Friday, February 15, 2008

U.S. Troops Raid Baghdad Headquarters of Iraq's Democratic, Secular Opposition

New York's World War 4 Report informs us that on February 12, U.S. occupation forces raided the headquarters of the Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC), a democratic, secular alternative to the U.S. occupation and reactionary fundamentalist trends in that war-scarred nation.

Spearheaded by the radical Worker-Communist Party of Iraq and other left forces, the IFC was founded in 2005 by trade unions, women's organizations, neighborhood assemblies and student groups around two non-negotiable demands: an end to the American occupation and a secular state for Iraq.

Since its launch, the IFC has earned support and respect from workers, trade unionists, women and secular Iraqis in general; no small feat in a region riven by sectarian hatreds fanned by "Coalition" occupiers, al-Qaeda killers and Sunni and Shia death squads linked to the puppet government.

Needless to say, the IFC's great "crime" in Washington's view, is the group's determined struggle against all moves by the Bush regime and giant oil multinationals to "privatize" (steal) Iraq's vast petroleum reserves.

The IFC's Anti-Oil Law Front joined with leaders of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) and staged a mass demonstration in Basra that brought thousands of oil workers and citizens onto the streets last July 16, with simultaneous protests in Amara and Nassiryya. IFOU president Hassan Jumaa, a member of the IFC's central council, announced that the union will shut down the pipeline leading from southern oil fields if the law is "approved" (rubber-stamped). Despite threats against anti-privatization activists and the murder of union militants, the law remains stalled in Iraq's puppet parliament.

But fighting against well-heeled resource thieves and their Bushist minions isn't the IFC's only front.

With a budding theocracy backed-up by U.S. firepower, dozens, if not hundreds of women have turned up dead in Iraqi morgues or ditches, the IFC has launched a broad campaign against so-called "honor killings" and the thugs and gangsters who murder women under color of sharia law.

As a civil resistance group, the IFC has not taken up arms against U.S. occupying troops and believe instead, that a broad, democratic movement against the occupation is first and foremost, the political task of Iraqi's themselves.

They are not pacifists however, and have fielded an armed Safety Force that maintain strict "no go" areas in mixed Shia-Sunni Baghdad neighborhoods where Islamist militias and shadowy death squads are stopped from plying their awful trade. Believing firmly in the maxim that "the best defense is self-defense," the Safety Force has branched out into new sectors of the sprawling city.

According to Bill Weinberg,

The Safety Force is increasingly made up of trade unionists, a growing pillar of support for the IFC. In November 2006, the General Federation of Trade Unions-Iraq (GFTU-I) merged with the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI), already an IFC member organization. Workers from both groups have volunteered for the SF.

Needless to say, because of their socialist principles and an uncompromising willingness to defend themselves against Baghdad's gruesome killerati, the IFC have been targeted by American "liberators" and their quisling allies in the Iraqi Army and police. Weinberg writes,

July 4, 2007 saw the Fred Hampton-style execution of the leader of a popular citizen's self-defense force in Baghdad. According to the Iraq Freedom Congress, the group Abdelhussein Saddam was associated with, a unit of US Special Forces troops and Iraqi National Guards raided his home in Baghdad's Alattiba neighborhood at 3:00 AM, throwing grenades in before them--and opening fire without warning at him and his young daughter. The attackers took Saddam, leaving the girl bleeding on the floor. Two days later, his body was found in the morgue at Yarmouk Hospital.

Abdelhussein had been the leader of the Safety Force, a civil patrol organized by the IFC civil resistance coalition to protect their communities. Like many IFC leaders, he had been an opponent of the Saddam Hussein regime, and was imprisoned for two years in the '90s. Head of the Safety Force since late last year, his death went unnoted by the world media.

Unfortunately his death, with a few notable exceptions was also largely ignored by the international left.

In the latest assault, Amjad Al-Jawhary, spokesperson for the Iraq Freedom Congress Media Centre tells us, occupying troops,

...made another attempt to eliminate the voice of freedom from Iraq by raiding the IFC headquarters in Baghdad today at 2:00 AM, when they forced themselves in, verbally and physically assaulted the guards and stood them out in the rain for several hours.

It is understood from the many previous incidents that these attempts are not to look for weapons or investigations regarding terrorist activities; but in fact they are to intimidate and eliminate any voice that objects the occupation and its puppets.

Ever since the formation of IFC, which has been always the voice of liberty in Iraq, the establishment of its Safety Force that was able to prevent crimes in the area where it operates, and the launch of the satellite TV [station], the occupying troops has never been at ease.

Nor will Washington ever be at ease when working people and just plain folks are determined to end the occupation, reclaiming both their country and their lives.

Isn't there a lesson here?

1 comment:

Clint said...

I haven't seen this information anywhere else. Thanks for posting.