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The Iraqi Communist Party is strongly represented in the new interim government in Baghdad and is getting U.S. taxpayer support thanks to a U.S. group led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin , the premium, online intelligence newsletter published by WND.
No group in Iraq was more vociferous in its celebration June 28 of the transition of power from the U.S.-led coalition than the ICP. Outside the party's office in Baghdad, a dancing cheering crowd waved red flags as sympathetic passing motorists sounded their horns.
Iraq's biggest left-wing party has received a surprising amount of support and credibility even while U.S. troops fight Islamic terrorists and remnants of Saddam Hussein forces.
While the ICP welcomed Saddam Hussein's removal from power, it opposed the war that made it possible, arguing that diplomatic means had not been exhausted.
The Communists pressed for inclusion in the interim government, a body created by the U.S.
One U.S. supporter of the ICP has been the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a private, taxpayer-funded group led by Albright, reports G2 Bulletin.
"At present, the ICP boasts the most significant organizational structure among all the secular parties," NDI Middle East director Leslie Campbell explained.
The ICP's general secretary, Hamid Majid Musa, sits on the preparatory committee of a national conference to be convened later this month, which in turn will select advisers to the interim government.
Around 10 percent of the conference delegates will represent democratic secular leftists, which in Iraq's fractured political landscape constitutes a significant bloc.
The Communist Party of Iraq, al-Hzib al-Shuyui al-Iraq, was formed in 1934. Over the years, the party has experienced a political roller-coaster ride, as an underground organization, a legitimate political force and, then again, in the underground, as members were being viciously hunted down by the Saddam Hussein regime.
Iraqi Communists cooperated over the years with a number of Iraqi regimes, including, from time to time, even the Baath Party. The last period of cooperation with Baath ended in 1979, with the party going again underground. By 1993 another communist party, the Workers Communist Party of Iraq, joined the scene and linked with the Iranian Communist Party. Another force has been the Kurdish Communist Party.
At times it is difficult to differentiate between the origins of statements and actions, and, in the eyes of their opponents, they are all labeled with one term "Iraqi Communists." The Workers Communist Party of Iraq has stronger relations with the Kurds and with the Iranians.
Iraqi Communists at times actually assisted hostile countries such as Iran, especially during the long Iraq-Iran war of 1980-1988, according to G2 Bulletin. The Workers Communist Party of Iraq cooperated with Kurdish rebels and communists in Kurdistan. All branches formed their own militias, some fighting alongside the Kurds and later on with the Iranians.
A former Iraqi Communist now living in North America described the party's activities during those years as: "The Communists made an art of walking between raindrops and coming out dry."
With the re-emergence of the party across the country, one can understand the meaning of that description. Apparently this political survival ability is being demonstrated once again.
While the U.S.-led coalition is trying to adjust to the reality of growing urban and rural guerrilla campaigns, the Communists were quick to utilize their experience in the diverse Iraqi society. In today's situation, old contacts and underground experience are their main advantage over the numerous new parties trying to enter the political arena.
The Iraqi Communists have always been successful in concealing internal and ideological power struggles between their various factions. This fact leads to confusion around the question of who is who in the Iraqi communist camp.
Intelligence analysts say the Communists were, in the eyes of the Baath regime, a major threat because of their success in building an underground network, which from time to time stung the Hussein regime. A common description of the Communists in the streets of Iraq, especially within the large Shiite community is: "They know how to hide their hammer and sickle under the ayatollah's headdress." In other words, Communist activists who for years were forced to work in the underground can if necessary act as pious Shiites.
The Communist network includes ties to other Iraqi ethnic groups. They are known to have excellent connections with the Assyrian and Chaldean minority and with the Kurds. Their ties with Kurdish communists were boosted and became significant following the first Gulf War and the creation of the Kurdish enclave in the north.
One of the questions following the resurfacing of the Communists is where the funding comes from. This question is of particular interest since the old Soviet Union is gone.
The answer is that financial support comes from diverse sources, all of which are anti-West, particularly anti-American.
Most are linked to global interests, which do not coincide with those of the U.S.
Intelligence analysts say European communist parties are responsible for some of the funding, but countries such as North Korea and Iran are at the forefront of funneling funds to their preferred communist branches. Iran has a long-standing obligation to the Workers Communist Party of Iraq for its support, including providing vital intelligence during and after the Iran-Iraq war. The North Koreans are interested in pinning down in Iraq as many U.S. troops as possible to keep them away from the Pacific and the Far East. In addition, funds are being funneled by Syria as part of her anti-U.S. agenda. Other funds come from large communist parties in Asia, predominantly from India.
Some intelligence analysts familiar with Iraqi politics suggest that, at this point, Baath activists might even funnel funds to their Communist rivals aiming at strengthening them – for the moment. They will use any and every avenue to pose more problems for the U.S. A review of the Iraq political scenario reveals growing discontent among former army and government officials, many of whom are now unemployed due to the policies of the coalition administration. Many realizing the coalition has not prohibited communist activities are opting to start a new political affiliation.
The Communists continue to conduct many of their clandestine organizational and planning activities outside of Iraq, as far as possible from the coalition's grip. They have no problem of communication, organizing meetings and planning their strategy as they prepare for the possibility they may have to hit the streets to fight for their agenda.
Intelligence sources say the coalition should expect that, following the re-emergence of the red banner and the new face, the communist parties will in due course reveal their claws, demanding what they believe is their historic right and mission – to be at the helm.
The NDI has won bipartisan praise for its work in the former Soviet bloc and the developing world, but by supporting the ICP, insiders say, the NDI is embarrassing itself and the United States.
Some senior Iraqi Communists have publicly suggested to their loyalists that they were prepared to use violence against U.S.-led coalition forces and that they were organizing front groups and infiltrating civil organizations across Iraq to gain political power.
While appearing to cooperate publicly, the ICP Central Committee wrote a letter to its faithful in October 2003 explaining that it would use its position on the governing council to wage political warfare from within, to complement its fight from the outside.
"Our Party," the letter said, "has regarded the Council as an arena of struggle rather than being a final, fixed and definitive authority. ... Our Party can play a more influential role from within this process, to push in the required direction, while struggling, from without, to mobilize the people to effectively ensure that the process develops in the right direction. It is, in this sense, an arena of struggle because diverse forces and sides are influencing the political process both inside and outside the Council."
But NDI seems to treat the Communists as a representative voice of secular Iraqis. The group issued an on-site assessment report in July 2003 that stated, "When asked if the military or the Coalition Provisional Authority, CPA, should withdraw from Iraq, most people expressed a sentiment similar to the one we heard from a former secretary general of the Iraqi Communist Party, 'If the CPA were to withdraw from Iraq, there would be a civil war and democrats would have no chance.'"
On April 10, 2003, the day after U.S.-led coalition forces toppled Saddam Hussein, the ICP issued a statement denouncing the Americans, demanding "an immediate halt to the war" and "ending U.S. unilateralism."
Mousa told the radical Italian paper Il Manifesto in June, "If the U.S. wants stability for the country, then it should accept our solution."
"And if they don't agree," asked the Il Manifesto questioner, "would you then be ready to fight?"
Mousa avoided the question, replying, "We are now acting in a legitimate and peaceful way."
Although U.S. officials say the ICP has been behaving responsibly, they add that the Communists would be foolish to do otherwise. For the first time in its 70-year history, the ICP is able to operate freely throughout Iraq without fear of persecution.
Well-organized, well-trained, and supported from abroad, the party maintained networks of clandestine front organizations inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq and abroad. It was the first to publish a regular newspaper after the U.S. liberation, even as the Coalition was struggling to establish a credible daily of its own.
The ICP's organizational abilities has allowed the ICP to infiltrate new political and social institutions, including human-rights groups, and provoke them to take and maintain an anti-U.S. position, while benefiting from U.S. protections.
"A lot of effort has been put into rebuilding the democratic and trade-union movement," the ICP's "Comrade Ali" told the Iranian Communist Tudeh Party. "Women, youth and student organizations have emerged in the open, after long decades of clandestine work."
A senior Pentagon official said the Coalition Provisional Authority and USAID lack the means to screen the ICP, Islamist agents and other troublemakers from receiving taxpayer funds.
"It's pretty hard to screen them out when people in the middle of USAID machinery want to bring them in," he said.
Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com – a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for the last 25 years.
Statement of the ICP
Editorial of “Tareeq Al-Shaab” - Central Organ of the Iraqi Communist Party
Weekly edition: 30 June 2004
No: 49 Year: 69
Transfer of Power is a Landmark Towards Regaining and Consolidating Full Sovereignty
On 28th June, the occupation of our country legally come to an end and Iraq regained its national sovereignty in accordance with the agreement of 15th November 2003 and UNSCR 1546 which endorsed the timetable for the handover of power and completion of the stages of the political process, leading eventually to establishing an elected Iraqi government based on a permanent constitution.
