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From the March 2004 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 51, No. 3)

Iraq

Resistance's Busy Week

Al-Quds al-Arabi (Palestinian expatriate), London, England, Jan. 9, 2004

United States Army Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, announced yesterday in a press conference convened in Baghdad that his forces had succeeded in decreasing their casualties by 60 percent in the past month. He attributed that figure to their successful attacks against resistance fighters, their seizure of large amounts of weapons and ammunition, and their killing and arresting of various Iraqi, Arab, and Islamist elements linked to attacks against American forces.

Hours after this statement, resistance fighters executed a successful attack on an American base near Baghdad. After the rain of their rockets, one U.S. soldier lay dead and 35 others were wounded, some with very critical wounds, according to official American reports. In a similar manner, resistance fighters downed a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter, killing its nine passengers and crew, which the American military leadership has also acknowledged.

Whenever the American leadership talks about decreasing acts of resistance, this is a kind of wishful thinking because the reality of the situation is completely different. These attacks have not stopped; nor should we assume that they will stop as long as there is an occupation and there are still Iraqis who will assist the resistance in continuing its attacks.

Tony Blair, Britain’s prime minister, who visited the forces of his country “surreptitiously” in Basra a week ago, said that this occupation will continue for the coming years. This kind of pronouncement diminishes the effect of statements made by many members of the Iraqi Governing Council who talk about the end of the occupation in June, the appointed time for handing over power.

Resistance attacks are not a job or employment that has set hours, attendance, vacation time, or a permanent address and steady budget. For this reason, it is natural that such activities decrease some days and escalate on others. The only thing that is definite and predictable for the resistance is that such attacks will continue to occur until they achieve their goal: the end of the occupation.

The occupation forces and those who are loyal to them in Iraq imagined that the capture of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would be conducive to putting an end to this resistance. They believed his capture would propagate a sense of resignation and frustration in the ranks of the movements and groups that are behind the resistance—and limit their supply of human bombs. In the past few days, however, they discovered how much they were mistaken. Such major attacks have occurred three times just since the arrest of the Iraqi president, and nothing appears on the radar screen that tells us that this situation will change in the near future.

The new year will be a bad one for the American administration and its troops in Iraq. We say this on the basis of the realization that although the occupation of Iraq hasn’t even reached its 12-month anniversary, all throughout this time the resistance and its activities have not stopped for a single day.

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