Iraq and Gulf Analysis

More De-Baathification Antics in the Iraqi Parliament

Posted by Reidar Visser on Sunday, 10 January 2010 18:55

The Iraqi parliament reconvened again today, and developments there just confirmed the picture of a fragile and improvised political process, vulnerable to the same kind of immature whims that characterised the initial response to the Hashemi veto of the election law.

The roles are a little different this time though. Back at the time of the Hashemi veto, the Daawa party were in the lead in the most savage and least logical attacks on the presidential veto, although they were ably assisted by both Sadrists and ISCI. This time, it is the Sadrist head of the justice and accountability committee, Falah al-Shanshal, that is the loudest defender of the moves by the justice and accountability board to bar Salih al-Mutlak from participating in the March elections (Shanshal apparently seems to think his committee has a role in “supervising” the board, even though no such specific role is prescribed by the justice and accountability law). Unsurprisingly, the Buratha news agency, which caters for the ISCI rank and file, is also ecstatic, as is Al-Bayyina al-Jadida, one of the more sectarian Shiite newspapers which tends to support Maliki (every day it has a new Baathist conspiracy on its front page; this time it alleges that Mutlak is excluded due to money received from former US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad!) On the other hand, Maliki’s own party has been somewhat more subdued in its response, even if  Ali al-Adib today is reported as having accused Mutlak of “exploiting the issue for propaganda purposes (sic)”.

It is interesting that the Iraqi legal authorities today, as a matter of urgency, have also asked the Iraqi parliament to approve its candidates for a special appeals court devoted to de-Baathification issues. Of course, the law that mandated the creation of the new justice and accountability board was adopted back in February 2008, and it does not inspire confidence that a request for an appeals unit suddenly arrives in parliament now, before a new board has even been seated. According to the law, the appeals court for de-Baathification cases will consist of seven judges, to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. The court will make its decisions by a simple majority; apparently the latest move has been made in anticipation of appeals relating to excluded candidates in the forthcoming elections, although in theory it might also  be a pre-emptive move by the court aimed at shifting responsibility for the next difficult decision to parliament.

A minor detail of the justice and accountability law highlights the implausibility of pushing through new arrangements at this point: The appeal court will issue its decisions within sixty days! Even if the court were constituted tomorrow, it might be too late for giving due consideration to an appeal by Mutlak before the elections. All in all, common sense suggests that it is the anachronistic and often secretive justice and accountability committee headed by Ali al-Lami that should now be shoved to the sidelines, and not Salih al-Mutlak – who after all has been a part of Iraq’s democracy for four years.

39 Responses to “More De-Baathification Antics in the Iraqi Parliament”

  1. Salah said

    The list of 15 banned parties

    والكيانات التي منعتها الهيئة من المشاركة في الانتخابات هي:
    1- الجبهة العراقية للحوار الوطني
    2- تجمع الوحدة الوطنية العراقية
    3- قائمة الحل
    4- التجمع الجمهوري العراقي
    5- تيار الرافدين
    6- سواعد العراقية
    7- تجمع عشائر العراق
    8- الحركة الاجتماعية العراقية
    9- كيان سعد الجبوري المستقل
    10- حزب العدالة الكردستاني
    11- كتلة تجمع كل العراق
    12- تيار الشعب
    13- حزب النشور
    14- مشروع التغيير
    15- كتلة أبناؤنا

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Yeah, thanks, I saw that. I think that with the exception of Mutlak and the party of Nehro Abd al-Karim (the Kurd who at one point was part of the Unity of Iraq alliance, number two above, he later joined with Fadil al-Maliki!) and maybe Jannabi (number 4) many of these parties are rather small fry (the Unity of Iraq alliance seems to be losing more of its smaller components than the others though). One interesting point is that Mutlak and Allawi actually merged to form a haraka, i.e. a closer level of integration than a coalition, before they joined the rest of the Iraqiyya coalition. The de-Baath board apparently deals with the political entities that were submitted originally, although I think it is highly unclear exactly what kind of legal status the Hiwar front actually has now after the formal merger with Allawi’s Wifaq.

  3. Reidar,
    So what do you think will happen next? And what is the best context for understanding the escalation?
    Some comments from your last post try to explain the exclusion of Mutlak in purely Iraqi context, I think this is a narrow vision; the escalation makes more sense in a regional context as a confrontation between Iran and the US, perhaps pushing the US to a loss-loss situation or destabilizing Iraq in order to let the US dig in rather than withdraw.

