�Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected
insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to 'kill all
military age males,' according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated
"They did (their job) honorably, they did it
admirably.� Paul Bergrin, defendants� civil attorney [Same source]
Previously, I asked the question: if the specific conditions
of a nation (such as Iraq) impede it from repelling an invasion by a
technologically superior enemy, does this enemy expect that nation to submit to
its order and accept being conquered?
Considering 1) the unrivaled military position of the United
States, 2) its motives for invading and destroying Iraq, 3) and the outlines
for world hegemony as specified in the National Security Strategy of the United
States of 2002, the answer is yes. Meaning, the United States expects the
Iraqis to surrender, submit to its imperialist order, and cease resisting
If that were the case, then we have a problem. In the entire
history of civilizations, people have always resisted slavery and conquest,
regardless of the technological superiority of the invaders. If any doubt, take
notice of the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and
In sum, any individual, group, or nation has the inalienable
right to resist foreign occupation regardless of all existing conditions. By
the same standard, it is the inalienable right of individuals, groups, or
nations to express solidarity with the people of an occupied country, or even
fight in its war of liberation.
To debate this matter, and since resistance against foreign
occupiers of a land is a matter of personal choice, then even �Zarqawi� had the
right to exercise that option in occupied Iraq, in spite of his political or religious
inclinations. In defense of this position, I would argue that subjective
objections, reductionist counter-argument, or circumlocutory spins to void this
conclusion would not change the essence of the matter, i.e., people have the
right to resist foreign military occupations anywhere.
On the other hand, if Zarqawi existed and he committed all
the crimes attributed to him, and if the U.S. or independent groups can prove
this, then we should have no problem in denouncing his brutal legacy and celebrate
his blessed death. Yet, neither the U.S. nor anyone else has ever proved
anything on this issue. All that we have heard from Bush, et al, were
allegations, stories, spins, and rumors. To support this view, I can only say
this: since Bush based his entire imperialist enterprise in Iraq on lies and
deception, it is axiomatic that no successive stages of that same enterprise
can develop without more lies and deception.
Moreover, a multitude of writers, including anti-empire
critics, feel entitled to decree who must and who must not fight U.S. military
occupation of Iraq. This is a dead-end quest. In fact, from the viewpoint of an
anti-colonialist struggle, it is selfish and a shortsighted political praxis.
For instance, if solidarity with the occupied Iraqis is contingent upon the
condition that no elements designated by the United States as �enemies,�
�terrorists,� or �extremists� should be present in the struggle, then the
entire political discourse on the American onslaught on the Arab states is
hypocritical. Simply, how can these writers endorse two contrasting things at
the same time: opposing U.S. conquest of Iraq and Afghanistan, but believing in
the ideological gimmicks used to achieve them?
Regarding the composition of the Iraqi resistance, it is
fundamental to stress that the U.S. list of exclusions is politically
motivated. In essence, the U.S. blacklists anyone who resists the occupation.
For example, when the contradictory Shiite cleric, Muqtada
al-Sadr, criticized the occupation, the U.S. invented the story that he killed
Majeed al-Kowie, a pro-occupation Azeri cleric, and sought to prosecute him
through his Shiite comrades. But, when Muqtada, declared a truce with the AOR
(American Occupation Regime), the U.S. called him a firebrand cleric.
Afterwards, when Muqtada rose against the occupation, the U.S. changed his
adjective to, �radical.� Then, after he kept a low profile and stopped talking
against the AOR, the U.S. just called him, the �Shiite cleric.� The latest:
When the U.S. tried to provoke an inter-Shiite conflict (as happened in the
city of Diwaniya on August 29), American name-callers went back and branded him
as the �anti-U.S.� cleric, etc.
The case of Harith al-Dhari (an Arab Sunni Muslim) who
presides over the Association of Muslim Scholars is even more eloquent.
Al-Dhari has been very consistent since the first day U.S. forces set foot in
Iraq: he uncompromisingly rejected the occupation regime and wanted the U.S. to
withdraw its forces. What did the U.S. call him because of his resolute stand?
