Friday, December 29, 2006

Another newspaper report on potential criminal cases against Iraqi government officials

According to the London pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, a spokesman for Saleh al-Mutlak's National Dialogue Front (Sunni) said officials in the current and former Iraqi governments should be brought before international courts for prosecution for crimes against humanity worse than those of Saddam Hussein. The spokesman, Mohamed Dayani, said the parliamentary opposition alliance has presented more than 600 supporting documents as evidence to war-crimes courts, and has sent many files which confirm the commiting of these crimes by officials of the various governments under the occupation, including the "governing council", the "transitional" and the "interim" governments, up to and including the present government.

He said the targets include a group of important political and military persons involved in creation of death-squads, and genocide (ibada jamaiya: group extermination) against Iraqis, and the persons include Abdulaziz al-Hakim, head of SCIRI and leader of the UIA parliamentary group; Ibrahim Jaafari, the former Prime Minister; Abu Hassan al-Amari, head of the Badr Corps; Baqr Jabbar Solargh, Interior Minister under Jaafari and currently Finance Minister; Muwaffaq al-Rubaie current national security adviser; along with a group of senior Iraqi army officers.

Dayani added that there has been formed a judicial council made up of Arabs, Americans and Europeans, to study these documents and files that have been presented by the parliamentary opposition to the special court for war crimes.

Following a recitation of attacks on the legality of the judgment against Saddam, the journalist continues with this:

Ali al-Jabburi, assistant secretary of the Iraqi National Founding Congress, which is headed by Jawad al-Khalasi, and which includes parties, groups and movements that resist the occupation including the Muslim Scholars Association, the Sadrist current, and a group of nationalist forces, said the execution of Saddam won't affect the alignment of forces on the street, but on the other hand it will be exploited by some to try and fan the flames of sectarian violence. He added in remarks to Al-Hayat that crime doesn't lapse with the passage of time, and it is the responsibility of the government to turn over to the court those politicians responsible for crimes against Iraqis, and also to turn over those responsible officials in the American armed forces who have been responsible for major crimes against Iraqis. (Jawad al-Khalasi is a Shiite cleric, described as close to Sistani, apparently radicalized by the US siege of Falluja in spring 2004 where he worked with his Sunni counterparts and with Sadr. I don't know anything about the Iraqi National Founding congress. NOTE: I don't really know anything about al-Khalasi either; a commenter objects to the above description and says there wasn't sweetness and light between the sects in the Falluja story. But the main thing I'd still like to know something about is the Iraqi National Founding Congress.)

(Earlier this month, on December 4, there was a piece in Azzaman that said Talabani and Hakim were thought to be opposed to the idea of an international conference on Iraq partly because of the risk this might lead to international court proceedings against Iraqi government officials and politicians. No alleged targets were named. I don't think there was any followup at that time).

To add to the mystery, Azzaman (London edition) this morning (December 30) prefaces its Saddam-execution story with this: "An official in the US State Department said yesterday there is a tendency in Washington to do away with the excuses for not holding to account current Iraqi officials who are involved in crimes against humanity, once the obstacle of having Saddam alive is eliminated, and meanwhile...(the journalist goes on to talk about the Saddam execution and doesn't return to this topic with any elaboration).


Blogger annie said...

what are the chances they will all get their just deserts?

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading the social dynamics of Iraq at time takes on an ‘Alice in Wonderlandesq’ quality. For example, the above quote: “Jawad al-Khalasi is a Shiite cleric, described as close to Sistani, apparently radicalized by the US siege of Falluja in spring 2004 where he worked with his Sunni counterparts and with Sadr."

I believe it is a well documented historic fact that the Shia (Sadr et al) were comforting the American military in Southern Iraq and the Sunni were sending help. Then Sistani went to London for medical reasons (his heart problems). When he returned the Shia ceased military operations against the Americans who then went north to ravage Falluja and other Sunni cities. The Shia offered no help to the Sunnis. Indeed, all media reports of American military operations refered to Iraqis who accompanied them in the assaults. Surely, they were not Sunnis or Kurds. So it is quite possible that they were Shia taking part in the assaults on whom they call Baathist.

In short, it is reasonable to say that Sistani and the Shia facilitated, and the Shia military probably took part in, the Falluja assault. But, now we read that “a Shiite cleric close to Sistani was radicalized by the US Siege of Fallluja.” As the Red Queen said to Alice “What is down is up and what is up is down.”

12:40 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Fair enough (although I'm a little hazy on the chronology and sources for the above), and I've put a warning in the post about that. What about the so-called "Founding Congress". Anyone know where that originated?

9:19 PM  

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