Can one morally support the Iraqi insurgents?

Essay by Keir September 2005

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Large numbers of people from all walks of life and from all age groups, have taken to the streets protesting the continued Anglo-American occupation, and explicitly supporting the Iraqi resistance. In Rome, last December 13th, thousands of people marched through the city centre in support of the Iraqi resistance. Indeed, a tremendous number of US soldiers serving in Iraq, have also expressed empathy for the Iraqi resistance. Such empathy does not necessarily indicate support, but it is meaningful and significant nevertheless. One US Marine Officer, for example, in response to a mortar attack on a US base, was reported in the New York Times on May 2nd as saying "we don't begrudge them. We'd do the same thing if some foreign dudes rolled into San Diego and set up shop."

It has become ever clearer that the Iraqi resistance is in fact a classic resistance movement with widespread support waging an increasingly successful guerrilla war against the occupying armies.

Their tactics are overwhelmingly in line with those of resistance campaigns throughout modern history, targeting both the occupiers themselves and the local police and military working for them. John Pilger also argues this, and Dr. Susan Watkins, in her essay titled "Vichy on the Tigris", argues the same. Watkims writes: "In June 1940 the French Army, like its modern Iraqi counterpart, collapsed in face of the German Blitzkrieg without a serious fight. Within a month French National Assembly deputies gathered at Vichy had voted, 569 to 80, in favour of a collaborationist regime under Marshal Pantain. The Vichy government was swiftly recognized by the US and other powers, and the majority of non-Jewish French settled down to life under the Occupation. It was two years before the maquis began to offer serious resistance. Elsewhere in Europe, the pattern...