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الجمعة، 31 مايو 2013

Israel is Fighting a Regional War in Syria

Israel is Fighting a Regional War in Syria

The changing internal situation in Syria is putting a new set of plans into motion, which involve Israeli aggression against Syria.
Not only have the US and its allies been trying to militarily buttress the retreating anti-government militias, but now they aim to create a new phase in the conflict where states start asserting leverage against Syria in place of the weakening anti-government forces. In other words, external pressure is being applied to replace the declining internal pressure.
The entry of Israeli troops and the Mossad security service into Syria with repeated Israeli air strikes via illegal use of Lebanese airspace on the Syrian military research facility in the town of Jamraya clarifies Israel’s role in destabilizing Syria. Israel has also admitted that “intense intelligence activity” is being maintained in Syria by Israeli forces and that it is even thinking of occupying more Syrian territory as a new “buffer zone.” Fox News, which is openly biased in favour of Israel, has released a video of Israeli troops illegally crossing the Syrian border. Reports have also come out of Syria that an Israeli military vehicle was seized during fighting with anti-government forces in the town of Qusair, inside Syrian territory.
Free Syrian Army fighters prepare to raid a house in Daraa May 16, 2013. Picture taken May 16, 2013.(Reuters / Thaer Abdallah)
Free Syrian Army fighters prepare to raid a house in Daraa May 16, 2013. Picture taken May 16, 2013.(Reuters / Thaer Abdallah)

Epicentre of a Regional War?
The events involving Israel are part of the trend to expand and internationalize the Syrian conflict by creating violent spillovers. In the words of one British newspaper: “If anyone had doubts that Syria’s gruesome [conflict] is already spinning into a wider Middle East conflict, [Israeli attacks in] the past few days should have laid them to rest.” Turkey and Israel, like the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, are themselves undeniably involved in the fighting as aggressors against Syria. Turkey has conducted reconnaissance work for NATO in Syria, it hosts NATO Patriot missiles aimed at Syria (with the possibility of deployment against Iran and Russia), and openly aids the anti-government forces. Israel has been the more discreet of the two, but it has sent the Mossad into Syria and built facilities in the Golan Heights to aid the insurgency. Both countries have continuously threatened Syria and pushed for NATO intervention and no-fly zones. All the while, the US has been prodding Ankara and Tel Aviv to continue with the war footing and has even examined selling Turkey natural gas from the US to economically de-link the Turks from Syria’s allies Russia and Iran and the leverage they have over Turkey.
In reality, Syria is merely one front in a broader hegemonic struggle that spans from NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan and Iraq to Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Lebanese Republic looks like the next target for destabilization in the broader struggle that Syria is a front in. There are fears that there may be a parliamentary and governmental vacuum in Beirut as a result of the spillover from Syria that could be capitalized to ignite another Lebanese internal conflict. Tensions between the pro-Syrian Hezbollah-led March 8 Alliance and the anti-Syrian Hariri-led March 14 Alliance have been building as a result of the conflict in Syria. Both sides in Lebanon are involved in the Syrian conflict.
Lebanon has been dragged into the conflict, because Syria is being used as an arena for striking and crippling Hezbollah and the March 8 Alliance with the aim of turning Lebanon into a colony controlled by Washington and its allies that will be run by the corrupt Hariri-led March 14 Alliance. Hezbollah has begun fighting on the Syrian side of the Lebanese-Syrian border whereas the March 14 Alliance began sending weapons and funding to the insurgents from the very start of the upheaval in 2011. After months of lying, the Hariri camp in Lebanon was exposed in November 2012 when evidence was provided that proved Hariri’s Future Party member Okab Sakr was behind weapons shipments destined for the Syrian insurgents in coordination with Turkish and Qatari intelligence officers.
In regards to Hezbollah, its members began fighting on the Syrian side of the border under their own initiative. Then the insurgents in Syria began launching attacks on Shiite Muslim villages on both sides of the Lebanese-Syrian border. The anti-government forces in Syria began doing everything they could to provoke Hezbollah into retaliating, including kidnapping Lebanese travellers and, in 2012, deliberately attacking Shiite Muslim shrines in Syria. After the mosque where Hujr ibn Adi Al-Kindi and his son were buried in Syria was desecrated by the insurgents, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia Muslims were drawn further into the Syrian conflict to protect the Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque.
Israeli soldiers stand guard as Syrian residents (unseen) approach the Syria-Israel border in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the southern Syrian village of Ar Rafide, on May 7, 2013.(AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)
Israeli soldiers stand guard as Syrian residents (unseen) approach the Syria-Israel border in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the southern Syrian village of Ar Rafide, on May 7, 2013.(AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

