The Iraqi Baath Has No Regrets

The US general who captured Saddam Hussein admits Iraq has paid a heavy price since the overthrow of the late dictator. Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said on the war’s fourth anniversary that he had hoped Iraq would return to normality within six months of Saddam Hussein‘s capture, but life in Iraq has become a lot tougher than he anticipated.


“That is the price we are all paying,” said the American general, “in order to create a more sustainable stability for the longer period of time.”


In contrast, regardless of the tens of thousands of their compatriots slaughtered in Iraq’s sectarian wars, the Iraqi Baath Socialist Party’s tone in an open letter marking the war’s fourth anniversary is complacent.


Under their leader, the “martyr” Saddam Hussein, countless Iraqis died in mass purges, and at least half a million in the eight-year war he pursued against Khomeinist Iran in the 1980s.


Hundreds of civilians are still dying every month at the hands of Sunni Arabs, led by Baathist insurgents and al Qaeda, and Shiite militias.


This week, Iraq’s Sunni vice president, Tareq al-Hashemi, called for talks with the country’s insurgents as the only way to bring peace. In a BBC interview, Hashemi said: “It might be that Iraqis need to be convinced that to break up the polarization, we have to go for, first of all, electoral reform and second, for early elections.”


The most prominent of the many insurgent groups referred to by vice president al-Hashemi as partners for peace talks is the Baathist party.


DEBKA-Net-Weeklys counter-terror sources translate and paraphrase key passages from the Baathists’ unrepentant open letter for some valuable insights into the minds of the former dictator’s ever-loyal adherents:


 


“Today’s Mongols, the US occupiers, are getting slaughtered…


 


The Baath made no mistake when the master of modern-day martyrs, Saddam Hussein, predicted the fate of the US Occupation as suicide on the gates of Baghdad and warned the US against taking the foolish step of invading Iraq.


Today’s Mongols, incarnated as US occupiers and Iran, are getting slaughtered on those gates… in Mahmudiya and Youssifiya to the south, in Abu Ghraib and Falluja to the West… in Diyala to the East… in Balad, Dur and Samarra to the north… These are the strategic gates and main entrances to Baghdad.


With the US and Iranian enemies committing suicide at the hands of the intrepid Iraqi Resistance and their weapons, Baghdad, the pearl of the Resistance and capital of the martyr Saddam, remains liberated in most of its neighborhoods and districts, except for some tiny pockets, including the Green Zone.


The situation on the threshold of the fifth year of the invasion is assessed by Saddam’s followers, point by point. DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Iraqi sources add these points up and interpret them as a no-lose, no-win appreciation of their achievements, with an element of wishful thinking behind the purple rhetoric.


1. The Baath is certain that the US occupation and its overwhelming material strength will be fatally and absolutely defeated, for the Iraqi people is excellently prepared.


2. The Baath draws on the words of the master of martyrs, Saddam Hussein, and asserts that Iraq’s pluralist society (Arabs, Kurds, Turcomens, Muslims, Christians, Sunnis and Shias) is a source of strength and creativity, and not a source of weakness as its enemies imagined.


The disasters and catastrophes befalling Iraq were enough to tear it down, were it possible to destroy its social fabric. The Iraqi people and all its components have endured mass murder on sectarian lines and the displacement of millions. But its fabric has remained stronger than ever before.


 


The Iraqi resistance is braver, smarter and more humane…


 


3. In this sense, Iraqis have achieved a formidable global strategic coup against US colonialism, preventing it from holding on to their country and making progress. They have fought the Americans to a standstill and made them a daily target of killer blows which bleed the US economy and its resources and destroy its prestige.


As we enter the fifth year of the Occupation, the world over understands that armed Iraqi Resistance has been the only super power able to dwarf the US hegemony and drag… it into the mire of bitter defeat. The most striking proof of America’s strategic defeat is its own frank admission that US military strategy which has been relied on for decades to wage two wars at the same time has been wrecked by the Iraqi Resistance.


4. The US Zionists have spread the false belief that the Arab nation is prone to defeat, underdevelopment, cowardice, egoism and dispersion, whose destiny is to disappear or be enslaved by the West and Zionists… and Iran. But the Iraqi Resistance has refuted this theory and proved to the world that the Arab is braver than the colonial and Zionist armies, smarter, more ingenious and more humane than any Western and Zionist models. A new picture has been drawn of the Arab as courageous, wise and able to lead.


5. America’s defeat in Iraq has been admitted; only three steps remain for its withdrawal, according to Cheney. The first is a 99-year contract placing Iraqi oil under US control with 80 percent of oil revenues. The US wants to be compensated for its war losses and has therefore ordered the puppet government in Baghdad to accelerate the enactment of an oil bill. The second step is to murder Iraq’s symbols and patriotic leaders.


That is why Saddam Hussein was assassinated and also the martyrs, Barzan al Tikrity and Awad Bandar al Saadoon; preparations are underway to kill the militant leader Taha Yassin Ramadhan [Ed. All four were convicted of the 1982 Shiite massacre at Dujail].


These assassinations are part of US preparations to withdraw from Iraq and leave the country without experienced, legitimate leaders.


That is why our party draws attention within the Resistance to the need to isolate the elements of sectarian orientation, to cultivate the spirit for defeating sectarianism and to hold on to patriotic and Islamic unity cleansed of sectarianism.*


May the fifth year of the Occupation be the decisive year for victory and the expulsion of the Occupation. Long live the Iraqi armed resistance, the path of freedom and independence. Glory and eternity for the martyrs of Iraqi resistance! Shame and dishonor to the US and Iran!


Iraq leadership


The Arab Baath Socialist Party


Baghdad, Martyr Saddam Capital City


20th March 2007


 


* This passage hints at the serious opposition to al Qaeda and its methods DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Iraq sources have uncovered in Baath ranks and leadership. The last straw – even for Saddam’s partisans – was al Qaeda’s dirty gas bomb campaign – six toxic chlorine gas attacks in six weeks.


Saturday, March 17, three suicide bombers blew up their chlorine-filled tankers in three of al Qaeda’s hotbeds in the western Iraqi Anbar province: Falluja, Amiria and Ramadi. At least 8 people were killed and 356 victims, including 6 American servicemen, taken to hospital.


Mashan Jabouri, chief of the Sunni Arab Jabour tribe and a staunch champion of the Baath, responded by taking up the cudgels against al Qaeda, the first Baathist leader to do so openly.


In a letter to Abu Omar alBaghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq, Jabouri wrote:


“What you are doing is not fighting the Shiites or the Americans, but making the entire Iraqi people refugees who are forced to flee their own country. We faithfully supported your operations against the American occupation. But now, you are striking at Iraqi national unity and that we cannot accept. You are withdrawing protection from the people you pledged to keep safe.


Jabouri’s final word: “From this moment, we no longer fight under al Qaeda’s flag!”

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