After the arrest of Saddam resistance will intensify and unite even more, says Jabbar al Kubaysi
Jabbar al Kubaysi is leader of the Iraqi Patriatic Alliance which strives to unify the Iraqi resistance movement into a common political National Resistance and Liberation Front.
Anti-imperialist Camp: What are your comments on the arrest of Saddam Hussein?
Jabbar al Kubaysi: It was obvious that Saddam was under the influence of drugs being given to him in blatant violation of basic human rights. According to my information Saddam had already been captured two weeks earlier. The occupying powers used the time to prepare him und to figure out the media spectacle we have been fed. Without the help of Iranian intelligence the arrest would not have been possible. Often Iranian servicemen appear in Kurdish uniforms.
AC: The participation of Kurdish Peshmergas at the arrest was astonishing given the fact that Tikrit is an entirely Arab town?
JK: The Kurdish leadership is in full-fledged alliance with the US occupiers, who use them as cheap infantry. If one moves only some dozen kilometers to the north of Baghdad, road blocks are manned with Kurdish soldiers who carry out the searches while American soldiers command. This is not new but was established right with the occupation.
AC: Will the arrest of Saddam Hussein result in a setback for the resistance?
JK: No, on the contrary, within a few weeks you will already see a further strengthening of the resistance movement. For some Baathists it might be a temporary disappointment. Although Saddam did not exert any command function he still represented the one-man rule and the dominance of his family clan. Many party members who until now remained passive for that reason now will join the resistance. As the fragmentation of the Baath party reached its final stage, everyone was making decisions upon his own without waiting for the command chain, which anyway was no longer operative since the collapse of the regime.
Regarding the Islamic currents, an important pretext [they had] of not co-operating with other resistance forces is gone. Many remembered the rule of Saddam and were reluctant to collaborate with suspected followers of their former enemy. The Islamic leaders might continue to employ this argument but now it has definitively lost ground. So the different currents of the resistance will move closer together and thus further gain momentum.
AC: Is it possible that Saddam will capitulate like Abdullah Öcalan did?
JK: Definitely no. The pictures the Americans released shown him as a machine deprived of his will by medication. But whenever he seemed to be in control of himself he refused co-operation with his torturers.
AC: What you think about the trial the US heralded to set up against Saddam Hussein?
JK: This is pure propaganda. There is no legal judicial system in Iraq whatsoever. The occupation is illegal, as are all the judges installed by Paul Bremer. The people will not respect them. How can a convicted criminal like the US puppet Ahmed Chalabi, who has stolen millions of dollars, pretend to exert jurisdiction? Ridiculous! Anyway, they will not dare to conduct even a faked trial without thorough preparations and falsifications, which will require at least a year or so. They fear that Saddam will reveal a lot of secrets contradicting their propaganda lies.
AC: How did your efforts to form a resistance front evolve?
JK: After months of intensive talks we will be able to proclaim the resistance front within a few weeks. We are already about to finalize the programmatic declaration. The main elements will be: 1) The liberation of Iraq from occupation and the complete withdrawal of all foreign troops even if they might been mandated by the UN. 2) Any Iraqi authority set up by the occupiers, namely Bremer`s so-called Governing Council, is illegitimate, rejected and fought against. 3) Collaboration with the occupants will be banned. Policemen and other people in the service of the occupants will be asked to quit. 4) The Anglo-American aggressors must pay reparations. 5) The resistance front strives to build a democratic government.
AC: What about a democratic and anti-imperialist constituent assembly?
JK: This is still an open matter to be discussed.
AC: Which currents are inside the front?
JK: Beside our Iraqi Patriotic Alliance there are different national democratic forces like for example the Nasserists led by Dr. Omar Nadmi and Subhi Abdul Hamid, Iraq our House of Abdel Latif al Mailmayah or the Iraqi Independent Gathering chaired by Engineer Khaled al Maini. There is also the Islamic Committee directed by Dr. Harith al Aldari. The negotiations with a break-away group of the Communist Party in the mid 60s, called ICP (Central Command) led by Ibrahim Allawi are close to a positive result.
