An insiders look at
the Iraqi resistance (Jihad Unspun)
Iraqi Resistance Reports
(Free Arab Voice)
Resistance speech on videotape (13 Dec 2004)
The Iraqi Resistance Reports
resistance news on Information Clearing House
* Meet the resistance
(Al Quds 27 Oct 2006)
As violence grows, oil-rich
Kirkuk could hold key to Iraq's future (Guardian
27 Oct 2006)
Iraqi Opposition Leader Speaks -
Interview with Salah Al Mukhtar (22 Oct 2006)
US Losing Control Fast
(IPS, 06 Sept 2006)
* Interview with
(Time 24 July 2006)
National Sovereignty and
Military Occupation Not Compatible
(03 May 2006)
Resistance remains a national calling for all Iraqis in the face of US designs
(April 11 2005)
Iraqi Resistance Distances
Itself From Civilian Blood (March 07 2005)
Iraq’s Right to Resistance and Self-Determination
By Ghali Hassan (february 25 2005)
The power to resist (January 21
Qu'en est il aujourd'hui du droit
de résister et du droit de se défendre? Le cas de la Palestine
07 May 2007)
The on-going resistance against foreign occupation: principles according to
Civilians in an
occupied country have no obligation of loyalty towards the Occupying Power regardless of the motives of the
invading forces. The only obligations they have relate to their civilian status: civilians are protected by
applicable human rights law as well as by Geneva Convention IV relating to civilians and the provisions
relating to civilians in Protocol Additional I. A civilian who takes up arms against the Occupying Power
loses rights as a civilian, but takes on the rights and obligations of combatant forces. This is the
situation of the classic levee en masse:
the Geneva Conventions recognize the combatant status of persons who spontaneously take up arms on the
approach of the enemy.
This rule is augmented
by the principle of self-determination: under the law of self-determination, a people have the right to
resist, with force if necessary, an alien or foreign occupier.
The fact that some of the people resisting the U.S./British occupation of Iraq
were not part of the pre-invasion Iraqi armed forces is not relevant, as persons who were civilians can take
up arms as insurgents against any occupier.
As protected combatants they have the right to take up arms against the
Occupying Power and cannot be criminally charged except for acts that violate the laws and customs of war.
The reason for this rule is obvious: were civilians who spontaneously take up arms and organize themselves
into defense forces to be considered “terrorists” instead of combatants, this would mean that persons under
attack from a foreign or oppressive force would not be able to fight back and resist without being
The U.S. administration
has generally succeeded in its political rhetoric on the issue: practically no U.S. politicians and very few
scholars in NGOs in the U.S. have challenged the false labelling of the Iraq resistance as “terrorist.”
The U.S. seeks to avoid
application of the self-determination rules by claiming that Iraq is no longer an “occupied” county but
rather a sovereign State with a government. In this regard there has been some lukewarm recognition of an
“interim” Iraqi government since 2004, but this was more for practical reasons than for legal ones. For
example, UN Security Council resolution 1546 of June 8, 2004, while seeming to recognize Iraq’s sovereignty,
is notable for its contradictions and ambivalence. It records “that …by 30 June 2004, the occupation will
end and the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, and that Iraq will reassert its full
Sovereignty,” but then notes “the situation in Iraq continues to constitute a threat to international peace
and security,” thus requiring that “the multinational force shall have the authority to take all necessary
measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq….”
Regardless of the
intent of this resolution, the U.S. has not ceased either its military operations in or its military
occupation of Iraq according to the terms of humanitarian law. U.S. military commanders acknowledge that
they retain control in most areas. For example, Col. David R. Gray, commander of the Army’s 1st Brigade,
101st Airborne Division, said in April 2006, “We maintain over-all control in the Kirkuk province.” Similar
statements by other U.S. military officers attest to the continued commitment of the military to its overall
control over most of Iraq. Under the terms of Article 2 of each of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the
Geneva Conventions continue to apply as long as there is partial or total foreign military control.
The hand-over of some
administrative functions to civil servants does not relieve the Occupying Power of its obligations under
humanitarian law or terminate the right of the Iraqi people to resist a foreign occupation: the right to
self-determination stays in force until the Occupying Power cedes all power and ceases all military
In any case, the continuous on-going clashes in Iraq
demonstrate the limits of the Iraq “government” to fulfil its security and welfare responsibilities. At the
same time, the U.S., by promoting that “government,” improperly seeks to limit its responsibilities as an
Occupying Power while still retaining direct, if not sole, influence on the course of Iraq’s
(written in consultation with Karen Parker, JD,
Advisory Committee of BRussells Tribunal)
The following is the transcript of a lengthy interview, slightly edited for grammar, that I
conducted by telephone with Salah Mukhtar. Mukhtar, who lives in Yemen, is a former Iraqi
official and diplomat who worked in the Information Ministry and who served at the United Nations
and as Iraq's ambassador to India. At the time of the invasion in 2003, he was Iraq's ambassador to
Vietnam. Though he does not claim to be a spokesman for the resistance in Iraq or for the Baath
party, he is close to both. Here is what he had to say:
Q. How strong is the Iraqi resistance?
A. The armed resistance has finished all the
preparations to control power in Iraq. The middle class collaborators with the United States have
started the leave Iraq already. Most of them are outside Iraq: Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and others.
A second wave of agents are preparing to leave, and some have already left, to Jordan, to Syria, to
Britain, and some other places, because the strategic conflict, practically speaking, has reached
the point of putting an end to the occupation. The resistance is controlling Baghdad now. Yesterday,
I spoke to many people, and they said that the attack on the American base was part of a new
strategy to inflict heavy casualties on American troops in Iraq.
Q. I’ve read that many tribal leaders in Iraq are calling for the release of Saddam
Hussein, and others want to cooperate with Maliki.
A. Those who are working with Maliki are living in Jordan, not inside Iraq. They do not dare return
to Iraq, especially those who are from Anbar Province, so they have no weight inside Iraq. As for
those who are sending messages to release President Saddam, they constitute the overwhelming
majority of the tribes in Iraq. It is becoming a national phenomenon. … It started suddenly,
hundreds of messages from tribal leaders from the north to the south of Iraq.
Q. Are their pro-Baathist forces in the National Assembly?
A. They are not representing us, but they are sympathetic. They are demanding the elimination of the
de-Baathification law, and to open direct dialogue with Baathists. They say that it is nonsense to
talk about national reconciliation without including the Baathists in the dialogue. Even Allawi and
his group were part of this.
I assure you, the resistance has the upper hand in Iraq. The only thing we are worried about is
the direct intervention by Iran. Otherwise, everything is guaranteed. Within four or five hours we
can impose security and stability in Iraq after the Americans withdraw. That’s why we want the UN
Security Council to declare its opposition to any outside intervention in Iraq, to guarantee that
Iran won’t intervene in Iraq. Otherwise, those people allied with the United States will have to
leave when the United States leaves. The resistance holds the ground almost everywhere in Iraq.
Q. What is the role of Muqtada al-Sadr? Can you have a dialogue with him?
No. Muqtada is allied with Iran. … Now he is more dangerous than the Badr Brigade. The harm being
inflicted on Iraqi society is from the [Sadr’s] Mahdi Army. The Badr group was crippled by the
Q. Why don’t we see a resistance movement in the Shiite areas of Iraq?
A. There are Shiites occupying high positions inside the resistance, with the Baathists. No other
organization has popular support inside Iraq. But the media does not cover what is going on in the
south. The nature of the operations in the south is not like the resistance operations in Anbar and
Baghdad. It is directed against the so-called Hakim group [the Supreme Council for the Islamic
Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI] and the Mahdi Army, who are killing the nationalists, cooperating with
the occupation. They are killing more people than the occupation forces are. But there is a silent
majority in the south, which is against the occupation and against Iran. They are fed up with the
crimes of the pro-Iranian groups.
You know, in the south, in many cities, Iran even has official offices, and the Iranian
intelligence service is controlling areas of southern Iraq. They are using Iranian money. You can
tell a taxi driver, “Got to the office of the Iranian intelligence service,” and they will take you.
But the silent majority in the south is fed up with Iranian influence in that area. That’s why we
are not concerned with the situation in the south, except for the threat of direct Iranian
The legitimate army has been rebuilt, the army that went underground in the invasion. Ands they
are ready to control Iraq right now. Ninety per cent of all Iraqi resistance is made up of Iraqi
army. There are highly qualified officers of the Iraqi army are leading nearly all resistance
operations in Iraq.