  4. Reidar Visser said

    Faisal, I agree there are probably regional linkages in this. After all, Lami was at one point arrested by the US because of his ties to Iran, and he is tight with both Asaeb Ahl al-Haqq and Ahmed Chalabi who have excellent connections with Tehran. In that sense it will be particularly interesting to see how the system responds and what side Maliki chooses to take. With regard to the al-Fakka incident the government needed some two weeks to come up with a half-hearted and ambiguous response. But in this case a firm decision on Mutlak’s participation is needed, and it will be a straightforward Yes or No to his candidature.

  5. Reidar,
    I can’t see a firm positive decision on Mutlak’s participation without the influence of the US, which is itself a double edged sward. More speculation on the escalation is in my blog.

  6. Salah said


    In regards to Mutlq they banned him and his party is that in legal terms of banning Party or “Kutla”, or should banned him only as a person and a head of party with his links with Ba’athest?

    So legally are they right to banning rules or not? Please your thoughts Reidar

  7. Reidar Visser said

    Salah, that’s another major problem related to the initiative to ban Mutlak. The justice and accountability commission is supposed to implement the justice and accountability act, which as far as I am able to see deals with persons and not parties. And yet, Lami is clearly talking about banning parties:

    شمول بعض الكيانات السياسية بالأبعاد عن المشاركة في الأنتخابات لشمولها بأجراءات قانون لمساءلة

    And then he refers to the law, but I cannot find anything in the law that refers to parties!

    Another justification for excluding Hiwar that has been flying around is the reference to the constitutional ban on reviving the Baath (article 7). But does the new justice and accountability law anywhere assign any specific role to the commission in implementing this? In fact, article 7 is only mentioned once in the law, and that is just a formal reference for defining the Baath party.

  8. Reidar Visser said

    There is some more news out of the Iraqi parliament on this story today: The parliament actually voted in favour of the judges submitted by the legal authorities, although it was a split vote, with 76 in favour out of 145 present. Some reports first said the assembly failed to confirm the proposed board, allegedly because Bahaa al-Aaraji, another Sadrist and also a loud proponent of the board that banned Mutlak, claimed that three of the seven judges proposed were themselves disqualified under the accountability and justice act. A Tawafuq member reported the decision to the media but refused to disclose the names of the seven, citing security concerns!

    All of this could suggest that the IHEC is eager to have a complaints board in place if it should choose to sustain the demand of the accountability and justice board to have Mutlak and others excluded. But the whole process is looking neither predictable nor particularly transparent.

  9. Salah said

    Thanks Reidar I fully agree, even though the cluse 7 stated as this:
    “على حظر كل كيانٍ او نهجٍ يتبنى العنصرية او الارهاب او التكفير أو التطهير الطائفي، او يحرض أو يمهد أو يمجد او يروج أو يبرر له، وبخاصة البعث الصدامي في العراق ورموزه، وتحت أي مسمىً كان، ولا يجوز ان يكون ذلك ضمن التعددية السياسية في العراق”

    Thats means any party that promots scetrians hatred and terroerst acts and ethnic celnasing shoudn’t allowed to promoted in democratice Iraq?

    So as most of blame and sources that Al-Da’awa and both Sadrists and ISCI involved in the past with these criminal acts so and did criminal acts under same cluse 7 should they be banned, isn’t?

    Also Mohammod Othman called for De-Baathification committee be headed by Judges not sectarian members as the judges are more suitable to do the job professionally an far from their sectarians backing.. which is good point should be considered.

  10. Salah said

    The vehicle for the purge of intellectuals was the de-Baathification campaign instituted by Paul Bremer, the US pro-consul from 2003-2004, and used by successive Shia-led sectarian governments to target secular nationalist thinkers of every sect.

  11. Reidar Visser said

    The idea of a board consisting of legal experts is a good one, but one that still seems like a distant dream. Note that some newspapers misrepresent the selection of the appeals board as a subsitutute for the commission itself (or the new candidates nominated by the Maliki government, who were rejected by parliament on 12 December 2009), which it is not. The new appeals board will adjudicate complaints relating to decisions by the old commission.

