This week two years ago, while Allied tanks rumbled into Baghdad, the collapse of Saddam's infamous statue symbolised the fall of a dictatorship. But have the two intervening years brought Iraqis freedom? Ploughing through political, social and economic territory, analysts and first-hand witnesses provide Al-Ahram Weekly with a balance sheet of the occupation
The resistance will go on
Resistance remains a national calling for all Iraqis in the face of US designs, writes Mousa Al-Husseini
On 11 April 2003, Iraqi resistance set out to free Iraq. Since then, it managed not only to restore pride to all Iraqis and Arabs, but also to make Bush's racist administration change tack repeatedly. But the conflict in Iraq is not just between the occupation forces and the resistance. The picture is quite murky, for someone is plotting behind the scenes. Some individuals or groups are murdering hundreds of innocent people. These individuals and groups are not part of the resistance. They are foisted upon the scene to tarnish and discredit the valiant resistance. Let me elaborate.
It did not take long for Iraqi resistance to spring into action. Less than two weeks after the war was over, resistance began to trickle, developing into a flood. At some point, over 40 operations were reported in a single day. Unlike most liberation movements that take years of painstaking planning, of indoctrinating supporters, recruiting militants and moving from rural to urban areas, Iraqi resistance was born strong, fully-fledged, and ready to take on the enemy in the heart of Iraqi cities. Also, the Iraqi resistance depended on purely domestic capabilities rather than on foreign support.
The Americans often claim that Iraqi resistance is nothing more than reckless operations by militants from outside Iraq. Neither the occupation forces nor their local friends have ever been able to prove that Iraqi resistance is not homegrown. Surely, there is nothing wrong with non-Iraqi Arab militants joining the ranks of the resistance. Thousands of Iraqis have fought along their Arab brethren across the region in the past. When Italy invaded Libya in 1908, Shia ulema issued an edict urging Iraqis to go to Libya and wage jihad.
Some people maintain that the resistance is nothing more than an opportunistic campaign mounted by the disgruntled cronies of a defunct regime. This can not be true. Opportunists and mercenaries are self-serving by nature. The first impulse of the opportunists of the old regime was to turn coat and jump into the occupation's bandwagon. The only Baathists who joined the resistance are the ones who are independent-minded, the ones who still believe in the purity of early Baathist tradition -- tradition once maintained by men such as Fouad Al-Rikabi, Iyad Thabit and Abdul-Wahhab Al-Ghariri. Many people in Iraq want the Americans out. Most of the public to start with, as well as patriotic Baathists, Marxists, Nasserists and pan-Arabists, all of whom are involved in the resistance in one way or another.
The Americas were shocked to see resistance on such a scale. Their first reaction was to claim that it was of a sectarian nature, confined in what they dubbed "the Sunni Triangle". This was laughable, for it was not long before Shia followers of Al-Sadr launched an insurgence in Najaf and the south. Many Shias are known to have fought and died in Falluja.
Whenever major terrorist operations happened, it was mostly with US knowledge or involvement. Israel's Mossad planned major terror operations in Iraq, recruiting 2,000 mercenaries before the war and sending them to various Iraqi cities to offer protection and support to the occupation forces. The mercenaries mount horrific attacks, and these are soon blamed on Abu Mosaab Al-Zarqawi, a shadowy figure who I have reason to believe was killed in the second week of hostilities. If dead, Al-Zarqawi cannot refute US allegations. If alive, he is perhaps in a US base somewhere. For a full review of this argument readers may consult my book, Iraqi Resistance and US Counter-Terror.
The Americans kill and maim, destroy entire cities, just to terrorise inhabitants and discourage them from abetting the resistance. They did so in Najaf, Falluja, Samarra, Talafar and the Sadr neighbourhood in Baghdad. If terror is defined as "military attacks against civilians to achieve political goals", there is no doubt in my mind as to who are the true terrorists in Iraq. They sent lackeys, who served as ministers and top officials in the Interim Governing Council and interim government, on a spree of theft and graft. Dozens of American-imposed agents amassed incredible fortunes over the past two years. The elections were a US ploy. The Iraqis went to the elections because they were told that elections were a peaceful means for ending occupation. The Basic Law for the Administration of the State mentions that a legitimate government is entitled to ask the occupation forces to leave.
I believe that the Iraqi resistance will continue, particularly in the south. The Iraqis know that the Americans did not come as liberators, but as occupiers. They know that Al- Zarqawi is just a ghost. When asked about the recent bombing in their city, many inhabitants in Al-Hilla blamed the Americans, saying that the blast was caused by a bomb planted professionally and detonated by remote control, not by a suicide bomber as the authorities claimed. Another US ploy is that of staging anti-violence protests. In these protests, every participant is paid $10 and given a free meal. Buying protesters is, if you ask me, a sign of guilt.
Religious figures told the public that elections would be the first step to the end of occupation. Soon after the elections these figures dropped any mention of the occupation. Freedom-seeking Iraqis now have no other option but to continue the resistance. The US has its own agenda in Iraq. It claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that the Iraqi government may offer these weapons to terrorists targeting the US, along the lines of 11 September attacks. These were false accusations, as now we all know. The US simply wants to destroy Iraq so as to make Israel safer.