Category Archives: Arab Nationalism

Islam as a Race: A Possible New Deal for the Muslims and the Rest of Us

Some interesting ideas along these lines from a commenter:

Halal Butcher of Lhasa: It’s immaterial. Polygamy is Arab culture sanctified through Islam. Condemning polygamy and sharia law inside Sunni Arabia is like…

1) Poking fun at their greatest national hero Mohamed.

2) Civilizational self denial. Comparatively, it’s like asking Hindus to eat beef or condemn casteism as racism.

To ease the problem (categorically I’m not against Arab nationalism), here’s something I posted at another site:

……………………..

Should Muslims lobby to be recognized a separate race?

The more religious Muslims sure act like a race visually and symbolically through their costume, language of worship, diet.

Now should they lobby to be recognized as a separate race, and for whose sake?

PROS:

If the Muslims were a separate race like the Jews, the less religious Muslims can comfortably become secular or even agnostic and atheist, just like Freud and Marx are still considered Jewish by broad segments of Jewry.

Racial discrimination still carries a more negative tag than other forms of prejudice.

Now religious struggle can hoist the banner of national liberation against foreign aggression. Boko Haram/IS boys are just freedom fighters against foreign fascism.

So Muslims can tell the kufirs, “Look, we are a 1.5 billion+ race, DON’T FUCK WITH US.”

CONS: I can’t name any, except it might heighten Muslims vs kufirs tension immediately.

Other possibilities:

  • a) The Shiites might also declare themselves a race different from that of Sunnis.
  • b) Some Muslim scientists could declare their finding that Koran recital can trigger mutation or racial change.
  • c) Under the banner of ‘We Muslims aren’t racist’ and racial harmony:
  1. i) The secular Muslims can now seek peace with kufirs, chanting M. L. King fashion: ”I have a dream…” or “I’ve been to the Al-Aqsa (Temple Mount) top..”
  2. ii) Traditionally Muslim women don’t marry non-Muslim men, under the new racial setting they could – interracial marriage no big deal, right?
  3. d) The homo Muslims who fight for gay rights under the banner of ‘Gay Jihad’ can dilute the religious controversy and might even give jihad a good name, at least to the liberals.
  4. No pun intended – there really are a number of serious sites on ‘gay jihad’:

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Filed under Arab Nationalism, Culture, Homosexuality, Islam, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Religion, Sex, Shiism, Sunnism

The Old “Arab Israelis Have It So Good” Argument

Malla: Well, I did some research on this and it seems the Mizrahi had a more realistic opinion about Arabs and non Whites in general, while the Ashkenazim (and maybe Sephardics), especially during the early days of Israel, had a more idealistic opinion of the Third World. But the Mizrahi themselves are non-Whites. If Arabs and non-Whites then so are Mizrahis because Mizrahis are just Arabs. Besides, many Ashkenazis came with socialistic ideas of kibbutz farming and hippieness, while the Mizrahi were more realistic.

Check this interesting video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f80NnYflDU8

Check out the Ashkenazi/Mizrahi couple at 6:52. So it seems more Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jews) are more right wing and support predatory violent behavior towards Arabs and Palestinians, while the Ashkenazis (Euro Jews) vote more left and are friendlier to Arabs (idealistic mindset). I do not know how the Sephardics and Ethiopians Jews vote.

Besides, Israel has a massive poverty rate, one of the highest in OECD countries. No wonder they get pissed by migrants from Africa taking way their jobs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SSd0rgTc1E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPuQwFX2J2A

But Israel has an overall high standard of living. Arabs in Israel, in spite of whatever racism they face, have a higher standard of living and social freedoms than most other Arab countries. Only Tunisia and Christian-dominated Lebanon come close in social freedom, and the Gulf states are the only ones who have more income among Arabs.

This is similar to the case in Rhodesia and South Africa where the Blacks had a higher standard of living than Blacks in the rest of the African continent. Or Singapore, where the Indians and Malays have a higher standard of living than Malaysia and definitely (much, much, much) higher standard of living than India thanks to the huge Chinese population. Singapore’s quality of life is comparable to other Chinese majority developed places like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. One may ask that if Anglo-Celts and other Northern Euros never came to Australia would such an Australia (Australia full of only aborigines) be so developed as it is today or it would be more like Papua New Guinea.

It’s pretty bad to compare the surrounding Arabs with New Guineans and Aborigines. The whole Arab World is built up to Hell. They’re all modern countries over there. I have seen photos of Libya before the war, and it looks like Miami. I saw a recent photo of Casablanca, and it looked like LA. I have seen photos of the rest of the region, even war-torn Syria and Iraq, and they look like regular modern countries. There’s not a lot of difference between in the ordinary street scene between Amman, Beirut, Damascus or even Cairo and Tel Aviv. It all looks the same, like any modern built-up country.

There is none of the horrible poverty you see in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Latin America or Black Africa.

Arabs will not tolerate that sort of abject shantytown type poverty. They are basically socialist people who don’t care about money too much and believe that everyone should be well taken care of. Social safety nets are ordinary things in every Arab country. There’s no debate about this sort of thing. They are not individualists. They are collectivists. And they don’t think rich people are better than poor people. They are not particularly greedy, and they have a “We are all part of one village” mindset wherever they live.

Semi-feudalism came late to the Arab World via the Ottomans, and it never worked well. There were landed gentry and fellahin, or landless peasants. Nasser was the man who confiscated the land from the land barons and gave it to the landless peasants. If you went around the whole Arab World back then, even in say Yemen, there was a portrait of Nasser on every wall. Now in Western or Latin American culture, doing that is called Communism, and everyone hates it. But the Arabs love this sort of thing.

Baath nationalist parties came in in Syria and Iraq around 1960, a revolutionary socialist state arose in Libya in 1969, and another one was birthed in Algeria in 1964. Land was confiscated from feudal latifundiaists in all of these place and distributed to the peasants. The governments were all officially socialist, secularization was enforced even at gunpoint if it took that, huge safety nets were set up, and the state even got involved in quite a few of the larger industries and became a major employer. All of this was wildly popular all over the region.

US style radical individualism and Libertarian free market capitalism is totally anathema to all of those societies. For one thing, it goes against Islam, as Islam is a socialist religion. In feudal times, large Arab landowners enlisted the help of the local imams in interpreting parts of the Koran where it said, “Some are rich, and some are poor, and that’s all just fine” or something to that effect, but it never worked well. It ended up turning the local imams into hated figures like the priests of Catholic Church in the West and Latin America who always sided with the rich against the people.

So this whole idea that the Israeli Arabs have it good for having some extra money falls flat on Arab and even Arab Israeli ears. Standard of living is not number one on their list of the most important things in life.

If the Arabs are all so jealous of Israel, why are the non-oil Arabs are not jealous of the oil Arabs? Typical Jews to reduce everything down to money. Arabs don’t care that much about money. They don’t revolve their whole lives around money or sit around hating Jews for having more skyscrapers. That’s not important to your average Arab.

I have never in my life heard one Arab tell me they were jealous of Israel.

In Palestine, White European racist fascists invaded the region, started wars with everyone around them, and, being high IQ, produced a developed economy. So what? These jerks get brownie points because they are rich? I’m supposed to love them because they’re rich and hate those Arabs because they’re poor?

The commenter is an Indian, that’s why he thinks that way. We are socialists here; we don’t think like this. Actually I think the more money someone has, the worse of a person he tends to be, but that’s just me.

All of these arguments were used by the South Africans who practiced a very similar White settler-colonial project far after this stuff went out of style.

Arabs in Israel are not happy people. They’re angry, and they have no loyalty to the state at all. The Jewish fascists say the Arabs are traitors, and the Jews are actually correct on that score. Indeed they have no loyalty to the state and do not even see themselves as Israelis.

The similarities between Israel and apartheid South Africa are striking. It’s notable that Israel was long one of South Africa’s strongest allies, and towards the end, it was one of their only allies. Arab Israelis are are institutionally treated as second class citizens in exactly the same way the Blacks were under apartheid. 

Were those Blacks happier on their South African Nigger Plantation because they had a higher standard of living? They were not, but this was the argument that was used to show that they were happy Negroes toiling away cheerfully in the sun for their beloved White slavemasters. Similarly, South Africa moved into the neighborhood and in a matter of time, like Israel, it was soon also embroiled in wars with most if not all of its neighbors. Similarly, South Africa, like Israel, had zero friends in the region.

Blacks in South Africa and Arabs in Israel don’t want money and stuff. White Gentiles and Jews only care about money, and they don’t care about humans, so they think everyone else feels that way too. But they don’t. People want to be free, even if being free means not having as much stuff. Stuff doesn’t make people happy. You can keep giving your slave the latest gadgetry in his slave quarters, but he’s still not a free man.

Same with South Africa. Hey look, these White European racist fascists came in here and built up the region and made a big economy because they have higher IQ’s! So what. I am supposed to like them more because they are rich and hate those Africans because they are poor? I realize this is Indian thinking, but we socialists do not think that way.

Arabs have more political rights in all of the Arab World. In the Arab World, they are not systematically discriminated against due to their religion or ethnicity.

I would argue that those Arabs in Israel do not want all of those social freedoms. Freedom to do what?

And what social freedoms do they have there that they do not have in the rest of the region? How are the social freedoms of Arab Israeli Christians better than those of Arab Christians in Lebanon or Syria? Someone needs to clue me.

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More on Israel and Its Neighbors, or How Christians Invented Suicide Bombing

Jason Y: So do you think Israel is more hated by its neighbors and people it oppresses than by the neighbors of Apartheid South Africa and the people it oppressed? Possibly the settler colonies run by Europeans had a mix of NAM’s who either liked them or didn’t. Perhaps Israel is unable to win any friends at all among NAM’s.

