Every now and then the government has a television program exhibiting certain individuals and presenting them as operatives of al-Qaeda organization.

These individuals are usually presented as leaders in the group in order to tell Iraqis that the government is succeeding in its battle to eradicate terror and reinstate law and order.

But I believe much of this is a bad T.V. show and we the Iraqis are not so naïve to believe what the government says.When the government says it has apprehended and arrested a 'terrorist gang,’ it clearly wants us to believe that the gang belongs to al-Qaeda.

But the reality of the situation is that those arrested and presented to us as al-Qaeda senior operatives are in fact members of the Iraqi armed resistance which the government has been fighting since the 2003-U.S. invasion.The paradox is that after each operation and arrest campaign, we are more or less made to believe that the government has succeeded in rooting out all terror.

But on closer look at the identity of those shown on television as being al-Qaeda operatives, one finds that many of them are university professors, intellectuals and people of note whose social position as well as religious, intellectual and political orientations can in no way class them as 'terrorists.’We cannot claim that they are 'innocent’ from the government’s perspective. For sure they have been arrested because the government is not happy about their practices, ideas and actions.

But little do we know that these people can also be part of a growing group of Iraqis who openly oppose corruption in the ranks of the government and its summary arrests and secret prisons.Charges like these in government’s mind are enough to put them behind bars and exhibit them as successes of its security forces on television.




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