Although reported initially by the Times and the Mail, all mention of the explosives allegedly found in the SAS men's unmarked Cressida vanished from the news. Instead, the story was the danger the men faced if they were handed over to the militia run by the "radical" cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. "Radical" is a gratuitous embedded term; al-Sadr has actually co-operated with the British. What did he have to say about the "rescue"? Quite a lot, none of which was reported in this country. His spokesman Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani said the SAS men, disguised as al-Sadr's followers, were planning an attack on Basra ahead of an important religious festival.The story more likely goes like this: the Two Scousers were caught with supplies to refresh another SAS team, which they were going to meet. No one has shown there were bombs in the kit, although there was a large amount of weapons, amunition and some comms. equipment. Even if there was a cache of explosives, its existence in the car does not necessarily mean it was going to be used to blow Iraqis up. It might have been there to blow Iranians up. It might be standard kit for SAS men to carry to blow holes in buildings if they find the need to do so.
"When the police tried to stop them," he said, "[they] opened fire on the police and passers-by. After a car chase, they were arrested. What our police found in the car was very disturbing - weapons, explosives and a remote-control detonator. These are the weapons of terrorists.
The Anglo-American goal of "federalism" for Iraq is part of an imperial strategy of provoking divisions in a country where the communities have long overlapped, even intermarried. The Osama-like promotion of al-Zarqawi is integral to this. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, he is everywhere but nowhere. When the Americans crushed the city of Fallujah last year, the justification for their atrocious behaviour was "getting those guys loyal to al-Zarqawi". But the city's civil and religious authorities denied he was ever there or had anything to do with the resistance.
"He is simply an invention," said the imam of al-Kazimeya Mosque in Baghdad. "Al-Zarqawi was killed in the beginning of the war in the Kurdish north. His family even held a ceremony after his death." Whether or not this is true, al-Zarqawi's "foreign invasion" serves as Bush's and Blair's last veil for their "war on terror" and botched attempt to control the world's second-biggest source of oil.
expatriot in Middle East as child, retired teacher.