24 June 2019
English Arabic

Obama-backing of ‘criminal’ Maliki gov’t helped ISIL rise

A former top U.S. commander in Iraq claims that the Obama administration and the State Department have been running an “information deception campaign” aimed at covering up crimes and violent acts committed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The Obama administration’s efforts to protect and defend the Maliki government created the conditions allowing the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) to take hold in Iraq, where a “civil war” has “already begun,” according to the former U.S. commander Col. Wesley Martin.

Martin, who served as the senior antiterrorism and force protection officer for all Iraqi coalition forces, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview that the White House should be blamed for backing Maliki and fostering the conditions that permitted ISIL to gain support.

“This administration has been so determined to make the Maliki administration work that they’ve been denying the truth,” said Martin, who also served as a detention operations chief and base commander at Ashraf. “The peace has been lost for quite a while now.”

ISIL continued to make military inroads over the weekend in northern and western Iraq and has declared the successful establishment of an Islamic caliphate.

With unfailing U.S. support, the Maliki government “established a criminal organization far more greedy, corrupt, and brutal than Al Capone could ever have hoped to achieve,” according to Martin, who recently published a multi-page Iraq Threat Assessment, a copy of which was obtained by the Free Beacon.

“No matter what Nouri al-Maliki has done to his fellow countrymen, he has had the unfailing support of two governments: the United States and Iran,” Martin wrote in the threat assessment. “While U.S. mainstream media was asleep at the switch and all this was going on, the U.S. State Department was operating an information deception campaign in support of al-Maliki.”

Crimes, corruption, and ethnic violence was covered up by the State Department and ignored by the U.S. media, according to Martin, who was in Paris last week to participate in a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedin of Iran.

The Obama administration “should not have been supporting Maliki,” Martin said in the interview. “Maliki has been allowed to get away with this stuff for so long and our administration has looked the other way.”

U.S. support for Maliki’s government eroded American credibility with Iraqi citizens and paved the way for ISIL to seize power with minimal resistance, according to Martin.

ISIL “took hold because they were such a disgruntled, hostile group that was experiencing genocide,” he said, referring to ethnic Sunni Arabs in Iraq. “There was a spark.”

Iraqis in the Western portion of the country and elsewhere “got fed up with Maliki,” Martin said. “They were being kidnapped, starved, everything that should not have happened under a legitimate government was happening. And all it took was one spark. And really the spark started with Maliki manipulating the [most recent] elections,” in which Maliki’s governing coalition enjoyed a commanding victory.

“Barack Obama called [Maliki] and congratulated him before the counting was done,” Martin said. “What is this? The guy is illegally going after a third term as prime minister, he has totally manipulated the election, and now you’re calling him to congratulate him? The people reached a point. ISIS saw this and were able to come in with a few hundred people” and seize control.

The Obama administration also has misled the public about ISIL’s extremist presence in northern and western Iraq, Martin claims.

While ISIL has successfully seized many cities and jurisdictions, it has done so with the backing of moderate Iraqis who support the overthrow of Maliki.

“Despite what al-Maliki and the Obama administration claims, the majority of the fighters in northern and western Iraq are not religious extremists or, in this case, the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria,” Martin wrote in the threat assessment. “Elements are clearly there, but valid statistics do not support the proclamation that all these communities are falling to the ISIS.”

“The communities and tribes are in revolt against the corruption and genocide performed by Nouri al-Maliki,” according to Martin.

Maliki’s persecution of Iraq’s Sunni population—and America’s silence about it—has initiated a civil war, Martin said.

“Western governments and media claimed that the ISIS slogan ‘We have a score to settle’ referred to the execution of Saddam. It did not,” Martin wrote. “It pertained to atrocities against the Sunni population by the government of Nouri al-Maliki.”

“The Obama administration may wish to turn a blind eye to the atrocities of Nouri al-Maliki; however, citizens of the Middle-East know better,” he wrote.

