Saturday, July 14, 2007


Accusations this week claim the US military is kidnapping and murdering peace workers. Sounds bad. Another atrocity committed by US troops?

"The terrorist US forces kidnapped Abdelhussein Saddam, head of the Safety Force of the Iraq Freedom Congress after opening fire at him and his daughter on the 4th of July in Alattiba neighborhood in Baghdad. Two days after the abduction, his body was found in the Forensic Center in Yarmouk Hospital. The US force that committed this criminal act was a special unit who used special vehicles with the assistance of the Iraqi National Guards."

Another story states that " An IFC spokesman said the Iraqi police intentionally misled US forces, stating that the IFC was part of the sectarian Al-Mahdi Army that was planning to expand into the Al-Askary neighborhood, and therefore a terrorist organization."

Iraq Freedom Congress according to Wiki and IFC self-description, "... is a democratic, secularist, libertarian, progressive, and non-violent group. They oppose both the foreign military occupation and the sectarian violence, as well as Ba'athism, Islamism, and nationalism. The Congress was formed in March 2005 by members of groups including the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq, the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, the Middle East Centre for Women's Rights, the Union of the Unemployed of Iraq, Japan's Movement for Democratic Socialism, and various other activists and university professors."

IFC has members from the Middle East region and around the world, including the US but I didn't find the numbers of how many are on the membership list. The group was co-founded and currently appears to be run by Samir Adil. There doesn't seem to be much bio on Adil other than his own statements. Adil "fled Iraq in 1995 after being tortured in Saddam's prisons, returned after the US invasion to help build a secular resistance movement." He resided in Canada until 2005 when he returned to Iraq. He does tour with other world peace activists, including our own Cindy Sheehan.

IFC's website has their manifesto which resembles a terse version of the communist manifesto; inclusive of one and all – as long as agreeing with the party line. The party line consists of religious freedom but demands "the IFC is to seize power and establish a provisional secular and non-ethnic government" after which they "Confiscate and repossess all the properties and estates belonging to religious foundations…"

Although claiming they are a peaceful civil resistance group supporting non-violence the website reads a tad belligerent. Regarding security the IFC states it "will endeavour to become the conduit for enabling people to defend themselves" i.e. arming the people, presumably against all sects, gangs, groups, militants, Islamic hardliners, and the occupying US forces.

IFC blames BushCo and Iraq's puppet government for shortages, rationing, cuts in basic necessities – yet calls for oil worker unions to strike as a non-violent means of resisting the imperialists and cutting the stream of income that supports the al-Maliki government (and oil worker salaries). US and international labor support and advise Iraq labor unions. A bit like the blind leading the blind as American union power has declined steadily for 40 years to make way for immigrant labor, NAFTA, DR-CAFTA, and the world according to Wal-mart.

Adil condemns the "terrorist US forces and occupiers", while said forces removal of Saddam was the catalyst for his return to Iraq. Adil is a middle-age man and should know that after spending all that blood and money the "liberators" aren't going to just pack up and go home without major financial rewards.

IFC is in solidarity with AFSC, a group I've long respected (even if Nixon was a Quaker). But who funds IFC? Solely fundraisers of international peace groups and website paypal donations? The website states membership is open to anyone who shares the aims of IFC and pays his/her subscription to join. Can the average Iraq afford membership? How does one know with any certainty that this group and Adil are not aiding the violent Iraqi factions against their common enemy – US troops?

The manifesto of the organization would be acceptable to only a tiny fraction of the Iraqi people : Communism, confiscating the wealth of religious foundations, women's liberation, encouraging teachers and oil workers to strike during critical levels of unemployment, arming people's militias, communal neighborhoods (basically tattletale cliques), a world of united little people.

We used to smoke pot and talk the same rhetoric on the Boulder campus way back when.

Am I to believe IFC is a peace group because it says it's a peace group and hangs around on the international corner with other peace groups? Do I look beyond IFC's bellicose language of seizing power and confiscating things, look beyond the possibility the organization could be part of the sectarian Al-Mahdi Army or other sect?

Should I believe progressive sites report more truthfully than conservative sites when both slant information to suit their agendas? Am I to trust foreign activists to be more transparent than the homegrown opposition managed by the powers that be (whether they know it or not)?

There are many things I loathe about the US government; many things I detest in US society, but in the end - are foreign organizations any more trustworthy than the homegrown who for decades have aided and abetted the new world order? Progressive jargonistas, with many chiefs but few in the ranks, jet-setting and soliciting the globe, lecturing 6 billion commoners on how to unite for peace and justice.

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