Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Irakischen Kommunistischen Partei: Die Sorge vor einer weiteren Destabilisierung des Mittleren Ostens wächst
13.03.2017: Ein Gespräch mit Salam Ali, Mitglied des Zentralkomitees der Irakischen Kommunistischen Partei (ICP), über den Krieg gegen den IS, die Nahost-Politik von Donald Trump, einen unabhängigen kurdischen Staat und die innenpolitische Auseinandersetzungen im Irak.
Frage: Beginnen wir dieses Gespräch mit einer Frage über die Entwicklung des Krieges gegen den IS. Das Ziel ist ja, den IS zu besiegen und aus dem Irak zu vertreiben. Nach den neuesten Informationen haben die irakischen Streitkräfte den Flughafen und westliche Stadtgebiete von Mosul zurückerobert. Können Sie etwas darüber sagen, welche Bedeutung dies für die Zukunft der Sicherheit im Irak und für die Anwesenheit von ausländischem Militär, insbesondere von US-Militär, hat.
Der militärische Erfolg in Mosul ist ein wichtiger Schritt auf dem Weg zur Befreiung aller Städte und aller Regionen des Irak von der Geißel des Terrorismus, zu Sicherheit und Stabilität und für die Rückkehr von mehr als drei Millionen Vertriebenen und Flüchtlingen in ihre Städte und Häuser.
Ein wichtiger Faktor für den Erfolg auf dem Schlachtfeld liegt in der guten Kooperation zwischen der irakischen Armee, den Volksmobilisierungkräften (PMF) und den Peshmerga der KRG. Der Irak erhält in Übereinstimmung mit den Resolutionen des UN-Sicherheitsrates internationale Unterstützung für den Kampf gegen den IS. Im militärischen Bereich konzentriert sich diese Unterstützung hauptsächlich auf das Training und die Beratung der irakischen Streitkräfte. Die irakische Regierung hat den Einsatz von ausländischen Kampfeinheiten, auch von US-Einheiten, abgelehnt und hat ihre Gegnerschaft zu ausländischen Militärstützpunkten wiederholt bekräftigt.
Frage: Es gibt Berichte über die bedeutende Rolle von Peshmerga und schiitischen Milizen im Kampf gegen den IS. Können sie deren Rolle erklären und etwas dazu sagen, ob diese verschiedenen Kräfte unterschiedliche Schwerpunkte im Kampf gegen den IS setzen.
Salam Ali: Der militärische Plan für die Befreiung von Mosul sichert eine gute Koordinierung zwischen den irakischen Streitkräften, den Peshmerga und den PMF. Die Armee und die Bundespolizei haben die Aufgabe die Stadt selbst zu befreien. Die Peshmerga unterstützen im Osten und die PMF im Westen. Letztere greifen den IS in der Gegend um die Stadt Tal Afar, westlich von Mosul, an und unterbrechen seine Verbindungslinien zur syrischen Grenze. Wenn man jedoch die Kooperation zwischen Bundesregierung und KRG betrachtet, dann erreicht die politische und wirtschaftliche Kooperation nicht das Niveau derjenigen im militärischen Bereich. Dies ist einer der Aspekte der tiefgreifenden politischen Krise des Irak. Dies muss auf friedliche Weise im Dialog zwischen den beiden Seiten auf der Grundlage der Verfassung gelöst werden.
Wichtig ist zu erwähnen, dass die PMF nicht nur aus 'schiitischen Milizen' bestehen, sondern auch aus Freiwilligen, die diese Einheiten seit eines kritischen Moments im Kampf gegen den IS Mitte 2014 unterstützen. Die PMF wird als vorübergehende Institution betrachtet und untersteht dem Oberkommandierenden der Streitkräfte des Irak, dem Premierminister. Ihre Aufgabe wird beendet sein, wenn der IS endgültig besiegt ist. Diejenigen Elemente innerhalb der PMF, die zu konfessionellen Tendenzen aufrufen und das Gesetz verletzen, müssen konsequent entfernt werden. Es ist von höchster Dringlichkeit, dass die Existenz von Milizen und Paramilitärs, die nicht unter Kontrolle des Staates stehen, beendet wird.
Frage: Der Irak hat stark unter den Ergebnissen von religiösen Auseinandersetzungen und der Tatsache gelitten, dass Saudi Arabien, der Iran und die Türkei einen Stellvertreterkrieg führen - wie auch im Jemen oder Syrien. Wie schätzen Sie die Chance ein, dass die irakische Regierung diese Einflüsse überwinden und eine souveräne, nationale Politik verfolgen kann?
Salam Ali: Die irakische Regierung versucht zu vermeiden, dass sie Partei für eine Seite ergreift oder in eine Allianz gezogen wird, die von Saudi Arabien, der Türkei oder dem Iran geführt wird und die religiöse Polarisierung in der ganzen Region vertieft. Diese Aufgabe wird erschwert durch die tiefe innere politische Krise, die durch das System der religiösen-ethnischen Quoten verursacht ist. Dieses System der religiös-ethnischen Quoten  wurde dem Irak nach dem Krieg der USA und der Invasion 2003 aufgezwungen. Die herrschenden politischen Gruppen, die sowohl die Macht auf Grundlage dieses Systems teilen als auch religiöse Politiken verfolgen, haben enge Verbindungen zu den vorher genannten Regionalmächten. Viele sind ihre Handlanger. Politische Kämpfe zwischen diesen Gruppen um Macht und Reichtum haben die Türe für Einmischung von außen geöffnet und den Irak zu einem Schlachtfeld für Stellvertreterkriege gemacht. Dies wird noch weiter kompliziert durch die neue US-amerikanische Regierung unter Donald Trump und dessen eskalierende Konfrontation mit dem Iran. Die wachsenden Spannungen zwischen den USA und dem Iran rufen zusätzliche Probleme für die irakische Regierung und die Beziehungen mit beiden Seiten hervor. Die gegenwärtige Entwicklung auf regionaler und internationaler Ebene kann ernste Auswirkungen auf den Irak zeitigen –nicht nur für den laufenden Kampf gegen den IS, sondern auch für die Zeit nach dem IS.
