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From Dictatorship to Democracy: An Insider's Account of the Iraqi Opposition to Saddam
 9780812242881, 9780812290387

Table of contents :
Cover
From Dictatorship to Democracy
Title
Copyright
Contents
Foreword
Introduction
Chapter 1: The Birth of the Iraqi Opposition
Chapter 2: The Journey from Salah al-Din to Washington
Chapter 3: Failed Coups and U.S. Policy Shifts
Chapter 4: A Strategic Shift: From Containment to Liberation
Chapter 5: Uniting the Opposition
Chapter 6: War and Occupation
Chapter 7: Dealing with Bremer
Chapter 8: Negotiating the Transition
Chapter 9: Self-Rule
Conclusion: The New Iraq
Notes
Index
Gallery

Citation preview

From Dictatorship to Democracy

From Dictatorship to Democracy An Insider’s Account of the Iraqi Opposition to Saddam

Hamid al-Bayati

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS PHILADELPHIA



OXFORD

Copyright ©  University of Pennsylvania Press All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of review or scholarly citation, none of this book may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. Published by University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - www.upenn.edu/pennpress Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper           Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bayati, Hamid. From dictatorship to democracy : an insider's account of the Iraqi opposition to Saddam / Hamid al-Bayati. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN ---- (hardcover : alk. paper) . Iraq—History—–. . Iraq—History—– . Iraq—Politics and government—–. . Iraq—Politics and government—– . Opposition (Political science)—Iraq. . Exiles—Political activity—Iraq. I. Title. DS..B  .'—dc 

Contents

Foreword by Peter Galbraith Introduction

vii 

Chapter : The Birth of the Iraqi Opposition



Chapter : The Journey from Salah al-Din to Washington



Chapter : Failed Coups and U.S. Policy Shifts



Chapter : A Strategic Shift: From Containment to Liberation



Chapter : Uniting the Opposition



Chapter : War and Occupation



Chapter : Dealing with Bremer



Chapter : Negotiating the Transition



Chapter : Self-Rule



Conclusion: The New Iraq



Notes



Index



Gallery follows page 

Foreword Peter Galbraith

For most Americans, the Iraq War was all about us. President George W. Bush saw the war as a noble American venture to give the Iraqi people the gift of freedom. The neoconservatives who dominated the Pentagon and the National Security Council in the early years of the Bush administration had lofty ambitions of transforming not only Iraq but the entire the Middle East into liberal democracies in line with their own ideological precepts. L. Paul Bremer, the man Bush named as the U.S. administrator of occupied Iraq, boasted that he had promulgated  laws, many designed by neoconservative activists—as if laws without effect beyond the Green Zone constituted an achievement. Similarly, American opponents of the war have primarily been interested in scoring points against President Bush and his underlings (admittedly a target-rich environment) in the context of the domestic American political debate. In all this, the Iraqis have often been just bit players in the many Western books written about the war. The most popular works about the Iraq War have focused on decision-making in Washington and have featured American generals and politicians. Others have portrayed the heroism and suffering of American servicemen and women. To the extent that Iraqis have figured significantly in the American and British books, they have been the interpreters and expeditors for American journalists whose personal stories and often tragic ends make for compelling reading. In this intellectual environment, Americans understandably have had little understanding—and little sympathy—for the people who now run Iraq. For most Americans, Iraq’s new leaders magically appeared on the scene after the United States ousted Saddam Hussein, and they are for the most part a quarrelsome and ineffective lot. Sadly, it is not just the American public that is ignorant of the origins of Iraq’s current leaders. They were, with few exceptions, almost unknown to the U.S. policy-makers who tried to engineer Iraq’s postwar governance.

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But Iraq’s new leaders did not magically appear after U.S. troops toppled the statue of Saddam in Baghdad’s Firdos Square on April , . For the most part, they had been fighting Saddam for decades and had developed a remarkably coherent view of how the new Iraq should be governed, especially considering how diverse a group they are. As is now well understood, Iraq consists of three main communities. In the north are the Kurds, ancient inhabitants of the land who speak an IndoEuropean language most akin to Farsi. When the victorious World War I allies drew the borders of the Iraq mandate in , the Kurds made clear that they did not want to be part of the new state and were in open rebellion against Iraq for much of the ensuing eighty years. In , the Kurds took advantage of Iraq’s defeat in the first Gulf War to stage a popular uprising, which eventually led the United States and its coalition partners to create a Kurdish safe haven that for thirteen years functioned as a de facto independent state. Today, almost all Iraqi Kurds wish they could have an independent state but settle for the virtually total self-government they continue to enjoy. The British, who awarded themselves the mandate for Iraq as part of the World War I peace settlement, installed a Sunni Arab from Hejaz in Arabia as king. With British support he placed Sunnis in key positions in the army and bureaucracy. Sunni Arabs, who were just  percent of Iraq’s population, effectively ran the country until the American invasion in . While many Sunnis benefited from Saddam’s rule, others were among his victims. Integrating Sunnis into the post-Saddam order has proved the greatest challenge for Iraq’s new leaders. Some  percent of Iraqis are Shiites, the minority branch of Islam that is a majority in Iran, Iraq, and Bahrain. In the s, Iraq’s Shiites resisted British nation-building and found themselves shut out of power for more than eighty years. Under Saddam, Shiites suffered grievously. Their religious leaders were killed and their traditional pilgrimages banned; in general, the Shiite parts of the country suffered from neglect and repression. By virtue of their numbers, the Shiites were inevitably the most important component of the Iraqi opposition and were certain to dominate any democratic Iraq. While U.S. leaders dealt regularly with secular Shiites like Ahmad Chalabi and Ayad Allawi (later Iraq’s first interim post-Saddam leader), popular support and real political power rested with the Shiite religious parties. Hamid al-Bayati was the London representative of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the most important of the Shiite religious

Foreword

ix

parties. He was a close confidant of the Hakim family that founded SCIRI and provided its first three leaders. He was also SCIRI’s liaison to other members of the Iraqi opposition and to the Kurds and the West. Like so many of Iraq’s new leaders, Hamid al-Bayati suffered personally for his convictions. Before fleeing into exile, he was imprisoned and tortured by Saddam’s security services. And in the chaotic period following Saddam’s overthrow, terrorists murdered his brother. Hamid al-Bayati’s account of the long struggle against Saddam and the effort to forge a new Iraq provides exceptional insight into the character of the men who now rule in Iraq. In spite of deep religious, ideological, and ethnic differences, they were pragmatic. They realized they needed to work with the United States, the Europeans, the Arab countries, and Iran in order to succeed. And, both as opposition leaders and in government, they have been remarkably successful in doing just that. (Ironically, the two countries closest to sharing a common agenda with Iraq’s new leaders are the United States and Iran.) As one might expect from a man who has recently served as Iraq’s deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid al-Bayati provides a rich retelling of the Iraqi opposition’s diplomatic efforts. In , I published a book entitled The End of Iraq that argued the country’s deep fissures—between separatist Kurds and nationalist Arabs and between the once dominant Sunni minority and the long repressed Shiite majority—made Iraq’s dissolution both likely and preferable to protracted ethnic and religious civil war. Today, Iraq is significantly broken apart. Kurdistan is independent in all but name while the Sunnis have their own military, the U.S.-funded Sons of Iraq, which was central to defeating the Sunni insurgency. What still holds Iraq together are the ties among its current leaders, ties forged in the decades long struggle against Saddam’s tyranny. To succeed, the Iraqi opposition had to accommodate diverse ethnic, sectarian, and ideological agendas. In post-Saddam Iraq, this diversity complicates decision-making, but it also places a premium on pragmatism, toleration, and bargaining if a faction is to accomplish its goals. Where parties can achieve their goals through politics and bargaining, they have a greatly reduced incentive for violence. Hamid al-Bayati’s From Dictatorship to Democracy provides a fascinating account of just how Iraq’s new leaders accommodated each other in opposition and government. And this underscores their great achievement. Against all odds, they are holding Iraq together.

