Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No hard feelings

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq, issued a statement in response to criticisms from the Islamic Army and others complaining about intolerant and aggressive behavior by ISI people against non-ISI resistance groups. Marc Lynch outlines the initial summaries of it. The text is available here. Here is my version of the section where al-Baghdadi addresses those groups by name:
To our brothers in the Ansar al-Sunnah army and the Army of the Mujahideen: The love that is between us is deep, and the bonds of our conviction and our attachment are not something vulnerable to adversity. To our sons in the Islamic Army: Know that I would sacrifice my blood and my honor for yours, and by God you will not hear of us anything but good. So be of good spirits and investigate us, because the that which joins us is stronger than some imagine, may God forgive them. And to the soldiers in the 1920 Brigades, yes, it is true that the satanic Islamic Party has put the insinuations of the Devil between us, but the leaders of your brigades understood and they sat down with their brothers in the Islamic State to disenable the fuse of fitna and scatter the seeds of love, and...[I am obligated] to spare your blood and that of every muslim who has not incurred heresy in spirit or in blood. Fear God and don't forget that ultimately it is the word of God that is the highest, and not the nationalist (wataniya), and not the loathesome racial (qaumiya). ...you are all equally responsible for it [the word of God] on the day of resurrection.
In specific terms, he acknowledges there was a problem between his people and members of the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution, which he attributes to the meddling of the Islamic Party, no doubt referring to proposals for negotiating with the Americans. I think it could be significant that al-Baghdadi refers to this issue, but not to any others. This would be contrary to statements issued recently by various government people implying a much wider range of negotiations. (For instance, just today Maliki issued a statement to the effect the government is negotiating with several resistance groups, which he didn't name, but which the Aljazeera.net reporter says probably include Islamic Army, 1920 Revolution Brigades, Army of the Rashideen, and others).


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Badger, my comment is not directly connected with this particular post, but rather refers to a theme running through many of your recent posts. To my knowledge you have never reviewed articles by SALAH AL-MUKHTAR, a prominent Ba’athist activist and prolific commentator, but I came across one recently which deserves very close scrutiny. It was posted in Arabic on the Albasrah.net website on 15 April under the heading Selected Articles and the title translates as ‘Blowing up bridges and attempts to split the Resistance: what is happening in Iraq?’ (I managed to get the gist of the article from Google’s automated translation.)

It is a very sombre article and makes extensive reference to the fact that Resistance factions have been systematically infiltrated by moles who initially remained dormant, but are now engaged in a vicious internal war against their supposed comrades – eliminating Ba’athist, nationalist (and ‘genuine’ Islamic) cadres. (Reading this I was strongly reminded of an article by Seymour Hersch, published in the New Yorker back in December 2003.) As far as I can tell, Mukhtar also refers to America’s strategy of deforming the nature of the Resistance from within by channelling money from the Gulf into malignantly sectarian Jihadi factions.

As I said, maybe you could review Mukhtar's article in your blog...

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Postscript: in retrospect, my comment and Mukhtar's article are more directly connected with this post than I first realised, having only skimmed it. Surely Abu Omar and his ilk are perfect examples of the moles - or wolves in sheep's clothing - that Mukhtar refers to. By the way, I hope you don't think me presumptuous in suggesting material for inclusion in your blog, Badger, but the perspective of leading Ba'athists like Salah Al-Mukhtar really does deserve much more attention!! The Ba'ath is the cornerstone of the genuine Resistance, not these ghastly Al-Qaeda types, most of whom are paid agents (or double agents) of the CIA and other intelligence services.

8:57 AM  
Blogger badger said...

anonymous, thank you for the reference to that piece by al-Mukhtar. As you say it is quite interesting, and possibly timely, and I also agree that point of view is under-represented. I'm going to do a summary of the piece here soon.

I was blissfully (?) unaware of it, and I encourage you and others to call attention to things I miss...

9:31 AM  
Blogger annie said...

Reading this I was strongly reminded of an article by Seymour Hersch, published in the New Yorker back in December 2003

i am curious which article this might be. if anyone knows i would appreciate the link.

11:02 AM  
Blogger badger said...

annie, I couldn't find a Dec 03 article by Hersh fitting that description either. Definitely a link would be helpful. Anyone ?

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only article I know dated December 15, 2003 by Seymour Hersh is this five-page article:
Moving Targets
Will the counter-insurgency plan in Iraq repeat the mistakes of Vietnam?

There is the recent famous article titled, "Redirection" by Seymour Hersh here:

7:26 PM  

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