Sunday, April 27, 2008


From Missing Links

".....The Baath-party website says Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, head of the main or loyalist wing of the party (described by AlHayat as still the "main" wing of the party, as opposed to the breakaway group headed by Ahmed Yunis al-Ahmed) paid a visit to Wasit province April 10, the fifth anniversary of the American invasion, where he met with tribal and military leaders that are in his camp. His statement to these group-leaders is published in an English-language version by the website (just click on "English" at the upper left corner of the main page), but for some reason I don't see it in Arabic, which is why I was hoping to cite the AlHayat report. In any event, the statement is there to read. He calls for jihad, jihad, and then jihad, in order to oust the enemy and force him to withdraw, covered with humiliation and defeat, and draped in ignominy, shame, infamy and dishonor." Which is Izzat Ibrahim's way of saying he doesn't think much of the ex-Baathists that have been holding talks with the Americans.

(Comparing in a very broad way the appeals of Sadr and of Izzat Ibrahim, it is noteworthy that Izzat Ibrahim is being very strictly institutional, stressing the "reinstatement" of the Iraqi army, and the historic roots of that institution and so on, as the specific guarantor, so to speak, of the unity of Iraq. Sadr, whose expressed aims are the same--expelling the occupier, no compromise with foreign intervention of any kind--when he says "we" he refers of course primarily to "the followers of Al Sadr" (and he refers to the history of suffering and "patience" just as Izzat Ibrahim refers to the history of glorious triumphs), but Sadr is careful to broaden his appeal to include, for instance, the members of the government security services, and what he called in his latest statement "the honorable resistance"--clearly alluding to the Sunni resistance. For now I merely point out that there is a difference in the breadth of the appeal. Harith al-Dhari, speaking to the Islamist resistance groups, has clearly been trying to broaden his appeal in his own way, but I don't think we have heard from him lately (since the announcement of the Awakening/political initiative anyway)......"

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