Introduction

This book tells the inside story of the Iraqi opposition, from its evolution during the s to its first contact with the West and the United States, and, ultimately, Saddam’s fall in . The book also sheds light on the transformation of political thinking in Iraq among the country’s different ethnic, religious, and sectarian groups. For thousands of years these groups lived in peace and harmony in Iraq; indeed, Iraqis never asked one another about ethnic, religious, and sectarian backgrounds, but, rather, they felt that being Iraqi was enough to be considered brothers and sisters. In fact, we Iraqis believe in what the Qur’an says: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another” (Al-Hujurat :). This echoes the biblical verse, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis :–). We believe that, regardless of their differences, all humans are one family, from one grandfather and one grandmother, Adam and Eve. So in Iraq when I talk about Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, Muslims, Christians, and those of other religions, it is because I want to explain their different beliefs rather than to divide the Iraqi people. I was born in a Muslim family, but my father did not distinguish between Muslims and Christians. He sent me to a private Christian school (the Virgin Mary School) when I was young. The school was adjacent to a church and a hospital in the Karrada neighborhood of southern Baghdad. I used to tell my family stories about Mary and Jesus I had heard in the church. When I started to study the Qur’an, I learned that Islam considered the Virgin Mary a pious worshiper of God, and that God had miraculously sent Jesus to her. My family did business with Christians and Jews, and they received Western businesspeople in our house from the s until Saddam’s rise to power two decades later.

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Introduction

Our neighbors—from all different ethnic, sectarian, and religious groups—were like our brothers and sisters. But Saddam’s regime followed a policy of divide and rule that played on ethnic, religious, and sectarian differences. When he fought the Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians, he played the ethnic Arab nationalist card, fighting as an Arab leader against the nonArabs. When he fought the Shiites, he played the sectarian card as a Sunni hero to gain the support of Sunnis in the Muslim world. When he fought the Christians and other religious groups in Iraq and confronted the West, he played the religious card, claiming to be a Muslim hero against the Crusaders. Shifting Alliances and the Iran-Iraq War This book will recount how regional powers refused to meet with the Iraqi opposition in the s because most of these countries supported Saddam’s regime during the Iraq-Iran war (–). With Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in , however, alliances rapidly shifted, and the regional heads of states began to receive the Iraqi opposition leaders. These years also witnessed dramatic shifts in Western policies toward Iraq. Whereas in the s and s, the U.S. and other Western governments refused to meet with the Iraqi opposition, U.S. and UK representatives began to reach out to many of these groups after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. Perceptions shifted along with policies. In the s, the world believed Iraqi Shiites were allied with Iran, because Iran had served as the base for Islamic Shiite groups fleeing Saddam’s oppression when other nations in the region denied them refuge. (Major Iraqi Kurdish groups, too, such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by their historic leader Mulla Mustafa al-Barzani, relocated to Iran following the Algiers Agreement, signed by the Shah of Iran and Saddam in , which ended the Shah’s support for the Kurdish military movement against the Baath regime and signaled the collapse of the Kurdish revolution.) In the early s, however, the world began to comprehend that Iraqi Shiites were independent, patriotic, and loyal to their own country and no other. The Iraqi Shiites, for their part, felt betrayed by the West in general and the U.S. in particular. In March , they were encouraged by President George H. W. Bush to rise up against Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait, only to see the United States stand idly by as Saddam brutally crushed the

Introduction

3

uprising, which had liberated thirteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces. As a result, the Iraqis had strong doubts about U.S. policy and its commitment to opposing Saddam’s regime. It would be many years before these doubts could be dispelled. When I started to meet U.S. officials after , I would speak about the uprising and how the Iraqi people were upset by the U.S. decision to allow Saddam’s forces to crush the uprising. The officials agreed that it was a mistake, and that President Bush regretted not removing Saddam’s regime. When I later met Assistant Secretary of State David Welch in London and spoke about the U.S. decision, Welch said, “We are sorry, but we are not apologizing.” However, U.S. officials promised not to repeat the mistake and to finish the job they had not finished in . The Work of the Supreme Council Between  and , I was the representative in London of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI, now known as the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, ISCI). The Supreme Council was one of the few major groups to oppose Saddam’s regime. It encompassed many political Islamic movements and included Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen, Sunni, and Shiite members. When I attended the last meeting of the council’s General Assembly before the fall of Saddam’s regime in , around seventy representatives in the Assembly elected a Central Committee of around twelve, which in turn elected Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim as President. Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, son of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, the highest religious authority in the holy city of Najaf from  to , was himself a prominent religious scholar and wellknown political leader throughout not only Iraq but also the entire region. I returned with him to Iraq on May , , after living in exile; when we traveled through Basra, Nasiriyah, Samawa, Diwaniya, Najaf, and other cities, towns, and villages, millions of Iraqis came out to welcome and greet the leader. The Supreme Council’s military wing, called the Badr Corps, consisted of thousands of Iraqi army officers and soldiers who had defected during the Iraq-Iran war, the invasion and liberation of Kuwait, and following the popular uprising of . Among them were military officers from all sectarian and ethnic groups, including for example General Ali Fikri and Brigadier

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Faris al-Jadir, and many other Sunni officers who had defected from Saddam’s army. I went to great lengths to convince the Supreme Council and Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim about the new U.S. policy against Saddam’s regime, even while acknowledging that the U.S. had let down the Iraqi people during the  popular uprising. The Supreme Council came to play a leading role in changing Iraqi political thinking, especially among the Shiites, and in convincing them to meet and work with the U.S. and other Western powers. I recall a meeting of Iraqis in exile with Supreme Council leader Sayyid al-Hakim, during the pilgrimage season in Mecca in . An Iraqi Islamist Shiite living in Germany asked the leader how I could meet with American officials. Al-Hakim answered that my work was to meet officials and diplomats from all over the world to describe the situation in Iraq and Saddam’s crimes against the Iraqi people; my goal was to gain the support of the international community for Iraqis, and against Saddam, and that included meeting U.S. officials. The U.S. Iraq Liberation Act of  required that President Bill Clinton name Iraqi groups eligible to receive U.S. support. Clinton wrote a letter to Congress naming seven groups, including the Supreme Council. Ultimately, the Supreme Council refused U.S. support, but Sayyid al-Hakim considered the Clinton letter as international recognition for the group and our struggle against Saddam’s regime. My role was instrumental in getting that recognition. Still, many of the Supreme Council leaders were hesitant to visit the West and meet Western officials because they were afraid of criticism or thought these meetings would achieve nothing and get nowhere. I had difficulty convincing my colleagues that these visits and meetings were important for helping the West understand our views. I felt strongly that the world needed to get to know our leaders if we were to gain the support we would need to protect the Iraqi people against Saddam’s oppression. When Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a brother of the Supreme Council leader Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, visited the U.S. for the first time in August , he was worried that he would be criticized if he did not achieve any tangible results. He told Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani that he felt dragged into this visit. At the end of the trip, however, he told Talabani it had been a good decision. I have to admit that I failed to convince the Supreme Council

