Baathist Resistance Fighters Highly Organized in Iraq
The Baathist cells hitting American troops in and around Baquba are tightly knit, organized and take direction from a command cell in Diyala. This according to interviews conducted by Knight-Ridder and summarized by Hannah Allam. These guerrillas are a combination of remnants of the Baath military, young volunteers (men and women) who feel harmed by US actions, and foreigners who either were already serving in the Fedayeen of Saddam or who slipped into Iraq in the past few months. At the level of the lower-level cells, at least, there is no contact with al-Qaeda, and the guerrillas scoff at “Wahhabi” ideas. They are, however, more oriented to Sunni Islam than the old-style Baath Arab nationalists typically used to be. Allam’s report, which has not been widely picked up, supports my conviction that most of the violence in Iraq is coming from Arab nationalists, not from foreign al-Qaeda terrorists.