Ahmad Dabash, a founding leader of the Islamic Army of Iraq that fought the 2003 US invasion, was interviewed by Rudaw, a Kurdish media network.
Rudaw: [T]he Americans came and rid the country of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Do you prefer Saddam’s dictatorship?
Ahmad Dabash: The dictatorship we see today is 10 times worse than Saddam’s dictatorship. It is true that Saddam killed our Kurdish brothers in Halabja and Dujail, but today 10 times that number of people is getting killed.
Rudaw: How come you knew so early on that one dictator was being replaced by another and immediately took up arms against the Americans? Did you have some kind of revelation?
Ahmad Dabash: We are sure that America had come to destroy Iraq with a clear plan. They created the Governing Council, where the Kurds and Sunnis had little representation, and the rest of the power was given to the Shiites. America came and handed Iraq over on a golden plate to Iran. So what we see today is a complete failure of Iraq’s political process, and it will only be solved by giving the country back to its people. Both Iran and America have had a hand in destroying Iraq and leading it to what we see today.
Rudaw: You call this Shiite government dictatorial. And in the past there was a Sunni dictator. Who should the people of Iraq believe? Can both Shiites and Sunnis be dictators?
Ahmad Dabash: The dictatorship of the past cannot be compared to the one of now. I know you Kurds had your own fight against Baghdad then, but today the killing, repression and terror is a hundred times more. And Sunnis didn’t really join the political process because we don’t believe in an illegitimate government. The government in the past 10 years has run on fraud, suppression and terror. Those few Sunnis who joined the process were opportunists. The real representatives of Sunnis were the ones who fought the foreign occupation.
Rudaw: What do the Sunnis want today? A separate region of their own or do they want to run all of Iraq again?
Ahmad Dabash: Today, taking into account the circumstances and the way things are with the population divide, there must be a system of regions. Iraq can stay under one system, but three separate Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions. There is no better solution than that. What has happened between people in the past 10 years in terms of killing and repression makes it impossible to go back to how things were before 2003. [Continue reading…]
Ahmed Al Attar writes: From the Iraqi government’s perspective, the current situation seems particularly precarious: Fallujah has been an opposition stronghold for months now and is only 40 kilometres from Baghdad airport. Meanwhile, Baquba and Samarra – where clashes between Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces have been continuing for days – may both be about to tumble out of control.
An earlier position taken by the US government to only provide direct military assistance in the event of Nouri Al Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, making real political change, has moderated significantly in recent days.
And a recent announcement by Barack Obama to deploy 300 US military advisers in Iraq to assist the Iraqi forces could, if carried out, further destabilise the region. [Continue reading…]