Al-Zarqawi myth U.S.'s own creation

Wow, lots to post today!! These are exciting times, this thing is hopefully hurtling towards its conclusion. Thanks again to Jon Gold.

Edit: Check out this story on Jon's BB where he includes tons of additional information:

WASHINGTON -- The United States created the myth around Iraq insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and reality followed, terrorism expert Loretta Napoleoni said.

Al-Zarqawi was born Ahmad Fadil al-Khalayleh in October 1966 in the crime and poverty-ridden Jordanian city of Zarqa. But his myth was born Feb. 5, 2003, when then-Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the United Nations the case for war with Iraq.

Napoleoni, the author of "Insurgent Iraq," told reporters last week that Powell's argument falsely exploited Zarqawi to prove a link between then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. She said that through fabrications of Zarqawi's status, influence and connections "the myth became the reality" -- a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"He became what we wanted him to be. We put him there, not the jihadists," Napoleoni said.
The grand claim that al-Zarqawi provided the vital link between Saddam and al-Qaida lost its significance after it became known that al-Zarqawi and bin Laden did not forge a partnership until after the war's start. The two are believed to have met sometime in 2000, but al-Zarqawi -- similar to a group of dissenting al-Qaida members --rebuffed bin Laden's anti-American brand of jihad.