Frage: Wie sieht die Partei die regionalen Wirkungen der Politik von Trump gegenüber der Türkei und Saudi Arabien?
Salam Ali: Wie ich schon sagte, mit den ersten Schritte der neuen US-Regierung wächst die Sorge vor einer weiteren Destabilisierung des Mittleren Ostens: Unterstützung für die aggressive Politik Israels gegenüber den PalästinenserInnen, Vertiefung der religiösen Polarisierung, Eskalation der Spannungen und Konfrontation mit dem Iran. Diese Schritte wurden von Saudi Arabien und seinen Golf-Alliierten begrüßt. Solche Entwicklungen können jedoch für die Bevölkerung und die Länder einer Region, die unter Terrorismus, Militärinterventionen und Stellvertreterkriegen von regionalen und internationalen Mächten leidet, schwerwiegende Folgen haben.
Es besteht die Gefahr wachsender militärischer Einmischung in der Region durch die USA, mit Anwendung größeren Drucks durch direkte militärische Präsenz und der Entsendung von Kampfeinheiten. Die Bevölkerung des Irak und die anderen Völker in der Region wären die Opfer dieser kriegshetzerischen Politik des Imperialismus und seiner reaktionären Verbündeten in der Region. Für den Irak ist es deshalb von höchster Dringlichkeit, diesem Druck zu widerstehen und für gute und friedliche Beziehungen mit allen seinen Nachbarn einzutreten – basierend auf Kooperation, gegenseitigem Respekt und Anerkennung gegenseitiger Interessen, und der Nichteinmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten.
Frage: Es deutet einiges darauf hin, dass in den nächsten Monaten ein unabhängiger kurdischer Staat gebildet werden könnte. Wie ist die Position der ICP in dieser Frage?
Salam Ali: Die ICP unterstützte schon immer das Recht der kurdischen Bevölkerung auf Selbstbestimmung. Wir treten für das Recht auf Selbstbestimmung für alle Völker ein, kleine und große. Die ICP hat immer darum gekämpft diese generelle Haltung in spezifische Formen umzusetzen, die die bestehenden politischen Realitäten und gesellschaftlichen Bedingungen, die äußeren Entwicklungen und die damit zusammenhängende Faktoren sowie die Kräfteverhältnisse im Irak berücksichtigen.
Deshalb hat die ICP spezifische Position erarbeitet, die die legitimen nationalen Rechte der KurdInnen reflektieren; erst in Autonomie und schließlich in einem föderalen irakischen Kurdistan innerhalb eines vereinigten, föderalen und demokratischen Irak. Dies war die Position der irakischen Opposition vor dem Fall der Diktatur im Jahr 2003 und wurde später für die Verfassung von 2005 verlangt.
In Anbetracht der gegenwärtigen konkreten Bedingungen des Irak hält die ICP den Föderalismus für die geeignete und demokratische Lösung für die kurdische nationale Frage. Die neuen föderalen Erfahrungen mit ihrer Komplexität und den internen und externen Herausforderungen erfordern einen kontinuierlichen konstruktiven Dialog, um die Probleme und entstehende Differenzen zu lösen.
Es ist auch sehr wichtig, dem Einfluss von chauvinistischen und rassistischen Elementen, engstirnigen nationalistischen Positionen und Sabotage durch externe Kräfte entgegenzutreten, die einen stabilen, demokratischen Irak verhindern wollen – einen Irak, der auf der Basis des Respekts des Pluralismus und der Verschiedenartigkeit vereinigten ist.
Dieser Wunsch und die Bestrebungen unserer Partei in diese Richtung sind mit Hindernissen durch die herrschenden politischen Kräfte konfrontiert. Diese verteidigen engstirnige Interessen, die durch das schändliche religiöse-ethische Quotensystem produziert werden.
Die Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesregierung und der Regionalregierung Kurdistans (KRG) werden immer mehr mit Spannungen aufgeladen. Dies ist das Ergebnis der Ansammlung ungelöster Probleme, unerfüllter Vereinbarungen und anderer schädlicher Maßnahmen, für die beide Seiten verantwortlich sind. Dies wurde noch zusätzlich kompliziert durch die Angriffe des IS im Jahr 2014 und der darauf folgenden Vertreibung von Millionen Menschen. Der kurdischen Region wurde damit eine schwere Last aufgebürdet. Und dies fällt zusammen mit geringeren finanziellen Mittel des Staates auf Grund des gesunkenen Ölpreises und von Austeritätsmaßnahmen.
Wir denken, dass im Moment die Priorität im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus, dem Aufbau der Demokratie und ihrer Institutionen und der Aktivierung des Dialogs liegen muss. Dies ist der Weg, um die Erfahrungen des Föderalismus zu stärken - als Dienst an den Rechten der kurdischen Bevölkerung und der gesamten Bevölkerung des Irak.
