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Maliki's dead end plan
To recognise the Iraqi resistance as legal would undermine the entire misadventure of US military action in Iraq, thus the basis of reconciliation is absent, writes Firas Al-Atraqchi
More often than not, the popular paradigm present in discussions of the Iraqi resistance is a Western construct. It was in the Western media, notably British and US wire services, that Iraqis were first divided into Shia and Sunni and it was there, too, that a concept of terrorism trumped that of resistance and was hammered into the collective psyche of myriad commentators.
This architecture for the understanding and reporting of events in Iraq appeared late 2003 and fell into full swing in 2004. Again and again, reports from Iraq labelled any and all anti-occupation activity as of "insurgent" nature.
In some ways, this has been a coup for Western media, because on the one hand it absolves them of having to do their homework on who or what Iraq's anti-occupation forces are comprised of, what their agendas may be, and who their targets are. On the other hand, this approach also helps to group together all acts of violence under a single, convenient, moniker. For example, "insurgent" is today used to describe militia, resistance, Al-Qaeda, Zarqawi, Badr, Al-Mehdi Army, kidnapping gangs and other criminal activities.
How does this work? Well, first off, if Al-Qaeda mounts an attack against a Shia mosque the media attributes it to "insurgent" action. If anti-occupation forces defending their homes attack a US Humvee, it is also called an "insurgent" action. If a gang of criminals kidnap for ransom, it is also referred to as the work of "insurgents". Pretty soon, the lines blur and the reader assumes there is one big group of militants fighting under the same banner and for the same cause.