    With respect to the Kurdish position, it is noteworthy that some of Mutlak’s allies have criticised the Kurdish deputy speaker for allegedly supplying the documents that supposedly incriminate him as a potential future Baath supporter. I have no idea whether that accusation against the Kurdish deputy speaker is correct or not.

  12. Salah said

    The most bountiful poet by Iraqi Christian lady she left Iraq to US… see how much love Iraqi have in their soul to Mesopotamia land.

    حرت في اصل عشيرتي وتهت في متاهات انتماءاتي
    حتى مبادئي تعولمت
    قوميتي – حدث ولا حرج – لم اعد اعرف ما قوميتي
    “لاجئ بانتظار الهوية”
    يوما كنت عربية
    وبعد حين قالوا أنني كلدواشورية سريانية
    والآن انا في بلاد متعددة الجنسية…….. بلاد تسمى امة المهاجرين
    ولدت عراقية وسأموت أميركية
    بحسب ما يريده السياسيون
    او حسب ما يطلبه المستمعون!!!
    و قد افقد الاثنين معا فحسبي الله ونعم الوكيل كقول الرسول (ص)
    الصورة السابعة
    رحلت يا عراق فاعذرني
    وسامح كما سامح المسيح (ع) اللص والعشار والزانية
    اعذرني لو كتبت في وصيتي “في العراق ادفن” وتقبل توبتي
    اعذرني لو كتبت على شاهد قبري “أنا عراقية الوجع

  13. Sadiq said

    Ba’athists of Almutlak magnitude should have never been allowed to take part in the political process; He and his fellow high ranking ba’athists are behind Iraq’s destruction and destitution. It is high time the De Ba’athification Committee became a lot more active and nailed down all ba’athists whose prime objective is to overthrow the democratically elected government and seize power so their sunny/ba’athist comrades rule once again. It is no good slagging off the government as a way of promoting for the worst criminals, torturers and hangmen the world has ever seen.

  14. Reidar Visser said

    Sadiq, could you please explain exactly why you think Mutlak is a Baathist of such enormous “magnitude” and what specific crimes he has committed? In particular, how do you know that he aims to “overthrow” the “democratically elected” government? Remember, back in February 2008 that “democratic government” tried to postpone local elections indefinitely and no elections would have taken place in January 2009 had it not been for the intervention by Mutlak with Iraqiyya and the Sadrists and Fadila. ISCI and the Kurds tried to prevent those elections from taking place at all, so why do you see them as more strongly committed to democracy?

  15. Sam Parker said

    In addition to the link from Salah, below is another example of Mahmud Othman taking a very sensible and moderate position. It’s hard for me to see the Kurds (or any of the other big parties) pushing this. Given the unknowns, vulnerabilities, and high stakes of the post-election period of government formation, it appears that risk aversion is the order of the day for all the parties who have something to lose.

    Besides horse-trading considerations and the desire not to alienate potential coalition partners, to bar Mutlak would undermine the legitimacy of the elections and viability of the political process that the big parties dominate. I just cannot imagine that they would do something so shortsighted and self-defeating. The only exception would be in the very unlikely event that the case against Mutlak is serious for reasons that have not yet come to light.

    “Mahmud Othman, an independent Kurdish MP, said the decision would harm efforts towards national reconciliation, seen as key to reducing instability in a country that was engulfed in sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007.

    ‘This will not help reconciliation,’ Othman told AFP.

    ‘If someone, even if he is a Baathist, if he is not a criminal, if he has not been a leader in the past regime, so what if he is a Baathist? He can still come and work. This has been politicised.'”

  16. Reidar Visser said

    The de-Baath board still seems to enjoy the support of some prominent politicians beyond the Sadrists though, including Ali al-Adib of the Daawa, quoted today as follows below. Adib, of course, has been prominent in the recent talk about the possibility of reviving the old UIA.

    قال الاستاذ علي الاديب ان الكيانات التي استبعدتها هيئة اجتثاث البعث من المشاركة في الانتخابات لم يتفق ترشيحها مع المعايير الدستورية وموقف الدستور من حزب البعث المحظور .
    واضاف الاديب في تصريح لمراسل (وكالة انباء الاعلام العراقي /واع) ان ” قرار اجتثاث الكيانات الـ(15) صدر من هيئة اجتثاث البعث والواضح ان الهيئة لابد ان تلقي الضوء على المرشحين لتطبيق معايير الدستور.

