Joe Hendren

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

'Are we seeing a popular revolution in Iraq' now online

I have added my article from the June issue of Peace Researcher, 'Are We Seeing a Popular Revolution in Iraq' to the articles section of the site.

At the time I wrote the article it was a given 'truth' in the general media that the insurgents active in Iraq were not Iraqis fighting for the liberation of their country, but foreign terrorists and former Baath party supporters. Most of the media still seems to swallow this line without critique or comment.

Since I wrote the article I have discoverd some very interesting figures courtesy of Empire Notes. On July 7 USA Today reported that:
"Suspected foreign fighters account for less than 2% of the 5,700 captives being held as security threats in Iraq, a strong indication that Iraqis are largely responsible for the stubborn insurgency.

Since last August, coalition forces have detained 17,700 people in Iraq who were considered to be enemy fighters or security risks, and about 400 were foreign nationals, according to figures supplied last week by the U.S. military command handling detention operations in Iraq. Most of those detainees were freed after a review board found they didn't pose significant threats. About 5,700 remain in custody, 90 of them non-Iraqis."
According to an AP article, 22,000 have cycled through US prisions. US military analysts also estimate that around 20,000 are involved, including 'part-timers'. These are probably good indications of the real size of the insurgency.

The claim that the insurgents are former supporters of Saddam is hardly likely to apply to the Shia cities such as Najaf, given that Saddam brutally put down Shia armed rebellions on many occasions throughout the 90s. Al-Sadr's father and uncle, who where both leading Shia religious leaders, were both put to death by Saddam, so Al-Sadr is hardly likely to be a Saddam man either.

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