Monday, December 04, 2006

Azzaman says some Iraqi opponents of an international conference fear ending up in the dock

The Iraqi newspaper Azzaman leads this morning with the news that Iraqi president Talabani, just returned from his visit to Tehran, has joined SCIRI head Hakim in rejecting the idea of an international conference on Iraq. The newspaper immediately adds the following:
Sources said there is clearly anxiety among a large number of Iraqi politicians about the idea of an international conference on Iraq such as called for by UN secretary general Kofi Annan to fend off civil war, which [opposition to the international conference idea] is to prevent carrying out of demands for establishment of supervisory councils and international court proceedings against 76 individuals from the Iraqi political circles, including ministers, vice-ministers and party heads, with respect to whom files have been assembled on their involvement in operations of killing, kidnapping, and purges, in addition to files relating to corruption of a political nature connected to countries and regions. And the sources said party leaders have held meetings with small elected officials in their parties where the discussion was about the fact that officials in the international council are in possession of documents and evidence that is difficult to refute accusing a group of Iraqi politicians, and some thought this [files and evidence] is an American surprise [because the Americans] have kept this under wraps for a long time.
The idea is that an international council such as that proposed by Annan risks also involving this type of international criminal proceeding.

This is followed by a summary of recent Stephen Hadley remarks (you can read those anywhere), and then the Azzaman journalist gets back to the matter at hand. He reports on remarks by Saleh al-Mutlak from Amman (topic of this post yesterday), quoting Mutlak as follows. "The front (meaning the proposed nationalist coalition involving himelf, Sadr, and others) will exclude SCIRI which is headed by Hakim, and it will exclude parts of the Dawa party, to which Prime Minister Maliki belongs, and also [in will exclude] the two Kurdish parties." The journalist says sources in the Sadr movement confirmed they are part of this same proposed front, whose official announcement is expected in a few days. Mutlak didn't get into the question of participation in this by individuals or groups in the Iraqi Alliance. He confirmed his support for the Sadr movement as a nationalist movement. He said the proposed front will exclude all those who want Iraq divided into sects, and it will welcome all those who are for the unity of Iraq.

Azzman is nationalist in its editorial orientation. So naturally if it feels an international conference would promote the national interest it would support that idea. And if it thought those opposing the idea of an international conference include individuals fearful of ending up in the dock, naturally it would highlight that point. That goes without saying.

What is less understandable is that the place where America goes to catch up on Iraqi news each day, "Informed Comment" by Juan Cole, reports the parts of this Azzaman piece that come right before and right after the above-quoted section on the international conference idea, while leaving out any reference to the criminal-proceedings/international-conference connection. His summary goes like this:

[Azzaman reports] that Mutlak has formed a new coalition in parliament that will include the Shiite Sadr movement. It will stand for the unity of Iraq and a withdrawal of US troops. It excludes the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Da`wa Party, the two mainstays of the current government. The bloc will be announced in the coming days. Gunmen had attempted to assassinate Mutlak on Saturday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The journalist says sources in the Sadr movement confirmed they are part of this same proposed front...He said the proposed front will exclude all those who want Iraq divided into sects, and it will welcome all those who are for the unity of Iraq.”

In practice Sadr has always put his desire for an Islamist state and his vendetta against the Baath well before his concern for Iraqi unity. I will take this story seriously when I see Sadr reaching out to the Baath Party and responding positively to Saddam Hussein’s appeal for mutual forgiveness among Iraqis.

7:27 AM  
Blogger karlmarx said...

Interesting, informative, helpful blog and free translation service to those unable to read the Arabic sources. Am curious to see what you think of SOME of MY entries. E-mail contact on blogspot.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...


Very interesting blog, you will be big in the next few months.


The paragraph is your friend. Don't be afraid to use them.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey badger - shoot me an email at abuaardvark at gmail - i have a link to a forum discussion that will interest you but i don't have an email address for you.

1:39 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Kevin, thanks

Karl, Kevin's right. People nowadays don't read long passages of uninterrupted text. There are a lot of interesting ideas in there, but I figure you have to put out one idea, let it sink in, then skip a line, then another and so on. Just because a person agrees with KMarx doesn't mean they have to write like him !

4:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home