Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Status of the other "political process"

Marc Lynch summarizes an article appearing on a major Sunni-resistance website (it calls itself Haq Agency in English; the author of this piece is identified as Professor Abdulrahman al-Rawashadi, give or take a vowel) not because it is unique, but to illustrate something of the status of political discussion in those circles. The genre includes these common points: (1) the American defeat means it is high time for the resistance factions to plan for a unified political front to deal with the post-defeat period, and (2) there is a need to start thinking about principles that should govern that process. And the very general principles this writer outlines are similar to those indicated in a couple of earlier summaries of similar writings, for instance: The front itself should be composed of the active and effective armed resistance groups, and not allow itself to be coopted by other groups with other agendas whether foreign or domestic, while at the same time the front should be open to all those who share its objectives, given that its aim is a political program for the benefit of all Iraqis.

But as Abu Aardvark notes, this writer goes a little beyond those generalities. He is also concerned with concrete first steps that should be taken, he thinks, immediately, in the context of the September events in Washington. In fact, his main point and the one he concludes his essay with is this:
We are confident [he writes] that those who have been able to stymie the American project and deliver it this defeat, will also be able, with the help of God most high, to succeed in building a governing structure that will preserve the foundations of the ummah, and will provide justice and equality and the protection of law for all Iraqis; and that for the jihadi resistance which astonished the world with the speed of its initial operations, the time has now come for it to announce its political project including basic steps, and the time has now come for the announcement of who some of its leaders are...and let some people not be confused into thinking that that would represent taking things before their proper time. Rather, it is a question of reaping the harvest of jihad and not letting the victories of the mujahideen go to waste.
In other words, at a time when opportunists will be purporting to speak for the resistance, it is necessary for the core of the resistance to start putting forward genuine spokesmen. The resistance has been successful, and it would be an irremediable error not to plan for the harvest.

The sense of urgency is also apparent in the writer's remarks on the relationship of the resistance to neighboring Arab and Islamic countries. He writes:
[There is a] need for coordination with Arab and Islamic countries so that they can fulfill their obligations in the support of Iraqis generally and this Front in particular as the best representative of the people of Iraq; and this support shouldn't be merely pro-forma or superficial, but should involve first of all permission for the Front to open offices for the performance of its tasks. And [conversely] the Front should realize that these countries have rights as well as duties with respect to Iraq.
Declaration of leaders; opening of offices in neighboring countries. Naturally the failure so far to form a unified political front means there isn't an actual program that only such a front could put together, but obviously there is a growing sense of urgency about starting up what you might call "the political process".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only came across this Haq Agency recently. I am not sure who is behind it, but it seems to represent the Islamic wing of the Resistance or, rather, parts of that wing. These people are a bit slow off the mark if you ask me!! Why haven't they taken the trouble to read the The Political Program of the Baath and its National Resistance: the Program of Liberation and Independence, first published in late 2003 and revised several times in response to constructive feedback from other Resistance factions?

Here’s a link to the latest version(October 2006): http://www.al-moharer.net/qiwa_shabiya/baath-oct-06e.htm

I understand that there may be people within other Resistance factions who have reservations about the Baath assuming any kind of the leadership role, but the fact remains that the Party is the repository of the collective memory of the Iraqi state, a state whose martyred President never surrendered any of its legitimate rights to the American invaders.

Any political programme that bypasses the Ba’ath will likely be half-baked, to put it very mildly.

4:46 AM  

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