“Civil War in Iraq has already begun” as a result of these policies, according to Martin.

“If proper action is not taken immediately, it will not be long before a Reign of Terror commences,” Martin warned. “Religious extremists and criminals will be raiding communities and mass murder will be the result.”

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/fmr-top-iraq-commander-civil-war-in-iraq-has-already-begun/

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Speaking at the annual rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, vice president of the European Parliament (1999-2014), compared the media coverage of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in 2003, which drove the US military into a decade-long war in Iraq.

Rejecting the notion that the Iraqi uprising is driven solely by sectarian motives, much less by extremism, Vidal-Quadras assured the crowd that majority of the people fighting the Maliki government want only to remove him from power and to have a nation defined by democracy and freedom.

The message of many participants and speakers at Friday’s event was that such freedom in Iraq can never been achieved as long as its government remains allied with the Iranian regime. Presenters such as former US Speaker of the House declared in no uncertain terms that Maliki is simply “Iran’s puppet.”

The US officials including Secretary of State John Kerry have signaled that they may be willing to cooperate with Iran to confront what are perceived as common interests in Iraq.

Earlier in the rally’s program, US Army General George Casey, who commanded the US forces in Iraq for several years flatly dismissed this notion of shared interests, claiming instead that “The Iranian regime will be destabilizing the region for some time to come.”

While Vidal-Quadras suggests that ISIS is not a significant portion of the conflict in Iraq, many analysts have concluded that the extremist wing of the conflict has actually grown in response to the Shiite threat that is headed by the Iranian regime. These two claims are not mutually exclusive.

In attendance at Fridays event were two delegations unique to this year’s event: one from the moderate Iraqi resistance and one from the moderate Syrian resistance.

So long as these groups do define the conflict and are not overtaken by the extremist fringe, according to Vidal-Quadras, “democracy in Iraq triggers the destruction of fundamentalism.”

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On 24 June, Bashar Assad’s army jet fighters bombed the Iraqi city of Qaem (near the Syrian border), the city of Rutba (150 km from Syrian border) and the western areas of Mosul, which had fallen out of Maliki’s forces’ control in recent days. As a result many civilians were brutally murdered in public places such as the bazaar and gas station. While during the past two years, Bashar Assad has never bombed ISIS bases in Syria and his aerial strikes have always targeted innocent civilians and opposition groups, now under the name of bombing ISIS, innocent Iraqi citizens are being slaughtered. This clearly shows how baseless the claim of fighting against terrorism and ISIS is.

Coincidently, on the days of 24 and 25 June, Iraqi forces bombed the city of Beiji in the Salahaddin Province killing at least 100 civilians and injuring many more. Most of the city’s inhabitants were forced to flee the city. The brutal death of 69 people outside the city of Hilla and the murder of 52 inmates in the Baquba Prison by government forces, are other crimes carried out by Maliki who is desperately trying to keep his post as prime minister.

According to a report by CNN, the governor of Baquba claimed that the prisoners were killed by ISIS, yet hospital personnel and other Baquba officials say that the inmates were killed by their prison guards. Al-Taqeer TV said on 20 June: “The Governor of Diyala revealed that the Vahdat Prison management in Baquba was involved in the physical annihilation of 52 inmates. He said that the only survivor of this incident has said that the inmates were fired upon by prison guards and denied that mortars had been fired on the prison. The governor said that after this testimony, the inmate was abducted from the hospital and murdered.”

ISIS is a terrorist and extremist group who has taken advantage of the current situation in Iraq to position its forces in various areas of the country. According to many accounts, the actions of this group have to this date been in favour of the Iranian regime and Bashar Assad. France’s President Francois Hollande spoke of relations between ISIS and the Assad regime on 20 June. However, falsely relating the Iraqi people’s revolt, which in the past two weeks has liberated half of Iraq’s territories with a population of 10 million people, with this terrorist group follows two purposes. First, legitimizing the killing of civilians and entrance of IRGC and the Quds Force; and second, once again bringing the US back into Iraq.

