Much is written about resistance in Iraq these days, including assertions that it’s led by followers of Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. But the driving force is much more basic: people who are occupied by foreign armies resist. It’s the history of humankind.
The most under-reported element of the resistance is the upsurge in the working class. Occupation head L. Paul Bremer has preserved an existing ban against independent unions, but strikes, picket lines, demonstrations and sit-ins have been utilized to oppose privatization and mass layoffs. In organizing the unemployed, the Worker-communist Party of Iraq especially has provided crucial leadership.
But U.S. troops meet peaceful protests with brute force. Through Operation Iron Hammer, the U.S. is “installing democracy” by bombing and shooting noncombatants. The Iraqi death toll is rising, and with it armed insurgency.
Samarra, a city of 200,000, is one case. U.S. soldiers fired on a wedding party there, killing four people. Now, everyone in Samarra is a partisan — part of a mostly secular town uprising that includes Baathists and “people who are simply nationalists or patriots, or want revenge for family members killed or injured,” according to aljazeera.net.
As in all wars, women and children suffer most from the deadly conflict in Iraq. But responsibility for this state of affairs lies squarely with occupation forces, and their exit is the only starting point to end the violence.