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Major Iraqi Uprising Looming In Near Future

Major Iraqi Uprising Looming In Near Future


By Jay Shaft
Coalition For Free Thought In Media
6/13/03

A real resistance movement seems to be starting up in Iraq. Although the Pentagon and Donald Rumsfeld are blaming attacks against US troops on Saddam supporters and Baath Party members, it looks like a countrywide uprising is starting.

At least 42 U.S. troops have now been killed by assailants since Baghdad fell to American forces on April 9. In the last few weeks the attacks on coalition forces have increased to the point where a soldier being killed is an almost everyday occurrence.

Just yesterday 6/12, and today 6/13, the US killed over 100 resisters in heavy fighting. This is enraging the Iraqi people to new levels. Massive demonstrations and attacks are breaking out all over Iraq today in reaction.

On Sunday 6/8 a US soldier was shot to death at a checkpoint near the Syrian border by a man requesting medical help. "One paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team was killed and a second injured Tuesday afternoon in a rocket-propelled grenade attack while operating a weapons collection point in southwest Baghdad," Central Command said in a press release.

A U.S. army statement said looters travelling in seven vehicles fired on a U.S. patrol in Beiji, north of Baghdad. One vehicle was captured right away and the other six were apprehended after being chased down by an Apache helicopter. Soldiers discovered rifles explosives and anti-personnel mines in the trucks.

U.S. soldiers were also fired on while travelling in a two-vehicle convoy at a traffic circle in the northern city of Mosul. One soldier was slightly wounded, and two men with AK-47 assault rifles were later arrested. In Baghdad, shots were fired from a crowd of around 300 people when U.S. troops detained looters at a warehouse believed to contain munitions.

The week before one soldier was killed and five injured in a rocket propelled grenade attack on the 101st Airborne Division. This is just a small fraction of all the attacks in recent weeks. Many attacks and ambushes are never reported or commanders cover them up.

One U.S. soldier and two Iraqis were killed in a grenade attack on a U.S. tank in central Baghdad Sunday, June 1. Four U.S. soldiers were killed and six others wounded amid a flare up of resistance activity and street violence Monday, May 27.

Iraqi gunmen fired machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades at a convoy of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment near Haditha, 110 miles north-west of Baghdad, a U.S. statement said. Hours later, an explosion rocked a U.S. military convoy on the outskirts of Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding three others and destroying their Humvee.

In the last two weeks the ambushes were concentrated in a few main areas…. around Baghdad, to the west of Baghdad around Falluj and Ramadi, and in the north around Mosul, Balad, Baquba, and Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown and traditional stronghold of support.

I just spoke to a Merchant Marine who was on a supply ship to Basra and Kuwait. He said attacks against troops are a nightly occurrence around Basra. Often it is just random shots in the dark, but he said he has talked to troops who report coming under attack every day.

The US defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, on Monday 6/9 said that more time would be needed to "root out" Saddam loyalists and resolve continuing tensions in Iraq. "Do I think that will disappear in the next month or two? No. Will it disappear when some two or three divisions of coalition forces arrive in the country? No. It will take time to root out the remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime, and we intend to do it."

This mirrors statements Rumsfeld has made in the past about the need to make sure terrorists and pro Saddam troops do not try to rise up against US forces. By declaring all resistance to be the work of these factions, an easy way to put down any uprising is guaranteed.

If at any time in the future there is mobilized and coordinated uprising, it is simple to blame on terrorists or Baathists. Any use of force no matter how extreme could be justified in this context. The fact that the people involved in the uprising were composed of many different factions and beliefs would never be explained.

U.S. troops have staged a series of raids to crack down on guerrilla fighters north of Baghdad, detaining 384 people and suffering four casualties from Iraqi resistance, the U.S. military said on Tuesday. A spokesman said of the four wounded U.S. soldiers, three were evacuated to Germany for medical treatment and one later resumed active duty. A military spokesman said 30 of the Iraqis detained in the raids around the towns of Balad and Baquba on Monday had been confirmed as supporters of Saddam Hussein.

