also has a link to a picture like the one you describe - showing her corpse with head attached. It's all very weird, though hard to know how much credibility to give anyone at this point.

Fred

Thanks for clarifying that Marc.

Craig

since the Shia are pretty much America's allies

How do you figure that?

Hezbollah and Amal, two shia militias, have murdered hundreds of Americans and committed dozens of terrorist attacks against US targets, dating back more than 20 years.

Shia Iranians captured the US embassay in Tehran in 1979 and held the diplomatic staff hostage for over a YEAR!

The US is on the verge of war with the Islamic (Shia) Republic of Iran right now, as we speak.

Al Sadr waged open war against US troops for several months, in Iraq. With his SHIA militia.

Both the Badr and the Sadr militias have been suspected of operating death squads for over a year now. Among the victims of these death squads are numerous Americans, inluding Steven Vincent, a US journalist and blogger.

America has no allies in Iraq. That's the problem. In case you haven't noticed.

But long term, I think the Shia militias are what is going to destroy the country. The foreign terrorists will eventually be dealt with, and the SUnni insurgency can fade away if their reasons for fighting are dealt with. But the Shia militias are not going to stop. Not if they follow the Hezbollah model, which is what they seem to be doing. The militias are going to be running Iraq forever. Unless somebody KILLS them. And the US lost the opportunity to deal with the shia militias that way about 2.5 years ago. So... that's all there is. Anybody who doesn't want to live in hell needs to get the fuck out of Iraq. Including the coalition forces.

Aya

If it is not Atwar, who was it then? A Nepalese hostage? Another innocent Iraqi victim or a mock video?

This is so distressful...what is going on in Iraq is a complete disaster.

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