Friday, April 25, 2008

Moqtada: Open war against the ocupation "and no other"

A statement by Moqtada alSadr was read out at a mosque in Sadr City on Friday April 25, explaining the meaning of the "open war until liberation" that he warned of in a statement last Saturday.

He begins by praising the followers of Al-Sadr for their patience, denouncing the continuing American attacks in Sadr City and elsewhere, and reminding his followers of their steadfastness in the face of Saddam, and in the two uprisings following the American invasion. But he stresses that the "open war" that he spoke of a week ago refers to war "against the occupier and no other". He reminds his followers that Iraqi security forces were given olive branches and copies of the holy book when they refused to fight against the Sadrists in the recent events in Basra and elsewhere, stressing that this is exemplary for the kind of unifying dynamic that should take place in this resistance to the occupation, as opposed to shedding one another's blood.

And he then turns to the other sectors of Iraqi society:
And at the same time I address all of the government forces, security and otherwise--indeed all of the religious and political forces as well: This open war is between us and the occupier only, and it is incumbent on you that you not intervene in the interests of the occupier, because our aim is to liberate you and to liberate your land from the filth of the occupier. And our government will be one of complete sovereignty, not impaired or doubtful in any way, and there will be no long-term security agreement between it and the occupier, and no matter how war is waged against us, or how much of our blood is shed, we will not permit that agreement, even if some of you are [its] supporters. And we will not accept the division of Iraq or the theft of its riches, or anything but service to the people and distribution of the riches in a manner that is just and equal. And we will not accept attacks on the Iraqi people no matter from what direction or for what reason.

This is in fact the aim of the honorable resistance, which should be our pride and that of all Iraqis--indeed of all Muslims and of all free people throughout the world. And we will not permit the resistance which targets the occupation, without [targeting] Iraqis, to become criminal*, in the way that the destroyer turned pilgrims of the Imam Husayn to crime ...--which god forbid--because jihad is until victory.

You, brothers in the Iraqi army and police, and you, brothers in the Army of the Imam Mahdi: Enough of spilling of [each others'] blood. Concentrate on the infiltrators and the defamed [occupier]. And let us become a single hand for the implementation of justice, and security, and the good, and support for the resistance in all its types, so that Iraq can become a secure and confident Iraq, with respect to its land, with respect to its people, and with respect to its neighbors.
(There are a couple of spots that could no doubt be cleaned up a bit by someone whose mother tongue is Arabic, but I don't think I've actually screwed anything up. But see the footnote below).

The expression "honorable resistance" is the expression some Sunni armed-resistance groups have used to refer to themselves, to distinguish themselves from takfiiris and others who target Iraqis. In other words, it has the same meaning in Sunni circles as Sadr's idea of "open war against the occupier and none other" is intended to have for his followers.

The point of the appeal to the Iraqi security forces is one that I predict will be (intentionally) lost on those who speak to Western audiences. Moqtada's idea is to subvert the government from within by a form of non-violence against the Iraqis who are members of the security forces, together with a declaration of open war until liberation against the actual occupiers, which should be something that everyone can agree to. And he makes a special point of urging followers to support the resistance "in all its types". There will be grey zones. And for the corporate media and others, these grey zones will be the focus of renewed and redoubled efforts to show that civil war is endemic to Iraq, with a view to showing that the continued presence of American troops is the only way of calming the situation.

* That's the way I read that sentence at first, but, which knows better, explains the remark a little differently. In fact it leads its article on this as follows: "[AlSadr] rejected the accusations of government authorities and their allies that call the resistance, which stands against the occupation, "outlaws", and he said, addressing the government: 'Our aim is to liberate you and to liberate your land....' In other words, their reading is that Sadr said he would not allow the Sadrist resistance "to be called" criminal. As for the following clause, it would mean "as the destroyer called the followers of the Imam Husayn criminals... which god forbid, because jihad is until victory. In any event, no matter how you read that sentence, Sadr repeats throughout the statement the prohibition against killing brother Iraqis, so the point is: He rejects both the resistance becoming criminal and he rejects it being called criminal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say thanks for your translations and insights.

Sadr sounds indeed powerful and well orientated and increasingly articulate.

Not sure that I would like him to be in power though. But that's not my fight. The Iraqis will decide on that. Just as it should be.

Kick out the occupier is the most important thing to do for now.

he is certainly right on that issue.

1:04 PM  
Blogger badger said...

thanks b. I actually don't think the man craves power any more than what he has right now. To put it in non-theological terms, I think he is someone who wants the power that comes from telling people hard truths. Wanting to have your hands on the levers of physical power is something different. A post-occupation political setup is I think a whole different issue.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think is great site that really publish the news fra Iraq in a uniq and different way, that make you understand more of that is happining in Iraq. I love to read news from

3:07 PM  

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