    واشار الاديب الى ان الاحتمال الاكبر ان هذه الكيانات مشمولة بالانحياز الى حزب البعث والترويج لافكاره وبذلك فان منعهم من الترشيح مطابق للدستور ،مؤكدا ان الدستور العراقي في احدى مواده الاساسية يعتبر حزب البعث محضور لانه يروج للعنصرية ويمجد بها”

  17. Sam Parker said

    Fair enough, although I think Maliki’s position is a better indicator of where the party stands–i.e. wanting to play the anti-Ba’thist card for political reasons but avoiding taking the extreme step of actually barring Mutlak. Here is what he said, from today’s al-Hayat:

    ولم يعلق رئيس الحكومة نوري المالكي على قرارات الهيئة مباشرة، إلا انه حذر، خلال لقائه وفداً من شيوخ العشائرالاحد، من عودة البعثيين الى البرلمان المقبل وقال: «مسؤوليتنا جميعاً ان نفحص بدقة عن هؤلاء الذين يحنون الى الماضي. ينبغي ليس فقط عدم انتخابهم بل طردهم من العملية الديموقراطية لانهم يريدون عودة العنف والديكتاتورية». وأضاف: «اذا لم نحسن الاختيار الآن، فسيعود العراق الى نقطة الصفر».

    Adeeb was quoted in al-Hayat saying similar things to those in the quote you provided:

    من جانبه حذر القيادي في حزب «الدعوة» النائب علي الأديب من ان «هناك بعض الكيانات السياسية التي تسعى للابقاء على حزب البعث في البرلمان». وأضاف أن «المطلك لا يترك مناسبة من دون الاشادة بحزب البعث، وقد أعلن بنفسه قبل أيام أن البرلمان المقبل سيضم نحو أربعين نائباً من البعث»، مشيراً الى أن «المساءلة والعدالة هيئة مستقلة تضم جهات من مختلف الفئات مهمتها الاساسية إبعاد هؤلاء، كما هو الحال بالنسبة للتدقيق في الشهادات المزورة». وأضاف: «على رغم ذلك، تبقى المفوضية العليا المستقلة للانتخابات الجهة التي تحسم الأمر».

    Maybe I’m reading my own biases into this, but I don’t think he would emphasize the fact that the final decision rests with IHEC if he were truly serious about following through on the committee’s recommendations. My sense is that he’s playing the bad cop in a game of brinksmanship.

    Finally, Othman is also quoted again. It’s interesting–he appears to be positioning the Kurds as a balancer/voice of reason between the Sunnis and Shia in this case. If this is actually true, it would be a case of the Kurds playing the positive reconciliation role in Baghdad that their leaders always insist they play when making their case to Americans:

    وصرح النائب عن التحالف الكردستاني محمود عثمان لـ «الحياة» ان «جلسة البرلمان شهدت مناقشات حادة حول قرار تشكيل اللجنة التمييزية لقرارات «المساءلة والعدالة»، لافتاً الى ان «اعتراض البعض على تشكيل الهيئة لم يستند الى خلفية قانونية بل سياسية». وأوضح عثمان ان «البرلمان انقسم الى جبهتين: الاولى تسعى الى المضي قدماً في حرمان الكيانات السياسية الـ15 من المشاركة في الانتخابات وهي «الائتلاف الوطني» و «ائتلاف دولة القانون» بينما ترغب بقية القوى السياسية بايجاد مخرج قانوني لالغاء هذه القرارات».

    My overall point is that it’s no secret that a lot of the Shia and to a lesser extent the Kurds are going to play the anti-Ba’thist card in the effort to win votes. That’s been going on for some time and will continue, is to be expected, and within limits is the legitimate exercise of freedom of speech and the practice of democratic politics.

    But it would be several orders of magnitude more serious and alarming for them to actually follow through with barring Mutlak on such spurious charges. Mutlak has been a participant in the political process since at least the constitution drafting days of 2005, he remained committed to the political process in the darkest days of 2006-07, and was courted for time by Maliki. Yes, they will continue to call him a Ba’thist, but to bar him would be to run the political train off the rails in way that is completely contrary to their interests (but is in the interest of marginal players with nothing to lose like Lami and the Sadrists, and perhaps neighboring regimes hostile to political progress in Iraq).

