Insurgents don't fight invaders... repulsers do

No, we’re not talking about weapons that might be fired from future robotic avengers of the 2003 invasion of Iraq ; nor are we referring to futuristic anti-gravity or other technical gizmos which may originate in yet-to-come Chaldean science fiction. The repulsers we have in mind are simply flesh and blood fighters who refuse to accept the occupation of Iraq by a foreign nation, by a foreign culture… by missionaries claiming to be preaching democracy’s gospel.

These repulsers have been called just about everything under the sun, from patriotic heroes and martyrs to terrorist thugs. It’s all a question of who is vocalizing either the accolades of admiration or the pejorative Rumsfeldian verbiage. During this past year of occupation, most of the international media has settled on the term “insurgents” to refer to those who bring havoc to America ’s military, and make Ameri-pacification of the region virtually impossible. As for me, I prefer to call them repulsers, without regard as to whether they are home-grown nationalists or “professionalized” terrorists, as the CIA’s National Intelligence Council tags the volunteer Islamic fighters crossing the border to join the guerrilla warfare.

What’s taking place in Iraq is most definitely not a rebellion… whether one calls it insurgence, insurrection, mutiny, revolt or uprising… nor is it the beginning of a reconquest. Iraq ’s military may have been unable to put up a conventional defense against an invader with overwhelmingly superior weaponry, but that’s not to imply that Iraq was subdued or that law and order were reestablished by the occupier. And insurgence can only come from an existing law and order. In a nutshell, Iraq was never conquered despite all the imagery that the world saw on their television sets. The resistance has been alive and well since the day Baghdad symbolically fell.

One might ask whether this resistance comes from the broad spectrum of the Iraqi population, or if it’s restricted to a geographical area, or to a specific ethnic or religious group. A few months ago, it appeared as if the underground resistance was bi-frontal. One front represented by both the Mahdi Militia loyal to Muqtada Sadr, and the Badr Brigade presumably loyal to Ayatollah Al-Sistani, a combined effort characterized as the “Shia insurrection.” The other front made up of the reinforced remnants of Saddam Hussein followers… makeshift groups of unlikely religious-secular alliances. Now, with the Shia “insurrectionists” having accepted a truce, perhaps motivated by an anticipated much greater access to power, the resistance appears to be run from the militant arm of the Sunni minority, composed by a list of factions including those led by Ansar al-Islam and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The question that begs to be answered: Is there wide support from Iraq ’s population for this type of resistance? Discounting the Kurds in the North and a to-be-expected element of fear in both Shi'i and Sunni people, the repulsers couldn’t operate as successfully as they have without a strong support, even if lacking in action, from the citizenry… or the conviction by most Iraqis that their future must be sculpted with their own hands. What may have been uncertainty in mid-2003 is now an ever growing belief, perhaps out of desperation, that whatever needs to be done in the nation, in terms of both governance and reconstruction, are matters for Iraqis to resolve themselves… certainly not the United States , nor any unaccredited coalition at America ’s beck and call.

By now, it should be safe to say that whatever “master plan” the Bush Administration had initially prepared for Iraq wears over it a layer of daisies. As much as he dislikes embarrassment, Bush would like to exit Iraq with the same speed and aplomb that Nixon exhibited when America left Vietnam . His best option now: to have the election held as scheduled without a boycott from the Association of Muslim Scholars, hopefully attaining a reasonable turnout; then execute a plan pulling back all American troops by year’s end.

Forget about democracy, military bases, crude oil, or the reconstruction of a shuttered nation. Vietnam was left in shambles… and so will Iraq . After the destruction that by some accounts could reach half a trillion dollars in present and future costs… it’s time for Bush to change gears, concentrating this time on the all-important domestic issue of “wealth redistribution,” something that long-term could yield America’s rich several trillion from the poor.

At the end of the day, Bush will tell you with unequivocal conviction that America did all it could to bring democracy to Iraq . Unfortunately for Bush, he will not be known for the “failure” to democratize Iraq … but for his “success” in meta-morphing terrorism by invading a secular Muslim nation that posed no danger to the US , and doing so in a helter-skelter way.

As for the prospect of a civil war between the three peoples now sharing Iraq, or the holocaustic damage inflicted by this 21st century crusade… for that, Bush will not only have to face world opinion, but the wrath of his Creator as well.