The following is an archived copy of a message sent to the CASI Analysis List run by Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq (CASI).

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [CASI Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [casi-analysis] resistance [was: will there be elections in January?]

[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ]

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Dear all,

I'd like to quote John Pilger on this subject (date 31st december 2003):

AMY GOODMAN: John, we only have a minute, and I wanted to ask in addition to the occupation and the 
invasion about resistance. Months ago, we broadcast the protest footage from Britain. You were one 
of those who spoke in the massive anti-war protests that took place there. right now, you're in 
Sydney, Australia, which is the place that -- the area where you were born. What about the 
resistance and the protests?

JOHN PILGER: I think the resistance in Iraq is incredibly important for all of us. I think that we 
depend on the resistance to win so that other countries might not be attacked, so that our world in 
a sense becomes more secure. Now, I don't like resistances that produce the kind of terrible 
civilian atrocities that this one has, but that is true of all of the resistances. And this one is 
a resistance against a rapacious power, that if it is not stopped in Iraq will go on as we now know 
to North Korea where Mr. Cheney and others are just chomping at the bit to have a crack at that 
country. So, what the outcome of this resistance is is terribly important for the rest of the 
world. I think if the United States' military machine and the Bush administration can suffer -- 
Well, the let's say, quote, defeat, unquote, because it was never a complete defeat in Vietnam, but 
if they suffer something like that in Iraq, they could be stopped.

This quote also reflects my view on this subject.


a) there is a right (and a duty) to resist foreign occupation. That right is also given by the UN 
And hey, I'm from Belgium. We were occupied many times. During these last weeks there were 
interviews and radio-archives about the end of the German occupation in 1944. The liberation was 60 
years ago. I heard radio broadcasts daily about the days before the liberation. A voice said: we 
have to defeat the Germans "by all means necessary". Dreadfull things have happened during that 
period. But the most importatnt thing was achieved: drive the Germans away, back to Germany. Being 
a resident of a many times occupied country, the questions whether this or that method would be 
appropriate, or " is a certain level of collatoral damage a price worth paying for removing foreign 
occupation?", are very secondary. Maybe that is difficult to understand being an english resident, 
but resistance is in our collective memory, and my parents don't have difficulties in understanding 
what's happening in Iraq right now. If you open a box of Pandora, anything can happen. And who are 
we to evaluate what is right and what is wrong in the given circumstances? The tortures, the 
killings etc. originate from the US/UK "coalition of the willing".

b) as long as there is no united resistance front, things like kidnappings etc. will happen. Let's 
not forget that many of those atrocities and kidnappings of Al Zarqawi and other small groups have 
been condemned by many fractions of the Iraqi resistance. There are many groups operating in Iraq 
right now without a real coordination on a national level. But they're working on this unification. 
We should support those efforts. This support is elementary. So in my view, let's not fall into the 
trap of "intellectual spielerei", but see things in the actual context and concentrate on our 
support for the resistance and how we can help them defeat the US/UK army. All this distinctions 
between Sii, Sunni etc. originate from western policy makers, and are not in the minds of the Iraqi 
people who resist on a national basis, not on an ethnical basis.

c) what the result would be of "victory" of the resistance is none of our business. It is a 
strictly internal Iraqi affair. Self determination is a right for the peoples all over the world. 
So we need to advocate total withdrawal of all foreign occupation forces. That is the only correct 
position. Iraq will not glide into chaos. The chaos is already there, deliberately caused by the 
occupation forces in order to ease the robbery of the natural resources.

Hope these small remarks can contribute to this discussion.

In solidarity.
Dirk Adriaensens

In solidarity.
Dirk Adriaensens

----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel O'Huiginn" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 8:49 PM
Subject: [casi-analysis] resistance [was: will there be elections in January?]

> [ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ]
> Dear list,
> Some interesting points are being raised here, but I'm also aware that we
> are at risk of descending into personal arguments. So let me try to
> highlight some of the substantive issues:
> 1) what level of support is there within iraq for military anti-occupation
> movements? Peter argues that "if the resistance could unite politically it
> could emerge in the manner of the Algerian FLN as a body capable of
> establishing government" - is that realistic?
> 2) Are armed resistance movements inherently discredited by taking
> hostages and conducting suicide bombings? To put it another way, is a
> certain level of collatoral damage a price worth paying for removing
> foreign occupation?
> The moral issue here is fairly clear: to approve of armed resistance, we
> would have to believe EITHER that it will result in an improved
> social/political/humanitarian situation OR that resistance is justified on
> moral grounds, even if it leads to a worse outcome in quantitative terms.
> The second view, although crucially important, is essentially
> philosophical, and I don't think we have much hope of resolving it here.
> The first is essentially practical, and perhaps we could have a productive
> exchange on it. A relevant factual question is what outcomes we should
> expect in the presence or absence of armed resistance:
>   - does increased resistance hasten the removal of foreign troops, or just
> worsen conditions in the interim?
>   - what would be the result of 'victory' for the resistance. Yasser thinks
> this would lead to the seizure of power by the most ruthless group, and a
> return to dictatorship. Does anyone have an alternative vision of a
> 'successful' outcome from armed resistance?
> 3) In making moral judgements on the resistance, should we try to
> distinguish different strands? Can we discern, and perhaps accept, groups
> making attacks on US or British troops, while condemning groups which take
> hostages or kill religious men? I'd break this down further, into a
> factual question (how heterogenous is the armed resistance, in terms of
> the tactics they use), and the moral question (what forms of violence do
> we consider justifiable under the circumstances), which is nearly
> identical to question (2) above.
> 3) Are the threatened election boycotts merely a tactic to cover a lack of
> popular support for groups such as the Sunni board of clerics (as Yasser,
> I think, suggests). Or is this an appropriate reaction to an electoral
> process which many consider to be at least partially flawed?
> I hope the above helps us channel our discussions onto the specifics,
> rather than general - and perhaps unresolvable - moral issues!
> best,
> Dan
> PS: apologies for the double posting just now - entirely my fault
> ------------
> Daniel O'Huiginn
> 07745 192426
> 24, Priory Road, Cambridge
> ------------
> _______________________________________
> Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list
> To unsubscribe, visit
> All postings are archived on CASI's website at

Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list
To unsubscribe, visit
All postings are archived on CASI's website at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]