Frage: Vor wenigen Wochen fanden in Bagdad große Demonstrationen gegen die Korruption und das undemokratische Wahlsystem statt. Dabei wurden viele DemonstrantInnen getötet. Worin liegt der zentrale Grund für die Unzufriedenheit der Bevölkerung mit der Regierung von Premierminister Haider Al.Abadi?
Salam Ali: Seit Juli 2015 gibt es Massendemonstrationen auf dem Tahir-Platz in Bagdad und in anderen Provinzen. Bei diesen Demonstrationen werden populäre Forderungen gegen die Korruption und das System der religiösen-ethnischen Quoten vertreten und es wird eine sofortige Reform des politischen und Rechtssystems verlangt. Ebenso wird die Bereitstellung öffentlicher Dienstleistungen gefordert. Die friedlichen Demonstrationen verurteilen die religiösen Politiken und fordern einen demokratisch-bürgerlichen Staat als Alternative.
Die jüngsten Demonstrationen in Bagdad forderten auch den Ersatz der Wahlkommission durch eine wirklich unabhängige Kommission, die nicht auf dem religiös-ethnischen Proporz beruht. Die DemonstrantInnen fordern ein gerechtes Wahlgesetz. Der herrschende Block und dessen Repräsentanten im Parlament wollen für die Provinzwahlen im September ein Wahlgesetz mit dem Ziel einer deutlich höheren Wahlhürde und der Absicherung, dass die demokratischen Kräfte marginalisiert werden. Dagegen richteten sich die Demonstrationen.
Am 11. Februar 2017 wurde eine große Demonstration mit scharfen Schüssen, Plastikgeschoßen und Tränengas von undurchsichtigen, bewaffneten Elementen innerhalb der Sicherheitskräfte brutal angegriffen. 12 Menschen wurden getötet, Hunderte verletzt. Premierminister Haider al-Abadi ordnete eine Untersuchung an, aber es kam nichts dabei heraus. Wenige Tage später fand eine riesige Demonstration statt. Die DemonstrantInnen trugen symbolisch Särge und forderten, dass die Verantwortlichen für diese Verbrechen vor Gericht gebracht werden.
Die populare Protestbewegung entwickelt sich vor dem Hintergrund einer tiefen politischen, wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Krise. Gesellschaftliche und klassenbezogene Ungleichheiten haben sich im Ergebnis der starken Polarisierung bei der Verteilung von Einkommen und Vermögen vertieft. Die Irakische Kommunistische Partei unterstützt mit allen Kräften die Protestbewegung und ihre legitimen Forderungen. Wir denken, dass eine wirkliche Reform, die ein erster Schritt zu einer Veränderung der politischen, wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Struktur wäre, nur durch die Ausweitung des Drucks der Bevölkerung erreicht werden kann.
Frage: Im Dezember 2016 fand der 10. Nationalkongress der ICP statt. Was sind die wichtigsten Ergebnisse und wo liegt der Schwerpunkt der Partei in kurzer und mittlerer Sicht?
Salam Ali: Der 10. Kongress fand in Bagdad vom 1. bis 3. Dezember statt. Die Losung des Parteitags war: "Veränderung .. Für einen demokratisch-bürgerlichen Bundesstaat und für soziale Gerechtigkeit". Der Kongress erarbeitet die Vorstellung der Partei für die Veränderung hin zu einer demokratischen Alternative.
Die gewünschte Veränderung kann nur durch den Aufbau eines Systems der politischen Alternative gebracht werden, das mit dem Machtmonopol bricht, das auf sekundären Identitäten beruht und dieses reproduziert. Die demokratische Alternative sichert einen Wiederaufbau der Ökonomie, der Gesellschaft und des Staates auf einer neuen Basis. Der Staat basiert auf dem Prinzip der Staatsbürgerschaft mit Gleichheit für alle BürgerInnen, ohne Diskriminierung auf Grund des Geschlechts, der ethnischen Zuordnung, der Hautfarbe, der Religion, der Sekte, des Glaubens, der Meinung oder des gesellschaftlichen oder wirtschaftlichen Status -ein Staat der Institutionen und des Rechts, der ein würdiges Leben der BürgerInnen durch fortgeschrittene soziale Sicherheit, angemessene Mittel für soziale Gerechtigkeit und der Verbindung zwischen politischer und gesellschaftlicher Demokratie gewährleistet.
Um diesen demokratischen Bundesstaat zu erreichen, ist ein beharrlicher und wachsender Kampf zur Veränderung der politischen Kräfteverhältnisse zu Gunsten des Projekts der Veränderung und seiner UnterstützerInnen erforderlich. Dies kann erreicht werden durch eine starke demokratische Bewegung, durch die Bildung religionsübergreifender Allianzen und die Mobilisierung eines breiten Spektrums von Kräften, die Reformen und Veränderung unterstützen. Der Kampf gegen die Korruption ist ein Hauptfaktor in dieser Auseinandersetzung.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Iraqi Communist Party – Interview on latest developments in Iraq
and the Party’s 10th National Congress
Interview with Comrade Salam Ali, member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party, with “Nameh Mardom”, the central organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran, published on 6 March 2017.
1- Perhaps we could start this interview with a question about the developments in the war to defeat ISIS in Mosul and expel them from Iraq. The news is that the Iraqi forces have recaptured Mosul airport and areas in the west of the city. Could you please tell us about the significance of these developments for future of Iraq's security in relation to the presence of foreign military presence, specifically the US.