It’s because of how they act! South Africa, same thing. Look at how they acted.

First of all, about half of Israeli Jews are affectively NAM’s themselves! 50% of the Jewish population of Israel are Mizrachi Jews. These are the Jews of the Arab World. They are pretty much just Arabs who happen to be Jewish. Their culture is Judeo-Islamic as the Ashkenazi culture is Judeo-Christian. They lived around Muslims so long that they become rather Islamicized culturally.

Most of them have become some of the most fanatical Israelis of them all, but that’s another story, and they’re not all like that. They are caught between two worlds. They really are just Arabs who practice a different religion like Arab Christians. They have  IQ’s to match. Their IQ’s are ~90. Apparently they never went through the brutal selection for intelligence that occurred under Talmudic Ashkenazi Jews from 1000-1800. High Jewish IQ is the result of a direct selection for intelligence. However, now most of them ferociously deny being Arabs to the point where if you call a Mizrachi Jew an Arab, you might get punched.

There are not many non-Jews over there who liked Israel. There are practically no Arabs who like them. No Iranians like them. Even Turks and Greeks hate them, and they are not even in the neighborhood.

The Israelis are bullies. Have you ever noticed what happens when bullies bully lots of victims for long periods of time leaving the victims with no way whatsoever to fight back? The amount of absolutely insane and frequently homicidal rage that builds up in victims that are not allowed to fight back is terrifying. This is what is going on with the Arabs and Israel.

There some Israeli Druze who fight in the Israeli Army. Why the Israeli Druze support Israel, I have no idea because the Syrian, Lebanese and Golan Druze hate them with insane fervor. And Druze are so weird that if you ask me, they’re not even Muslims. That religion is completely outside of Islam for all intents and purposes, and Druze are very secular people.

Many Israeli Bedouins have sided with Israel for some crazy reason even though the Israelis treat them horrifically.

The Maronites in Lebanon have long been Israeli allies for complex reasons. For one, they hate Arabs with a passion, especially Muslim Arabs, and they insist that they are not Arabs, even though they are. They say they are “Phoenicians.” It’s bull.

The Gamalist Maronites are the people who first brought fascism to Lebanon. I mean the real deal. The ancestors of the present day leaders were open Nazi sympathizers. One had Nazi flags in his locker at school. I suppose they hate Arabs and Muslims and Israelis do too, so there’s your alliance. For many years, they served as a proxy army for Israel in Israeli-occupied South Lebanon. Many of them went to Israel after the occupation ended because they were afraid they would be killed as traitors in their own country. Incidentally, this Occupation is what created Hezbollah. That’s right. Hezbollah is Israel’s baby.

Now since then, this group of Maronites still hates Hezbollah, but things have calmed down. In the 1996 Israel-Lebanon War, the Maronites were officially neutral. Mostly they set up checkpoints outside their neighborhoods. They said they were defending them against Hezbollah. After that war had gone on for a while, even the neutral and formerly pro-Israel Gamalist Maronites started getting mad, and they said if they wear did not stop soon, they would take up arms against Israel themselves. They said they would not fight with Hezbollah but instead would fight separately.

A separate group of Maronites, the Aounists, are in an alliance with Hezbollah for some years now. So about half of even the Maronites in Lebanon are allied with Hezbollah!

During that war, the Israeli army went into a Christian village in South Lebanon in the middle of the night. They got about halfway into the village. The Lebanese Army was in the village and knew the Israelis were there but refused to come out and fight. That’s because the Lebanese Army is pretty useless.

The village appeared to be deserted. Every light in town went off when the Israelis came in and the whole place went dead silent. It was rather eerie. The Israelis got halfway inside the village, when out of nowhere the whole village opened fire on them with automatic weapons out of complete darkness. The Israelis rapidly retreated from this village. This village is 100% Greek Orthodox Christians.

There is a party with its own army called SSNP which is pretty much the party and army of the Greek Orthodox Christians in the region. It was SSNP who opened up on the Israelis. The SSNP are some of the most crazed and fanatical Israel-haters of them all, and they’re all Christians! During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, we saw mass suicide bombings for the first time. For some time, almost all of these suicide bombings were the work of SSNP fighters, often women. So you see that the suicide bombing phenomenon was largely started by Christians! If you want to know why the SSNP hate Israel so much, it’s because they are some of the craziest Arab nationalists of them all.

Israeli officers work alongside Turkish, US, British, Saudi, and Qatari officers inside Syria alongside Saudi, Qatari, US, British and Jordanian officers in Jordan to help the Syrian rebels. One of the main groups that those officers are helping in Jordan and Syria is Al Qaeda.

That’s one of the reasons Arabs on the street often hate the Saudi, Qatari, and Jordanian governments – they work with the Israeli military.

The Israelis and the Saudi Royal Family have long had some crazy alliance. I have no idea what it’s all about.

The Israelis and Jordan have some sort of an alliance.

Egyptian and Israeli officers work together in the Sinai at the Gaza border. That’s one reason a lot of people hate Sisi. His army works with the Israeli military.

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Watching ISIS Videos

That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days. I do not like the execution videos, and I have seen enough executions anyway.

But there are a lot of really cool combat videos, and those are really cool to look at. Basically firefights with automatic weapons, RPG’s, machine guns, technical vehicles with guns, various types of mortars, rockets, and antiaircraft guns. There is a fair amount of night fighting, which is a trip.

It’s just guys shooting at each other and blowing stuff up, so you hardly see any gore in the battle videos. However, at the end, sometimes they go to the position that they overran, and among all of the other things present at the camp there are typically the dead bodies of some of the folks that ISIS is fighting. They also have really cool music in the background. There are interviews with ISIS fighters, but I have no idea what they are saying.

The worst ISIS of all seem to be in Iraq. They look like a bunch of very, very pissed off guys. Boy are they mad!

The one thing that shines right through their rage and hatred is one word…revenge. ISIS in Iraq seems to be out for revenge. For what I am not sure, but 30% of ISIS in Iraq is former Iraqi military. I assume they are still angry that their country and leader was taken away from them in a US invasion and conquest whereby afterwards, an Iranian puppet regime was put in in place. The Iraqi Army was transformed from a radical Arab nationalist and pro-Sunni organization into a mostly Shia and objectively anti-Shia force. The Shia militias which operate separately from the Iraqi Army are particularly despised.

I have heard that the many of the people in back of ISIS at the very top are Baath Party people and former Iraqi military. Obviously they are out for revenge for the last 13 years. They want paybacks, and paybacks are a bitch.

The ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan don’t seem to be as pissed off, but I have not watched a lot of their videos out of Syria.

There’s nothing to be worried about watching these videos. I am sure that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people watch at least some of those videos. I know that the site I found the videos on is a US site, and almost all of the commenters have a savage hatred of ISIS. So the idea that watching ISIS videos means you’re a terrorist is crap. I would say far more ISIS haters watch their videos than ISIS supporters.

Just for the record, I utterly hate these scumbuckets, and if it ever comes down to it, I will grab an automatic weapon myself and try to kill them.  I am very much afraid of death, but dying fighting for your homeland and lifestyle against these hellions would actually be worth it. I would rather die fighting them than live under their rule, let’s put it that way, ok?

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 7 – Regional Tendencies

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance, a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright, but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here. Note that this material is copyrighted, and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this work, email me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long in total. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad to 2004 and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and false analysis, but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get rather “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can somewhat sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game, but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece.

REGIONAL CHARACTERISTICS

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Ramadi, Khaldiya and Habbaniyah west to Husaybah on the Syrian border in Al Anbar Province: Much of Iraqi resistance around Ramadi and the part of Anbar Province west of Ramadi (Hadithah, Hit, Husaybah) is coming from Sunni tribes, often nationalist and Islamist; many are either not fighting for Saddam or are openly anti-Saddam. Almost 100% support in the towns of Ramadi, Husaybah, Rawah and Khaldiya. There are some pro-Saddam elements in this region, especially around Ramadi, Khaldiya and Husaybah. Some Ramadi cells cooperate with other cells in Baghdad.

Anti-Saddam nationalists dominate in Ramadi, Khaldiya and Habbaniyah. A number of suspected Islamist guerrilas were arrested in Rawah. Many police in Ramadi support the resistance and most of Husaybah’s police have refused to show up for work since the local police chief was assassinated in 10-03. In 12-03, Ramadi’s police were also refusing to show up for work. Ramadi police sometimes refuse to assist US soldiers who are being attacked by guerrilas. By 1-04, the cities of Husaybah, Ramadi, Khaldiya and Rawah had gone completely over to the resistance. MA is quite prominent in Ramadi – they may have had up to 1,000 fighters in there in 12-03.

Major General Charles Swannack, in charge of Anbar Province, said that 90% of the attacks in Anbar Province are Saddam loyalists or “Wahhabis” (apparently US military propaganda for Iraqi Islamists) and 10% are foreign fighters. His estimates would appear to be incorrect, and Swannack is an unreliable witness anyway. Ramadi is now one of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. After foreign fighters are smuggled across Iraq’s border, they are often transported first to Ramadi. Ramadi, Khaldiya, Habbaniyah and Husaybah are extraordinarily hostile towns and some of the hottest war zones in Iraq.
*****

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Fallujah Area: Iraqi resistance in Fallujah is tribal and Islamist, often with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. There are both former Baathists and Islamists present in the resistance but all are led by sheikhs. There are a very high percentage of former Iraqi military amongst the guerrilas here. Islamists dominate. 80% support in town. Numerous resistance groups of variable ideology are based in town. The Fallujah resistance cooperates with the resistance in Mosul and Baghdad at the very least. There have definitely been some foreign fighters active here, but the number does not appear to be very large.

