Global Policy Forum

The Resistance Speaks


By Bob Dreyfuss

October 21, 2004

A Jordanian newspaper has printed an interview purportedly with one of the leaders of the Iraqi resistance. I can't vouch for its veracity, of course, except to say that it sounds real and may provide some insights into the people that the United States is fighting in Iraq. The unnamed figure, a Baathist, says first that the resistance was planned long before the war, and that it was organized on a city-by-city basis, which means that the Bush administration completely failed to gather intelligence on this before invading Iraq. Y

Part of what's interesting is that there is not mention of Zarqawi, or Al Qaeda, or the beheaders. He does refer to Islamic allies, but that is much more likely to mean the Sunni clerics and their organization, not the Al Qaeda crazies. Excerpts:

In fact we had many plans for our action during and after the aggression. One most important plan was the popular Resistance, which has proved to be successful and able to invest the battlefield and has produced the fastest Resistance in History. Here I am not going to divulge a secret when saying that we proceeded to reformulate the organizational core of our party from anew in every Iraqi town. And here, allow me to stress, in all Iraqi towns, thus allowing the Party to play its vanguard and leadership role in the heroic Iraqi Resistance and do whatever possible to defeat the enemy and his stooges and projects.

First we asked some of our known comrades to disappear from the front lines to safeguard their lives, and second, some new comers with little experience in the Party, joined other political movements in the hope of some kind of benefits and protection or both.

Let me assure our brothers in the Arab Nation that our Party is in good health and today with its members, it leads one of the most dignified and most honorable battles of the Nation in its contemporary history.

The resistance leader ridicules efforts by the Allawi government to reverse its policy of de-Baathification, adding: "Those who conceived and adopted the De-Baathification Law are the ones who today ask to withdraw it and call to [bring] Baathists into the new political era under the hospices of the occupier and its tools." But he says there will be no negotiations. "The only dialogue, which exists today between the Occupation and us, is the dialogue of arms and resistance. Any negotiations with the US administration will not be possible under the Occupation." Of course, that leaves open the door for negotiations if the end of the occupation of Iraq were announced. He says the resistance expected Saddam and other leaders to be captured, and so it developed a "field leadership," which is being coordinated by Izzat Al Duri, one of Saddam's key aides, who hasn't yet been found.

Interestingly, he makes a distinction between the secular, Arab nationalist Baath resistance and groups which "fight with us," including the Islamists. But clearly they are tactical allies only:

It's not out of bravado or out of pretension to say that the Iraqi Resistance is the legitimate daughter of the Arab Baath Socialist Party, and the principal element of this heroic Resistance is composed of Baath militants and Iraqi Army elements, Republican Guards, Security services, Saddam's Fedayin and Al Quds army. All these components as everyone knows refer to one political leadership, i.e. that of the Arab Baath Socialist Party. This is what our people knows, and this what the enemy of our people knows too. And because we don't want to occupy the whole scene, let's say there are other currents and organizations, which entered the Resistance battlefield through the gateway of the Baath. Yes there are national, Islamic and progressive forces, which fight with us in the great Liberation Battle. For these groups, we provide arms and training, funding, protection and data. We acted and we still do and from the very first day of the aggression to widen the circle of the popular and frontal participation in the Resistance field. A large national and unified Front exists fighting a sacred Battle for the freedom and the independence of Iraq.

The resistance leader is cautious when asked about cooperation with Muqtada Sadr's Mahdi Army:

We do make a difference between those who combat the Occupier and those who cooperate with him. Every one knows that a large number of the Mahdi Army fight the Occupation for patriotic reasons. We safeguard the kind of relationship we have with all the elements of the National and Islamic movement in Iraq to prevent the enemy from getting any intelligence about our wide Front.

He dismisses the idea of the "Sunni triangle," when asked:

The "Sunni triangle" is a term invented by the enemy and its stooges to plant a wedge between the children of a unified people. The towns such as Fallujah, Ramadi, Samarra and others came to the limelight because the Media had access to what was happening inside them. In fact the Resistance is everywhere in Iraq from Zakho in the extreme north to Fao in the extreme south, from west to east. The Resistance is in Basrah, Nasiriyah, Amara, Diwanya, Hilla, Najaf, Baaquba, Mosul, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Karbala, Samawah, Arbil, Sulaymaniah, exactly as it is in Baghdad and al Anbar.

And he gets in a parting shot at Ayatollah Sistani, the right-wing clergyman who wields power among Shiites in the south, from Najaf:

Q. The Party has taken a negative attitude towards Shia organizations in Najaf,how can you justify such positions?

A. The attitude of the Party concerning these organizations is not linked because they are Shia, but because they put sectarianism before the Land. Many times they have facilitated a way out for the enemy each time he was trapped by the Resistance. Few of these organizations and not all of them have given cover for the enemy criminal actions against our people. The Baath will never hesitate to reveal those who cooperated with the enemy; whatever is their position or their status. We have confirmed information that from a patriotic point of view, these obscure organizations, are trying to execute agendas imposed by external parties aiming at dividing Iraq and ignite a civil strife amongst its children.

More Information on Iraq
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