The battle for the liberation of the city of Mosul from Daesh (the so-called Isis) is continuing, after successfully retaking the eastern side. The Iraqi armed forces have already seized back Mosul airport, a big military camp and three districts. The battle’s outcome is of enormous political significance for Iraq, as it will contribute to shaping the political landscape post-Daesh. The country will be facing several challenges after the military defeat of Daesh. These include the ability of the security forces to curtail the operations of terrorist sleeper cells, the fate of para-military formations; the future of “disputed territories” between the federal government and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG); and plans that have been put forward with regard to Nineveh province to split it up into several provinces. In addition, there is the need for concrete measures to achieve societal and national reconciliation and build civil peace, as well as confronting schemes aimed at dividing up Iraq.
The military successes that have been achieved so far are important steps along the path of liberating all Iraqi towns and regions from the scourge of terrorism, achieving security and stability, and ensuring the return of more than three million displaced people and refugees to their towns and homes.
A major factor behind the successes achieved in the battlefield has been the good level of cooperation between the Iraqi army, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and the Peshmerga (of the KRG). Iraq has received international support for the fight against Daesh in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. In the military field, this support has focused mainly on providing training and advice to the Iraqi armed forces. The Iraqi government has rejected the deployment of foreign, including US, combat troops and has reaffirmed its opposition to the presence of foreign bases.
2. There are reports that Kurdish Peshmerga and Shiite militias are providing important backups for the war efforts against ISIS. Could you please explain their role and whether there are any differences of focus between different contingents of the forces operating against ISIS?
The military plan for the liberation of Mosul has so far ensured a well-coordinated effort between the Iraqi armed forces, Peshmerga and PMF. The army and federal police have been allocated the task of liberating the city of Mosul itself, with backup provided by the Peshmerga to the east and by the PMF to the west. The latter is engaging Daesh in the area around the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, and is cutting off its routes to the Syrian borders. The military cooperation between the federal government and KRG, however, is not matched by a similar level of political and economic cooperation. This is one aspect of the overall deep political crisis in Iraq, which would have to be resolved in a peaceful manner between the two sides through dialogue based on the constitution.
It is important to point out that the PMF is not just made up of “Shiite militias” but also include volunteers who joined these units during a critical moment in mid. 2014 in order to combat Daesh, and they gave sacrifices and martyrs in subsequent battles. It is seen as a temporary institution, under the authority of the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces (the prime minister), and its job would come to an end with the defeat of Daesh. Meanwhile, elements within PMF that instigate sectarian tendencies and violate the law must be purged and firmly dealt with. It is of utmost importance that the existence of militias and paramilitary forces outside the control of the state should end.
3. Iraq has suffered heavily as a result of the sectarian strife and the fact that powerful regional forces such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey are fighting a proxy war in in the country, as in Yemen and Syria. How do you assess the chance of Iraqi government overcoming such influences and pursuing a national sovereign policy?
The Iraqi government is attempting to avoid taking sides and getting dragged into the regional axes and shifting alliances, led by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, that have deepened sectarian polarization in the whole region. This task has been made even more difficult with the deep internal political crisis caused by the sectarian-ethnic quota system that was imposed on Iraq after the US war and invasion in 2003. The ruling political groups that share power on the basis of this system, as well as pursuing sectarian politics, have close connections to the above-mentioned regional powers and many are subservient to them. Political infighting among these groups, over power and wealth, have opened the door to external interference which has turned Iraq into a battlefield for proxy wars. This has been further complicated by the arrival of the new American administration led by Donald Trump and its escalating confrontation with Iran. The escalation of tensions between the US and Iran will create additional problems for the Iraqi government and the management of its relations with both sides. The recent developments on regional and international levels could have serious repercussions for Iraq, not only in its ongoing battle against terrorist Daesh, but also for Iraq’s future post-Daesh.
4. There were major demonstrations in Baghdad two weeks ago in protest against corruption and the undemocratic electoral system, in which a number of demonstrators were killed. What is really the main grievance of the people with regard to current administration of prime minister Haider Al-Abadi?
Mass demonstrations and rallies have continued in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in central Baghdad and in other provinces since late July 2015. They have voiced popular demands against corruption and the sectarian-ethnic quota system, and have called for urgent political reforms and judicial reforms, as well as the provision of basic services. The peaceful demonstrations increasingly condemned sectarian politics and called for a democratic civil state as the alternative.
Recent demonstrations in Baghdad also demanded replacing the Electoral Commission with a truly independent commission that is not based on the sectarian-ethnic system. The protestors called for a just electoral law, opposing attempts by the ruling blocs and their representatives in parliament to amend the existing current law for the provincial elections (which are supposed to take place next September) with the aim of effectively raising the electoral threshold and ensuring that civil democratic forces are marginalized. A big demonstration on Saturday 11 February 2017, raising these just demands, was brutally attacked by shadowy armed elements within the security forces. Live bullets, as well as plastic bullets and tear gas, were used. The death toll has now reached 12 people, and hundreds were injured. The prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered an investigation into the shooting, but nothing has come out of it. A huge demonstration took place a few days later in Liberation Square, protesting against the killings and carrying symbolic coffins, demanding that those responsible for the crime be brought to justice.
It is important to point out that the popular protest movement emerged against a background of a deep political, economic and social crisis. Social and class inequalities have deepened as a result of the big polarization in the distribution of incomes and wealth. Our party has fully supported the protest movement and its legitimate demands. We believe that true reform, which is the first step towards achieving change in the political, economic and social structure, can only be achieved through escalating popular pressure.
5. Iraqi CP had its 10th National Congress in December 2016. What were the main outcomes of this congress and what will be the main focus of the party's struggle in short and the medium terms?
The 10th National Congress of the party was held in Baghdad during the period 1 - 3 December 2016, under the slogan “Change .. For a Democratic Federal Civil State and Social Justice”. The Congress elaborated the party’s vision for change through achieving the democratic civil alternative.