They built the Iraqi army on a sectarian basis, with Badr Brigade and pesh merga [the Kurdish
militias]. But there are some nationalists inside the army, and the resistance gets information from
nationalist officers inside the official army.
Q. Will there be a Tet Offensive-type of attack? Will the Green Zone come under attack?
A. There has been talk in Baghdad about liberating the Green Zone, especially over the past few
weeks. But this is not likely for the time being, because the strategy of the resistance is based on
collecting points, as in boxing. You collect points, one by one, to see who is winning. So you
exhaust the enemy, by attacking from time to time, until he collapses. The victory of the resistance
in Iraq will not be achieved by one battle.
We expect the first month of next year will be decisive. The Americans are exhausted, and the
resistance is preparing simultaneous attacks on American forces everywhere. The increase in U.S.
casualties are rising sharply as part of a decision by the resistance to increase these attacks.
Q. Who speaks for the resistance?
A. No one. I do not speak for the Baath party or the resistance. But I am very close to both of
them. It was decided before the invasion to not establish direct connections with any other party,
to prevent penetration and to make it more difficult to get intelligence. … I speak to them by
phone, and mostly by Internet. And by direct meetings, when I travel. … Some Arab governments give
me passports to facilitate my movement. They play the role of mediating between the resistance and
the United States.
Q. What is the U.S. attitude toward the Baath party?
A. The Americans, generals and others, contacted President Saddam in prison and spoke about the
situation in Baghdad and around Iraq,. Rumsfeld met him, and Condoleezza Rice, too. She met him. And
before her, Rumsfeld met him. They both tried to convince him to make statements calling on the
resistance to lay down their arms and to cooperate in the so-called political process. He rejected
that. But they told him, you can choose between the fate of Mussolini and the fate of Napoleon
Bonaparte. Later, they alluded to something else, involving the return of the Baath party … And now
some Arab governments are pressuring the United States to accept the return of the Baath party to
guarantee the stability of Iraq. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and some other Gulf states have contacted the
United States to convince the United States to reinstate the Baath party as the only solution to
minimize Iranian influence in the region.… The Baath party has taken a decision to build a National
Front in Iraq, including other parties, including some Kurdish groups.
Q. Would Ayatollah Sistani cooperate?
A. Sistani is nothing. No one listens to him. He is not Iraqi. He will not remain in Iraq after
Q. It looks like a civil war.
A. Civil war in Iraq will never happen. In my family, there are many Shiites and Sunnis. And the
majority of Iraqis are like this. So how can I kill my brother?
Q. Many Iraqis are being polarized by the killings, driven to sectarianism.
A. It is not sectarian fighting. It is political fighting. In the highest leadership of the
resistance there are Shiites and Sunnis, Christians and Muslims. They are working together inside
the resistance, including Kurds and Turkmen. … The people of Iraq are increasingly blaming Iran and
the United States for the killing. … Iran wants to control the area, by using their influence among
the Shiites. And who brought the Iranian gangs to Iraq? The United States. You remember, after the
attack on Iraq in 1998, after Desert Fox, the Americans concluded that there is no way to topple the
regime of Saddam Hussein without cooperating with Iran. So they started their cooperation with Iran,
and it began in Europe. And the center of it was Abdel Aziz Hakim. And then Sistani made a fatwa
calling on Iraqis to not resist the American invasion, and another fatwa to cooperate with the
occupation. And who is supporting the Maliki government? Who supported the Jaafari government? The
United States. They are Iranians. Those who are ruling Iraq since the invasion are not Iraqis.
Q. What about the possibility of a military coup in Iraq?
A. If the United States wants to give power in Iraq to the generals, through a military coup, as
they are hinting about, that military coup will be [sympathetic to] the Baathists. If its leader is
not pro-Baathist, there will be a second coup against that leader. … Because all officers in the
Iraqi army, the old army and the new army, are under the control of the Baath party. So there is no
solution outside the Baath party.
The increase in the volume of mass killings has increased the willingness of the Iraqi people to
accept a military coup. I would say that 80 per cent of the Iraqi people are willing to accept it,
to accept anything that would help to crush the Iranian gangs [i.e., the Mahdi Army and the SCIRI’s
Badr Brigade]. That coup will be supported by the United States, to purge the Iranian gangs and
groups, and destroy them by military might and to establish a military dictatorship for some time. …
But those who support a military coup will accept a Baathist coup, a second coup. … The United
States has made contact with some Iraqis, old generals, old army Baathist generals, to topple the
government of Maliki. They are based in Jordan. Some of them accepted to cooperate with the United
States, to crack down on the Mahdi Army and other gangs. And they contacted some tribes in Anbar.
They are preparing an attack on Iranian gangs in Iraq, and it will happen, soon.
You know, Iran has said, if it is attacked by the United States, it will attack American troops
in Iraq. And this kind of threat is a very serious one. If you combine the attacks on the United
States by the Iranian gangs with the attacks of the armed resistance, it will be a big tragedy for
the United States. So the American government is trying to minimize the influence of Iranian forces
in Iraq before any practical move against Iran.
If [a coup] happens it will be a crazy move by the United States. It will prove again that the
United States doesn’t understand the Iraqi situation. Most of the army, the old army, 99 per cent of
them, are Baathists. Either the new generals will cooperate with the Baath party, or they will be
toppled by the Baath party.
Insurgent Ba'athist In His Own Words
Izzat al-Douri sets
out the insurgency's terms for negotiating, rebukes the tactics of al-Qaeda, and calls for
friendship with America — once it has been defeated in Iraq
Via written questions and answers passed back and
forth by trusted intermediaries in Iraq, Time has conducted the first-ever Western media interview
with Izzat al-Douri, former lieutenant of Saddam Hussein and the most senior member of the Ba'athist
regime still at large. Today, al-Douri is America's most wanted Iraqi fugitive, and a leading figure
in the Iraqi insurgency.
TIME: Does the Ba'ath Party still have a role in
Izzat al-Douri: If you mean the current political process, the Ba'ath Party rejects it,
because it was manufactured by and serves the occupying force and is destructive of our country. The
political role of the Ba'ath in the struggle [against the occupation of Iraq] is to mobilize and
bring together the energies of the people for the fight to expel the occupation and liberate our
TIME: Do you hope to return to Baghdad as a free man?
Al-Douri: I have great hope and supreme confidence that, through the agency of God, and of
the mighty people of Iraq and its heroic fighters, I shall return to Baghdad on its liberation from
the grip of the occupation.
TIME: How sound is the infrastructure of the Ba'ath Party, and what is your influence over it?
Al-Douri: The Ba'ath Party has undergone an internal shake-up, restructuring its base and
leadership on struggle-oriented, faith-based patriotic and nationalist principles. It now has a
revolutionary, struggle-oriented identity and has shaken off the dust of the past. I constantly
exercise influence on it to remain pure, patriotic and dedicated to struggle.
TIME: What is your opinion of the new Iraqi government? Are there any persons in that
government in whom you trust?
Al-Douri: Yes. I respect all individuals who have not been polluted by crimes against the
Ba'ath and the Iraqi people, whether they be with the political process or outside of it. I respect
even some inside the government — and they are not a few — whose intention is, as they say, to
reduce the damage done by the occupation to the citizens and to alleviate their sufferings, or to
carry on the struggle for the liberation of Iraq from inside the political process, though this is a
form of wishful thinking. My advice to them is to boycott the political process because they and the
agents, traitors, and spies who are with them are incapable of offering anything to the people while
under the occupation.
TIME: We've heard that there are a number of attempts at negotiation between some Ba'athist
organizations and the United States. Are these negotiations carried on with your approval? If so,
what progress has been made? If not, under what conditions might negotiation take place, whether
with the United States or with the Iraqi government?
Al-Douri: The Ba'ath's position on negotiations, especially with the American and
[British] sides, is clear. It rests on principles that cannot be prejudiced or impaired by any
individual or party. They are:
1. Recognition of the resistance in all its forms — Islamist, patriotic, and nationalist — any
group whose aim is to liberate Iraq from the invasion forces.
2. An announcement of withdrawal of U.S. forces, without restriction or condition.
3. Complete cessation of raids, round-ups, and operations involving killing and destruction.
4. Release of all captives, detainees, and prisoners.
5. Restoration of the [old] army and national security forces.
There have been no negotiations with the Americans, merely attempts by the American side to make
contact with the Ba'ath Party and to negotiate with it in order to draw it into the political game.
Similar attempts have taken place with other anti-occupation parties. No dialogue will take place —
with any party — that is not on the basis of these principles. Any party that does not abide by
these principles will fall into the swamp of the political game and that of grand treason. The
Ba'ath is ready to negotiate with the Americans on the basis of these principles at any time they
TIME: What is your opinion of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? Is he working for or against Iraq? [The
question was sent in March, three months before al-Zarqawi's death.]
Al-Douri: I participate with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in his belief in faith and the unity of
God, but I differ from him fundamentally in the style, method, and path through which he expresses
his faith. Our religion is the religion of submission to God, and of peace, security, safety,
freedom, self-liberation, truth, justice, progress and coexistence. Those who are recalcitrant or
take up arms and stand in the way of Islam's civilizational and humane course — as the American
administration, its agents, henchmen, and spies are doing — we are ordered to fight such people by
the Koran. In accordance with our faith, we only fight the occupation forces and their treacherous
apostate agents who fight us. I harbor great respect and appreciation for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and I
rejoice in his courage, the strength of his faith, and the sacrifices of his fighters, [but] I call
on him and his fighters to direct their jihadist struggle against the enemy that has invaded the
land of Arabdom and Islam. Let none of us be drawn into the occupying enemy's game of igniting
hateful sectarianism. I also affirm that any exposure of citizens and their assets [to harm] will
inevitably serve the occupation.
TIME: Some of the jihadist groups active now in Iraq claim to be applying the Taliban model of
an Islamist state. Would such an outcome be acceptable to you?
Al-Douri: The Iraqi people will never be ruled by sectarianism or by sectarianists. The
one who governs Iraq, with all its diverse elements, with all its national groups and sects, must do
so on the basis of the freedom, democracy, and human rights that our noble religion guarantees.
TIME: Did Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction? If not, why did the government of Saddam
Hussein not make that clear?
Al-Douri: This story about Iraq's possessing weapons of mass destruction is a lie of the
American administration and its intelligence services, that they fed the American people and the
world with the aim of occupying Iraq.
TIME: Why did the Iraqi army not put up much of a fight against the U.S.-led Coalition forces?
Al-Douri: After its entry into Kuwait, the Iraqi army had been stripped of its strength;
the American administration and its allies went to extreme lengths to do it harm and to destroy its
structure. Thereafter, it was under tight U.N.-imposed sanctions for 14 years. [At the start of the
war] it faced aerial bombardment by the two greatest powers in the world supported by all the
world's evil forces. Had it not been for certain strategic and tactical errors, the army's
performance would have been better than it actually was. It was one of the greatest mistakes of the
Iraqi leadership to accept formal engagement to the end of the road, despite the amazing disparity
of forces. Had the leadership husbanded the army's strength and means till the second page had been
turned, Iraq would have been liberated and the occupation ended long before today.
It is the Iraqi army that today is in charge of the planning and supervision of more than 95% of
patriotic resistance operations against the occupation.
TIME: What do you think of the trial of Saddam Hussein? What do you believe the outcome will
Al-Douri: The trial of President Saddam Hussein and his comrades is a farce. The outcome
will be what America wants it to be, not that demanded by the law and the judiciary, and not that
wanted by the Iraqi government of agents and spies.
TIME: Do you expect a complete withdrawal of American forces from Iraq in the near future?
Al-Douri: I do not work for a conventional withdrawal of America from Iraq but rather for
the victory of the resistance — the forced withdrawal of America from Iraq. My hope is that America
will withdraw before it collapses so that losses on both sides may be minimized, and so that there
will remain an opportunity for the people of Iraq to construct normal, broad, deep, and effective
relations with America on the basis of independence, freedom, self-liberation, and the shared
legitimate interests of both parties. Iraq, like all countries of the world, cannot do without
legitimate mutual relations and joint cooperation with America in all fields of life because of the
latter's vast resources, especially in the economic, technological, and developmental spheres. We
understand the role and strategic interests of America as a great power. However, such relations
must be on the basis of freedom and independence and the right of men to choose the way of life that
they want, as well as of lack of interference in the internal affairs of others or of tutelage.
TIME: Have you in the past met any of those who are now in the U.S. government — for example,
Donald Rumsfeld, who visited Iraq in the 1980s?
Al-Douri: I did not previously make the acquaintance of any of the American leadership but
I had very high hopes of President Bush before his election, which I had hoped for — unlike that of
Clinton. I expected that he would make a courageous and chivalrous President of the greatest state
in the world and that he would carry in his heart all those values and principles — of freedom,
democracy, and human rights — that his country promotes.
But the American administration has committed crimes in Iraq that will never be forgiven; the
crimes that are being committed today in Iraq contradict completely all the principles in which the
American people believe and which they wish for the world. The occupation troops, and especially the
Americans, have committed thousands of massacres in all parts of Iraq, of old men, women, children,
and civilians. They have destroyed tens of thousands of buildings, farms, factories, and other real
I wrote to President Bush at the start of the occupation and after the capture of President
Saddam Hussein via a friend in the official Arab circles. After painting a clear picture of the
course of the killing and destruction, I warned him against the outcome of pursuing this path and of
its dangers, for America, for Iraq and finally for the world as a whole. I pointed out to him that
America's enemies would come together in Iraq from every place in the world to take revenge on it
and that Iraq would be transformed into a world center for terrorism and the manufacture and export
of terrorism in its many different forms. Then the mighty people of Iraq would rise up, and America
would lose much and regret what it had done. I said, "I know that you are courageous, and courage
calls for a decision to withdraw immediately from Iraq." Now everything that I mentioned has been
Meet the resistance
27 October 2006.
Al-Quds al-Arabi reported on Friday October 27
the creation of a 25-person group to
represent the Iraqi resistance, representation to include: Baathists, the Iraqi Patriotic
Alliance, the general leadership of the armed forces, Patriotic Socialists against the
Occupation, the Muslim Scholars Association, the Ayatollah Ahmad al-Hasani al-Baghdadi, the
Nationalist Nasserist Movement, the Islamic Army, the Rashideen Army, and the Brigades of the
1920 Revolution. This brief article also names ten individuals in the group, not all of them
Three of them, however, are leaders of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance, which was known pre-2003
as the Iraqi National Alliance (no name-change in Arabic), and represented the mostly exile
Iraqis who opposed the Saddam regime, and who were not connected either with the
CIA-supported Iraqi National Congress, nor with the Iranian-supported SCIRI group. The Iraqi
National Alliance met with Saddam in 2002 in an attempted reconciliation ahead of the US
invasion, then devoted itself to armed resistance following the invasion.
Needless to say this group of independent resistance fighters has received no attention
whatsoever in the Western press, where the the correct line has been rigorously enforced to
the effect that the only armed opposition was composed of Saddamist dead-enders and radical
The leader of the IPA, and a member of this 25-person group, is Abdul Jabar al-Kubbaysi, a
civil engineer, a member of the Socialist Arab Baath party in his youth, then a Saddam
opponent in exile, joining the armed resistance to the US occupation in 2003, arrested and
held by the Americans from September 3 2004 to December 28 2005. Another member of the
25-member group is Ahmad Karim, ex-Iraqi Communist Party, then part of a breakaway "patriotic"
branch of that party when the leadership of the Iraqi party supported the US-inspired
economic sanctions. And a third IPA representative in this 25-member group is Awni al-Qalamji,
currently the official spokesman for the IPA, and the person who wrote the Al-Quds al-Arabi
here a couple of days ago.
The best introduction to the world of the Iraqi National Alliance is
this interview with al-Kubbaysi dating from December 2002 and translated into English.
The whole thing is well worth a read, but I would like to highlight a couple of parts, first
on their relationship to the Saddam regime:
Al-Kubaysi: Yes, we have a mass following inside Iraq. This is because we haven't come out
of nowhere. But we don't have organized forces. Historically, the Arab nationalist current
in Iraq had two wings: the Baath and the Arab Nationalists' Movement. We paralleled or more
than paralleled the currently ruling Baath current. Our masses are in agreement with the
regime in broad patriotic and
Arab nationalist terms, but not on the issue of freedoms, which are still a matter on which
we differ. The ruling party rules by itself. The masses whom we met when we came here
support the regime in its patriotic and Arab nationalist orientations, and are ready to
fight in defense of Iraq against the embargo and any aggression. But they believe that the
spread of political openness will strengthen the resiliance of the homeland to aggression
and embargo. These masses welcomed our arrival. They considered it a step on the right path.
Even if the regime wants to kill us we must
fight together with it against aggression. If we don't, we will lose the justification for
Then there are these remarks on the sectarian and/or racial nature of most of the other
opposition groups at the time (this is 2002 and al-Kubbaysi is being interviewed in Iraq):
FAV: Are we to understand from all that that there is no Iraqi opposition abroad with any
weight or credibility which could form an alternative to the regime?
Al-Kubaysi: No! [There isn't.]
FAV: Even those who are with the Iranians?
Al-Kubaysi: You said "Iraqi", not extensions of the Iranians. Be aware of the fact that the
opposition abroad is split up along ethnic and confessional lines. If America brings them
in, there will be massacres in Iraq, because they are oppositions that are narrowly
restricted in terms of what religious and ethnic groups belong to them. Not only that, but
there are six or seven Turkmen parties, for example. In addition there are three Assyrian
organizations. These have never established Iraqi organizations; rather they have
established a climate and a basis for the growth
of real domestic civil warfare. There will be blood-letting if they are fated one day to
take power. From this we see the importance of the movements in our Iraqi National Alliance
and of the rank-and-file of the Communist Party (whose leaders are now pursuing a
destructive and unpatriotic course).
The real patriotic Iraqi oppositionists today are the ones who own nothing and are supported
by no foreign state. If they came to Iraq, they would come together on the basis of their
patriotic line in it. Even the Kurds...
Letter from Salah Al Mukhtar to Nancy Pelosi
Dear Ms. Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader,
I am sure you have read Baker-Hamilton Report and I understand that
it, clearly, concludes that the American invasion of
Iraq is a total failure, and that
it was the most brutal and cruel act against
Iraq and Iraqis. It also states
that it is now impossible to change the course of actions to the
benefit of the United State . It is George Bush who put the future
of the United States in this dark
pit, and when he got stuck, he started digging deeper and deeper and
sinking in that hole instead of retreating upward. It is he, George
Bush, who took U.S.A. as the world leader to destroy its leadership
in the Iraqi swamps. The American failure in
Iraq will trigger more disasters
in America, starting with US economy, and then the political system
inside the US will follow, which will lead to total disaster putting
the future of the US in the fate of unknown.
It is sad that when one loses his compass and takes the wrong way,
instead of going back to find out the right direction, he loses his
sense of directions which may take them to the abyss, and that is
what the report suggested. The Baker-Hamilton report should have
represented the compass by which the American administration could
once more find its way, instead it continued to make the same
mistakes as the Bush administration by wanting to correct the wrongs
by staying on the same path. The Baker-Hamilton report was only an
attempt at correcting a mistake by continuing with its essence,
which is the American invasion and occupation of
Iraq, and not leaving
Iraq for the Iraqis. For this
reason, it will not solve the problem, especially since it ignored
the most important aspect of the problem, which is the armed
national resistance by considering it one of several parties or
organizations which should be compiled into the political process,
instead of the main factor in the fate of Iraq since its invasion.
If the Iraqi Resistance (IR) is, just, one force in between the
forces who share the political game with the US in
Iraq, then how did it destroy
your project in Iraq and the
Middle East ? And then drove the
Bush Administration to admit its failure in Iraq?
I am sure you know these facts, but if you don't, it means that you
are still under the propaganda umbrella of that administration which
is another disaster. Because if you haven't figured out yet the fact
that there are just two factors in Iraq;
the US forces on one side and the Iraqi Resistance on the other, you
will make the same mistake the Bush administration is still making,
which is digging yourself deeper into the pit!
So, my question is, are you sure of your failure in occupying
Iraq which is the worst disaster
in the American history –as your colleague Madeleine Albright said-
and want a way out? Or do you want to stay in
Iraq and continue deeper into the
pit, as gravity will naturally take you?
There is one way out, it is to sit with the Iraqi Resistance and
negotiate the US retreat from Iraq
as soon as possible. This means, your administration should be
realistic and forget about winning the war in
Iraq. The war that cost you
hundreds of billions of dollars which could have helped solving the
problems of people living in poverty, or used to help 40 million
illiterate Americans. Instead, American households are receiving the
corpses of their sons and daughters in black bags. And as you
already know, the Iraqi Resistance has passed all the strategic as
well as the tactical tests in its struggle to liberate
Iraq, and the more the US forces
are staying in Iraq the more
causality they will suffer. So, changing the military, political, or
security plans will not affect the IR strategy against US occupation
I want to introduce to you my advice that the only way out of
Iraq with grace and dignity is to
recognize the Iraqi Resistance as the only representative of the
Iraqi people. And the key to that is the Iraqi president Saddam
Hussein, who is the only leader, can solve the security problems in
term of hours after your forces leave Iraq. And if you asked yourself that why most people, lately,
in Iraq agreed that Saddam should
return to power, you will find the answer. The Iraqis believe that
Saddam Hussein is the only leader who can put an end to the
killings, destruction, and chaos in the Iraqi society caused by the
US occupation. And he is the only one who can guarantee safe
withdraw from Iraq .
Whatever you've done, and whatever we've done, there is a truth that
has entered history with all of its proof and documents and
witnesses: it is that you invaded Iraq
and you destroyed it completely by returning it to the
pre-Industrial Age, as James Baker threatened in 1991 the Iraqi
leadership. Post-occupation Iraq
has resulted in becoming an environment not suitable for human life-
without clean water, or hospitals, or medication, or electricity or
safety or food. It is rampant with drugs and organized crime, a
place where abductions and killings are daily incidents. Another
reality has been entered into history: you killed at least 30,000
Iraqis, according to the admissions of your president Bush. This
number is ten times the number of victims of 9/11 which pushed you
to kill innocents, and not the actual people responsible for this.
If, however, we take the number published by the British journal
Lancet, based on a study done by an American university, then you've
killed 655 thousand Iraqis as a result of your invasion. According
to Iraqi independent sources, however, the invasion has resulted in
the deaths of more than one million Iraqis. America is responsible
for their deaths because according to the international laws, as an
occupier, it is responsible for the security of the civilians of the
occupied country. Maybe you do not know, Madam, that the American
occupation, and with direct help from Iran or with help from political parties allied with
Iraq, more than 6 million Iraqis
have been forced out of the country and this has made them refugees
all over the world as result of their fear of organized killings. If
you doubt these facts due to the false information the CIA gives
you, the UN itself has recognized the emigration of 1.5 million
Iraqis since the invasion. This number of course does not represent
the actual number of people who have been forced out of the country.
This emigration or forced emigration is not spontaneous, but
planned. Its goal is to change the demography of
Iraq so that it becomes a country
of multiple ethnicities and religions, in accordance with the
constitution forced upon the country by the occupation. The reality
is that 85% of the Iraqi population is Arabs.
To complete the plan to divide
, your government allowed the entry of more than 4 million Iranians
and Kurds into Iraq from
Turkey. This was also to change
the demography of the country and make the percentage of Arabs
closer to the percentages of other ethnicities. This will result in
the division of Iraq, just as
Yugoslavia was divided!
If some have told you that these facts are exaggerated, I suggest
you bring together an international investigative committee to study
how many people have been forced to leave the country and how many
people were allowed into the country and given the Iraqi citizenship
in spite of the fact that they were not Iraqi. There was even an
admission from the former Iraqi prime minister Ibraheim Al Jaffari
where he said that Iraqi citizenship was given to 2.5 million people
after the invasion. If others have told you that this is the work of
Iran and the political parties
allied with it, I must remind you that these parties work with
America and the last two prime ministers were from the Daawa Party
which is allied with Iran and
currently cooperating with America. The American government has
opened a Pandora's Box with its invasion of
Iraq and its destruction of its
nation, which once represented an island of stability in an ocean of
chaos. From this box, many evils have escaped and they will not
remain trapped in Iraq or even
only around it. If the invasion continues, these evils will surely
reach America . Did you intentionally mean to spread evil around the
These facts have entered history and along with them another fact
which shocks the human conscience. It is that all of the excuses for
invading Iraq were lies.
Iraq didn't have weapons of mass
destruction, by your own admission after the war, in spite of the
fact that this accusation was what convinced you as a Congress to
Iraq did not have links to Al
Qaeda as your investigations proved after the invasion. This was the
second accusation that convinced you to invade
Iraq. Are there any other
accusations that were used to legitimize the invasion!? Yes. There
was an accusation of violation of human rights and it was a
secondary accusation. Therefore, the invasion of
Iraq, its destruction and its
return to the pre-Industrial age, and the killing of 1 million
Iraqis and the torture of a complete population and the
transformation of complete cities into mass graves as was done in
Fallujah, were a result of false
accusations and excuses to legitimize the invasion. What human
conscience would permit this and be silent about it? What ethics
would allow someone to do this without criticism or accountability?
If you think that your strength will protect you from
accountability, what goes around comes around and there is a saying
that goes, "If those before you had kept it, it would never have
gotten to you." Tomorrow, Madam, a time will come when America will
be held accountable for these ugly crimes against the innocent Iraqi
people who never harmed America, and were never its enemies. Also,
if you did not know before, I am obliged to tell you now that the
Iraqi people hold America responsible for its tragedies which are
the worst since 8,000 years of Iraqi history. This conviction holds
true for Arabs and Muslims alike and for most people all over the
world who were shocked by your unbelievable reaction to the
admission that Iraq had no
weapons of mass destruction!
Imagine, Madam, that an American police officer killed a man with
the excuse that the man was going to shoot him. The investigators
later come to the conclusion that the man never actually had a
weapon. What would your reaction be then? Surely you would ask that
the police officer be punished according to the law. This example is
not different from what happened in Iraq
where responsibility is concerned, the differences lie in the
magnitude and type of crime. Why aren't your voices raised to hold
accountable the people responsible for destroying a country and
killing one million Iraqis? Is it permissible to kill Iraqis because
they are not Americans? Or do the victims of 9/11 make it
permissible to kill tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis? You may
not think of these questions in America, but the whole world does.
This will have dangerous ethical and legal repercussions on America
and her people if you do not rush to correct your horrible mistakes
in Iraq. The first step in
America's exit from the black pit of Iraq is the admission that it made horrible mistakes with
regards to the deaths of Americans in Iraq (and by the way, the Americans who've died in
Iraq are now equal to those who
died on 9/11), and these mistakes have resulted in damage to
America's international reputation which will be difficult to fix.
Also, the admission that the Iraqis suffered pains unknown to them
in the history of the country, as abovementioned. The second step is
to negotiate quickly with the resistance and its symbol, the POW
Saddam Hussein to ensure a new beginning for relations between
America and Arabs and Muslims based on mutual respect and
cooperation based on mutual interests and human values.
Madam, you might say that your government has contacted the
resistance and gotten nowhere. I answer you that yes, it did contact
them, but what did it want? Did it want to correct its mistakes and
escape Iraq with grace? Or did it
want to trick the resistance into entering the political process,
which would mean America would attempt a political victory after a
military defeat. It is not required to bring the resistance into the
political process, this would mean an admission of the occupation
and an agreement to the occupations continuance at the point of its
demise. What is necessary is the complete and unconditional
withdrawal of the occupation forces and handing over power to the
resistance. This is the only solution and these are the conditions
of the resistance. These conditions must be accepted by America if
it wants the resistance to help it out of the dark pit of
By negotiating with Saddam Hussein, you will find a solution for the
catastrophe of Iraq, and also a
solution to the American catastrophe due to its invasion of
Iraq. You will also find a
solution to the problems of the whole area. So do you really want
the stability of Iraq and the
region, or do you only want to spread chaos and havoc in it? Your
negotiations with Saddam Hussein will prove that you do not want
chaos, and chaos in our area cannot be useful for you and damaging
for us. The resistance has pulled you to the bottom of the pit, and
the regional chaos, or Iraqi chaos, will harm you perhaps more than
it harms the area. This is because for this chaos to be
constructive, you must hold all of the strings, according to
Condoleeza Rice. But the loss of American control will result in the
burning of our houses as well as yours.
In conclusion I would like to remind you that we speak to you from a
position of strength because your army is defeated in
Iraq and we are at the same
level. We speak to you to give you advice before it is too late. If
there are other Iraqis like me, today, asking you to negotiate
with the resistance and its representative Saddam Hussein, tomorrow
there may not be someone willing to negotiate with you. The biggest
sign that America wants to destroy the region will be the execution
of Saddam Hussein. If he is executed, this will be a message that
cannot be mistaken and it will indicate that you want to spread this
chaos across the whole region. At that point, there will be no
barrier keeping this 'constructive chaos' from inevitably reaching
America. Have you forgotten we live in a digital village?
Salah Al Mukhtar
building peace through defeating Aggression
Ambassador Dr. Saeed Hasan
Almusawi. Former Iraqi Permanent Representative to UN.
Kuala Lumpur, February, 5th
YA Bhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Alsalam Alykum Warahmatu
Allah Wa Berakatuh,
The aim of this paper is
to render homage to Iraqi people, whose resistance and sacrifices
accelerated the decline of the Uni-polar World Order. The Peace
Movements around the world are urged to express solidarity with
Iraqi resistance. the victory of Iraqi resistance is a victory for
the International community in its struggle to defeat war mongers
and create a New World
Order based on respect of International Law and the right of peoples
to live in peace.
1- With the end of the
cold war, the US emerged as the only super power dominating the
world with no geopolitical or ideological contenders. Many in the
world hoped that the American leadership will promote liberal Ideals
of democracy, economic openness, human rights and the rule of law.
2 - The first serious test
of the American leadership came with the Iraq-Kuwait dispute (Summer
1990). From the beginning , the US proved its inability to lead the
world in a civilized and legal manner. The US used Iraq-Kuwait
dispute to advance its short sighted national interest putting the
following goals for its intervention;
*Topple the Iraqi
legitimate Government and establish a poppet regime in Baghdad.
* Control the oil and
plunder the wealth of Gulf States. * Strengthen its military
presence in the region , in particular in the Arab Gulf.
* Provide better
protection for Israel and its
It is clear that non of
these goals has to do with US main responsibility as Permanent
Member of Security Council, IE; Preserving International Peace and
Security and resolving international crisis by peaceful means.
3 - Following is a short
reminder of main actions taken by the US against Iraq that disclose
the extent of US war crimes, genocide, and crimes against Humanity.
* The US dismissed all International and Regional initiatives to
resolve Iraq- Kuwait dispute peacefully.
* US Imposed , through the
UN Security Council , a comprehensive regime of sanctions against
Iraq . These sanctions continued for 13 years costing the life of
two million Iraqi civilians and the suffering of the rest of Iraqi
It is worth to mention
here that sanctions were imposed on Iraq only four days after its
invasion of Kuwait ( Res. 661 of 6 Aug. 1990). That means that the
US jumped to the provisions of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter
dismissing Chapter Six provisions on peaceful measures to resolve
disputes. It is also worth to mention that after nine days of US
invasion to Iraq, the only reaction of the UNSC was Resolution 1472
of 28th Mar 2003, which (Requests concerned parties to
strictly abide to there obligations under International Law).
* Under the pretext of
implementing Resolution 678 ( 1990 ) , the US waged its destructive
war against Iraq,. It dropped 120 000 Tons of bombs on Iraq
destroying its infrastructure ,and killing thousands of civilians.
It also used Depleted Uranium bombs in this aggression which caused
on going human and ecological catastrophe for generations.
4 - The US pursue these
destructive and inhuman objectives not only through unilateralism
(unilateral sanctions, imposing No-Fly-Zones, bombing Iraq from time
to time , etc...) but mainly through Multilateral Institutions, in
particular the United Nations Security Council. I represented my
country at the United Nations for seven years (Deputy Permanent
Representative from 1994 to 1998, and Permanent Representative from
1999 to 2001). During this period I witnessed how the United States
turned the Security Council to a rubber stamp for Resolutions
drafted in Washington and London. I shall give some examples in my
5 -The US crimes a against
Iraq , in particular the inhuman comprehensive economic sanctions
and the disproportionate use of force against Iraqi civilian
targets, led the entire world to question, and increasingly oppose
the American leadership. Even inside the US there were growing
rejection to their country's policy towards Iraq. In this occasion I
express Iraqi people gratitude to Kathy Kelly. She was among the
first American citizens who raised their voices denouncing the
genocide perpetrated by her country against Iraqi people.
6 - The growing
international condemnation of US crimes in Iraq has relented with
9/11 tragic events. The whole world showed support and sympathy
with the American people and Government. The US Government, from its
part, and contrary to all expectations, exploited 9/11 as a banner
to pursue its hegemonic policy. It invaded Afghanistan with out a
proper authorization of the United Nations, and Invaded Iraq in
flagrant violation of the International law and the Charter of the
7- From the first day of
its illegal and illegitimate occupation of Iraq, the US followed a
destructive policy violating all its obligations under The
International Humanitarian Law as occupation power. Here are some
* Disbanding Iraqi Army
and Security Forces, and allowing the destruction and looting of
State Ministries, Military Camps, Economic Facilities, Museums,
hospitals, universities, etc....
* Establishing Iraqi
political institutions under the occupation, based on sectarian and
ethnic division. This policy intended to change the identity of
Iraqis from the national one to ethnic and sectarian one. This,
incite sectarian violence and destroy the social fabric of Iraqi
* Adopting , through the
illegal Iraqi General Assembly established under the occupation, a
Constitution aiming at dismantling the country to at least three
entities on sectarian and ethnic basis.
* The excessive use of
force against Iraqi civilians. LANCET medical journal report stated
that 650 000 Iraqis were killed since the US invasion. US troops in
Iraq committed all kinds of war crimes: Torture, rape, mass
killings, destruction of entire cities ( Fallujah and Tel-Affar for
example), collective punishment to the population ,etc....
* the Us` army used
prohibited weapons against Iraqi population: Depleted Uranium bombs,
White Phosphor (the use of it against civilian targets tantamount to
the use of Chemical Weapons, cluster bombs.. etc.
8- The US occupation and
crimes were faced by growing military and political resistance from
Iraqi people. All measures taken by the occupant to contain the
Resistance were not successful ( Excessive use of force ,Transfer
the sovereignty to Iraqis on paper etc..)
.The following figures taken from American statements , show the
growing Iraqi Resistance (the real figures are much higher):
In 2003 , the number of
daily attacks against US troops in Iraq was (13) . It rose to (50)
in 2005, to (70) in June 2006 and to (180) in Oct. 2006 ( see page
10 of Baker- Hamilton Report). These figures do not include the
attacks, targeting other US or Foreign presence in Iraq , like the
private Security teams or mercenaries, nor those targeting Iraqi
collaborators with the occupation.
9 - While the Iraqi resistance is growing , the US army is missing
its recruitment goals. It seems that the US military is more
successful in recruiting for the Iraqi resistance than it is for the
US army. The significance of this fact is that the US is not able
today to fight one single war , put aside wining it!
10 - One of the
originalities , some call it miracle , of the Iraqi resistance is
its ability to defeat the US army with no external support. On the
contrary , Iraqi Resistance suffers from isolation, distortion and
demonizing , including accusations of terrorism.
11 - Here is one of the
stories of heroism of Iraqi resistance:
One week after the US invasion , an Ambassador of an important
country in Baghdad asked me for an urgent meeting. At that time I
was Director General of International Organizations Department in
MOFA ). I met with that Ambassador in Alrasheed Hotel. He
transmitted an urgent request from his leadership to hand them over
an Apache Helicopter the Iraqi Army seized intact the day before. I
asked the Ambassador , is this Helicopter so valuable for his
country ? he replied this Helicopter is the Pearl of the US army
arsenal and his country wants to know its secrets. I informed my
minister Dr. Naji Sabri who send an urgent letter to President
Saddam Hussein supporting the request. President Saddam Hussein
rejected the request.
On this same Pearl, few
months ago the US army announced that the Apache will not
participate in big combats against the ( insurgents ) any more.,
adding that the Apache is vulnerable to insurgents attacks , and 58
of it were downed by them last three years.
The US aggression against Iraq is an aggression against humanity and
its principles. Solidarity and support to Iraqi resistance will
accelerate the collapse of the US hegemony on the International
Affairs , which will open the path for a new more just multilateral
* The International
Community should make the US accountable for its war crimes without
double standards or selectivity. Certs, this is a far reaching goal
but it is not impossible. This forum is a n important step to
Institutions need to be reformed , to make it immune from
manipulations by strong countries in detriment of its noble goals.
Security Council should assume its role as a tool to preserve
international peace , not the contrary. Security Council reform
should not be limited to the expansion of its membership. Reforming
its procedures and decision making process is essential. A
democratic and accountable Security Council is a guarantee against
wars of aggression.
* Dissemination of peace
culture is an important element to prevent war. Peace loving people
can deter his government from waging war of aggression. Recalling
that the American people stand against US war in Vietnam was a key
factor in ending that war. Actual opposition of many peoples to US
invasion and occupation of Iraq led to dramatic changes in
International relations: Fall of Aznar government of Spain ,
Berliskony of Italy, future fall of PM Tony Blair, defeat of
republicans in last legislative elections in the US, etc....
* I end with recalling the
valuable appeal of H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir ;
( We must win the
propaganda war to banish war as an option to resolve disputes and
conflicts between nations and communities).
Ambassador Dr. Saeed Hasan
Former Iraqi Permanent
Representative to UN.
Kuala Lumpur, February, 5th
Iraqi Resistance Indicators.
The graphs below help show
the steady progress of the Iraqi resistance over the four years of
occupation. They are extracts from the
Iraq Index updated on 19th March 2007.
The first graph shows that the average number
of attacks have more than doubled in the last year to about 185
per day. That is 1300 per week, and over 5500 attacks per
month. Another way of understanding this is that in any one
hour, day and night, there are 7-8 new mortar attack, IED,
sniper fire, etc. The figures are based on variety of official
and semi-official US sources and estimates. (See below)
The inclusion of ‘Militias’ in the title of
the graph is recent, and seems linked to the evolving political
vocabulary by the US. In the light of the two other items
Militia can be understood to refer to local vigilantes that are
largely part of the resistance.
The second graph shows that 75% of the
recorded attacks, (here based on the quarterly reviews to
congress only) has remained directed at the occupation forces
directly, and further 17% at the Iraqi government forces. The
remaining, 8% are directed at unspecified civilian targets. It
is this that makes the media.
The official Iraqi government security
forces numbers have been steadily rising and now stand at about
330 000. They often act as forward or guard units for the
occupation forces. It is not what proportion of the attacks on
civilians are on the mercenaries who operate in civilian clothes
and are often based in civilian areas. The official US estimates
is 100,000 private contractors in Iraq. Other civilian targets
may be Facility Protection Forces, whose number is estimated by
the government at 150 000, or at real civilians. Word on the
Iraqi street is that attacks on real civilians are the work of
occupation agents, a version of events that at least as credible
as the mad fanatics attacking each other.
The third figure below gives the geographic
distribution of the resistance attacks. There are small shifts
in pattern over time, but the frequent clashes in most southern
provinces seem not included. This may indicate that the figures
used refer only to resistance actions. It must be noted that
the 800 km supply route from Kuwait to Baghdad through several
southern provinces is the most heavily protected one in the
world, with massive funds paid to contractors, ‘tribes’ and
Iraq Index , from which these extracts come (pp 23 and 24), is
produced by the Washington-based Brookings Institutions. It comes
in 54 pages of tables, graphs and footnotes in PDF format, half of
which on security indicators
The index has been updated weekly over the last
four years, in whatever section new data become available. The
authors are Michael E. O’Hanlon and Jason H. Campbell.
Like projects such as
Iraqi Body Count
Iraqi Coalition Casualties Count, the Brookings index is based
on what is regarded by the western parliamentarians and the
establishment figures as reputable sources which would verify and
correct their data. Considering the politics of data, the figures
are conservative and may well not represent the full story. Most
security figures are from U.S. Department
of Defense Quarterly Report to Congress.
Committee for Media and Culture
Bennis: The Iraqi Resistance is just and should be supported
In the four years of the U.S. occupation of
Iraq, public debate within the U.S. antiwar movement on whether to support
the Iraqi resistance has rarely taken place. Consequently the recent polemic
between Alexander Cockburn and Phyllis Bennis (a leader in the United for
Peace and Justice Coalition) is an extremely positive development and should
be welcomed. It is an important debate that needs to take place at all
levels within the U.S. antiwar movement.
Some weeks ago Alexander Cockburn wrote of the need for the U.S. antiwar
movement to openly support the resistance ("Support
their troops?", CounterPunch). In her reply,
"Why the Anti-War Movement Doesn't Embrace the Iraqi Resistance", Bennis
correctly argues that the basis of unity in the movement should not be
"Victory to the resistance", but the demand "Troops out now". But Bennis
goes further and argues that anti-imperialists have no responsibility to
raise support for the Iraqi resistance. Bennis says that the Iraqi
resistance is illegitimate (with some arrogance, she refers to the Iraqi
resistance in quotation marks) and is therefore undeserving of support. This
conclusions rests on a number of erroneous arguments, concentrated here in
one paragraph of her article:
"...As a whole, what is understood to be "the Iraqi resistance" against
the U.S. occupation is a disaggregated and diverse set of largely
unconnected factions, in which the various often-antagonistic armed
movements (including some who attack Iraqi civilians as much as they do
occupation troops) hold pride of place. There is no unified leadership that
can speak for "the resistance," there is no NLF or ANC or FMLN that can
claim real leadership and is accountable to the Iraqi population as a whole.
There is no unified program, either of what the fight is against or what it
is for. We know virtually nothing of what most of the factions stand for
beyond opposition to the U.S. occupation - and from my own personal vantage
point, of the little beyond that that we do know, I don't like so much."
Essentially, Bennis objects to the alleged lack of unity among the
resistance forces. For the sake of argument, let's suppose what Bennis says
is true: competing organizations within the Iraqi resistance are incapable
of reaching the level of political unity required to form a common
resistance front, program, and central political and military command. What
does this prove if not the difficult conditions of work that the Iraqi
partisans face? Bennis ends up arguing that without a national liberation
front there can be no national liberation movement. But this is to ignore
the historical development of national liberation movements throughout the
20th century, which in each case formed unified liberation fronts through a
protracted process of resolving political, social, and military
contradictions among numerous organizations.
It is also an inconsistent argument. Apply the same logic to the U.S.
antiwar movement and see what results. Given the numerous political
differences within the different coalitions and political organizations that
make up the U.S. antiwar movement (not to mention the serious class and
racial divisions), one could accurately state, "There is no unified
leadership that can speak for [what is called 'the U.S. antiwar movement'],
there is no [common front] that can claim real leadership and is accountable
to the [American] population as a whole. There is no unified program, either
of what the fight is against or what it is for."
Yet it would be absurd to use this as a basis for writing off the importance
of the antiwar movement in U.S. society. The U.S. antiwar movement may lack
a single unified command, but it certainly has a large social base, an
ability for coordination in action, some political unity, and the ability to
impact events in U.S. society. Likewise, the absence of a single liberation
front uniting the entire Iraqi resistance in no way precludes the existence
of dynamic resistance movement, with a large social base, acting towards a
common strategic goal. In fact, such a dynamic, coordinated and popular
resistance movement is precisely what exists in Iraq today.
In any case, the facts on the ground are quite different from what Bennis
tells us. Over the years the Iraqi resistance has developed from hundreds of
smaller organizations to a handful of large, powerful political and military
fronts. (According to Abdul Jabbar al-Kubaysi, the secretary general of the
Iraqi Patriotic Alliance,
there are currently eight resistance fronts that comprise the Iraqi
resistance.) This is very much an ongoing process: just last month, the
formation of the
Patriotic National Islamic Front for the Liberation of Iraq (July 2007)
marked yet another major advance in the unification of the Iraqi resistance.
It will take some time to form a single, unified political and military
command for all of the Iraqi resistance, but its formation is question of
when, not if.
The fact that well over 100,000 attacks have been carried out by the Iraqi
resistance against the U.S. occupation forces in the past four years
(currently about 1100 a week) should be enough to indicate the
steadfastness, strength, and popularity of the resistance. The frequency and
intensity of these attacks would be inconceivable without a high level of
inter-organizational political unity, coordination and cooperation. Further,
it would be impossible to fight a guerrilla war of this scope without the
broad support and involvement of millions of ordinary Iraqis. Bennis implies
that the resistance lacks such popular support, claiming that "some
[resistance groups] attack civilians as much as they do occupation troops."
(One might might recall that during the Vietnam war the U.S. government told
the same lies about the Viet Cong–whom Bennis then supported.) But once
again, Bennis' claim is not supported by facts. According to the
Department of Defense figures, U.S. troops are subjected to 75% of the
resistance attacks, Iraqi puppet security forces to 17%, and civilians, 8%.
Clearly the overwhelming majority of resistance attacks are aimed squarely
at the U.S. occupation and its puppets in occupied Iraq.
Bennis writes, "We know virtually nothing of what most of the factions stand
for beyond opposition to the U.S. occupation - and from my own personal
vantage point, of the little beyond that that we do know, I don't like so
much." Actually, we don't need to know any more than that. Again, why is
Bennis applying double standards? The basis for unity in the U.S. antiwar
movement is "troops out now." Why does Bennis demand a higher level of unity
for the Iraqi resistance before it would be deemed acceptable to support? In
the same article, Bennis says that the future of Iraq is up to Iraqis to
decide. This applies to the resistance as well. It is the Iraqi people's
resistance. We don't get to pick and choose the cloth it is cut from.
In her article, Bennis points out that it was solidarity with the resistance
in Vietnam that raised the level of consciousness among millions of people
in the U.S. about the nature of the imperialist war in Vietnam. "That was
then, this is now," writes Bennis. On the contrary, just as it did during
the Vietnam war, this solidarity must become a key component of our work in
the antiwar movement. Grasping the nature of the Iraq war, its causes,
consequences, and possibilities for resolution, is a prerequisite to
building a consistent and powerful antiwar movement that can strike hard at
the foundations of the U.S. war machine. A critical part of this process is
raising understanding and support for the resistance in Iraq. It is
disappointing that an important leader of one of the largest antiwar
coalitions in the U.S. would dismiss the importance of this solidarity work
and take an openly hostile view towards the Iraqi people's resistance.
Bennis is wrong to separate the resistance from the people. The Iraqi
resistance is the legitimate, just, and heroic expression of an occupied
people struggling for liberation. It should be recognized as such and firmly
supported by those who oppose U.S. imperialism and stand for an independent,
sovereign, and liberated Iraq.
August 11, 2007
The author is an antiwar activist and member of Students for a Democratic
Society in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In March 2007 he attended the
first international solidarity conference with the Iraqi resistance
in Chianciano, Italy.
The Political Program of the Baath Party and its
(The Program of
Resistance and Independence)
As the mujahid Baath Party of Believers and its heroic patriotic Resistance
expand their operations and the bases of their activity, the patriotic
forces that reject the occupation and its lackeys and political arrangements
support the Baath and its Resistance. A great mujahid people embrace them,
and standing by them and supporting them are the honorable sons and
daughters of the Arab Nation, the Islamic world community, and all free
people in the world. The Baath and its Resistance present their political
program aimed at the liberation of Iraq and attaining its national
independence and the unity of its people and territory, in accordance with
the priorities and sequences that appear in this document in the following
First: Complete national
independence, which requires the acceptance by the occupying powers of the
following principles and requirements:
Total recognition by the occupying
countries of the Iraqi Patriotic Resistance in all its armed and unarmed
formations as the sole legitimate representative of great Iraq.
A declaration of the resolution to
withdraw fully and unconditionally from Iraq within a certain time period to
be delimited through coordination between the heroic Iraqi Resistance and
Absolute acceptance of the state
and national sovereignty and independence of Iraq and the preservation of
the national unity of its people, territory, holy places, and resources,
rejecting all calls and laws aimed at partitioning and splitting up Iraq.
Agreement on entering into
serious, purposeful, and constructive negotiations with the Resistance
Command or its representatives on the basis of the rights and principles of
the homeland and its liberation as presented in this document, with the aim
of arriving at a formulation of an agreement on the complete liberation and
independence of the country.
A declaration by the United States
of America and its allies that they take responsibility for the war and the
occupation and saying that the operation of the occupation of Iraq
constituted an order and an act of aggression that had no basis in
international legality nor any legal or moral justification and that it took
place outside the bounds of international law.
A declaration of readiness by
America and its allies to present a formal apology to the Iraqi people for
the crimes, transgressions, and violations that they committed against them
and an apology to Iraq’s national leadership for the unjust, oppressive, and
destructive measures that they took against them and against Iraq.
In the event that the occupier
declares his acceptance of the above principles, the leadership of the Baath
and its heroic Resistance declare their agreement to enter into serious and
purposeful negotiations in accordance with the following:
Second, negotiations require from
the occupier and its allies that they accept all the national rights of the
great Iraqi people and the fixed principles of their liberation, which
represent the will and supreme national interests of the people of Iraq, and
they are as follows:
Complete withdrawal from all of Iraq’s land, airspace, and waters
without limit or condition.
Release of all prisoners, detainees, and captives without exception and
the agreement to regard the current courts operating against Iraqis as
invalid, unlawful, and illegal, and canceling all the measures they have
taken because they were taken under the aegis of an illegal occupation
and that which is based on falsehood is itself false.. And also an
agreement to recognize the legitimacy of all the institutions of the
state – both governmental and non-governmental – and all the laws and
conventions that were operative before the hated occupation.
The cancellation of the current political system operating under the
aegis of the occupation, and likewise the cancellation of all the
decrees, laws, and political and economic measures that it has taken in
violation of international laws and practices, which require that the
laws of the occupied country remain operative and in effect when an
occupation takes place; as according to international law it is
impermissible for the occupier to issue any laws or decrees to attain
his interests or the interests of his lackeys.
The return of the Iraqi army and the other national armed forces to
service according to their laws, regulations, and traditions operative
before the occupation, and likewise the cancellation of the law of
rooting out the Baath and the recognition of its Iraqi, pan-Arab, and
international role in leading and constructing Iraq, as a political,
intellectual, and social movement with a great humanitarian mission, and
a halt of all raids, pursuits, and arrests of Party militants and the
mujahideen of the various armed resistance groups.
pledge to provide full compensation for all losses, material and moral,
suffered by Iraq – its individuals and institutions – since the year
1990 and until today. This would be effected by means of a fund that
would be funded by the countries that occupied Iraq, in the first place
America and Britain and the other participating and supporting countries
that facilitated the occupation, in addition to the huge material losses
that the Iraqi state incurred because of the systematic destruction and
looting and plunder of moneys, factories, banks, archaeological relics,
etc., operating through designated legal committees – Iraqi and from
other neutral countries to be named by the Iraqi Resistance command.
The fund would be run by a patriotic government formed by the Resistance
and then elected by the people.
Cancellation of all current international resolutions passed against
Iraq since the year 1990 and until now, in particular those concerned
with drawing the borders, reparations, and other matters.
Handing over lackeys, spies, and traitors who committed the crime of
high treason against the people and the homeland so that they can be
tried under the law and receive their just punishment for collaborating
with the occupier in destroying Iraq, killing its people, robbing its
national wealth, and desecrating its holy places.
When those have been done, the
leadership of the Baath and its patriotic Resistance will declare their
patriotic initiative after the liberation in accordance with the steps in it
and in coordination with, and with the participation of, all the detachments
of the jihad and the Resistance as follows:
Third, elections and running the
affairs of state after independence.
The command of the Iraqi
Resistance will form a temporary Consultative Council consisting of 50 to
100 patriotic personalities from among the armed Resistance, the political
parties and currents, and resistant patriotic personalities who reject the
occupation and its lackeys.
The Consultative Council, which
will include the Resistance formations, will form a national unity
government of patriotic Iraqi personalities known for their rejection and
resistance to the occupation with a term of two years. This government,
under the total supervision of the Resistance leadership and the Temporary
Consultative Council, will carry out the following responsibilities:
Complete supervision over the running of the affairs of state in all
Attaining what has been agreed upon by the Resistance leadership with
the occupation in the course of negotiations and in particular the
operation of total and unconditional withdrawal of the forces that
invaded Iraq, and follow up on the implementation of the provisions of
the agreement on national liberation and independence.
Dissolving the militias that belong to the occupation and the parties
allied with it without exception, and the dissolution of the current
army, police, and security service, formed under the aegis of the
occupation and by its activity, and work to end all carrying of arms
The re-formation of the former Iraqi national army in all its
formations, as well as the former national security forces in all their
formations, the revival of all the state institutions dissolved by
orders of the occupation, the elimination of the destructive effects of
these orders and compensation for those harmed by them materially or
Preparation of a permanent constitution for the country that is to be
discussed by the Consultative Council and presented for approval by a
general popular plebiscite, that would organize political and public
life throughout all of Iraq for a period of five years after
independence. By means of it a president and parliament would be
elected, national and patriotic rights for the Kurds and other
minorities would be guaranteed and under it all the people in their
different nationalities, religions, and sects would coexist with the
type of permanent national unity that the Iraqi people have been
characterized by all throughout their glorious history. The elected
parliament will be empowered to change that constitution in accordance
with the development and stability of the political, economic, and
security situation in Iraq.
Free, democratic, and impartial elections would be held in accordance
with the constitution after the end of the transitional period,
guaranteeing the free participation in them of all movements, political
parties, and currents in order to achieve the birth of a pluralistic,
democratic, national system that would respect human rights, guard
public freedoms, and preserve the unity of Iraq and its people, achieve
its independence, and preserve its material and human resources.
Undertake a comprehensive national reconciliation effort on the basis of
the rights and national principles that appear in this document. Such
meetings, dialogue, accord, and reconciliation would be open to all
Iraqis, their political parties, movements, and individuals who declare
their acceptance of these principles and their readiness to work to
implement them and to strive to win them. This reconciliation would be
preceded by a review and examination by all the active patriotic forces
in the Iraqi arena, the practice of criticism and self-criticism on the
most extensive scale, and the adoption of the principle ‘May God forgive
what has happened in the past,’ dispensing with the policy of revenge
and vengeance for revenge, the elimination of subversion, and the
settling of scores, not pointing weapons at anyone other than the
rapacious occupier in order to liberate the homeland and its holy
places. That is all for the sake of creating a spirit of mutual trust
and planting that spirit in the hearts of all Iraqis to be the
fundamental guarantee of their participation in the construction of Iraq
after liberation, far from any monopolization of power, individual rule,
authoritarianism, extortion, or one-upmanship of some over others.
Fourth, relations with the United
States of America and the rest of the states of the world.
The Iraqi Patriotic Resistance and
its governments will establish the best of political and economic relations
with all the countries of the world other than the rapacious Zionist entity
in the Arab land of Palestine, so as to guarantee mutual interests as
between Iraq and those states and so as to achieve participation in mutual
interests and shared respect with no interference in the internal affairs of
the one by the other.
The command of the Iraqi
Resistance understands the nature of the vital interests of the United
States of America as a great state and is ready to establish good and
permanent relations with it on the basis of mutual respect and
non-interference in internal affairs in accordance with agreements,
treaties, and international conventions that guarantee those interests and
preserve the sovereignty and independence of states and peoples and respect
for their will, guaranteeing their right to deal with their natural, human,
and material resources as they see fit.
The Iraqi Resistance will
establish the best of relations based on mutual respect and shared interests
with all the countries that directly neighbor Iraq, in particular the
fraternal Arab countries, respecting all agreements and international
treaties, and the absolute non-use of force in solving bilateral differences
except in cases of defense of the self, the homeland, and the people against
any armed external aggression.
Fifth, This program is regarded by
the Baath and its Patriotic Resistance as a comprehensive, appropriate, and
objective start towards a comprehensive solution of the situation in Iraq,
ending the occupation and its effects and ramifications. The Iraqi
Resistance will never accept a halving of the agreement or a partial
agreement with the occupier, since it is not possible to accept a cease fire
and an end to fighting here or there in the land of Iraq lest this provide
the opportunity for the political process under the occupation to achieve
success under the leadership of the lackeys of the occupation. The
leadership of the Baath and the Resistance absolutely rejects the principle
of taking part in any political activity under the aegis of the occupation
or in accordance with its will.
The leadership of the Baath and
its Patriotic Resistance, as it presents its national program for national
liberation and independence, is determined to continue fighting and leading
the struggle against the occupiers so as to win the independence of Iraq and
its construction in a patriotic and democratic manner. The Baath and its
Resistance, as they lay down these principles, foundations, and basics that
represent the rights of the people and the homeland that cannot be conceded
or abandoned regardless of how heavy the sacrifice, hope that the occupier
will take heed, return to his senses and embark on the path of truth,
relying on rationality, logic, and history, and recognize these rights and
commit himself to carrying them out. The forces of liberation and
resistance of the peoples for the sake of attaining their freedom and will
cannot be defeated or broken because God, the people, and free people
throughout the world are with them. They will win, by the grace of God,
however long the battle with the occupiers and invaders may last. The
occupier has no choice but to accept the fixed principles of total
liberation and complete independence from all forms of hegemony, domination,
and exploitation, and sit down at the negotiating table in order to stop the
bloodshed and save what is left of its face, or it must get ready to face
the certain and ignominious defeat of its invading forces and the end of its
imperial scheme for hegemony and domination. Victory comes only from God
the Exalted, the Mighty.
Long live Iraq!
Victory to its heroic Resistance!
Salute to the martyrs and
Long live Palestine, free and
And God it is who brings success.
The Command of the Baath Party and
the Patriotic Resistance.