Frankfurter Rundschau Newspaper published on its fourth page an interview by Michael Hesse with the German former politician, businessman and author Jürgen Todenhöfer.
Q: Mr. Todenhöfer; it was reported that Baghdad is ready for an attack by the Jihadists, who is behind this sudden advance?
A: It’s a wrong estimation by the politicians and the media who don’t really know Iraq. It seems like the ISIL has a main role in the current incidents, but the fact that this revolution is carried out by the Iraqi national and Islamic resistance. It’s a secular organization consisting of several groups who has successfully fought the U.S. Army. There was a media blackout on the Iraqi resistance for many years- with whom I spent a whole week in 2007- by the United States. Although it was the main enemy of the United States, the Iraqi resistance was the one who kicked the Americans out of Iraq after all.
Q: Are you saying that the majority of those fighters are not Jihadists, but secular?
A: Yes, of course. In the past few days I spoke many times with the leaders of the Iraqi resistance, and as to their opinion, it’s important that ISIL has a small military role with the resistance because of the bravery of its fighters in front of death. Those jihadists from all over the world are spreading fear and terror because of their strength, and this has a psychological impact, except they have media experience, their black flags are everywhere, which gives an impression that they are controlling the whole battle. their photos tempt the media and the cameras. However, with their capability of no more than 1000 fighters, they would have never had a chance to succeed in Mosul, the city of over 2 million inhabitants. Unlike that, the national resistance has more than 20.000 fighters in Mosul, and has the support of the civilians.
Q: What does the Iraqi resistance exactly consist of?
A: The Iraqi resistance recruits many of the employees of the former Iraqi Army, and the state administration system who used to serve Saddam Hussein because of the shortage of alternatives. They have a lot of weapons, and a very good communications network. They are people who were simple fired from their jobs by Paul Bremer, the American governor, after the disband of the whole Iraqi Army, in addition to big administrative sectors. They are not only Sunni, but also many Shiite who were the elite, and being kicked out of the country because of their membership in Al-Baath Party, this is common among the majority.
Q: What does this mean for Mosul?
A: Mosul which has a majority of Sunni inhabitants has always been sympathizing with the national resistance. There’s a possibility that there will be more than 30.000 fighters who will join the armed resistance now. Moreover, it’s possible that others will join the ISIL, but they have also the other battlefield in Syria which they would never easily give up, because they are stronger there than they are in Iraq. But the alliance of interest between ISIL and the Iraqi resistance is not stable, and here, water will mix with fire, because ISIL looks forward to an Islamic state, and the Iraqi resistance wants a secular democracy. The speed in which such coalition fails is reflected by the experience of the Iraqi resistance alliance with Al-Qaeda in 2007 when they both militarily cooperated for a while, and then they kicked it out. Iraqis will never allow the foreigners to rule them.
Q: Why would the Iraqi resistance fight the government?
A: Because the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki widely prohibited the Sunni and the Baathists in particular of a real political participation, he treats them with segregation every single day. Meanwhile, the resistance gets the support from the civilians who are frustrated for economic reasons, and who suffer from the instability of the country. Iraq is on its way to be a failed state.
Q: But, if those were the followers of Saddam Hussein, his regime was not that humane…
A: The Iraqi resistance is not an organization for the subsequent failure of the former regime, rather; it would take a new path. It is now open and freed and is looking forward to democracy, and is intending to open a new page for history. The past is not its raw model.
Q: How much is the Iraqi resistance strong? Does it have a chance to take over Baghdad?
A: The possibility to take over Baghdad is a thing I cannot judge, but when three Special Forces squads surrender without a fight is something worth to be noticed. But, comes Al-Maliki generation, then the risk of the civil war increases.
Q: Is there a threat to divide Iraq?
A: Al-Maliki failed, and the country will have a future only if there is a real internal reconciliation, with, of course, the exception of those who committed serious criminal acts, not because they are members of a certain party or from a certain sector. I have the impression that there are important politicians in Iraq who see the same.
Q: How such reconciliation is possible?
A: Before the advance, I said that such a thing should be done through negotiations with Al-Maliki, but now, I doubt that, because the cards of Al-Maliki are already burnt completely.
Q: Iran, the neighbor, will never allow a replacement for Al-Maliki simply, without an intervention!
A: Iran has now a clever government, and it cannot have an interest that more than one-third of the Iraqi population breaks away the Prime Minister, or creates civil war-like conditions. Thus the reconciliation is in the behalf of Iran, too. In order to solve the complicated political issues in Iraq, I call for an international conference, with the participation of the Security Council; otherwise, neither Iraq nor the Middle East will rest. Prominent leaders in the Iraqi resistance told me that they welcome such conference, because it would be also for the behalf of the western countries. What is going on in Syria and Iraq is increasingly growing to become an international crisis, and it seems that those who are still sleeping in the west haven’t realized that yet.
Q: There is news about an American intervention; will it be able to bring peace in the country?
A: My urgent advice to the Americans is not to intervene militarily. As to new studies in American universities, more than 500.000 Iraqis got killed in the war of lies. Where do the Americans want to reach in a big city with their unmanned aerial vehicles for example? A week ago, I was on the borderline between Pakistan and Afghanistan, all the experts who are not funded by the United States assume that the number of the gunmen who were hit by the unmanned aerial vehicles doesn’t exceed 30 gunmen, from a total number of 3500 persons ,it means that the percentage is less than 1% . More than 90% were civilians. It’s the same in Mosul; it cannot be attacked by unmanned aerial vehicles because the number of the victims among the civilians will exceed 90%, and it is the same for the air raids. In this way, the United States would do to the ISIL a huge favor if it attacks the jihadists who are ready to die for martyrdom, to be heroes afterwards. What the American politicians are stating these days about Iraq is simply ignorance. Also, sending an aircraft carrier named (George W. Bush) to Iraq is, for sure, not an indication of a political sensitivity.