Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles


Iraq's Resistance to the Occupation

Back to Current Articles |2005 | 2004 | 2003


Iraq Polls See Large Turnout, but Insurgency Persists (December 17, 2005)

High voter turnout for Iraq's December 15 parliamentary elections represents a significant increase from Iraq's January 30, 2005 transitional parliamentary elections. While Sunnis boycotted the January elections, roughly 11 million of Iraq's 15 million eligible voters, including many Sunnis, participated this time around. Nonetheless, increased political participation does not mean an end to armed resistance and many experts expect a prolonged insurgency. (Daily Star – Lebanon)

Profusion of Rebel Groups Helps Them Survive in Iraq (December 2, 2005)

In response to increasing criticism of the Iraq war and calls for withdrawal from the US public, President George Bush has insisted on a continued occupation and "complete victory" against the Iraqi insurgency. While Bush maintains that the "enemy" consists of foreign-born, Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, disaffected Sunnis, and loyalists of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the New York Timespoints out that the Iraqi insurgency is much more diverse and complex. Resembling more of a "constellation" than an organization, the Iraqi insurgency's fragmented nature paradoxically ensures its survival, rendering the notion of "complete victory" little more than empty rhetoric.

Disunity Threatens Iraqi Labor's Resistance to Occupation (November 7, 2005)

Iraqi labor unions, among the country's largest secular institutions, remain firmly opposed to the US-led occupation and plans for oil privatization. Nonetheless, questions over elections and Iraq's government are highly divisive, exposing Iraqi labor to threats both internal and external. This truthoutarticle examines Iraq's labor movement and the prospects for an economically free and just future in light of the precarious situation it faces.

British Forces Arrest Nine Iraqis as Poll Shows Hostility to Troops (October 24, 2005)

Iraqis increasingly oppose the presence of foreign troops. According to a joint Iraqi and British poll, 82% of Iraqis "strongly oppose" the foreign presence while only 1% believe troops are improving security. Furthermore, 65% of Iraqis in Maysan province - where 97% of voters supported the draft constitution - consider attacks against US and UK forces justifiable. (Guardian)

Administration's Tone Signals a Longer, Broader Iraq Conflict (October 17, 2005)

As conflict in Iraq wears on, Washington has been forced to reevaluate its policy of imposing democracy. Even with parliamentary elections and a constitutional referendum, Iraq's security has not improved. With few democratic landmarks remaining, the Bush administration is now confronted with the prospect of a continued occupation following Iraq's December elections. (New York Times)

Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom's Response (September 19, 2005)

US and Iraqi officials have overstated the presence of Saudi fighters in Iraq, according to this report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Of the estimated 3,000 foreign militants in Iraq, only about 350, or 12%, come from Saudi Arabia. The bulk of the resistance, the report notes, are Iraqi civilians who take up arms out of frustration with the US-backed government's "failure to provide basics like security, running water, or electricity."

US Claims Success in Iraq Despite Onslaught (September 19, 2005)

The Washington Postreports that, in a nod to the Vietnam era, the US military is again using body counts as a measure of success. Many of these figures are flawed, as numerous detentions are made on the recommendations of "local teenagers who had stepped forward as informants" for the purpose of "settling local scores." Though Iraq's stability remains in question, "American officials have insisted…that…the insurgency is not growing."

Looking for Peace in Iraq (September 14, 2005)

Foreign Policy in Focuscompares the Iraqi resistance to an onion. Around the core of active resistance fighters are numerous layers of support, collaboration, and acquiescence. According to this op-ed piece, "the primary cause for these layers of support is opposition to the US occupation." Peace in Iraq can only be restored when the US withdraws its military and halts the construction of permanent bases.

