Dr. Khair El-Din Haseeb’s Presentation at Georgetown University
April 5, 2006
Dr. Michael Hudson
You know we have been attending our activities over the last three years.
Iraq has been one of the
themes that we have been following for
quite some time, and we have heard a number of speakers and panel discussions
on different aspects of Iraq.
Tonight we are very fortunate
to be able to attract a visitor, not
from Iraq itself, but from Beirut, Lebanon,
where he has been working for a long time-- Dr. Khair El-Din Haseeb. A native of Iraq, he is the Director General of the Center for
Arab Unity Studies, one of the leading, most productive think tanks in the Arab
world. Dr. Haseeb helped co-found it
in 1976. Many of the students who read
Arabic will be familiar with the journal AlMustaqbal
AlArabi, one of the leading political cultural journals in the Arab world. Dr. Khair El-Din Haseeb is British-educated,
holds an MS in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from Cambridge University. He lectured at Baghdad University in the sixties and early
seventies. He served as Governor of
the Central Bank of Iraq.
He was President of the Central Organization of Iraqi Banks as well as Director General of the Iraqi Federation of Industries. Among other high profile jobs of economic
responsibilities in his country, he was appointed Chief of Natural Resources in
the Science and Technology Department in the U.N. Economic Commission for Western Asia, a
position he held for nearly a
So, Dr. Haseeb, having resided outside of Iraq since 1974, never gave up his
Iraqi nationality. He has devoted his time to the Center for Arab Unity Studies (CAUS) in pursuit of many
political and national issues. He was elected Secretary General of the Arab
National Congress and he was a key founder in 1991. He also played a pivotal
role in the National Islamic Congress, the Arab Organization for Human Rights, the Arab Organization for Translation, and the Arab Anti-Corruption Organization, which is a new one founded
in 2004. So all of these organizations are active NGOs promoting democracy, civil
and human rights, and national independence in the Arab community.
I have known Dr. Khair El-Din Haseeb for
many years. We invited him quite a number of years ago, too long ago, to participate
in one of the center's symposiums and he has been kind enough to invite me to
speak and publish with CAUS. So it is a real personal and professional pleasure
to welcome him back and ask him to speak on probably the most burning issue of
the day. So without further ado, I will pass the microphone to him, and he will
speak as long as he cares to, and then I hope there will be time for questions, answers, and discussions after he’s
finished. It’s a pleasure to have you.
Dr. Khair El-Din Haseeb
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would
like first to thank Dr. Michael Hudson for
inviting me to talk to you this evening, and also to thank the Center for Contemporary
There are certain aspects of
the invasion of Iraq
which probably most of you know. It was an illegal war; there was no decision
from the Security Council. It can't be justified by Chapter Seven of the United
Nation’s charter as self-defense because Iraq
didn't attack the United States,
and didn't constitute an imminent danger for
the United States,
so there was no justification for
the preemptive war. No weapons of mass
destruction were there; no link with Al-Qaeda terrorists
was proven. Lastly, they said it was about democracy, to make a model of democracy
in Iraq, which was to be initiated
in the Middle East.
I want to say a few words on this issue of democracy and taking down the Iraqi
regime because of its dictatorial
nature. Saddam's regime, or the
Baathist regime, came as a result of a coup
d’etat in 1968. The main
characteristics of the regime were there by early 1980. The regime liquidated
the Iraqi Arab Nationalists, especially the Nasserites, then the Communists,
and then the Kurds. So the methods and the character of the regime were there. When
President Reagan was in power, he sent Donald Rumsfeld as a Special Envoy to
the Middle East in December 1983. Rumsfeld went
to Baghdad and
met with Saddam Hussein for three
hours. Afterward, he submitted a report
saying that Saddam is “a good guy and we can deal with him.” After three months,
Rumsfeld returned, they resumed diplomatic relations, and there was cooperation
between the United States
throughout the Iraq-Iran war, with the exception of 1986. I don't have the time
to go through this.
Regarding democracy, this
issue is not valid. We agree that it was a brutal dictatorship,
but it was not the only dictatorship
in the Arab world. The Iraqi people
were not the only Arab people who didn't freely choose their president. The
Iraqi people were not the only Arab people who were unhappy with their
president, and the Iraqi people were not the only Arab people who could not--
until 2003-- change their president. So why was Iraq chosen among all the rest?
If one can list the different
possible objectives for the Bush
administration to go into war and occupy and invade Iraq
and use the process of elimination including different things that I mentioned,
one is left with three possible objectives for
invading Iraq: the first is strategic,
the second is oil, and the third is the security of Israel. I can't go into details of
these objectives, but as far as oil is concerned, there are people who argue
that this was not the concern of the United States. There is a lot of documentation about this,
but I only want to refer to the statement made in 2002 by an economic advisor of President Bush, who was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying: "One way of preventing the rise of oil
prices is to go and occupy Iraq."
Now, I want to make a
clarification, in referring to the occupying forces,
and the CPA (Coalition of Provisional Authority),
the administration there. Sometimes I refer to them as Americans. I don't mean
the American people, when I use the term American, I mean the American
administration. So, I am quite aware of the objection of the majority of the American people to go to war against Iraq,
so I wanted to make this clear.