  18. Reidar Visser said

    Sam, I hope you’re right, but Uthman’s interpretation of the parliamentary struggle in this also suggests that the forces that are pressing actively for Mutlak’s exclusion are not negligible, and once more are coming to the foreground precisely because State of Law and the Watani coalition are finding common ground. I wouldn’t be surprised if what he is saying about two tendencies in the parliament (State of Law/Watani alliance versus the others) relates to the split vote on the appeals board the other day, where it was around 76 deputies for and 69 against. We know the Sadrists tried to vote down the board, so it seems probable they may have been joined by some 30-40 more Shiite Islamists finding common ground with them. And, at the end of the day, all Maliki has done so far is to refuse to comment on Mutlak’s case at all, whereas Talabani is engaged in a heated dispute with Zafir al-Ani of Tawafuq, accusing him precisely of glorifying the Baath. And today a Hakim/Barzani meeting on “wider alliances” is also reported…

  19. Sam,
    There is so much escalation now that if your scenario of reversal plays out then Mutlak will be a hero, I think we are past the point of no return but, like Reidar, I hope I am wrong.

  20. Salah said

    Ba’athists of Almutlak magnitude should have never been allowed to take part in the political process; He and his fellow high ranking ba’athists are behind Iraq’s destruction and destitution.


    You’re right, as you looks very confident and certain about Almutlak magnitude, Why then the iarqi politicians may I say who knew better than you who let him in first place to be within the politic structure, could you answer us please?

    As you know there are a lot of allegations about the magnitude of Al-Da’awa and both Sadrists and ISCI and Kurds Parties of ethnics cleansing, these are reported and well informed by many Iraqi and western sources even US officials the words spilt from thier mouth of what happened on the ground, may be one example Bayan Jabor Solag his roll when he was Minster of internal affairs and the discovery by American him and his ministry the magnitude of human rights abuses “worst criminals, torturers and hangmen the world has ever seen. Now Bayan Jabor Solag promoted to PM with Adel abdull Mahadi for next PM position by ISCI!!.

    What about Falah Al-Sudani who were accused and wanted of mismanagement and stealing millions of dollars during been a Minster who fled Iraq now promoted again by ISCI?

  21. Salah said

    There two element the Iraqi government and others parties now playing well for their propaganda of next election

    1- Ba’athest and Al-Mutlaq which very clear why they chose it now. This matter should be dealt with along time ago when Al-Mutlaq was within the politics of Iraq.

    2- The slander by Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi against the (Shiite) & Sistani.

    Both these subjects they have positive elements for Maliki and other parties.

  22. Salah said

    This bit of new appeared 2 weeks ago it might be proven there is some thing that Badar have doing some thing with De-Baathification.

    منظمة بدر تشكل ”خلية صفراء” لإبعاد البعثيين عن السلطة

  23. Sam Parker said

    Just to throw a bit of cold water on the idea that Badr is a driving force behind this move, from January 8’s NYT, a quote from the head of Badr:

    “‘I personally think everyone should be allowed to take part,” said Hadi al-Ameri, a Shiite lawmaker. “The door needs to remain open for everyone.’”

  24. Reidar Visser said

    Still, I do think we need to distinguish fundamentally between the polished discourse by ISCI when they talk to the US and Western media (most frequently through Abd al-Mahdi and Hakim), and the rather more bigoted discourse of their leaders at the popular level. Like Hasan al-Zamili, the Friday prayer preacher in Diwaniyya, who today told local radio there that both Mutlak and Ani are “Baathist henchmen”

    مؤكداً ان المطلك ‏والعاني هم من اذناب البعث وايتام البعث

    He also criticised the de-Baathification committee for not going far enough.

    I think the more basic issue here is that regardless of the final outcome regarding Mutlak’s candidature, the whole atmosphere of the elections is now being transformed to a carbon copy of 2005, when the UIA put the faces of Allawi and Shaalan on the elections poster of list 169 and portrayed them as dangerous Baathists. This will shift the attention away from important constitutional and bread-and-butter issues and instead open the door for vague demagoguery of the kind contributed by Sadiq above. Of course, the very predictable corollary will be a wave of attempts to conflate the Shiite Islamists of Iraq with Iran, which in many cases is not warranted at all.

  25. Sam Parker said

    Just to reiterate, there is a huge difference between calling Mutlak and Dhafir al-‘Ani Ba’thists and accusing them of all sorts of things vs. actually barring them from participating in the elections based on spurious charges, in a rushed fashion, within an extremely shaky legal framework. The Shia leaders pushing this are playing a game, a dangerous one yes, but still a game, and unless it happens by accident will not push this over the line. They want to rattle the saber, show they’re still in control, intimidate the Ba’thists, put down markers for the extent to which the old order can come back in the new Iraq, generate paranoia among the public about a return of the Ba’th, and rally the Shia to the polls. But they also want to win a legitimate, broadly contested election and prove their majority and cement their primacy in the new Iraq. I just hope they’re not counting on the Americans and the UN to restrain them.

    Reidar, on your specific point about how identity politics is ugly and Iraqis should be talking about services and federalism, I agree in general, although democratic political discourse in many countries often descends to the lowest common denominator. Also, coming to terms with the end of the Ba’th relatively peacefully (after years of bloodshed, in a volatile regional environment, etc.) and establishing the ground rules of a new political order takes a lot of time and is a necessary process that cannot be wished away. Elections may exacerbate tensions and slow down the reconciliation process in the near term, but it’s hard to imagine a way to avoid them, and as long as they happen under the rule of law, without violence, are broadly contested and conducted in a way that most Iraqis see as legitimate (while being realistic that none of these is going to be 100% the case), elections will have a positive long-term effect. Name calling may be a strain on the system, but illegally barring long-standing mainstream political actors for no good reason would potentially break it.

  26. Joel Wing said

    Sam said:
    “generate paranoia among the public about a return of the Ba’th”

    That’s probably what was behind yesterday’s rumors about Mutlaq being assassinated and a Baathist coup. Didn’t that rumor start with a Supreme Council paper or spokesman?

    Also about the Kurds, I just read a report from AK News that had a member of the Kurdish Alliance in parliament supporting the ban on Mutlaq and saying that al-Hadbaa from Ninewa should be added to the list because they’re Baathists as well.

  27. Salah said

    Of course, the very predictable corollary will be a wave of attempts to conflate the Shiite Islamists of Iraq with Iran,

    Reidar, excuse me may I correct your above statement:

    “Of course, the very predictable corollary will be a wave of attempts to conflate the “Iranian” Shiite Islamists of Iraq with Iran”

    Today further step to strength Iran fingers inside Iraq with this new news:

    قائد من الحرس الثوري سفيراً لإيران لدي العراق
    قررت الحكومة الايرانية تعيين احد قادة الحرس الثوري الايراني سفيرا جديدا لايران في العراق.
    وذكرت مصادر دبلوماسية في بغداد ان السفير الجديد حسن دانافر عمل في السابق بصفة نائب قائد الحرس الثوري في البحرية تحت قيادة علي شامخاني وهو ايضا عضو في فيلق القدس الذي يدير العمليات الايرانية في الخارج.

  28. Salah said

    Let just not forgot another name who plaied rule in the De-Baathification Antics in Iraq befoer is:

    Nibras Kazimi, a former adviser to the Bremer-created de-Baathification commission, told Otterman that a year after the change in policy there were at least 9000 ex-Baathists working in the Iraqi defence ministry, interior ministry and intelligence service.

    This new to me this man what he doing Iyad Jamal al-Din!

    مدير حملة اوباما يدير حملة اياد جمال الدين!!

  29. bb said

    Strange that large sections of the Iraqi public don’t realise it was actually the shia tribes and Kurdish factions that consigned their people to mass graves and not the Baath regime at all.

  30. amagi said

    Reports are that IHEC upheld the ban. Named individuals have the right to appeal, but I have to believe that the appeals process can be drawn out well past the March 7 election.

    I realize in the fluid world of Iraqi politics it ain’t over til it’s over… but is this it? Does the dream of a democratic Iraq die here?

  31. Reidar Visser said

    Yeah, it is all over the newswires right now. Around 500 candidates altogether, including Mutlak. I think the future depends on how swiftly the newly constituted appeals court handles the cases. If the appeals drag on for many weeks then inevitably this issue will continue to dominate the agenda and the elections can easily become a replay of 2005, probably to the satisfaction of the ISCI/Chalabi/Sadrist alliance. Interestingly, Salih al-Mutlak this morning expressed confidence that the appeals court would deal justly with any appeal by him.

  32. Sadiq said

    Salih, Visser
    Please try and understand that two wrongs do not make a right, if there are people in Iraq that are still committing crimes against humanity and are up to their eyeballs in corruption that does not retrospectively justify what the Ba’athists did while in power.