Not only have sacrosanct buildings revered by Shiite Muslims been targeted, Sunni Muslim leaders have been murdered and Christian churches have also been desecrated in Syria. Christian spiritual leaders have also been targeted. Iranian officials have pointed the finger at the US, Israel, and the Saudis for the desecration of these Syrian holy sites and the targeting of minorities.
While the majority of Syria’s Arab population and Sunni Muslim population support the Syrian government against the insurgents and their foreign backers, there is a real push to draw the Syria conflict along the sectarian lines of Arabs versus non-Arabs and Sunni Muslims versus Alawites and the Shiite Muslim community. Various minority groups have been systematically targeted. The Druze, Maronite Catholic Christians, Melkite Greek Catholic Christians, Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Orthodox Christians, Syriac Orthodox Christians, Alawites, and Twelver (Jaffari) Shiite Muslims all have all been targeted as religious minorities. Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, and Turkoman have been targeted as ethnic minorities.
Iraq knows all too well about the nightmare that Syria is facing. Many of the insurgents in Syria are from Iraq and linked to sectors of Al-Anbar’s Awakening Movement (or the Sons of Iraq Movement), which was tied to Al-Qaeda and began to collaborate and receive funding from the United States during the Anglo-American occupation. If these militants succeed in Syria, they will eventually return to Iraq and ignite an insurgency against the federal government in Baghdad too.
On the other hand, the conflict in Syria has been the catalyst for a strengthening Russian position in the Middle East and the forging of new ties between Hezbollah and Moscow. In October 2011, Hezbollah sent a delegation to Russia to discuss the fighting in Syria. It is clear now that Moscow is coordinating with the Iranian-led “Axis of Resistance” or Resistance Bloc that includes Syria, Hezbollah, Michel Aoun, and the Palestinians. After holding discussions about Syria in Tehran, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s April 26 visit to Beirut, during the absence of a formal Lebanese government, embodies this strategic cooperation. Bogdanov’s trip to Lebanon is important, because it was a clear indicator that Russia has forged direct strategic ties with Hezbollah and recognizes the Resistance Bloc as an extension of its own security sphere.
Like Hezbollah, Iran is also a target of the conflict in Syria. This is one of the reasons that Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, made a rare visit to Tehran on April 29 (after meeting with Mikhail Bogdanov) to discuss a common front with the Iranians. The same group of countries targeting Syria and Hezbollah are also targeting Iran. It has been reported that “Israel is preparing to agree a defence co-operation deal with Turkey and three Arab states aimed at setting up an early warning system to detect Iranian ballistic missiles.” Uzi Mahnaimi has explained that this “proposal, referred to by the diplomats involved as ‘4+1’, may eventually lead to technicians from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan working alongside Israelis in joint command-and-control centres.”
The damage caused by an Israeli strike" according to SANA. Israel carried out a pre-dawn air strike near Damascus on May 5, targeting Iranian missiles destined for Lebanon's Hezbollah in the second such raid on Syria in three days, a senior Israeli source said.(AFP Photo / SANA)
The damage caused by an Israeli strike” according to SANA. Israel carried out a pre-dawn air strike near Damascus on May 5, targeting Iranian missiles destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the second such raid on Syria in three days, a senior Israeli source said.(AFP Photo / SANA)

Just as Hezbollah has confirmed that it is involved in the fighting in Syria and promised that Syria’s “real friends”—meaning Iran, Russia, China, and the March 8 Alliance in Lebanon—will not let Syria fall into the hands of the US and its allies, Tehran has told Washington and its allies several times that Syria is the Iranian “redline.” Iranian military commanders have said that Syria is an extension of Iran’s own security parameters. What’s more, the Iranians have openly admitted that they are aiding their Syrian allies and willing to provide further training and assistance to Damascus, as well as intervene militarily to help Syria if the US and its allies attack.

Syria and the Project for the “New Middle East”

What happens in Syria will have major regional and global repercussions. Attempts to create a sectarian war are part of the logic of divide and conquer. This is part of the US and Israel “constructive chaos” strategy to fragment and re-sculpt the entire Middle East along the lines of the Yinon Plan and rehashed versions of it. Iran’s Foreign Minister Salehi has warned that if the conflict in Syria is not ended that it will result in the partition of Syria and the spreading of the conflict throughout the Middle East. The same warnings have been echoing from Russia, Syria, and other places. While the Chinese have kept mostly silent, they realize that the siege of Syria is part of the Pentagon’s roadmap against China. Days before Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to arrive in Beijing, CNN even reported that “China’s foreign ministry spokesman suggested Netanyahu may get a tough, unwelcome message from his Chinese hosts” due to the Israeli strikes on Jamraya.
The situation in Syria is akin to the situation that was created in Iraq during the Anglo-American occupation. It is a continuation of the same process of destabilization that wants to tear the pluralistic fabric of the ancient societies of the Middle East. It is this project that has driven the Christians out of Iraq and destroyed the mixed neighbourhoods of Shiites and Sunnis and Arabs and Kurds.
Contemporary Iraq suffers from the virtual realization of both the Yinon Plan and the Biden Plan, which say Iraq should be divided into three sectors. The Kurdistan Regional Government, which is openly working against the sovereignty of Iraq and aligned with Turkey and Israel, is at loggerheads with the federal government in Baghdad and has de facto independence. The corrupt leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government have prevented the Iraqi military from manning certain Iraqi-Syrian border crossings in the north used by the insurgents in Syria and they have allowed the Israelis to use Iraqi Kurdistan as a base of operations against Syria and Iran.
Like they did in Iraq during the chaos, the US and its allies are using money and sectarianism. The insurgency in Syria is being financed by the US and members of its anti-Syrian coalition, such as the Saudis and Qataris. In addition, groups opposed to the Syrian government are being financially co-opted by the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood with the foreign funding it has been receiving to topple the Syrian government. One Damascene opposition figure has admitted that the Muslim Brotherhood “just asked us how much we needed, we told them, and they immediately sent that amount.” Moreover, foreign funds were not only used to pay what he needed, but the Muslim Brotherhood told activists and government opponents that “they should take one per cent of the funding for their personal salaries.”

