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No to the US-Iraqi Agreement - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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If some Iraqi politicians believe that signing a long-term strategic agreement with the United States will bring good, they are quite wrong, because experience in the past five years showed everyone beyond any doubt that the cause of the destruction and disasters that we suffered is the United States’ reckless policy, blundering in running the country’s affairs, and unfair and wrong decisions since the notorious civil administrator, Bremer, began to run the government.

Furthermore, the policy of arm-twisting, which the United States practices against the Iraqi Government that lacks sovereignty in an inequitable climate will make this agreement a document of a second mandate that will take us back to the behavior of the odious occupation forces. This agreement will not free Iraq of [the United Nations’] Chapter Seven, which continues to classify Iraq as a rogue state that continues to pose a threat to regional and world security. On the other hand, the United States froze Iraqi assets worth $50 billion and threatens to confiscate them through hints by some of its politicians. What does this all mean?

The democracy that the occupation brought from overseas created for us a situation that might set a serious precedent. As a matter of fact, it is the worst and most dangerous situation that any nation has ever suffered in the contemporary history. This democracy and those who support its odious practice in the way that we see left thousands of martyrs, thousands of wounded and handicapped people, five million widows, one million orphaned children, and millions of Iraqis displaced both in the country and abroad. Also, it totally destroyed the infrastructure and produced bad services, while billions of dollars disappeared in a wave of administrative and financial corruption. So, is the United States that has this ugly face fit to sign with us an agreement on which the fate of a people, homeland, and nation will depend? Also, is the United States fit to impose on us conditions, which anyone who has a shred of intellect and nationalist conscience and sense would not accept?

We would like to assert to everyone that we seek good for our Iraq and our people and that we welcome any sound agreement or an equitable treaty with the United States or others, because Iraq badly needs modern technology, sciences, and agricultural and economic research. We are in a dire need to develop our national oil industry, but in accordance with our conditions and what our conscience and dignity of our country and people dictate to us, not under the conditions set by some people who wish to sell Iraq. These people want us to serve as pawns moved by the US and regional policy from a unilateral viewpoint. We say it very clearly that this agreement will not be pushed through without a revision of its clauses and without the United States working to remove Iraq from Chapter Seven and protect Iraq and its funds from those who lie in wait for them. They are still waiting to demand compensations that were originally devised by the United States.

This treaty will not be pushed through without a public referendum. Iraq will not go back to the mandate era again and there will be no new Mrs. Bill (Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell CBE) with a new mask. We want to ask why the agreement needs to be signed now, before the end of US President George Bush’s term while Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki has one year left before he ends his term in office. The haste and pressure to sign this agreement in this defined period of time prompt all parties to ask many questions that raise suspicion and doubt. We do not want to sign such a suspect agreement. We say yes to the signing of an agreement that will serve the interests of the Iraqi land, people, and sovereignty and when there will be a sincere intention to achieve a genuine interest for Iraq. In this case, the agreement will eventually serve the United States’ interest. We do not want to sign an agreement at the expense of the interest of Iraq, which some people sought to involve in the struggle between the Republican and Democratic parties to reach the White House.

In the end, we say and reiterate: No to the signing of the agreement, that is to say, an agreement with the United States, which is currently Iraq’s first enemy. However, we say yes to the signing of an agreement with the United States when it will be a friend of Iraq and the Iraqi people, not a friend of a sectarian government, which has been given a franchise by the United States.

Saleh Al-Mutlaq

Saleh Al-Mutlaq

Saleh Al-Mutlaq is an Iraqi politician and head of Iraqi Front for National Dialogue.

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