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Resistance attacks rise in Iraq

Published Apr 20, 2005 3:40 PM

Just when Washington, the Pentagon and the corporate media thought it was safe to hype that the war in Iraq was “winding down” because the Iraqi insurgents were being defeated, the resistance has proved them wrong again.

This upsurge in resistance has not made headlines in the U.S. monopolized media, which has such strong ties to the military-industrial complex that it marches in lock-step on the war.

But here is some of the news coverage gathered from the media abroad of attacks that targeted U.S. forces from just a two-day period—April 15 and 16.

Three GIs were killed and seven wounded in a mortar attack on the U.S. military camp in Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

A suicide car bomb detonated as a Pentagon military convoy passed through Mosul.

A Turkish truck carrying supplies to refresh U.S. troops came under siege in Baiji and was burned. Also near Baiji, in Al-Fat’ha, insurgents attempted to attack the oil pipeline.

A military base for U.S. troops and puppet Iraqi forces in Al-Touz, north of Baghdad, came under rocket fire.

A GI died during an attack on the Pentagon base in Tikrit.

Two other U.S. troops were killed in Al-Anbar Province on April 13 and 14.

Divide and conquer tactics

Would-be emperors in Washington have borrowed a page from the military manuals of the Roman Empire by using divide-and-conquer tactics to try to drive wedges between Shias, Sunnis and Kurds.

The Pentagon brass ordered their troops and three battalions of Iraqi soldiers to cordon the town of Madain on April 17. The rationale was that there were rumors Sunni militants had kidnapped as many as 100 Shiite residents.

An estimated 1,000 families live in the town, 15 miles south of the capital. The population is half Shiite and half Sunni.

An AP photographer and a video journalist reported that the Pentagon-led troop force sealed off the town April 17 based on the story of “mass kidnappings” and threats of large-scale executions of hostages inside Madain.

Inside the town, however, “People were going about their business normally, shops were open and tea houses were full, [the video journalist] said. Residents contacted by telephone also said everything was normal in Madain. And American military officials said they were unaware of any U.S. role in what had been described as a tense sectarian standoff in which the Sunni militants were threatening to kill their Shiite captives if all other Shiites did not leave the town.” (AP, April 18)

Boston.com reported, “[B]ut residents disputed that, with some saying they had seen no evidence of any hostages.”

Sheikh Abdul Salam al-Kubaisi, spokesperson for the Sunni clerical Association of Muslim Scholars, also refuted the claims of hostage taking. “This news is completely untrue,” he told Al-Jazeera television.

Iraqi quisling troops, backed up by U.S. military forces, began raids in the town April 16 under the guise of freeing hostages.

The following day Haidar Khayon—an official of the U.S.-appointed “Defense Ministry” that operates under imperialist occupation—reported that Iraqi forces had freed about 15 Shiite families and captured five hostage takers. “By the end of the day, however, Iraqi officials had produced no hostages, and Iraqi military officials and police who had given information about the troubles in Madain could not be reached for further details.” (Boston.com)

Madain is in what the U.S. military has dubbed the “Triangle of Death” because of the strong Sunni resistance to the imperialist occupation.

Armed with what have proven to be baseless reports in an occupation in which all news is ultimately controlled by the Pentagon, “National Security Minister” Qassim Dawoud announced to “Parliament” on April 17 that the U.S. and Iraqi forces sent to Madain were planning a large-scale assault on the region by week’s end. (Guardian Unlimited, April 18)