Iraqi Analyst Resistance Is Nationalist

Iraqi Analyst: Resistance is Nationalist, Not Foreign

According to al-Jazeera, Baghdad U. Political Scientist Salman al-Jumaili reports that the majority of attacks on Coalition forces in Iraq are carried out by Iraqi nationalist and Muslim radical groups. He adds, “It is important to mention nationalist resistance – among the dead we have found Turkmen and Iraqi Christians as well as Muslims.” Al-Jumaili is crunching the numbers on the backgrounds of guerrillas killed in combat with coalition forces. Almost all of them are Iraqi Muslims, and they come from both Sunni and Shiite families. Their only goal is to expel the US from Iraq. Almost none are properly called “Saddam loyalists” or al-Qaeda, he maintains. Local Iraqi Muslim radicals, he says, form the majority of guerrillas, but the fighters are diverse. There are lots of different militias, who have not much coordinated among themselves. Al-Jazeera notes, “there is some evidence to suggest a few Islamist groups have began to coalesce in recent weeks.” Al-Jumaili says, “There are many differences between the different groups, even between different Islamist resistance forces, but the unifying cause for the struggle is the American occupation.”

Fox Cable News quoted Shiite Ayatollah Abdul Aziz al-Hakim on Tuesday saying that the guerrillas are mainly al-Qaeda. But al-Hakim has self-interested reasons for saying that. He is cooperating with the Americans (he serves on the IGC), so it is in his interest to paint the guerrillas as foreign terrorists who cannot impugn his patriotism. Likewise, the Shiite leaders have to constantly convince their fighters not to engage in reprisal killing of Sunnis, so blaming attacks on foreigners has the effect of reducing communal tension in Iraq. Al-Hakim doesn’t have independent intelligence on the Sunni areas, anyway. Fox Cable News frequently overwhelms reporting with a highly biased editorial slant that misinforms the public.

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