The leaders of the uprising have from June 10th to this day stipulated time and again that they have no relations with ISIS and strongly condemn it. They made it clear what is taking place in Iraq is not a Shiite or a Sunni war, but a war between the Iraqi people and Maliki and the Iranian regime. They said they don’t intend to occupy Baghdad, but they want to oust Maliki and if they are going to Baghdad it is because Maliki intends to usurp his prime ministerial office with the Quds Force so that he can continue killing Iraqi citizens.

The Association of Muslim Scholars led by Sheikh Hareth al-Zari, who plays an important role in the developments, said on June 12th: “We want to stop cruelty against all Iraqis. We recognize no difference between religions…because any kind of discrimination against religious minorities must be lifted and they must be protected… our motto is forgiveness. Criminals must be handed over to a judiciary that is not sectarian or politically motivated like Maliki’s judiciary.”

Sheikh Ali Hatam, one of the most prominent Iraqi tribal sheikhs, has issued numerous statements and conducted many interviews with Arab and Western media outlets saying, “ISIS is fabricated by Iran. Before God and the people of the world, we are completely against ISIS. Our fundamental goal is to destroy Maliki’s autocracy, and then we can fight again ISIS as we have done so before.”

The General Military Council of Revolutionaries, consisting of senior army officers, has announced, “This revolution is not an ISIS revolution. It is a tribal revolution that has risen against cruelty. This is the new Iraqi spring and it has nothing to do with terrorism. We oppose any actions against human rights, and we condemn anyone that carries out such actions. We don’t even carry out such actions against our enemies. We want an Iraq that enjoys its riches. A democratic Iraq with a government ruling over the people, chosen by the people, and that protects Iraq’s unity.”

The Iranian regime and Maliki, its puppet prime minister, are the main problems in Iraq that have led the country into destruction, civil war and sectarianism. As we had announced prior to this, setting Maliki aside, evicting the Iranian regime, forming an inclusive national reconciliation government and carrying out elections under UN supervision are the only solutions to this crisis, and this is the will of the Iraqi people.

While there is an Iraqi and international consensus that Maliki must go, on June 25th he audaciously said the national reconciliation government is a coup d’état against the constitution, going on to emphasize his right to retain the post of Prime Minister. Any solution for this matter lies in ousting Maliki. Therefore, the US, EU and UN must stop all their aid to Maliki's government and not allow him to use Western support to further prolong the war and massacres in Iraq.


STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP
President of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq
President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association

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By STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP

Removal of Maliki from office, ending Iranian meddling and the establishment of a temporary nationalist, democratic and non-sectarian government, is the sole solution to the crisis in Iraq that is endorsed by significant sections of Iraqi society. The popular uprising in Iraq and the liberation of its cities one after the other, together with the collapse of Maliki’s forces and their mass desertion and retreat in face of the tribes, is continuing on a rapid basis. A number of facts on this development are as follows: 
1. The propaganda by Maliki and his masters in Tehran, generously repeated by the Western media, that these regions have fallen into the hands of extremist terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL), is ludicrous and baseless. Liberating around 100,000 square kilometers of Iraqi territory with a population of several million by an isolated and extremist group of several hundred or even several thousand members is preposterous. It is the tribes and ordinary Iraqi citizens who have risen up in anger against Maliki.
2. Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, Maliki and the Iranian regime on the one hand try to justify the interference of the Iranian terrorist Qods Force and the invasion of Iraq by the revolutionary guards and on the other hand attempt to encourage the United States to militarily interfere in favour of Maliki to repeat its past blunder in Iraq, on an even more dangerous scale. We in the West have to acknowledge that this is a popular revolution against Maliki and the suppressive and criminal regime, organized with the assistance of the United States and of course under the guidance and leadership of the religious fascists ruling Iran with the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars of the assets and oil wealth of Iraq.
3. The Iranian regime is now poised to save Maliki. In a telephone conversation, President Rouhani has promised Maliki every kind of cooperation. Fox News wrote on June 13: "Some 150 fighters from the Revolutionary Guards elite Quds force have already been dispatched by Tehran, and the division's powerful commander, Qassem Suleimani, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday and pledged to send two notorious Iranian brigades to aid in the defence of Baghdad." And The Wall Street Journal of June 12 wrote: “At least three battalions of the Quds Forces, the elite overseas branch of the Guards, were dispatched to aid in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an offshoot of al Qaeda rapidly gaining territory across Iraq, they said: “One Guards unit that was already in Iraq fought alongside the Iraqi army, offering guerrilla warfare advice and tactics and helped reclaim most of the city of Tikrit on Thursday; two Guards' units, dispatched from Iran's western border provinces on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf.” These reports only reveal part of the reality and support our constant warnings about the meddling of Iran.
4. Reports on Nineveh and Salahaddin provinces filed by journalists from CNN, al-Jazeera and BBC among others, support our previous intelligence that no violence or aggression has been carried out against the indigenous population. The residents of these areas are happy that Maliki’s forces have fled and public and private properties now enjoy relative security. The mass exodus of refugees from these cities is due to the bombardment by Maliki’s forces, although 48 hours after the liberation of Nineveh, the wave of refugees has markedly ebbed and some have already begun to return. 
5. Yesterday, in its 12-article statement, the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq that plays an important role in the developments in the country called on the Iraqi revolutionaries to treat people well, help solve their problems, treat the ethnic groups well, refrain from taking hostages, forgive and forget and treat believers of all religions without prejudice. In this framework, the armed tribes refrained from entering Samarra in Salahaddin Province where the shrine of two Shiite Imams is located and are trying to gain control of the city through negotiations with the government forces in order to prevent any killings and bloodshed. General George Casey disclosed on June 2013 that when he was the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2006, the Iranian regime blew up this sacred shrine and blamed it on the Sunnis instigating a great massacre in Iraq. Casey stated that he had personally reported to Maliki that Iran had been behind the explosion, but Maliki took no action.
6. Sheik Abdulqader Nael, one of the sheiks of al-Anbar Province, stated on June 11 that the revolutionaries are calling for the formation of a national salvation government, a technocratic Iraqi government to hold a fair election within a specific timeframe. 
7. Sheik Ali Hatam, the chief of Al-Dulaim Tribe and one of the leaders of the current revolution, in a 6-article statement on June 11 called on all the people and fighters to protect the “lives of all citizens and all public and private properties” and to avoid taking revenge and not to allow “any form of terrorism”. He added that “all soldiers and government employees that have been coerced by Maliki and driven to sectarian war” will be forgiven. He thanked “all security forces that did not open fire on the people” and stated that they will be rewarded. Sheik Ali Hatam asked for the removal of Maliki from office and the establishment of a temporary government to save Iraq. He said that the tribes are fully prepared to take on the security file in the liberated provinces.
8. In addition to the revolutionary guards, Maliki is using the paramilitary forces associated with the Iranian regime such as Asai’b Ahl al-Haq and Kata’eb Hezbollah to suppress the popular uprising. These paramilitary forces blew up some of the bridges over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in order to hamper the advancement of revolutionary forces creating massive problems for the population.
9. On June 11, Maliki admitted his forces are fleeing and said, “…the leaders who acquiesced with this conspiracy and those who retreated and those who showed weakness should all be punished…all those who laid down their arms should be prosecuted. They shall never avert punishment”.
10. In such conditions, the Iraqi al-Taghier TV channel revealed on June 13 that on the orders of Maliki, billions of dollars of cash has been transferred in armored vehicles from Iraq's Central Bank to the Baghdad Green Zone to be subsequently transferred to Iran.