U.S. commanders and media invariably called him, �the Sunni hardliner, etc.�
As expected, the U.S. blacklisted all legitimate Iraqi
forces that oppose its occupation, including Baathists, former Iraqi army
personnel, resistance movements inspired by Islam, nationalist movements,
fervently Islamist forces, and ordinary people who cannot co-exist with or
accept the occupation regime. What did the U.S. expect from its blacklists? No
need to speculate: to induce the American public into thinking that anyone,
whom the U.S. accuses of resistance, is a �terrorist� and an enemy of the new
�freedom� it gave to Iraq.
Again, why do critics of the U.S. in Iraq also oppose these
forces? The general assumption is that the Iraqi resistance does not have strong
credentials as a resistance movement. Of course, this is U.S. propaganda. The
fact that the legitimate president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was a despot and
even a dictator has no relevance in relation to the motives of the invasion and
subsequent occupation. The important thing is that other Baath Party members
and constituents have a national agenda and have the right to liberate their
country. The same discourse is valid for all other Iraqi forces regardless of
political or religious beliefs.
To repeat, it is unsettling to see progressive writers
insist on certain qualifications for resistance fighters. Concisely, the theory
that anti-occupation forces should have a pedigree of political purity or
�democratic� credentials before earning a privileged entrance into the
resistance is duplicitous at best. In fact, there is no relation between
resistance to a foreign occupation and the political inclinations of the
resisters. As a nation is diverse, so is its resistance movement.
Further, if we put preconditions on the resistance, then we
are inevitably following the Zionist tactics in Palestine, where the settler
state decreed that it could not live with an independent Palestinian state on
its side unless this state vows to adopt western-style �democratic�
institutions. As you know, this is a bogus condition. The issue is not the
nature of a future Palestinian political system but the occupation.
Furthermore, if we accept the simplistic
intellectualizations on who should or should not resist, then who would remain
to resist the occupation?
I would submit that no one would volunteer or bear arms to
free Iraq from the American military occupation except those whom the U.S.
occupied, killed, and tortured, i.e., the Iraqis themselves. This is especially
true, when we consider a few important factors. First, a majority of the Iraqi
Arab Shiite are accepting slaughter by American death squads rather than
fighting the invaders, and the objective of their clerics (Hakim, for example) is
a Shiite Emirate under U.S. instigation and Israeli planning. Second, Iraqi
Kurds, communists, some secular Sunnis, as well as, the Sunni Muslim Brothers,
have become the tools of U.S. colonialism in Iraq. Well, if we subtract all
these groups from our calculation, who would remain to resist?
To conclude, when a nation is under occupation, all or any
one of its citizens have the right to recover their lost sovereignty and the
right to exist without foreign domination. If principles matter, we must support
even an uprising by one individual, if that individual does not want to live
under foreign military domination.
Inevitably, this brings us back to Zarqawi. If we are to
accept the indoctrination imparted by the Bush Regime that any Iraqi or Arab
fighting its occupation of Iraq is a �terrorist,� �Zarqawist,� �Qaedaist,�
�Baathist,� or whatever, then the resulting political discourse is futile at
inception. It would prove two things simultaneously: 1) the success of U.S.
imperialism despite its criminal conduct and moral bankruptcy, and 2) our
failure despite our political awareness.
As stated, if �Zarqawi� or any one else wanted to fight in
Iraq against the American occupation, then where is the problem? We should
remember that solidarity with the oppressed, the occupied, and the
disenfranchised has always been present in human history.
The great American novelist Ernest Hemingway led by example.
He sided (as a reporter and photographer) with the Republicans (Loyalists)
against the fascists of Francisco Franco (supported by the United States, among
others) during the Spanish Civil War. Ernesto Che Guevara abandoned his
position as a minister in the Cuban government to lead Latin America�s uprising
against feudal governments supported and financed by the CIA. Cuba sent forces
to Angola to fight against UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, whom the United States
financed to destabilize the post-independence leftist government in Angola.
