Media obfuscation and the Khadr controversy

Media obfuscation and the Khadr controversy
By Brandon Martinez (Copyright 2015)
The controlled Canadian media is awash with controversy following the release from prison of Omar Khadr, a former child soldier who was accused and convicted in a US military kangaroo court of killing an occupying American soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002.
For just shy of a decade, the Americans tortured the Canadian-born Khadr in the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp before relinquishing him to Canada where he has been held in Canadian jails since 2012.
Upon his release on bail on May 7, Canadian neocons began screeching from the hilltops about the ‘travesty’ of temporarily freeing a ‘convicted terrorist.’ Meanwhile, the neo-liberal crypto-militarists who occupy Canada’s mainstream media engaged in stereotypical faux debates consisting of highly constrained babble about the ‘rights and wrongs’ of the treatment of Khadr by the Canadian and American governments.
The issue is never framed properly and is in fact intentionally obfuscated. The Khadr story, while important to expose as an injustice in its own right, is a tiny microcosm of a much larger picture involving an imperial super-power launching an illegitimate war of aggression and occupation based on completely false pretenses. Professional pundits and talking heads on Canada’s state and corporate-controlled media venues refuse whatsoever to point this out, and attempt to inundate gullible viewers with superficial squabbling over Omar Khadr’s predicament. Not a single serious critic has been given air-time to highlight the broader implications of the Khadr story as it relates to the unjust imperial war in Afghanistan. Is no one in Canada capable of explaining the elementary logic of aggression vs. self-defence, as exemplified by the Khadr case? And is no one likewise able to delineate the fundamental incoherence, fraudulence, hypocrisy and downright criminality of the ‘war on terror’ itself?
America’s bogus rationale for invading Afghanistan was that Osama bin Laden’s ‘al-Qaeda’ group was stationed there, and that that group was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Firstly, the assertion that al-Qaeda perpetrated 9/11 has never been proven in any impartial court of law. The FBI itself admitted they have ‘no hard evidence’ connecting Bin Laden to the attacks. It therefore remains a dubious, unproven conspiracy theory advanced by a notoriously corrupt, deceptive and criminal Bush administration. Moreover, the US did not invade Afghanistan for the purposes of bringing anyone allegedly involved in 9/11 to justice. In fact, the Bush regime blatantly rebuffed a Taliban offer to turn over Bin Laden in October 2001. The Taliban merely asked that Washington provide them with sufficient proof of the al-Qaeda leader’s culpability in 9/11. “Bush rejects Taliban offer to hand Bin Laden over,” read an October 2001 headline in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The article quoted President Bush saying, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know [Bin Laden is] guilty.” Washington evidently doesn’t understand the concepts of due process and fair trial.
An undeniable fact which undermines the 9/11 pretext is that the Afghan war was in reality pre-arranged long before the attacks. A May 2002 MSNBC report entitled “U.S. sought attack on al-Qaida: White House given plan days before Sept. 11” detailed the contents of a pre-9/11 formal National Security Presidential Directive that outlined a “game plan to remove al-Qaida from the face of the earth.” “The plan dealt with all aspects of a war against al-Qaida, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to military operations in Afghanistan,” the security directive stated. MSNBC opined that the directive “outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the Sept. 11 attacks.” It further paralleled the Bush regime’s post-9/11 plan in that it “included efforts to persuade Afghanistan’s Taliban government to turn al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden over to the United States, with provisions to use military force if it refused.” MSNBC’s report concluded that the “couching of the plans as a formal security directive is significant because it indicates that the United States intended a full-scale assault on al-Qaida even if the Sept. 11 attacks had not occurred.”
While useful in illustrating connivance and pre-planning, MSNBC’s reportage ultimately serves as a smokescreen to conceal the Bush regime’s duplicitous intentions vis-à-vis the war in Afghanistan, which in truth had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism or Osama bin Laden. A September 2001 BBC report quoted a former high-ranking Pakistani diplomat, Niaz Naik, who said that US officials informed him of their plans to attack Afghanistan months before 9/11 in July of 2001. He further revealed that Washington’s war aims had little, if anything, to do with Bin Laden or al-Qaeda, but rather were directed at ousting the Taliban and installing a puppet regime favourable to the US. Naik surmised that Washington would not mitigate its antagonistic posture towards Afghanistan “even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taleban.” What Naik didn’t mention was that al-Qaeda itself was a creation of the CIA whose fighters had been used by the Agency as mercenaries in various proxy wars, principally in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980’s.
As Naik’s revelations confirm, Washington’s belligerence towards the impoverished Islamic country had nothing to do with al-Qaeda and everything to do with removing the Taliban from power, as that regime presented a roadblock for US corporations looking to tap into Afghanistan’s copious natural resources. In addition to coveting its resources, Afghanistan was of immense geopolitical importance to US militarists aiming to use the Central Asian country as a springboard from which to unleash a series of sequential wars designed to establish unbridled hegemony in the region. Former US General Wesley Clark publicly exposed this gambit, telling Amy Goodman of Democracy Now that shortly after 9/11 the Pentagon initiated its clandestine regime-change scheme to take out ‘seven countries in five years.’
Re-configuring the Middle East and Central Asia to serve the economic and geopolitical interests and objectives of the United States and Israel was the ultimate goal behind all of this controlled chaos. Those behind the pandemonium merely use ‘terrorism,’ most of which is manufactured by deep-state rogue actors, as an expedient marketing strategy to sell imperial wars to the unthinking masses.
The story of Omar Khadr unveils the sickening depravity of the Western/Zionist/Neocon warmongers and their bought-and-paid-for presstitutes. Neocon zealots have labeled Khadr, a frightened child who was defending his invaded homeland from foreign occupiers, a ‘war criminal’ for allegedly killing one US soldier in self-defence. Meanwhile, his accusers are essentially responsible for countless millions of dead, disfigured and displaced Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans and others since Washington initiated its expedition for world conquest in 2001.
While the mass media is frenzied to report the ‘horror’ of the death of one American, Canadian or British soldier who is occupying foreign lands, the same propaganda organs for war do not express comparable outrage about obscene US/British/Canadian military misconduct in Afghanistan or Iraq. One such squalid affair involved a group of 12 American soldiers of the Stryker infantry brigade who murdered a number of Afghan civilians ‘for sport.’ A September 2010 Guardian report tells us: “Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret ‘kill team’ that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies. Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year.” On this rare occasion, these barbaric American troops were charged for their odious war crimes, but generally Western forces are exempt from prosecution, no matter how heinous the offence.
We will never know the true extent of Western war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan considering we have a servile mass media that is content to hide the truth from the public and put the blame on the victims.
Omar Khadr was lucky to make it out of Afghanistan alive with two bullet wounds in his back, but the same can’t be said for millions of human souls whose lives, hopes and dreams were tragically cut short so that the madmen in Washington could have their way with the world.