Iraqi opposition politician Sheikh Mustafa Al-Dulaimi said in a June 14, 2020 interview on Zagros TV (Iraqi Kurdistan) that the American presence in Iraq serves the interests of all Iraqis. He elaborated that the U.S. was instrumental in the expulsion of ISIS, and he said that the resistance forces in Iraq are no match for the United States. Al-Dulaimi compared the PMU to ISIS and said that the PMU is a terrorist militia, and he went on to argue that since America is the country that leads the world, Iraq should develop a relationship with it that would help provide job for Iraqis, protect Iraq’s borders, improve Iraq’s economy, and train Iraq’s military.
Sheikh Mustafa Al-Dulami: "The truth is that the American presence in Iraq serves the interests of all Iraqis."
Host: "No. It serves your interests."
Al-Dulami: "Not true. Our interests are the interests of Iraq, because we are Iraqis. We are not Indians, Pakistanis, or Afghans."
Al-Dulami: "It is in Iraq's interests for the American forces to stay. Why? Because the American forces..."
Host: "What have the American forces done for us? They have been in Iraq for 17 years now."
Al-Dulami: "Who expelled ISIS from Iraq?"
Host: "The heroes."
Al-Dulami: "What heroes?"
Host: "The Peshmerga, the Iraqi military, the Counter-Terrorism Service, and the Federal Police Force."
Al-Dulami: "And who provided aerial support?"
Host: "Aerial support... Fine, no problem."
Al-Dulami: "Why did you invite them? Because of ISIS? Why did the government invite them?"
Host: "Because there was a need."
Al-Dulami: "So that's it. That's it. Why did you bring them? I'm talking to you as if you are representing the government. Why did they bring the Americans in if they are an occupation force? Why did the government bring them in? The second question is whether Iraq is capable of fighting America, if it imposed an economic siege similar to the one imposed on Iran?"
Host: "You have the resistance factions that threaten..."
Al-Dulami: "What resistance are you talking about, man? The U.S. killed Soleimani and they all moved to Iran the next day. What resistance are you talking about?"
Host: "There is no resistance?"
Al-Dulami: "No. They dupe the people. They are just like ISIS."
Host: "Despite all your reservations, you do not go as far as demanding to keep the American forces in your [Sunni] provinces and to remove the PMU forces from them."
Al-Dulami: "First of all, we do not authorize anybody to talk on our behalf. As people living in our regions, we know our own interests."
Host: "But the government knows your interests..."
Al-Dulami: "What does the government know about our interests? It got people displaced."
Host: "The government..."
Al-Dulami: "Listen to me, man. The government that has been bringing crystal meth..."
Host: "The government has been bringing crystal meth?"
Al-Dulami: "Who controls the borders? The PMU militias..."
Host: "No. The PMU are not militias."
Al-Dulami: "Yes, they are."
Host: "No. There are militias and there is the PMU."
Al-Dulami: "Who in the PMU says that they renounce those who..."
Host: "They said it two days ago."
Al-Dulami: "Show me a statement that renounces the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, Hizbullah, the Badr Organization and all the others, and then I will say that the PMU is not a militia. All those [militias] are acting under the cover of the PMU. This is why I call them the terrorist PMU militia.
"Why aren't we being clear? America is the master of the world. America is the world's number one decision maker. Iraq is fragile and cannot fight America. What does Iraq have that..."
Host: "Why do you agree to the [American] dictates?"
Al-Dulami: "Who agrees? Me? If I were to represent Iraq in the dialogue with the Americans, I would focus on our interests. It is give and take. [I would say:] 'If your [forces] stay here, what can you provide for me? You are the number one country in the world? Fine. We are currently a weak country. What can you give me? Can you provide jobs for the unemployed? Can you protect my borders? Can you bring investments? Can you give jobs to young Iraqis?' When there are talks with a superpower..."
Host: "Is it a superpower or an NGO? Why would it provide jobs for your unemployed? Are we talking about the United States or about the Red Crescent?"
Al-Dulami: "The U.S. brought to the dialogue a military delegation, an economic delegation, and a political delegation. They were all sitting with you. You should go through all these, one by one, and see what they can do for you. On the military aspect - will you provide us with sufficient training?"
Host: "But will you agree for the Iraqi army to protect you?"
Al-Dulami: "If the Iraqi army defends the Iraqi borders, and treats the people of Al-Anbar the same way it treats the people of Basra, why wouldn't we recognize it?"