the Disillusioned kid: The 'Proof' That al-Zarqawi is Organising the Resistance
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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The 'Proof' That al-Zarqawi is Organising the Resistance

Today's Times reports:
A group of Iraqi gunmen calling themselves the Salvation Movement issued a videotape threatening to kill the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi unless he leaves the country. In the tape, handed to al-Arabiya television station, armed men in headscarves stand in front of an Iraqi flag while one reads a statement saying: The criminal Abu Musab al-Zarqawi must immediately leave Iraq and everyone who supports or shelters him must stop what they are doing, especially after his heinous acts, which killed innocents all over Iraq.

A senior military source said that the US knew nothing about the group, which is among dozens of previously unknown organisations that have issued declarations in Iraq over recent months. (Times, 7/7/04)
This would seem to undermine claims by "coalition" spokesmen and much of the corporate media that Zarqawi was behind nearly all resistance attacks in the country, never very credible anyway. As I have noted before Zarqawi has little or no support within Iraq and is opposed by the genuine Iraqi Resistance, that is groups made up of Iraqis targeting their attacks primarily against occupation forces, such as Sadr's militia and the Fallujan insurgents.

In case anyone missed the point, there's also now 'official' confirmation that contrary to all the claims as to the near ubiquity of "foreign fighters", the anti-occupation insurgency is primarily being waged by Iraqis. A USA Today report (which comes via Zeynep Toufe) notes,
Suspected foreign fighters account for less than 2% of the 5,700 captives being held as security threats in Iraq, a strong indication that Iraqis are largely responsible for the stubborn insurgency. (USA Today, 7/7/04)
And if that's not good enough for you, there's more
The numbers represent one of the most precise measurements to date of the composition of the insurgency and suggest that some Bush administration officials have overstated the role of foreign holy warriors, or jihadists, from other Arab states. The figures also suggest that Iraq isn't as big a magnet for foreign terrorists as some administration critics have asserted.

In Ramadi, where Marines have fended off coordinated attacks by hundreds of insurgents, the fighters "are all locals," says Lt. Col. Paul Kennedy, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. "There are very few foreign fighters." (Ibid.)
So they must all be Ba'athists then? 'Fraid not. As this Associated Press article (via Rahul Mahajan) makes clear:
Islamic militants prevented a group of Saddam Hussein loyalists from holding a planned march Sunday to show solidarity for the ousted Iraqi dictator.

About 20 cars filled with armed, masked guerrillas who refer to themselves as Mujahedeen, or holy warriors, forced about 100 people gathered for the rally to disperse. Islamic radicals were frequently targeted by Saddam and harbor little sympathy for the former leader, who appeared before a court last week.

"God gave victory to Fallujah, because it's a Muslim (city); because it's applying Islamic law," one of the militants said, according to witnesses. "We don't want our victory to go to Saddam." (AP, 4/7/04)

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