It is of significance that the interim government begins undertaking its tasks and exercising its! full authority on the date marking the 84th anniversary of the Great Patriotic Revolution of 1920 which embodied an early awareness of the need and necessity of achieving freedom and building an independent state, free of foreign occupation and presence and all direct and indirect forms of interference.
With the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi state and the handover of power to the interim national government, the "Coalition Provisional Authority" was dissolved and the role of the civil administrator came to an end, thus ending the burdensome duality of power that represented an extension of the unique historic ironical moment embodied by the 9th April 2003. On that day, Iraq both fell under occupation and got rid the most barbaric dictatorship known in modern times. The collapse of the oppressive regime was received with enormous joy by the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people. They saw in it a triumph for their will and a culmination of their struggle against the ousted regime and their enormous sacrifices over 35 years. It was seen as an end to the rule of repression, terror, mass graves, the policy of political, national, religious and sectarian discrimination, internal and external wars, and all the consequent catastrophes and tragedies which covered various spheres of life. Iraqis were, at the same time, looking forward to a speedy end to the occupation and an urgent restoration of sovereignty.
The transfer of power represents a principal milestone along the path of completing the political process and achieving its objective: completing the transitional process, building elected constitutional and democratic institutions, and regaining and consolidating full sovereignty. Achieving this depends on the positions and policies of the interim government, and its ability to respond to the aspirations of our people, tackling urgent tasks that concern citizens and providing essential prerequisites for a free, dignified and secure life.
Moving forward towards regaining and consolidating full and real sovereignty, and strengthening an independent national decision-making process, requires the interim national government to ensure that ministries exercise their full authority without direct or indirect interference and pressure, and control over the army, police, security forces and other institutions. Control must also be exercised over the country's resources and the Development Fund for Iraq, determining the direction of expenditure in accordance with the priorities and needs of our country and people, and ensuring recovery in all sectors of the national economy. The heavy legacy of dictatorship must be eliminated, ensuring just treatment for its victims, facilitating a return to their jobs and compensating them for the damages and injustice they have suffered.
While this event inspires a sense of relief and hope among the broadest masses of our people, it also stirs up the hatred of the forces of oppression and terrorism which are trying to abort the political process and undermine its promising prospects through a series of brutal criminal acts which have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians. These sinister forces try to justify their destructive policy by claiming to "resist" the continued foreign military presence in the country, while it has become clear that their acts of terror only lead to the death of innocent people and prolonging the presence of these forces.
Creating the prerequisites for ending the foreign military presence is one of the principal tasks that our people's patriotic forces and parties unanimously call for fulfilling. It should be a principal focus for the work of the Iraqi interim government. It remains therefore important and essential that all necessary requirements for improving the performance of army, police and security forces are provided, ensuring that they are properly equipped to undertake their national tasks with high competence. This will enable them to defeat the forces of darkness, evil, sabotage and terrorism, and foil their heinous schemes and attempts to destabilize the situation and obstruct the implementation of the timetable of the political process.
We are confident that our people, and their government and patriotic forces, are capable of defeating anyone who wants to harm Iraq and Iraqis. This depends a lot on the successes and achievements we accumulate on various levels, and on marching confidently along the path of improving the performance of state institutions, ridding them of bureaucratic manifestations and corruption, releasing the potential of people, building democratic institutions, fulfilling the tasks of the transitional period, and complying with the declared timetable and commitments stipulated in the Transitional Administration Law and its Annex.
The momentous tasks which that government and people are facing puts great responsibility on the shoulders of Iraqi patriotic parties and forces, especially the ones that have struggled and made enormous sacrifices along the path of salvation from dictatorship. Their performance, ability to enhance their cooperation and co-ordination, expanding ties with the masses of people, upholding and defending patriotic principles, and putting the interest of people and homeland first, will be decisive for ensuring a successful outcome to the political process and achieving its desired objective: a unified, democratic federal Iraq.
Let us make this event; handover of power, a further incentive to defeat the forces of sabotage and terror, and to prepare the prerequisites for full restoration of sovereignty, continuing the reconstruction, building a state based on justice, law and respect of human rights.
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