woensdag, oktober 13, 2004

Washington Post acknowledges Iraqi 'resistance' is distinct from Zarqawi

There's an article in the Washington Post today by Karl Vick, 'Insurgent Alliance Is Fraying In Fallujah' that, comme d'habitude, has a headline that is the opposite of what is contained in the article itself. The story is about how native Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah are turning against foreign fighters, and particularly Abu Musab Zarqawi and his Monotheism and Jihad, which has been is responsible for many of the more sadistic attacks in the last few months, especially many of the beheadings. But while locals are indeed turning against the likes of Zarqawi, the headline gives the impression that the insurgency is faltering in the city, which is far from the case.

What is interesting is that the article - and it was carried on page A1 of the Post - concedes that there is a nationalist 'resistance' distinct from the likes of Zarqawi, and, furthermore, that they are getting a little humpty at him and his gang.

'"He is mentally deranged, has distorted the image of the resistance and defamed it. I believe his end is near," Abu Abdalla Dulaimy, military commander of [insurgent group] First Army of Mohammad, said.'

Apparently the rest of the resistance finds the austere brand of Islam being imposed in regions controlled by such fighters as welcome as apples in a bag of Hallowe'en candy. They are also 'repulsed by the atrocities that Zarqawi and other extremists have made commonplace in Iraq.'

'Abu Barra, commander of a group of native insurgents called the Allahu Akbar Battalions, said: "Please do not mix the cards. There is an Iraqi resistance, a genuine resistance, and there are other groups trying to settle accounts. There is also terror targeting Iraqis.

'President Bush, he said, "knows that and so does the government, but they purposely group all three under the tag of 'terrorism.' "

'Barra and other insurgent leaders said the "genuine resistance" is a disciplined force that restricts its attacks to military targets, chiefly U.S. forces. It is motivated, they say, by Iraqi nationalism and humiliation over what it regards as a foreign occupation.'

Now, it has been plain for months that the resistance is largely a nationalist rejectionist uprising - there is no way an average of 80 attacks on US forces a day can go on without extensive local support - and that there is a difference between these insurgents and the terror groups that have perpetrated so many atrocities. But this is the first instance of a mainstream media outlet in the US to acknowledge it that I've found.

Update: The above is backed up by an earlier report (5 October) on Democracy Now, quoting a Kuwaiti newspaper, that sections of the resistance are uniting under a single group to oppose the occupation:

'A leading Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that a number of Iraqi resistance groups are planning on uniting under a single umbrella group to oppose the US presence in Iraq. The paper reports the resistance group will command a total of 7,000 fighters across Iraq.

'In addition, the resistance groups are threatening to take up arms against suspected Al Qaeda leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi unless he stops carrying out attacks against Shiite Iraqis. A source for the new unity group said, "If Zarqawi does not abandon his plans to instigate a sectarian rift, the groups will force him to do so even if that requires taking up arms against him." The group's stance on Zarqawi cast new doubts on the Bush administration's claim that Zarqawi is leading the resistance.

'A new report by Newsday has found that Zarqawi has far less power than portrayed by the U.S. and the media. The paper estimates his group has just 100 members inside Iraq. A new Arab intelligence assessment cited by Newsday determined that Zarqawi does not have the support to carry out all of the attacks that he takes credit for.'

All of this, naturally, makes it that much easier for the Western left to begin openly campaigning for solidarity with the resistance.