"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, June 12, 2006

Peace hopes dim with Occupiers stance

In an article that's headline reads "Peace hopes dim with al-Qaeda stance" Michael Georgy in the Irish Times reports that Al-Qaeda's promise to continue attacks means that although "Iraqi leaders and their closest ally US president George W Bush welcomed Zarqawi's death," "no one expects violence to ease."

There are a few niggling problems with this sort of framing of the war. Firstly, I doubt Al-Qaeda's response to the killing of Zarqawi was ever going to be anything less than violent. In fact it would have been justified to predict attacks would increase significantly in the short term. Secondly, there is obviously something slightly 'suspicious' about Iraqi leaders having military occupiers as their closest allies. Thirdly, predicting violence will not subside suggests that Al-Qeada are the controlling factor of violence in Iraq. This is not the case, the majority of Iraq's resistance is home grown, and attacks are primarily directed against foreign troops and increasingly towards Iraqi police and military who are seen to be in collusion with the occupiers.

Michael Jansen reported in the Irish Times, only several days ago, "Although al-Qaeda in Iraq has been considered public enemy number one by the US, it has never been a mainstream Iraqi resistance organisation and, with no more than 10 per cent of the total resistance fighters, it remains one of the smaller factions opposing the US occupation."

The Sunday Telegraph reported in late 2005 the results of a secret poll undertaken by the British MoD, the results were a damning indication of the lack of support for coalition occupation. The poll found that "up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks [on British troops] and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country."

Which also supports the findings of a report conducted by The Center for Strategic and International Studies at the end of 2004. It concluded that the Iraqi insurgency was "largely domestic in character, and had significant popular support," while the number of attacks on Coalition Forces accounted for approximately 75% of all attacks.

The November 2005 National Survey of Iraq Report found that over 60% of Iraqis opposed US occupation and the majority of these were 'strongly' opposed.

Dr. Khalid Ibrahim of the Iraqi Human Rights Organisation, a strong supporter of the present puppet government, has admitted that "of course, all Iraqis do not want occupation and want to end it." [For a short exchange with Dr. Khalid Ibrahim visit the archive]

The same MoD poll found that most Iraqis thought that in the event of a coalition withdrawal there would be a a) decrease in violence b) increase in security c) improvement in public services d) decrease in inter-ethnic violence and e) increased co-operation within the Parliament.

It seems Iraqis have consistently voiced their opinions on the occupiers. And with the occupiers refusal to draw up a timetable for withdrawal, it is more likely that "Peace hopes dim with occupiers stance."

[cross posted at Indymedia.ie]