[Marxism] On that Jabhat al-Nusra "merger" with al-Qaeda in Iraq

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 10 06:59:23 MDT 2013


0949 GMT: The Insurgents and the "Islamic State of Iraq!. Reports are 
circulating of a 7-minute audio response by Abu Mohammad al-Golani, a 
leading figure in the Islamist insurgency Jabhat al-Nusra, to the 
declaration of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi --- head of the Islamic State of 
Iraq --- that JAN is now part of his organisation.

Al-Golani, saying that he had no idea about the announcement of the 
merger, emphasised that Jabhat al-Nusra would continue to act 
independently of any foreign group --- the insurgents will work towards 
an Islamic state, "but through the actions of the people and by the 
advice of the scholars".

While he said he would follow the ideals of Al Qa'eda's Ayman 
al-Zawahiri, al-Golani said his forces "will continue to operate under 
than JAN banner, not under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and 
the Levant".

0945 GMT: US Aid. American officials says President Obama has authorised 
a new package of nonlethal aid for insurgents.

Officials said the White House approved the package at a meeting of the 
National Security Council last week. Details will be announced later 
this; however, the sources said the aid will likely include equipment 
such as body armor and night vision goggles and other material which 
"could be used to aid...combat" byt insurgency.

Last month US Secretary of State John Kerry announced $60 million in 
"non-lethal aid", the first publicly-annnounced direct US support for 
the armed opposition.

0635 GMT: Islamist Insurgents. An initial reading from Joanna Paraszczuk 
and me on the alleged "merger" between Al Qa'eda in Iraq and the 
Islamist insurgency Jabhat Al Nusra....

It is true that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Al Qa'eda in Iraq 
has declared that merger.

It is far from established that the leadership of Jabhat al-Nusra has 
welcomed this.

1. The entry on the site al-Muhajir al-Islami, supposedly linked to 
Jabhat al-Nusra, does not refer to a "merger", although it discusses 
relations with Al Qa'eda in Iraq.

2. There is no further evidence that influential figures in Jabhat 
al-Nusra have responded to al-Baghdadi's declaration.

What is significant, instead, is why Al Qa'eda in Iraq chose this moment 
to declare a merger. Our reading is that this is attempt to assert the 
Iraqi group's relevance because of two dimensions:

1. The growing attempts by foreign backers of the opposition to promote 
and support a "moderate" insurgency, isolating Jabhat al-Nusra;

2. Al Qa'eda in Iraq's worries that groups within Jabhat al-Nusra do not 
want its assistance.

Joanna Paraszczuk summarises, "This is an attempt to impose an 
international dimension on a local group --- which is a good story to 
spin for the West and for Arab states too."

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