Iraq’s deputy parliament speaker, Qusay al-Suhail, stressed the impossibility of building a proper state in Iraq in the presence of the occupation and pointed out the necessity of a full and unconditioned withdrawal of American forces from the country.
“American forces supposedly entered Iraq for a specific reason and it is not the same reason for which they are staying now,” Suhail, who is also a prominent leader in the Shiite Sadr Movement, told Al Arabiya’s “Iraq after the
Occupation,” a show aired Tuesday night.
Suhail explained that the United States entered Iraq following a United Nations resolution that considered the Iraqi regime a serious threat to the security of the region and the world.
“Saddam Hussein was not ousted because this is what the Iraqis wanted, but rather because he was seen as internationally dangerous, and this logic was accepted by the Iraqis at the time.”
However, Suhail added, after the toppling of the regime ended that danger, the presence of Americans turned into a proper occupation.
“This is a different case with different dimensions and it requires a lot of investigation.”
To demonstrate the negative impact of American presence on Iraqis, Suhail pointed out that Iraq had never witnessed sectarian clashes before the occupation.
“External factors are the cause of this strife and are also an excuse for it. This happens because Americans are in Iraq.”
Suhail expressed his surprise that “external factors” are almost exclusively thought to refer to Iran.
“Many countries in the region interfere in the Iraqi political scene, and not just Iran, and any delay in the formation of the government can be due to several factors related to some or any of those countries that influence Iraq’s internal affairs in one way or another.”
When asked if a religious conflict is expected in southern Iraq, Suhail replied that this is possible in the light of the current circumstances.
“When the political situation is unstable or when there is an occupation, things do not usually go as planned or as hoped, so a conflict is expected to happen. How to learn from it is the most important issue here.”
Regarding the level of freedom in Iraq after the withdrawal of American forces, Suhail said that Iraq enjoys more freedom than all surrounding countries and stressed that the Iraqi mentality understands the value of freedom.
“The Iraqi people are taking in freedom in a much less time than what is expected or what people usually require.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)