Iraqi Ally of Israel and US Says Party Was Harassed Under Orders From PM Maliki
The headquarters of the Iraqi Nation Party were attacked by a military unit of Iraq’s government over the weekend, according to former Iraqi Parliamentarian Mithal al Alusi, who believes that the assault was ordered personally by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.
“They came very early in the morning to our party [office, and] they mishandled people there, the bodyguards,” said Alusi, who was not present at the party office when the harassment reportedly occurred. “The military unit [that did the attack] is under the order of Mr. Maliki personally; it is proof there is no democratic process in Iraq.”
Alusi, said he is “OK” but that several people in his office at the time were “mishandled.”
“At six a.m. my people saw 30 hummers, army cars. Generals were there … They said it was Mithal they looked for … They know what we have as a weapon, is our Party.”
An outspoken ally of Israel, Alusi established his political party, the Iraqi Nation Party, after the murder of his two sons in February 2005, reportedly as “payback” for their father’s decision to visit the Jewish State and champion counterterrorism cooperation between Iraq and Israel in September 2004.
Refusing to be intimidated, Alusi remained in Iraq, and was elected to Parliament in December 2005, running on a platform that included promotion of normalized relations and counterterrorism cooperation between Israel and Iraq, as well as alliance with the U.S. and moderate forces in Jordan and Turkey.
Alusi, who has twice served in Iraq’s Parliament, lost his bid for re-election in March 2010 elections that he believes were rigged against himself and other liberals by an Iraqi Electoral Commission he charges was corrupted by Iran.
Alusi has remained in Iraq and continued to push for human rights, rule of law, and normalized relations between Iraq and Israel. A maverick in Iraqi politics, he has recently spoken about what he charges is broad-scale corruption in Iraq’s present government.
In particular, he has claimed Iraqi politicians, including Maliki, are compliant in allowing Iran to use Iraq as a way-station for transporting weapons into Syria.
“Mr. Maliki wants to give me and the party a clear signal we should be careful, [that] if we talk more about his connection to Syrian intelligence and Iranian Revolutionary Guard we will be attacked,” Alusi said.
Alusi refuses to be silenced.
“What Mr. Kerry was saying is correct,” Alusi said, referring to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Iraq. “Weapons transport is huge from Iran to Syria, [and] Mr. Maliki closes his eyes.”
Alusi has advocated for alliance among democratic forces in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., Jordan and Turkey.
“I would like to say, ‘Mr. Kerry, thank you for your visit. The weapons transport from Iran to Syria — we know about it but people can’t talk about it or they will be arrested and killed.”
Since the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq in December 2011, Alusi has been outspoken in asserting that numerous officials in Iraq’s government are taking bribes from Iran in exchange for allowing and in some cases facilitating money laundering in Iraq’s banks. He contends these manipulations are allowing Iran to skirt U.S.-led sanctions.
He calls for cooperation among democratic forces in Iraq, the U.S., Israel, Jordan, and Turkey in fighting terrorism and promoting security.
“We would like to be Americans’ partner,” he said.