And, when Israel attacked Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in 1967, Iraq, Morocco,
etc., sent forces in support of the attacked nations.
Based on the foregoing premises, developing a discussion on
Zarqawi requires, therefore, that we apply ample width, breadth, and depth in
our thinking and analytical tools. For instance, take the creation of a name
such as Zarqawi and relate it to a myth -- in this case, �Islamic terrorism.�
As you know, in myths personal names do not matter; what matters is the
continuation of the myths.
For example, a few days after the U.S. announced the �death�
of Zarqawi, American commanders in Iraq announced the name of his successor,
al-Masri. But despite the clamor about the change of command in the al-Zarqawi
group, the daily mass destruction of the Iraqis continued but without anyone
ever mentioning the name of al-Masri. Why is that? First, the U.S. did not have
time to drum up the name of al-Masri, and second, the U.S. came up with a
better hoax: unknown Shiite militias or the �Mahdi Army� of al-Sadr are doing
the killing . . .
Yet, despite the �death� of Zarqawi and the circulation of
the name of his successor, the daily mass killing of Iraqis continued, but
without ever the name of al-Masri mentioned (during the month of July alone,
the Iraqi �government� announced that over 3,500 Iraqis died violently.)
Because an organization such as �al-Qaeda� cannot evaporate over night, then
where is al-Masri? Bush came up with another substitute hoax: Shiite militias
tied to Iran and sectarian violence! Of course, violence exists in Iraq because
the United States initiated it with the invasion and then promoted it from the
first day of the occupation.
But the question that still needs an answer is this: who is
committing the violence while attributing it to this or that side?
Let us reprise for a moment my argument on pretexts. For the
pretext to continue, a myth (hoax) must survive and continue beyond the
termination of the person who represented it. Moreover, it is not a speculation
to affirm that if the name: Zarqawi were not available, the CIA could have come
up with any other name, and then build it up to specification, inflating it by
creating a biography, personal traits, actions, and by highlighting assigned
�evil traits and designs.�
As U.S. Special Forces, gangs, and mercenaries were adorning
the Zarqawi hoax with gruesome killings and explosions in selected parts of
Iraq, and as the U.S. propaganda machine commenced circulating his name, it is
important to recall how far and deep the hoax has traveled. In this regard,
imperialist media, news agencies, the usual analysts, pro-occupation Iraqis,
most Arabs, and many others -- each for his own purpose -- embraced the hoax
and began spreading it as if they were in a trance.
Despite all that, can anyone (excluding supporters,
beneficiaries, and acolytes of U.S. colonialism) verify that Zarqawi was alive
between the day the U.S. announced his existence and the day it announced his
death? Specifically, is it not odd that only the United States and the Qatari
network, al-Jazeera, are the sole sources of information on Zarqawi and
Before answering let us pose more questions. Is it not
equally odd that only the United States knows 1) the URLs where �Zarqawi�
published his Islamist tantrums, and 2) the timing and window of opportunity in
which to view them before they disappeared?
Specifically, why is it that only the U.S. is privy to the
specific instant when a �terrorist� website is born? How do they know where to
look, and who provided them with the web address. Has
any one ever seen or read such a thing called: Zarqawi.org, or Abu-Musaab.net?
It is very possible that these questions will remain forever
unanswered. But asking them is vital for any investigation into what the Bush
administration calls �Arab or Islamic �terrorism.� As a reminder though,
stating that the U.S. has access to all this information thanks to its
intelligence agencies is ludicrous. The cooked intelligence on Iraq prior to
its invasion is the most eloquent response to the administration�s stratagems.
In the end, U.S. claims about intelligence reports verifying rumors or
audiotapes have only one purpose: deceive and silence domestic critics.
So we can shred the Zarqawi hoax, I have to re-ask a
question: can anyone verify that Zarqawi was alive between the day the U.S. announced
his existence and the day it announced his death?
B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist.