"The people of Fallujah love Cindy Sheehan", as well they might. Cindy will be attending the International Peace Conference, as will Saad Jawad of the Iraqi National Foundation Conference, Iraqi novelist Haifa Zangana and - clutch your pacemakers - Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani, Foreign affairs spokesperson for Muqtada al-Sadr. Not, you are whispering, that crazy bearded guy who fucks with our attempt to construct a Good Shiite-Bad Sunni dichotomy? The very same, and it's a good thing too. That the Iraqi resistance is persuaded of the importance of the international antiwar movement is significant - not least because it may well pull Sadr away from those dangerously sectarian SCIRI guys. If it also meant that the resistance chose its tactics to assist the antiwar movement in the West, so much the better.
Suffice to say, this is an event of huge importance and I would entreat you to sign up for immediately. Do it now. I'll wait here until you come back.
From the earlier article:
Abd-Muhammed described watching recent television reports with his family showing Americans waving banners that read "Stop the war in Iraq."
"I salute the American people because we know after watching them on satellite that they are ready to leave," Abd-Muhammed said.
"We know that there are now voices, even in the Congress, that want America to leave Iraq as soon as possible," said Fawzi Muhammed, an engineer who is the deputy chairman of Fallujah's reconstruction committee. "It makes us feel very happy and comfortable because it is the only solution to the problems in Iraq."
Not only are the American and British people overwhelmingly behind ending the occupation, but it is becoming difficult for even the most craven politicians to remain in denial about it. I've just seen John Kerry - he who wanted to send more troops to Iraq and do it better - concede on the news that the very presence of US troops in Iraq is the cause of the 'insurgency'. It's unlikely he'll support withdrawal - but curiously, House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi does. She was too cowardly at first to back Murtha's proposals, but has now decided that the clime is right. Meanwhile, the ardent warmongers are becoming more desperate - witness Bush's speech, and Rumsfeld's "epiphany". And then there's this beautiful moment in The Guardian this morning:
Mr Cheney has been under fire for his role in assembling evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Mr Wilkerson [Powell's former Chief of Staff] told the Associated Press that the vice-president must have sincerely believed Iraq could be a spawning ground for terrorism because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard".
Who says you have to choose?
And the political crisis of the US administration is coupled by the continuing moral disintegration of the occupiers. Oh, just for example, they're raiding the hospitals again. It's so bad that Iyad Allawi, pitching for some more votes next time round, has to say that Iraq human rights are now as bad as they were under Saddam and could become worse. The occupiers, meanwhile, are so corrupt that they are paying for the privilege of selling themselves in Iraq. (If they're disseminating this propaganda in Iraq, where to do so might be difficult, how much of this is being pumped into credulous Western news organisations?)
Clearly, there is certain cleavage opening up within the US ruling class. Success in Iraq is central to Bush's imperial strategy, yet many proud imperialists are wondering if the whole enterprise is worth it. The job of the antiwar movement and the Iraqi resistance in the coming weeks and months is to drive that wedge even deeper, inflict defeat after defeat on the warmongers by every means possible, and to make them so conservative in their assumptions about what they can get away with that they can't do anything but retreat. That's why the links between anti-occupation Iraqis and the Western antiwar movement are so important, and why the upcoming International Peace Conference needs to be as widely attended and debated as possible.