- On Sunday April 15th I interviewed a high ranking member
of Iraq's Ba'ath Party in Damascus, Syria. Like many senior party members,
he lives in exile in Syria, and spoke on condition of anonymity by asking
to be referred to as Abu Mohammed. The following is an exclusive interview:
- Dahr Jamail: Please tell me a little about your position.
- Abu Mohammed: I am a representative of the Ba'ath Party
and Iraq's National Resistance.
- DJ: Western corporate media portrays most of the violence
in Iraq as if it is the Iraqis who are killing each other with suicide
car bombs in markets, etc. What is your opinion of Iraqi on Iraqi violence?
- AM: As a matter of fact, since the beginning of the occupation,
the Iraqi resistance has been doing their operations only against American
troops and their allies. Iraqis killing each other and civilians dying
is the fault of the invaders because there are too many parties and all
these parties formed militias. Some of these are supported by the Americans,
some by the Zionists, and some by the Iranians. But the job of the Iraqi
resistance is to get rid of the American occupation and they are not killing
- DJ: Then who is responsible for killing the civilians?
- AM: The militias and invaders. The occupation forces
and militias sponsored by the Americans, the militias backed by the Americans,
Zionists, and Iranians. The goal from this is to make the resistance appear
bad, as well as simply to kill Iraqis.
- DJ: Friends I know in Baquba say the resistance is fighting
Al-Qaeda there. Is this happening in Al-Anbar province as well?
- AM: Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before the invasion, nor
their allies. Al-Qaeda started their work in Iraq after the invasion. As
Ba'athists, we look at Al-Qaeda as different-they have different strategies,
beliefs and tactics, it's all different. Al-Qaeda aims to follow the Americans
and kill them anywhere in the world. The Iraqi resistance only kills American
troops in Iraq-so this is an important difference between us.
- DJ: American leaders claim they have had talks with the
Iraqi resistance. Is this true?
- AM: The American administration and the American troops
are getting used to lies. They invaded Iraq, they looted Iraq, they killed
Iraqis and all of this was based on lies. They took the former government
to a court and judged them and executed them and all of this was based
on lies and illegalities. The invasion itself was based on weapons of mass
destruction, and relations with Al-Qaeda - then it turns out there are
no weapons of mass destruction and no relations with Al-Qaeda, so they
were both lies. The Americans having negotiations with the resistance is
also a lie. Up to now we've seen no move towards negotiations with the
resistance about Iraq's rights. If the Americans want to get out of Iraq
and save face, they have to negotiate with the resistance and Ba'ath Party
leaders in order to negotiate Iraq's rights.
- DJ: Why do you think they have to negotiate with Ba'ath
- AM: They won't negotiate with the Ba'ath Party because
the Ba'ath Party and our resistance is the main branch of resistance in
Iraq. Nevertheless there are other resistance groups in Iraq that we do
respect. The resistance we're talking about is the Ba'ath party members'
resistance and other groups as well. If the Americans wanted to negotiate
with the resistance they can negotiate with any group they want that represents
- DJ: What exactly is the Iraqi resistance? What are they
- AM: The Iraqi resistance is a patriotic resistance by
the Iraqis. It has many groups from many sects of Islam and it's not exclusively
in one area of Iraq. There are so many parts of the resistance. Some are
Ba'athists, some are Islamists. We hope that the next government will be
democratic and include all the sectors and sects of society because the
new government should be of one sharing government.
- DJ: Who is funding and arming the Iraqi resistance?
- AM: In Iraq there are so many weapons. The Ba'ath provided
enough to fight for the next 15 years. About funding, Iraq is a rich country
with many rich people, so we can get the funding from inside of Iraq.
- DJ: What are the demands of the Iraqi resistance?
- AM: We declare liberation and independence. We do not
have demands. We have rights. We want Iraq's rights. Our demand is to give
back Iraq's rights. The rights of our people include the following:
- 1. All parts of the Iraqi resistance should be the exclusive
representatives for Iraqis.
- 2. An immediate withdrawal of American forces without
- 3. Full compensation for both Iraq and Iraqis for those
who have been killed since the sanctions starting in 1991 until now. During
the sanctions, 1.7 million Iraqis were killed. And according to the Lancet
report, 655,000 have been killed, and by now possibly even one million.
- 4. The release of everyone in prisons.
- 5. Canceling all the current political procedures and
all the 100 Bremer Orders legislation done during the Iraqi Governing Council
because according to international law, it is illegal to make any political
and legislative action while the country is under occupation.
- 6. Canceling the UN legislation that has been passed
since the sanctions.
- 7. Putting all the traitors, those who betrayed Iraq,
and those who are allies of the Americans into trials.
- These are the rights of the country and if the Americans
and their allies respect these rights, we can sit together. Not to negotiate
these rights, but to plan the withdrawal and discuss the implementation
of these rights. Also, the resistance will go on no matter how long it
takes or how much it costs, until there is a withdrawal.
- DJ: What do you think the solution is to the crisis in
- AM: This is the only solution we have.
- DJ: How do you think the Americans are going to leave
- AM: I've mentioned before that they have two ways. The
first way is to respect Iraq's rights, and to sit with the Ba'ath party
and the resistance and resistance leaders to implement these rights. Then
we will allow them to go out with whatever is left of their troops, and
with saving some face. The second way is the resistance will continue until
they withdraw, and they will not save face.
- DJ: What is the strategy of the Iraqi resistance towards
- AM: The resistance strategy against Iran is to liberate
Iraq not only from the Americans but to liberate Iraq from the sectarian
intruders of Iraq and the separation and extortion that the occupation
created. We are aiming for a deep and radical liberation of Iraq.
- DJ: What is your opinion of the role of the UN, Arab
League, and neighboring countries?
- AM: This role will be summarized by them giving humanitarian
support to Iraqis after the withdrawal of the Americans.
- DJ: Who is responsible for the attacks against occupation
forces in the south?
- AM: The resistance is spread all over Iraq, from the
north to the south. The resistance in the south against the British army
is a pure Iraqi resistance that includes the jihadi resistance and some
Ba'ath party leaders.
- DJ: Is the majority of the Iraqi resistance from the
- AM: Most of the resistance are former Iraqi Army military.
- DJ: What are your comments on the growing conflict between
the Shia and Sunni in Iraq?
- AM: The truth is that the so-called conflict between
the Shia and Sunni is not something real. It is due to political goals.
Shia, Sunni and Kurds have been living in Iraq for over a thousand years
together and there have not been conflicts such as these we see today.
This conflict is growing because of the invaders. And when the occupiers,
invaders and their allies withdraw from Iraq this conflict will end.
- DJ: What message would you like to give to the people
of the U.S.?
- AM: George Bush has insulted America in Iraq. I would
like to say the American troops are humiliated in Iraq. Your troops are
crying in the streets of Iraq, and they are defeated. Bush is lying to
you. The number of American casualties exceeds the announced number by
thousands. The real number is so much higher. This is my message. And I
would like to ask them to push their government to withdrawal from Iraq,
otherwise they will be annihilated. I would also like to say that they
have to respect our rights. If they withdrawal by the aforementioned plans,
we can say we do not hate the Americans and we are willing to have good
relations with America and her allies.
- DJ: What message would you like to give the Bush administration?
- AM: The American administration is full of criminals
and liars. They have to respect the rights of the Iraqis. We will charge
them in international court for what they have done in Iraq and they should
have to admit their fault in front of the whole world as well as the American
people. They should not lie anymore and they should be rational and withdrawal
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