Under the influence of U.S. military propaganda, Western accounts of occupation and resistance in Iraq have tended to characterize the occupation forces and their Kurdish and formerly exiled Iraqi allies as representing legitimate authority, stability, and security in Iraq and popular resistance forces as “insurgents” or “terrorists.” An ever-changing official narrative in which U.S. forces must be held blameless for the violence of the invasion and occupation has required the demonization of the Iraqi Resistance and fueled an endless quest for the roots of violence in caricatures of Iraqi history that have gained wide acceptance in Western popular culture.
One of the main thrusts of this propaganda is to define people involved in popular resistance as a class of people who cannot be understood or reasoned with, let alone identified with. This not only preserves political support for occupation, but it also serves to justify policies of extreme violence, or even genocide, against resistance fighters and the civilian populations who support them.
For several years, the Iraqi Resistance stood virtually alone in the world against U.S. and British aggression, but it ultimately succeeded in making continued occupation futile and counter-productive for the occupying forces, forcing them to withdraw. This, in turn, forced U.S. policy-makers to make significant revisions to their global war policy, sparing other countries the fate suffered by the people of Iraq.