I once again repeat the proposal of the conference in Brussels on June 11 as the sole practical solution to the crisis in Iraq in order to avert further bloodshed. This solution includes the removal of Maliki from office, ending all Iranian meddling in Iraq and the formation of a nationalist, democratic and non-sectarian government that encompasses all segments of Iraqi society. This solution is widely supported by Iraqi nationalistic and democratic forces. Instead of assisting Maliki, that will only lead to more blood being spilled, the United States and the European Union should force Maliki to accept this solution and immediately step down from power.

STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP
President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq

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By Struan Stevenson MEP, is President of European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq

BRUSSELS, June 14 (UPI) --The popular uprising continues unabated in Iraq, with the successive liberation of its cities and the collapse of Maliki's forces as they retreat and desert en mass in the face of coordinated tribal opposition.

Following the shock of dramatic changes that have taken place with lightening speed, a question keeps surfacing: Is what we are witnessing in Iraq an uprising by Iraqis or an attack by a terrorist group?

Maliki and his patrons in Tehran are insistent on the claim that regions of Iraq have fallen into the hands of extremist terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL). But this claim is ludicrous and defies logic. The liberation of approximately 100,000 square kilometers of Iraqi territory with a population of several million in a matter of a few days could not possibly be the work of an isolated extremist group with no more than several thousand, and probably no more than several hundred members. There are increasingly many indications that it is tribes and ordinary Iraqi citizens who have risen up in anger against Maliki.

The contrary claim is not the result of a simple misunderstanding of the situation, but has clear ulterior motives. Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, Maliki and the Iranian regime are attempting to justify the interference of the Iranian terrorist Qods Force and the invasion of Iraq by the revolutionary guards. At the same time, they are trying to encourage the United States to militarily interfere in favor of Maliki, in an even more dangerous repeat of its previous blunder in Iraq.

This angle on the latest developments is very revealing. The Iranian regime is now poised to save Maliki. In a telephone conversation, President Hassan Rouhani has promised Maliki every kind of cooperation. Fox News wrote on June 13: "Some 150 fighters from the Revolutionary Guards elite Quds force have already been dispatched by Tehran, and the division's powerful commander, Qassem Suleimani, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday and pledged to send two notorious Iranian brigades to aid in the defense of Baghdad."

On June 12, the Wall Street Journal wrote: "At least three battalions of the Quds Forces, the elite overseas branch of the Guards, were dispatched to aid in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an offshoot of al Qaeda rapidly gaining territory across Iraq." The article went on: "One Guards unit that was already in Iraq fought alongside the Iraqi army, offering guerrilla warfare advice and tactics and helped reclaim most of the city of Tikrit on Thursday; two Guards' units, dispatched from Iran's western border provinces on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf."

One can safely assume that this is only a partial reflection of the reality regarding Tehran's direct involvement to save Maliki.

In addition to the IRGC, Maliki is using the paramilitary forces associated with the Iranian regime
such as Asai'b Ahl al-Haq and Kata'eb Hezbollah to suppress the popular uprising.

Reports on Nineveh and Salahaddin provinces filed by journalists from CNN, al-Jazeera and BBC, among others, supported the claim that no violence or aggression has been carried out against the indigenous population. This does not fit the pattern of random violence and spread of intimidation that is the trademark of terrorist groups. The residents of these areas are happy that Maliki's forces have fled and public and private properties now enjoy relative security. The mass exodus of refugees from these cities is due to the bombardment by Maliki's forces, although 48 hours after the liberation of Nineveh, the wave of refugees has markedly ebbed and some have already begun to return.

Yesterday, in its 12-article statement, the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, which plays an important role in developments in the country, called on the insurgents to treat people well, help solve their problems, treat the ethnic groups well, refrain from taking hostages, forgive and forget, and treat believers of all religions without prejudice. In this framework, the armed tribes refrained from entering Samarra in Salahaddin Province where the shrine of two Shiite Imams is located.

They are instead trying to gain control of the city through negotiations with the government forces in order to prevent any killings and bloodshed.

