Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Saluting Ayman and Jamal Al-Alousi

You may have come across this paragraph stacked in the footnotes of a CNN Article – a story deemed by an MSM editor as not worth telling:
An Iraqi politician survived an attempt on his life Tuesday, but his two sons and a bodyguard were killed, police said. Unknown gunmen opened fire on Mithal al-Alousi's convoy in Baghdad, police said. Al-Alousi is the general secretary of the Iraqi Nation Democratic Party.
KurdishMedia have gone further than CNN but also lack the gravity and context of this sad yet heroic saga (Note: kudos to KM for dropping the Shahid reference):
Yesterday morning in Baghdad, terrorists attempted to assassinate the leader of the Iraqi Nation Democratic Party (Hizb al-Umma al-Iraqiya al-Dimuqrati), Mithal al-Alousi.

While Mr. Alousi escaped, his two sons, Ayman and Jamal and a bodyguard were killed in the attack.Mithal al-Alousi, who has recently survived numerous assassination attempts, previously played a significant role in the de-Baathification of Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

In late 2004, Mr. Alousi founded the Iraqi Nation Democratic Party, which ran in the recent Iraqi elections as list number 322.

In an RFI (Radio France Internationale) interview with Mr. Alousi, he stated, "one of my body guards and two of my children died as heroes, no differently from other people who find their heroic deaths."

KurdishMedia seems to ignore the main reason why he became a target. In September of this year, Mithal responded positively to an invitation to participate in an Israeli conference on terrorism. Al-Alousi, who was allied with Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, was expelled from the party while in Israel. Al-Alousi ignored safety concerns and rejected an offer for safe refuge in London but rather chose to return home as a free Iraqi. Upon return, he was then charged with a Saddamite law banning travel to the "Zionist Entity". This, despite the protection of Article 13D of the Interim Constitution which declares that “each Iraqi has the right of free movement in all parts of Iraq and the right to travel abroad and return freely”.

Jamal Mithal al-Alousi, ex-head of the debaathification committee and an ex-member of the National Iraqi Congress party, headed by renown US supporter Ahmad Chelabi. Today Mr. Al-Alousi is an ex, a used-to-be, an outcast whose only crime….is a visit to Israel. Mr. Al-Alousi was invited to participate in international conference on global impact of terrorism that took place in Herzlliya, Israel11 -14/09/04. While still in Israel al-Alousi was notified that he was sacked from his position and from the party for visiting “a Zionist state”.

Not long after his return to Iraq al-Alousi learned that there was a court order against him and that he is about to be arrested. On what grounds, you ask? Well, apparently new Iraq still lives by old legal codes, and while Saddam Hussein is in prison and will soon be tried for his crimes, the laws that were produced by his regime are nevertheless valid!

The particular law that was broke by Mithal al-Alousi was issued in 1968 and states that any Iraqi that had visited Israel is to be punished severely. Not long ago all Iraqi passports bared a stamp “valid for visitation in any country except for Zionist entity”. Today the stamp is gone, but it seems that the routine is still very much alive. And although the bad guy with a moustache is locked away, his supporters around the country are determined to stick to the tradition of hatred, terror and fear.

Arabic Media Internet Network (note: a left wing slant but with valid points)

Our friends at Iraq the Model make reference to an interview he gave in October, a month in which he defends his visit
The Palestinians have communications with Israel, and so do the regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia and even Iran although we don’t know exactly the size of communication between Iran and Israel”. [ITM: He also criticized Saddam’s policies in dealing with the Palestinians ]“Iraq was generous with both, financial and moral support but the result was an economic disaster and terrible living conditions for the people but on the other hand, millions of dollars accumulated in bank accounts of the corrupt officials.”

From Sawt Al Iraq (Link in Arabic).
In an interview given after the latest tragedy struck him, Al-Alousi stated the following:
I will continue to call for normalisation with Israel, even if the terrorists will try and assasinate me again. Peace is the only option; Peace with Israel is the only option for Iraq; Peace with everyone but the terrorists
Our hearts and prayers are with the Al-Alousi and his family who sacrificed his sons, his only sons, which he loved - Ayman and Jamal - for a higher ideal. Yet, he did not claim the crown of a martyr's father and described their death as being "no differently from other people who find their heroic deaths". Once again, placing the national tragedy of terrorism in higher regard than his own sentiments. A man of true valor!

Al-Alousi at the Herzliya conference on terrorism (11-14 September 2004)

Some afterthoughts:

  • Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom and Iraqi Prime Minister Alawi bump into each other in the UN corridor and after a few seconds of confusion, Alawi shook Shalom's outstretched hand and exchanged pleasantries. Upon returning to Iraq, Alawi had to defend the shake and he stated that he did not know who the man was [ed - yeah right! just turn on CNN every other night].
  • A question to any Iraqi readers: Why should Israel and Iraq be enemies? They share no borders or competing resources; Iraqis are no guradians of the Palestinians, and the issue is anyway on the road to resolution. Is it the Nuclear facility bombing? Years of propoganda? Is the fact that Israel did not respond to an Iraqi attack in 1991 so easily forgotten?! or was that a sign of weakness.
  • As a footnote, I make reference to this interesting article in Ha-Aretz which also makes reference to Alousi.


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