Introduction

5

leader during our meetings in July  to send his brother to Washington, but Mr. Talabani managed to convince them. Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim was assassinated in the holy city of Najaf on August , . Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim succeeded him as President of the Supreme Council. Despite criticism from some Iraqi quarters, he visited the U.S. several times after taking the leadership role, attending meetings with President George W. Bush and his advisers. On December , , his son, Ammar al-Hakim, defended his father’s meetings with U.S. officials as being in accordance with the Qur’an’s instructions that prophets and messengers talk to all people. Sayyid Ammar pointed out that Moses, too, was ordered to go to Pharaoh and carry out a dialogue with him. Furthermore, with the great numbers of countries vying to gain the ear of the U.S., it is only right that the Iraqi view also be heard: “Are not we supposed to go and express our views in order that these views push for the right decisions which serve all the Iraqis?” Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim died of lung cancer on August , , and his son Ammar was elected by the Central Committee as President of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI). Although Sayyid Ammar is young, he is a very well-educated, open-minded religious scholar with practiced leadership skills. His uncle Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim had been grooming him to lead the Supreme Council since he was young. Indeed, when, on his return from exile, Sayyid al-Hakim was to address his followers in Diwaniya on May , , he grew too tired to speak, and asked his nephew Sayyid Ammar to take his place. Continuing the Conversation I also worked as a member of the Executive Council of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), headed by Dr. Ahmad Chalabi between  and , and as a member of the Group of Four (G) after , in which the Supreme Council, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by Massoud Barzani, son of Mulla Mustafa al-Barzani, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) headed by Jalal Talabani, and the Iraqi National Accord (INA) headed by Dr. Ayad Allawi were represented. We together managed to convince Western officials that the Iraqi people were united in opposing Saddam’s regime; that, especially with the alliance between the Supreme Council, the two Kurdish parties, and the INA, they were strong enough to remove

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Introduction

Saddam if the international community helped them by implementing UN Security Council resolutions. We also convinced the Western governments that the Supreme Council was a moderate Islamic organization that believes in the unity of Iraq as a land and as a people; in the unity of the Iraqi opposition; and in a constitutional, democratic, pluralistic future for Iraq. That identity was part of the criteria for groups selected by President Bush in his letter to Congress. I led a campaign from London to make the UK, U.S., and UN aware of the regime’s violation of human rights in Iraq. I also aimed to raise awareness of the importance of action against Saddam, such as implementing UN resolutions that demanded Saddam stop the repression of the Iraqi people (Resolution ) and that prevented him from using his army and heavy weapons against them (Resolution ). I participated in meetings with officials, diplomats, members of parliament (MPs), academics, journalists, and the public in London, across Europe, and in Washington and New York, and I published a weekly English newsletter about the regime’s crimes and the struggle of the Iraqi people to remove Saddam from power. Over the course of my activities, I witnessed how the political thinking of the Kurds and other groups in Iraq evolved. Since , the Kurds’ national dream had been to establish an independent Kurdish state. But at the end of the s, they began to feel they were better off as a part of Iraq, playing a role in governing from Baghdad rather than being isolated in the mountains of Kurdistan. In our first meeting with U.S. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer after his arrival in Baghdad on May , , the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said, “Talabani and I are in Baghdad, and our presence is a message for everyone that we have a share in this country; it is our country.” The role of the Sunnis in Iraq, too, evolved. Since the establishment of the modern nation of Iraq in , the Sunnis had ruled Iraq and controlled its major political and military positions. During the s, however, many Sunni officials and military officers defected from Saddam’s regime and worked with both the Shiites and the Kurds as part of the opposition movement. After  the majority of the Sunnis in Iraq began to oppose the new post-Saddam government, and a large number fought alongside terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia against it. The majority of Sunnis also boycotted the elections in Iraq in . After the  elections, some Sunni political parties joined the national unity government, which

Introduction

7

included Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Muslims, and Christians. In the  provisional elections, Sunnis participated in larger numbers than in the  elections, and they participated even more in the elections of March , , with  percent participation of the eligible voters in Salah al-Din province,  percent in Ninawa,  percent in Diyala, and  percent in Anbar. In the chapters that follow, I will also highlight the Iraqi opposition’s plans to liberate the country from the dictatorship and oppression of Saddam Hussein before the U.S.-led invasion of . These plans were based on mobilizing the Iraqi people, building the Iraqi opposition’s capabilities, and gaining the support of the international community. The Kurds had thousands of fighters called Peshmerga (literally “those who face death”), and SCIRI had the Badr Corps. These forces, with the cooperation of the INA, the Iraqi army and various tribes, could have removed Saddam’s regime decades earlier had the dictator not been supported by the governments of the region and the world in the s. We requested the support of the international community to implement the Security Council resolutions passed after  and tried to set up an international tribunal to indict Saddam and his top aides for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, similar to the one set up by the Security Council for former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. I was a board member of INDICT, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) chaired by British MP Ann Clwyd, which collected evidence to indict Saddam and his top aides. We tried also to raise cases against Saddam in national courts. Yet we felt that there was no political will in the West for these proposals. U.S. and UK officials told us that their policy was containment and then “containment plus,” with limited military strikes that did not remove Saddam’s regime during the s. After the attacks of September , , however, the U.S. and its allies adopted a new approach: invasion and war. Invasion and Occupation The September  attacks were a major factor in President Bush’s decision to remove Saddam’s regime. The U.S. military doctrine regarding rogue regimes and organizations such as the Taliban, Saddam’s government, and Al Qaeda before September  had been containment and deterrence. After September  the doctrine changed to preemptive attacks and the war on terrorism. Al Qaeda operatives had enjoyed a safe haven with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan when they attacked American forces in Riyadh in  and

8

Introduction

in Al Khobar in ; when they bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in ; and when they deployed suicide bombers against the U.S. destroyer Cole in Yemen in . Although Al Qaeda killed dozens of U.S. citizens and people of other nationalities and injured hundreds, the U.S. continued its policy of containment and deterrence. It was only after September  that the U.S. attacked the Taliban regime and tried to capture or kill Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. There are, however, different theories about precisely when President George W. Bush decided to go to war against Saddam’s regime. Some believe Bush was planning to remove Saddam’s regime before he became President in January ; others say he decided immediately after the September  terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This book will detail the talks when U.S. officials told us the President had decided to remove Saddam’s regime. Some Iraqi opposition groups encouraged the idea of waging war against Saddam’s regime and supported the decision after it was made. We in the Supreme Council, however, opposed the war because it would result in civilian casualties, destruction of infrastructure, and occupation. We advised the U.S. planners against occupation and encouraged them to set up an Iraqi government immediately after Saddam’s fall. The grave U.S. mistake, I believe, was in not listening to the Iraqis, thereby turning Iraq’s liberation into occupation. After the fall of Saddam’s regime, we opposed UN Security Council Resolution , approved May , , which recognized “the specific authorities, responsibilities, and obligations under applicable international law of these states [U.S. and UK] as occupying powers under unified command (the Authority).” Ambassador Bremer, who was appointed the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), said that the resolution gave him the power to choose a Governing Council as an interim administration, and a Constitutional Council to write a constitution. We asked Bremer to hold an election for the members of the Governing Council so it would not be perceived as a U.S.-appointed body. When Bremer refused, we suggested that members be selected through conferences in each province so the people could choose their representatives; again, Bremer refused. When the U.S. decided to hand sovereignty back to the Iraqis in June , we recommended that elections be held so that an Iraqi government could take on that sovereignty. But Bremer refused to hold elections before

Introduction

9

June . He insisted on transferring sovereignty to a nonelected government. Bremer later wrote: I told the group that . . . I hope to set up an Interim Iraqi administration by mid-June. But we’re not going to rush into elections because Iraq simply has none of the mechanisms needed for elections—no census, no electoral laws, no political parties, and all the related structure we take for granted. We’ve also got to get this economy moving and that’s going to be a helluva challenge. A stable Iraq will need a vigorous private sector. Yet in  Iraq was to have two elections and a referendum without a census, without laws governing political parties, and with a worsened security situation. Bremer also restricted the Islamic and Shiite groups from holding certain important positions in the interim government, including those of Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and even Minister of Education. It was obvious that Bremer wanted to bring specific groups to power in Iraq. But Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, the highest religious authority in the holy city of Najaf, insisted that a constitutional council be elected directly by the Iraqi people so the resulting constitution would reflect the aspirations of all Iraqis, no matter what their different ethnic, sectarian, and religious backgrounds might be. Bremer could not challenge the Grand Ayatollah, the most humble and also the most powerful person in Iraq, so he tried to find a different solution to his dilemma. He proposed an interim constitution, known as the Transitional Administrative Law, or TAL. Bremer handed Iraqi sovereignty back to Ayad Allawi and a nonelected government in June . In January  Iraqis elected a General Assembly, which drafted a constitution that went on to be approved by a general referendum in October . In December  Iraqis went to the polls to elect the first Iraqi government based on a permanent constitution since . My Journey In Iraq I had been imprisoned and tortured several times because I joined the Al Dawa Islamic Party, before I joined SCIRI and had secret activities against the regime. When I refused to confess to the crimes of which Saddam’s intelligence agents accused me, they released me. They threatened,

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however, that the next time I was arrested I would be executed. I fled Iraq when Saddam’s regime tried to re-arrest me. I settled in London in  and became part of the city’s active Iraqi opposition movement in exile, which was lobbying the world—especially the U.S., UK, and UN. Saddam’s regime, meanwhile, arrested many members of my family. Eight of my family were executed in three campaigns. Many others were imprisoned and tortured; we suspect some were also poisoned, which was a usual weapon the regime used against the opposition and their families. In , my mother, three brothers, and a sister, whose husband had been executed, were forced to appear on Iraqi television as a threat to me in London, after I had announced the Supreme Council responsibility for the attack on Saddam’s Presidential Palace with four Katyusha missiles. At that time, most Iraqis were afraid to openly oppose Saddam’s regime, let alone to attack his palace with missiles. The regime even encouraged the tribes of opposition members to kill their own people. Saddam’s newspaper Thawra once published an advertisement from someone called Abbas Hijar al-Bayati, who claimed to be the sheikh of the Bayati tribe in Baghdad; al-Bayati declared that my tribe decided to shed my blood. Saddam claimed that it was his tribe that killed his two sons-in-law when they returned to Iraq in February  after their defection to Jordan in August , despite having been granted amnesty. Saddam sent many intelligence officers to assassinate opposition leaders in London, including myself. Thankfully the would-be assassins were discovered and deported by the British police before they could commit their crime. Several times during the period -, I was warned by the British police that I was on Saddam’s list for assassination. Saddam next sent an Iraqi agent with a message from the Director of the Presidential Palace that I was hurting the regime. He asked that I stop opposing Saddam; if I refused, they would kill me, and my family would be in danger. When I persisted in my duty to publicly oppose the regime, the agent came back with another proposal: I could continue to oppose the regime and criticize the government, but I could not mention Saddam’s name. From that point on I knew exactly what to do: I focused on Saddam as the sole source of the problems in Iraq, the region, and the world. I returned to Iraq on May , , a month after the fall of Saddam’s regime, in the company of the leader of the Supreme Council, Sayyid

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Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. We traveled through Basra, Nasiriyah, Samawa, Diwaniya, and Najaf. The leader remained in Najaf when I went on to Baghdad. Millions of Iraqis from the towns, cities, and villages we passed through came out to welcome us. Thousands of people recognized me from my appearances on various Arabic and English TV channels attacking Saddam’s regime for violating human rights and oppressing the Iraqi people. They greeted me as the voice of the oppressed Iraqi people and said they had been jubilant when I appeared on TV; I had given them comfort and confidence by giving voice to their suffering. Sayyid al-Hakim was assassinated by Al Qaeda and loyalists to Saddam’s regime on August , , in the holy city of Najaf, after he finished the Friday prayer in the holy shrine of Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, the fourth Caliph for all Muslims, and first Imam for the Shiites. After I settled in Baghdad, I managed to get my file from Saddam’s intelligence services. I discovered that all the members of my family had been under surveillance, with their telephones bugged and their mail watched. Moreover, I learned that Saddam’s intelligence had sent people to watch me from London, Paris, Pakistan, Iraq and other places. I found assassination plans with maps of my office in London, the address of which was not public, and my parking place. Building a New Iraq In April  I became Iraq’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. In October , while he was fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, my eldest brother Hasan was kidnapped outside his home in the Karrada neighborhood of southern Baghdad. The kidnappers phoned his wife and told her that he had confessed to doing “dangerous things” and providing me with information about Baath Party members. This was untrue. Hasan was a businessman who was not involved with politics and not a government employee, but his captors held and tortured him for three months before shooting him twice in the head. They dumped his body with a note that read, “This is the fate of the traitors and agents.” They accused Hasan of being a traitor to Iraq and an American agent. In meetings with U.S. officials before , I had stressed the importance of establishing an Iraqi government after Saddam’s regime; if the regime

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fell and there were no Iraqi government, Iraq would be under occupation, which would not be acceptable to the Iraqi people. Occupation, moreover, brings resistance, which costs lives. In May , Iraqis managed to convince Zalmay Khalilzad, President Bush’s Special Envoy for free Iraqis, and retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner, head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), to set up an Iraqi government. Bremer, head of the CPA, pushed both men aside and refused to set up an Iraqi government. Bremer wrote about Jay Garner’s intention to appoint an Iraqi government in his book, My Year in Iraq: As I drove to work at the Pentagon, the lead story on the : A.M. news had been that Jay Garner had announced his intention to appoint an Iraqi government by May . I almost drove off the Washington Parkway. I knew it would take careful work to disabuse both the Iraqi and American proponents of this reckless fantasy—what some in the administration were calling “early transfer” of power— animated in part by their aversion to “nation-building.” I mentioned to the president that giving Iraq a stable political structure would require not just installing democratic institutions, but also creating what I called the social “shock absorbers,” institutions which form civil society—a free press, trade unions, political parties, professional organizations. These, I told the president, are what help cushion the individual from an overpowering government. Bremer also wrote about Khalilzad’s promise to turn over power to the Iraqi Leadership Council (ILC), which consisted of Sayyid Abdul Aziz alHakim, Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talabani, Dr. Ayad Allawi, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, and Nasir Kamil al-Chadirchi: Following the president’s instructions, the CPA wanted to be certain that we put together an interim government broadly representative of the Iraqi people. In short, we wanted more control over creating the interim government than the ILC wanted us to have. The situation was complicated by the fact that in his last meeting with the council two weeks earlier, then “Presidential Envoy” Zal Khalilzad had left them with

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the impression that we would turn over governing power to them by mid-May. And regarding our view to form an Iraqi government, Bremer wrote: The council members now spoke more assertively, beginning with Talabani. “While we sincerely thank the Coalition for all its efforts, we have to warn against squandering a military victory by not conducting a rapid, coordinated effort to form a new government.” Hamid Bayati, representing the Shiite SCIRI, spoke for the first time. “Ambassador, you must hasten the political progress. The ‘street’ is waiting for the freedom you promised.” I would learn that the Iraqi politicians love to invoke the mystical “Arab street” on almost any argument. “With respect, Ambassador Bremer,” Chalabi said, “I must remind the CPA of the promises made in the past month about the establishment of a transitional government in a few weeks’ time.” He smiled benignly at Jay Garner. Clearly Iraqis wanted to establish an Iraqi government after the fall of Saddam’s regime, and they had managed to convince both Khalilzad and Garner of the idea. But unlike his colleagues Garner and Khalilzad, Bremer did not listen to the Iraqis. Thus we witnessed the strong insurgency and the strong presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Neither in his articles nor in his book did Bremer write about the gravest mistake committed after the war of , which was occupation. He wrote instead about the two laws he issued. Before the war, in meetings with U.S. officials in Washington, London, Ankara, and Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, we had urged them to set up an Iraqi government immediately after the fall of Saddam’s regime. We had warned that there would be resistance from Iraqi groups, such as the Saddamists and extremists, and from non-Iraqi groups, such as Al Qaeda, which would use the occupation of Iraq as provocation: an occupation of Arab and Muslim land. We added that Osama bin Laden had used the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait to recruit suicide bombers by claiming that it was an occupation of holy lands in Mecca and Medina. I do not have any personal problem with Ambassador Bremer, who was respected by all the Iraqi leaders who tried their best