What we are witnessing in Iraq is the eruption of years of popular loathing and disillusionment brought on by Maliki and his clique. The West in general and the US in particular facilitated Maliki's ascent to power. So it is time for us to see the bitter reality as it is. Maliki has been a total failure, a disaster. The more he insists on staying in power, the more the Iraqi political system will become a quagmire.

In order to avert further bloodshed in Iraq, Maliki must be removed from power, Iranian meddling in the country must come to an end, and the international community must oversee the formation of a nationalist, democratic and non-sectarian government that encompasses all segments of Iraqi society. This solution is widely supported by Iraqi nationalistic and democratic forces. Instead of assisting Maliki, which would only lead to more blood being spilled, the United States and the European Union should force Maliki to accept the only viable solution and immediately step down from power.

Struan Stevenson MEP, is President of European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq

See Also On UPI(United Press International)

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Rafidain TV- June 12, 2014

Association of Muslim Scholars issued an urgent letter to the Iraqi revolutionaries. The text, translated from the original Arabic is stated below:

Because of the great victories that God has bestowed upon you, and for the enormous defeats that enemies of the Iraqi people have suffered, including the destruction of their bases, which is a reminder of autumn leaves falling off trees, it is necessary to bring the following issues to your attention:

We seek triumph over the enemies and for the enemies’ plots to be shattered. God willing, we will have more victories in the coming days, and therefore we emphasize on the following: 

1) God has willed victory for you, which is a blessing we should be grateful for.

2) Your gains have received extensive coverage both inside and outside of Iraq, and naturally the enemy will use all its might to advance its conspiracies. They seek to defame the revolutionaries. 

3) The most immediate task at hand is the victory of the revolution. You must earn the people’s trust. Revolutionaries must be at the people’s service, because they want to remove the chains of injustice. You must strive for this goal, and you must make every effort to have each liberated city stand as a symbol and an example for others to follow.

4) You must realize that liberating people from the yoke of their oppressors will not be easy. But the main challenges will emerge after freedom has been attained. The revolutionaries in Mosul have in particular begun to provide basic daily services for the people so far. But we must take into consideration that Mosul is a great city, and therefore, it needs a separate local administration, something that bears great significance for the revolutionaries. In this respect, a local council of revolutionaries must be formed , which would be comprised of people from all sectors of society.

5) The revolutionaries must open their hearts to the people and genuinely understand the challenges they face, while focusing their efforts to resolve them.

6) Efforts must be made to meet people's needs as much as possible. The fate of tens of thousands of families depends on it.

7) The revolutionaries in Mosul, Salahuddin, and other liberated areas must take this issue into consideration.

8) Treatment of minorities must be based on our religious teachings. One must demonstrate an extremely positive image of the revolutionaries to the world, and all kinds of shameful acts must be avoided. This is necessary to protect minorities and their beliefs.

9) Regarding other countries, especially neighboring countries, pay attention to a very important issue. The hostage-taking of Turkish consulate members and others has created a dilemma. This act has not at all been in the interest of revolutionaries and their movement. Therefore, no one can be permitted to act against the people’s will. 

10) Under the current circumstances, the most important issue is to preserve the unity of all, and the devil must not be given the opportunity to pursue his plots. By the same token, no one must be allowed to take a strategic decision in this regard. The real revolutionaries are thirty million Iraqis, period. The Iraqi people began their peaceful demonstrations since February 25, 2011 in nearly 16 cities. A few months after that, however, Maliki responded by opening fire on them. Consequently, demonstrations and protests spread to 6 provinces, and the Iraqi people staged sit-ins for over a year to press for their legitimate demands. However, Maliki's responded with an iron fist and more bullets. He attacked the people using tanks and heavy weaponry, killing and injuring hundreds of people in the process. The Iraqi people had no other option but to defend themselves accordingly. This is a revolution that belongs to the people, and any particular faction or group that thinks it is in the position of leadership is delusional. The children of this revolution have decided to have a mutual understanding with all those who stand with them in their struggle against oppressors. At the same time, the revolutionaries will not allow anyone, regardless of who they are, to highjack their revolution, just as they will not allow anyone to sow the seeds of division among the revolutionaries, as it happened in Syria; a conspiracy that is not in the interest of anyone but the enemies of Iraq and the Iraqi people.