Israeli infantry soldiers of the Golani brigade take part in exercises during their deployment in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, on May 6, 2013.(AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)
Israeli infantry soldiers of the Golani brigade take part in exercises during their deployment in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, on May 6, 2013.(AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

There should be no doubt that the insurgents in Syria and Israel are on the same side. The anti-government forces in Syria have even thanked Israel on several occasions and were jubilant about the Israeli attacks on Jamraya. As a result of the embarrassing attention they received for being aligned with Israel, the insurgents in Syria have changed gears and tried to save face by ridiculously claiming that Israel is secretly aligned with Bashar Al-Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah.
It says something of significance when Israeli officials say that they do not see an Al-Qaeda takeover of Syria as a threat to Tel Aviv. Amos Gilad, an Israeli military official, has stated very frankly Al-Qaeda is no concern for Israel and “although [its] elements are gaining a foothold in Syria amidst the chaos of the country’s civil war, the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis which preceded it [is] far more threatening” for Israel.
In reality, the governments of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States are in league with the supposed terrorists that some of them say they oppose or are fighting. They have been using the groups that have been designated as branches of Al-Qaeda as foot soldiers on the ground in Syria and Libya. If successful, they will eventually try to use the same militants to ignite insurgencies in places like Russia’s North Caucasian Federal District.
While Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, and the Palestinians are being targeted through the destabilization of Syria, the countries targeting Syria are also preparing the flames that they themselves will also burn in if America’s “New Middle East” comes into fruition through a baptism of fire and blood. Syrian instability and a possible partition of Syria could ignite a civil war in Turkey and even result in the partition of Turkey itself. Jordan too will be consumed by the flames that are burning Syria. If Syria collapses, the Iranians have delivered an unequivocal warning to King Abdullah II of Jordan about his future. Tehran’s message to Abdullah II, a despot who has foreigners arrested merely for talking negatively about him, but is invited to the White House to talk about democracy in Syria, is simple: “You must be aware that if the US decides to go to war with Syria, your kingdom will go in the process.” Nor will Saudi Arabia and Qatar be spared from the flames that the House of Saud and the rival House of Al-Thani are stoking for the Obama Administration and Israel in their Syrian gambit that could eventually ignite a major all-out war in the Middle East and beyond.
This article was originally published on RT Op-Edge.

الخميس، 30 مايو 2013

Interview with Sheikh Mohammed Bashar Al-Faidhi, spokesperson of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq and responsible of Al Rafadain TV.

"It is better now for countries to offer Iraq something; they can seize the opportunity and support the Iraqi Revolution, in the very least give media support, but also political support, because the situation at present isn’t like the past" Interview in Amman, February 2013.

