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Iraq resistance still growing

Published Feb 19, 2006 8:23 PM

Recent events illustrate just how much the U.S. and British governments were caught unprepared for the developing Iraqi struggle. The occupying governments were not ready for the level of resistance to their presence. Attempts at militarily defeating the resistance have failed, despite the diversion of 22 percent of the so-called reconstruction budget toward military contractors and away from the water and sewage projects the fund was allegedly created for.

Resistance forces have gained skill and experience in the three years following the U.S.-led invasion of their homeland. A wave of armed action has swept the country after the puppet Iraqi elections, the resumption of President Saddam Hus sein’s trial and the upcoming third anniversary of the invasion. On Feb. 13, nine police officers and the head of an Islamic party collaborating with the U.S. occupation were killed as guerrilla forces targeted police and government officials.

Just three days earlier, two U.S. marines were killed when their vehicle detonated a roadside bomb. The death toll for British soldiers in Iraq eclipsed 100 dead at the beginning of February. Meanwhile, Iraq’s leading Sunni political alliance has threatened a campaign of strikes and civil disobedience. The alliance is demanding that the Interior Minister and aides resign, that Interior Ministry security units stop operating, along with the release of all prisoners held at Iraqi administered camps. The alliance claims that the current Iraqi government is targeting civilians in the name of defeating “terrorists.”

Occupation forces are struggling in the face of a growing armed guerilla movement and the threat of a civil disobedience campaign against the puppet government. A recent report by the U.S. General Accounting Office says that the number of attacks in December 2004 were 250 percent higher than in March of the same year. Insurgent forces engaged in almost 3,000 armed actions in October alone. Most attacks targeted the occupying coalition forces. There has been an increase in the number of actions taken against Iraqi security forces now that they have become operational.

The GAO report cited a senior military officer who admitted that the insurgents were able to rearm and attack repeatedly because “the insurgent groups…are an intrinsic part of Iraq’s population.” This gives the lie to earlier notions that resistance forces were somehow outside the mainstream of the Iraqi population.