Sadr's Disciples Rise Again to Play Pivotal Role in Iraq (August 30, 2005)

The Washington Postreports that the US has released from prison several top aides of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr. This move has revitalized Sadr's movement, which the article describes as "a mix of Iraqi and Arab nationalism, millenarian religious ideology, grass-roots protest and gun culture." Sadr's movement openly confronts the occupation by organizing mass protests, and competes for influence with the less confrontational Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Worker Unions in Iraq: An Interview with Amjad Aljawhary (August 23, 2005)

Trade Unions in Iraq play an important role in the non-violent and non-religious opposition to the occupation. The North American Representative of the Federation of Worker Councils and Unions in Iraq, Amjad Aljawhary, explains how the lack of reconstruction, unemployment and general miserable living conditions have generated Iraqi workers' resentment towards the occupation. (Toward Freedom)

Iraq Statistics Tell Grim Story (August 8, 2005)

Despite official Pentagon declarations that US forces are inflicting serious damage on the Iraqi resistance, this report finds that the insurgency is growing. Military officials claim that US troops have killed up to 50,000 rebel fighters since serious resistance began in 2003. The writer argues that since the insurgency grows stronger every month, there can only be two explanations. Either the insurgency quickly replaces killed fighters with fresh, highly trained, ones; or the Pentagon's is counting a large number of civilians as "insurgents." The second theory, he believes, is the correct one. (United Press International)

US-led Troops in Iraq Part of Problem – UK's Straw (August 2, 2005)

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw believes that the British and US occupation of Iraq is fueling the insurgency. In an interview with the Financial Times, he said that the UK would draw down troops once an Iraqi constitution was in place. (Reuters)

In Cold Blood: Abuses by Armed Groups (July 25, 2005)

This Amnesty Internationalreport condemns the armed groups in Iraq responsible for killing and injuring thousands of civilians since 2003. Amnesty views these acts as war crimes and calls on the Iraqi government and the international community to take steps to prosecute the perpetrators. The report says that many of these groups arose in opposition to the US-led Multinational Forces, who have themselves committed "gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."

Defying US Efforts, Guerrillas in Iraq Refocus and Strengthen (July 24, 2005)

The Iraqi insurgency increasingly aims at "the political and sectarian polarization of the country", according to this New York Timesarticle. To that end, insurgents in July 2005 killed two Sunni members of the constitution-drafting committee, kidnapped an Algerian diplomat, and blew up a truck full of gas beside a Shiite mosque in a town south of Baghdad. US officials admit that guerilla operations have become ever more sophisticated, and that military intelligence still knows very little about the insurgency.

The Logic of Suicide Terrorism: It's the Occupation, Not the Fundamentalism (July 18, 2005)

This interview from the American Conservativeshowcases expert Robert Pape's detailed analysis of the roots of suicide terrorism. His central finding is that, overwhelmingly, "suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel [foreign occupiers] to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland." A "demand-driven" phenomenon, Pape notes that "the suicide terrorists have been produced by the invasion" in Iraq and other countries.

Iraq Insurgency Could Last a Decade, Admits Rumsfeld (June 27, 2005)

The White House has repeatedly claimed the Iraqi insurgency is "in its last throes," but US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a rare admission that the armed occupation to US occupation could last "any number of years." Rumsfeld also confirmed reports of talks between US officials and insurgents but downplayed their importance. "Meetings… go on all the time," he said, claiming that "it isn't a matter of negotiating with terrorists" because groups under Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were not involved. (Guardian)

US "In Talks with Iraq, with Iraq Rebels" (June 26, 2005)

The Sunday Timesreveals that US officials met with insurgent leaders at least twice in June, and may have additional talks planned in hopes of finding "common ground" and decreasing the ongoing violence in Iraq. According to Iraqi sources, neither meeting proved conclusive but the two sides agreed to meet again perhaps with a United Nations representative. Insurgents believe the talks signal increased desperation on the side of the US: "Why else would they have rounds of negotiations with people they label as terrorists?"

US Strategy in Iraq: Is It Working? (June 21, 2005)

Analysts say that "by any metric of tactical military success," US military operations against insurgents in Iraq are working. However, using another measure of success--the reduction of attacks--US and Iraqi operations have failed. Though US forces have killed and captured thousands of insurgents and reduced such "insurgent strongholds" as Fallujah to rubble, attacks and US and Iraqi forces continue unabated. In Fallujah, "once thought to be decisively won by the US," three firefights broke out on one Sunday resulting in 15 insurgents killed. (Christian Science Monitor)

Military Action Won't End Insurgency, Growing Number of US Officers Believe (June 13, 2005)

US officers increasingly believe that the insurgency in Iraq "is not going to be settled [. . .] through military options or military operations." Even the top US General in Iraq concedes that pressing the insurgency in one area of the country only causes it to rise elsewhere, and that "the political process will be the decisive element." This effectively means that the Sunnis must see the government as representing their interests, which will be difficult given the prominence of Shiites and Kurds in the interim administration. (Knight Ridder)

