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A Letter to Prime Minister Al Jaafari - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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To his Excellency Prime Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari,

I am reading a page from a history book that will be used to teach Iraqi high school students in 2020. I think I should share some of what is written with you.

The book says, “Following the ultimatum given by George W. Bush junior to the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq within three days or war would be waged, Saddam refused and stated that 100% of Iraqis had voted for him and that the military campaign would fall at the gates of Baghdad. War was then launched. After only twenty-nine days, Baghdad fell and many Iraqis were killed. The country was destroyed, and months after, Saddam was arrested after being found in a hole in the ground where he had been hiding.”

The book continues, “In 2005, two years after the fall of the dictator, the second general elections took place as Iraq was experiencing hardship and instability. Iraqis were hoping that the elections would bring peace and save the country from civil war. The election results declared the victory of the United Iraqi Alliance. However, demands were made that somebody other than Al Jaafari assumes the prime ministerial position. This demand came from many parties and not only from Al Jaafari’s opponents. This demand was also made by international parties and even by members of his own party, making it difficult for Al Jaafari to run the country during such critical times. Furthermore, the features of civil war began to materialize including the bombings of places of worship and massacres according to identity. Nevertheless, Al Jaafari remained determined to maintain his position stating that God and the Iraqi people had chosen him and that he would not resign.”

The book adds, “After Al Jaafari’s persistence, and as the country remained without a formed government for over five months, civil war erupted in Iraq. People were killed according to their identities and places of worship were destroyed. The number of Iraqis migrating to neighboring countries increased. Nobody could trust themselves or their people. The civil war lasted approximately ten years, the victims of which numbered no less than two million Iraqis, the same figure as those killed under the regime of the overthrown president, Saddam Hussein. It was destined then for Iraq, that its palm trees would be watered by the blood of its people without them knowing the reasons for which they were killed.”

Prime Minister Al Jaafari, is this how you want to be remembered in the history books of the future?

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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