We often hear, from apologists of the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq, that the insurgents are largely freedom-hating Al Qaeda types, or stooges sent from mischievious Iran. Both myths have taken a fall recently, and are helped on their way by an article in today's Guardian. As it turns out, all of the main Sunni insurgents, (excluding Al Qaeda and the Ba'athists), are actually fighting against the occupation, and the Vichy-like regime that has been instituted as a consequence. The Sunni groups are planning to form a united political front after the occupation ends:
Leaders of the three groups, who did not use their real names in the
interview, said the new front, which brings together the main Sunni-based armed
organisations except al-Qaida and the Ba'athists, had agreed the main planks of
a joint political programme, including a commitment to free Iraq from foreign
troops, rejection of cooperation with parties involved in political institutions
set up under the occupation and a declaration that decisions and agreements made
by the US occupation and Iraqi government are null and void.
The aim of the
alliance - which includes a range of Islamist and nationalist-leaning groups and
is planned to be called the Political Office for the Iraqi Resistance - is to
link up with other anti-occupation groups in Iraq to negotiate with the
Americans in anticipation of an early US withdrawal. The programme envisages a
temporary technocratic government to run the country during a transition period
until free elections can be held.
Whether the Sunnis are to be believed is another question. Nonetheless, the nominal commitment to free elections, and the nationalist (rather than Islamist, or 'foreign') character of the insurgents aims and origins demolishes the standard propaganda lines that we hear about Iraq being centre-stage for the so-called 'War on Terror'. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that these insurgents are interested in terrorising 'the West' in any respect, except insofar as this latter entity seeks to impose its military domination upon Iraq.
The Coalition declared 'mission accomplished' four years ago, yet still harp on about the need for 'victory' in Iraq. What would a Coalition 'victory' look like? Would it involve the maintenance of a sympathetic puppet regime? The destruction of all nationalist or political movements? The continuation of a 'democracy' that presides over an ungovernable country, wherein politicians hold Parliament in the Green Zone, when they attend at all? One suspects that many Iraqis have had their fill of such 'victories', and, promisingly, many Australians, British, and Americans appear to be in agreement.
There is also an interview with the Iraqi resistance groups.