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memri
January 12, 2007 No.
1422

Iraqi MP Iyad Jamal Al-Din: Democracy in the Middle East Can Only Be Established by Force

The following are excerpts from an interview with Iraqi MP Iyad Jamal Al-Din, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on December 28, 2006.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://memritv.org/clip/en/1351.htm

Interviewer: "How can the Iraqi public, which is anti-American, and which believes the U.S. is the Great Satan, support people who talk the way you do?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Whoever believes America is the Great Satan should not shake its hand. I do not consider the U.S. to be the Great Satan. I view it as the sponsor and founder of the project of democracy, and the defender of democracy in Iraq. You can be sure that if America were to withdraw today, there would be Shiite massacres of Shiites, Sunni massacres of Sunnis, and Kurdish massacres of Kurds. The strong would again devour the weak, until somebody would be back the next day - there's no doubt about it. We are still far from democracy."

Interviewer: "On what do you base your trust of the U.S. and its plans for the region?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Democracy is the religion of the dollar and serves its global interests. This dollar has a spirited life - it is dear, honorable, and loveable. It gets vexed real quickly, get it? Dollar has a religion. The religion of the dollar is democracy. This applies to the entire world, because the dollar cannot thrive in dictatorial countries, but only in democracies. For the sake of their global economy, [the Americans] establish democracy.

"We, the oppressed and slaughtered peoples, have seen nothing but stupid dictators or wise dictators. It's one of the two. Wise dictators pave roads and build houses, but they are still dictators. On the other hand, there are stupid dictators, like our friend who has gone. We are very far from democracy. It is inconceivable that we endured this humiliation and tyranny for 1,400 years, yet we are unable to create a democracy. Even after 1,400 years, our culture is still..."

Interviewer: "Democracy has resulted in what is now happening in Iraq."

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "The result of democracy... We don't know... We are very far from liberty. Do we even know what to do with the values of liberty? The moment Saddam's club was lifted from over our heads, each and every one of us wanted to assume Saddam's personality. We had one Saddam, and now we have six, seven, 10, or 15 Saddams. We now have local mini-Saddams. I said this before the war. I said that America would do us a favor by ridding us of Saddam the dictator, but that this favor would be incomplete unless it rids us of the opposition parties. But this did not happen during the war. These people are photocopies of Saddam. Saddam was in power for 35 years, and so was the leader of this or that opposition party - not only in Iraq, but in all Arab and Islamic countries.

"The opposition is the mirror image of the regime. If we want to simplify matters, how come Hosni Mubarak has ruled for 23 years? I want to rule in his place, not because I want to change the nature of the regime, to make it a democracy, which respects human beings and private property... We are still far from all this. Therefore, in my opinion, democracy can be established in our region only through force. Democracy must be established by force, and only America can do it."