Only about 50% the population ever supported Saddam even when he was in power, and Baathists were never popular in town. Consequently, the majority of the resistance in Fallujah is either not fighting for Saddam or openly anti-Saddam. On the other hand, there is indeed a large pro-Saddam contingent here. The local police are almost all sympathetic to the resistance and often refuse to help US troops search for or fight guerrilas. General Swannack, who is in charge of Fallujah, has estimated total guerrila strength, as of 11-03, in Fallujah alone at anywhere from 1,000-20,000, but Swannack is not a very reliable witness.

Swannack’s former figure seemed to include actual combatants while the latter figure seemed to include active collaborators. 20,000 active guerrilas in Fallujah alone is not an unreasonable estimate at all. By 12-03, Fallujah was essentially in the hands of the resistance. The US had withdrawn to fortified bases outside of town and rarely entered the town proper. By that time, Fallujah was considered the most dangerous town in Iraq and most Westerners were steering clear of the area.

After Saddam’s capture, Fallujah was in open rebellion and most local government buildings were destroyed. guerrilas appeared openly on the streets without their masks, carrying their RPG launchers and AK-47’s in plain sight. This sort of brazen openness is rarely seen amongst Iraqi guerrilas and indicates the degree to which the resistance controls the town. It is also a terrible symptom of an entrenched insurgency. The capture of Saddam appeared to split the resistance into pro-Saddam and Islamist factions. Fallujah, along with Ramadi, is one of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. After foreign fighters are smuggled across Iraq’s border, they are often transported first to Fallujah.
******

****
Baghdad and surrounding area: Resistance in Baghdad proper is a mixed bag of anti-Saddam nationalists, Sunni Arab tribal Islamists such as MA, Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters. The latter two seem to be responsible for most of the more spectacular attacks. Some of the mortar attacks on CPA headquarters in 11-03 were done by a group of former Baathists who are now anti-Saddam. Some cells in Baghdad communicate with those in Ramadi, Fallujah, Diyala Province and Tikrit. The Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Adhamiyah and Amiriyah are particularly hostile. Adhamiyah has 100% support for the resistance. After Saddam’s capture, wild demonstrations were staged in the Amiriyah and Adhamiyah Districts.

Unmasked armed guerrilas brazenly took part in these violent demos. Whenever guerrilas are able to move about in populated areas, especially cities, in broad daylight, this is typically a symptom of an entrenched insurgency. Police in many Baghdad neighborhoods refuse to investigate or even receive any citizen tips regarding resistance fighters.

These police say fighting the guerrilas is not their job – it is the job of US troops, not them. Yet a substantial number of Baghdad residents do support the Occupation and the puppet US Governing Council and oppose the resistance. Anti-resistance, pro-US, pro-Governing Council forces are probably stronger in Baghdad than anywhere else in Iraq outside the Kurdish Zone.
****

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Salah-al-Din (Salahuddin) Province south of Balad: The resistance in this area is almost exactly like the resistance in Diyala Province. Pro-Saddam elements are quite prominent around Dujayl although there has been only moderate resistance in town. This area is very mixed Sunni Arab-Shia Arab. The Shia appear to be sitting out the war, although whether they are siding with the US or not is not known.

Many police in Bani Sad support the resistance. The local ICDC in Mashahidah is at least partly infiltrated. Pro-Saddam elements are quite prominent around Tarmiyah, Dujayl and Mashahidah. Around Mashahida, armed guerrilas have even operated guerrila roadblocks on occasion. The entire area from Taji and Rashidiyah up towards Balad is an extremely hot war zone with continuous attacks.
****

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Diyala Province: Same as Ramadi/Khaldiya above, but with less pro-Saddam influence. The resistance here is made up of Sunni Arab tribes associated with Saddam’s faith campaign, former Iraqi military, ordinary Iraqis angry about the Occupation, some foreign fighters (often more Arab nationalists than Islamists), and some Saddam Fedayeen, Baath Party members, etc. The resistance here is mostly anti-Saddam. MA is very big in this region and they reportedly have an all-female battalion in this province.

There is a certain amount of Shia resistance (but not much) in Baqubah for some odd reason; a Shia preacher was arrested for storing weapons in his mosque. Many police in Baqubah support the resistance. Pro-Saddam elements are prominent in Baqubah. As of 12-03, the Sunni villages east of Baqubah and the town of Jalula were pretty much controlled by guerrilas. Iraqi Islamist guerrilas have been arrested in Jalula and Baqubah. The nationalist resistance is quite strong here. The area around Baqubah is extremely hot with continuous, often deadly, attacks.

Abu Saidah, a town to the northeast, is the scene of continuous attacks, although it is a Shia town. Most attackers in Abu Saidah are Sunnis who come to Abu Saidah from south of town to attack US troops. US troops arrested an incredible 20,000 men in Baqubah city alone in 12-03 on suspicion of being guerrilas, to give an example of how hot this city is. In 2-04, there were reports that the entire city of Baqubah was now resistance-controlled, even the Shia areas.
****

*****
Balad Area: Resistance in Balad area is exclusively Sunni and exists only in the ring of villages surrounding Balad and not Balad city itself. The city of Balad is made up of Shia who are cooperating with the US. The resistance in the Balad area is highly variable, some are pro-Saddam, some are Islamists, some are nationalists, and some are seeking revenge for various acts by US troops; many fighters display some variable mixture of any of these 4 elements. A highly religious Sufi (Sunni) Islamist element is active in the resistance here. The resistance here is not uniform ideologically, and it is very loosely structured. Often fighters will go out on a mission and meet other local fighters who they do not even know.

Fear of arrest has kept the resistance for coalescing much in this area. Almost 100% support in these villages. The Iraqi police are completely infiltrated in these villages, and almost 100% of them are active in the resistance when they are off-duty. By 1-04, US forces considered the Iraqi Police in this area to be unreliable. Soldiers had stopped using the local police for guard duty and soldiers no longer went on joint patrols with local police. In 2-04, a local police chief was in jail in Balad for involvement in the resistance. This area has been thoroughly hostile since Spring 2003 and is one of the hottest war zones in Iraq.

In 9-03, US troops under the control of US Colonel Sassaman, began borrowing heavily from Israeli tactics in the Occupied Territories to use a variety of repressive, mostly illegal, measures against the local population. A number of the villages surrounding Balad, such as Abu Hishma, have been ringed in barbed wire, ID cards have been issued to all residents, onerous curfews have been imposed, and all entry or exit to the villages is through a US or ICDC Army checkpoint.

182 leaders in Abu Hishma have been forced to illegal documents stating that they agree to go to prison on charges of aiding the insurgency if there is even one attack in their zone. By 1-04, the situation had deteriorated further under Sassaman.

Troops had introduced the legally and morally dubious Vietnam-era practice of H & I Fire, or Harassment and Interdiction Fire, whereby US forces simply drop bombs or fire artillery rounds at random towards certain areas, populated or not, thought to be sympathetic to guerrilas. This fire is typically not in response to a particular guerrila attack – it is just random fire and can be launched at any time.

Sassaman’s troops routinely raided offices of the local human rights committees and other locals who were engaging in peaceful protest by criticizing the US Occupation. Critics of the US military in the region were routinely raided and hauled off on (usually false or dubious) terrorism charges, that is, when troops bothered to charge them with anything at all.

During the course of these detentions, arrestees were usually beaten, often badly, and torture of varying degrees was common. Sassaman’s troops routinely smashed up many of the homes they raided, regardless ofwhether the inhabitants were cooperative during the search or not. They had borrowed the Israeli practice of unnecessarily smashing through walls to go from house to house. The upshot of all of this is that the Balad area had been turned into a US military dictatorship under Colonel Sassaman. By 1-04, some parts of this region had been decimated by US arrests, with up to ¼ of the local men in prison as suspected guerrilas.
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Samarra Area: Once again, the resistance here is similar to that in Diyala Province and far southern Salah-al-Din Province. The resistance here is mostly secular, and although many say they are fighting for their religion, that phrase often refers to a more secular version of Islam. The secular grouping includes Baathists, nationalists, and those who want revenge for family members harmed by the US. The Baathists in Samarra tend to be more old-line Arab nationalist Baathists, and many are anti-Saddam. The Islamist faction is active here but definitely in the minority.

Samarra was not treated well by Saddam’s regime, so there are only a few regime supporters amongst the resistance in this area – most of the resistance is either not fighting for Saddam or is actively anti-Saddam. Former Iraqi military, including high-ranking officers, are active in the resistance here. There is 90% support amongst the population. Many Iraqi police here support the resistance, and the police force appears to be at least partly infiltrated. The local ICDC troops cover their faces with bandannas to hide their identities because the town is so pro-resistance. By 11-03, the US had withdrawn from most of its bases in town and only entered Samarra in large armored contingents.

Shia make up a minority in this town, known for its Shia religious shrines. These Shia appear to support the resistance, at least passively, but the full extent of their actual involvement, if any, is not known. Capt. Matthew Cunningham of the 4th Infantry Division estimated in 12-03 that there were 1,500 guerrilas in and around Samarra. By 12-03, Samarra was essentially guerrilla-controlled. Most of the fighters in Samarra were from Muhammad’s Army, which, considering the secular, anti-Saddam and Arab nationalist nature of Samarra, is further evidence against MA being either an Islamist or Saddam loyalist formation.
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Tikrit and surrounding area: Resistance in Tikrit is pro-Saddam, although a few Tikritis are anti-Saddam. There is almost 100% support in town. This strongly pro-Saddam element extends from Tikrit up to Baijii, over to Hawija and down to around Balad. The police force has been at least partly infiltrated with guerrila spies and active guerrilas since 8-03. An on-duty Iraqi police officer who was holed up with guerrilas in a Tikrit home participated in an attack on US troops on 2-8-04 and was killed in the attack.

Iraqi police were suspected of direct involvement after a foiled roadside bomb attack in Tikrit on 2-2-04 in which an on-duty Tikrit fireman was also arrested. The resistance in most of the towns surrounding Tikrit is pretty much the same as in Tikrit. Tikrit has had an absolutely hostile feel about it since 5-03 and is still one of the most hostile cities in Iraq. Despite many media reports after Saddam’s capture about how Tikrit was improving, Tikrit has remained an utterly hostile town.

This fact was illuminated by the stark, brutally frank note a US officer left in 2-04 for troops coming to replace him: “What they have to understand is that most of the people here in Tikrit want us dead, they hate us and everything we stand for and will take any opportunity to cause us harm.”

Strangely, a fair number of the local police force do not appear to sympathize much with the resistance and often actively assist US soldiers. The Tikrit area has been a very active war zone for many months now. Some Tikrit cells communicate with other cells in Baghdad. Awja, Saddam’s hometown outside Tikrit, was surrounded with barbed wire for many months, and all residents were required to have ID cards and go through a checkpoint to enter or leave town.
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Baiji Area: This area has been known to be a stronghold of support for Saddam, and the resistance originally was former regime supporters and foreign fighters. However, by November, there were more and more former Iraqi military joining the fight, and many were not fighting for Saddam. There is 100% support in town. The police will sometimes not even come when the US calls them for assistance, and the townspeople ran the police out of town in a riot recently. Baiji would appear to be pretty much guerrilla-controlled since 10-03.

In 1-04, guerrilas were actually setting up roadblocks in Baiji at night. This is a disastrous sign for the US, since guerrila roadblocks in an insurgency are typically a symptom of a highly entrenched insurgency that is often quite difficult to dislodge. Other signs of an entrenched insurgency are guerrilla uniforms, guerrilla shadow municipal governments, and the presence of armed guerrilas moving about openly in broad daylight in towns and cities.
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Hawija Area: Although this town has a reputation for being a Saddam loyalist stronghold, the resistance here is split between pro-Saddam and anti-Saddam factions. The resistance here is Sunni Arab, often former Iraqi military, Arab nationalist, anti-Kurd, anti-Kuwaiti, and anti-Zionist, with Islamist tendencies. Sunni Arab tribes play a big role in the resistance here. Revenge for acts done to local residents by US forces plays a big role.

The resistance here seems partly motivated by fears of usurpation by resurgent Kurds under US tutelage. Some Saddam loyalists are indeed active in this region. In 10-03, US troops pulled their base out of town due to continuous attacks. By 11-03, Hawija was controlled by guerrilas. Walls were covered with pro-resistance graffiti and the names of guerrila fighters. The mood on the street was fiercely pro-resistance. This town is almost another Fallujah – this area is a very hot war zone. US troops have detained 1,000 men in Hawija as suspected guerrilas.
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Mosul: The resistance in Mosul is similar to Fallujah in that Islamists, often with Muslim Brotherhood links, dominate, although it differs in some ways. The Mosul resistance differs from that in Fallujah in that Mosul has a greater proportion of pro-Saddam elements. Also, support for the resistance is much less than 100% of Mosul, though they do have a lot of support there, especially in Sunni Arab West Mosul, where the support level is very high. The Kurds and Assyrian Christians in Mosul appear to mostly be siding with the US. The only exception is the tiny number of Kurds associated with the dregs of Ansar al Islam (AI) who have been arrested here.

There is a significant pro-Saddam element in Mosul and a very significant component of former Iraqi military, especially officers. The Baath Party was also very big here – 60% of people in town were members. Back in 4-03, when Baghdad fell, the local resistance was made up of Baathists and Islamists, both under the control of the local religious leadership. Lately the structure and leadership of the Mosul resistance is more uncertain.

In 9-03, meetings were held between the Islamist resistance of Fallujah and Mosul and Palestinian Hamas leaders in Jordan to learn new tactics – possibly suicide bombings.

The resistance in Mosul may be quite large. Local Iraqis claim there may be up to ~20,000 or more guerrilas in Mosul alone. US officers in Mosul were claiming in 2-04 that AAI provides transportation, targets and explosives expertise to both foreign fighters and Iraqi guerrilas in Mosul. The same officers claimed that Al Qaeda was one of the main groups responsible for running foreign fighters across the borders into Iraq.
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Ninewa Province north, south and west of Mosul to the Syrian border: Resistance in this area is more active than one may think, but it is pretty hard to characterize. Right around Mosul, it may look like the Mosul resistance, but we are not sure. Over towards the Syrian border, there are a lot of Bedouin Arab tribes who appear to be active in the resistance, but their role is hard to characterize. There is considerable Kurd-Sunni Arab conflict in certain parts of Ninewa, especially in towns like Sinjar by the Syrian border.

Most of the fighters would appear to be local Sunni Arabs. Some of the guerrilas in this area are just local Sunni Arab farmers upset at the US for various slights. The Kurdish areas in Ninewa have seen little resistance, but a handful of the remainders of AAI have been captured in the area. The resistance in Tal Afar is interesting in that this is a town dominated by Shia Turkmen yet has seen considerable resistance. The makeup of the resistance in Tal Afar is presently unknown.
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Kirkuk Area and Tammim Province: Resistance in the Kirkuk area and Tammim Province in general is quite active yet very hard to characterize at the moment, except that it is probably dominated by Sunni Arabs. It may resemble the resistance in the Baiji/Hawija area, but we are not yet sure. Resistance is confined to the Sunni Arab parts of Tammim; the Kurdish area remains very calm.

Hawija is dealt with in a separate entry. The area of Tammim along the highway from Tikrit to Kirkuk, though it has seen few attacks, is utterly hostile. The police force in Kirkuk is partly infiltrated. The Kurds in Kirkuk itself are generally pro-US, with the exception of 25 Kurdish Islamists who were arrested in Kirkuk in 12-03 and charged with being connected with the dregs of AAI.

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Upper South: Resistance south of Baghdad down to around Karbala and Hilla (a mixed Kurd/Sunni Arab/Shia Arab region, becoming more Shia towards Karbala) is difficult to characterize, except that it is reportedly made up of the same actors as elsewhere. Locals claim that Sunni Arab Islamists are playing a large role in attacks around Hilla and Hawsa. There have been a considerable number of attacks in this zone for months now. Pro-Saddam elements do not appear to be very active in this area.

Latifiyah is dealt with in a separate entry. Although there is not yet any direct evidence that the Shia in this zone have joined the resistance in any significant numbers, there is suggestive evidence for their involvement. The police force in Karbala is now at least somewhat infiltrated. By 1-04, the area in a radius around Mahumiyah and especially Iskandariyah had once again become very hot, with daily attacks, sometimes deadly. Mahmudiyah is a mixed Kurd/Sunni Arab/Shia Arab town that has been very hostile, off and on, since 8-03.

Iskandariyah is a majority-Shia mixed Sunni-Shia town where Sunni and Shia live side by side with few apparent problems. Support for the resistance in Iskandariyah is very high, maybe 80%, equally split amongst both groups. Both Sunni and Shia take great pride in the resistance attacks; the implication of this pride is that the Iskandariyah resistance is largely local and that the local Shia are also involved. By early 2004, Iskandariyah was controlled by the resistance.

Yusufiyah is an extremely hot zone, with continuous attacks against US targets in this heavily Shia town. The implication here, not yet proven, is that in Yusufiyah, the Shia are heavily involved in the resistance. The US military estimates an incredible 4-5,000 guerrilas are active around Yusufiyah alone.
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Latifiyah: The mixed Sunni/Shia Arab farming town of Latifiyah in the Upper South is particularly hostile – seven Spanish intelligence officers were shot dead in an attack by Ansar Al Sunna here in 11-03, and the local police drove by the scene of the attack and would not even stop to help. Afterwards, crowds came out, and some cheered while others danced on the bodies. The resistance here is generally not fighting for Saddam and is driven by the privations locals have suffered under the US occupation. There is also a pocket of Sunni Islamists, which is possibly how Ansar Al Sunna was able to pull off this attack. Still, there do appear to be some pro-Saddam elements in the town. In 1-04, two Iraqis working for CNN were shot dead in an attack on their SUV convoy near Latifiyah.

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The South, from the Karbala-Hilla Area south to the border: The resistance in the main Shia South south of the Karbala-Hilla Area, is very poorly known. The only resistance fighter arrested here with a known agenda was a Saddam loyalist former intelligence officer who had been involved in anti-Shia purges in 91.

Clearly, if men like him are leading the resistance in the South, they cannot expect much sympathy from the local Shia. This man’s cell had been involved in attacks in Nasariyah. There are reports that Iranian-backed groups or even Iranian fighters themselves, infiltrated the area in Spring 2003 and have been stockpiling weapons ever since. However, Shia Islamists, Iranian or not, have been involved in only a few attacks in this region.

Mostly, these Shia seem to be stockpiling weapons and biding their time. The major car bombing of the Italian forces at Nasariyah was done by an unknown cell from Fallujah, possibly Saddam loyalists and/or foreign fighters. The situation in Basra is dealt with in a separate entry. A few of the attacks in the Shia Marsh Arab region are matters of simple revenge for affronts to tribal and cultural dignity, especially for intrusive searches involving dogs. Certainly there are near-daily attacks in this area, and the resistance is more active than usually reported. However, the number of attacks here is far, far lower than in most the Sunni Arab-dominated regions above.

Thus far, there is no evidence that the Shia in this region have taken up arms in any significant numbers. In 9-03, about 15% of the Shia in Karbala supported the idea of taking up arms, but most of them seemed to be waiting for the go-ahead from their religious leaders, which may never be forthcoming.

Karbala has seen many attacks, including one massive simultaneous car bombing, but in general the attackers are unknown. Local leaders claim they are the work of Sunni Islamists. The massive simultaneous car bombing on 12-27-03 in Karbala was conducted by three cells, probably all Sunni Iraqis, two cells from Baghdad and one from Ramadi. At least one cell was made up of Sunni Saddam loyalists from Adhamiyah in Baghdad.
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Basra: Resistance down around Basra is significant but poorly known. Local Shia leaders allege that it is made up Sunni Baathists, and at least one high-ranking Saddam loyalist former intelligence officer has been arrested. He was involved in purges of Shia after the 1991 Shia Uprising. A few foreign fighters are present – a Syrian woman was suspected in a plot to bomb the harbor in 11/03. Basra was quite hostile as of 12-03 and had the feel of a war zone. There was shooting every day. Almost none of the Shia locals appear to be happy about the Occupation, though many say it is better than Saddam. There is no evidence that Shia have joined the resistance here in any significant numbers.

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 6 – Tendencies

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for “An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance” a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here . Note that this material is copyrighted and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this workemail me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long in total. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad until about 2005, or for the first two years of the war, and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and false analysis, but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get sort of a “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can kind of sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game, but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece.

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TENDENCIES

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Islamists: One study conducted in Summer 2003 found most fighters (~70%) were Sunni and Shia (probably mostly Sunni) Iraqi Arabs with an Islamist background. Many of these are merely pious, mostly Sunni, often tribal, Arabs, who claim to be “fighting for Islam”, but are not necessarily fundamentalists at all. Much has been made in the US media about the influence of Iraqi “Wahhabis”. The situation is highly confused. Iraqi Shiites, and perhaps other Iraqis, routinely refer to conservative Sunnis as Wahhabis, though most of them are not Wahhabis at all.

The ultra-puritanical, intolerant, Taliban/Al-Qaeda/Wahhabi type of Islam favored by many radical fundamentalist Muslims has never been popular in Iraq, a nation that has long-favored a much more cosmopolitan, secular, tolerant brand of Islam. It is this more moderate Iraqi Islam that many of the Islamists seem to be espousing. The Islamists admit to some links with the Saddam loyalists, especially to buy weapons from the loyalists, but other than that, there is not a lot of cooperation. Many Iraqi Islamists have taken a hard line against attacks on Iraqi civilians, saying that they feel attacks should be on military targets only.

They also sometimes take a softer line on the local Iraqi police, saying they are needed to keep the order. The Islamists have harshly condemned most of the attacks on Iraqi infrastructure that the Saddam loyalists have specialized in. However, the Islamist position on attacking the oil-for-export infrastructure is not known. The Islamists do not feel that attacks that increase the misery of the Iraqi people are helpful or moral.

Although the Summer 2003 study above concluded that ~85% of the resistance were Islamists, as of 2-04, a better guess at the percentage of Islamists in the resistance would be ~70%.

There is also a harder-line group of Salafist Sunni Islamists in Iraq, but their numbers do not seem to be large. This group espouses radical Sunni Islam, often similar to the AQ line.

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Criminals: Some Iraqi resistance fighters are criminals, but not many, and the percentage seems to be dropping fast. Throughout much of 2003, the US military claimed that this group made up a large percentage of fighters, but there was never much evidence for their charge. It would seem that a criminal would not make a very good or reliable soldier. The percentage of criminals is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, criminals were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance.
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Communists/Leftists/Marxists: One of the largest groupings, the NFLI, seems to have this sort of orientation. The Communist Party has very deep roots in Iraq, and around 1960, it was the most popular party in Iraq. For instance, most of the followers of radical Shia preacher Sadr in the Sadr City slum district of Baghdad were formerly Communists.

A number of Leftist groupings have reportedly taken up arms (see below) but almost nothing is known about their role in the war. The percentage of Leftists in the resistance is not large, no more than 5%. Many of the Islamist groups say they are willing to fight alongside Communist fighters. In various Iraqi resistance groups, Leftists and Communists fight alongside Baathists, nationalists, and Islamists with no problems at all.
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Mercenaries: Throughout 2003, the US military continuously alleged that most of the Iraqi resistance was made up of mere mercenaries who were in it for the money and cared nothing about the cause. There was never much evidence for this allegation, which always smacked of US military propaganda. By 2004, the US military had abruptly abandoned the notion that most fighters were either criminals or mercenaries or both. The rapidity with which this charge was dropped suggests that there was never much to it anyway.

Objective Iraqi political scientists state that mercenaries do make up some of the Iraqi resistance, but not many. The Islamists, in particular, are typically not paid money to fight. The percentage of mercenaries is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, mercenaries were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance. The US military charge that resistance fighters are mere mercenaries is really quite silly and hypocritical in light of the situation with the Coalition and pro-Coalition forces. All Coalition soldiers and all armed Coalition “security contractors” are being paid to fight in Iraq, and in the case of the contractors, the pay is very high.

All Iraqi police and Iraqi ICDC Army are getting paid very good salaries by Iraqi standards to wage war on the resistance. The Coalition is offering fat rewards in return for intelligence about the resistance. In light of the fact that so much of the Coalition and pro-Coalition armed forces are being paid, often quite well, and pro-US spies are also being compensated very well, the charge that Iraqi resistance fighters “are only in it for the money” seems quite hypocritical, to say the least.
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Saddam Loyalists/Former Regime Loyalists/Baathists/Baath Party/Pro-Saddam elements: About 30%, or 22-30,000 fighters, as of 1-04. In the month or so after Saddam’s capture, this was quite split between anti-Saddam and pro-Saddam Baathists. However, at the moment, most, if not all, members of this group appear to have abandoned both Saddam and the former regime, are no longer fighting to restore the former regime to power, and many are not even fighting to restore the Baath Party to power. In areas like Samarra, anti-Saddam Baathists are quite prominent and vastly outnumber the pro-Saddam Baathists. These elements are likely to be involved in the top-level (hidden) leadership of some of the groups, and seems to have a significant role in funding.

A number of former Saddam loyalists are present in anti-Saddam groups, but some of those groups have required the loyalists to take a vow to renounce loyalty to Saddam’s regime to do that. A number of the former Saddam Fedayeen were reportedly converted quite quickly to an Islamic orientation by Islamist groups and became members of those groups.

The theory, parroted by the US and its allies – that the resistance is made up almost exclusively of Saddam loyalists – would appear to have little support. However, they may indeed make up much of the guerrilla leadership, funding, etc. Saddam loyalists have taken a very hard line on what are appropriate targets to attack, saying that anyone who cooperates with the Occupation in any way should be attacked.

Many of the more shocking attacks on largely civilian targets, such as on the UN, the ICRC offices, and other humanitarian offices, have been done by Saddam loyalists. They are also behind many of the (non-oil) infrastructure attacks such as attacks on water treatment plants, power lines, water mains, electricity workers, etc. The probable aim here is to make life as miserable as possible for the Iraqis, in hopes they will blame the US and join the rebellion. Saddam is said to have ordered attacks on anything or anyone “making the Occupation comfortable”. Some pro-Saddam fighters are also Islamists, and nationalist sentiments are almost universal amongst this faction. The revenge element is also frequently present.
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Christians: A few Iraqi Christians are known to have taken up arms, but most have not. Some have been wounded or killed fighting for the resistance. Almost nothing is known of the Christian role in the resistance. Most of the Iraqi Islamist groups say they are willing to incorporate Christian fighters into their formations.

Turkmen: A few Turkmen are known to have taken up arms, but most have not. Some have been wounded or killed fighting for the resistance. Almost nothing is known of the Turkmen role in the resistance. AAI has some Turkmen members.

Kurds: Only a very few Kurds have taken up arms against the Coalition, and most of those are very hardline Islamists such as AAI. In 12-03, ~25 Kurdish Islamists were arrested in Kirkuk and charged with being insurgents – they were charged with having links to AAI. In 2-04, a hardline Islamist movement was said to be growing in the mountains of Kurdistan, which refused any cooperation with the US. Their views are similar to AAI – for instance, TV’s have been banned. However, it was not known if they were armed. Iraqi resistance spokesmen say that the hardline Islamic stand of these Kurds will need to be moderated if they are to expand their resistance movement much.

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Women: guerrilas are overwhelmingly men, though Muhammed’ s Army claims an all-female brigade in Diyala Province (which is further evidence against MA being a hardline Islamist grouping). There have been a few female combatants, but not many. There were some notable cases, such as the following:

a. In 6-03, a young Iraqi Shia woman from a Shia village outside Baqubah tried to throw a grenade at US troops in Baqubah and was killed by the troops.
b. In 7-03, an 11-year-old Iraqi girl attacked US troops with an AK-47 in Ramadi and then ran home – troops were so stunned that they did not even fire back at her. The gun was later found hidden in one of her dresses. See Minors below.
c. In 9-03, a 48-year-old Iraqi woman with a suicide bomb belt strapped to her body was captured trying to enter the Finance Ministry in Baghdad.
d. In 11-03, an Iraqi mother and her 3 sons were arrested in Fallujah and charged with planning attacks.
e. In 12-03, a Syrian woman was arrested with a sophisticated timing device in Basra and accused of plotting to bomb the harbor.
f. In 2-04, an Iraqi female suicide bomber, the first in Iraq, approached the home of an Iraqi collaborationist tribal leader and detonated herself outside the home when guards denied her entry. 3 guards were wounded.
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Minors: guerrilas are mostly adult males, ranging in age from 18 to ~50. A few minors have waged guerrilla-style anti-US attacks, but not many (see the case of the 11-yr-old girl in Ramadi above). There would seem to be ample supply of able-bodied males ready and able to fight.

Minors, including young children, are sometimes used as lookouts, notably in the major battle in Samarra on 11-30-03. Boys, especially teenage boys, have in some cases engaged in rock-throwing attacks on US troops, but this does not appear to have been common. Rock throwing was most frequently reported in Fallujah and Baghdad. In 12-03, a number of junior high and high-school age boys in the Adhamiya District of Baghdad were taken to jail for throwing rocks at troops in a demonstration.

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Former Iraqi military: As most Iraqi males had at least some military service and training, the group of (mostly Sunni) former Iraqi military makes up a very large number of the guerrilas. Although some are fighting for Saddam, many others are not. Those who are not pro-Saddam say they are fighting for nationalism, Islam, tribal honor or getting revenge for various indignities. Many of them either say they have given up on Saddam or describe him as a loser who sold out the country to the invaders.

The fact that most Iraqi males have had military training, plus the fact that most military-age Iraqi males were drafted into the military, at least during the US invasion of 2003, has provided US military propaganda with a veritable propaganda gold mine – now the US can claim that most of the Iraqi resistance is made up of (drum roll): “former members of the Iraqi military”! Well, of course it does, but the Iraqi military, as an institution, dates back decades to the early part of the 20th Century and has its own ideology, primarily nationalist or Arab nationalist, often independent of whatever regime was in power.

It is this nationalist/Arab nationalist ideology, not loyalty to Saddam’s regime, which best describes the ideology of former Iraqi military, from officers down to cadre. Shia made up the majority of the Iraqi military, so by the logic of US military propaganda, apparently this means most Iraqi Shia supported Saddam! The hard fact is that the obvious observation that most Iraqi guerrilas are former Iraqi military members is both a circular argument and utterly irrelevant in terms of their ideology; and it certainly does not imply that all or even most of said former military members are pro-Saddam or pro-Baath.
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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 5 –

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for “An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance” a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here . Note that this material is copyrighted and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this work, email me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long in total. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad until about 2005 and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and false analysis, but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get sort of a “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can kind of sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game, but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS

Foreign Fighters: In Summer 2003, there were some reports that Syrians were said to often outnumber locals in those carrying out attacks in various locales, including Fallujah, Ramadi, Baghdad, Baqubah, Balad, Tikrit and Mosul. However, these reports are contradicted by reports in 11-03 indicating most fighters in most parts of Iraq have been Iraqis. Most of the foreign fighters in the post-major combat phase (after 5-1-03) have been Syrians and Lebanese, and many of the rest are Jordanians, Yemenis, Palestinians, Kuwaitis, Saudis and North Africans – often Egyptians and Algerians.

In 12-03, Syrians were still fairly common amongst fighters in Husaybah, near the Syrian border. After the major battle in Fallujah from April-May 04, a group of 50-100 largely Syrian Sunni extreme fundamentalist fighters seemed to have control over part of Fallujah’s Jolan District.

Many of these could better be described as Arab nationalists than Islamists, and a number of them were not even particularly religious. Dozens of Arab fighters have come from France and hundreds from Europe. In addition to the nations above, others came from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Qatar, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Saudi dissident leaders stated that 5,000 Saudi jihadis were present in Baghdad alone in 11-03. US intelligence believed there were up to 15,000 Saudis alone in Iraq in 9-03. Saudis reportedly played a role in the suicide bombings of the ICRC and Baghdad Hotel.

A Palestinian, born in Iraq, a resident of the Al Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad, carried out the suicide car bomb attack on the upscale restaurant in the Karrada District of Baghdad on New Year’s Eve, 2003. In 11-03, the Jordanian and US governments said that they had identified at least 120 Jordanians in the Sunni Triangle fighting US forces. There were reports from Israeli intelligence that 100’s of Kuwaiti (anti-Kuwaiti regime) Islamists were heading into Iraq in 11-03. These reports were verified by Iraqi sources with AQ connections and former Iraqi military officers in Basra, who said AQ was using the Safwan Crossing because it was the easiest one to get across.

Other areas on the Kuwait-Iraq border were also being used. Before the war, the Kuwait-Iraq border was protected by an extensive fence built by the Kuwaitis. During the 2003 US invasion, US forces smashed through the wall in 9 places. In these 9 locations, crossing the border into Iraq is a simple, low-risk stroll.

These sources also said that AQ was also using the wide-open Saudi-Iraqi border. The porous Saudi-Iraq border has no fences at all and there are many Bedouin guides in that area who will ferry anyone across the border, no questions asked, for only $200. After crossing into Iraq from Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, AQ jihadis usually headed to Zubayr or Abu Al-Khasib, towns south of Basra with a substantial Sunni population.

Zubayr in particular was a popular destination due to a high concentration of Sunni Islamists. According to US and Israeli intelligence, Iran filtered in about 11,000-12,000 Iranian fighters to the Shia South, mostly Revolutionary Guards, during the Karbala pilgrimage in Spring 2003. However, this group has so far, for the most part, merely been working to gain influence in the region peacefully, at least for now. They have been involved in only a very few armed actions. They may be stockpiling arms in the South, along with other Iraqi Shia armed groupings, in case they need them later. A number of Iranian fighters have been captured in the guerrilla war phase. Their ideology and political affiliation are unknown.

However, one of the suicide attackers in the 12-11 bombing of the US base in Ramadi caused 15 US casualties was a Lebanese Palestinian member of Hezbollah splinter faction. In 2-04, Iraqi puppet authorities said that about 500 Hezbollah had come into Iraq in 2003, almost all going to the South, but for the most part they were just engaging in political work and not armed activity. However, the source also said that “scores” of Hezbollah had come to Iraq since mid-December. These Hezbollah were heading to northern Iraq to work with AAI. Hezbollah operatives were said to be providing training and guidance to AAI members; few had participated in attacks.

Sources in Pakistan claim that the Taliban, al-Qaeda (International Islamic Front), Hezb-e-Islami, and HUM (Pakistani Kashmiri fighters) all sent fighters to Iraq, with most of them coming after major combat ended. Two Taliban guerrilas were apprehended in 9-03 coming over the Iranian border into Iraq northeast of Khanaquin through the Kurdish mountains. Another Afghan was caught trying to plant a roadside bomb near the Dura Power Plant in Baghdad in 2-04.

By 1-04, indigenous Iraqi groups were employing smugglers to ferry foreign fighters across the Jordanian, Syrian and Saudi Arabian borders into Iraq. Once inside Iraq, foreign fighters are often transported to Ramadi or Fallujah, 2 of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. A 3-29-04 interview with a Blackwater USA (the mercenary firm that lost 4 employees in the famous mutilation-burning attack in Fallujah 2 days later) mercenary based near Fallujah said that many of the attacks around Fallujah had turned out to be Jordanians, Syrians, Iranians, and Chechens.
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Foreign Fighters During And Before Major Combat (March 19-May 1): Many foreign fighters came before and during major combat. An attempt was made to put them under central command towards the end of major combat. By the fall of Baghdad, the central command of the Arab mujahedin stated there were 8,000 foreign fighters in Baghdad alone. They took heavy casualties in the fighting, and many just went home after Baghdad fell. But in the postwar phase, they seem to be coming in again.

A large number of Palestinians came during major combat, about 1,500-2,000 (according to sources in the camp below) or 4,000+ (according to Newsweek), mostly from a splinter Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades faction aligned with Syria and located in the Ein Al Hilweh Refugee Camp in southern Lebanon. The leader of this faction is reportedly named Colonel Munir Maqdah. About 30-40 more Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades fighters came from just one town in the West Bank. Hamas and Islamic Jihad each sent factions of ~300 fighters. Islamic Jihad’s fighters came through Lebanon.

Fighters from Romania (Communists) and Vietnam (Communists), Indonesia (Islamists), Russia (mixed ideology – Communists, nationalists, Islamists), Dagestan (8,000 Islamists) and Malaysia (Islamists) reportedly announced plans to go fight in Iraq during the major combat phase, but none of them seem to have made it. Hezbollah sent about ~800 fighters, and they continued to trickle in long after major combat ended.

One source claimed that Lashkar-E-Toiba (LET), a Pakistani/Kashmiri group active in Kashmir, participated in the major combat phase. LET cadre in Saudi Arabia (LET purportedly maintains a Saudi presence) claim the group sent a number of fighters, possibly 100-200, during the major combat phase, and suffered casualties.
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Al Qaeda (AQ) Foreign Fighters: AQ has had an open presence in Iraq only recently. In the couple months before the war, when conflict seemed inevitable, small groupings of AQ were allowed by the Iraqi state to form cells in Baghdad, but told to stay clear of Saddam’s regime. They were allowed in on the basis that war seemed inevitable and anyone who wanted to fight the Americans was basically welcome. This group numbered only 30-40. They fought during the war and remained afterwards, when they were apparently reinforced by others. Many of the AQ who came to Iraq during and after major combat may have come in via Iran, either across the border east of Baghdad, or to the north through the Kurdish areas.

A few others supposedly came across the Turkish border into the Kurdish zone. Some may have crossed the Saudi and more recently the Kuwaiti borders. Few, if any, appear to have crossed the Syrian or Jordanian borders. The number of AQ currently in Iraq is very controversial, with estimates ranging from 300-15,000+. AQ sources in Iraq said there were 4,500 foreign jihadis in Iraq in 11-03, most of them from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen and the other Gulf countries. It seems certain that there were at least 100’s of AQ fighters in Iraq as of 12-03. In a 12-03 interview, MA cadre said there were at least 150 AQ in Iraq, with almost of them coming after the fall of Baghdad.

They moved around the country regularly. “One or two” of them might participate in an operation with a local resistance group before moving on to another part of Iraq. MA cadre acknowledged that “1 or 2” AQ cadre had participated in “a few” MA attacks before moving on. In 12-03, sources in Pakistan said that AQ was pulling out 1/3 of its 1,000-man force out of Afghanistan and directing them to Iraq. That would mean ~350 more AQ heading to Iraq. The whole question of AQ’s role in the Iraq War or the guerrila war that followed is poorly understood, probably due to the shadowy nature of the group.

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Republicans for ISIS

I have been checking blogs about the Syrian Civil War for some time now. One thing has become very clear. I now have a handle on what the supporters of the Syrian “moderate rebels” are all about.

Here is the profile of supporters of “Free Syria” and the “moderate rebels” including supporters of the “Free Syrian Army:”

They all and I do mean all, love ISIS. Every time ISIS succeeds on the battlefield, all supporters of “Free Syria” roar with approval. The also love the Nusra Front (Al Qaeda), Jaish al Islam and all of the rest of the Islamist groups.

Secular or nationalist groups make up maybe 10% of all fighters, but even they engage in the worst sectarian language such as calling the Alawi Nusayri. Nusayri is a vicious Sunni insult for Alawites and it has a murderous or even genocidal history and current project behind it. All of the secular or nationalist groups fight alongside the Islamist groups, in particular, they all fight alongside Al Qaeda or Al Nusra. So really all of the Syrian rebels are just Al Qaeda, ISIS, other Islamists or their close allies. Those are your moderate rebels for you.

They all hate Russia. This extends to general Cold War style propaganda against “Russian Communists” where Russia is conflated with the Soviet Union as all propaganda of the current Cold War 2 does.

They all describe themselves as conservatives. On these boards, all of the conservatives are cheering wildly for ISIS and Al Qaeda. So I guess conservatives love ISIS and Al Qaeda, at least in Syria, right?

Like all conservatives, they have an extreme hatred of liberalism and socialism. Anti-Communist language is very common, and Obama and the Democrats are called socialists or Communists as all Republicans do.

They all have an insane hatred for Obama along the lines and intensity of the Birther Tea Partier crowd.

The Chavista government in Venezuela is bashed on a regular basis as an example of the “failures of socialism” even though the whole economy is in the hands of the capitalists and obviously the fault for the shortages is 100% the fault of the Venezuelan capitalists. There are shortages of this or that product which is made or imported only by Venezuelan capitalists? Well gosh, then why don’t these capitalists start manufacturing more of that product, or barring that, importing it? The Venezuelan capitalists are fault out refusing to manufacture more of the products in shortage and they are also flat out refusing to import more of the products in shortage.

They do not like Trump one bit. In fact, they repeat the Economist line that Trump is the #1 threat to the world economy. Along with the Tea Party thinking, I would assume that these people are supporters of the US Republican Establishment – Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, etc. All of them have voiced strong support for the Syrian rebels which in effect means that these Republicans are all backing ISIS and Al Qaeda. Trump is the only candidate who has questioned arming the Syrian rebels and he said Putin was right to go in and help Assad. On the Democratic side, both Hillary and Sanders have voiced support for the Syrian rebels – in other words, both Hillary and Sanders are supporting ISIS and Al Qaeda, at least in Syria.

Their line about Syria mirrors almost exactly that of the US government and the US media. I conclude then that the US government, both political parties and the US media are all supporting ISIS and Al Qaeda, or at least they are supporting them in Syria. Really the truth is that the entire US establishment is behind ISIS and Al Qaeda at least in Syria. There is a tremendous amount of evidence that the US is using ISIS and Al Qaeda to try to destroy the Syrian regime.

They all have an extreme hatred for Iran. They make a big deal about Obama’s supposedly poor nuclear deal with Iran. When they do this, they sound just like the US Republican Party.

They all use extreme sectarian language. For instance, they say things like there is a Russia-Assad-Iran-Hezbollah project going on right now to genocide the Sunnis. They sound just like the Saudis when they talk like that.

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I Am Definitely an Anti-Semite of the Anti-Zionist Variety

Christoper writes:

Interesting that you should say that Jewish hatred is mainly a right wing thing when many people over here in Europe know that it is right-wingers who support Israel and lefties who support Palestine.

Sorry Robert but it’s nonsense to say that Jewish hatred is a only a right wing feeling.

There are indeed some leftwing anti-Semites. There are definitely some in Eastern Europe and Russia and it takes an odd form: “Jews destroyed the Soviet Union. Jews are responsible for Nazism.” Things like that. There are a few others here and there, but those are even less common. One thing you notice is that Left anti-Semites are so rare. The other thing you notice is that pretty soon they start cozying up with the Right, especially the Far Right.

Why? Because that’s where all the anti-Semites are, that’s why? Sooner or later the anti-Semitism takes hold of their Left orientation and they start actually moving to the Right. More than a few of them convert to Islam. Bottom line is that Left anti-Semites gradually either move right or cozy up with Rightists because as I note in my post, anti-Semitism is basically a rightwing ideology with some exceptions such as Arab Leftists and Arab Communists.

Most of those pro-Pallie leftwingers do not really hate Jews per se. They just hate Israel. Now there are many forms of anti-Semitism according Jews who dedicate their entire careers to studying this as a form of obsessive solipsism. The Jewish diagnosis of anti-Semitism is completely wrong of course. They say “Jews are always 100% innocent and anti-Semites are always 100% liars hating Jews for no reason.” But anyway, Jewish anti-Semitism researchers like the Roth Institute in Tel Aviv have done much good work in sorting out different forms of anti-Semitism (they are indeed many forms of Judeophobia) and reporting on incidents, trends and whatnot.

Supposedly there is now a form of anti-Semitism called Anti-Zionist anti-Semitism. This is surely valid when we are talking about many Arabs, especially Arab nationalist types. The best among of these types, if asked if they hate Jews, will respond something like:

Q: Do you hate Jews?
Arab nationalist: Well, I hate the ones squatting in Palestine. Darn right I do! Go back to Europe!
Q: What about the Jews outside of Palestine, living in other parts of the world, mostly in the West?
Arab nationalist: Are they living in Palestine? Well, they’re not part of the problem, are they?

Actually most of these types are a lot worse and have somehow managed to hate Jews period no matter where they are, not just the squatters in Palestine.

At any rate, I would say that I am very much an anti-Semite of the anti-Zionist variety according to modern definitions. My whole beef against the Jews is that they have subverted my country into a colony of a foreign power and have gotten us involved in a number of foreign wars to fight the enemies of the Jews in the Middle East. In the process, we and the Jews have pretty much set the whole region on fire with the help of quite a few other ugly parties of course. American Jews who are not part of this project to turn my country into an Israeli colony basically get a pass.

As you can see in my previous post, all of the other forms of anti-Semitism do not really resonate with me and mostly seem to be forms of rightwing ideology. Jew-hatred is just not a progressive thing. There’s literally nothing there for us. Sure, Jews are rather crazy and annoying, but that’s no reason to hate a man. Let him who is with stone, etc.

But for getting us involved in all these wars for them and setting the whole region on fire, I do not think I will ever forgive the Israelis or their Jewish supporters in the US. I will hate them for the rest of my life for that, and they deserve it.

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance – Tendencies

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for “An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance” a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here . Note that this material is copyrighted and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this work, email me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and just false analysis but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get sort of a “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can kind of sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece. Here is the piece in its entirety:

AN ANALYSIS OF THE IRAQI RESISTANCE: The First Year, March 2003-May 2004

ROBERT LINDSAY

TENDENCIES

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Islamists: One study conducted in Summer 2003 found most fighters (~70%) were Sunni and Shia (probably mostly Sunni) Iraqi Arabs with an Islamist background. Many of these are merely pious, mostly Sunni, often tribal, Arabs, who claim to be “fighting for Islam”, but are not necessarily fundamentalists at all. Much has been made in the US media about the influence of Iraqi “Wahhabis”. The situation is highly confused. Iraqi Shiites, and perhaps other Iraqis, routinely refer to conservative Sunnis as Wahhabis, though most of them are not Wahhabis at all.

The ultra-puritanical, intolerant, Taliban/Al-Qaeda/Wahhabi type of Islam favored by many radical fundamentalist Muslims has never been popular in Iraq, a nation that has long-favored a much more cosmopolitan, secular, tolerant brand of Islam.It is this more moderate Iraqi Islam that many of the Islamists seem to be espousing. The Islamists admit to some links with the Saddam loyalists, especially to buy weapons from the loyalists, but other than that, there is not a lot of cooperation. Many Iraqi Islamists have taken a hard line against attacks on Iraqi civilians, saying that they feel attacks should be on military targets only.

They also sometimes take a softer line on the local Iraqi police, saying they are needed to keep the order. The Islamists have harshly condemned most of the attacks on Iraqi infrastructure that the Saddam loyalists have specialized in. However, the Islamist position on attacking the oil-for-export infrastructure is not known.

The Islamists do not feel that attacks that increase the misery of the Iraqi people are helpful or moral. Although the Summer 2003 study above concluded that ~85% of the resistance were Islamists, as of 2-04, a better guess at the percentage of Islamists in the resistance would be ~70%. There is also a harder-line group of Salafist Sunni Islamists in Iraq, but their numbers do not seem to be large. This group espouses radical Sunni Islam, often similar to the AQ line.

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Criminals: Some Iraqi resistance fighters are criminals, but not many, and the percentage seems to be dropping fast. Throughout much of 2003, the US military claimed that this group made up a large percentage of fighters, but there was never much evidence for their charge. It would seem that a criminal would not make a very good or reliable soldier. The percentage of criminals is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, criminals were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance.

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Communists/Leftists/Marxists: One of the largest groupings, the NFLI, seems to have this sort of orientation. The Communist Party has very deep roots in Iraq, and around 1960, it was the most popular party in Iraq. For instance, most of the followers of radical Shia preacher Sadr in the Sadr City slum district of Baghdad were formerly Communists.

A number of Leftist groupings have reportedly taken up arms (see below) but almost nothing is known about their role in the war. The percentage of Leftists in the resistance is not large, no more than 5%. Many of the Islamist groups say they are willing to fight alongside Communist fighters. In various Iraqi resistance groups, Leftists and Communists fight alongside Baathists, nationalists, and Islamists with no problems at all.

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Mercenaries: Throughout 2003, the US military continuously alleged that most of the Iraqi resistance was made up of mere mercenaries who in it for the money and cared nothing about the cause. There was never much evidence for this allegation, which always smacked of US military propaganda. By 2004, the US military had abruptly abandoned the notion that most fighters were either criminals or mercenaries or both. The rapidity with which this charge was dropped suggests that there was never much to it anyway.

Objective Iraqi political scientists state that mercenaries do make up some of the Iraqi resistance, but not many. The Islamists, in particular, are typically not paid money to fight. The percentage of mercenaries is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, mercenaries were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance. The US military charge that resistance fighters are mere mercenaries is really quite silly and hypocritical in light of the situation with the Coalition and pro-Coalition forces. All Coalition soldiers and all armed Coalition “security contractors” are being paid to fight in Iraq, and in the case of the contractors, the pay is very high.

All Iraqi police and Iraqi ICDC Army are getting paid very good salaries by Iraqi standards to wage war on the resistance. The Coalition is offering fat rewards in return for intelligence about the resistance. In light of the fact that so much of the Coalition and pro-Coalition armed forces are being paid, often quite well, and pro-US spies are also being compensated very well, the charge that Iraqi resistance fighters “are only in it for the money” seems quite hypocritical, to say the least.

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Saddam Loyalists/Former Regime Loyalists/Baathists/Baath Party/Pro-Saddam elements: About 30%, or 22-30,000 fighters, as of 1-04. In the month or so after Saddam’s capture, this was quite split between anti-Saddam and pro-Saddam Baathists. However, at the moment, most, if not all, members of this group appear to have abandoned both Saddam and the former regime, are no longer fighting to restore the former regime to power, and many are not even fighting to restore the Baath Party to power.

In areas like Samarra, anti-Saddam Baathists are quite prominent and vastly outnumber the pro-Saddam Baathists. More likely to be involved in the top-level (hidden) leadership of some of the groups, and seems to have a significant role in funding.

A number of former Saddam loyalists are present in anti-Saddam groups, but some of those groups have required the loyalists to take a vow to renounce loyalty to Saddam’s regime to do that. A number of the former Saddam Fedayeen were reportedly converted quite quickly to an Islamic orientation by Islamist groups, and became members of those groups.

The theory, parroted by the US and its allies – that the resistance is made up almost exclusively of Saddam loyalists – would appear to have little support. However, they may indeed make up much of the guerrilla leadership, funding, etc. Saddam loyalists have taken a very hard line what are appropriate targets to attack, saying that anyone who cooperates with the Occupation in any way should be attacked.

Many of the more shocking attacks on largely civilian targets, such as on the UN, the ICRC offices, and other humanitarian offices, have been done by Saddam loyalists. They are also behind many of the (non-oil) infrastructure attacks such as attacks on water treatment plants, power lines, water mains, electricity workers, etc. The probable aim here is to make life as miserable as possible for the Iraqis, in hopes they will blame the US and join the rebellion. Saddam is said to have ordered attacks on anything or anyone “making the Occupation comfortable”. Some pro-Saddam fighters are also Islamists and nationalist sentiments are almost universal amongst this faction. The revenge element is also frequently present.

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Mercenaries: Throughout 2003, the US military continuously alleged that most of the Iraqi resistance was made up of mere mercenaries who in it for the money and cared nothing about the cause. There was never much evidence for this allegation, which always smacked of US military propaganda. By 2004, the US military had abruptly abandoned the notion that most fighters were either criminals or mercenaries or both. The rapidity with which this charge was dropped suggests that there was never much to it anyway.

Objective Iraqi political scientists state that mercenaries do make up some of the Iraqi resistance, but not many. The Islamists, in particular, are typically not paid money to fight. The percentage of mercenaries is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, mercenaries were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance. The US military charge that resistance fighters are mere mercenaries is really quite silly and hypocritical in light of the situation with the Coalition and pro-Coalition forces. All Coalition soldiers and all armed Coalition “security contractors” are being paid to fight in Iraq, and in the case of the contractors, the pay is very high.

All Iraqi police and Iraqi ICDC Army are getting paid very good salaries by Iraqi standards to wage war on the resistance. The Coalition is offering fat rewards in return for intelligence about the resistance. In light of the fact that so much of the Coalition and pro-Coalition armed forces are being paid, often quite well, and pro-US spies are also being compensated very well, the charge that Iraqi resistance fighters “are only in it for the money” seems quite hypocritical, to say the least.

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Christians: A few Iraqi Christians are known to have taken up arms, but most have not. Some have been wounded or killed fighting for the resistance. Almost nothing is known of the Christian role in the resistance. Most of the Iraqi Islamist groups say they are willing to incorporate Christian fighters into their formations.

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Turkmen: A few Turkmen are known to have taken up arms, but most have not. Some have been wounded or killed fighting for the resistance. Almost nothing is known of the Turkmen role in the resistance. AAI has some Turkmen members.

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Kurds: Only a very few Kurds have taken up arms against the Coalition, and most of those are very hardline Islamists such as AAI. In 12-03, ~25 Kurdish Islamists were arrested in Kirkuk and charged with being insurgents – they were charged with having links to AAI. In 2-04, a hardline Islamist movement was said to be growing in the mountains of Kurdistan, which refused any cooperation with the US. Their views are similar to AAI – for instance, TV’s have been banned. However, it was not known if they were armed. Iraqi resistance spokesmen say that the hardline Islamic stand of these Kurds will need to be moderated if they are to expand their resistance movement much.

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Women: guerrilas are overwhelmingly men, though Muhammed’ s Army claims an all-female brigade in Diyala Province (which is further evidence against MA being a hardline Islamist grouping). There have been a few female combatants, but not many. There were some notable cases, such as the following:

a. In 6-03, a young Iraqi Shia woman from a Shia village outside Baqubah tried to throw a grenade at US troops in Baqubah and was killed by the troops.
b. In 7-03, an 11-year-old Iraqi girl attacked US troops with an AK-47 in Ramadi and then ran home – troops were so stunned that they did not even fire back at her. The gun was later found hidden in one of her dresses. See Minors below.
c. In 9-03, a 48-year-old Iraqi woman with a suicide bomb belt strapped to her body was captured trying to enter the Finance Ministry in Baghdad.
d. In 11-03, an Iraqi mother and her 3 sons were arrested in Fallujah and charged with planning attacks.
e. In 12-03, a Syrian woman was arrested with a sophisticated timing device in Basra and accused of plotting to bomb the harbor.
f. In 2-04, an Iraqi female suicide bomber, the first in Iraq, approached the home of an Iraqi collaborationist tribal leader and detonated herself outside the home when guards denied her entry. 3 guards were wounded.

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Minors: guerrilas are mostly adult males, ranging in age from 18 to ~50. A few minors have waged guerrilla-style anti-US attacks, but not many (see the case of the 11-yr-old girl in Ramadi above). There would seem to be ample supply of able-bodied males ready and able to fight. Minors, including young children, are sometimes used as lookouts, notably in the major battle in Samarra on 11-30-03.

Boys, especially teenage boys, have in some cases engaged in rock-throwing attacks on US troops, but this does not appear to have been common. Rock throwing was most frequently reported in Fallujah and Baghdad. In 12-03, a number of junior high and high-school age boys in the Adhamiya District of Baghdad were taken to jail for throwing rocks at troops in a demonstration.

*****

Former Iraqi military: As most Iraqi males had at least some military service and training, the group of (mostly Sunni) former Iraqi military makes up a very large number of the guerrilas. Although some are fighting for Saddam, many others are not. Those who are not pro-Saddam say they are fighting for nationalism, Islam, tribal honor or getting revenge for various indignities. Many of them either say they have given up on Saddam or describe him as a loser who sold out the country to the invaders.

The fact that most Iraqi males have had military training, plus the fact that most military-age Iraqi males were drafted into the military, at least during the US invasion of 2003, has provided US military propaganda with a veritable propaganda gold mine – now the US can claim that most of the Iraqi resistance is made up of (drum roll): “former members of the Iraqi military”! Well, of course it does, but the Iraqi military, as an institution, dates back decades to the early part of the 20th Century, and has its own ideology, primarily nationalist or Arab nationalist, often independent of whatever regime was in power.

It is this nationalist/Arab nationalist ideology, not loyalty to Saddam’s regime, which best describes the ideology of former Iraqi military, from officers down to cadre. Shia made up the majority of the Iraqi military, so by the logic of US military propaganda, apparently this means most Iraqi Shia supported Saddam! The hard fact is that the obvious observation that most Iraqi guerrilas are former Iraqi military members is both a circular argument and utterly irrelevant in terms of their ideology; and it certainly does not imply that all or even most of said former military members are pro-Saddam or pro-Baath.

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