The desired change can only be brought about through building a system of a political alternative that breaks the monopoly of power which is based on secondary identities and reproducing them. The democratic civil alternative would ensure rebuilding the economy, society and state on a new basis; a state based essentially on the principle of citizenship, with all its citizens enjoying equality, without discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, colour, religion, sect, creed, opinion or social and economic status. It is a state of institutions and law that provides a dignified life to its citizens through comprehensive social security, thus providing a reasonable measure of social justice, and emphasises the interconnection between political and social democracy.
The path towards true reform and change, and achieving a federal democratic civil state that ensures social justice, requires a persistent and accumulative struggle in order to achieve the desired change in the balance of political forces in favour of the project for change and its supporters. This can be achieved through establishing a strong civil democratic movement, building national supra-sectarian alliances, and mobilising a broad spectrum of forces that are supportive of reform and change. In this endeavour, we need to strengthen the role of the democratic forces, continue the peaceful, organised and disciplined popular pressure, broadening its ranks and drawing into it new popular strata. Combating corruption is a major factor in this struggle. It is also important to prepare for the forthcoming provincial and also the parliamentary elections in 2018.
These tasks require exerting greater efforts to strengthen the Iraqi Communist Party and its organisations, enhancing its performance on all levels, building a broad network of relations with the masses, and defending the interests of the working people and toilers.
6. What is the Party's view about regional impact of Trump's administration's foreign policy realignment with Turkey and Saudi Arabia? Where would Iraq fit into this?
As pointed out in the reply to Q.3 above, the initial moves of the new US administration raise grave fears of further destabilisation of the Middle East, supporting Israel’s aggressive policy towards the Palestinian people, deepening sectarian polarization and escalating tensions and confrontation with Iran. These moves have been welcomed by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies. Such developments could have serious repercussions for the peoples and countries of a region that is already suffering terrorism, military intervention and proxy wars waged by regional and international powers. There is a danger of expanding US military interference in the area, thus exerting greater pressure for direct military presence and sending combat troops. The Iraqi people, along with other peoples in the region, will be the victims of such warmongering policies of imperialism and its reactionary allies in the region. It is therefore of utmost importance for Iraq to resist such pressures, and to strive to build good and peaceful relations with all its neighbours, based on cooperation, mutual respect and interests, and non-interference in internal affairs.
7. The indications are that within next few months an independent Kurdish state could be formed. What is ICP's position on this issue?
Let me point out first that the Iraqi Communist Party continues to support the right of self-determination to the Kurdish people, and to all peoples, small and big. It has strived under all conditions to develop this general position in specific formulations that take into account the existing political reality and the conditions of society, the external developments and factors that surround them, and the relevant balance of forces in Iraq. Therefore, while respecting the will of the Kurdish people and their legitimate desire, the party developed specific positions and slogans that reflected the need to satisfy the legitimate national rights of the Kurdish people, first in autonomy and finally calling for federalism for Iraqi Kurdistan within a unified federal and democratic Iraq. This position was endorsed by the Iraqi opposition forces before the fall of the dictatorship in 2003, and was later stipulated in the permanent constitution in 2005.
Our party considers federalism to be the appropriate and democratic solution for the Kurdish national issue in the present concrete conditions of Iraq. The new federal experience, with its complexity and the internal and external challenges it is facing, therefore requires a continuous constructive dialogue to resolve the problems and differences that arise. It is also very important to resist the influence of chauvinist and racist elements, narrow nationalist positions and sabotage by external forces that do not want to see Iraq being stable, democratic and unified on the basis of respect for pluralism and diversity. This desire by our party and the efforts it exerted in this direction have faced obstacles by the ruling political forces that are defending narrow interests produced by the infamous sectarian-ethnic quota system.
The relations between the federal government and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) became more tense as a result of the accumulation of unresolved problems, unfulfilled agreements and other harmful measures for which both sides are responsible. This has been further complicated by the onslaught of terrorist Daesh in 2014 and the resulting displacement of millions of people, placing a heavy burden on the Kurdistan region. All this coincided with the reduced financial resources of the state after the drop in oil price and austerity measures.
We believe that the priority at present is to focus on combating terrorism, building democracy and its institutions and activating dialogue. This is the right path to strengthen the experience of federalism, so as serve the rights of the Kurdish people and the whole of the Iraqi people.
Monday, 13 February 2017
11 February 2017
Statement of the Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party
We condemn violence against demonstrators
This morning, Saturday 11 February 2017, thousands of our Iraqi people rallied in a peaceful demonstration in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in central Baghdad. Their statements, slogans and chants expressed their determination to continue their march on the path of reform and change and combating corruption. Demonstrators demanded the dissolution of the Electoral Commission and the formation of a new commission that is truly independent, away from the quota system, ensuring that the candidates for its board of trustees are characterized by integrity, credibility, professionalism and impartiality. They also called upon the parliament to legislate a fair and equitable election law that expands participation in decision-making, is non-exclusionary, does not impose the hegemony and domination of certain forces and blocs, and protects the voice of the voters and safeguards their will in choosing their representatives.
Unfortunately, these demands and appeals throughout the past period were not heeded by the ruling forces that resorted to procrastination, under various pretexts. As a result, protests have continued and widened, with diverse demands, including various social strata and spreading to several provinces and cities.
Rather than complying and taking concrete measures to achieve reform, and proceeding ahead toward its objectives as demanded by the masses, and without learning the lessons of previous painful experiences, the demonstrators were confronted without warning with live ammunition, as well as the heavy use of rubber bullets and tear gas, at a time when the demonstrators were loudly chanting "Peaceful ... Peaceful". This excessive and extensive use of violence led to a number of fatalities among the demonstrators in addition to dozens wounded, victims of rubber bullets and tear gas. This reflects the deliberate use of excessive force and cruelty which is totally unjustified.
We condemn, in the strongest words, the use of force and violence in dealing with peaceful demonstrations that are guaranteed by the law and the Constitution and that are making just demands. We hold the Prime Minister directly responsible for this, being the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He must immediately reveal the identity of those who gave the orders to shoot and use violence in contravention of his directives to the security forces to protect the demonstrators. An investigative committee must be set up that should include in its membership representatives of the protesters or judges acting on their behalf.
The consequences of what has happened today must not be dealt with as it has in the past, because this will deepen the divide between citizens and state agencies and institutions, and will aggravate the atmosphere of mistrust at a time when there is desperate need for building it on the basis of transparency, credibility and support for the just and peaceful demands of the people.
We express full solidarity with the families of the martyrs, wishing the injured a speedy recovery. We are certain and confident that bullets, whether they are live or rubber, will not weaken the will of the people and their yearning for a better life.
Baghdad - 11 February 2017
Sunday, 3 July 2016
Iraqi Communist Party mourns three comrades killed in cowardly terrorist bombing in Baghdad
The Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party mourned a number of its members and supporters who were killed in the cowardly terrorist attack which took place in Karradah district in Baghdad around midnight on Saturday 2nd July 2016. Among the martyrs were the young comrades: Adel Qais al-Jaf, Hameed Majid Rashid and Faysal Mohammed Salman.
The party statement said that the criminal murderers have aimed through this terrorist act, which resulted in tens of people being killed while preparing to celebrate Eid marking the end of Ramadan, “to kill any opportunity for joy in our country Iraq which has been plagued by terrorism, corruption and failure”.
“While strongly condemning this cowardly act, we convey deepest condolences to the families of the martyrs and wish the injured and wounded a speedy recovery. Our people shall triumph in their battle against Daesh and all terrorists,” it added.
Saturday, 4 June 2016
Communiqué of the Meeting of the Central Committee
of the Iraqi Communist Party on 26th May 2016
The Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party held a meeting on 26th May 2016 which discussed the latest developments in the country as well as the preparations for the party’s 10th National Congress.
At the beginning of the meeting, a minute of silence was observed in honor of the martyrs of the fight against Daesh, the victims of the cowardly terrorist attacks, the martyrs of the popular protest movement, the martyrs of the party and comrades and friends who have passed away recently and who had a role in building the party and defending the cause of the people, the homeland and the interests of toilers.
The meeting considered the recent political developments in our country since the previous meeting of the Central Committee, held in March 2016. These developments were studied in detail and the party direction for the coming period was drawn up, including the tasks facing its organizations, members and supporters.
The meeting pointed out the fact that the general conditions of the country are moving toward greater complexity, tensions and deadlock, after many initiatives that had been presented for resolving the crisis were ignored by the dominant ruling groups that have insisted, until now, on putting their own selfish interests ahead of the higher interests of the country. They refuse to show flexibility and make mutual concessions to save the homeland from the deterioration it is suffering in all political, economic, social and security areas.
The meeting considered that a refreshing light amid this darkness is shining from the battlefields of the fight against terrorism and its organizations, in the forefront of which is Daesh. Our armed forces, including the army, police, Peshmerga, volunteers in the popular mobilization forces and the people of areas that have been plagued by Daesh, have been scoring one victory after another, especially the recent notable successes achieved in Ramadi, Heet, Kubaisah and Rutbah, and on the front of Makhmour and Nineveh plain. In addition, progress is now being made on the path of liberating the district of Fallujah from the grip of terrorism, as signaled by the liberation of Karmah.
On this occasion, the meeting reiterated our party's support for the battle against terrorism and to rid our country of its evils and crimes. It also reiterated its call for vigilance against hostile elements who do not want our country to progress in the direction of establishing security and stability, especially those who stir up sedition and sectarian sentiments and serve foreign agendas. It stressed the need to foil their plans through uniting, supporting the fighters and taking care of the families of martyrs.
The meeting emphasized the duty to spare innocent civilians the horrors of war and its consequences, and to care for the displaced and provide everything they need, including shelter, food and medicine. Efforts should be exerted to ensure their speedy return to their towns and villages that have been liberated from Daesh, along with launching a national campaign to rebuild them, and to appeal to the world and international organizations to support this campaign. Care must be taken to give the responsibility for the reconstruction operations to the sincere people of these areas, who have not misappropriated public money and are untarnished by corruption.
The meeting called upon the government and the security forces to provide security and protection for the citizens and their property, and to prepare for and anticipate the aggressive schemes and evil vengeful spirit of Daesh after the defeats it suffered on the battlefield and the foiling of the schemes of the enemies of our people to stir up and fuel sectarian strife.
In regard to the existing intractable political crisis, the meeting called for breaking the vicious cycle, and that all parties should be aware of the dangers of the situation and the possibility of its descent to a worse situation. It stressed the necessity of sparing our people and homeland the bad and dangerous choices which would result in going backwards. In this context, the meeting renewed the call for convening a quorate session of the Parliament and without preconditions, for completing the formation of the government after filling its vacant posts, and to begin the implementation of existing obligations. The issue of the Parliament’s presidium can be discussed and decided upon in accordance with the Constitution and the working mechanisms of the Parliament, and not to make it an excuse to prolong the crisis and evade responding to the demands of the masses and their protest movement.