What did the Bush administration
do when they occupied Iraq?
Condoleezza Rice said quite recently that thousands of tactical mistakes were committed
What were the mistakes? I am going to discuss some of them and examine if they
are tactical or strategic. One of
these mistakes is the failure to estimate the required number of soldiers to
control the situation in Iraq
after the occupation. The second is failure to anticipate the size of the
resistance to the occupation. The third failure is to understand the
consequences of using Shias against Sunnis, then Sunnis against Shias; they
used both, and lost in both cases. They also failed to anticipate the role of Iran.
And they miscalculated in declaring Iraq as a model for democracy in the Middle East, and in considering
it as an option for all Arabs. The
result is that all Arabs now, and even the Americans, are scared that this
model might be repeated in another Arab country.
Another mistake they made,
according to Geneva Convention, was
to have the occupying forces
responsible for law and order in the occupied country. So let us see what
happened in Baghdad when the American army
occupied Baghdad and the rest of Iraq.
First, there was the looting
of Baghdad, starting with the National Museum,
in other words, the looting of Iraqi
history and records, regardless of who got hold of them.
Second, the dissolution of
the Iraqi army and the release of hundred of thousands of Iraqi soldiers is
simply the dissolution of the main instrument for
keeping law and order in the country
and leaving soldiers without work,
which encouraged many of them to join the resistance.
Then there was the de-Baathification
of all government employees at all levels, regardless of which administration
they were. This meant the paralysis of the official administration, schools, etc.,
which left a great vacuum, as well as hatred and a reduction in the level of
already deteriorating services for Iraqis.
If these are not strategic
mistakes, then what are the strategic mistakes? I am trying to outline for you the present U.S. policy or strategy in Iraq, and to share with you to what
extent this strategy is likely to succeed; and, if not, whether there is an
alternative for the American forces and for
the Iraqi people and for the
The present strategy, as one
can find out from different statements and declarations, depends on the
completion of what they call the political process. There was a referendum of a
draft constitution in October 2005, then an election of a new parliament in
December. They were hoping to succeed in forming
a client government that would sign a defense agreement so that they could
maintain some permanent military bases. They tried, or
they are still trying, to form a new
Iraqi army and police forces so they
can maintain security in the cities, and the Americans will withdraw to their
military bases and confine their support
to air coverage for the Iraqi Army.
To what extent is this
strategy likely to succeed? There are a few aspects which I need to explain to
you so you can understand why I am claiming that this strategy is unlikely to
succeed. First, the issue of sectarian and ethnic differences. Since the invasion
the CPA and Mr. Bremer were in charge until June 2004. The CPA never used the
term Iraqi people in their different dealings with Iraq. They started using “Kurds,” “Turkmen,”
“Arabs,” “Sunnis,” “Shias,” etc. So the first provisional governing council
appointed by Bremer himself was based on sectarian and ethnic bases, and all
the other parts of the political process went along these lines.
To what extent does this
reflect the realities of the Iraqi people? To start with, Arabs make up 80% of the
Iraqi population, and 95% of those are Muslims. Since the independence of Iraq in 1920 until 2003, Iraq never had any sectarian conflict, unlike Lebanon
or other countries that have
sectarian difficulties. Of the different
prime ministers who took office between 1920 and 2003, eight of them were Shia
and four were Kurds. Out of eighteen military chiefs of staff, eight were
Kurds. As for the Baath party itself,
the majority of the members were
Shia. The majority of the leadership
of the Baath party were Shia, regardless of what authority
it had. Out of the fifty-five people on the “Wanted List” that the occupying
authority published, thirty-one were
Shia. So what the occupying authority
was practicing in Iraq
was something new; they started supporting
Shia against Sunnis, and Sunnis against Shia, and now they are harvesting what
they have planted.
Also, it is important to know the percentage of Kurds in Iraq.
According to the 1957 census, the
percentage of Kurds is 16.4%. That was the only census in which there is a
question about the mother tongue, and from it we know the number of different ethnicities.
This is the census that the Kurds look at as a basis for
their percentage because it is pre-1958 revolution. In Kirkuk itself, which the Kurds are trying to
claim now, the majority are Turkmen
and Arabs, according to that census.
province, the majority are again
Turkmen and Arabs.
Well, these facts are ignored by the occupation forces
or occupation authorities. In the media, things are distorted. There is no counter explanation or media to explain things to people. Now, I should also mention something about
democracy. Since the revolution of July 14th 1958, the Iraqis have never practiced
real voting in elections. So from 1958 to 2003-- we are talking about 45
years-- if we assume that a person is politically mature by the age of 15 or 18, then we can say that all Iraqis who were age
60 and below when the occupation took place have never practiced democracy in Iraq. What
about the political forces in Iraq?
Almost none of the leaders of the political parties that came with the occupying
forces practiced any democracy. The
leader of the Supreme Council for
Islamic Revolution was appointed, never elected. He was Baqer El-Hakeem; he
died in 2003. The same applies to Ibrahim El-Jaafari and to Ahmad El-Chalabi,
and even to the Kurds. Sometimes it is said that Kurdistan
is a model for democracy. Well, in Kurdistan, they only once had an election of Parliament--
a Kurdish parliament in 1994-- and it lasted only for
one year. There was one unified government, and after that, they split into two
governments: one in Sulaimaniah, and one in Erbil.
Fighting took place to the extent that Masood Barazani, the leader of the
Kurdish Democratic Party, sought the help of Saddam Hussein to get the
followers of Jalal Talabani out of it. Masood Barazani never had an election in
the party and he is the leader of the party. The same applies to Jalal Talabani
up until now. They said they are going to unify their governments again within
the next two years, but it is over three years and they haven't done anything.
So, these are militias and leaders of militias, so we have to take that into
consideration when we talk about the future of democracy in Iraq.
I didn't want to imply that
we should not start with the democratic process, but we should be aware of the
limitation of this process. The other main difficulty, which is obvious now
after the election, is how to form
an Iraqi council of ministers. There are no leaders with the strength or credibility, or
even desire, to rally anyone but their own co-religionist or ethnic groups. How to form
a unified government out of these groups? This is the dilemma that the Bush
administration is facing now in Iraq.
One can safely say by now,
that the constitutional referendum and the election of a new council of
representatives in December 2005 have not brought added security or stability. They have instead exposed the depth of
the sectarian and ethnic divisions in Iraq, and raised serious questions
as to whether any form of unified or inclusive national government can be effective.
They have been deliberating for over
three month to agree on a Prime Minister and they couldn't. Even if they agreed
to choose a prime minister, then they have to form
a government and to agree on the share of each group. Afterward, the new
Parliament needs to pass fifty-five laws for
the implementation of the constitution, because a lot of things were left
deliberately vague in the constitution.
Apart from that, according to the constitution that was passed in
October, they have to set up a committee for
the division of the constitution. This committee has to present the amendments
needed for the constitution within
four months. If these recommendations are accepted by the government and the
House of Representatives, then it has to be put into a referendum within sixty
days. Even if this referendum is accepted, then any political party or any political group, if it can command two-thirds
of the votes in three provinces against that constitution, then it will be
considered null and void, and they have to start from scratch.
That is as far as the political aspects are
concerned. As far as the building of a new army and police forces, I can only refer you to the last report published by Anthony Cordesman
of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies. Called "Iraqi Force
Development: A Current Status Report,"
the report will show to what extent
the so- called Armed forces and
police forces are national ones and
not militias. During some of the hearings in the Congress about a year ago, General
Abi Zeid and General Casey said that at that time they had three battalions
ready to work independently with the
Americans. Later, the three became two, and later on, two became one. Then it
became zero. The majority of the so-called
army was recruited from militias, either from the Badr group, the Shiites or the Bishmerkah of the Kurds. Their loyalty is to
their political parties and groups, and so they can't defend Iraq.
This is the situation facing
the political process, the pitfalls and the shortages
and deficiencies in new Iraqi army and police forces.
Then what could one expect from the present political process? I think within
the next two or three months, the
political process will come to a standstill, and the United States will start looking for another solution. Shortly,
I am going to suggest a solution.
Now, I want to say before I am back to presenting the alternative
solution, I want to say a few words
about the Iraqi resistance. We have first to differentiate between terrorism and resistance. In American literature, it is called
insurgency and insurgents. As far as terrorism
is concerned there are five types of terrorism
The first is that carried out
by occupation forces. I think by now
all of you know what happened in Abu Ghraib and other incidents. A report was published very recently about four nights
ago by Amnesty International, about the detention and torture
of Iraqis by the American forces and
the government forces in Iraq. I
don't have time to go into it, but it is available on the website of Amnesty
International. I don't think it is a credit for
any army in the world; it is a
The second type of terrorism is force
used by the existing interim government. Some parties of the existing interim
government are exercising terrorism.
The Kurds have the Beshmergah, the Supreme Council has Badr, etc.
The third type of terrorism is practiced by the main political parties governing
at present and their militias. The fourth one is the intelligence of foreign governments who are interested in weakening
and disintegrating Iraq, such as the Israeli Mossad and others who are
operating all over Iraq, and including also the Iranians.
Fifth, forces who claim that they are resistance and which
the national genuine resistance has nothing to do with. This includes what is
usually called in the media “Al-Qaida” or
“Zarqawi” groups. You might ask whether there is a real Zarqawi or not. There is a real Zarqawi, but there is more than one Zarqawi, there is an American Zarqawi
and other Zarqawis.
There are terrorist groups formed
by Special Forces who also practice terrorism.
in the March 31 Al-Hayat newspaper tells
us there is a third Iraqi army in Iraq that
is not under the control of the Ministry of Defense. It is only under the
control of the American forces. They
are the ones who undertake dirty jobs.
What about the resistance? I
don't want to go into the history of
the resistance of Iraq,
whether it was planned before the
occupation or started after the
occupation. There are reports
published in the Financial Times where
Scott Ritter and other Arab sources say that Saddam Hussein formed more
than a nucleus for resistance along
side the Iraqi army, which started after the occupation. Regardless of whether
this is true or not, it was
surprising that although in cases of occupation it takes six months to one year
time lag for the resistance to be formed and to start. The resistance in Iraq started immediately after the occupation of
during April and after a while, it increased.
Who is the resistance now? I am
quite satisfied with the analysis and the description of the capabilities of
the Iraqi resistance as presented by Anthony Cordesman
in a 200-page report dated March 23 or 26, and by the International Crisis Group report, which was published in February and titled “In
Their Own Words: Reading the Iraqi Insurgency.”
As things stand now, who is
the main resistance movement? The first and most important
one is called the Islamic Army. The name could be misleading. It doesn't mean
that the ideology of this resistance is Islamic, but it was a convenient name
used at the beginning and continued, and is composed of ex-army officers,
soldiers from the experts from the previous Iraqi military industries, and
other ex-intelligence officers in Iraq. This is the backbone, as far as I know,
of the resistance, the planning, the sophistication, and the road side bombs called
IED, improvised explosive devices. The second one is called "Kataaeb
Thawrat Elashreen" battalion of the 1920 revolution. The third one is
called "Jaish ElMojahedeen," and the fourth one is called "Jaish
I don't want to go into the details
of the different reports about the
insurgency in the resistance, but let me just quote one of them. Peter Spiegel
in the Financial Times of February 15, 2006, says
"the Iraqi insurgency had become dominated by four large well-organized groups with sophisticated communication
and surprisingly centralized leadership." Another evaluation by Stratfor, which is a global intelligence organization, says "in the years to come, the
lessons learned from the U.S.
military’s inability to quickly quell Iraqi insurgence will be studied by
government and guerrillas movements the world
over." So there is no use denying the strength and the existence and the
expansion of the Iraqi resistance.
It is often wondered “what
are the programs of resistance, and what is their ideology?” If we don't know
certain things, that doesn't mean they don't exist. The resistance declared
their first program in March 2004, and since then, they have increased their
capabilities. One of the most interesting stories
is the race between the Iraqi resistance and the Pentagon as far as the
roadside bombs are concerned (IED). Over 50% of the deaths suffered by the
American army in Iraq
were the result of IED. 70% of the injuries were the result of IED. I don't
have time to quote to you some of the reports
of the Pentagon, but quite recently the Pentagon was forced
to bring back a retired General who
specialized in these IED. They had
allocated $3.3 billion for him to
try to do something about these IED. The human costs to the American forces are a result of this.
There are four categories of Americans who have sustained casualties in Iraq.
First, there are those who are of U.S nationality. The official figures reported are related to these. The second group is
those who have only a green card; these are not included in the official
figures. The third ones are those who have neither U.S. nationality nor a green card; they are not included. The fourth
are called contractors.
As far as the first group is
concerned, the published figures up to the 31st of March, five days
ago, were 2400 deaths and over 17,000 injured. This estimate is not in line
with many other estimates which put the number injured at over 50,000. Of those
injured, over 50%, according to the
Pentagon report, can't go back to
the army. There were 6,000 evacuated from Iraq because of mental illnesses.
By now, about 8,000 soldiers have deserted the army, 4,000 went to Canada,
and sought refugee status there. The United States is facing difficulty
in meeting the recruitment quota, and the cost is increasing. Also, there is
increasing resistance in Afghanistan,
which is drawing some of the resources of the United States. There was, in my
view, nothing the United States could have done other than the invasion of Iraq
to turn the overwhelming majority of
international public opinion, and especially Arab public opinion, and, even more, Iraqi public opinion, against the Bush
So, what is the alternative
if the United States
can't continue and can't succeed in the present political process? What is the way out?
We have been working at the Center for
Arab Unity Studies for a program for Iraq
after liberation, that took most of 2005. This included a draft constitution,
law for political parties, law for the election, law for
the Iraqi army, oil policy, a program for
reconstruction, the Kurdish issue and the media, etc. Then a conference was
convened-- we call it a seminar-- in the end of July 2005, attended by 108
Iraqis of different political leanings, two-thirds from inside Iraq, and one-third from outside Iraq.
They discussed these programs, and on the basis of their discussion and
comments, we finalized this program as a program to be adopted by the Iraqi
resistance as part of the initiative I am going to refer to. The program is
published in Arabic and English. This is the English one, which includes the
draft constitution, the Iraqi parliament election, draft law, the law of
national supreme court for election,
draft law concerning civil associations and political parties, the reconstruction
of Iraq, oil industry and policy in Iraq, the financial compensation imposed on
Iraq, the media in Iraq, rebuilding the Iraqi army, and the Kurdish issue.
In addition to that, and in
preparation for the case of the
anticipated failure of the political process, we created an initiative for the solution of the present crisis which reflects
the will and view of the Iraqi national resistance and other political forces opposing the occupation. I think we have
distributed the full text of the initiative and this should be looked at in
conjunction with the program I referred to.
I will just summarize the
1- A declaration by
the American side of an unequivocal decision to withdraw fully from Iraq
according to a short time-table of no more
than six months. In consequence, all American, and other occupying contingents,
should withdraw their forces from
all Iraqi cities toward temporary
and recognized military bases in agreement with the new Iraqi government. These
forces should not engage in any security
or military operations during the
time of their withdrawal. Furthermore,
by the end of the six-month period, all of these forces
should have completed their withdrawal from those bases [in Iraq].
So, a precondition for
this initiative is that the United States
administration should agree to withdraw within a very short
period of time, not more than six
months, and with no military bases in Iraq.
2- The Iraqi National
Resistance will declare a ceasefire, while keeping their arms, until the final
withdrawal of American and other national occupation forces
has been completed.
Once the United
States withdraws from Iraq, all resistance and militias
will be dissolved. Then,
3- An agreement
should be reached, under the auspices of, and with guarantees from, the U.N.
Security Council, and in consultation with the Iraqi National Resistance and
other political forces that have not
collaborated with the occupation, on
selecting a Prime Minister for Iraq for a transitional period of no more than two years. The chosen PM should have the
authority to select Iraqi cabinet
ministers, in non-committing consultation with the U.N. representative in Iraq,
from among neutral technocrats and nonpartisans. The PM and his ministers will
have to abide by the rule of refraining from nominating themselves in any
elections that would be taking place thereafter. The PM should have, in
non-committing consultation with the U.N. representative, the authority of discharging ministers and appointing
alternatives as needed and as necessitated by circumstances. The Cabinet will
be authorized during the
transitional period, for all of the
legislative, executive and financial powers necessary to implement their
duties. The Cabinet should also have the authority
to reconsider, nullify or modify the
laws, rules and orders introduced
since the beginning of Iraq’s
occupation to the date of this agreement. The same authority
applies to laws, rules and instructions that were issued before the occupation.
4- The U.N. Security
Council should be committed to preserving Iraq's independence, sovereignty,
and territorial integrity.
5- The new Cabinet
should immediately commence, in consultation with the Iraqi National Resistance
and the other main national forces
opposing occupation, to reconstruct the Iraqi Army and other security forces, according
to appropriate rules and criteria. The Army and other security forces should be supplied with needed modern
equipment and from suppliers that the Cabinet considers adequate. All military
militias in the land
of Iraq will have to be
dissolved in a manner specified by the Government.
6- All squads of the
Iraqi National Resistance that abide by the above ceasefire will be dismantled
within six months of this agreement upon the full withdrawal of the U.S. and
other foreign forces from Iraq, and after the re-establishment of a
minimum size of the Iraqi army and other Iraqi security forces.
7- The army and other
security forces will not be allowed
to engage in politics or join
political parties. They will be under the complete authority
and leadership of the new government. In addition, all political parties and
other political entities are to be prohibited from engaging in political
activities within the military establishment and within other security forces of Iraq.
8- The Iraqi government,
in non-committing consultation with the U.N. Secretary General and the Iraqi
National Resistance, have the right to invite limited numbers of Arab forces of some Arab countries, who did not encourage or participate in the occupation of Iraq, to perform
peacekeeping missions in Iraq.
Their size and duration of stay in Iraq will be decided by the Iraqi government.
9- The new Iraqi government
will be empowered to achieve the following tasks, in addition to those
(a) Selecting a
consultative council of 100 to 150 persons from among political forces, public personalities and Iraqis of special
talents, who did not collaborate
politically with the occupation. The meetings and debates of this consultative
council will be held behind closed doors
and its proceedings will not to be publicly announced.
(b) Abrogating the
so-called constitution adopted by a rigged referendum on October 15, 2005,
(especially in the governorates of
Mousil–Nainawah, Muthanna, Diwaniyya and Ziqar) as being illegal as it had been
already rejected by two-thirds of the voters in three governorates. All actions taken based on that constitution
are to be abrogated as well.
(c) Preparing, within
one year of putting this agreement into force,
a law on elections and a law on political parties and the holding of elections
for the two houses of parliament,
the deputies and the Senates, taking its guidelines from the provisional
constitution drafted by the Beirut
Symposium (July 2005) (in Arabic) and published in the book titled "A
Program for the Future of Iraq after
Ending the Occupation: the Constitution, the Law on Election, the Law on
Political Parties, the Reconstruction, the Oil, the Media, the Army, the
Kurdish Question, and the Reparations." In achieving this task, the
government is not committed to stick to the letter of the proposed programs
exclusively, and should be in consultation with a large number of Iraqis inside
and outside of the country regarding these issues.
(d) The holding of
general elections within the second year of the transitional period, under the
auspices of the U.N., the League of Arab States, the European Union, the Arab
Organization for Human Rights,
Amnesty International and other Arab and international organizations,
in order to secure a free, honest
and transparent elections. The elections will be organized
on the proportional list’s rule and
governorate districts as stipulated
in the draft constitution mentioned above (9-C).
10- During the
transitional period, the new government will abide by the oil policy agreed
upon by the Beirut Symposium. All oil agreements (contracts) signed during the
occupation are to be declared null and void as violations of the U.N. Security Council resolutions No. 1456 and
1483. All agreements (contracts) signed by the National Kurdistan Party and the
Kurdistan National Union Party during the period 1991-2003, as well as all
agreements signed during the occupation, with foreign
firms for the exploration, development and oil production in the governorates of Suleimania, Erbil, and Duhok, are to be
declared null and void as well. The Iraqi government will demand from all
concerned firms the halt of all of their operations in those governorates. These companies will also be subjected to
legal proceedings, inside and outside of Iraq, for
contracting for oil investments with
illegal Iraqi bodies in these areas.
11- The Security
Council, based upon a U.S.
initiative, is to abrogate all sanctions that are not yet alleviated, that were
imposed on Iraq by the
Security Council in the aftermath of Iraqi invasion of Kuwait,
including the halting of any further deductions from the exported Iraqi oil revenues, and to release all frozen
Now, in compensation for
the damage sustained by the Iraqi people and Iraqi infrastructure as a result
of the invasion:
12- The U.S. and the
U.K will have to provide financial assistance, in the form
of grants, for no less than U.S. $50
billion from the former and U.S. $20
billion from the latter, to be deposited within six months of the date of the
agreement and to be under the disposition of the new Iraqi Government for the purposes of Iraq’s reconstruction and for compensating for
the damages inflicted on the Iraqi state and the Iraqi population by the
illegal U.S–U.K. occupation. The total of these amounts would be less than the
actual financial expenditure for
keeping the U.S and the U.K.
another year in Iraq.
Furthermore, the U.S. and the U.K. governments
will strive to use their contacts with Arab governments to eliminate the debts
owed to them by Iraq, to waive Iraqi reparations allocated for them by previous Security Council resolutions,
and to reimburse Iraq for the
reparations received by those governments (except from individuals and firms)
that were extracted through the U.N. reimbursements from the Iraqi oil revenues
under the oil for food program.
13- The elected Iraqi
Parliament will write a draft constitution based on the guidelines of the draft
constitution for the Beirut
Symposium, and to be submitted to popular referendum. Until this constitution
is adopted, the new government will adopt the draft written by the Beirut
Symposium as a provisional one that expires by the adoption of the final
14- The Iraqi-elected
Parliament will select a President of the Republic according
to the constitution adopted by the popular referendum.
15- The new Iraqi government
will deal with the Kurdish issue in accordance
with the draft constitution written by the above-mentioned Beirut Symposium.
16- The governments
of the U.S. and the U.K. will commit themselves to non-intervention,
directly or indirectly, in the
internal and security affairs of Iraq.
17- The new Iraqi government
will commit itself to not develop weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
This commitment does not deprive Iraq of the right to use nuclear
technology for peaceful purposes in
accordance with international law.
18- The new Iraqi government
will commit itself also to peaceful means and not to resort
to force in cases of dispute with
other Arab states and neighbor
countries, including those that encouraged, assisted or
participated in the occupation of Iraq, except in cases of self-defense
and within the rules of the charters of the U.N. and the Arab League.
Now there is a provision to deal with different
crimes of Kurds in Iraq;
19- The new Iraqi
Government will establish an independent judicial panel, composed of Iraqi and
neutral international legal experts, to investigate all complaints about
crimes, human rights violations in Iraq, the collaboration
with the occupiers, as well as state-terrorism
including kidnappings, killings based solely on identity papers, and
blackmailing. These include all crimes that were committed in Iraq since the revolution of July 14, 1958, and until the time of
departure of the occupying forces
This panel will collect information
on all of these crimes in order that
the newly elected Parliament would define the manner of implementing their
retribution in the light of world
experiences in dealing with such crimes.
20- Upon agreement to
the above, and implementation by the U.S. and the U.K. of the points related to
them as mentioned above, the new Iraqi government will deal with all U.S. and U.K.
companies and firms on issues of the reconstruction of Iraq, oil investment, on
an equal footing with other world
companies and firms, without political prejudice, and on the basis of the oil
policy and the reconstruction program to be adopted by the new Iraqi government.
This initiative is to be seen as an integral whole and not to be dealt with
You might ask “What are the chances that this initiative
will be accepted or dealt with by
the American administration?” This initiative and the accompanying program was
prepared, as I said, in consultation with the Iraqi Resistance and the main
Iraqi political parties and groups opposed to occupation as preparation for the stage after the failure of the political
process. We know that the United
States will not come now to the negotiation
table. It is only after they are convinced of the failure of the political
process that they will look for
another solution or way out of Iraq, a
way out of the present quagmire which they are in. We also think that because
of the forthcoming midterm election
in November, they will try to seek a solution, a way out in order not to loose their majority
in both the Senate and the House.
This is a peaceful initiative
that allows the American administration to save face. If this is not accepted,
then the resistance will continue and I think we will see the liberation of one
city after the other, including Baghdad.
The American forces will be forced to leave, and in that case they will cut and
run. I hope for the sake of Iraq, the Iraqi people, and for American lives, that the United States once they are
convinced of the failure of their political process, will come to its senses
and started negotiating this initiative. Thank you.
Hudson: Thank you very much. I think there will be
many questions and comments for Dr.
Khair el-Din Haseeb. So I will open the floor
and will ask you to identify yourself quickly and then ask your question or note as precisely as possible. We will try to get
to as many as we can within the next 15 minutes. So, the floor is open for
comments or questions.
This has been submitted to
the American administration, the British administration, all members of
Congress, all members of the House of Commons, etc. and this is going to be
based on agreement with the United States, the U.K. government and Security
Council, so that the Security Council will adopt a resolution appointing a
prime minister, and then government etc.
Q: Could you say something about the offer of
the initiative? What authority did they offer for
the initiative to be a negotiating partner?
As was mentioned, this
initiative was made after consultation with the main resistance groups in Iraq and main political groups in Iraq.
The proposal is posted online at the Center for
Arab Unity Studies website. The link is www.caus.org.lb.
Well, thank you for your
question, the U.S. and the U.K. are the occupying forces
in Iraq now, so the solution
is for these occupying forces to withdraw from Iraq and this is where the Security
Council comes in.
As I mentioned there is going to be a transitional period for two years, during these two years the government
is going to be from technocrats, not participant members, so no political group
will complain that they are not presented. During the second year, there will
be a law for election and there will
be an election supervised by the United Nations, international organization, human rights groups, etc., to make
sure that it is a free election, and then the parliament that will come out
from this election and will draft the constitution, a referendum, and then elect a president.
Q. Last night, here in Georgetown
there was an event ** in which a number of American ** covered Iraq, discussed Iraq,
and almost all of their discussions had to do with ** among the established
official Iraqi partition ** these Journals can deal which are of course within Baghdad and ** safe. But
they were not talking too much about the resistance or
the groups that made up this initiative, they were talking about people we all
know, talking about scary power Talabani Barazani the Hisbel Islami, the Pachachi,
the Chalabi and these groups. I think you are saying that these people simply
are out of the picture?
At the beginning, all the political groups are out of the picture during
the transitional two years.
Q. Including the organized militias,
Yes, but the militias should be dissolved, and as I mentioned just for the justification of the formation
of this nonpolitical cabinet. There are no leaders at the present with the
strength or credibility or even to rally anyone but there own religionist or ethnic group. So this is a practical way
suggested for forming a government to run the country for two years.
Q. You mentioned the issue of the technocrats, and also there are
politicians who collaborated with
No, it will be a government of technocrats and, as I said, not
participants, also those who have not collaborated
with the occupation.
Q. What is your estimation if the situation goes in that
direction? What might happen to the
figures that collaborate with the
occupation again about the special leaderships that came ****
Well, as I mentioned, the new Iraqi government will establish an
independent judicial panel composed of Iraqi and neutral international legal
counsel to investigate all complaints about the crimes, human rights violation
in Iraq, the collaboration with the
occupiers, as well as state terrorism
including kidnapping, etc. These will include all crimes that were committed in
Iraq since the revolution of
July 15, 1958,
and until the time of departure of occupying forces
Q. ***** I think **** having personal work
for election in Iraq. You have mentioned that it is
illegal war and I don't want to discuss this issue, you had mentioned while
Iraqi **** my question is ** over the Iraqi violence **** away from Iraqi
American forces to exist *** what we
see today about Iraqi violence ****** those *** process, I would like to take
your feedback why this report ***
American violence, why you don't talk about the Iraqi/Iraqi violence **** report didn't mention
***** and as you mentioned the ** process not mentioning that ***** so there
***** between Iraqi and Iraqi violence I
would like to hear your feed back about this.
This was mentioned in the American media that this sectarian conflict is
likely to reduce the casualties among the American army. If you take the last
ten days and see how many soldiers were killed, and the two helicopters that were
brought down, this is a false expectation. Time will show that the resistance
is going to continue and increase in strength, because, as I mentioned, the
Iraqi resistance is different from terrorism.
It has nothing to do with the sectarian violence in Iraq. Their concern and efforts are directed at occupation forces. As far as the election is concerned people in
the American administration think that once you go and vote, that is democracy,
while this is not democracy. Democracy under occupation is not democracy. The
Iraqi election commission, the law of the election committee was put in place
by Bremer, the members of the commission, which are supposed to be independent,
were appointed by Bremer. If you want to read some details about the 15th
of January elections, go and read Seymour Hersh’s report
in The New Yorker
about distortion of that election.
In the last election, hundred of thousands of Iranian were given Iraqi
nationality and voted, hundreds of thousands of Kurds from Iran, Turkey,
were given Iraqi passports and
participated in the elections. The election commission itself, after the
referendum on the constitution, said publicly, and it is on its website, that
83,000 from the Kurdish area voted and should not have voted. Then they
increased the number to 200,000, but when the election of December 15 came, the
Kurdish leaders asked them to reinstall these 200,000 names. This is not a free
election. There was no supervision whatsoever. The United Nations offered
technical assistance, but no supervision.
