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The Fake Musayyib and the Real Musayyib


The first one helped cause the second one

Bullshit: In February 2003, Colin Powell showed this slide to the U.N. and said it was taken in May 2002—the time period, as we now know, of the pre-war plot. “What makes this picture significant,” Powell told the U.N., “is that we have a human source who has corroborated that movement of chemical weapons occurred at this site at that time.” Powell during his U.N. speech, flanked by George Tenet and John Negroponte. Fucking liars, all three of ’em. [Getty Images]

While the death toll mounts in Musayyib, the horrific bombing there Saturday is rapidly coming to symbolize the disintegration of Iraq.

New info this afternoon appears to confirm that the fuel tanker’s explosion that killed 98 people was set off by yet another drive bomber. The Voice of America reports:

According to the Iraqi police, a huge gasoline tanker, laden with fuel, slowly drove into the center of Musayyib early [Saturday] evening. The driver pulled up in front of a Shi’ite mosque, stepped out of the vehicle, and opened up the fuel valves located near the rear of the tanker. He, then, opened his shirt and detonated explosives strapped to his body.

The blast created an enormous fireball, which swept through a crowd of pedestrians, shoppers, and worshippers heading to sunset prayers. The fireball also set at least 20 cars on fire, and destroyed two tea shops, a restaurant and part of an apartment building.

No good can come of the tragedy there—for Iraqis, that is. Compared with them, we Americans—except for our endangered and dangerous soldiers—are lucky. Regarding Iraq, all we have to suffer is constant bombardment of poisonous propaganda from the Bush regime.

But the tragedy of Musayyib can be good for us. We can stand to be constantly reminded of the role that the name “Musayyib” played in the pre-war plot that resulted in what Brad Corsello wittily termed Dubya Dubya III—the unwarranted invasion that resulted in the heavy-handed occupation that has prompted agonies like that of the real Musayyib.

As I pointed out yesterday, Colin Powell was right in February 2003 when he warned that there were weapons of mass destruction in a place called Musayyib.

Wrong weapons, pal. Your cooked-up invasion has created the horror of, as the BBC reports today, parents in the town of Musayyib—that’s different from the Musayyib plant—throwing their children out of burning houses to save them.

If the violence in Iraq has knocked you senseless, go back and read what Powell said in February 2003:

“I’m going to show you a small part of a chemical complex called Al Musayyib, a site that Iraq has used for at least three years to transship chemical weapons from production facilities out to the field. In May 2002, our satellites photographed the unusual activity in this picture.”

Now check out Charles Duelfer‘s official post-invasion WMD report conducted for the CIA. Go to Volume III, page 3, where Duelfer’s team, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), wrote this:

ISG investigated a series of key pre-OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] indicators involving the possible movement and storage of chemical weapons, focusing on 11 major depots assessed to have possible links to CW [chemical weapons]. A review of documents, interviews, available reporting, and site exploitations revealed alternate, plausible explanations for activities noted prior to OIF which, at the time, were believed to be CW-related.

• ISG investigated pre-OIF activities at Musayyib Ammunition Storage Depot—the storage site that was judged to have the strongest link to CW. An extensive investigation of the facility revealed that there was no CW activity, unlike previously assessed.

Secretary of State Colin Powell lied. Whether he was a fool and merely repeated others’ lies is another question. The fact is that what he said so forcefully about Musayyib was a lie—one of a string of lies.

He talked to the U.N. about “unusual activity” at his Musayyib. The only “unusual activity” regarding Iraq that was going on May 2002 was the pre-war plotting by the Bush and Blair regimes.

That crap from Powell in February ’03 was followed by the invasion in March, which was followed by Bush’s declaration of “mission accomplished” on May 1, which was followed by pasha Jerry Bremer‘s glowing description of life in Iraq on July 1, 2003:

“Day by day, conditions in Iraq continue to improve, freedom becomes more and more entrenched and the dark days of the Baathist regime are further and further back in people’s memories.”

To which Bremer, whom future historians will flay into ribbons for his disastrous performance, appended this delusional prognostication:

I look forward to working alongside the [Iraqi interim administration] within a couple of weeks and, shortly thereafter, to seeing the constitutional process launched, which will culminate, once the constitution has been adopted, in the first free and democratic elections in Iraq’s history, which in turn will be followed by the first sovereign Iraqi government, at which time the coalition’s job will be over.

Another mission accomplished.

Two years later, U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq are becoming vocal about the futility of a military solution. Forget about those tough words from Bush and Blair. For God’s sakes, a month ago—before the current unprecedented wave of insanity—Knight-Ridder’s Tom Lasseter wrote:

A growing number of senior American military officers in Iraq have concluded that there is no long-term military solution to an insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis and more than 1,300 U.S. troops during the past two years.

Lasseter, who’s often far ahead of the curve in maneuvering through the Bush regime’s bullshit, added:

Instead, officers say, the only way to end the guerilla war is through Iraqi politics—an arena that so far has been crippled by divisions between Shiite Muslims, whose coalition dominated the January elections, and Sunni Muslims, who are a minority in Iraq but form the base of support for the insurgency.

Meanwhile, Iraq has disappeared again from George W. Bush‘s home page.

As of late this afternoon, there was only one tiny place on the main White House page that mentioned the word “Iraq.” You can click there, on the tiny “Iraq elections” type on the left-hand side. Go ahead. It takes you to the White House’s “Renewal in Iraq,” which hasn’t been renewed in a few weeks—time seems to have stopped on June 28, 2005.

This isn’t the first time the Bush regime’s “Renewal in Iraq” has become stuck.

But now, thanks in no small part to the other—the real—Musayyib, it looks as though Iraq has become unhinged as well.

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