Arab Nyheter: We hope that this statement and interview will contribute to the territorial integrity and national independence of Irak.
Mousa Almllhi: How do you describe the arrest warrant against vice president Tariq al-Hashimi, who is the top leader among the Sunni muslims in the political process?
Dr Mohammed Bashir Al-Faidhy: The arrest warrant for Tariq al-Hashimi is not a surprise to us, because the current government is based on a sectarian quota system. And he who has the greatest influence in the government now carried out a purge in the top of the hiearchy. They have practiced a policy of exclusion under occupation. This is what could be expected, since the removal of the bulk of the occupation forces have taken place. This government will go on with further exclusions and marginalizations to its partners in the political process. Today, Tareq al-Hashemi and then absolutely late vice president Rafie al-Issawi, a member of the Islamic Party. The day will come when this will happen to the chairman of the current parliament Osama Najafi, a member of Allawis party Iraqi List. This shows clearly, what I recently told you in the interview (AN, se below), that the political process under occupation failed and that its members sit on the top of this failure.
The situation of the resistance to the occupation of Iraq – december 2011
Dr Mohammed Bashir Al-Faidhy, spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI), interviewed on 6 December, 2011, by Mousa Almllahi, Arab Nyheter with questions put together by Snorre Lindquist.
1. Does AMSI’s website report correctly about the intensity in numbers of attacks of the total military resistance month by month?
- Yes. The resistance has declined since 2008 for many reasons
a) There are less possibilities of direct contact with US occupation forces because they are now stationed mainly in towns and on streets and there is a risk of innocent citizens suffering injuries.
b) Many from the Awakening movement, created by the occupying power had previously been part of the resistance, thus having thorough knowledge of the resistance’s weakest links: where the leaders were, where weapons were hidden etc. Hence, Awakening has been a fifth column within the resistance.
c) The world has succeeded in totally isolating the resistance, which is still suffering from the economic blockade, and this has led to a decrease of attacks because the resistance needs money to buy the necessary weapons.
A temporary increase in attacks against the occupation started when US troops retreated from towns after Obama had announced plans for the withdrawal of American forces; they then became more vulnerable to raids on tanks and armoured vehicles. The Green Zone and the occupiers’ military headquarters have also been attacked with home-made rockets during the past month, aimed mostly at the Balad base north of Baghdad. However, the attacks ceased during the demonstrations against the regime’s corruption.
2. Is it true to say that the resistance in southern Iraq has largely increased compared to earlier years, with the exception of the last five months? If so, what could be the reasons? Are the Shiites more inclined towards military resistance now?
-Yes, the Shiites are now more motivated to resist. The sort of attacks used against the occupying power by forces loyal to Iran, such as the Promised Day Brigade and the Iraqi Hezbollah, were not solely about resistance to the occupation. Instead, they were a means of putting pressure on the US to reinforce Iran’s status in Iraq. Information that has leaked from the recent meeting in Arbil between Iran’s vice president, who was visiting Iraq with a large delegation, and the US ambassador, emphasises in a secret agreement that Iran promises to end its attacks on US forces, and that American pressure will be put on the Iraqi government to meet Iran’s wishes and their increased cooperation against Iraqi resistance.
3. The number of attacks in Mosul and the surrounding region seem to be very low compared to earlier years; is this correct, and if so, why?
- Yes, that is right. In the two largest towns Diyala and Mosul, for example, the Iraqi government has replaced the whole of the civil service, including teachers, with loyal people who, together with security forces, are in complete control of the population. There is, furthermore, pressure from the Kurdish militia – the Peshmerga – who collaborate with the regime in matters concerning resistance to the occupation. These are the reasons for the decline in attacks by the resistance in these towns.
4. Do you have any evidence that peaceful demonstrations support the military resistance?
- It is difficult to give exact evidence, but we know that the armed resistance has declared its support for “The People’s Revolution” against corruption, and has ceased its military activities temporarily to join the demonstrations which took place mainly in Baghdad.
5. Concerning Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, how big/small is it now?
- Al-Quaida in Iraq suffered a heavy loss when its leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was killed. There is no longer a coherent organisation, merely separate, fragmented cells without a central leader. Many of its members have been recruited by various international security services or by political parties for their internal struggles.
6. Will the Iranians give Maliki military aid against the resistance, as reported in Press TV?
- We expect Iran to try to do everything possible in order to turn Iraq into an Iranian province. In the next phase, we are going to witness attempts by Maliki’s regime to try and implement a number of dangerous measures including finalising the ethnic cleansing and closing the circle for Iranian interests in Iraq. When the blockade of Iran is reinforced, and if the US decides to attack, Iraq will serve as a source for supplies and a military hideout of strategic significance for Iran, at the expense of the Iraqi people.
Lately, we have seen how Maliki has imprisoned over 10,000 Iraqis under the false pretence that the Baath party is threatening to topple the regime. This took place tree months ago immediately after Obama had announced a definite retreat of the US from Iraq. It is evident that Iran has provided the Maliki regime with lists of former members of the Baath party to make this possible; many names on these lists are of people who died long ago, something Iran could not have known. Recently for example, 40 families were banished, under this pretext, from the ancient town Madaien, north of Bagdhad. Women have been expelled, the reason given that their dead husbands belonged to the governing Baath party under Saddam Hussein. All this is just the beginning of what we are going to see in the future.
The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) is an umbrella organisation for political resistance to the occupying powers in Iraq. AMSI is firmly anchored in Iraqi society and greatly respected by the people, hence its spokespeople have unique knowledge of the situation on the ground. Its secretary general, sheik Hareth al-Dari, has been appointed the international representative of the most significant armed resistance groups.
Snorre Linquist is an architect whose work includes The Peace Centre and the square in front of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. After retirement, he has been involved in the people’s struggle for liberation in Palestine and Iraq. He has written “Iraqi resistance according to the Iraqis themselves” and other articles.
Mousa Almllahi is a journalist and chief editor of Arab Nyheter.