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WikiLeaks War Logs: Iraqi Politicians Sound Off | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Iraqi political parties’ opinions concerning the impact of the leaked Iraq war documents published by WikiLeaks have on their talks to form the next government differed. While Al-Iraqiya List (led by Iyad Allawi) believes the publication of these documents has put the State of Law Coalition [SLC] led by outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in an embarrassing position vis-à-vis the other political parties, the SLC stressed that the timing of these documents’ publication was meant to weaken the government and unsettle the situation in the country. On its part, the Kurdish Alliance deemed it unlikely that these documents would have any impact on the ongoing negotiations between the blocs or their outcomes.

Al-Iraqiya List member Muhammad Salman says the publication of these documents will weaken the position of the SLC and its leader (Al-Maliki) vis-à-vis the other political parties. He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “These documents exposed the extent of the human rights violations and hence it has become difficult for the political parties to reach an understanding with the SLC in light of these difficult documents.” He added: “It has become difficult for the political parties to negotiate with a party accused of committing obvious violations. This will have a deep impact on the SLC list.”

Regarding the timing of these documents’ publication, Salman said: “I do not believe there was a purpose behind the timing of the Wikileaks’ publication. Had the party which published them been Iraqi, then it would be possible to excuse it by saying some want to benefit by publishing such information at such a time.” He pointed out that the “website announced four months ago that it had important documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan war.”

On his part, SLC member Haydar al-Jurani stressed that the purpose from publishing these documents was to weaken his coalition and also to unsettle the situation in the country. After expressing surprise at publishing them at this time, he told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is strange for these leaks to appear at this time, especially as the process of publishing such important papers needs quite a long time.” He added that “the positions of the majority of documents published in the United States or elsewhere vary. Some publish them after 25 or 50 years and up to a full century.” Al-Jurani believes the purpose of publishing them “is to incite sectarian sedition in the country. They moreover focused in one way or another on the SLC leader which indicates there are clear fingerprints trying to harm the cohesiveness of the SLC voters.”

On the other hand, Kurdish Alliance member Firyad Rawanduzi downplayed the impact of these documents and told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I do not believe these will have much impact on the ongoing negotiations to form the next government. They might probably cause a political argument so as to gain support and embarrass the other party but, in the end, they will not have an impact on the negotiations and therefore their final outcome.” He added: “Whatever assessments the Iraqi side has about these documents and whether they are accurate or not, they should be investigated in a transparent and meticulous way.” Ruling out that any party was behind the publication of these documents, he said: “I do not believe in the conspiracy theory. But on the other hand we must admit courageously and without any doubt that human rights are violated in all wars and so they are too in the measures taken during them which lead to violation of these rights.” He pointed out that “everyone knows this painful truth.”