Support the Iraqi resistance

Chris Kok

In 1940, France was defeated by, and surrendered to, Nazi Germany. The armistice led to three-fifths of France being occupied by Nazi soldiers and created the Vichy government that controlled the rest of France. There were fascists and opportunists in France who backed this new government.

That isn’t the entire story.

There was also a resistance to this foreign occupation. Some of this resistance even came from Spanish exiles. The French resistance started small with spontaneous acts of sabotage and non-cooperation. As time progressed, they grew in strength and their actions became more organized. They attacked the electrical grid, railways and convoys. The resistance groups started off independent and dispersed. Their tactics reflected this. Later, the resistance groups became unified and played a large part in the liberation of France from foreign occupation. After France was liberated, those who collaborated with the Nazis were seen as criminal traitors.

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many Iraqis have decided to resist foreign occupation. In April 2003, citizens of Fallujah protested the occupation of a school by U.S. forces. During this protest, 13 protesters were killed when the military opened fire. This was one of the major incidents that led to the insurgency that our military is now facing. Once again, the resistance groups started off small, inexperienced and unorganized. Their tactics are varied. Some are non-violent in the form of labor strikes, others target coalition troops, some target Iraqi police and others target journalists and mosques.

There appears to be a consensus arising from the Iraqi population. Attacks against mosques and journalists have been highly criticized, not only by Iraqis, but also by those in active resistance to the occupation such as the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance. A poll by the British Ministry of Defense found that 45 percent of Iraqis support attacks against coalition forces, and 82 percent are strongly opposed to the occupation. In December, Iraqis voted for their parliament. The elected politicians decided to extend the occupation. This new Iraqi government does not represent Iraqis, but rather American imperialism. This government was imposed on Iraq instead of being formed by Iraqis – it has no legitimacy.

Imagine if the situation were reversed, if Iraq occupied America. Would you work with Iraq to form a new government? Would you sign up for the new police force? Or would you fight, with any means available, the occupation of America by foreign troops?

People cannot be free while living under foreign occupation. National liberation is required before there can be personal liberation. Iraqis today are fighting for the liberation of their country. We owe them our support.

How should we support the fight for Iraqi independence? By supporting the resistance to this illegal war here at home. Confront military recruiters, expose government lies and protest in the streets. Every action taken here to force the withdrawal from Iraq is a step taken toward the liberation of Iraqis from foreign occupation. When the occupation is over, then the Iraqis can make their own decisions about forms of government. It is the Iraqis, and not the occupiers, who should be making the decisions about Iraq.

Chris Kok is a senior international relations major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].