Iraq's Insurgency Has Proved Itself to Be Persistent, Deadly and Flexible (May 18, 2005)

More than 500 people have died in over 70 separate insurgent attacks since Iraqi officials named their new government on April 28. Analysts and officials say insurgents show increasing sophistication and coordination in their attacks, which are now focused more on Iraqi security forces than US troops. And while US officials like to ascribe most of the violence to foreign terrorists, Knight Ridderwrites that "behind much of the insurgency, and almost certainly creating the welcoming environment for foreign terrorists, is anger created by the progressive marginalization of Iraq's Sunni Arab minority."

US Is Its Own Worst Enemy in Iraq (May 17, 2005)

In this Los Angeles Timesop-ed, Robert Scheer contends that "the US presence [in Iraq] is the fuel for the conflagration it claims to be stamping out." The US has succeeded in uniting two groups that have long been opposed to each other--jihadis and secular Baathists--in an insurgency marked by chaos. And though US officials "have bought into the fantasy that the January elections proved that a stable, democratic Iraq (...) is just around the corner," a continuing US presence in Iraq will simply further stimulate violence.

In Iraq's Insurgency, No Rules, Just Death (May 13, 2005)

By relying on predominantly Shiite forces to fight the Sunni-dominated insurgency, the US risks aggravating sectarian tensions to the point of civil war. The author of this Asia Timespiece writes that such an approach represents extreme short-sightedness on the part of the US and the Iraqi government.

Trajectory of Violence (April 14-20, 2005)

Iraqi sociologist Faleh Jabar writes that though armed resistance to the occupation of Iraq "will definitely continue," it has no future -- the majority of Iraqis now stand behind the political process, not the insurgency. He attributes this to indiscriminate terrorist attacks on civilians as well as the relative success of the January 30 elections, where "legitimacy of the political process was established." (Al-Ahram Weekly)

Iraqi Proposes Broader Amnesty (April 11, 2005)

Iraqi President Jalil Talibani has called for amnesty for insurgents "who had killed combatants," though he did not specify whether this referred to US forces, Iraqi forces, or both. The amnesty, which does not cover those who took part in killing "innocent people," is part of a plan to draw insurgents into "efforts to build democracy." Talibani claims that "with a comprehensive policy, we can eradicate terror in the country within months," though he did not describe what such a policy would look like. (Washington Post)

Demonstrators in Iraq Demand That US Leave (April 10, 2005)

"Tens of thousands" of Iraqis marched in central Baghdad on the second anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein to demand a timetable for US withdrawal. Followers of Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, whose militia fought with US forces in 2004, made up most of the crowd, which shouted slogans such as "No America, no Saddam! Yes to Islam!" (New York Times)

"The Iraqi Resistance Is a Popular Resistance" (March 2005)

Sheik Jawad al-Khalisi, Secretary General of the Iraqi National Foundation Congress (INFC), claims that Iraqi resistance groups consider his organization "to represent the whole opposition in Iraq - armed and unarmed," and see it as their "political structure." Al-Khalisi characterizes the insurgency in Iraq as "popular, patriotic, and Islamic," and believes that Saddam loyalists and "Islamic hard-liners" represent "only 5% to 10% of the resistance." (Focus on Trade)

Labor Pains (March 31, 2005)

In this interview with AlterNet, international representative of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) Abdullah Muhsin discusses his organization's opposition to the Iraq war, the illegitimacy of the Iraqi resistance, and the country's emerging government. Muhsin mentions that the Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi Interim Government have undermined trade unions by failing to repeal Saddam Hussein's anti-union law of 1987.

Political Survivor Chalabi Reaches Out to Iraq Insurgents (March 3, 2005)

Ahmad Chalabi, the "political chameleon" who championed the disbanding of Iraq's army by US forces following the invasion, now wants to work with insurgent leaders to "end the foreign presence in Iraq." Iraqi politicians and outside observers alike view the dissolution of the army as a major cause of the insurgency Chalabi now seeks to cooperate with. (Agence France-Presse)

Major Arrests Show a Shift in Iraq (March 1, 2005)

Analysts say the arrests of several major figures in Iraq's insurgency, including Saddam Hussein's half-brother and top aides to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, represent a blow to the resistance. The captures also boost counterinsurgency efforts, with Iraqi officials noting that citizens provide more tips on the whereabouts of insurgents than before. But the decentralized nature of the resistance means it will take more than the arrests of a few leaders to end it. (Christian Science Monitor)

Insurgents Wage Precise Attacks on Baghdad Fuel (February 21, 2005)

In their attacks, Iraqi insurgents have demonstrated a level of coordination and sophistication that suggests a more organized and centralized resistance than previously believed. Insurgents have consistently and successfully targeted the most vulnerable elements of Iraqi infrastructure, resulting in widespread disruption of power, water, and other essential services in the Baghdad region. (New York Times)

Talking With the Enemy (February 20, 2005)

Timemagazine reports on back channel negotiations taking place between the US and Iraqi insurgents. Some members of the insurgency appear willing to negotiate an end to their attacks in exchange for certain guarantees and Sunni representation in government. However, leaders of the political parties that emerged victorious in the election say they have no interest in any dialogue with insurgents.

Iraqi Insurgency Growing Larger, More Effective (January 21, 2005)

After analyzing US government statistics on the Iraq war, Knight Ridderconcludes that the US is "steadily losing ground to the Iraqi insurgency." The trends leading to this conclusion include a rise in the average amount of US casualties per month, oil and electricity production below pre-war levels, and a steep increase in mass-casualty bombings by insurgents.

Iraq's Perilous Election and the Need for Exit Strategies (January 17, 2005)

On the eve of Iraq's elections, the US-led coalition faces an insurgency numbering as many as 200,000 fighters and supporters. Large areas of key districts are too unsafe to vote in, and no viable Iraqi security force exists. Given this situation, the US must seriously consider withdrawing from the country. (Power and Interest News Report)

Iraqi Intelligence Service Chief Interviewed on Terrorism, Related Issues (January 5, 2005)

An interview with Iraq's National Intelligence Service Director reveals dramatic statistics on the size of the Iraqi opposition, with an estimated 20-30,000 gunmen carrying out attacks. According to Intelligence Director al-Shahwani, resistance fighters "have the sympathy of about 200,000 persons […] turning a blind eye." He suspects three separate wings of the Ba'ath Party are leading the resistance and receive support from Syria. (Al-Sharq al-Awsat)


Why Elections Won't Quell Iraq Resistance (December 15, 2004)

This Boston Globearticle contradicts popular misconceptions of the Iraqi resistance's composition, organization and prime objectives. The author concludes by debunking the most popular myth of all: that the resistance will have nothing to fight against after the January 2005 nationwide elections in Iraq.

The Risks of the al-Zarqawi Myth (December 14, 2004)

The Bush administration has continually identified "Jordanian terrorist" Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as the mastermind behind the Iraqi insurgency. Former UN Arms Inspector Scott Ritter warns that the almost legendary tales of al-Zarqawi simply deflect attention from the real organizing body behind the resistance cells: Saddam Hussein's Mukhabarat. Ritter suggests that Saddam's intelligence created a fictional target for the US, luring it into attacks on cities like Fallujah and subsequently fueling a resistance driven by "forces of Islamist activism to a degree never before seen in modern-day Iraq." (Aljazeera)

Solving Iraq's Security Riddle (November 19, 2004)

This article finds that that the core of the insurgency consists of Baathists rather than, as formerly suspected, Arab Salafi extremists. Former Baath party members have a strong interest in resisting and defeating the new Iraqi government and have used propaganda tactics similar to Saddam Hussein's to lure militants into doing the "dirty work." (Iraqi Prospect Organisation)

The Resistance Speaks (October 21, 2004)

A rare interview with a leader of the Baath resistance once again highlights Washington's failed intelligence gathering, which did not foresee opposition that was "organized long before the war on a city by city basis." In his account, the unnamed Baathist makes a distinction between the secular, Arab nationalist Baath resistance and groups which "fight with us," including the Islamists. He concludes that "a large national and unified Front exists fighting a sacred Battle for the freedom and the independence of Iraq." (TomPaine)

Iraq to Free Al-Sadr Followers (October 10, 2004)

Iraqi officials have said they will release detained followers of Moqtada al-Sadr in return for a handover of weapons and a peace deal with the insurgents. The government has suspended raids in Sadr city and has pledged to rebuild the slum once al-Sadr's followers have disarmed. (Reuters)

'Staying the Course' Isn't an Option (September 24, 2004)

Former military planner Mike Turner states that Washington has already lost the war in Iraq and the UN should take over the mandate for a long-term solution for Iraq. (truthout)

The Last Deception, (September 21, 2004)

Addressing the UN General Assembly at its annual meeting, President George Bush presented US-appointed Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi as a leader who has received wide international support and will guide the country towards democracy. Behind his statement lies the reality of an insurgency, which the US brought on itself by neglecting essential tasks in Iraq. If Bush is reelected it is not unlikely the administration will launch an all-out offensive against insurgent-controlled areas in November. (New York Times)

Classic Guerrilla War Forming in Iraq (September 20, 2004)

With US forces battling insurgents in Iraq, the conflict is taking on the form of classic guerilla warfare. Despite the fact that the Iraqi insurgency is not an organized and coherent force comparable to the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War, the Coalition nevertheless seems to be failing to overcome the resistance. (Christian Science Monitor)

An Inventory of Iraqi Resistance Groups: "Who Kills Hostages in Iraq?" (September 19, 2004)

Al Zawragives an overview of the resistance groups that operate in Iraq and provides a description of who leads, finances and arms them. The article analyzes the biggest resistance movements, many of which started out as scattered cells and have evolved into groups with significant military and political weight.

Saddam's Baath Party Is Back in Business (September 7, 2004)

When US forces captured Saddam Hussein they did not eradicate the roots of the dictator's Baath Party, which has transformed into a branch of the resistance movement that threatens Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's government. After the fall of Saddam, Iraqi Baathist members reconciled with Baathists in Syria and Jordan and created the neo-Baathist organization "Al Islah," Arabic for "The Reform." (Iraq News Net)

After Muqtada, the Militias… (September 1, 2004)

As US forces in Iraq focused their attention on fighting the Sunni insurgency in Fallujah and the Shiite opposition in Najaf led by Moqtada al-Sadr, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah established a firm grip on the south. According to Asia Times, the Iraqi Hezbollah is headquartered in the old police station in the middle of Basra, where the group "virtually runs the province" with the help of Shiite militias.

Standoff Bolstered Sadr Support (August 30, 2004)

In the wake of the Najaf standoff Shiite cleric Moqtada-al-Sadr's anti US campaign has gained substantial support. An increasing number of moderates have turned to radicalism as a result of Sadr's actions. (Reuters)

America's Achilles' Heel (August 16, 2004)

Daily acts of sabotage on oil pipelines and threats against production facilities imperil Iraq's oil industry, forcing a halt in exports costing the Government potential revenues of nearly $50 million per day. Insurgents understand that disrupting the flow of oil not only stifles Iraq's economic recovery, but also undermines Iraq's Interim Government and occupation forces, achieving its ultimate goal. (

It Takes a Following to Make an Ayatollah (August 15, 2004)

Will the US hard-handed operations to quell the insurgence in Iraq succeed? Professor Juan Cole warns that the US offensive against the followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, desecrating the holy city of Najaf, will result in a violent reaction by Shiites in Iraq and around the world. (Washington Post)

Iraq Cleric Vows Fight to Death versus US (August 9, 2004)

Renewed fighting between the US and followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr sparked accusations by Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan that Iran is arming the Shiite militias. Iran denied the allegations, however officials concede that insurgents are illegally crossing the unprotected border between the two countries. (Associated Press)

Abductions Surge in Iraq (July 27, 2004)

The Christian Science Monitorargues that the increased "hostage-taking" of foreign workers by insurgents in Iraq is emerging as the most effective means of driving out foreign troops and civilian personnel. The Philippines yielded to kidnappers' demands by withdrawing troops from Iraq in July 2004, gaining the release of a Filipino hostage.