Thank you very much for this
question, because it will give me the chance to explain to you why we don't
expect any assistance from Arab governments for
to get out of this mess. There is something called the Arab National Defense
Joint Agreement, and, according to
that agreement, any attack upon an Arab country by a non-Arab country is
considered to be an attack on all Arab countries, and they should come to the
aid of that country. That was in 1951, but all newly independent Arab states
joined that agreement, and it is applicable to all Arab countries. Even if they
are threatened by a non-Arab country, then the other Arab countries should come
to help. What happened in the case of Iraq,
Egypt, and Jordan
helped the American administration and encouraged them to go and invade Iraq. If you read Bob Woodward’s book The Plan of Attack, read pages 313 to
315, and you will find out that before
the war the Saudi Ambassador was in Cairo and met President Hosni Mubarak and told him that we
have good intelligence in Iraq and know that Iraq has mobile laboratories
for making weapons of mass
destruction. Ambassador Bander went
back and informed President Bush of
that. President Mubarak was not satisfied with that, so he sent his son Jamal
in a secret mission with a letter also to explain this. Both Hosni Mubarak and
King Abdullah assured Tommy Franks, and this was mentioned in his book, which
was published. Tommy Franks was in charge of the operation that claimed Iraq
had weapons of mass destruction. As to the other gulf countries, the American
and British forces came from Kuwait, Qatar,
Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. They all participated
in one way or another, and offered
other facilities. Some ten thousand special American forces
which you might know went, some of them, before
the war and, some of them, during the war across Saudi
Arabia to the west part of Iraq through Aaraar. The air
campaign on Iraq
came from the Sultan base. Jordan did something similar,
so if one can categorize the
positions of the Arab countries in contradiction with their obligation to the
Joint Arab Defense Agreement, they were either silent or
scared or in collaboration with the United States openly or covertly. So, neither I nor
the Iraqi resistance nor people who
are against the occupation expect any help from them to liberate Iraq.
The existing Iraqi army and police forces
formed by the occupation forces, as I said, are mostly militias-- either
Shiite militias or Bashmerka militias.
The resistance is already working on
the reconstitution of the Iraqi army. Once this initiative is accepted, then
they will put their plan into practice.
One of the responsibilities of the new government is to find jobs for people, and there is a sophisticated and detailed
program for the reconstruction of Iraq,
which will give work for people.
Hudson: Can I go back to a point a couple of
people pursued? Many Americans, including some members of Congress, some
opinion makers and so forth who are
opposed to, very critical of, the American involvement in Iraq,
nevertheless insist that it will be morally
wrong for the U.S forces to leave any time soon. And I am still wondering
why one could expect the withdrawal to take place, given the low level civil
war the Iraqis are very involved in.
Thank you for this question.
In a number of hearings before the Congress
by senior American military people,
it was said more than once by General
Abu Zeid and General Casey that one of the reasons for
the resistance of Iraq
is the American occupying forces,
and if they withdraw, this will partially solve the resistance issue. Well, the
question is if the American and British forces
withdraw, what will happen? With their existence, we see what is happening,
there is more or
less civil war, which they encourage themselves. Iraq
didn't practice any sectarian violence before
the invasion of Iraq, so
even with the existence of the so-called army and police forces which they formed,
this is what is going on in Iraq.
So, I think Iraq will be better if they leave, so even if such an initiative is
agreed upon, there will be a new army taking care of law and order in the country to prevent civil strife.
The United States administration, once it is interested in this
initiative and at the negotiating table, is entitled to know who the resistance
group is, who are the political forces
associated with this initiative. But, now there is no point in declaring this,
and there are other aspects of this initiative dealing with the Kurds, Turkey, Iran. They are not included in the
initiative, they are part of the initiative and there is a special arrangement
for the six-month transitional
period on how to maintain law and order during this period.
Well, I mentioned the four main groups of resistance. Once the Americans
come to the negotiation table we can arrange for
these four resistance forces to make
public statement approving this initiative and the negotiation.
No, that is not true, it did nothing. In 1973, in the war between Egypt, Syria
and Israel, the Iraqi army
went to the help of Syria.
I categorized the Arab regimes, as I
mentioned, and it is only Syria
in relative terms that stand better off, but it did not reach the minimum required
from them, according to the Joint
Arab Defense Agreement.
Question on international intervention, if this is true as you indicated that
the Arab states are completely uninterested in protection of Iraq in the past, why should these
Arab states be interested in helping this resistance movement now? In reality,
why don't some of these regimes feel threatened by the nationalist, ideological,
or even sectarian or religious
character of some components of the resistance?
Well, if you read the initiative carefully, it is mentioned that the new
government has the right to request the support
of armed forces from any Arab
country that didn't encourage or
participate or help in the invasion of
So this excludes Egypt, Jordan,
and all the Arab gulf countries, it is possible to get peace-keeping forces, if
necessary, from Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Syria.
Well, I think we should judge the resistance by what they say and not by
the intentions. We don't know the intentions of anybody. I mentioned the
statement declaration by the resistance on March 2004, and it is clear they
don't want to go back to the previous system and regime. They want a democratic
regime, and they are favorable to
the solution of the Kurdish problem, etc. This initiative explains that these
resistance groups are going to be dissolved after the six-month period and the
withdrawal of American and British forces.
Some of them might be a part of the newly formed
Hudson: I would like to thank our
distinguished speaker and all of the audience for
what I think it was an interesting session.