AC: What about the group of Muqtada al Sader? Did he capitulate?
JK: No, capitulation is too strong. The tremendous Iranian pressure makes him hesitate. I do not only speak about the political pressure exerted by Tehran but also about the direct presence of thousands and thousands Iranian agents mainly in the East and the South of the country. We had two meetings with Muqtada and he claimed that he will resist the occupation peacefully. That means that he opposes the military resistance. But nobody can believe that the US can be convinced without armed self-defense. What does legal means mean in a situation of illegal occupation? Our armed resistance is entirely legal according to international law and the UN charter, and also to Islamic law and our national values. We will never accept orders to disarm ourselves and to limit us to toothless peaceful action as Muqtada claims. However, we will go on trying to convince him.
AC: Are there any Shia religious groups inside the front?
JK: No, for the time being there aren`t although the group of the deceased Sheikh al Madani agreed to join. But as their leaders, the two brothers of the Sheikh, have been arrested by the US occupiers, their followers hesitate. Furthermore we have many single religious authorities and sheiks. They have considerable influence. However, it would be wrong to present them as Shia religious political groups. Their place is vacant and we will continue our efforts without waiting for them.
AC: Is the Baath party also inside the front?
JK: There is no official representation of the party as they are all occupied by hiding themselves. But many members joined the front or support it.
AC: And Kurdish forces?
JK: What is happening in the Kurdish areas is unbelievable. The collaboration with the Americans does not only affect the leadership but big parts of the population as well. This explains why we could not find a Kurdish force to join the resistance front though we tried. Our doors are still open.
AC: Many anti-war activists as well as many Arabs set their hope on France and Germany. What balance sheet do you draw about their role?
JK: We have to base our liberation struggle entirely upon our people and on the solidarity of the people`s movements in the Arab world and elsewhere. The European government might have not agreed to the US`s unilateral aggression but they are definitely not interested to support our resistance struggle. Look to [French President Jacques] Chirac. He officially received [Secretary General of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union] Jalal Talabani and [member of the Supreme Council of the Islamic revolution in Iraq] Al Hakim, those traitors who co-operate with the occupants. We will never forget that. [German Chancellor Gerhardt] Schröder is no better. He congratulated the US president on the capture of another president. Why he did not protest against this illegal and criminal act? Because we are a Third World county refused our right to self-determination and sovereignty.
AC: What message do you want to send to the anti-war movement?
JK: A few days ago there was the anti-war conference in Cairo against the occupation. However, the Iraqi speaking there did not fully endorse the resistance. The very same man had met the Japanese prime minister who is about to dispatch troops to Iraq. In the meeting he affirmed that those who killed the two Japanese diplomats were criminals. This is not acceptable. All occupation forces and their aides are legitimate targets of the resistance. In order to save themselves they have to leave our country otherwise they will be subject to armed attacks. In general the congress called to leave the past behind and start a new period. But how can we forget the aggression, the invasion and the occupation. All our politics start from that very fact. I ask the anti-war movement to take sides. Neutrality is not possible. We will continue fighting until our homeland is liberated. This is our right and our duty. Those who really are for peace and justice have to accept our right to self-determination and must support the resistance. All the others do help in one way or another the imperialist enemy.
AC: And to the Arab people?
JK: We know that the vast majority of the Arab people backs the resistance in Iraq as well as in Palestine as we are all sons of the same nation. The resistance will continue to grow and to unify our people. We will fight together until the invaders have left.
AC: Will you we able to receive an international solidarity delegation in support of the resistance?
JK: Yes, indeed. We invite all the honest anti-war activists to express their solidarity. In coming to occupied Iraq they can only choose the occupants or the resistance. There is no other side.