Fears of al Qaida return in Iraq as US-backed fighters defect

The Guardian reports:

Al-Qaida is attempting to make a comeback in Iraq by enticing scores of former Sunni allies to rejoin the terrorist group by paying them more than the monthly salary they currently receive from the government, two key US-backed militia leaders have told the Guardian.

They said al-Qaida leaders were exploiting the imminent departure of US fighting troops to ramp up a membership drive, in an attempt to show that they are still a powerful force in the country after seven years of war.

Al-Qaida is also thought to be moving to take advantage of a power vacuum created by continuing political instability in Iraq, which remains without a functional government more than five months after a general election.

Sheikh Sabah al-Janabi, a leader of the Awakening Council – also known as the Sons of Iraq – based in Hila, 60 miles south of Baghdad, told the Guardian that 100 out of 1,800 rank-and-file members had not collected their salaries for the last two months: a clear sign, he believes, that they are now taking money from their former enemies.

“Al-Qaida has made a big comeback here,” he said. “This is my neighbourhood and I know every single person living here. And I know where their allegiances lie now.”

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7 thoughts on “Fears of al Qaida return in Iraq as US-backed fighters defect

  1. scott

    Al Qaida won’t leave Iraq more powerful Chris. But, al Qaida will loose it’s raison d’etre once we leave. Our mercenary forces that remain will be the target of these forces and the Shia who they’ll fight. Again, we can’t see past ourselves. We might have been better backing Sadr, who as a Shia is a staunch Iraq nationalist. Chalabi, al Maliki are both much closer to Iran.

  2. Coldtype

    “We might have been better backing Sadr, who as a Shia is a staunch Iraq nationalist”-Scott

    Therein lies the problem. An independent Iraq was never the goal of the architects of the US assault on that country.

  3. Barney.

    USA and Europe won’t leave Iraq of course — they will remain via their business links. But, if the troops do leave — Iraq will be plunged into sectarian chaos, with much of it egged on and whipped up by the Americans and the British and their other so called friends. Sunnis will fight Shia will fight Sufi will fight Christian and Mandean will fight Kurd will fight secular…… They will all be at each others throats — which will suit the West and their allies just fine.

    You have to feel really sorry for Iraq and the good people that live there — one of the oldest, most noble civilisations on earth, with a wealth of ancient heritage and culture — turned into a filthy blood soaked hell, by ignorant, stupid people who’d prefer to see Burger King and KFC and Walt Disney light up the streets, rather than the truly beautiful sights of Iraq’s ancient Synagogues, majestic Mosques,Mandean and Sabean centres, and Zigurats.

    How would those people ever forgive the West?

  4. scott

    Cold, I wholly agree.

    Barney, I don’t think we have much business in Iraq. The American brand ain’t too strong there. We won zero oil contracts there, save one deal Hunt Oil signed in “Iraqi Kurdistan” in 2003 (I think)

    I think we are basically Britain 1949. Troubles in the Indian Ocean will be the end of both of our empires.

  5. Barney.

    Scott, the question still remains then — why did US/Europe go to war there?

    The easy answer of course, is that ‘it was for oil, stupid ‘ — indeed, even high ranking bankers and fellow evil neo cons, in an apparent fit of uncharacteristic ‘honesty’ now ‘admit’ that ‘it was all about the oil.’

    But I doubt that explanation– it doesn’t add up — surely USA/Europe didn’t need to go to war at such massive financial and social cost, to dominate the oil links, or to get access to oil — they were doing just fine in that regard anyway, and US/Europe got as much oil as they wanted from their ‘allies’ in the Middle East.

    And the massive expense of the whole venture makes it a very expensive way indeed to get at the oil that they already had control of.

    It doesn’t add up.

    The other answer is that it was to safeguard Israel — but was Israel really under threat from a weakly armed Iraq ?Remember, Israel had already smashed Saddam’s capabilities in Osirak, and remember Saddam’s pathetic scud attacks on Israel? Not much threat to efficient European state of Israel is there? Iraq surely was not a threat to Israel and its huge nuclear stockpiles.

    So — why did US/Europe go into Iraq ? Try as I might, I can see even one valid reason that stands up.

    Oil ? No — we had access to it, and even if we hadn’t access to the amounts we needed — there are surely cheaper ways of getting it than wasting billions of dollars in mobilising troops there for so many years.

    Protect Israel ? Iraq’s capabilities were flea like when compared to Israel’s.

    It doesn’t add up — any ideas anyone?

  6. Barney.

    The other point worth considering is that it took us a little over five years to subdue the combined forces of Germany Italy and Japan, hugely sophisticated, wealthy, mobilised, motivated nations, all of them.

    But — it has taken much longer than that for the hugely powerful forces of America and their combined European servants, to even begin to subdue a rag tag bunch of militants with rusty out dated machine guns and donkey cart missile carriers.

    And we STILL can’t beat them.

    It doesn’t add up.

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