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Najaf battle foils US strategy to impose puppet regime

14. August 2004

For more than a week the Madhi Army led by Muqtada al-Sadr has been resisting to the onslaught of the US occupation forces. Despite the completely asymmetric relationship of military power the rebellion could not only not be crushed, but has even incited on outright popular uprising reaching out from the shanty towns of Baghdad to the until now more or less calm port city of Basra passing by the entire Iraqi South. The only lightly armed and hardly trained resistance fighters are heroically confronting the US Marine Corps equipped with the most sophisticated military hardware and educated in a century-hardened spirit of colonial massacre and genocide. With fighter aircraft, helicopter gun ships and heavy artillery they are pounding Najaf and other insurgent towns. Already by now scores of civilians have been killed.

While Muqtada and his militiamen have entrenched themselves in Najaf´s holy places the US displaced the civilian population and are besieging the sanctuaries sacred not only to Shiites. The raging battle is of highly symbolic value as it is received as a siege not only on Shia and Iraqis but as a crusade against the entire Arab and Islamic world.

Simultaneously the US are bombarding Fallujah and Samarra, two strongholds of the resistance in the Sunni region killing dozens of civilians. From all over Iraq including the Sunni region the people have displayed their solidarity with the liberation struggle in the Shia south. A joint protest march of resistance supporters from Shia as well as Sunni background is being prepared repeating the joint march on Fallujah when it was under US siege in April.

Although militarily inferior, Muqtada vowed to not surrender and repeatedly called upon his followers to continue the struggle even if he is killed. He announced that a withdrawal of his Madhi army is thinkable only under the condition that the US withdraw its forces as well while disarmament will not be accepted under whatever conditions

Of decisive importance is the fact that Muqtada steadfastly refuses both to recognise the newly imposed government calling instead for the resignation of Allawi and to participate in the election theatre planned to stabilize the US puppet regime.

Actually the new US aggression against the Iraqi people resisting occupation confirms the failure of the US´ attempts to create some popular consensus for their government. Contrary to their intentions to overcome the isolation of their Governing Council, their puppet government, installed by a “power transfer” propagated by their media machine, is even more isolated while the resistance both in the Sunni as in the Shia environment is continuing. This is proved by the resignation of the vice governor of Najaf, strong criticism by several pro-US Iraqi politicians and Shia clergy men as well as numerous deserters and turncoats from the US-sponsored Iraqi assistant forces.

We call upon all the forces of the world opposed to the American empire to express their support for the liberation struggle of the Iraqi people against occupation by supporting and participating in the international day of action for the Iraqi resistance scheduled for September 25 on the occasion of the anniversary of the Palestinian Intifada.

End the occupation of Iraq and Palestine!
US and allies out of the Middle East!
For the right to self-determination of the Iraqi and Arab people!
Support the Muqawama (resistance) and Intifada (uprising) until victory!
Down with the American empire!