FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Saddam "Not Organizing" the Iraqi Resistance

 

Baghdad.

A senior Iraqi official said on Monday there was no truth in claims by the Pentagon that Saddam Hussein and Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of his aides, were orchestrating anti-US resistance in Iraq. In an interview, the official–a veteran opposition leader to the former Iraqi regime now working for the Governing Council, who did not want his name published– believed the organisers of the resistance came from “the middle levels of the Baath party”. He said: “Saddam Hussein is not able to communicate effectively because he is in hiding, so he could not organise a guerrilla campaign.”

In response to criticism that the US military has no idea who had carried out the attack on al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad last week and other assaults on US troops, high-level US officials said Saddam was playing a role in the resistance. US officials also claimed that Izzat Ibrahim, former chairman of the Revolution Command Council, was co-ord- inating links between the resistance and al-Qa’ida.

However, the Iraqi official said: “Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is old and sick, and not capable of co-ordinating anything. He was almost captured twice in Mosul because he needs to have dialysis regularly. In any case, he was never that important under Saddam Hussein.”

Izzat Ibrahim is known to be suffering from leukaemia. The US administration is increasingly embarrassed about its lack of useful intelligence about who is attacking US troops despite having occupied the country for seven months. It is considering re- allocating personnel, employed in vainly hunting for weapons of mass destruction, in a more general intelligence role. The Iraqi official said the real organisers of resistance came from middle ranks of the Baath party, as well the Mukhabarat, the intelligence arm of the old regime. He believed the rocket attack on al-Rashid “has all the hallmarks of a Mukhabarat operation. It was obviously going to be a target”. The US decision to disband the 400,000-strong Iraqi army, intelligence and security services and the policy of “de-Baathification” is seen by many Iraqis as counter-productive. It has forced former Baathists together in opposition to the US-led occupation.

There is little guerrilla activity in Baghdad, aside from the suicide bombings, or in Shia districts, but resistance is growing by the day in Sunni Arab parts of Iraq. The Governing Council, its 25 members appointed by the US, has been demanding an increased role in security from the Coalition Provisional Authority. It claims it can obtain far better intelligence than US forces or its local allies. The US has been seeking to build up the police, army and other security forces as an adjunct to its own 130,000-strong army in Iraq.

The shooting down of a US Chinook helicopter on Sunday, killing 16 US servicemen and wounding 20 others, has underlined, once again, that guerrilla attacks are becoming more, not less, effective. Since President Bush declared major combat had finished on 1 May, some 139 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq.

US soldiers continued to seal off the crash site in the village of Buisa on the outskirts of the town of Fallujah yesterday. A crane was at work lifting pieces of wreckage on to a lorry. Guerrillas in Fallujah, and the string of towns stretching west along the highway to Jordan, not only appear increasingly well organised but enjoy strong local support.

The only piece of good news for the coalition in the past few days is that Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shia leader who had formerly denounced the occupation, now says the coalition forces are “guests” in Iraq. He said the main enemy were supporters of Saddam’s regime.

 

More articles by:

Patrick Cockburn is the author of  The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science – Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail