Thursday, October 28, 2004

During a press conference that was held yesterday in Baghdad, Mithal Al Alousi, an ex-chief member of the INC (and a member of the DeBa’athification committee) announced the formation of the “Iraqi Nation Democratic Party”. This came after Al Alousi got dismissed from the INC few weeks ago for his controversial visit to Israel last month.

Mr. Alousi mentioned that he intends to run for office in the coming election.
He also stressed that if he became part of the authority in Iraq he wouldn’t mind “visiting hell” if this is going to serve Iraq’s national interests (in a signal to his previous visit to Israel).

“The Palestinians have communications with Israel, and so do the regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia and even Iran although we don’t know exactly the size of communication between Iran and Israel”
He also criticized Saddam’s policies in dealing with the Palestinians
“Iraq was generous with both, financial and moral support but the result was an economic disaster and terrible living conditions for the people but on the other hand, millions of dollars accumulated in bank accounts of the corrupt officials.”
From Sawt Al Iraq (Link in Arabic).

It’s worth mentioning that this visit to Israel was to attend an anti-terrorism conference and he was the first Iraqi politician to visit Israel without hiding it from the public, but Alousi was faced with storm of harsh criticism in response to the visit and ‘strangely’ most of the criticism came from Arab countries rather than from Iraqis.

It’s enough to note that the man is back in Baghdad, without even any protection after being dismissed from the INC, forming a political party and planning to run for office and till now no one heard that he received any threats.

I recall Alousi’s words in an interview he gave to an Arab station some time ago where he defended his position saying (not the exact words of course but the meaning is pretty much the same)
“Had I felt that I was doing something wrong by going to Israel and if I had bad intentions, I wouldn’t do it in public. I care a lot about transparency in my communications, unlike Arab leaders or some other Iraqi politicians. I went there to participate in a conference about terrorism to discuss one of greatest dangers threatening Iraq”.

Whether we agree or disagree with the man and whether he has his own agenda or not, we have to respect his courage and honesty, as collaborators don’t show their faces in such a bold way; they wear masks!

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