Friday, 7 June 2013

Interview with Iraqi CP leader - on Rebelión (Spanish website)

Interview with

Comrade Hamid Majeed Mousa

Secretary of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party
"The political system, based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing, prevents the consolidation of democracy"
Rebelión (Spanish website)
18 May 2013

* Ten years after the criminal invasion of Iraq, what is the evaluation of the Iraqi Communist Party of the current situation?

The Iraqi Communist Party was working before the war under the slogan "No to War, No to Dictatorship", and when the war took place and Saddam's dictatorial regime collapsed, the party stood against the occupation and called for  building an independent democratic Iraq. We said that the war will not build an Iraq where the will of the people and their aspiration for a dignified life and democracy, and building a balanced and dynamic economy, would be achieved. The party therefore worked after the war with the other national political forces to provide the prerequisites for evicting the
occupier and achieving democracy, independence and national sovereignty.
The years that have passed since the fall of the dictatorship have not brought about a lot of gains for the Iraqi people. It is true that the Iraqis got rid of a heinous and criminal dictatorship, and got rid of the international sanctions, but the improvement in the standard of living, and in public freedoms, cannot be considered sufficient compared with the sacrifices of the Iraqi people. The legacy of dictatorship remains in a lot of the social, economic and cultural fields, the forces of terrorism and sabotage, including religious extremist, al-Qaeda and remnants of the former regime continue to operate, and administrative and financial corruption has increase. All this has hindered and hampered the march of the country towards new heights that would provide the people with a better life, freedom and legal institutions that protect the country from excesses of bureaucracy and the possibility of a return of dictatorship.
After 2003, a political system based on sectarian-ethnic power-sharing was adopted. This system always produces social tension, political fragmentation and rivalries that hamper the development of the political process and putting it on the sound track, and impede the consolidation of democratic institutions and law protection organs.
So, summing up, the outcome of ten years since the occupation is modest and very disappointing. The dominant political forces bear big responsibility for this outcome, especially that the will of the Iraqi people was able to evict the occupiers and their military forces from Iraqi territory at the end of 2011. But the consolidation of national independence, in its diverse dimensions, requires national unity that is based on a national democratic project, and on the basis of building a democratic civil state; a state of institutions and the rule of law. This is what the Iraqi people are aspiring to as they mobilize to bring about change in the political process and carry out radical that would transform it from its current reality to one that corresponds with the higher interests of the Iraqi people and their aspirations.

* Many have considered that the inability to control the country is a result of the tendency of the central Iraqi government to forge an alliance with Iran and the United States, and due to the interference by regimes in the Gulf and Turkey, which encourage a sectarian civil war, for the purpose of dividing Iraq into three states. In addition, there are recurrent terrorist attacks against the population. How does the Iraqi Communist Party analyze this situation?

The natural result of the above-mentioned harmful consequences of the policy of sectarian-ethnic power-sharing in governance, and in building political relations, is the intensification of the contradictions that reflect the divergent class social interests of the ruling strata in the country. This conflict necessarily gives rise to political trends that do not serve stability, peace and security throughout Iraq, but rather enhance the rivalries and tensions and put warring rivals on the path of adopting undemocratic methods. These methods include setting up militias and using them to overcome opponents, or resorting to methods of imposing restrictions on rivals, distorting the character of state institutions, curtailing freedoms, violating human rights and promoting practices of sectarian discrimination.
On the other hand, in order that the rival forces increase their chances of success they seek support from external forces with which they have close interests and as well as ties on ideological and sectarian level. This paves the way for the interference of regional powers and others in internal Iraqi affairs at the expense of the interests of the people. This is what is happening at the present time, as attempts are made to drag Iraq into the ongoing conflict in the region by fueling sectarianism and sectarian conflict, in which Qatar, Turkey, the Gulf states and Iran are playing an active role.
The escalation of internal rivalries, the tension in sectarian relations and growing sectarian intolerance are pushing in the direction of tearing up the country and its national unity, as well as sabotaging the principle of citizenship and pushing for the division of Iraq. We, communists, believe that the federal system would be consistent with the Constitution if it respects the popular will and democratic methods. We also believe that the division of Iraq or the establishment of regions on a sectarian basis would be an open declaration of civil war and is incompatible with democracy and the desire of the people for the principle of citizenship and the unity of the homeland. Therefore it serves the schemes of regional and international powers, and is in line with the plan put forward by Biden to divide Iraq into three statelets under the so-called “federal Iraq”.  This will put the Iraqis in front of a continuous spiral of bloody conflict and terrible infighting amongst themselves. No stratum or sect will benefit from this criminal enterprise.