11) The clear slogan of the revolutionaries is what the Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon Him) taught after conquering Mecca: mercy and forgiveness. And this is the path on which our revolutionary children walk. Forgiveness is the way into people’s hearts. Tyrants, however, must be tried in a court of law at the proper time. They will be handed over to a just tribunal, which would bear absolutely no resemblance to the sectarian and political trials run by Maliki. These legitimate tribunals will not be forums for legitimizing murder. Maliki's judiciary bears contradicts both the actions of the Prophet Mohammed as well as humanity or rationality. 

12) The goal that now lies before the revolutionaries is reaching Baghdad and this is their right. The regime in Baghdad is an exporter of tyranny and crime against the people. This is the regime's sole conduct, which has put no other option in front of the revolutionaries but to try to end the tyranny. In this regard, we warn against certain calls about going towards Najaf and Karbala. Such calls are unacceptable and irresponsible, regardless of the identity of people who issue them. They will lead to nowhere but the defeat of the revolution and its diversion from its real goal of helping the innocent towards causing division among an otherwise united people. Everyone knows that the majority of the Iraqi people in the south reject Maliki and his gang, and that like the rest of the people in Iraq, they too are suffering from immeasurable poverty, extreme tyranny and the trampling of their honor and rights by the dominant parties and criminal militias. We advise all the revolutionaries to shun actions with sectarian origins. This is exactly what the well-known large and small governments who are carrying out their destructive agenda against Iraq and the entire region want. 

We are all children of one united country and we all endeavor to end tyranny against all Iraqis without eulogizing a particular religion or sect over others. We seek the victory of all religions and the triumph of good over evil. Yet we do not see any differences between particular individuals or religions because we all share this land and equally determine its future. 

These were our urgent considerations and we hope that you accept them from your brothers. These were considerations that come from previous experiences and will help you to achieve your goals. When it comes to our collective interests, we will continue to communicate with you until the great victory. 

May God protect and help you and bring disgrace to your enemies. 

Secretariat of Iraq’s Association of Muslim Scholars

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Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:00

