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Five Years on, Saddam's Successor Resurfaces Heading Iraq Resistance, Al-Baath

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Addouri Outlines Anti-U.S. Strategy, Tactics of Resistance

By Nicola Nasser*

For the first time since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in April 2003, the deputy of Saddam Hussein, the late President of Iraq, Izzat Ibrahim Addouri has resurfaced, despite a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, in a lengthy interview with Abdel-Azim Manaf, the editor-in-chief of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Mawqif Al-Arabi, not a mainstream, on May 26 to lay out the strategy and tactics of the Iraqi resistance led by the former ruling party, Al-Baath. Addouri's resurface and the resistance strategy he has laid out represent a direct challenge to the U.S. occupying power.

Manaf told The Associated Press (AP) he interviewed addouri "on the battlefield." The "dialogue" was conducted "with a commander in his lion's den and among his soldiers," in the "war zone" and on the "combat field while weapons were talking," Manaf said in his introduction. Addouri spoke in his capacity as "the Supreme Commander of the Jihad and Liberation Front, the Pan-Arab Secretary General of the Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party and the Secretary of Iraq Region," the Egyptian editor added.

The AP said "Addouri is believed to play an important role in financing" the resistance, "though little is known about how directly he leads fighters on the ground." However the U.S. occupying power, as well as Iran and the Iranian-allied regime Washington brought about in Baghdad after the occupation, have been keen to downplay the role played by Addouri and his party in the national resistance and instead highlight the marginal role played by Al-Qaeda, which was brought into Iraq for the first time ever thanks to U.S., and other Islamists.

If history could illuminate current events, Addouri's reference to this "blackout" media policy is vindicated by the precedent of the U.S. – British planning for the coup that brought down the Iranian leader Mohamed Musaddiq's government in August 1953, which installed the Shah in power.

"One key aspect of the plot was to portray the demonstrating mobs (against Musaddiq, which was "a mercenary mob. It had no ideology. The mob was paid for by American dollars.") as supporters of the Iranian Communist Party - Tudeh ... As in every other British and US military intervention until the collapse of the USSR, the 'communist threat' scenario was deployed as the Official Story ... The real threat of nationalism (and dirtier aims like protecting oil profits) were downplayed or removed from the picture presented to the public." [Mark Curtis, "Web of Deciet," Vintage, 2003] In Iraq, the U.S. propaganda machine has only replaced the "communist threat" by that of Al-Qaeda.

Manaf, in his introduction, noted how much Addouri was a dedicated religious man, very well versed in Islamic theology and Arab history, and familiar with Sufism. His Arab and Islamic culture was reflected extensively in his answers, which were full of quotations from the Holy Quarn and the sayings of historic Arab and Muslim leaders, a fact that makes the translation of his interview into English an impossible mission sometimes.

Addouri identified Al-Baath as a "revolutionary organization, a brave and innovative leadership, an armed revolutionary Jihadist organization; it represents a fearless army and glorious armed forces."

Denying media reports about his ill health (born July 1, 1942), Addouri confirmed that, "I am in good health and at the height of the Jihad spirit," adding that, "today, I believe I am immigrating to God and His Prophet," and "left the world, myself and its fortunes behind my back" to be totally dedicated to and "garrisoned for God and for His Sake" until "either victory or martyrdom."

Three Chapters of Resistance

"Our resistance and battle with the (U.S.) occupier is not new," Addouri said. "It started during the early years of Al-Baath formation to expand and deepen after the glorious Tammuz (July) revolution of 1968 ... Prior to 2003, the imperialist enemy used local forces from Iraq, and the (Arab) nation sometimes; other times it used regional powers to fight us on its behalf. When its local and regional instruments failed to stop the Pan-Arab renaissance march of Iraq, the U.S. enemy directly entered the field of struggle and combat, amassed great powers, and led the invasion and occupation by itself."

He identified three stages of the Iraqi resistance to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation. "The first chapter was the official showdown, when the regular formations of the brave armed forces stood up to the U.S. invasion; then the launch of the popular confrontation against the invasion, which inter-wined with this chapter. The popular, official and military integration occurred immediately and the people's war of liberation started during the first week of the invasion, as was planned by the leadership and according to its strategy."

During this second chapter of the resistance formations from the civil organizations of the party, Fedayeen Saddam and volunteers took part in carrying our "martyrdom operations." The "glorious women of Iraq participated in the first formations of the popular resistance." Some of those women carried out "martyrdom operations, the first of which was the heroic operation carried out by two women in Baghdad on the third day of the occupation; another operation was carried out by a glorious Iraqi woman in Al-Nassiriyah south of Iraq."

The "third chapter is sustaining the resistance and continuing the battle until the liberation of Iraq."

Addouri said that during the occupation more than one million and three hundred thousand Iraqis fell martyrs, and "so far the number of Al-Baath martyrs in this battle amounts to one hundred and twenty thousand."

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

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