This would constitute the beginning of moving forward along the path of reform and change. The status quo cannot continue, and change has become a popular demand and an urgent need, not a slogan that is raised for political consumption. The ruling forces must realize that procrastination can only lead to more social and political complexity and tensions, which is rejected by the masses who are becoming increasingly aware of the need for immediate serious reforms. The people’s suffering is mounting due to the deterioration of the living conditions and services, the indirect taxes imposed on them, and the impact of economic stagnation and the drop in oil revenues, which has affected the state’s public expenditure, as well as reducing investment projects, causing higher rates of unemployment and an increase in poverty.
All this is a result of the wrong policy of governance and undemocratic mentality, of mismanagement of the country, insisting on the abhorrent sectarian-ethnic quota system and the absence of logical and scientific planning. In this context, the meeting rejected attempts to throw the burden of the financial and economic crisis on the shoulders of the toilers, the poor and those with limited income, who have suffered so much a result of several factors including the deterioration of the actual value of the Iraqi dinar, rising prices and shortages or scarcity of the services offered by the state, particularly in the areas of electricity, transport, water and health.
The meeting considered that required reform must be comprehensive, and should start with the formation of a government of competent persons with integrity that is capable of running the country in these difficult circumstances. Reform must then extend to all the independent commissions, special grades and state institutions. The cases of corruption must be opened and the corrupt should be sent to the courts, in addition to reforming the judiciary. Real and effective steps must be taken towards deepening the democratic process, building a state based on citizenship, the law, institutions and social justice.
The meeting concluded that to achieve this, more popular pressure is required. This necessitates developing the popular protest movement and coordination, and diversifying and increasing its means and activities, paying attention to those on regional and sectoral levels. It stressed the need to maintain the peaceful character of the protest movement and warned against the efforts of some to implicate it in violence in order to make it easier to circumscribe it and eventually suppress it. That is what the anti-reform forces are seeking assiduously, sparing no means to achieve it. Therefore the peaceful character of the protest movement must be sustained and adhered to, and not to be dragged into provocations and to what is planned by those seeking to maintain their positions, influence and interests while the country descends uninterruptedly towards the worse.
While stressing the peaceful and civilized character of the protest movement and the need to protect private and public property, the meeting has strongly condemned the excessive use by the authorities and government agencies of violence and resorting to the use of live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas and hot water cannon. This constitutes an explicit and blatant violation of the Constitution and the right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully and of human rights in general. This requires opening an impartial investigation, as demanded by the United Nations, and the referral of those responsible for committing crimes of deliberate killing to justice. The government should apologize to the families of the victims, and for the positions it took and the phrases it used in its statements which contained insults and abuse against the movement of millions of people. If there were a few infiltrators, as it is saying, then it should arrest them and announce this transparently to the people. It must also honor the martyrs and care for the wounded and the injured and compensate them.
The Central Committee meeting dealt with the situation in the Kurdistan region, and stressed the need to spare the region and its people the possible consequences of the conflict raging between the ruling Kurdistan parties, and the effects of the worsening of an already tense situation. All of this increases the suffering of the people that has been caused by the economic stagnation, the cost of the war against Daesh, the non-payment of salaries, and the regression in the process of development, reviving the economy and fighting corruption, as well as slackening in government institutions. The meeting stressed the need to continue constructive dialogue between the various parties, evoke the valuable lessons of the past and benefit from them.
On the other hand, the meeting stressed the need to improve the performance of the party and its organizations, develop and elevate its work, build bridges with the wider masses, adopt their just demands and defend them, and expand the party's relations with the various strata and segments of society. Greater attention should be devoted to the Democratic Current and developing its role. Efforts should also be exerted to expand the relations of cooperation and coordination with civil activists and democrats generally, as well as the various patriotic and moderate enlightened Islamic forces and personalities. In addition, a broad alignment, popular and political, should be built to support reform and change, to get our country out of the current situation, get rid of the sectarian-ethnic quota system, and work to build a democratic civil state.
The meeting considered the ongoing preparations for the convening of the party’s 10th National Congress, and what has been achieved so far to respond to this big event in the life of the party. In this regard, the meeting adopted a number of measures to complete the preparations, to finalize the documents of the Congress and publish them in the party media, and to launch a broad discussion of the documents with the aim of scrutinizing and enriching them. This is so because they do not only concern the party but all of our people who are concerned about the country's progress and stability. The meeting also determined the timetable for convening the conferences of party organizations on local and provincial levels, in order to discuss the general political line of the party and elect delegates to the National Congress.
The Central Committee meeting called upon the party organizations and comrades to transform the preparations for the 10th National Congress to events, activities and initiatives that are aimed at securing a strong party presence in the mass protest movement, developing its role in the public political life, and providing political and material support and backing to the party so as to enhance its capabilities on all levels.
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Saturday, 30 April 2016
Statement of the Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party
on the latest developments
Our capital Baghdad has witnessed today (30th April 2016) important developments with large numbers of demonstrators and protesters storming the parliament building.
It took place after the postponement of the session of parliament to the 10th of May, at a time when the masses of people in front of the Green Zone and Tahrir (Liberation) Square were waiting for the parliament’s session to be held today to resolve the cabinet reshuffle in accordance with their demands, so as to be the beginning of renouncing the sectarian-ethnic power-sharing system that was adopted by the ruling forces and blocs in setting up the structure of the political system and its administration.
