The 2003 U.S. aggression against Iraq has taken Western “progressive” élites, particularly those on the Left by surprise, not because of the violent and criminal nature of U.S.-orchestrated terror against the Iraqi people, but because of the instant rise of the Iraqi Resistance against the unprovoked military and economic against Iraq. While meddling in the affairs of other distant peoples has been a conspicuous feature of the “progressive” élites, their interference in the affairs of the Iraqi people is disturbing and contributing to the suffering of the Iraqi people.
As most people know, the invasion of Iraq was an illegal act of aggression, in violation of international laws and the UN Charter. The ‘Supreme International Crime’ the Nuremberg judges found, was that of unprovoked aggression, because it contains ‘the accumulated evil’ of all war crimes. However, despite all this, Western élites, supported by the mainstream media continue to describe the Iraqi Resistance against the Occupation as “insurgency” in order to justify U.S. “counter-insurgency”.
The Iraqi Resistance is not an “insurgency”. Insurgency is an organized rebellion aimed at overthrowing a legitimate and constituted government by force, such as the Contras, a U.S. proxy terrorist gang used against the legitimate government of Nicaragua in the late 1980s. There is nothing legitimate about the U.S. Occupation and its puppet government in Iraq. The Iraqi Resistance has the support of most Iraqi. One only needs to watch the jubilation of Iraqis at a destroyed U.S. tank or a Humvee to have a sense of Iraqi feelings. This distortion of the truth is part of U.S. psychological warfare not only against the Iraqi people but also against the rest of the world. It denies indigenous Iraqis their right for legitimate national resistance, and it deliberately demonises the armed struggle against the invaders. The presence of “insurgency” implies that the U.S. Occupation is (nonexistent) peaceful and legal, and that the puppet government is legitimate government; it is not imported to Iraq on the back of U.S. tanks and imposed and legitimised by undemocratic and fraudulent elections at gunpoint.
Nationwide credible polls conducted in Iraq recently revealed that more than 82 per cent of Iraqis “strongly opposed” to the presence of the occupying forces in Iraq. Less than 1 per cent of Iraqis think the Occupation forces are responsible for any improvement in security. Reports after reports have revealed that the Occupation is the source of violence and oppression against the Iraqi people. Indeed, the violence being instigated and perfected because it is the only pretext left to justify the ongoing Occupation of Iraq.
Yet, many Western “progressives” and U.S.-controlled media persist on describing the Iraqi Resistance as “insurgency”. Naom Chomsky, an analyst of U.S. foreign policy, wrote recently (Khaleej Times):
“Last January’s elections came about because of mass non-violent resistance, for which the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani became a symbol. (The violent insurgency is another creature altogether from this popular movement.) Few competent observers would disagree with the editors of the Financial Times, who wrote last March that ‘the reason (the elections) took place was the insistence of the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who vetoed three schemes by the US-led occupation authorities to shelve or dilute them’”.
In March 2005 on the same pages of the Khaleej Times Chomsky described the Iraqi Resistance as “bomb throwers”. The Occupation is innocent of any wrong-doing, and the Iraqis are to blame for the violence.
First, Al-Sistani, who is Iranian and lived in Iraq since 1952, views on the Occupation are not different from those of the Iranian regime; that the U.S. forces should withdraw from Iraq after the establishment of an Iranian-controlled Iraqi government. Of course, the longer the U.S. forces engaged in Iraq, the better for Iran. It should be borne in mind that Al-Sistani’s closest allies are the thugs and criminals of the current puppet government, including conman Ahmed Chalabi, who accompanied Al-Sistani for a three weeks visit to London in August 2004. It was precisely the period when U.S. forces violently attacked and destroyed the holy city of Najaf and the Shrine of Imam Ali, and killed very large number of Iraqi civilians. Moreover, is Al-Sistani unaware of the crimes committed by the Iranian-trained Badr Brigade and other U.S. trained death squads? What did Al-Sistani say about the deliberate and indiscriminate destruction of Iraqi cities and towns, including the city of Fallujah and the slaughter of more than 6000 innocent Iraqi civilians?
Second, it is true that there is a non-violent movement in Iraq, which includes: Muslim scholars, academics, unemployed Iraqis, students, workers – including oil workers –, former Iraqi soldiers and teachers. However, most of the leaders of the this movement have been either assassinated, fled the country or are among the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis being imprisoned and tortured in Abu Ghraib and thousands of other U.S.-run prisons throughout Iraq. It is also well-documented that many anti-Occupation Iraqis, including intellectuals, academics, students and prominent politicians have been assassinated by the CIA, Israeli Mossad and the Iranian and U.S.-trained death squads. As an academic and the “world foremost intellectual”, Chomsky has no time to write or to say anything about this. Nowhere Mr acknowledges the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. He directs his accusations at Iraqis, or those he called “somebody else”, as if the 200,000 U.S. forces and mercenaries in Iraq are not “the greatest purveyors of violence in the world”.
Third, everyone knows that the U.S.-staged elections were a smokescreen to manipulate public opinion and divert attention from U.S. crimes and the gradual colonisation of Iraq. The elections were forced on the Iraqi people by more than 200,000 U.S. forces and mercenaries. Since the rise of Western imperialism, elections have been the perfect tools and provide the right propaganda for domestic consumption. Elections during military occupation and lack of sovereignty are “demonstration” elections and had nothing to do with democracy. They were staged to cement sectarian divides and foment violence. “The vote [of the 15 December 2005] is reported to be primarily along sectarian lines, which is not particularly heartening”, said Lt. Gen. John R. Vines the top U.S. Army operational commander in Iraq.
Chomsky has in the past provided useful analysis and information on U.S.-Israeli foreign policy. While he has every right to his own views, he does not have the right to distort the truth and fabricate a distorted argument. The Iraqi people have a legitimate right to self-determination and Resistance against the Occupation. The U.S. invaded Iraq in order to destroy Iraqi society, colonise Iraq and control its resources. The U.S. has to be forced to leave. The armed Resistance against U.S. aggression is legitimate and will continue until U.S. forces and mercenaries withdraw from Iraq.
Finally, it would be very wise if the “progressive” élites, including Chomsky, stop meddling in the affairs of the Iraqi people, and concentrate on their own affairs at home. If the “progressive” élites have any concern about the bloodshed in Iraq and the daily crimes committed against the Iraqi people, they should take a courageous position and insist on the immediate end to the U.S. Occupation of Iraq.
The “progressive” élites, should either take a page from Cindy Sheehan courageous’ position – to save the lives of U.S. soldiers, mostly Black young men –, “or be on the side of the occupying forces trying to prevent [freedom], democracy and sovereignty” in Iraq.
Global Research Contributing Editor Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia