Former Iraqi MP Mithal Al-Alusi said in a January 9, 2020 interview on Zagros TV (Iraqi Kurdistan) that it is time for Iraq to free itself from the “corrupt, deviant, and criminal terrorist group” that controls it. He said that IRGC Quds Force commander General Qasem Soleimani had been a killer, a thief, a gangster, and a terrorist, and that the Iraqi government should forcibly take control of all the weapons in Iraq. Al-Alusi also said that Iraq is not an Islamic state like Iran is and that the Iraqi people want Iraq to be a real free state that is not influenced by Iran. When the interviewer suggested that this is the American viewpoint to the matter more than it is an Iraqi viewpoint, Al-Alusi responded that if the “American viewpoint” is for Iraq to be more like Dubai, Istanbul, Tehran, or Erbil, then he embraces this viewpoint.
Following are excerpts:
Mithal Al-Alusi: As the young people say: The game is over. It’s over. If you control the country, the government, the PMU, the militias, the media, the banks, and even the “houses of paramours”, why did you put up a white flag the moment Trump threatened you?
Host: Who put up a white flag?
Mithal Al-Alusi: All of them. Show me a single militia leader who is still out there.
Host: You’re talking about the militia leaders?
Mithal Al-Alusi: Yes, of course. I am not talking about the citizens or about our officers. I thought you were talking about the political leaders who drew red lines. All of the [militia leaders] are communicating with the Americans. I know this for sure. All of them maintain close ties with the Americans and all of them say: “It wasn’t us [who attacked the American embassy]!” [They say:] “It was [attacked by] some bad kids.” Even today, after the bombings in the Green Zone, near the embassy…
Mithal Al-Alusi: Yesterday? Okay… They were quick to issue a statement that it was done by some rogue kids who attacked because they were upset and angry. Excuse me? Some “edgy” kids are in possession of Katyusha rockets? They don’t even know how to lie properly. It is time for Iraq to free itself from this corrupt, deviant, and criminal terrorist group.
The weapons should be in the hands of the state.
Mithal Al-Alusi: They should be taken by force.
Host: Do you think that now that Soleimani is gone, Iran is weaker? Do you think that its influence in Iraq will diminish?
Mithal Al-Alusi: Hey, hey, listen… Anyone who kills people for no reason is a coward. So what if Qasem Soleimani is gone. Who was he? He was a killer, a thief, a gangster, and a terrorist.
Host: Some consider him to be a national hero.
Mithal Al-Alusi: Muhammad, choose your words wisely. Go ahead and ask me your question…
Host: Some say so…
Mithal Al-Alusi: Ask your question.
Host: This is my question.
Mithal Al-Alusi: What is it?
Host: Are the days of Qasem Soleimani gone? Will Iraq enter a political process that is not influenced by Iran?
Mithal Al-Alusi: My dear, we want Iraq to be [a real] state. Millions of citizens took to the streets and called for [a free] country.
Host: That’s right, but how?
Mithal Al-Alusi: We are not an Islamic country. We are Muslims, but we are not an Islamic country. This is not Iran or Syria. This is not just any Arab country. This is Iraq. Iraq’s history goes back thousands of years. As for the others, they are foreigners and deviant gangsters. Am I being clear?
Host: Yes, but this is an American viewpoint more than it is an Iraqi one. Is this not so? It is an American viewpoint, more than a…
Mithal Al-Alusi: Do you want to tell me that if we were able to make Iraq more like Dubai – I’m not talking about making it like America – we would say no? If we were able to make Baghdad like beautiful Istanbul, or like Tehran, or even like Erbil, would we say no? If this is the American viewpoint, than I gladly adopt it.