In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Izzat Ibrahim on resistance strategy

Posted by seumasach on July 22, 2008

Missing Links

20th July

Baathist website published the text of a lengthy speech by Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, described as “leader of Resistance and Liberation, general secretary of the Socialist Baath Party,” dated July 17, and an English rendition dated today July 20. Their English is getting better; however, what follows is my own rendition of a few paragraphs toward the end of the address in which Douri mentions other groups, and resistance strategy generally:


O tyrannical aggressor: Our resistance is not official armies, arranged so that your official armies, superior in numbers and equipment, can mobilize against them, winning a victory today in this city and tomorrow in that one. They are not AlQaeda which offered itself up to you on a silver platter so that you could slaughter them; and they are not the Mahdi Army, which pleased you, and in fact which encouraged you, with their backward (meaning “undeveloped” or primitive) way of doing things, to liquidate them militarily–with all my respect, esteem, pride and love for all those who fight against you upon the land of Iraq for the liberation of Iraq.

Know, Mr President, that our resistance is the army of the Merciful whom your eyes do not see and your hand cannot reach, protected by the shield of the Merciful whom no eye sees and no hand reaches. No one knows the importance of His undertakings until they reach you, or where they will strike you… Only they will decide when and where and in what way to fight. They will not accept the fights that you plan and you decide, because the land is their land, the people is their people, and the country, the homeland and the society is their society; time also is theirs, the they have the initiative in every detail of the struggle….

Enough with your lying and deceptions for five years now. The resistance is developing, expanding and flourishing, and if it were not for the strategic errors committed by AlQaeda your presence would have collapsed in the first year of fighting. You, Mr President, know this truth better than anyone, and I likewise urge you to make a clear announcement of the number of your dead and the size of your losses, which in any event the Americans themselves will soon disclose, whether you like it or not. And what then will you say to the American people, and what will they say to you?

Likewise I call on all of the jihad factions of all affiliations and all origins to unite and to aim first and foremost in their operations at the occupier, because he is the head of the snake. And then at the agents who blatantly represent the agent authority, and the symbols of the great betrayal. And not to fight against anyone but them, unless they fight against you. And not to get involved with sellouts and agents, or with the agencies of government, including the so-called army and the police, and the Awakenings and the administration, because all of these are with the people and with the heroic resistance. They have been compelled by need and by destitution to go over to these agencies. Fight the symbols (or the embodiments) of agency and betrayal, who have been involved in capital offenses with the occupation, and in the killing and expulsion of its people.

Two points struck me: (1) For all his criticism of the Mahdi army for its backwardness, he doesn’t question the good faith of the fighters, and he honors those who fought and fight for the liberation of Iraq no matter their affiliation; and (2) and he shares with Moqtada the concern for narrowly focusing the fight, so as not to end up with Iraqis killing Iraqis. Least of all is there any harping on racial or sectarian themes.

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