* For two years now, there has been a "war" against the rule of the Baath Party in Syria, using terrorists, mainly Salafis and jihadists, who were recruited militarily and financially by the West and their allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Turkey. What is the position of the Iraqi Communist Party regarding the war?
We, as a Communist party, called at an early time for respecting the will of the Syrian people and their choices, to build a democratic system that embodies the will of the people and paves the way for the construction of Syria, in line with the requirements of normal democratic development and constitutional life, and getting rid of any manifestation of violence.
We were fully convinced with the reasoning and necessity of this position, in support of reform and change in Syria, on the condition that this would take place in a peaceful manner, without interference by any external forces in Syrian internal affairs, and respecting the popular will. Now that events have evolved and taken place against the desire of the Syria’s friends and the people of Syria, we cannot but point to the fact that a lot of terrorists and a lot of the forces of sabotage had grown and developed in Syria before the Syrian uprising. Many of them were flocking to Iraq through Syrian territory and with the knowledge of the Syrian intelligence, killing and slaughtering the Iraqi people without any justification. Things have now changed, as those elements have changed their identities and allied themselves with some imperialist powers, and with anti-democratic parties and forces, and have committed massacres against the Syrian people as well as sabotage and destruction.
We are aware of the dangers caused by the escalation of terrorist operations in Syria, and the growing role of extremist and terrorist forces, such as al-Qaeda elements and al-Nusra Front. We fear the effects of this war which has acquired a sectarian character that Qatar and Turkey wants to grow and escalate.
We are concerned by all this and its negative impact on Iraq’s internal situation in Iraq, on the one hand, and we believe that its continuation does not serve the interests of the Syrian people at all. Accordingly, we first call for dialogue between the Syrian government and the national and democratic opposition political forces in Syria. Secondly, to adopt a democratic national project that would remedy the situation in Syria politically, economically and socially.
Third, we reject the use of violence by all parties, without exception, to achieve their objectives. We reject absolutely and firmly any interference of foreign states, in any form, direct or indirect, covert or overt. This is the only path that can restore Syria’s peace and security and offer its people tranquility, calm and stability..

* What is the relationship of the Iraqi Communist Party to the Kurdistan Communist, and how can it be described?

We live in one homeland; have joint concerns and our general strategic issues are the same. We draw our general Iraqi strategic policy jointly in the National Congress of the Iraqi Communist Party. The Kurdistani comrades; members of the Kurdistan Communist, which enjoys an autonomous status on concrete issues in Kurdistan, participate in this Congress in a proportion and a manner that is determined by Central Committees of both parties. Along with other Iraqi comrades, of different ethnicities, they participate in discussing party documents, give their opinions, contribute to adopting party documents and take part in the leading bodies of the party. They constitute 20% of Iraqi CP’s Central Committee, and the secretary of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Communist Party is a member of Iraqi CP’s Political Bureau. Between two successive meetings of the Central Committee, consultative meetings between the central specialized committees, as well as the political bureaus of the two parties, and sometimes between both central committees, for deliberation, consultation and drawing the appropriate tactical plans, especially with regard to joint Iraqi issues.
At the same time, the Kurdistan Communist Party has its own program which embodies the party’s independence in work and within the region. It has its own inner-party rules, which regulates the work of party organizations in the Kurdistan region within a single organization. The Kurdistan Communist Party represents an extension and development of the former “Kurdistan Region Organization” of the Iraqi Communist Party which has evolved in accordance with the developments of the political - administrative in Iraq, especially after the establishment of federalism in Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan Communist Party draws the details of its programme and concrete policy which is consistent with this reality in order to exercise its role among the people of Iraqi Kurdistan and to represent the toilers of Kurdistan. Our relationship is based on communism and the spirit of internationalism, and on common history and common general principles. It is a strong, sustained and dynamic relationship.

* How does the Iraqi Communist Party evaluate the situation in the Middle East and the Arab world in general, and what do you think of calling it “ Arab Spring”?