Sheikh Bashar Al-Faidhi, at the International Seminar on Iraqi Academics, Ghent, March 2011
What is your personal impression of the interesting momentum that Iraq is going through?
In the beginning, Bissmillah Al Rahman Al Raheem.  
We had a previous meeting during which we discussed our expectations of the revolution starting for a second time.  
It is possible that this revolution continues and it is also possible that it will not.  
But in any case in a future instant/moment, the revolution will continue.  
Based on our experience of the Iraqi People and on the first time on 25th February, the revolution was a trial run and when it was suppressed, the revolution was cut off at the time, but we knew that the idea of the revolution had remained in the psyche and conscious of the Iraqi People and that it is the sole means left for it to rid itself of this oppression.  
This second stage came, according to observers, and we too had people who followed the revolution’s activities in the interior, assurances that the people are living in a revolution of rage and that their insistence on continuing this time is greater than the previous time.  
In any case, we are watching the scene and we will make our own statements and comments about it as far as we are capable and as I said, it may well continue and it may not, but in any case it is a station (stage) not only important for us but it is also an advanced stage as far as the final target that we all wish for.
How much surprised were you with the suddenly change in January?
As far as I am concerned there is nothing there that causes surprise, because our reading of the scene and our public statements in the media has always been that this instant is coming and we have said more than once that the revolution that was put a stop previously was not ended and even  if you remember the expression I used  during my previous meeting with you, that it was “like the embers under the ash”, and this is an Arab trait that expresses the existence of rage and fury that is hidden (protected)- it exists but it is protected.
It is like a volcano that exists in America!   So, as far as we were concerned it was not a cause for amazement or surprise; on the contrary it is expected and we expect even more.   Yesterday, I also had a meeting with foreign press and I said to them that I predict a “tsunami” for Iraq, with all that this word entails.
How has AMSI worked on this suddenly change on the situation?
We are a part of the whole.   There are many Iraqi forces that are working on this very important work.  
Perhaps on the previous occasion we spoke about some of our activities in this field and which have not stopped, but on the contrary they are continuous.  
We work in numerous directions; we work with the tribal chiefs and we continue to keep in touch with them, whether with those who are in the North, or in the Middle or even in the South of Iraq; very lately we had a very large and important occasion when we asked them to join the revolution; there are promises from them that this would take place soon, Inshallah; we also work on keeping in touch with the Facebook Youth (the Facebook Shebab) who play a large and important part in directing the mood of the masses in expressing their rage; we kept in touch in the past as well as keeping in touch at present;   we also have other activities in other fields which it is inappropriate to speak about now.
This tsunami you are talking about, it is already taking place?
It has not started but this is its introduction.
Do you agree that the Iraqi revolution it is not depending any more on how the Syrian conflict is developing?
That’s correct.   The Iraqi Revolution has no relationship with the Syrian revolution, because each revolution has its own particular causes and environment and the Iraqi Revolution started very early indeed, as you know;   but we did say that should the Syrian Revolution end it may possibly hasten the victory of our revolution; but at an interview with you, I told you that there is no material tie-up between the two and it is possible that were the Syrian Revolution take long then it is probable that the Iraqi Revolution would beat it to the post; it is very probable; and without any doubt if the Iraqi revolution were to achieve its aims, it would make it easier for the Syrian People to attain its aims.
But, it will have help that the Syrian revolution will be over…
For sure.
So, what are the difficulties you find now because your Revolution it has been upgraded and Syria is still going on?
If the people are determined to continue and sit it out and insists on attaining its aims, on the contrary the difficulties will be less, because Iran is now busy with the Syrian Revolution and at the same time an Iraqi Revolution is taking place then certainly Iran will be muddled and it would be difficult to back and support the 2 governments or rather the 2 regimes in Syria and Iraq.  
While, for example, had the Syrian Revolution ended early, and the Iraqi Revolution then took place, Iran would concentrate all its force and power to put an end and fail the Iraqi Revolution; so the difficulties are less should the Iraqi Revolution now continue; and I believe that it is going to be faster in its steps if it were to start after the success of the Syrian Revolution.
Taking in consideration the new context. Is there any country helping or that can help in the near future?
I say it with bitterness, but Nothing New to Date.   The Arabs have not changed their position, still holding a neutral stance; there are indications, that the Arabs have started becoming interested in the Iraqi Revolution in their media, only; and this interest does not come up to our expectations; this is the only change and it happens to be a simple change; other than this there is nothing new towards the Iraqi Revolution.
The situation in some parts of Iraq has changed, like Anbar, but how much do you think this can spread?
Let’s pay attention to the fact that Maliki is in an unenviable situation; he is now facing 2 choices, and none other: either to initiate striking the revolution as he did the first time, and it is very clear that he is fearful of doing this – he fears that is he were to target the revolution that it would be transformed to what is similar to the Syrian Revolution and it will be transformed from the peaceful state that it is in at the moment to a military state; therefore it is obvious that Maliki is very hesitant to take this step;  the second choice that faces Maliki is to leave the Revolution continue freely; he is frightened of this, as well, because if most of the people felt secure and safe everyone will push forward to the “freedom squares” and we will see squares that are similar to those of Egypt and even in greater numbers than in Egypt and then it will be difficult for Maliki to contain them.  
This is why those who say Tahrir Square in Anbar is liberated, are correct, because Maliki has not yet proceeded to surround or target it; and it doesn’t appear that at this stage that he intends to do this.   Therefore, in effect, it is liberated.  
Yes, it is possible for this to be transported to the rest of the hot provinces; it is possible to find the same situation in Mosul, the same situation in Tikreet, Sallahudeen; and it is possible that if the revolution rose in the South the same situation will be repeated in Basra, in Nassiriya, in Kut, because succinctly, Maliki is no longer acceptable amongst Iraqis; neither amongst the Sunna nor amongst the Shia’a, nor amongst the Kurds.  
What does he do now? As you clarified, he targets peaceful areas that do not have any demonstrations and arrests their sons in a defeated attempt in order to send messages to the demonstrators that "I will target you if you do not stop demonstrating; he did it in Al Tarmiya, and he did it in other areas in Iraq; in Tikreet, but I believe that this no longer frightens Iraqis.   Iraqis have reached ….  
Bachar al Assad is resisting already 2 years because of the external aid and support from Iran and Russia; Maliki will get the same help. How are you going to fight that?
In all events, comparing the situation in Syria with that in Iraq is incorrect; the regime in Syria completely differs from the regime in Iraq; the regime in Syria is 40 years old; it has strength and an army and security institutions that are led by the head of the regime centrally with great strength and this is the secret behind its remaining until this moment in time.   The regime in Iraq is dilapidated: there is no army in the sense of an army as in Syria; the army in Iraq is a collection of militias; a collection of mercenaries, with multiple loyalties; Maliki, himself, does not have an army whose loyalty is completely his; there are those who are loyal to Maliki, those who are loyal to Ammar Al Hakeem, those loyal to Muqtada Al Sadr, and loyalty to whosoever; there is no army; and any weakness at the head of the regime, you will find that this is an army that will collapse quickly, so we cannot measure the situation in Iraq on the same standards as that in Syria.   Even if Maliki were backed and supported by Iran, for example, financially and with arms, I do not believe that he will be able to withstand, as is the state of the regime in Syria because he does not possess any strong infrastructure for his military and security institutions.
It is we who support Iran financially, but is Iran going to gamble and send him an army to fight with him and on his behalf?
In any case, Iran will support Maliki with everything it can and I said that should the Syrian Revolution end before the Iraqi Revolution then Iran would gather all its forces and back Maliki but with the 2 revolutions going on at the same time Iran’s backing would be divided on 2 fronts and this causes its backing for Iraq in a weaker state than that had the Iraqi Revolution started after the ending of Syria’s.   However, the choices facing Iran in Iraq are not easy; it either sends its intelligence units and some of its militias, and some of the Quds Army in civilian clothing, like the “shibeeha”, for example, within militia formations, and this is what it possesses on the ground in Iraq, for it has Asaib Ahl Al Haq; Ketaib Al Yawm Al Mawood; it has Hizbullah-Iraq; all guerilla warfare trained, but our information is that they are not very large- Iran has not been able to prepare a unit as large as Hizbullah Lebanon, in this short period of time, for example; so it will attempt to interfere in the revolution through these people, and  it probably has a number of the “Bassige” and the Quds Army, but they will not be coming in as Iranians but certainly they will be in civilian clothing and will be working under the command of the army and the police.   This is the first choice that is open to it.
And we believe that these people will not be able to persevere opposite the revolution.   Always, all regimes, whether military or security, become weak when facing a popular and intense revolution and the Egyptian regime is an example and quite clear as a regime of this type.
The other choice that Iran may resort to is desperate and is ruled out is unless Iran reaches a closed road, is that is that it would push its military forces into the South of Iraq and attempts to occupy it as Saddam occupied Kuwait.   But this is a choice which is ruled out at the moment and if Iran were to dare do this would in certainly be foolish because it would anger all the international community that would rise against it and its fate would be the same as that of Saddam in Kuwait.
The countries and the system are different in Syria and in Iraq, but my impression is that you are concentration in Maliki, in getting rid of him. How much are you working on getting rid of Iran?
There is a proverb that says “We kill 2 birds with one stone”; in the revolution Maliki is not targeted as a person – personally, only but the target is the complete political process and Iran is present inside this political process, so when the revolution brings down the political process then in the end it brings down Iran’s presence.   For years, we have said that Iran covers (protects) itself with 2 umbrellas: the political umbrella and the military and security umbrella; the political umbrella is the government and the political parties that are Iraqi on the face of it but their content is Iranian; also the military and security institutions – their exterior is Iraqi but their reality is Iranian because the commanders that run the military and security initiatives and actions are tied to Iran.   Iran has no other umbrellas.   If they were to be brought down by the revolution, and this is very probable, Iran will not exist on the ground on Iraq’s soil except for an irrelevant presence which will not be influential.
If I understood you well, when the Revolution will win all the political process and Maliki, Iran will be over?
I would like to draw your attention to a matter of utmost danger, and that is that the problem is not Maliki only.   The real problem is that of the complete political process; if Maliki were to go and another person came to replace him we will find another Maliki because the political process is designed in such a fashion to hurt the Iraqi People and is designed to push it to further retreat and to the abyss.   For this reason, Iran, itself, may be forced to bring down Maliki and bring in another person as a replacement; our people will make a gross mistake if they were to accept and agree to this game.   If the Iraqi People were to be satisfied only with bringing Maliki down and abandons the revolution this would be its greatest historical mistake.   The revolution has to complete and attain all its aims and targets: bring down the complete political process and Maliki is nothing but one link in a series of links which are detrimental to the Iraqi People, as a result of which I hope that our people are of a high standard of awareness to understand the truth of this topic.
The big fault lies in the existing quota system; the big fault is in the constitution; the constitution that gives the right to the PM, whether he is Maliki or any other, hard and wide powers that are quite unacceptable logically, traditionally, or by Shari’a or legally, so I repeat the real problem is not in Maliki but in- yes he is part of the problem, but the real problem is the whole of the  political process, in its design, in its constitution and all its details and the revolution should achieve its purpose in bringing down the political process, completely, otherwise it won’t get out of this vicious circle.
You will fight all the political system and there will not be anyone from nowadays political panorama that will rest?
When the revolution first started on the 25th February, 2011, its aim was not to bring down the political process; it started with a call for reforms, only.   Now, the revolution has raised its ceiling and is no longer calling for reforms but is demanding the fall down of the political process and this is an indication of the maturity of the Iraqi People, and an indication that it has started understanding the dilemma that it is living; and that there is no way of being rid of the political process, thus necessarily when these are the aims of the revolution any future government after total liberation, it will not be allowed to have anyone amongst its members anyone who was involved in the political process.   The words that I heard amongst the demonstrators, when they were told by some people that they are defending some politicians, “we are not defending anyone because they are all partners in our oppression.”   Maliki and any other, the Shi’i and the Sunni, the Kurd and the Christian, the Communist and the Liberal, all who participated in the political process are partners in the oppression of the Iraqis.   And quite naturally it will not be allowed for any of those people to hold a position in the next stage.
This will be the near future, but now the revolution it is going on… and after what you have gone through of sectarism it is hard to understand that you are all united… Is there any council?
Not yet.   This council does not exist on the ground, but it does exist in the head and thoughts; it exists in relationships and contacts; it exists in communications; and when the opportunity arises, believes me, it will not take long when you will find this council in front of you made up of all the myriad Iraqi colours.
Who is taking the decisions to make sure that everybody is represented in this Revolution?
The real perspective is what reflects this picture.   When all the myriad colours of the Iraqi People come out in revolt; when messages of support come from the North of Iraq from our Kurdish brethren, and when these messages come from the South of Iraq from our Shi’a brethren and they say to the revolutionaries: “We are with You and we will be with You Soon”; this is the reality that reflects that the revolution represents everyone.