FACT SHEET ON DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ

BBC, June 14: Iraq conflict: 'We are stronger than ISIS'. Divisions between the groups fighting to topple Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are emerging. Much of the attention from the current insurgency has focused on ISIS - the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, but it is only one of a number of militia groups fighting. Former General Muzhir al Qaisi is a spokesman for the General Military Council of the Iraqi Revolutionaries, which entered Mosul alongside ISIS and is taking part in the campaign. He told the BBC's Middle East correspondent Jim Muir that Mosul was too big a city for ISIS to have taken alone. He also stressed the differences between the two groups, describing ISIS as "barbarians".
CNN, June 14: Emboldened militants, backed by Sunni tribal leaders, pushed toward Baghdad on Friday as increasingly nervous U.S. officials mulled their limited options to help slow the militants' advance. In recent days, Iran has sent about 500 Revolutionary Guard troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Diyala province.
The Daily Star (Lebanon), June 14: [Iraqi government air strikes and] military power in the long run remains helpless in the face of determined moves by disgruntled citizens to regain what they see as dignity, freedom and rights.
The Economist, June 14: Mr Maliki has been less brutal but more crass than Mr Assad. By the end of 2011 American forces had almost eradicated ISI, as it still was, in Iraq. They did so by capturing or killing its leaders and, more crucially, by recruiting around 100,000 Sunni Iraqis to join the Sahwa, or Awakening, a largely tribal force to fight ISI, whose harsh rules in the areas they controlled had turned most of the people against it. But after the Americans left, Mr Maliki disbanded the Sahwa militias, breaking a promise to integrate many of them into the regular army. He purged Sunnis from the government and cracked down on initially peaceful Sunni protests in Ramadi and Falluja at the end of last year. Anti-American rebels loyal to Saddam and even Sahwa people may have joined ISIS out of despair, feeling that Mr Maliki would never give them a fair deal. In 2012 Tariq al-Hashemi, the vice-president who was Iraq’s top Sunni, fled abroad, and was sentenced to death in absentia. Sunnis feel they have no political representation, says Mr Haniyeh. “ISIS and al-Qaeda are taking advantage and appropriating Sunni Islam.”
Al-Monitor, June 13: Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki never implemented promised reforms to integrate and share power with Iraq’s Sunni communities. Although the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is trying to exploit the “Sunni cause” to mobilize its fighters and rally supporters, its “jihadist” characteristic reduces its claim to represent the Sunni community to a small segment within this community. Most Sunnis maintain their suspicious view of the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, but they do not see ISIS as a good alternative. It is true that ISIS has largely invested in the sectarian tension in Iraq and the region, but its objectives go beyond the Iraqi borders or the major concerns of Iraq’s Sunni community. ... Maliki tried to weaken strong Sunni leaders, deprive the Sunni population of legitimate and reliable leadership and empower those who are personally loyal to him. ... Without reaching a new compact that reforms the system of government and seeks a broader legitimacy for the state, Iraq’s future as a united country remains uncertain.
The New York Times, Editorial, June 12: What’s happening in Iraq is a disaster. ... Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is said to be in a panic. It is hard to be surprised by that, because more than anyone he is to blame for the catastrophe. Mr. Maliki has been central to the political disorder that has poisoned Iraq, as he wielded authoritarian power in favor of the Shiite majority at the expense of the minority Sunnis, stoked sectarian conflict and enabled a climate in which militants could gain traction.
USA Today, June 12: With no obvious replacement for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — and no apparent intent on his part to step down -Washington is largely resigned to continue working with his Shiite-led government that has targeted Sunni political opponents and, in turn, has inflamed sectarian tensions across Iraq. "He's obviously not been a good prime minister," said Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "He has not done a good job of reaching out to the Sunni population, which has caused them to be more receptive to al-Qaida efforts." The panel's chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., noted only lukewarm support for al-Maliki, both in Iraq and among U.S. officials. "I don't know whether or not he will actually be the prime minister again," Menendez said. "I guess by many accounts, he may very well ultimately put (together) the coalition necessary to do that."
CNN, June 12: Fareed Zakaria: "The Iraqi government under Nuri al-Maliki has excluded and persecuted the Sunnis. Any insurgency grows on the discontent of the population, and what has happened is that the population in Iraq has gotten more and more discontented. They're joining up with radical groups in Syria and they are now moving to Baghdad. The second-largest city in Iraq has already fallen. I think with the current government in Iraq, it would be a mistake to offer major support like air strikes and things like that. Because ultimately, I don't think al-Maliki can put this back together again. I think what we should demand is a national unity government. Al-Maliki step down as prime minister. A more conciliatory figure takes his place. Bring in Sunnis as well. Under those circumstances, I think that the United States should support, but not this government."
CNN, June 12: These 90,000 "Sons of Iraq" made a significant contribution to the reported 90% drop in sectarian violence in 2007-2008, assisting the Iraqi security forces and the United States in securing territory from Mosul to the Sunni enclaves of Baghdad and the surrounding Baghdad "belts." As the situation stabilized, the Iraqi government agreed to a plan to integrate vetted Sunni members of the Sons of Iraq into the Iraqi army and police to make those forces more representative of the overall Iraqi population. But this integration never happened. Al-Maliki was comfortable touting his support for the Sons of Iraq in non-Shiite areas such as Anbar and Nineveh provinces, but he refused to absorb Sunnis into the ranks of the security forces along Shiite-Sunni fault lines in central Iraq.

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