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Michael Yon speaks with the enemy of our enemy


In Michael Yon’s latest report from Iraq, Al-Qaeda on the Run, he interviews Abu Ali of the “1920 Revolution Brigades” – the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq, and formerly called the Iraqi National Islamic Resistance.

Michael Yon writes:

Just months ago our forces would have shot Abu Ali on sight, and he surely would have done the same to us.

Today we are allies, for now.

… We had certainly killed a lot of his people, and the 1920s certainly had killed many American soldiers.

During severe fighting with al Qaeda in April 2007, the 1920s reached out to American soldiers, and together they have been dismantling al Qaeda here in Baqubah and other places.

Why? Why has the 1920 actively turned against Al Qaeda?

Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam

… Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked.

Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping… every type of torture they have done.”

In concluding the interview Abu Ali had the following message for Americans …

… he said, “I ask one thing,” and now I [Michael Yon] paraphrase Ali’s words: “After the Iraqi Army and Police take hold and the security forces are ready, we want a schedule for the leaving of the American forces.”

I find this a curious statement to make.

After all, US-led Coalition forces already plan to do exactly that: To leaveonce the job is done – onceIraqachievesa reasonable degree ofstable,democratic governance.That’s been the plan from the beginning, hasn’t it?

Doesn’t Abu Ali know this? Or perhaps he doesn’t trust the Americans? Or perhaps when (hopefully) it finally happens, he can claim some credit for it?

Afterall, as The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge basereports (by the way, its database seems to be a few months out of date regarding the 1920, and doesn’t include mention of recent developments) …

The group first appeared in June 2003 as a “nationalist Jihadist movement” dedicated to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in order to build an Islamic state.

It’s vital that they do not appear to be actually HELPING United States forces. Any appearance of “help” must be a means to an end.

The endbeing the most bitter of allends:building an Islamic state – a state that is incompatible with Democracy.

Let’s also keep in mind that, as the Jamestown Foundation reports (April 10, 2007) a former 1920 leader – as well as about 30 members – have been slain recently by Al-Qaida:

The 1920 Revolution Brigades recently announced the death of its leader, Harith Dhahir Khamis al-Dari, nephew and namesake of Harith al-Dari, the exiled head of the Muslim Scholars Association.

The 1920 Revolution Brigades is one of the largest indigenous Iraqi insurgent groups, but after al-Dari’s death, the Brigades announced its split into two factions (the 1920 Revolution Brigades and Hamas-Iraq).

… Al-Dari was reportedly long targeted by al-Qaeda for his refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, amir of the ISI [Islamic State of Iraq], and was finally killed by an al-Qaeda ambush on March 27.

… Al-Dari is not the only insurgent leader who has been targeted by al-Qaeda. In addition to stepping up their propaganda campaign promoting the ISI, al-Qaeda has been actively engaged in assassinations and targeted bombings against Iraqi Sunni tribes who do not comply.

According to al-Hayat, militants from various factions stated that al-Qaeda has killed 30 members of the 1920 Revolution Brigades and the Islamic Army (al-Hayat, March 31).

Looking forward to more details from Honest Yon.

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  1. BB

    I imagine Abu Ali doesn’t mind aiding US forces now because we have supported Iraq’s new Islamic constitution. As you said, it’s a means to an end. An Islamic state built on “democracy” is a small compromise for the 1920s. They were afraid we’d force them to give up their barbarism and here we are subsidizing it with the blood of American soldiers.

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    Thanks for your comment BB.

    Your point is well made and it is exactly what concerns me also.

    I’d like to see some hard evidence from US and Coalition forces that they understand the nature of Islamists – those who seek to create an Islamic/Sharia state – and that they understand the true nature of these enemies of our enemies.

    So far I haven’t found such evidence.

    On the contrary, I think Diana West provides evidence and a good argument that this is not understood.

    Best Wishes.

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  3. BB

    Hi PRODOS,

    The article is spot on as far as ignorance of jihad, but the problem is not primarily with the military forces and commanders but with the political leadership. In an ABC interview I found, Bush said that he didn

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