Since 2003, the Iraqi people have been carrying out a heroic resistance against the U.S. occupation of their fatherland. With a sentiment of enormous patriotism, various Iraqis are taking up resistance and have imposed various defeats on the invading troops.
Vitor Madeira and Sandino Patriota
A Verdade: What is the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance, and when was it formed?
Sami Alaa: It is a coordination of different political groups, composed of a section of the Baath Party, Pan-Arab parties, the Patriotic Communist Movement, Kurdish and Turkoman nationalist groups and two small Christian and Muslim nationalist groups. The principal character of the alliance is anti-imperialist.
We formed the Alliance in 1992. The unification took place in view of the imperialist aggression of 1991. At that time, we tried to unify different Iraqi exile groups to defend our country from any imperialist aggression. Before the war, in 2003, we made an appeal for the unification of Iraq to defend our country and to resist the war and occupation. After the war, we called on all Iraqis to resist the occupation and we are working seriously to support this resistance.
A Verdade: What was the position of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance during the government of Saddam Hussein?
Alaa: At that time we called on everyone to national conciliation, but we were always very critical of the form of government of the country, observing that a political opening and democratic measures were necessary to unify the Iraqi political forces. Six months before the war, we sent a delegation to Iraq to negotiate with the Saddam’s government and provoke a discussion about a new constitution and about a political opening, tending to clarify that a war was near.
A Verdade: What is the situation in Iraq like now?
Alaa: We have very special situations, since at the head of the popular resistance it has always succeeded in mobilising the people. The armed resistance is now very strong, and it includes Pan-Arabs, patriotic communists, a section of the Baath Party and religious groups. The political resistance, however, is not unified. Therefore we have to work to unify it and to further support the armed resistance.
A Verdade: What are the principal concrete actions of resistance within Iraq today?
Alaa: The armed Iraqi resistance is divided into three groups. The first is known as the patriotic one, and it is composed of members of the Baath Party, patriotic communists and Pan-Arabs. The second is made up of soldiers and officers of the formal Iraqi army. The third is constituted of small Sunni and Christian religious groups.
In the first group, it is necessary to make a distinction between the members of the Baath Party and the party itself, because the Baath Party was officially dissolved. This means that its members and the patriotic communists do not represent themselves as members of a political party but are there as a current with an ideological identification.
Of these three groups, the religious one is the smallest; it controls more or less 10% of the Iraqi resistance. It is important to know that we are not fighting for a thought or ideological current, but for Iraq and for the Iraqi State.
A Verdade: What is the position of the Patriotic Alliance on the electoral farce that took place in Iraq in January, and what are the forces that are supporting the United States invasion?
Alaa: We consider the invasion and the war as illegitimate, and naturally the political process of the invasion is illegitimate as well, according to international laws. All the institutions and legislation produced by the invasion are not recognised, whether it be the Iraqi Governing Council or the interim government. Therefore we say that this election is a farce, because its motive was to legalise the assassinations committed by the U.S. troops. Since then we initiated a boycott of all the institutions formed to legalise the invasion. We do not believe in free and democratic elections under an invasion. This is a contradiction in itself.
Imperialism says that there are 207 parties that support the invasion, but we do not believe this. There are parties of only one person. The ones that really exist and support the occupation are two Shiite parties, two Kurdish parties and the revisionist Communist Party of Iraq.
A Verdade: What were the victories obtained by the Iraqi resistance and what are the perspectives of continuing the fight against the Empire?
Alaa: At this time there are many clear victories obtained by the resistance. Several times we managed to militarily defeat the invasion. This is despite the fact that the occupation is using all types of arms to massacre us, arms prohibited internationally – lethal chemical gas in Fallujah. They are already convinced that the Iraqi resistance cannot be defeated.
When we are able to defeat the occupation and liberate cities, we organise the people for the work of resistance and we create militias so that these cities serve to continue the fight for liberation. The occupation uses tactics of surrounding these cities and provoking divisions and conflicts within the population, and it also finances and arms Shiite and Kurdish groups.
A Verdade: What can the peoples of the world do to create solidarity with the Iraqi resistance?
Alaa: The Iraqi resistance is truly legitimate and has proven its popularity not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world. It has also proven its strength in the fight against the occupation. But we cannot defeat an economic, technological and military superpower alone; we need all the peoples who support our fight.
The Iraqi resistance does not need money, nor does it need arms nor people, since we have all of these in Iraq. All that we need is a clear political support.
It is fundamental, also, that the anti-imperialist forces in the world should unify their actions. In this sense there exists a plan of the anti-imperialist camp to establish an anti-imperialist World Forum which will fulfil that objective. We are very grateful that a Committee for a Free Iraq could be established in Brazil. In Europe there are 11 of these committees, and they have promised to form one in Argentine. The committee has the role of unifying all the political forces which support the Iraqi resistance so that they can work together and develop the support to the resistance.
A Verdade: In the name of the Patriotic Alliance, leave a message to all the readers and collaborators of A Verdade and to all those who work for the Iraqi cause in Brazil.
Alaa: We thank the Revolutionary Communist Party and the journal A Verdade for the invitation and for the space for this interview. We are very glad to have established contact with you. We thank you as well for having aided us in the demonstration, and we would like to continue with our cooperation. We know that the Brazilian popular movement and social organisations have their own agenda of struggles and mobilisations, and we ask all the members that we coordinate the daily struggles with the anti-imperialist mobilisations of support to the Iraqi resistance.
From: ‘A Verdade’, March 2005.
Translated from the Portuguese by George Gruenthal.
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