Al-Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism”
One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to "fabricate an enemy". The "outside enemy" personified by Osama bin Laden is "threatening America". Pre-emptive war directed against "Islamic terrorists" is required to defend the Homeland. Realities are turned upside down. America is under attack.
In the wake of 9/11, the creation of this "outside enemy" has served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the war in the Middle East and Central Asia. Waged on the grounds of self-defense, the pre-emptive war is upheld as a "just war" with a humanitarian mandate. As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this illusive "outside enemy" must be dispelled.
Counter-terrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine". The objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of America." Ironically, Al Qaeda --the "outside enemy of America" as well as the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks-- is a creation of the CIA. From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of the "Islamic brigades". Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda, drown the truth and "kill the evidence" on how this "outside enemy" was fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One".
The US intelligence apparatus has created it own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created. Meanwhile, a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go after" these terrorist organizations has been put in place.
Portrayed in stylized fashion by the Western media, Osama bin Laden, supported by his various henchmen, constitutes America’s post-Cold war bogeyman, who "threatens Western democracy". The alleged threat of "Islamic terrorists", permeates the entire US national security doctrine. Its purpose is to justify wars of aggression in the Middle East, while establishing within America, the contours of the Homeland Security State.