*The Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq does not support violence against occupying US troops, says Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in al-Hayat. The leader of the Badr Corps denounced the remnants of the followers of Saddam who have been striking at US troops as saboteurs. But he insisted that no Iraqi can accept a Western occupation, and said it would be resisted, though peacefully. He added that he thought the Americans themselves were intending to leave Iraq soon, since they know that in international law resistance to occupation is permissible. Regarding Lebanese Hizbullah leader Hasan Nasrallah’s call for jihad against the Americans, al-Hakim said that he was welcome to his views, but that Iraqis did not necessarily agree with them. Al-Hakim said he had been consulting with Lebanese and Bahraini Shiites.
*Paul Bremer, the US civilian administrator of Iraq, has established a criminal court in Baghdad. It will use the statutes of 1969 and 1971, which broadly accord with international norms. Many Iraqi political forces have been calling for Islamic law as the law of the land, and they will resist using these secular statutes (enacted early in the Baath era). – az-Zaman
*Shaikh Ahmad Kubaisi, the Sunni fundamentalist leader of the Iraqi National Movement, has also denounced the attacks on the US soldiers. Ominously, however, his critique was that they are premature. He said the US administration had pledged to leave within 2 years. If the Americans are still there after that time, he said, a resistance could legitimately be mounted against them. The current individual attacks, he said, do not constitute a resistance. He said the Sunnis in Iraq had been marginalized because the US saw them as hostile, and admitted that the Shiites had won out for the moment. He said it was natural for them to be happy about their victory. Even the call to prayer on US-run Iraqi television is chanted according to the Shiite formula, not the Sunni. – AFP
*The French government staged a massive raid on the Peoples’ Mujahidin terrorist organization in France. They said it was about the commission of terrorist acts on French soil. This group has been trying to overthrow the Khomeinists in Iran, in hopes of instituting a form of Islamic Marxism instead. It had been given bases by Saddam Hussein to harass the Iranian state. The group has recently been defended by Daniel Pipes and Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, which is the think tank supported by the America Israel Political Affairs Committee. Why are hardline Zionists in cahoots with a leftist/Islamist terrorist group that was among those who took US embassy personnel hostage in 1979-80? Apparently they hope the People’s Mujahidin can be useful in destabilizing Iran, and are not choosy with whom they get into bed (politically at least).
*Hundreds of demonstrators came out on the 8th night of student protests in Tehran, though the crowd was smaller than in the past. The protests also, however, spread to Isfahan, Mashhad, Kerman, Hamadan, and Tabriz for the first time. The students and their supporters want more individual liberty. The protesters in the provinces also objected to the attacks on the Tehran students last Friday and Saturday by the thugs of the Ansar Hezbollah.