Saturday, June 25, 2005

Brother, can you spare a dime for a roadside bomb? 

"Who's funding the insurgents in Iraq? The list of suspects is long: ex-Baathists, foreign jihadists, and angry Sunnis, to name a few. Now add to that roster hard-core Euroleftists," writes David E. Kaplan in "US News & World Report."
Turns out that far-left groups in western Europe are carrying on a campaign dubbed Ten Euros for the Resistance, offering aid and comfort to the car bombers, kidnappers, and snipers trying to destabilize the fledgling Iraq government. In the words of one Italian website, Iraq Libero (Free Iraq), the funds are meant for those fighting the occupanti imperialisti. The groups are an odd collection, made up largely of Marxists and Maoists, sprinkled with an array of Arab emigres and aging, old-school fascists, according to Lorenzo Vidino, an analyst on European terrorism based at The Investigative Project in Washington, D.C. "It's the old anticapitalist, anti-U.S., anti-Israel crowd," says Vidino, who has been to their gatherings, where he saw activists from Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Italy. "The glue that binds them together is anti-Americanism." The groups are working on an October conference to further support "the Iraqi Resistance." A key goal is to expand backing for the insurgents from the fringe left to the broader antiwar and antiglobalization movements.
Vidino doubts the fund-raising muscle of Euro far-left, and I would tend to agree. Saddam hasn't robbed Iraq for quarter of a century for nothing; the insurgency has enough local sources of support to get it going. Then there are always the proceeds of crime. Two days ago, Donny George, director of Iraq's National Museum, made a plea to Western antiquities collectors to stop buying looted Iraqi artifacts, not only because the illicit trade is robbing Iraq of its rich cultural heritage, but also because its proceeds are funding the insurgency. Thus the neo-Baathists are selling Iraq's ancient past to help restore Iraq's more recent past. So much for the patriotic, nationalistic resistance.

But back to our Euro-fiends. So far, the active collaboration with the Iraqi "resistance" has been a domain of the political fringe. The problem, though, is not and has never been a few extremists with their ten euros contributions, but the mainstream of the European politics - left-wing but not exclusively - which has tried since the beginning to sabotage the project of the liberation of Iraq. That has proven so far to be lot more dangerous than anything that the far-left "pass the hat" could buy.


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