The insistence of some of the dominant ruling blocs to stick to the policy of power-sharing, and resorting to more procrastination and reneging on promises and deadlines, was the direct cause of fueling the resentment and anger of the protesters, and pushing them to enter the Green Zone. This could have been avoided if there had been sincere intentions and a rapid response to the legitimate demands of the masses, and if serious steps were taken by the parliament and government that would have indicated a serious approach to move along the path of real and comprehensive reform.
While we hold the ruling groups responsible for the present situation in the country, with all the grave dangers it entails, especially at this critical time when our people and armed forces in all their formations are waging the battle against terrorism and Daesh, we warn that obstinacy and insistence on sectarian power-sharing threaten to produce other ominous crises.
We believe that it is now essential that an urgent meeting of the parliament is held, to approve the formation of the full new cabinet on the basis of competence, integrity and professionalism, away from power-sharing and allocation of posts, to be the first step in a comprehensive reform plan which must also include the independent bodies and special senior posts in government.
At this critical moment we call on the demonstrators and protesters to continue to adhere to the peaceful character of the demonstrations and to renounce any form of violence, and to protect public and private property and show high discipline, so as to deny anyone who wants to harm the peaceful, constitutional and civil character of the mass protest movement the opportunity to do so.
On the other hand, the stance of the security forces and their discipline and professionalism have played a major role in safeguarding life and property, and protecting the demonstrators and protesters and ensuring their safety, is worthy of recognition and praise.
Continued peaceful popular pressure is still required until there is full compliance with the just and legitimate demands of the demonstrators and protestors; for political and judicial reform, ending the sectarian-ethnic power-sharing, combating corruption and bringing the corrupt to account, the provision of public services, and alleviating the burden of the economic and financial crisis on the shoulders of the toilers and low-income people.
Baghdad – 30th April 2016
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Iraqi Communist Party condemns
Turkey’s military incursion into Iraq
An editorial article published on 7th December 2015 in the daily newspaper “Tareeq Al-Shaab” (People’s Path), issued by the Iraqi Communist Party, strongly condemned Turkey’s military incursion into Nineveh province in northern Iraq. The following is a translation of this article:
“We have followed, along with our people, with great concern the reports about the new Turkish military incursion into Iraq, this time in the province of Nineveh (Mosul), under the pretext of assistance in the training of forces to liberate the province from the terrorist organization Daesh.
“This is actually not the first time that the Turkish forces sweep into Iraqi territory, or that its warplanes violate Iraq’s airspace to perform tasks that are part of Turkey’s agenda and objectives. Ankara has gone too far in the use of its agreement with Saddam’s dictatorial regime which had allowed its troops to deploy into Iraqi territory to a depth of up to 20 kilometers under the pretext of fighting against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which it characterizes as a "terrorist organization".
“The Turkish military presence inside Iraqi territory had continued during the so-called "fratricidal war" in the Kurdistan region during the 1990s, and was not rectified even after the change in 2003, both under the US occupation or the successive governments in power since then and until the present day.
“The disclosure of this new military incursion and discussing it publicly has unveiled the root of the problem and exposed the continued violation by the Turkish forces of the sovereignty and independence of our country, and blatant interference in the our country's internal affairs, whereby Turkey gives itself the right to declare its protection for this or that of Iraqi groups, giving rise to reactions of anxiety, apprehension and fear.
“The current conditions of our country, the difficulties it is facing and its national battle against terrorism and Daesh, and its need for support and assistance, are not supposed to justify violating Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as international legitimacy.
“In this context, it is not acceptable that the Security Council resolutions against terrorism, that call for fighting it, tightening the noose on it and cutting off the sources of its human and material funding, would be interpreted in an arbitrary and one-sided manner contrary to those resolutions themselves. These UN resolutions stress unequivocally on respecting the independence and sovereignty of Iraq, as well as obliging that whatever support and backing is given should be at the request of the Iraqi government and in cooperation and coordination with it.
“It is only the Iraqi executive and legislative authorities, in accordance with their duties based on the Constitution, that are entitled to the final say on the issue of coordinating external support and backing, and employing it properly in the battle to liberate our land from terrorist Daesh and ensure the return of displaced people to their areas. It is the responsibility of the government and its security and military forces to secure their lives and property.
“We, in the Iraqi Communist Party, while condemning all interference and violation of the sovereignty and independence of our country by any party, and while demanding the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from our territory, call on the Iraqi government to resort to the UN Security Council to address the issue as a whole in order to secure for Iraq its rights as a sovereign state.
“In the context of addressing this important and essential matter, that has repercussions for the present and future of Iraq, it should be pointed out that many of the issues that are taking place now, including this new condemned Turkish invasion, would not have taken place if it had not been for the state of weakness caused by the divisions and conflicts among the ruling blocs and parties and the abhorrent sectarian power-sharing policy, giving priority to partisan interests at the expense of the higher national interest, and relying on external powers to impose facts on the ground inside Iraq. These are, in all circumstances, time bombs that do not provide guarantees for security and stability in the country.
“These delicate and critical circumstances require a clear position from all sides in Iraq, an awareness of the dangers threatening the homeland, an effort to strengthen national unity, and to proceed along the path of real reform, correcting the path of the political process and ridding it of the serious shortcomings, carrying out the national reconciliation process and strengthening the bonds of the social fabric. It is also crucial to properly employ all the national factors and external aid in the battle for salvation from Daesh and terrorism, to achieve security and stability, and to launch a development process that provides a life of pride and dignity for the Iraqi people.
“Only in this way we can provide the prerequisites of power and strength and ensure that Iraq is truly free and sovereign, with its people having the reins of their own decision and deciding their future in accordance with to their own free will.”