The Middle East is living through a state of transformation and struggle, based on the aspirations of the peoples and toilers of the Arab world to see their countries - which possess treasures of natural resources and a lot of material and human potential - to freedom and prosperous life, but are living in a state of underdevelopment, poverty, hunger and disease.
Their aspirations are legitimate. They aspire to rebuild the existing regimes and bring about regimes that reflect their interests and are consistent with their wishes and with the possibilities available, the nature of the times and the prerequisites of natural evolution in the world. It is the right of these peoples to enjoy a better life, in dignity and freedom, so as to their basic rights.
On the other hand, there are backward undemocratic, tyrannical and dictatorial regimes, backed by the forces of global backwardness and imperialism, that are exploiting the wealth of the Arab countries, clinging to power with brutal methods and plundering the country's wealth..
This is the true nature of the conflict in the Middle East, and it is the basis of upheaval that is going on. Peoples in the Arab countries, while living through all the internal and global developments, are interacting with a lot of factors that pave the way for them to gain their rights. We therefore believe that the uprisings of the peoples of the Arab countries are not artificial movements and revolutions that are imported from abroad, or that they were orchestrated by a conspirator from outside the borders. They have an objective basis, which is the desire of Arab peoples to establish free democratic regimes in which the people have the right to a decent living. This is what the Arab peoples are aspiring to. But unfortunately problems and loopholes that have accompanied this movement, such as the weak role of organized forces that have a clear political orientation, as a result of the repression they suffered by dictatorial regimes, including terror, executions and torture, spontaneity prevailed and doctrines, ideas and theories were widespread that did not help to lead this broad mass movement of millions of people to safe shores and to achieve the desired goals. These shortcomings and vacuum were exploited by internal forces that some of which had a partial role in the former opposition.
 Some forces thus were able to lead the new political landscape, as they possess material and media potential and enjoy a political presence better than the new leaderships that lack clear programs, as well as some of the progressive and revolutionary forces whose contribution presence had been weakened. These forces, which dominated the scene, received external support. Many foreign states, institutions and organs had been surprised by the size of the protest movements, their radical trends and the nature of the goals at hand. Therefore they worked to contain and curtail these movements, keeping them within specified boundaries, in order to keep the new regimes under control and exploit the capabilities of these countries, especially their natural resources.
This is the problem that faced the revolutions of the Arab Spring. We honor and respect the will of the people and their desire for liberation. On the other hand, we spotted early the deficiencies and shortcomings of this broad mass movement, and warned against this flaw which paves the way for the forces of counter-revolution, and the internal and external forces collaborating with them, to contain orientations of this mass movement.
Despite this, we believe that it's not over yet and that the struggle has not come to an end. The revolutionary forces in the countries of the Arab Spring are fighting and re-organizing themselves in order to prevent counter-revolutionary forces, and backward and anti-democratic forces, from dominating the political scene and diverting the uprising and revolution from their real objectives.

* What are the priorities of the work of the Iraqi Communist Party?
The Iraqi Communist Party works for the consolidation of democratic institutions in Iraq and remedying the situation by getting rid of the sectarian-ethnic power-sharing system which we consider as the scourge that has distorted political life in Iraq. Getting rid of it is the starting point to consolidating democracy, as values , institutions and mechanisms and system of government, and the proper step to rebuilding the country's economy and directing its resources for its development and securing a better and more advanced and prosperous life for the Iraqi people and especially their toilers. It is the path that secures the cohesion of the social fabric, the activation of the principle of citizenship, the rejection of discrimination and the prevention of regional and external interference. It lays the foundation for the restoration of Iraq's full sovereignty - economically and politically - and removes all traces of occupation and dictatorship that ruled Iraq for many years.
The Iraqi Communist Party has participated in the electoral contest and its representatives in the coalition electoral lists have adopted programs that are consistent with its own national democratic program. They aim to secure the rights of the Iraqi people, in equal job opportunities, rejecting discrimination, the provision of services, ensuring human rights and stability, ending the state of security chaos and combating terrorism, rebuilding Iraq on sound economic basis and according to a scientific strategy to utilize the enormous wealth from oil revenues to rebuild the economy, fight unemployment and revive the standard of living of the population. This is what representatives of the party in the electoral coalitions fought for in the provincial elections that took place on 20 April 2013.
Along this path, we have been able to go a long way in eliminating the legacy of dictatorship on the one hand, and the legacy of the occupation and war on Iraq, on the other hand, and moving forward to build a unified and independent democratic federal and civil Iraq.

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