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Inside the Iraqi Resistance

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Prowars like to console themselves that the insurgency in Iraq springs only from Saddam loyalists and terrorist wannabes. The facts tell a different story.

Zaki Chehab, a reporter for Lebanon’s al-Hayat-LBC, recently spent time among the guerillas fighting the U.S. occupation. His findings are strikingly similar to those of Western reporters who have tracked the insurgency, like Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times, Patrick Cockburn of the Independent, and Hannah Allam of Knight Ridder:

1) The resistance is indigenous. Despite all the talk of foreign fighters flooding the country, most of the resisters are native Iraqis incensed at the occupation of their country by a foreign power. “We do not want to see our country occupied by forces clearly pursuing their own interests,” one fighter said.

2) The resistance is multi-faceted. It comprises Baathists, militant Islamists, old-fashioned nationalists, members of street gangs, and ordinary people whose relatives have been killed or abused by U.S. forces. Stories of boys who joined up after watching family members shot at civilian checkpoints are particularly common.

3) It will survive Saddam’s capture. Remember, the killing of Saddam’s sons did nothing to quell the insurgency. Even those sympathetic to Saddam express outrage at the way he cut and ran in the face of invasion. His demise will very likely encourage many of his enemies to join the resistance because they will no longer fear guilt by association.

4) It will only grow. The heavy-handed tactics of the U.S. military dictatorship, along with the staggering ignorance of Iraqi society among the leadership of the Coalition Provisional Authority, guarantee that more Iraqis will feel compelled to join the armed opposition. Recently, Patrick Cockburn reported that U.S. troops have been destroying the crops of farmers who refuse to divulge information about guerilla activities. This is folly, right out of the Israeli playbook in the occupied territories.

Let Pepe Escobar, a more eloquent writer, have the last word:

“So not only soldiers are legitimate targets. Corporate employees of Kellogg Brown and Co (a subsidiary of Halliburton) or any other corporation likely to make a killing out of Iraq’s resources are legitimate targets. UN employees are legitimate targets. The IMF and the World Bank are legitimate targets. The Pentagon’s response is predictable. It will send more troops. Not regular troops, but most of its 29,000 specialists in repression of urban guerrilla and terrorist groups with military training. They may kill thousands more Iraqis, but they won’t kill a national liberation movement, operated by people who lived for years in a militarized society awash with weapons. And the message of this national liberation movement to those who concocted and want to profit from the invasion of their country is stark: welcome to hell.”

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