Iraqi Sympathy for Resistance Forces Fighting against the Occupation of Iraq

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Fri Sep 26 13:29:19 MDT 2003


Seth Ackerman, a contributing writer to Fairness and Accuracy in
Reporting (FAIR, <http://www.fair.org/extra/writers/ackerman.html>),
comments on the FT article below: "In this survey, commissioned by
USAID, about half of Iraqis asked about the resistance gave answers
indicating some degree of sympathy (i.e., fighters are provoked by US
mistreatment, or are resisting occupation, etc.) while fewer than a
third gave answers probably indicating opposition to the resistance
(i.e., fighters are Ba'athist remnants)" (September 25, 2003,
<http://squawk.ca/lbo-talk/0309/2214.html>).

*****   Financial Times (London, England)
August 4, 2003, Monday London Edition 1
SECTION: EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST; Pg. 5
LENGTH: 467 words
HEADLINE: Iraqis sceptical over US explanation for continuing attacks
on coalition
BYLINE: By CHARLES CLOVER
DATELINE: BAGHDAD

Fewer then a third of Iraqis believe the armed attacks against
coalition forces in their country are attributable to former Ba'ath
party operatives turned guerrilla, as US officials suggest, a public
opinion survey suggests. The study reveals scepticism among Iraqis at
the US-led coalition's version of the postwar violence, which US
General John Abizaid likened to a "classical guerrilla campaign" in
remarks last month.

"We're fighting Ba'athist remnants throughout the country. I believe
there's mid-level Ba'athist, Iraqi intelligence people, Special
Security Organisation people, Special Republican Guard people that
have organised at the regional level in cellular structure," he said
on July 16.

US officials have yet to produce much public evidence but many Iraqis
believe the guerrillas are a new phenomenon, fuelled by nationalism,
Islamism, and revenge.

According to the survey, by the Iraq Centre for Research and
Strategic Studies (ICRSS), an independent think-tank in Baghdad, 22
per cent of Iraqis believe the attacks are actually provoked by
coalition forces' behaviour, while 25 per cent believe them to be the
work of "resistance forces" - a word which in Arabic implies a degree
of sympathy for the attackers.

The data are particularly interesting if concentrated on the cities
of Ramadi and Falluja, where many of the recent attacks have
happened. There, fewer than 5 per cent of those surveyed saw former
regime sympathisers behind the attacks, 36 per cent said the attacks
were provoked by US forces, and 52 per cent named "resistance" as
chief cause. . . .

Overall, 2,400 Iraqis in seven cities across Iraq were surveyed by
ICRSS. Full results of the survey are to be released on Wednesday.
*****

Yoshie


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