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The Untold Story of the Iraqi Resistance by Jürgen Todenhöfer

Book Review by Sandra L. Peterson

Jürgen Todenhöfer was a member of the German parliament for 18 years and a spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria on development aid and arms control. He visited the Middle East several times and has written two best sellers about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. All royalties from his books are donated to finance medical aid for Iraqi refugee children and to an Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation project.

As an unembedded (independent) journalist, Todenhöfer travelled to Ramadi, Iraq in 2007 and stayed in the home of Abu Saeed, a trader from Ramadi, and his family. Through his interviews and discussions with Saeed and many resistance fighters, he paints a different picture of this war than is presented to the world by the media and the U.S. government.

This book gives a voice to members of the Iraqi resistance, who are not terrorists, who fight against American military occupation AND against Al Qaeda terrorists, as well as against foreign-backed private militias supported by Iraq’s politicians. Iraqi resistance fighters do not kill civilians.

“For the United States, we are all terrorists. They don’t distinguish between terrorists who murder civilians and genuine resistance fighters, who are fighting to liberate their country. They have no idea about our dreams or our suffering. In their view, we are worthless.” – Zaid, Resistance Fighter

The personal accounts of the people of Ramadi, some offered freely, and some with great emotional effort and reluctance, is the real story of the U. S. Iraqi occupation. The full impact of our presence in this country pours from the mouths of the resistance fighters and their families. None thought Saddam Hussein a good or moral leader, but maintain that the U.S. occupation has been harsher, bloodier, and more brutal.

Above all, this book reveals the U.S. role in the creation of disharmony and distrust among the many Iraqi factions and religions in the once secular state of Iraq. For example, because most of the American occupation troops are Christian, Al-Qaeda sees Iraq’s own Christians as occupiers too and so they persecute them. There are more Christian resistance fighters in Iraq than Al Qaeda terrorists. In reality, diverse resistance factions work and fight together. Muslim friends hide Christians and Christian families hide Muslims.

In Todenhöfer’s words: “We shall only overcome terrorism if we remove its causes, instead of trying to treat the symptoms. The main cause of terrorism nowadays is the inhuman way in which the West has dealt with the Muslim world over the past two centuries.”


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“How you define yourself and the world around you, forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth

In other words, we create our reality from what we believe about ourselves, and the world around us.

If we do not consciously choose our beliefs, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.

If our beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create our reality, can we afford not to question them?

The more we love, understand and appreciate ourselves, the better we treat ourselves, and the world.

Blessings of love and understanding be to us all!

The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of your experience. Look for them!

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • eniam July 18, 2009, 8:12 AM

    I’m sure we’d all agree that war and its aftermath is hell on earth, so to speak. Nevertheless, my eyes were opened about the Iraq war and the people of Iraq when I read this book. There is a clear distinction between the Iraqi “resistance” and “terrorists”. All the Iraqi people want is for America and its allies to leave them alone. The author has drawn a portrait of individuals in this country that is priceless. As we become acquainted with them we become acquainted with ourselves and our oneness with all that is.

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