The Fifth Column’s Return to Iraq

TO FIND PEOPLE WHO HATE AMERICA AS MUCH AS THEY DO, the Fifth Column Left had to go halfway around the world to meet with Iraqi political leaders who call terrorism “honorable national resistance” and say foreign jihadists “are guaranteed Paradise” – and at least one of whom has ties to militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr. By the end of the trip, the American leftists would echo these sentiments.

Somehow most of the media – occupied with interminable coverage of Hurricane Katrina and JonBenet Ramsey’s non-killer – neglected to report that earlier this month a contingent of infamous American radicals including Cindy Sheehan, Tom Hayden, and Medea Benjamin traveled to Jordan to meet with 11 members of the Iraqi parliament. According to Benjamin, the parliamentarians invited the group Code Pink for Peace after hearing of their 28-day “fast” (in which members reportedly gorged themselves on ice cream).

Leaving on August 2, this was something of a return trip for the Hate America Left. In December 2004, Code Pink distributed $600,000 in cash and supplies to “the other side” in the terrorist stronghold of Fallujah, recently the site of a fierce battle between the United States and a milita loyal to Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. (Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, signed the letter to get them to the recent battlfield.) That followed its previous direct intervention on the behalf of America’s enemies in July 2003, when Medea Benjamin and longtime Communist Party USA member Leslie Cagan established International Occupation Watch in an effort to convince U.S. GIs to become conscientious objectors and get sent home.

The goal this time was, in Benjamin’s words, “for the U.S. peace movement to meet directly with Iraqi parliamentarians working on a peace plan. We hope to return to the U.S. to build support for their plan.” Team member Geoffrey Millard referred to this trip as “diplomatic communication.” Of course, such a trip may well be illegal, violating the prohibition for private citizens to conduct their own foreign policy.

In this, Medea is following the blueprint she laid out in her April 2003 Nation magazine essay “Toward a Global Movement,” in which she counseled left-wing “grassroots teams” to “link up with appropriate local and regional groups” in terrorist states to “channel the bursting anti-American sentiment overseas.” Then, “Working with local communities where U.S. troops are based, let’s start a Bring All the Troops Home campaign to stop the expansion of U.S. bases and start dismantling some of the hundreds of existing bases overseas.” Al-Sadr’s enablers constituted one such “appropriate” group; terrorism’s elected cheerleaders comprised another. (As they were in the area during the Hezbollah-Israel War, they visited Syria and stopped by Lebanese refugee camps, as well.)

The 12-person U.S. delegation included:

  • Cindy Sheehan, who has referred to foreign jihadists as “freedom fighters”;
  • Tom Hayden, the ‘60s radical who once collaborated with the North Vietnamese;
  • Medea Benjamin, who founded of Code Pink, Global Exchange, and Iraq Occupation Watch, and coordinated the Seattle World Trade Center riots;
  • Jodie Evans, a Code Pink co-founder;
  • Gael Murphy, another Code Pink official;
  • Jeeni Criscenzo, “a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress California District 49, Advisor Board of Progressive Democrats of America,” and a blogger for DailyKos;
  • Judith LeBlanc, national co-chair of United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ), headed by longtime Communist Party USA member Leslie Cagan;
  • Dal LaManga, “founder of Progressive Government, a member of the Dean’s Council for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard…He is a partner of the Huffington Post and Air America. He is the Co-Chairman of Maria Cantwell’s campaign for 2006 Re-election”;
  • Iraqi-American, Raed Jarrar, of Global Exchange and author of the blog, “Raed in the Middle

More shocking than the self-appointed Secretaries of State negotiating the terms of our surrender in Jordan were the Iraqi VIPs with whom they bargained.

This leftist motley crew met with Sheikh Ahmad al-Kubaysi, a Baghdad-based cleric who “almost certainly is affiliated” with the Naziesque Muslim Brotherhood. He once declared:

These young men who came here from other Muslim countries to defend Iraq are very brave. They left their homes and comfortable lives to protect fellow Muslims. That is the most important form of Jihad. These Mujahideen are guaranteed Paradise.

In addition to echoing Cindy Sheehan’s views on this topic, the Sheikh had another commonality with his guests: his Association for Muslim Studies in Iraq also collected food and supplies for Fallujah’s terrorists. No slacker, Kubaysi is said to have given al-Sadr $50 million. Al-Sadr, in turn, offered to work with him. The AMS leadership explicitly condones armed “resistance” against U.S. forces as an Allah-given Iraqi right and has sanctioned the murder of civilian hostages as collaborators.

The leftists’s prime sponsor, however, was the Iraq National Dialogue Front, a coalition led by Saleh al-Mutlaq, the Sunni who led the charge against the Iraqi constitution when it guaranteed the Shi’ites an autonomous region. Other coalition members include Hasan Zaydan of the National Front for a Free and United Iraq; Minas al-Youssefi of the Iraqi Christian Democratic Party; Farhan al-Sudayd of the Democratic Arab Front; and Ali al-Suhayri of the Sons of Iraq. Although the Code Pinkos boasted that they met with the fifth largest faction in the Iraqi parliament, the INDF holds only 11 out its 275 seats.

Like al-Kubaysi, the INDF leader condones armed “resistance,” has offered to join the “insurgency,” and regularly calls upon the United States to disarm itself in the face of terrorism. In his May 18 op-ed in Asharq Alawasat entitled, “Our Problem with America,” al-Mutlaq wrote:

The biased people are trying to shuffle cards to brand as terrorists the honorable national resistance movements, which should have a peaceful role in building the country and preserving its economy, unity, security, and the dignity of its people. We cannot give peace, because someone cannot give what he does not have. (Emphasis added.)

When asked in a radio interview if he supports the “insurgency,” he took his first conspicuous pause before answering: “I don’t support the insurgency, but I must be very frank with you. If the American strategy will stay as it is, maybe one day I will be part of the insurgency.” (He then referred to himself as a “moderate.” You can listen to the brief interview here.)

Like Saddam, al-Mutlaq is a Sunni used to institutional privileges. Today, he strongly opposes proportional representation, suggesting all groups have equal representation, although Sunnis make up only 20 percent of the population. His party opposes “sectarian” religious divisions, embracing instead a muted Pan-Arabism. Al-Mutlaq’s rhetoric closely parallels the Ba’ath Party’s fascistic, mystical view of the State. In one menacing extract he wrote, “our country should be viewed as an undividable historical, geographic, social, cultural, and civilizational fabric. Any tendency to tear up this fabric would have negative repercussions for the world peace movement.” He added the United States erred in dismantling “an Iraqi Army of a heroic and glorious history and state institutions that are no more than 80 years old.”

As such, he has been a dependable voice for Ba’athist interests in liberated Iraq. Last May 14, he demanded the release of all Iraqi prisoners – which would include a massive number of foreign jihadists and Saddam loyalists – saying all were held “on the basis of suspicions and false reports.” After a joint U.S.-Iraqi anti-terrorist sweep last September that killed 157 Fedayeen and jihadists, captured 683, and uncovered 64 arms caches, the leftists’s host told Al-Jazeera, “The Sunnis are the target of a campaign of genocide.” He could not rule out “a movement of civil disobedience if these massacres continue.” Last October, he “strongly” urged the U.S. to halt all anti-terrorism measures for ten days before the election. True, the “insurgents” will not suspend their violence, “but I think somebody has to be more wise.”

He wants to “to open a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance and the non-Saddamist Baathist to involve them in the political process and stand as one front against terrorism.” He went so far as to insist, “Without the presence of the resistance and the Ba’athists, we will not be able to have a true reconciliation.” His INDF comrade, Al-Youssefi, agrees, saying including former Ba’athist Saddam loyalists in a future government is “an important step we have to take.” He regards the present Iraqi constitution, approved by valiant Iraqi voters, as “a fabrication coming from the occupation forces.” At the Arab League hearings on the Reconciliation Plan of Cairo, one delegate accused al-Youssefi of having worked in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence agency (though there is no additional confirmation). A spokesman for the Iraqi government said Youssefi supports the insurgency “in a way or another.”

U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested another of al-Mutlaq’s INDF confederates, Sheikh Hasan Zaydan, last December 1 before releasing him.  Zaydan, in turn, accused the Iraqi government of trying to kill al-Mutlaq on February 7.

In the end, the Iraqis and the leftists agreed on a plan: get out and leave your wallet behind. Drs. Habib Jabar and Salman al-Jumaili, university professors both, joined Code Pink in demanding a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops, no permanent bases, and that America must “pay for rebuilding Iraq.”

Code Pink came to accept nearly the entire Fedayeen platform:

The common thread among this diverse group of Iraqis and Americans was a desire to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, ensure no permanent bases in Iraq, and secure a U.S. commitment to pay for rebuilding Iraq. Other issues that emerged in two-days of intensive talks include the need to dismantle militias, provide amnesty for prisoners and the various armed groups, compensate victims of the violence, revise the Constitution and preserve the unity of Iraq, and reverse U.S.-imposed de-Baathification and economic policies. We left this historic meeting with a commitment to make sure that the voices of these Iraqi parliamentarians are heard here in the U.S., and we will bring a group of them to the U.S. in the Fall. (Emphasis in original.)

In other words, pre-emptive surrender, amnesty for terrorists, compensation for newly freed terrorists, Sunni dominance, socialism, and turning the country back over to the Republican Guard.

Code Pink members got to work early assuring these voices were heard. Jeeni Crescenzo, blogged on the Daily Kos:

It is important to distinguish between the militia, or death squads and the resistance, particularly when considering the amnesty aspects of the Reconciliation Plan crafted in Cairo last month. Over 95% of the Iraqi people oppose the presence of the U.S. troops in their country and consider the people the U.S. call “insurgents” to be patriotic freedom fighters – no different that how we look at the people who fought in our Revolutionary War. Heroic titles go to the victors and if justice is to ever come to the people of Iraq, the people we call insurgents will have to be recognized as the ones who are actually defending their homeland.

Crescenzo, who is running against Darrell Issa, R-CA, is endorsed by:

  • Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA;
  • Former Senator Max Cleland, D-GA;
  • Phil Angelides, Democratic candidate for governor;
  • Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante;
  • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA;
  • Bill Lockyear, Democratic Attorney General of California;
  • Rep. Bob Filner, D-CA;
  • Progressive Democrats of America;
  • SEIU;
  • California AFL-CIO; and
  • Impeach PAC.

The last will get its money’s worth from Crescenzo, who offers that the:

Bush cabal is moving full-speed ahead in their plans to establish the Global Empire of Halliburton…Our only chance to stop this nightmare is to take back Congress THIS YEAR. That means winning a majority in November AND making impeachment of Bush and Cheney our first priority.

She also vows to “insist that our National Guard come home now.”

As a contributor to the Left’s favorite blog, Crescenzo engaged in psychological operations, painting the Coalition as all-but inhuman. “Some of the things I heard in the past few days made me sick and ashamed of my country,” she wrote. She heard from the Iraqi parliament that “the United States was deliberately instigating the conflicts so they would have an excuse to stay” in Iraq. Another man displayed scars from American torture in darkest Abu Gharib, telling Code Pinkos, “We have tens of thousands of our sons in prison being tortured.”

Tom Hayden vouched in Nation that an unnamed “American contractor” told him, “There are 10,000 or 12,000 Sunnis, mainly teachers, lawyers and professionals, being held without charges in Iraqi prisons, and the [Iraqi] guards are drilling holes in them.”

Jodie Evans took the challenging road of portraying Saddam Hussein as a hero:

Let’s go back to the Iraq before we invaded, there was a good education and health care system, food for everyone. That system didn’t belong to Saddam it belonged to the Iraqi, it belonged to years of creating what a civilization needed. If your parents didn’t send you to school they could be put in jail.

Then came the familiar, anonymous “eyewitness” testimony of American malfeasance:

The whole election in Iraq was a false thing…“We witnessed with our own experience how American tanks used to break Universities and asked people to loot them. These people who started looting in the beginning were not from Iraq but other countries, Kuwait was involved.”

Cindy Sheehan related that a “Dr. Nada” told her “Americans, even though they don’t kill every innocent Iraqi, are responsible for ‘100 percent of the deaths.’”

Not 100 percent of the deaths; Ba’athists and jihadists killed many innocent Iraqis, as well as Americans and British. But Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, and the Iraqi MPs whose message they bear apparently find those deaths justifiable.

This article originally appeared as the lead story on Wednesday, August 30, 2006, on FrontPage Magazine.