July 16, 2006
Bal-la al Mouss--Americans in Iraq
BAL-LA AL MOUSS
"Let's look at this from an Arab point of view. A couple of hours ago, an Iraqi-American friend visited me. He called the occupation and resistance, 'bal-la al mouss.' Then he explained, 'This means someone who has a razor in his throat. He can not spit it out and he can not swallow it.'"
July 16, 2006
A few weeks ago, a jubilant George Bush announced the killing of al-Zarqawi in Iraq. He maintained that the Iraqi resistance suffered a great blow with the assassination. Then, the U.S. administration quickly proclaimed al-Zarqawi?s successor to be Abu al-Muhajir and put a $5 million price tag on his head.
There are a couple of things that don?t add up in the U.S. assessments. First, attacks in Iraq have increased dramatically since the announcement of al-Zarqawi?s death. So much for the administration?s illogic.
Second, al-Muhajir may be in an Egyptian prison; a venue he has occupied for the past seven years. According to Al-Jazeera News of July 6, 2006:
Egyptian newspaper Al-Masri al-Yawm has quoted Mamduh Ismail as saying he met al-Muhajir, also known as Sharif Hazaa, or Abu Ayub al-Masri, in Tura prison in Cairo, where he has been held for seven years.
"Sharif Hazaa [al-Muhajir] is in Tura prison, and I met him two days ago while I was visiting some of my clients," Ismail, a lawyer known for defending Islamist groups, told the newspaper.
Al-Muhajir is on the "most wanted" list issued by the Iraqi government last week. The US military in Iraq has put a $5million price on his head.
The US army media centre in Iraq said: "We cannot comment on the news that ... al-Masri is in an Egyptian prison and not in Iraq, we have to clarify that from the Egyptian government."
I am curious to know if Ismail is eligible to collect the reward money.
The topic of the Iraqi resistance is now beginning to be heard more and more in the U.S. Not loudly, but enough to gain attention in certain areas.
For those who have followed this era in history, it is nothing new. But, the so-called "average" citizen is now asking questions. A growing number of U.S. citizens are questioning the administration?s version of the resistance as "dead-enders" or a bunch of "disgruntled" people, or foreign Arab terrorists who belong to al-Qaida, who are fighting democracy.
It?s about time.
Just the other night, while talking to a friend about the resistance, he said, "Now I know what Saddam meant by 'the Mother of all Battles.?" In other words, the statement that Saddam Hussein made on January 17, 1991 did not apply solely to the battle that had just begun.
The current phase of the Mother of all Battles is more than a population attempting to kick out unwanted invaders. It is a definitive battle in the history of the world against imperialism, ethnocentrism, and deceit.
Look around and you will see there is support for the resistance all over the world. In Brazil, Iraqi resistance clubs have sprung up. There is even an Iraqi resistance comic book series. Go to google and input "Iraqi resistance" in the image portion of the search engine and you will see U.S. citizens in Detroit, or in Pittsburgh, or in New York, holding pro-Iraqi resistance signs. This battle has worldwide implications.
But, the U.S. keeps saying that things are going well. Dick (appropriately-named) Cheney stated that it was in its death throes. Since then, the numbers of casualties have escalated. What?s going on?
U.S. commanders in the field are sounding negative. They are speaking about the resilience and the ingenuity of the freedom fighters. A year ago, we never heard such words come out of the mouths of U.S. military personnel.
There is a great problem for the U.S. Increasing numbers of U.S. citizens are calling for the U.S. to leave Iraq, yet the administration says it will not "cut and run." This is Bush?s new ploy of maintaining the violence: if one states that the U.S. should pull out of Iraq, he/she is deemed "unpatriotic." You will hear more and more of this kind of talk as the 2006 mid-term elections in the U.S. get closer.
The problem is that the resistance is getting stronger. More U.S. (military and civilian) deaths are occurring. More stooge Iraqi personnel (police, national guards, etc.) are being destroyed.
In the U.S., more and more of the work of the resistance is being kept from the public. For instance, last week, it was announced in Iraq that two U.S. helicopters were shot down within 15 minutes in the same area. Not one word has been written. In the past, the shooting down of one helicopter made headlines. The recent destruction of two has eluded the headlines because it would admit a sophistication of military strength of the resistance that the U.S. wants to keep quiet. By the way, the shooting down of the helicopters has been documented on videotape, so this is not merely a rumor. A few days ago, several websites posted the video.
In addition, various U.S. military bases in Iraq are under siege. They are being bombarded by mortars frequently and many hit their targets.
A couple of weeks ago, two retired U.S. generals who were not a part of the military during or after the March 2003 invasion, visited Iraq and came back with some poignant remarks. They said it was only a matter of time until the Green Zone would be the venue of all-out war with the resistance penetrating the area. They also said it may only be a matter of time until the resistance destroys an entire U.S. base in Iraq.
The term "quagmire" was often used to describe Vietnam. When it was hinted that Iraq may turn into a quagmire, the hair on the backs of the necks of administration officials bristled. "You can?t compare Vietnam to Iraq," they often shrieked. Today, the term quagmire is precise.
Let?s look at this from an Arab point of view. A couple of hours ago, an Iraqi-American friend visited me. He called the occupation and resistance, "bal-la al mouss." Then he explained, "This means someone who has a razor in his throat. He can not spit it out and he can not swallow it." A great analogy. I would say, "fucked if he does and fucked if he doesn?t." Which ever of the terms one chooses, it is apparent that the U.S. is cornered in Iraq and will be for some time.
The resistance has led many people to write about its origins. I have stated many times my assessment that it was planned well before March 2003 by the Ba'ath leadership. However, some armchair leftists have said that it had nothing to do with the Ba?athists and was an impromptu uprising. They do not take into account, however, that it is well-funded, well-organized and well-armed. These factors are not present in any resistance that springs up out of nowhere.
On July 26, 2005, uruknet.info, a leading website for highlighting "information from occupied Iraq," ran an interview with Salah al Mukhtar, Iraq?s last ambassador to Vietnam. In it, he goes into detail about the organizing of, the actions of, and the future of the resistance. It is by far the most astute look I have seen about the resistance.
On April 8, 2003, Mohamed Sahaff, the Iraqi Information Minister, was holding a press conference in Baghdad. A reporter pointed out that U.S. troops were already in Baghdad. Sahaff looked and spotted a U.S. tank and stated, "We've got them right where we want them." Then he walked away. Despite universal ridicule about his statement, Sahaff stuck to his proclamation. Nobody is laughing today about the Iraqi Information Minister?s declaration.
In case you forgot, the American press referred to Sahaff as "Baghdad Bob"