The resistance has been assuming different forms and paces according to the different circumstances and traditions. It ranged from street demonstrations for the withdrawal of the foreign troops, passing by social protests against the inability und unwillingness of the occupants to provide elementary social services let alone employment, until outright guerrilla warfare. Despite the overwhelming technical superiority the partisan movement has been proving to be able to inflict steady losses to the occupation forces. Thus the American attempt to quickly pacify the invaded nation and to build a subservient puppet regime is in great jeopardy. Consequently they keep having great troubles to mobilise their allies and servants throughout the world to back the occupation. And even within the US the recruitment of soldiers is facing difficulties while the morale of their troops becomes more and more strained.
The town of Falluja is the emblematic stronghold of the Iraqi resistance. The occupants were forced to withdraw from the city already by last autumn limiting themselves to daylight patrolling. The support of all strata of society for the armed resistance is overwhelming. But Falluja is only one outstanding example for a tendency affecting the entire country.
The occupation forces are attacking Falluja to collectively punish the population for their resistance in order to send a strong warning to the entire Iraqi people: “If you continue your liberation struggle we will continue the genocide which we inflicted upon you during the 90s.” Now they employ the methods developed by the Zionists to oppress the Palestinian people. Falluja is being sealed off, besieged, residential quarters are cowardly being bombarded by tanks and helicopter gunships. Ambulances carrying the wounded are being attacked by snipers. There is neither supply of water nor of food. Already several hundred Iraqis have been killed and many more wounded.
On the political level the US-installed Governing Council is completely isolated – and even these puppets who need permanent protection by the occupation forces showed reluctance to defend the ongoing American massacre.
The only asset remaining in the hands of the occupants is the tacit agreement with the Shia cleric leadership around Ayatollah al-Sistani to hold controlled elections in order to legitimise a dependant government which nevertheless can count on some popular backing. The differences with the US were only on the price they would have to pay to the collaborators. However, the current events could put into question also this deal.
Up to now the main problem of the resistance movement has been its difficulties to form a united resistance front as the embryo of a really independent state. The differences between the four main currents of the resistance seemed to have prevented such a political counter power. The Arab nationalists drawing their strength from former army soldiers and officers emerging from the milieu of the Baath party were apparently only able to find an agreement with the Sunni Islamic currents. Between both there is no clear line of division and they are strongly intermixed like the example of Falluja displays. The prime trouble was to bring in a part of the Shia cleric leadership opposing the occupation. While the Shia urban poor were burning to enter into the struggle the leadership around Muqtada al-Sadr oscillated and hesitated. He refused to participate at a common front. Also the smallest current of the resistance composed of dissident communists is hesitant to co-operate with former Baathists who used to violently oppress them.
The only perspective being able to confront the danger of US sponsored election on one hand, and to unify the resistance forces in a common front basing themselves on the popular masses on the other hand is the struggle for a constituent assembly. Non of the four currents of resistance has put this demand in the centre of their strive. This is the main weakness of the resistance.
But with the current uprising led by Muqtada al-Sadr everything might change. As he and his cleric group was more and more squeezed between the hammer of the occupation force trying to contain his influence and the anvil of the Shia urban poor demanding action to confront the occupants, he was simply forced to act. The mass demonstration and the brutal massacres of the occupation forces developed a dynamics into an outright popular uprising.
In Baghdad as well as in most of the predominantly Shiite cities al-Sadr’s militiamen attacked and often conquered the administration installed by the occupants. The uprising which runs in parallel with the popular defence of Falluja being collectively punished by the occupants as well as with an intensified guerrilla war has been unfolding powerful dynamics. It carries away also important parts of the impoverished middle classes who have been so far loyal to the collaborationist tendencies of the clerics. In many places even the US-led Iraqi police forces switched sides.
The parallel confrontations with the US occupants is helping to bridge the gap between what the Western media like to portray as the Sunni and the Shia leaderships. (Though it is true that the two leaderships base themselves mainly on those communities it is not a sectarian conflict. It is the Americans who try to use the conflict and transform it into something they happen to call “ethnic” – an operation of divide and rule.) On the contrary there have been powerful signs of solidarity and closing of ranks for example the march of relieve to Falluja explicitly led by both communities and well as the enthusiastic welcoming of the uprising by the guerrilla forces.
Since months the corporate Western media speak of the danger of a civil war systematically building an argument for their occupation troops to remain in Iraq. The merging of the guerrilla with the popular uprising is the exact contrary – unity of the people against the occupants.
The warmongers of the American Empire call and apparently prepare for a bloodbath in Iraq to crush the resistance. But the world understands that the US will not be able to continue its unilateralist stand. Otherwise it will risk a new Vietnam. In order to avoid that they will try to bring in their allies by making some concessions and granting a stronger role to the UN. At any cost they want to prevent that for example Spain really pulls out its troops initiating a domino effect.
Therefore the international movement against the occupation must oppose any agreement with or without the UN which does not provide for the total withdrawal of all foreign troops. The full right of self-determination must be granted to the Arab Islamic world and especially the Iraqi and Palestinian people.
Stop the imperialist massacre in Iraq!
End the occupation – all foreign troops out!
Support the resistance of the Iraqi people till the victory!
Down with the American Empire!