    ISCI and the Kurds are a lot more committed to the political process because they both suffered under the most hideous regime in the world and both tasted the woes of dictatorship and tyrrany. Further, they have no interest whatsoever in bringing back the last regime i.e. the bunch of illiterates and murderes of “Al Sabha (Saddam’s mother)” mainly from “Al Uja”.

  33. Reidar Visser said

    Sadiq, forgive me, but I still don’t quite catch your logic here. Clearly, Saddam must answer for the excesses of the Baath party and Hakim must answer for the excesses of ISCI/Badr (death squads, inflaming sectarian tensions etc.) But what exactly should Mutlak apologise for? I am not publishing your other comment since it just contained lots of character assassination and uncorroborated claims without a single source being supplied – rest assured that I have also declined to publish many other comments with slander against your Shiite Islamist friends for exactly the same reason.

  34. Sadiq said

    Thank you Reider,

    Saddam was just one man and had a complete murderous machine that did his dirty work for him, need I repeat who these people were? They have been and they will continue paying through the nose for their crimes against humanity. I assure you tha most of the Shiite parties in power are only getting their own back becasue of what they endured for nearly 40 years, incidently I am not in favour of a government run by scholars (Iranian style)whcih we have more or less at the moment nor am I a friend of any of the personalities in office presently.

    The comment that you chose not to publish (so much for freedom of expression!! and tolerance!) is public knowledge, it is claimed from the rooftops and only Rip Van Winkle type of people would plead ignorance on such an issue.

    Generally, I visisted and I will still do your website believing it contains some really good materials. For it to be publicised for the benefit of X or Y will be a great shame. I strongly suggest you try and view the situation from a more balanced point of view with perhaps some indepth research on Mr Almutalk who has draped himself in the flag. Good Luck

  35. Reidar Visser said

    Sadiq, the only thing I am asking for is a trustworthy source. I think that should be required when you accuse specific individuals of acts of murder and other crimes. I can assure you that I also decline to publish many comments that simply say “NN is an Iranian spy” etc., without backing it up. In general, I think these kinds of broad-brush accusations are unhelpful to the process of transition in Iraq.

    One thing I keep wondering is why the alleged wrong-doing by Mutlak was not discussed prior to the 2005 elections, I mean, if public knowledge about them is really so widespread? Back then, the UIA actually tried to use Ayad Allawi and Hazim al-Shaalan as symbols of the “returning Baath”.

  36. bb said

    Dr Mutlak can at least be comforting himself with the thought that being banned from running for election is somewhat preferable to being hauled off the streets by the Sadrists, run through their religious courts and then being drilled alive full of holes? Or indeed being beheaded or blown up by one of his fellow sunni insurgent groups. Or subjected to the hospitality of Saddam’s mukhabaret.

    Reidar, what I haven’t seen is a proper biography of the doctor and his history in Baath Iraq. Has any knowledge person written about him and can you provide something.?

  37. Reidar Visser said

    Most of what I have seen on Mutlak’s biography is just a rehash of the Arabic Wiki entry on him, i.e. past in agricultural bureaucracy, left Baath party in 1977 etc. I will keep looking for this, but, as said above, if they had any firm empirical basis, why did not these accusations come to the forefront ahead of the 2005 elections?

  38. bb said

    I certainly agree with you on the 2005 question. It is curious.

    But this is hardball politics now and it is quite possible the other side has just been waiting for the time the US is disengaging to deal with the doctor and the other “baathists”. But I would need a lot more info on Dr Mutlak before my sympathies would be engaged. Are there not even any stories about how Dr Mutlak has conducted himself since 2005 as head of one of Iraq’s political parties with a not insignificant representation in the COR?

  39. Sadiq said


    Thanks, I must say that any politician that can fish in murky waters, they will. For Shiite Parties are not Mother Theresa themselves! They are all making capital while the country is is such a turmoil.

    Logical deduction is a good thing, if one suggested that ISCI did not have a good relationship with Iran they would straight away be digagnosed with schezophrenia. The same applys to just about every politician in Iraq these days that are affiliated to neighbouring and regional countries.

    The timing of raising these issues are, I agree, debatable and would have to go some way to convince the unsuspecting spectators that it is only about about implementing the Justice and Accountability rules. These rulings could not have come at a worse time.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: