January 7, 2006

"We are Iraqis, and Al Qaeda came from outside our borders. They defame the name of the noble resistance inside Iraq."

Said Abu Omar, an Iraqi insurgent. The NYT reports that we are in talks with the insurgents:
...to take advantage of rifts in the insurgency, particularly between local groups, whose main goal is to expel American forces, and the more radical groups, like Al Qaeda, which have alienated many Iraqis by the mass killing of Iraqi civilians....

American and Iraqi officials regard the strife among the guerrillas as presenting an especially promising opportunity, in large part because of the large turnout of Sunni voters in the election. In many cities, insurgents cooperated with the election by largely holding their fire, while Al Qaeda warned of reprisals. In at least one city, Ramadi, insurgents provided security at some polling centers.
The most recent election seems to make a difference to some groups but not others. The article contains this mystifying statement from an unnamed diplomat:
"According to Islamic doctrine, as well as democratic principles, there cannot be a legitimate resistance against a legitimate government... If we could reach an understanding with each other, meaning the resistance, as they call it, and the coalition, then they will in turn take care of Zarqawi and the terrorists."
I don't see how it can be assumed that if something is Islamic doctrine, the insurgents will follow it. And if that were the case, why wouldn't both groups be bound by the doctrine? And aren't they already violating doctrine (targeting children, for example)? Aren't the insurgents motivated by the loss of political power that they had in Iraq under Saddam? I thought al Qaeda was more oriented toward religious arguments than the Iraqi insurgents. In any event, I hope these talks are effective, for whatever reason.


HaloJonesFan said...

It's probably almost a legal thing! This is a debate over whether or not the Iraqi government, installed by outside force, is legitemate. If it is, then the resistance is clearly in error, and it will go away on its own (except for at least they will be Psychopathic Criminals instead of Slightly Overzealous Freedom Fighters.) If it is not, then the resistance is right, and the government is a sham.

Chum said...

'Aren't the insurgents motivated by the loss of political power that they had in Iraq under Saddam?'

This is a very narrow perspective on the motives of insurgents.

The broader and non-American perspective takes into account that much of the world, and certainly many Iraqis (insurgent or not),hold the perspective that the country is occupied by a foreign military. Nothing to do with Saddam - occupation by a foreign government tends to unite factions who once held disparate points of view.

PatCA said...

Depends on what the insurgent means by "legitimate government." For any of the insurgent forces, it would mean something more resembling Iran than the US, I fear.