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Oct 05, 2014
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Shiite Iraqi Militia Leader Qais Al-Khazali Criticizes Coalition's Bombings of ISIS: Who Will Foot the Bill?

#4541 | 05:41
Source: Al-Ahd TV (Iraq)

Following are excerpts from a sermon delivered by Shiite Iraqi Militia leader Qais Al-Khazali, which was posted on the Internet on October 4, 2014:

Qais Al-Khazali: Forty countries are involved in this aerial-only military effort, which aims to rid the Iraqi people from the ISIS threat. Yet the leader of this international coalition himself admitted that some members in this coalition had supported and financed ISIS. Now countries that financed and supported ISIS – and some perhaps still do – have become members of this coalition, which some Iraqis expect to rid them of ISIS. They support and finance ISIS the enemy of Iraq and the Iraqi people – yet now, some believe it when they are told that this coalition will fight ISIS and rid us of it.


They are all saying that aerial bombings cannot eliminate ISIS.


These aerial bombings cannot eliminate ISIS. In addition, the role of some superpowers in these attacks that cannot eliminate ISIS is merely a symbolic one. The Iraqi air force carries out 2,000 attacks every month. It goes without saying that we are grateful for this effective effort. Then, the French prime minister shamelessly – or perhaps out of derision – summons a press conference, which is aired live on all TV channels, in order to inform the French public and the international community that a French Rafale warplane had carried out an attack in Iraq. What good tidings! All the problems of the Iraqi people have been resolved by a single attack by one French warplane. I follow the events closely, and I am sure that since that orphan attack, there has been no further [French] bombing. There have been no further good tidings.


This is a good place to ponder who is going to foot the bill for these aerial attacks. Is it the case that all these countries have realized that ISIS poses a threat to the EU, the U.S., and the entire world, and that it is in their best interest to carry out these attacks, and therefore, they will foot the bill? Or is it that the Iraqi government asked these countries to bring in their forces, and therefore, the Iraqi government will be asked to foot at least most of the bill?


Are aerial bombings by foreign forces really the solution to the situation in Iraq? Or should we all be focusing on arming the Iraqi air force with the proper means? Ultimately, we will all realize that providing the Iraqi air force with modern planes would have been much less costly than all these [foreign] aerial attacks.


The Iraqi prime minister said that we would not agree to having [foreign] ground troops on Iraqi soil. I'd like to ask: Is there a difference between sovereignty on land, air, or sea?


I would like to remind the politicians who refer to the resistance as a "militia," by which they mean a group of outlaws, that it was the resistance and its various factions that defended the political process, the fruits of which you are enjoying now. It was the resistance that the defended Baghdad, the capital of your country, fending off ISIS and the others. If not for the resistance, the elections, in which you have won, one way or another, would not have taken place.


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