Iraq: ‘Don’t trust the Americans to leave’

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

EXPLOSIONS near puppet government offices shook Baghdad last weekend, killing scores and wounding hundreds more in multiple attacks across the occupied Iraqi capital. Other key towns across the country were targeted by car-bombers this week and the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad has again come under rocket and mortar fire.

Car bombings are usually dubbed “suicide attacks” by the puppet authorities who routinely claim they are the work of Al Qaida. But the upsurge in resistance following the official end of US combat operations on 1st September clearly reflects widespread anger at the puppet authorities and renewed support for the Baathist underground and the Sunni Arab nationalist militias.

That’s certainly the view of Prof Hareth Sulaiman al Dhari, Secretary General of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI),, which represents a significant section of the Sunni community in the country. Sheikh al Dhari, who comes from a long-standing Arab nationalist family, was forced to flee the country in 2006 because of his support of the resistance.

public fury

Now he says that increased public fury against the corrupt puppet authorities and disillusionment over the stalled political process, which was supposed to introduce power-sharing, has strengthened the resistance.

Talking to the media in Damascus last week Sheikh al Dhari said: “The resistance isn’t defeated, it is still present and active, it still inflicts casualties on the forces of occupation.

“We have to admit that the resistance has become reduced in its impact and influence compared to 2004, 2005 and 2006, but it is rebuilding today. The Iraqi people are very angry and there will be renewed resistance and we may finally see a revolution against the occupation and this government that has spread so much suffering.”

Millions of Iraqis struggle with poverty, unemployment and the political violence that remains rife. About 200 to 300 people are killed every month, many of them civilian, al Dhari said. Circumstances are “dire and worsening by the day”, he declared, describing Iraq as a battlefield between “militias, foreign intelligence agencies, occupation troops, the resistance and sectarian politicians”.

The Americans say all their remaining military “advisers” will leave Iraq by the end of next year but al Dhari doesn’t believe them. “Don’t trust the Americans in their promise to leave. I don’t expect them to go,” he said, warning that if the suffering continues the nationalist forces may close ranks with Al Qaida to confront the Americans and their puppets.

The mainstream Baathist and Arab nationalist militias have always opposed the indiscriminate and sectarian violence of the supporters of Al Qaida in Iraq.

“The relationship between the Iraqi national resistance and Al Qaida is bad,” Al Dhari said. “But maybe, if the suffering continues as it is, the entire rejectionist movement in Iraq will unify its efforts and a united force will be established, to face the dictatorship of the sectarian political parties.”