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Voices of the Iraqi Resistance

Leaders of the Iraqi National Resistance Speak at an International Solidarity Conference

by Kosta Harlan |
March 28, 2007
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Abdul Jabbar al-Kubaysi
Abdul Jabbar al-Kubaysi, general secretary of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance and spokesperson for the Patriotic National Islamic Front (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Chianciano, Italy - An historic conference with leaders of the Iraqi national resistance was held here last week. It was the first time that representatives of the Iraqi resistance have been able to speak in the West. Organizers had previously attempted to hold the conference in the fall of 2005, only to have the Italian government withhold visas from the Iraqi participants after intense pressure from the United States government. The scope of the conference extended beyond Iraq to include the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon, as well as representatives from the antiwar and liberation movements in countries from around the world.

The conference gave lie to George Bush's claims that the Iraq resistance is made up of ‘evildoers’ who are ‘creating mayhem.’ Leaders of the movement to free Iraq spoke thoughtfully about the need to liberate their homeland from occupation and build a better way of life for their people.

One of the main speakers at the conference was Abdul Jabbar al-Kubaysi, general secretary of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance (IPA). The IPA is one of many organizations involved in the armed struggle against the U.S. occupation of Iraq. It is also partner to an important umbrella resistance group, the Patriotic National Islamic Front of Iraq. Al-Kubaysi was held incommunicado and tortured while in U.S. detention for over a year in 2004-2005. Addressing the conference, he said, “We see the effects of the Iraqi resistance all over the world, not just in Iraq - U.S. imperialism today is weaker when it confronts the liberation movements in Latin America, Africa and Asia. But the reality is that four years later our resistance is still isolated by all governments, states and institutions. This conference is the first step in breaking the political embargo against the resistance.”

He continued, “We are engaged in the largest fight with U.S. imperialism in the world, and we are all alone. We have done this without help from anyone. The Iraqi resistance does not need money, arms or troops. It needs political support.”

Iraqi resistance fighters number in the hundreds of thousands, al-Kubaysi said. He cited statistics that show the Iraqi resistance carrying out over 1300 attacks each week. Al-Kubaysi described how large swathes of territory and many of the smaller cities and towns are under the control of the Iraqi resistance. In the larger cities, fierce street battles rage daily between resistance fighters and U.S. occupation troops. “The future of imperialism depends on the result of the battle taking place on the streets of Baghdad,” he said. “With the heroic sacrifices of the Iraqi people,” al-Kubaysi concluded, “the American occupation project has been stopped dead in its tracks. The shackles of occupation are crumbling, thanks to the courageous resistance of the Iraqi people!”

U.S. media reports have consistently denied that there is a national resistance in Iraq. Instead they report that the hundreds of deaths each week in Iraq are due to ‘sectarian civil war’ between Sunnis and Shiites; thus, the U.S. occupation is presented as a ‘peace-keeping’ mission. Iraqi resistance leaders angrily denied this.

Ayatollah al Sayyed Ahmed al-Baghdadi, a senior cleric from Najaf and leader of the resistance among Shiites, spoke to the conference by telephone. Al-Baghdadi completely rejected the story about ‘civil war’ in Iraq. He said, “Confessional clashes were never known before the occupation. It is a confrontation planned by external powers to burn Iraq and the whole region.”

Al Baghdadi continued, “America will never be able to control Iraq because of the strength of the resistance. We will always reject the occupation. No mask could ever cover up its ugly face. The resistance will remove all the masks, and defeat the occupier’s project of civil war in Iraq. No civil war and no confessional segregation will take place as long as the military resistance continues against colonial occupation.”

The Iraqi resistance is enormously popular in the Arab world. To many Arab youth opposed to U.S. control of the Middle East, the Iraqi resistance represents the winds of liberation and revolution. Al-Kubaysi pointed out, “Thousands of Arab youth are in jail across the Middle East for supporting the Iraqi resistance. In Tunisia alone there are 2500 youths in jail for trying to go to Iraq. The Arab masses support the resistance.”

Yousif Hamdan, general secretary of the Iraqi Communist Party (People’s Union), compared Arab participation in the resistance against the U.S. occupation to the Internationalist Brigades that went to Spain in the 1930’s to fight against the Nazi invasion. “Nobody criticized the Internationalists Brigades in Spain,” Hamdan said. “The Algerian revolution, the war in Vietnam - many internationalists participated in these fights. So now, how come many people criticize Arabs for going to defend Baghdad, and how dare they call them ‘terrorists?’ These people are revolutionaries. The issue of freedom is one struggle for all peoples.”

The conference concluded with a strong statement from the conference participants in support of the Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements. The statement reads in part, “As long as the U.S. and its allies do not withdraw their troops from the Middle East, as long as they do not close their military bases, and as long as they keep in place the Zionist entity, there can be no peace in the region. No people can give peace to their oppressors. A just peace will only be possible with the victory of the liberation movements.”

Anti-war activists in attendance promised to intensify their efforts against the governments supporting the occupation of Iraq. For their part, the representatives of the Iraqi resistance vowed to continue their struggle against the U.S. occupation until victory.