In the Western countries we try to find a leader of all the Arab revolutions…
Now, you will not find any such person for numerous reasons; one of which is that all the world’s revolutions did not have an American Occupation on their soil; America occupied Iraq and still possesses influence on the ground in Iraq as well as a military presence and so everyone is afraid of America, so no chance will be given for the appearance of a person who is a leader representing everybody.   Let’s assume that a leader appears for everybody, where will he reside? What country would agree to host him?   So for this reason we deal with this situation in a suitable appropriate manner befitting the time and the situation, exactly as the Iraqi Resistance dealt with this situation with what was fitting and was forced to work in a ghostlike and invisible fashion and with numerous leaderships.  
Now the revolution – don’t assume that it does not have figured that move it, but ghostliness and invisibility surrounds this case, also, but to be precise, the revolution does not follow one person; it has numerous leaderships that emanate from numerous myriad colours and sections of society, who lean in different directions and possess different interests; and this is the appropriate method to deal with the present circumstances in Iraq.   But, when the opportunity arises you will find that all the leaderships will join the council that we spoke about, under its rotunda; and they will work publicly and in the open because at that time there will be no need for invisibility and cannot be justified. 
How is been control that any of these small leaders is not doing whatever they want?
Because everybody suffers from one problem, which is that of the American Occupation and Iranian influence via this government, and because we used to meet regularly with others throughout the past years to agree on the details of the patriotic project; I always state that we are different from the Arab revolutions; the Arab revolutions, for example, rose suddenly, in Tunisia, in Egypt, so you find disagreements about the country’s future; disagreements on the constitution; our situation is different; we put the period of the Occupation to good use, to have dialogue with all the myriad colours of Iraqi society and arrived at a compromise formula for everyone, so for the person who has a role to play in Mosul, today, irrespective of his interests and direction, or whatever his religion or sect, also in Ramadi and Nejef and in Kerbala,  all of these people- we had already agreed with each other about Iraq’s future, so you will not find any disagreement in the end, as is happening in other revolutions.
And if someone decides to do something independently from what it is being decide… what will happen?
This is not an assumption; this is an existing reality.   There is a group that is present at the now and is active in the Liberation Squares, and is attempting to turn the revolution towards sectarianism, towards federalism, towards forming a Sunni Region, but with God's mercy, popular public awareness is suffocating it.   It does not stop its activity, and is still working and just very recently it held a conference in the North of Iraq.   It is trying to gather its forces and redirect the revolution’s slogans and banners into another direction.   However, because the majority believes in the patriotic project, the majority believes in a United One Iraq; the majority refuses the partition of the country on an ethnic and sectarian basis; the voice of these people remained weak.   We expect that they will continue to work and they will attempt to gain positions but our confidence and trust in our people remain greater, Inshallah, than their self-confidence.
I am asking this because you are in a situation where some people will like to go quickly than others…
You have a correct feeling.   According to our information they are moving with speed and are spending limitless amounts of money; we do not know the source of these amounts of money; but what we do know is that they are spending money to recruit youth to appear with slogans written on large banners; they do everything within their ability to realize this target.
You may be able to notice their presence with the start of the revolution; at times sectarian slogans were carried; e.g. ‘Iran Berra berra wal Sunna Tibqa Hurra” (Iran Out, and The Sunna will Remain Free); this slogan was carried at the start of the revolution, but with God’s kindness, the masses aborted it.   It was changed to “Iran Berra Berra, Baghdad Tebqa Hurra” (Iran Out Out, Baghdad will Remain Free), so yes, they are present and from the beginning of the road they tried and are still trying to turn the revolution away from its lofty targets, but as I said, our people, to this instant, is stronger than they are in stability and determination.
Now that I can see that you are more optimistic…
I am always optimistic and I believe, Inshallah, we have started getting closer to the targets, quickly.
The occupation is over but not all of it and USA are still inside. Are you going to be able to get them out, when this revolution finish?
In my estimation, the Americans are going to respect them, and will withdraw because the Iraqi Revolution, in this state is difficult to control.   Everybody knows that Iran is harmful, I mean it destroyed the Iraqi People, but the Iraqi People’s conviction is that America gave this opportunity to Iran; it is they who allowed Iran to enter Iraq, and it is they who allowed Iran’s militias to be active, and it is they who allowed it to put its agenda into effect in destroying Iraq; The big responsibility is falls on America’s shoulders, and I believe that the Iraqi People will no longer allow any American presence, and if the Americans understand the Iraqi people, they should withdraw completely from Iraq, before the revolution attains its targets  so that a clash and conflict do not take place between them and between the Iraqi Revolution.
Are you prepare for a very long revolution?
We have no choice.   We hope that the revolution does not take long, however, should it take long, and then we do not have a choice. 
And your perception is that it is going to take time?
I doubt whether it will be long; it is not advantageous for the region for the revolution to take long in Iraq; and it is not advantageous for the Big Powers including America for the revolution to take long in Iraq; I believe that perhaps an instant will come when everybody will be forced to support the Iraqis to stand on their own 2 feet; and I remember that I stated in my book, Al Sarab (The Mirage), published in 2006, “maybe there will come a time in which the countries that destroyed Iraq will be forced to rebuild it, themselves, because Iraq is the point of equilibrium in the region”.  
Iraq’s occupation caused the strategic disequilibrium of the region, which made countries including America will pay a very high price for this strategic fault.   And I remember a statement made by Kissinger, a year ago; he said:  "it is we who caused the disequilibrium in the strategic scales in the region because of our invasion of Iraq.”   So it would be logical that these countries should work on returning the strategic equilibrium to the region not necessarily for the benefit of the area, but for the sake of their own benefits.   These scales will not return to their position unless Iraq returned as a unified state with a strong central government.
Do you think that after what had happen the political resistance has a voice and it is listened by other countries?
Countries respect what we say not now, but since a long time but did not offer us anything.   Yes, it is better now for countries to offer Iraq something; they can seize the opportunity and support the Iraqi Revolution, in the very least give media support, political support because the situation at present isn’t like the past: also the international community is upset about the situation in the region, upset by Iranian infiltration; also, everybody is aggrieved by this infiltration, thus the Iraqi Revolution is the chance for Iraq to be put right as it was in the past, as well as put the whole region right.   So yes, there is a better opportunity for whosoever wants to offer Iraq something.

The Proliferation of Militias in Baghdad and the Provinces

Statement No. 896: This statement is with regard to cowards targeting the innocent and unarmed population, who form sectarian militias that are backed by the current government and the office of the current prime minister in the capital, Baghdad, and a number of Iraqi Provinces.
Statement No. 896 Regarding the Proliferation of Militias in Baghdad and the Provinces and their Crimes of Abduction and Murder on Personal Identification Basis.
Praise be to God, and peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, and upon His family, companions and allies.
This statement is with regard to cowards targeting the innocent and unarmed population, who form sectarian militias that are backed by the current government and the office of the current prime minister in the capital, Baghdad, and a number of Iraqi Provinces.   These militias have been observed in plain sight of government military and security forces positioned next to government checkpoints, demanding the citizenry’s personal identification to get to know the holders’ sect, and thereafter kidnapping them and transporting them to unknown places only for their bodies to be found a few days later in other areas, should they be of a particular component:
The Association of Muslim Scholars has observed numerous cases of abductions and murders that have occurred in the capital, Baghdad, and other provinces that were directly covered up for by government forces.
The Association condemns the criminal and violent activities of these sectarian militias that are directly supported by Maliki and his forces.   It calls on the Iraqi People to beware phantom checkpoints and to collectively take measures in exercising their rights to defend themselves.  The aforementioned are so cowardly that it would be easy to defeat them and cause them to retreat.   AMSI also calls on the Iraqi People to monitor said checkpoints in order to provide the media with their whereabouts for dissemination in order to warn the people in addition to documenting information about the security forces that collaborate with these militias.
At the same time, the Association calls on the international community and humanitarian organizations to assume their legal and ethical responsibility towards the crimes that are being committed against the Iraqi people; it also calls on the different types of media outlets to perform their humanitarian role by disseminating the news of these crimes to the world so that the world learns of the persecution and oppression that is being carried out in the shadow of the Iranian backed government; a government that is ignorant of the meaning of humanity and does not possess the very minimum of compassion for the Iraqi People.

