In a December 4 Al-Arabiya TV interview, former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din said that he wished that "an Iraqi Ataturk would emerge and impose [secular] law by force." He further said that America, after toppling Saddam, "turned on its heels, and left," thus repeating the mistake it made after defeating Germany in WWI. "That's how they got Hitler," he said.
Host: "You said, and I quote: 'The holy imam Atatürk, may he rest in peace, said, when he imposed secularism by force, that he was doing it against the will of the people, for the sake of the people. The great Atatürk has spoken the truth.' Again, I'm quoting you. Are you demanding that secularism be imposed by force in your country?"
Host: "Who is strong enough to impose secularism in Iraq?"
Al-Din: "Unfortunately, I see no one who can do that."
Host: "Are you supposed to bring the Americans back?"
Al-Din: "That's impossible. The Americans are the problem, anyway. They support the forces of political Islam - both Sunni and Shiite. They did not support the secular movement. Iraq needs a miracle, a savior, an Atatürk. I wish that an Iraqi Atatürk would emerge and impose (secular) law by force, thus restoring the unity of the country."
Host: "So far, there has been no such Iraqi Atatürk?"
Al-Din: "Unfortunately, no."
Host: "You say that Al-Maliki was an Iranian product. What about Al-Abadi? The product of whom is he?"
Al-Din: "Since the toppling of Saddam Hussein and to this moment, Iran has had the upper hand in the political process in Iraq. Iran's influence is not limited to the Shiites, but extends to the Sunnis and the Kurds as well.
"I believe that a presidential system is better for Iraq and its unity, and better for stability in the region. I support the presidential system rather than the parliamentary system."
Host: "In the past, you said that America would build the new Iraq, and that we should kiss the hands of the Americans for liberating us. In light of the 'non-state' that you are witnessing in Iraq, are these statements still sound?"
Al-Din: "No, they are not sound."
Host: "So you are retracting these comments?"
Al-Din: "No, I'm not. They were true in their day, but they do not hold true for all eternity. America toppled Saddam, turned on its heels, and left. It handed Iraq over to political parties linked to Iran. That is why this experience has not been complete. If America had remained in Iraq and cooperated with the Iraqi political forces, perhaps in 20-30 years, Iraq could have been transformed into another South Korea or another Japan. But America repeated the mistake it made when it defeated Germany in WWI, and then left it to its own devices. That's how they got Hitler."