Inside the Iraqi Resistance (July 15 – 24, 2004)

In this seven-part series, Nir Rosen examines the resistance against US forces in Fallujah from the outset of war to the withdrawal of US forces from the city in May 2004. Rosen argues that the city stands out from the rest of Iraq because of its rigid religious conservatism, strong tribal traditions, and a fierce loyalty to Saddam Hussein. (Asia Times)

Iraqi Leader Proposes Amnesty for Rebels (June 19, 2004)

Iraq's Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi offered amnesty to Iraqi resistance fighters supporting the insurgency against the US-led occupation. Allawi defended the plan, contending that many of the fighters joined the insurgency "because they were left without work after the US decision a year ago to disband the Iraqi army and other elements of Saddam Hussein's security apparatus." (Washington Post)

Nine Iraqi Militias to Disband (June 7, 2004)

An agreement signed by nine political parties, all with representation in Iraq's government, sees up to 100,000 armed individuals "enter civilian life or take jobs in the state police force or security services." However, members of the "al-Mahdi Army," led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, refused to join the initiative. (Globe and Mail)

Portrait of a Rebellion (May 24, 2004)

Professor Juan Cole examines the Bush administration policy that provoked the Shiite uprising led by Muqtada al-Sadr beginning in April 2004. Cole argues that the White House's determination to "put down small symbolic acts of defiance with massive force … could tip the Shiite south into long-term instability." (In These Times)

Once Considered Fringe, al-Sadr Movement Now Leads Anti-US Fight (May 16, 2004)

The Associated Presscontends that support for Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stems from growing Iraqi frustration with the US-led occupation. These frustrations are exacerbated by the developing prisoner abuse scandal as well as continued complaints of house raids, perceived cultural insensitivity and heavy handedness of US troops.

Extent of Foreign Fighters in Iraqi Insurgency May Be Less than Often Portrayed (May 3, 2004)

By claiming that foreign fighters and terrorists are leading the Iraqi insurgency, Washington hopes to frame the conflict as part of the wider "war on terrorism." However, US military commanders in Iraq believe that it is mostly Iraqis that are carrying out attacks on US-led troops, whereas foreign fighters make up only one percent of the insurgents. (Associated Press)

Bremer Is Increasing Pressure for a Quick End to Iraqi Uprisings (April 18, 2004)

Pressured by an increase in violence throughout the country, US Administrator Paul Bremer appears close to ordering a "military showdown" between US forces and Iraqi insurgents, ending the Shiite and Sunni uprisings. Bremer renewed his determination to "return Iraq to the political path mapped out by the United States." (New York Times)

Iraqi Militants Execute Italian Hostage (April 15, 2004)

The Associated Pressreports that the little known group of the "Green Battalion" killed an Italian security guard taken hostage. The group is holding another three Italian security guards captive, threatening to kill them unless Rome meets its list of demands, including the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq.

Hostage-Taking Tests Allies (April 13, 2004)

Iraqi insurgents are increasingly taking foreign civilians hostage as the US-led coalition struggles to stabilize security throughout the country. The Christian Science Monitorargues that captors are attempting to undercut international support for the US, forcing an end to the occupation.

What Triggered the Shia Insurrection? (April 12, 2004)

Michael Schwartz argues that no single event sparked the Shiite uprising, rather it was a culmination of actions by the Coalition Provisional Authority that led to the hostilities. Schwartz contends that the "last-straw" was the announcement by Paul Bremer indicating the US established a legal basis to maintain troops in Iraq even if Iraqis ask for an immediate withdrawal after June 30, 2004. (TomDispatch)

New Nationalism that Unites Iraq (April 11, 2004)

William Pfaff analyzes the Iraqi resistance to the US-led occupation and contends that the Iraq war is no longer about fighting a "war on terror." Rather, the coalition is engaged in a war against "nationalism" – a struggle the US will inevitably lose. (Observer)

Iraqi Cleric's Movement Gains Steam (April 10, 2004)

An increasing number of worshippers are gathering for Friday prayers at a mosque run by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, indicating growing support for the Sadr Movement. Can the US anti-Sadr policy be effective in stemming Sadr's support? (Associated Press)

Shiite Uprising Signals Double Trouble for US (April 5, 2004)

The recent surge of violence marks a major turning point in the occupation for Iraq and for the US-led coalition. Critics argue that the US policy to unleash an "overwhelming" military response against the Sunnite and Shiite uprising threatens to swell the resistance, "dooming the occupation and making Iraq ungovernable." (Inter Press Service)

A Young Radical's Anti-US Wrath Is Unleashed (April 4, 2004)

The New York Timesexamines the 31-year-old Shiite cleric, Moktada al-Sadr and his devoted following of Iraq's youth and the poor. With Sadr's increasing popularity a result of his mounting hostility towards the US-led occupation, will the Coalition Provisional Authority include Sadr in the new Iraq?