General Secretariat
17th Rejab, 1434 Hijri
27th May, 2013     

Why Maliki Must Go

Why Maliki Must Go
by NUSSAIBAH YOUNIS on 27-05-2013
BRussells Tribunal
NOBODY wants another civil war in Iraq, yet events are propelling it in that direction. War can be averted only by a new political understanding among three main groups — Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds — but Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has become too divisive to deliver it.

So the United States, together with Iraq’s neighbors, must press Mr. Maliki to resign so he can be replaced with a more conciliatory figure.
Last week, Iraq experienced the most serious escalation of violence since 2006, when it slid into civil war. Now it risks being sucked into a catastrophic vortex of regional violence centered on Syria.
America, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and the Persian Gulf states have a rare, deeply shared interest in preventing another civil war that would benefit only militant extremists.
Iraq’s first civil war developed after decades of authoritarianism, warfare and devastating sanctions destroyed Iraqi society, and after the 2003 American invasion dismantled the Iraqi state without a plan for swift reconstruction. The power vacuum let sectarian tensions, latent in the long-brutalized population, explode. But by 2007 and 2008, Iraq was putting itself back together; the United States helped Sunnis battle extremists in their midst and supported Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, as he suppressed radical Shiite militias. Only by putting their trust in the political process, and turning against the extremists in their own communities, did Iraqis stem the violence.
But if Mr. Maliki, who took office in 2006, had a successful first term, he has squandered the opportunity to heal the nation in his second term, which began in 2010. He has taken a hard sectarian line on security and political challenges. He has resisted integrating Sunnis into the army. He has accused senior Sunni politicians of being terrorists, hounded them from power and lost the cooperation of the Sunni community. The result: the political bargain that had sustained the fragile Iraqi state broke down.
Today, resurgent terrorist groups have killed hundreds of moderate Sunnis who once fought them, and are offering others a grim chance to save their lives — by “repenting” and joining the extremists.
Meanwhile, Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, remains in exile, having fled and then been given a death sentence in absentia on charges of terrorism. Similar moves to charge Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi, a moderate Sunni, led to the protests that have now engulfed Iraq’s Sunni heartland and alienated other communities. An army attack on a protest encampment last week brought only wider violence.
Relations between Mr. Maliki and Iraqi Kurds, who are largely self-governing, also rest on a knife’s edge after a year in which territorial disputes almost led to military confrontation. Even as the Kurds deployed security forces to the disputed region of Kirkuk, they negotiated for concessions from the Maliki government. This week, Kurdish sources reported the signing of a new deal, but after all the broken promises there is little reason to think it will last.
Given the two-year-old Syrian civil war escalating next door, a sectarian crisis and political collapse in Iraq would be a disaster at the worst possible time. It would blur the boundaries between the two conflicts, bring additional misery to Iraq and pose enormous challenges for Iraq’s neighbors and the United States.
That specter is so frightening, it just might be possible to stave off — if Iraq’s neighbors and the United States can recognize, and decisively act on, their shared interest in maintaining Iraq’s stability and territorial integrity. Iran and the United States, despite their deep divisions over the Syrian government and the Iranian nuclear program, can cooperate quietly, as they did in 2001 against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey could lend their strong voices; they, too, want good relations with a stable, prosperous Iraq, and have their hands full aiding Sunni rebels in Syria.
It is true that Iran supported militants in Iraq to frustrate the American occupation, but the withdrawal of American troops has changed such calculations. Now, in Iraq, Iran has a market for its goods and a friend to relieve its isolation. For its part, the United States is less concerned about Iran’s current role in Iraq than about the possible empowerment of extremist militants during a civil war.
If all of these countries could persuade Mr. Maliki to resign, it would give moderate Sunnis a symbolic victory and dampen extremist influence in their community. That, in turn, could show all Iraqis that change can be achieved through politics, rather than war.
Iraq’s parliamentary democracy could survive a resignation. It is normal for a prime minister to step down and be replaced by another figure elected by Parliament. There are other capable Shiite politicians who could recruit and lead a national-unity government.
A decade after Saddam Hussein’s fall, violence threatens to overwhelm Iraq. Getting Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to cooperate with the United States on a new political bargain there, with Mr. Maliki out of the picture, won’t be easy, but it’s essential to save Iraq.
Nussaibah Younis is a research fellow in the international security program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.