Sunday, January 13, 2008

Awakenings: A Baathist conspiracy?

Malaf Press Agency says Baathists have been joining the Awakening Councils in large numbers, since their rapid expansion has provided a "golden opportunity for the Baathists or a sector of them to return to power and obtain positions that could be political or military, only under a different form". Malaf Press doesn't mention the fact, but this idea of a return of the Baath "under a different form" was raised prominently in the debate about the new "Accountability and Justice" law that was passed Saturday, with a coalition of Allawi's group and some of the Sunni parties complaining that there was a too-vague clause barring "the return of the Baath party to power or public life whether in ideology or politically or actively, or under whatever name". [I have no idea whether anything like that that was in fact included in the version that passed; the point here is that this Malaf Press piece seems to be part of this "chameleon Baath" theme. In other words, if you think of news as either raw or cooked, this is cooked.]

The journalist says the participation of Baath people in the Awakenings is with the cooperation of the Americans and it is part of an overall agreement about not attacking American troops. He says that's the Americans' point of view. It is the Ahmed Yunis al-Ahmed wing of the party that is keen on this, he adds, and
The Yunis Ahmed wing of the Baath is intent on [using this participation to] have an important domestic role [in the future] and in having a military power under its control at a time when it can rely on this or use it.

By contrast, the journalist goes on,
the Izzat al-Douri wing of the party rejects participation in any of these Awakening Councils, on the basis that to do so would merely be to strengthen the roots of the occupation. But some in the Izzat al-Douri wing see this as a mistake, and think it would be better to join these councils, because this would give them a golden opportunity to achieve something on the ground and also a card to play politically or militarily in case of need.
The journalist saves his best for last. He says in conclusion that "a number of the groups under the supervision of Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, director of Mukhabarat in the old regime have become part of these Awakening Councils, and particularly those in Anbar and Baghdad".

I could be wrong, but given the current heated-up political maneuvering, this focus on "Baath" and its "return" in connection with the Awakenings could well be mostly a sectarian talking point against anyone with any Baath background and/or against any idea of GreenZone accomodation with the Awakenings.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Alison said...

It is no secret that Ba'athist usurper Mohammed Younis Al-Ahmed is an opportunist, but he has many counterparts in (former) Islamic Resistance factions. Such people are very short-sighted. The Americans are the only ones who hold real power in their hands and they are laughing up their sleeve as they deploy competing Iraqi factions like playing cards or figures on a chess board!!

The following recent post by an Iraqi blogger sheds light on the current miserable state of affairs: http://last-of-iraqis.blogspot.com/2008/01/who-is-right-who-is-not.html

Here’s an extract, in which the author quotes a former Resistance fighter : “The awakening is a very smart plan by the Americans, now the Americans are walking in Adhamiya without any fear, now we can't resist the occupation; it's a sad thing that some good men in the resistance became dogs for the Americans; if we want to attack the Americans we must attack the awakening members first and that's something I will not do, I'll not kill an Iraqi…So you see, awakening is a tool for Americans to keep them safe….Look in all Adhamiya do you see any writing that says anything about the occupation? No , it's all "Die AlQaeda or die Awakening……No one mentions the occupation anymore…..And that's what the Americans want, they want us to fight each other and forget about the true goal which is getting the occupation out of our country.”

6:07 AM  

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