Iraq Attacks Blamed On Islamic Extremists (March 19, 2004)

US military commanders in Iraq claim that foreign and indigenous Islamic extremists are responsible for recent attacks against US troops and Iraqi security forces, as well as against Iraqi civilians. As the face of insurgency shifts from Saddam loyalists to Islamic extremists, can the US succeed in quelling the violence? (Washington Post)

Beware the Spread of Sunni Anger (March 10, 2004)

The International Herald Tribuneargues the aim of insurgent forces in Iraq focuses on blocking the Shiites from ruling over the country. By committing violent acts against civilians, they hope to entice a "sectarian civil war" between the Sunni and Shiite population.

Saddam's Capture Offers No Reprieve From Insurgency (January 7, 2004)

Coordinated attacks against the US occupation and western civilian targets continue despite the arrest of Saddam Hussein. Power and Interest News Report argues: "The longer that conditions in Iraq stay the same, the better the chances that Saddam's capture will become a liability for the US leadership."


Resistance to Occupation Will Grow (December 15, 2003)

According to a Guardianeditorial, Saddam Hussein did not lead the insurgencies. His surrender may even encourage resistance groups in Iraq which feared that an immediate end to the occupation would help Saddam Hussein return to power.

Tough New Tactics by US Tighten Grip on Iraq Towns (December 7, 2003)

New US tactics include demolishing the houses of suspected resistance fighters and imprisoning the relatives of suspected guerrillas, in hopes of pressing the insurgents to turn themselves in. "You have to understand the Arab mind. The only thing they understand is force," says a Captain of a US infantry division. (New York Times)

Ever More Organized Iraqi Resistance to the Occupation (December 6, 2003)

In the city of Ramadi the approximately 200,000 citizens generally agree with the resistance, reports Le Monde. Three resistance fighters talk to the newspaper about ties to the Ba'ath Party and Al Qaeda.

US Sees Lesson for Insurgents in an Iraq Battle (December 2, 2003)

US commanders believe insurgents' deaths will be "instructive" to the rebel fighters. The New York Timesargues that instead of winning over the Iraqis the US may alienate them.

From the Sunni Triangle to the Bermuda Triangle (November 15, 2003)

While the media likes to chatter about the "Sunni triangle" in Iraq, author Michael Renner calls attention to the Iraqi "Bermuda triangle" where unpleasant facts mysteriously vanish. Missing weapons of mass destruction, for example, and the gap between Washington's claims to democracy and its long-standing support for authoritarian and anti-democratic regimes throughout the oil-rich Middle East.

CIA Has a Bleak Analysis of Iraq (November 12, 2003)

A classified US Central Intelligence Agency report offers a sobering counterweight to optimistic Iraq statements from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others. The report warns that Iraqis increasingly support the resistance because they believe that these fighters could defeat and expel the occupation forces. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Resistance Is the First Step Towards Iraqi Independence (November 4, 2003)

Tariq Ali offers sharp criticism of the US/UK occupation of Iraq. Ali insists that decentralized resistance, which may contain fighters from other Arab countries, is "the classic first stage of guerrilla warfare against an occupying army." (Guardian)

Iraqi Revulsion at Car Bombings (October 29, 2003)

According to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Iraqi opinions about resistance to the occupation shifts as militants employ indiscriminate tactics that kill civilians. Some Iraqis suspect that former Ba'athists and their Islamic militant allies have a hand in the attacks.

Poll Shows Most Iraqis Unhappy with Presence of Coalition Forces (October 23, 2003)

The Iraq Center for Research & Strategic Studies released a survey showing that more than 60% of Iraqis have little or no confidence in the ability of the Coalition Provisional Authority to protect their safety. (Knight Ridder)

Inside the Resistance (October 13, 2003)

This article from the Guardianexplores the composition of the Iraqi resistance movement, sheds light on its motives and explains why the movement has spread so quickly across the country.

Patriots and Invaders (September 27, 2003)

The Guardianreports on the resolute spirit of the Iraqi people in their resistance to the Occupying Forces and their scorn toward the Iraqi governing council. Ignoring this spirit, US and UK governments instead listened to the "echo of their own voices (. . .) from some of the Iraqi opposition groups nurtured and trained by the Pentagon."

US Occupation of Iraq Faces Both Old and New Resistance (August 31, 2003)

Power and Interest News Reportquestions Washington's ability to simultaneously handle growing resistance to occupation and centuries-long tensions between fragmented ethnic groups.

UN Bombed for Perceived US Link, Experts Say (August 19, 2003)

Some Middle East experts and US academics attribute the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad to the increasing perception among Iraqis that the organization is a "tool for US foreign policy." (Inter-Press Service)

Resistance Has Its Roots in the Present (July 25, 2003)

Washington hopes that Iraqi resistance to occupation will soon fade with the recent US killings of top former Iraqi regime leaders, such as the Hussein brothers. These hopes represent the US administration's unwillingness to recognise that resistance is fuelled by Iraqis' grievances about the present and doubts about the future. (Guardian)

Cumulative Chaos (July 3-9, 2003)

Resistance against the US occupation of Iraq continues to grow. To prevent further chaos, the Bush administration should immediately involve the Iraqi people in a genuine democratic political process and withdrawal coalition forces.(Al-Ahram)

Resistance Simmers as Iraqis Await Government (June 22, 2003)

Protests by Iraqi civilians and ex-military personnel demonstrate to the US occupational authorities that time is running out to establish the Iraqi government it promised. (Los Angeles Times)

Resistance to Occupation Is Growing (June 13, 2003)

Attacks on occupying forces from Iraqi militants are on the rise. This has led many US military officials to re-examine their original assessments about the war. After boasting about the rapid defeat of the Hussein regime they now admit the war is far from over. (Guardian)

Anti-US Opposition in Iraq and the So Called Roadmap (June 12, 2003)

Democracy Now! interviews UK journalist Robert Fisk about the rising resistance to the US occupation in Iraq and the recent violence in Israel. (Znet)

Welcome to Iraq, Mr President (June 11, 2003)

Robert Fisk outlines what President George Bush should expect to find on his much awaited visit to Iraq. He says President Bush will experience the nationalist and religious sentiments of Iraqis hostile to their unwanted occupiers. (New Zealand Herald)

Jobless Iraqi Soldiers Issue Threats (June 5, 2003)

Recently unemployed Iraqi military officials are threatening organized resistance against US occupying forces if the US does not reverse its decision to discharge the Iraqi Army. Dismissing the Iraqi Army is part of the US overall de-Baathification process to rid the country of all past elements of the former Hussein regime.(Christian Science Monitor)

Thousands of Iraqis Protest US Presence, Body Searches of Women (June 3, 2003)

In Baghdad, thousands of Muslims marched through the streets threatening violence unless the US troops withdrew from the country. The protests were angry at US soldiers searching Muslim women.(Reuters)

Marching in Baghdad, Thousands of Shiites Protest against the US (May 19, 2003)

Thousands of Shiites protested in Baghdad, demanding that the US turn over power to an Iraqi government and remove its troops from Iraq. Other protests were staged at the newly created Oil Ministry where employees demanded pay rises and the ousting of all former Baath party members from the department. (New York Times)

US Troops Kill ‘13 Iraqi Protesters.' (April 29, 2003)

The US military opened fire on a crowd of Iraqis who were demonstrating against the US occupation of Iraq. US troops claimed the action was in self defense after armed protesters fired shots in their direction. Witnesses at the scene disagree, claiming the violence occurred when a protester threw a rock at US troops. (Guardian)

Iraqis Protest at Baghdad Talks (April 28, 2003)

Street protests by thousands of Iraqis and a boycott by leading Shia Muslims marred US-sponsored talks on the formation of a new government in Baghdad. (Guardian)

Protests Greet Garner's Arrival in Baghdad (April 21, 2003)

Thousands of Iraqis greeted Jay Garner, the retired US general responsible for civil administration in post-war Iraq, with angry protests against the US occupation. With civil unrest beginning to escalate, Garner has an unenviable task in reconstructing the country. (Washington Post)

More Information on Iraq
More Information on Occupation and Rule of Iraq

GPF home page


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.