Residents of towns that have been raided and searched are increasingly upset and angry. They are increasingly angry that US forces frisked and strip searched women, lifted their veils, and verbally assaulted many women. Doors are kicked in and troops have reportedly been very rough with many children, holding some at gunpoint for hours, according to several recent reports.

Add to these reasons the facts of almost 6000 children dying a month from starvation, dirty water and simple injuries or lack of medication and you begin to see a groundswell of rage. Two months after Baghdad was taken, there is still no adequate food supply, over 75% of all Iraqis have no access to clean water or sanitation, and millions are unemployed.

The promise to the people to rebuild Iraq and bring more freedom has not happened and the people are increasingly disillusioned. Many have long held hatreds against Americans from years of sanctions and the first Gulf War.

A British company has been hired to protect the DOD employees stationed in Baghdad. It is amazing that the situation is so bad that a foreign company has to provide security for the Defense Department instead of using American troops. A good reason for this is that American troops draw gunfire and grenade attacks wherever they travel in convoy. The high level civilian and military planners would be in too much danger if they were seen surrounded by US forces.

That there should be an uprising in Iraq is inevitable. History shows that occupied people will at some point during occupation respond with guerrilla attacks against occupiers or any symbols of the occupier’s power.

Just look at what has happened in recent history to Israel after the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon were occupied. The Palestinians have used any means available to retaliate, including suicide bombings, rocket attacks, guerrilla sniper attacks, Molotov cocktails, and even children have attacked tanks and armoured vehicles with rocks and bottles. The rock throwing is an example of striking out at symbols of occupying power and authority.

When an occupied country is truly committed to overthrowing an occupier, history shows they will stop at nothing to defeat the occupier. The US got a harsh lesson along these lines in Vietnam. The Viet Cong and the N.V.A. decimated US forces with guerrilla sapper bombings and sneak attacks, rarely leaving bodies behind, so no clear victory could ever be claimed over them.

The Vietnam Conflict is a prime example of what a highly motivated, well-trained, experienced guerrilla faction can do to a traditional, modern military force. The same situation is starting to be played out in Iraq.

The Iraqis have years of combat experience fighting against Iran, and until the latest war started, Saddam maintained the fifth largest standing army in the world. Many of the old Republican Guard faded away into towns and villages during the war, still heavily armed. No one really knows what happened to a majority of the Iraqi Army, it just disappeared like smoke in a desert wind.

Recently reports have filtered out that Saddam’s intelligence and security forces are openly going around trying to recruit for an organized resistance. Many of those approached are Shiite, the faction that opposed Saddam and was severely persecuted for it. The Iraqi intelligence agents have bragged about still being paid by Saddam and proudly displayed their Iraqi government I.D.

All evidence points to a resistance coming together, often because of broken US promises and violence against the Iraqi people. It is a time when feuding factions of Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd seem to agree on one thing. They want the US out of Iraq permanently, no matter what it takes.

If a real resistance does come about the Pentagon will call it an uprising by Saddam loyalists. In reality it will probably a whole cross section of Iraq. It is ironic that the only thing most factions in fragmented Iraq can truly agree on is overthrowing US occupation.

It has already been spread around the world media and press corps that this is a Sadaam loyalist and terrorist uprising. Many news outlets have not even questioned this in any way. The statements from the Pentagon are swallowed and parroted by the mainstream media blindly.

This morning the attacks by US troops on the "terrorist" camps was all over the media. No mention was made of the fact that the people believe they are fighting for freedom. Most of those killed today are Shiite, not Sunni, and not connected to the Baath party in any way

US soldiers face increasing danger as a result of the US policy of long term occupation. Lives will be lost needlessly on both sides and if history tells us anything it is that the uprising and resistance will happen. It is just a matter of how much abuse and oppression the people of Iraq will take first.

From everything that has happened in the last week and especially the last two days it does appear that the major resistance is gathering momentum. The uprising is just beginning if all the reports of resistance and anti-occupation sentiments are on target. It looks like the beginning of major bloodshed and long term fighting.

The US has already proved how brutally they will put down any resistance. The cycle of attacks and retaliations will be bloody and endless. Once this vicious cycle is started it will be almost impossible to end.

***************

- Jay Shaft, Editor, Coalition For Free Thought In Media . Email: freethoughtinmedia@yahoo.com


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