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to help him succeed in his work. However, in his book Bremer blamed and criticized everybody but himself. In December , I participated in a delegation headed by Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim which met with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. When Bremer heard about the trip, he rushed to visit Sayyid Abdul Aziz and express his concerns about our visiting countries that had opposed the war against Saddam’s regime. Al-Hakim answered that he intended to visit these countries to convince them to forget their past differences about the war and to come forward to participate in Iraq’s reconstruction. The meetings were important. We wanted to change the views of world leaders, to show them the Iraqi leadership’s vision for Iraq, and to prove our willingness to have good relations with the whole world and a balanced relationship with the East and the West. We discussed the future of the political process, security issues, and reconstruction in Iraq, and we encouraged these countries to forget the past and come forward to invest in Iraq. During our years of campaigning to defend the Iraqi people against Saddam’s regime, I and other opposition figures managed to meet with and gain the support of many people in the UK, throughout Europe, and in the U.S. and the UN. Among them were legislature members, officials, academics, journalists, and others. In the UK I worked with MPs such as Emma Nicholson and Ann Clwyd. I also managed to meet and gain the support of UK dignitaries including H.R.H. Charles Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, and others. I worked also with Ambassadors and officials in the Foreign Office such as Julian Walker, Robert Wilson, Martin Hetherington, Barry Lewin, David Manning, John Sawers, and others. In the U.S., we managed to meet with and gain the support of many members of Congress and officials such as Jesse Helms, Benjamin Gilman, Sam Brownback, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Thomas R. Pickering, Douglas Feith, Marc Grossman, Martin Indyk, David Welch, Richard Perle, Bruce Riedel, Kenneth Pollack, and others. I also met and worked with ambassadors, officials, diplomats, and coordinators such as Mathew Tueller, Ethan Goldrich, Yael Lempert, Andrew

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Morrison, Frank Ricciardone, Peter Galbraith, David Phillips, Stephen Rademaker, Fred Axelgard, Thomas Krajeski, Phebe Marr, Laurie Mylroie, and others. I worked with academics and scholars in think tanks, institutes and universities such as David Mack, Robert Satloff, Carole O’Leary, and Judith Yaphe, among others. After , I worked with Ambassador Paul Bremer, Ryan Crocker, Meghan O’Sullivan, Scott Carpenter, and with military commanders such as Generals David D. McKiernan, Ricardo S. Sanchez, George W. Casey, and David H. Petraeus. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who was appointed President Bush’s Special Envoy for free Iraqis in November , played an important role in Iraq before and after . Other members of the Supreme Council and I had meetings with him in London, Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, and Ankara before the fall of Saddam’s regime in . I worked later with Khalilzad when he became U.S. Ambassador to Iraq; I had the pleasure to receive his credentials while I was Deputy Foreign Minister in . We also worked together when he became U.S. Ambassador to the UN in . Officials from the UN who played an important role in supporting Iraq and the Iraqi people included Jan Eliasson, Max van der Stoel, Jamal bin Omar, Ahmad Fawzi, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and his team, Lakhdar Brahimi and his team, the UNAMI team in Iraq and New York, Ashraf Qazi, Stephan de Mistura, Ad Melkert, and Secretaries General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon, among others. This book is based on my personal archive, which I kept safe for years. Much of the information is based on the minutes I wrote during official meetings, letters and memos from officials and from Iraqi political groups, and material from media coverage of the events. In many cases these notes and correspondence have been translated from Arabic. This archive covered the events I was part of and reflects my views, but there are many other views represented here in the struggle to liberate Iraq from dictatorship and to build a new, democratic Iraq that respects human rights. I cannot list all my meetings and all the people with whom I have worked with and whose valuable assistance I have had, but I want to thank all those who have supported me and the Iraqi people against the extreme brutality of Saddam’s regime. I want to thank, as well, all those who helped Iraq rid

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itself of repression, totalitarianism, and terrorism, and to build democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. I thank every one of them, and as a token of appreciation and gratefulness for their support and friendship, I will pray until the end of my life for them and for their families and friends. I will donate the royalties of this book to the widows and orphans of Iraq as a gift to them all.

1 The Birth of the Iraqi Opposition

The Baath Party came to power in Iraq through a military coup on February , . Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qasim, the man who had led the July , , revolution against the monarchy in Iraq, was killed in the coup. Abdul Salam Arif, a military officer and a former partner of Qasim, assumed presidency after killing Qasim, while Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, another military officer and Baath leader, became Prime Minister. The Baath party ruled cruelly for nine months, oppressing the Iraqi people through unjust arrests, torture, and murder. Located in western Baghdad, the “Palace of the End,” Qasir al-Nihaya, became a detention center where many executions took place, while party members also raped women in prison. These crimes were revealed after the first fall of the Baath regime in November . I conducted a study about the coup based on British documents in the National Archives in London, which were revealed thirty years after the event. I concluded that the coup was supported by the West; evidence showed that Western governments feared Iraq would fall under the control of communism after Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qasim made the Iraqi Communist Party legal because it was banned during the monarchy. Moreover, Prime Minister Qasim issued Law No. , under which the Iraqi government took back . percent of the Iraqi lands not explored by the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC). The IPC was owned by U.S., British, and other European companies, and had a concession to explore for oil throughout Iraq for seventy-five years. The Baath party returned to power on July , . Al-Bakr became President, and in  Saddam Hussein became Vice President. Saddam was in charge of the regime’s intelligence apparatus, which used extreme brutality

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against different political groups and all the Iraqi people. The Palace of the End was used again as a detention and execution center, with Saddam in charge. The Iraqi people continued to oppose the regime, and many military coup attempts and uprisings were viciously crushed in the s and s. After studying the secret U.S. documents in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.—revealed nearly thirty years after the  coup—I concluded that the overthrow of Abdul Rahman Arif (the Iraqi President who succeeded his brother Abdul Salam after the latter’s  death in a helicopter crash) was supported by some Western countries. Abdul Rahman had been acting against U.S. and British interests in attempting to get French and Russian companies to explore for oil in the lands taken back by Abdul Karim Qasim under Law No. . Abdul Rahman also wanted to give sulfur concessions to France and to enter an agreement with Dassault Arms Company to buy  advanced Mirage jet fighters. This contract was canceled by the Baath regime after the coup. In his first press conference, on July , , the post-coup Foreign Minister, Nasir al-Hani (later assassinated by Saddam’s intelligence forces), announced that the contract was not signed and the Iraqi government had not paid a deposit, so there was little hope that the new government would continue the contract. Both Shiite and Sunni religious scholars opposed the Baath regime. Hundreds were arrested, tortured, and killed, including Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Badri, a Sunni religious scholar in the Tobchi neighborhood of Western Baghdad, who was kidnapped and killed in . Many religious Sunni movements, including the Al Tahrir Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, were crushed by the regime. Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim in Najaf opposed the Baath party and sent his son Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim to President al-Bakr to protest Baath policies. The regime accused al-Hakim of being a Western spy and plotting with military officers and tribal chiefs to overthrow the regime; they attempted to arrest him, forcing him to flee. Muhsin al-Hakim was put under house arrest and surrounded by security forces until his death in . Millions of Iraqis attended his funeral in protest, using the occasion to express their anger with the Baath regime. When President al-Bakr tried to join the funeral, the people shouted at him, “Listen, Mr. President, Sayyid Mahdi is not a spy.” Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim had been the highest religious authority in Najaf between  and . He defended all Iraqis against the successive dictatorial regimes in Baghdad. In , for example, President Abdul Salam Arif wanted to carry out combat operations against the Kurds in Northern Iraq, so

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he arranged for a conference of Muslim religious scholars from Iraq and many Arab and Muslim countries to issue a religious decree (fatwa) allowing the government to kill the Kurds. Many Muslim scholars attended, and they issued a fatwa based on a Quranic verse, which reads, “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief on earth is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter” (Al-Maeda :). Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim was invited to the conference, but he refused to attend; instead, he issued a fatwa against killing the Kurds. This decision cemented ties between Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa al-Barzani and al-Hakim that have since ensured the strong relations between the Kurds and the al-Hakim family. When the Christian community was oppressed in the s by the dictatorial regime in Baghdad because its members lived in the same areas as the Kurds in Northern Iraq, they appealed to Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, who issued a fatwa against the repression of Christians in Iraq. The relationship between the Christians and al-Hakim and his family has also remained strong ever since. Indeed, Iraqi priests and archbishops used to participate in Islamic festivals and celebrations in Baghdad, Basra, and other provinces, and Muslim scholars frequently visited Iraqi churches to join Christians during their celebrations. The Jewish community in Iraq also received al-Hakim’s benevolence. Meer Basri, an Iraqi Jewish scholar who later found refuge in London, republished the History of the Jews of Iraq, written by Yusuf Ghanimah at the beginning of the twentieth century. Basri added a supplement on the history of the Jews of Iraq in the twentieth century in which he wrote: “the circumstances of Jews worsened after the  war, as they were subjected to killing, kidnapping, and arrest in a way which is not acceptable by manhood and humanity. Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, the highest religious authority for the Shiites, issued a religious decree ‘Fatwa’ that it is a duty to treat the Jews well and to remove injustice and oppression against them.” A large uprising against the Baath party took place in , when the regime tried to prevent Shiite pilgrims from going on foot to the holy city of Karbala to visit the holy shrine of Imam Hussein on the occasion of Arbaeen (the fortieth day after the Ashura, the martyrdom of Imam Hussein commemorated on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram). The regime deployed military forces, tanks, and armored vehicles to stop the pilgrims, but the Iraqi people insisted on practicing their rituals no matter

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what the sacrifice. (Centuries before, the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties also attempted to prevent people from visiting the shrine of Imam Hussein through arrests, torture, and killing, but devout Muslims have insisted on performing these rituals for hundreds of years.) Iraqis peacefully began their unarmed marches toward Karbala a few days before the religious observance, but they were faced with the Baath regime’s military might. Sadly, thousands of people were arrested and tortured, while others were executed and killed in the streets. Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr dispatched Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a son of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, to calm the people, who were surrounded by troops between Karbala and Najaf. Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a politically active religious scholar in Najaf and university lecturer in Baghdad, was arrested and tortured; following protests, he was released in a general amnesty for prisoners in . When Saddam Hussein became president on July , , he began a more brutal campaign against the Iraqi people. There was an uprising in  when Saddam’s regime arrested the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf and took him to Baghdad. Demonstrations erupted in Baghdad and many other Iraqi provinces. The regime was forced to release al-Sadr, but he remained under house arrest and continued surveillance. Through complex means, al-Sadr maintained daily communication with Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim through his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. Saddam’s intelligence services knew that Sayyid al-Sadr continued his contacts with the Iraqi people despite his house arrest and the security surrounding the house, which included listening devices and surveillance cameras. The regime also knew that Sayyid al-Sadr was issuing fatwas to oppose Saddam and the Baath Party and ordering people to use military means to do so in response to the state-sponsored killings of religious scholars and their followers. On April , , Saddam’s regime executed Sayyid Mohammed Baqir alSadr along with his sister Amina al-Sadr (often called Bint al-Huda), because she had called on people to demonstrate when her brother was arrested the first time in . Twenty-four years later, on the same day in , Saddam’s regime fell. Many Iraqis believe this was God’s justice against the regime. The Origins of SCIRI and the Opposition to Saddam Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim left Iraq in  to start an opposition movement outside the

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country. In  they established the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Al-Majlis Al-ala lil-thawra Al-Islamiya fil Iraq, SCIRI). (As noted earlier, SCIRI was renamed the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, ISCI, after Saddam was deposed.) The Supreme Council was an umbrella organization of many political movements and prominent personalities that included Shiite and Sunni religious scholars as well as Arab, Turkmen, and Kurdish participants. The major Iraqi political currents of the Iraqi opposition were Islamist, Kurdish, nationalist, leftist and liberal. Besides the Supreme Council (and in addition to many other smaller Islamic groups), the other main Islamist groups included the Dawa Islamic Party, headed by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and later by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and the Iraqi Islamic Party, formerly headed by Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi. This party was the continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamic movement established in Egypt in the s that had spread throughout the Arab world. The main Kurdish opposition parties (in addition to Islamic Kurdish groups and other smaller Kurdish parties) were the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), headed by Massoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), headed by Jalal Talabani. The nationalists consisted mainly of the Iraqi Baath Party (supported by Syria and called the Regional Command of Iraq); the former Baath movements, such as the Iraqi National Accord (INA) headed by Dr. Ayad Allawi, a Baath leader who defected and opposed Saddam’s regime; and some Arab nationalist and Nasserite movements. The leftist current was mainly the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) and some former communist groups that had become democratic movements, such as the Iraqi Democratic Movement and the Iraqi Democratic Party. The liberal current included some supporters of monarchy, such as Free Iraqi Council headed by Saad Saleh Jabur, son of Prime Minister Salih Jabur during the monarchy in the s, and the Constitutional Monarchy Movement headed by Sharif Ali bin Hussein. In the s, the Iraqi opposition movement was mainly based inside Iraq and in some neighboring countries, including Iran and Syria. As the Iran-Iraq war raged during the s, most of the countries in the region—in fact, most of the world’s nations—supported Saddam’s regime out of fear of the Islamic revolution in Iran. The two Kurdish parties (the KDP and PUK) and the Supreme Council were the most powerful groups during that period because they had political leaders known to people inside Iraq,

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organizations within Iraq, and military force. The three groups cooperated against Saddam’s regime and were major contributors to the Iraqi opposition and its activity. The First Gulf War With Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait on August , , everything changed. The Iraqi opposition became known around the world, and its activities became international, because the whole world stood against the invasion of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein claimed that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq’s Basra province and that it was stealing from Iraqi oilfields near the borders of Iraq and Kuwait. According to this rationale, he could take over countless other Arab countries, since many were once part of Basra province during the Ottoman Empire. Since assuming the presidency and initiating war with neighboring Iran, Saddam had the support of the West, especially the U.S., so he believed that his decision to invade Kuwait was not illogical. Indeed, before Saddam carried out the Kuwaiti invasion, he first met with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, on July , . He told Glaspie that relations with Kuwait had deteriorated and there were serious border disputes between the two countries. Glaspie told Saddam that the United States did not want to interfere between Arab brothers and that the two countries should work out their problems bilaterally. Saddam concluded from the meeting that the United States would not object to an invasion. Many Iraqis believe that Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, similar to the war against Iran, came with a green light from the United States. In his book The End of Iraq, former UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Peter Galbraith wrote that the weakness of the stance the U.S. conveyed in meetings with Ambassador Glaspie and subsequent messages to Saddam, although not a green light to invade Kuwait, was taken by Saddam in the context of American diplomacy toward Iraq since . This history included UN resolutions that did not demand Iraq withdraw from occupied Iranian territory (passed with President Jimmy Carter’s blessing); intelligence sharing and other assistance to Iraq’s war effort authorized by President Ronald Reagan; the Reagan administration’s turning a blind eye when Saddam used chemical weapons on Iranian soldiers in , and providing shortly thereafter hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to Saddam’s regime; and the Reagan Administration’s resistance to imposing sanctions after

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Saddam gassed the Kurds in . Based on these signals, Saddam probably expected no more than a slap on the hand for invading Kuwait. The invasion was the beginning of the end for Saddam, and a large boost to the Iraqi opposition. He had miscalculated the results of the invasion, both internationally and domestically. The United States, under President George H. W. Bush, instead of accepting the invasion, created an international coalition to reverse it. The U.S.-led Gulf War of – restored Kuwait’s sovereignty and decisively defeated Saddam’s military. In his study of the Iraqi opposition and the Gulf War, Ali Mohammed al-Shamrani—a diplomat in the Saudi Embassy in London in the s who worked for Prince Turki al-Faisal when he headed Saudi intelligence and with whom I had very good relations—points out the effects of the invasion of Kuwait on the Iraqi opposition. He argues that since Saddam had involved Iraq’s military in a war it could not win, many Iraqi soldiers and officers became oppositionists and crossed the borders to Iran and Saudi Arabia to join factions of the Iraqi opposition before the liberation of Kuwait. Furthermore, oppositionists in exile suddenly found themselves the center of attention by their host countries and became reenergized and reinvigorated with the flow of new political support. The opposition in exile believed that the convergence of international opposition to the invasion—Iraq’s new enemy was not a third world country like Iran, but the greatest power in the world, diplomatically backed by the international community and militarily and financially supported by thirty countries—along with the signs of fatigue among the Iraqi people, who were still healing the wounds of the Iran-Iraq war and thus not ready to go through another bloody experience, provided a golden opportunity. Another factor also channeled support to the opposition: the financial impact of UN sanctions. The UN reaction to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait on August , , was to adopt a series of Security Council resolutions toward the aggressor. Resolution  condemned Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. A total trade embargo on Iraq was imposed by Resolution  (Resolution  excluded food and medicine). In the months after the end of the war, Resolution  gave Iraq permission to sell limited amounts of oil to buy food and medicine under strict UN control as laid down in Resolutions  and , and outlined inspection procedures for Iraq’s military program. Both Saddam and the West, specifically the U.S., were blamed by Iraqis for their financial meltdown. Saddam was blamed because he had depleted Iraq’s finances and put the country into debt by waging war with Iran and

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invading Kuwait. The U.S., on the other hand, “refused to support lifting the sanctions, despite widespread reports that the sanctions were strengthening Saddam while impoverishing his people,” as Washington Post editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran wrote in Imperial Life in the Emerald City. There were differing points of view among opposition groups regarding the sanctions. One perspective was that the sanctions were hurting the Iraqi people and strengthening Saddam’s regime because they resulted in low salaries, a scarcity of goods, and lack of food and medicine throughout the country. Furthermore, Saddam’s regime benefited from the sanctions by controlling the food and medicine distributed to the people from the UN Oil-for-Food program by receiving kickbacks from companies that exported these goods to Iraq. Proponents of this view requested lifting the sanctions against Saddam’s regime unconditionally. A second perspective was that the sanctions hurt Saddam’s regime because they limited his ambitions to develop weapons of mass destruction and forced him to spend less money on the army, the Republican Guard, and intelligence organizations. Furthermore, if the sanctions were lifted, Saddam would be able to receive oil revenues and use that to strengthen his rule and oppression of the Iraqi people. A third view was that the sanctions hurt both Saddam’s regime and the Iraqi people. Proponents of this view asked the UN to ease the sanctions, suggesting that the UN supervise the distribution of food and medicine while tightening sanctions on the regime itself: preventing the travel of officials and setting up an international tribunal to try Saddam and his top aides. We in the Supreme Council were among those holding this view. Although at least seventy Iraqi opposition groups emerged from exile, it was understood by many countries, including the U.S. and UK, that only a few groups had political leaders known worldwide and an organizational structure with real power inside Iraq and its military forces. These included the KDP, PUK, INA and Supreme Council. First Attempts at Unifying the Opposition The opposition in exile had already begun to capitalize on the invasion to begin organizing their efforts. In September  in Syria—which had supported Iran in the Iran-Iraq war and hosted several Iraqi opposition groups—a number of Iraqi organizers held talks about the invasion, their vision of Iraq’s future, and the importance of achieving unity among

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themselves in order to topple Saddam’s regime. These talks led to the establishment of the Joint Action Committee (JAC, Lajnat al-Amal al-Mushtarak in Arabic), an umbrella organization of many opposition groups and parties that incorporated political currents of Islamic, Kurdish, Arab nationalist, and leftist opposition groups. The JAC met in Beirut in December  and, once a steering committee and secretariat were agreed upon, began within just a few weeks to include other Saudi Arabian-backed groups and people. These groups included the Iraqi National Accord (al-Wifaq in Arabic), headed by Ayad Allawi, a physician and former Baath Party leader, and Salah Omar al-Ali, a former Baathist minister; and the Free Iraqi Council, based in London and led by Saad Saleh Jabur, a liberal who participated in a failed military coup against the Baath Party in  and the son of former Prime Minister Salih Jabur, who served under the Hashemite monarchy in the s. In March —only weeks after Iraqi troops were ousted from Kuwait and just as a popular uprising broke out in the north and the south of Iraq—the JAC organized a conference in Beirut. The conference brought together Iraqi opposition groups to discuss unifying their efforts, plans to topple Saddam’s regime, and the future of Iraq without Saddam. A number of countries in the region supported the conference, including Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran. I was invited to attend the Beirut conference by the Supreme Council because of my relationship and the work I had carried out with SCIRI’s leader, Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, and his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. Many opposition figures from the UK and other European countries were also invited to attend the conference. I felt the conference was disorganized and done in haste when the popular uprising erupted. Every Iraqi opposition group believed that Saddam’s regime would fall and that their group would be able to control the situation. The Islamic groups felt they had the support of the Iraqi people all over Iraq. The Baath Party in Syria felt that the Syrian wing of the Baath in Iraq could take control after Saddam’s fall, and the INA felt that a military coup would take place and the INA would rule. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim came to Beirut for one day to deliver a speech from his brother Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council. On the same day, Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim had a private meeting with the Islamists who participated in the conference. He was optimistic that the uprising would topple Saddam’s regime and that the Iraqi people would rule Iraq.

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According to Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Nawar, the Islamic opposition at the Beirut meeting wanted to transform the conference into a National Council or “Parliament in Exile” that would elect a provisional government. Although the agenda of the conference also included forming a delegation that would reach out to other countries and international foundations to conduct a campaign against Saddam’s regime, most of the groups that participated, aside from the Islamists, did not support the idea—especially most of the Kurdish groups. PUK leader Jalal Talabani also rejected the idea of a government in exile and was quoted as saying, “We prefer a government on the soil of Iraq, not one in exile; we agreed to form a government of all the parties after the toppling of Saddam.” Groups and individuals expressed many differences about what should be done, while still others objected that they had been given only small roles to play. Another conference was agreed to, however, to take place in Saudi Arabia, again with the support of the Saudis and other regional powers including Syria and Iran, but it did not happen because of objections from the West. After the invasion of Kuwait, the Supreme Council had planned to organize a conference in January , in London, about human rights violations in Iraq. Dr. Laith Kubba played an important role in organizing the conference.  However, the military operation to liberate Kuwait began in January , before the conference was to be held; the Supreme Council decided to cancel the proceedings to avoid the impression that it supported the attack against Iraq. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim traveled to London and held a press conference with Kubba to announce the cancellation. While he was there, Julian Walker, a British diplomat from the Foreign Office, phoned the apartment in Kensington’s Holland Park where Sayyid Abdul Aziz stayed. When my brother Ali answered, Walker introduced himself and said that he would like to meet Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. The meeting—the first between a Western official and the Supreme Council—took place two days later. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim described Saddam’s crimes against the Iraqi people and his violations of human rights in Iraq. He explained the Supreme Council’s position against the invasion of Kuwait and expressed the willingness of the Iraqi opposition to live in peace with neighboring countries. Walker discussed the British government’s position against Saddam’s crimes and the invasion of Kuwait. He conveyed the British willingness to continue communication with Iraqi opposition groups such as the Supreme Council. Sayyid Abdul Aziz requested the political

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support of the international community against Saddam’s crimes and spoke of the need to protect the Iraqi people against the atrocities and human rights violations of Saddam’s regime under international laws, the UN Charter, and UN Security Council resolutions. The 1991 Uprising On February , , President Bush called on “the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands, to force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside.” Iraq’s Kurds in the north, along with the Shiites in the south took action, but soon found themselves crushed brutally by Saddam’s Republican Guard. Some of the Republican Guard were known to be POWs who had apparently been released by the Americans. The Kurds and Shiites thus believed the U.S. was not just being careless but actively wanted the uprising to fail. Although most historical attention has been placed on the Kurdish uprising in the north, the rebellion against Saddam actually began in Basra, in the heart of Shiite Iraq. In this important port city, the angry populace exploded into a great popular uprising, taking quick control not only of the city but of the entire province and expelling Saddam’s authorities. The uprising spread like wildfire in the next few weeks, liberating thirteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces. Four of these provinces were in northern Iraq and nine in southern Iraq. In , General Wafiq al-Samarrai, head of military intelligence during Saddam’s rule, defected to Kurdistan in northern Iraq and later moved to London. He told me that during the  revolt the military had monitored the radio communications of the uprising leaders in the south. According to al-Samarrai, one of the leaders received instructions to approach U.S. commanders and ask their support for the uprising. The Iraqi leader reported back that the U.S. commanders refused. When asked why, he said the American commanders had responded, “Because you are Shiites.” Prodded again to ask the U.S. commanders for support, the leader called his colleague to report that the Americans continued to refuse. When asked why, he responded that the commanders said it was because he was a follower of SCIRI leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. General al-Samarrai recounted that when these radio conversations were reported to Saddam, he gave the orders to crush the uprising, saying they made clear the West would not support it.

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Other stories buttress al-Samarrai’s recollections. Dr. Saad al-Ajmi, a friend who did his doctoral work with me at Manchester University, and who later became the head of the Kuwaiti Information Center in London and then Minister of Information in Kuwait, introduced me to some of his relatives who had been imprisoned by Saddam’s forces after the invasion of Kuwait. One told me how he had been held in Nasiriyah, in southern Iraq. When the people and the army rose up, they attacked the prison in which he was detained. The guards started to shoot at the Kuwaiti POWs indiscriminately. But local Iraqi mujahideen (guerrillas) managed to liberate the Kuwaiti prisoners and asked them to stay overnight so they could provide transportation to Kuwait. He told me he and other Kuwaiti POWs thanked the Iraqis for releasing them, but they preferred to walk back to Kuwait rather than to wait until the next day, because they were not sure what would happen. On his way to Kuwait, he saw the tanks of Saddam’s Republican Guard passing through the U.S. check points on their way to crush the uprising. He started to shout at the U.S. forces, warning that they were allowing the tanks of the Republican Guard to pass through their checkpoints to crush the people who had liberated him. The U.S. soldiers replied that they had their orders and could not disobey them. Saudi writer Mohammed Ali al-Shamrani noted that the U.S., evidently fearing a popular uprising modeled on the Islamic Revolution in Iran, refrained from supporting it. Instead, the United States stood back as Saddam crushed the uprising. Indeed, a similar “hands-off ” attitude was found among most Iraqi opposition groups (the exceptions were the PUK, the KDP, and Supreme Council), who took a wait-and-see approach. Rather than aid those who rose up, they looked to use the results of the uprising to achieve their own interests. The Kurdish revolt in the north, which took place at the same time, has been well documented. Kurdish forces expelled Iraqi forces from “Kurdistan” but, due to the U.S.-led coalition force’s decision to allow Saddam to use limited airpower in the region, the rebellion was suppressed. What followed was an immense humanitarian emergency, as millions of Kurds fled to the borders of Turkey and Iran. The U.S. finally intervened by setting up so-called safe areas in the region to prevent Saddam’s forces from attacking the Kurds

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and to allow the Kurdish refugees to return from the barren mountaintops where they took refuge. Saddam then withdrew his forces from Iraqi Kurdistan in the hopes that the Kurds would announce an independent state and plunge into war with neighboring Turkey and Iran. The Kurds, however, refused to take the bait, as Kurdish foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, who was then responsible for foreign relations in the Kurdistan Democratic Party, has noted. Betrayal and Frustration The Western media broadcast images of the Kurdish refugees trying to flee to the mountains of northern Iraq out of fear that Saddam might use chemical and biological weapons against them, as he had done in Halabja and other Kurdish cities in the s. Turkey decided to close its borders to the refugees attempting to cross. The Kurdish dilemma became known worldwide, and the U.S. sent officials to investigate the situation. They recommended immediate action to protect the lives of thousands of Kurdish refugees. The U.S. forces began to drop humanitarian assistance by airplane, and the U.S. government decided to create a safe haven for the Kurds in northern Iraq to allow the refugees to return to their towns and villages. The northern no-fly zone was established by the U.S., UK, and France under UN Resolution  in April , after Saddam mobilized helicopter gunships to quell the Kurdish uprising. Known as Operation Provide Comfort, the no-fly zone line was to the north of the th parallel, covering an area of , square miles. (In December , France pulled out of patrolling the operation, claiming that changes in the mission had eliminated its humanitarian aspects.) The situation in southern Iraq was completely different. When Saddam crushed the popular uprising of March , hundreds of thousands of fighters took sanctuary in the Marshes of southern Iraq, and tens of thousands fled Iraq to the borders of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The Marshes were considered safe because Saddam’s tanks and artillery would prove useless in the wetlands, and the area provided a rich source of foods such as rice, fish, and birds. In the s an estimated half million people had been settled in more than , villages in the southern marshes. The Marshes covered an area estimated at ,–, square kilometers (,–, square miles), and within them already lived an ancient people who used the -foot reeds

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there to build houses, boats, and mats. The people of the Marshes were farmers, fishermen, and stock breeders who had been dwelling there for more than , years, with a unique culture dependent completely on the environment. The Supreme Council, which had helped organize the popular uprising in southern Iraq, started to build a military resistance against Saddam’s regime in the Marshes. Most of the people who fled to the region were trained to use arms in the Iraqi military or by the Supreme Council. The inhabitants of the Marshes also supported the resistance because they had been oppressed by Saddam’s regime. The regime, of course, recognized the danger of allowing the region to become a safe haven for the resistance to train combatants and to use it as a base for launching attacks against government forces in nearby cities and towns. Accordingly, Saddam began to target the Marshes with planes, tanks, and artillery. He also planned huge projects to drain the marshes as a way to bring an end to the military resistance. This entire habitat and culture thus faced annihilation because of Saddam’s desire to track down and crush his political opponents who had fled there. Saddam also targeted the civilians and villages in the Marshes because he accused them of harboring the armed resistance and providing sanctuary for the rebels who fled to the Marshes after crushing the uprising in the southern provinces. The attacks included aerial bombardment before the no-fly zone was imposed in southern Iraq in August , . After imposition of the nofly zone, the repression included tank and artillery bombardment of civilians, razing of villages, burning of reeds, economic siege, and so on. On October , , the leader of the Supreme Council sent a letter to UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The letter was to draw his attention to the fact that Saddam’s despotic regime had intensified its repressive measures against the Iraqi people in all areas located to the south of the nd parallel following the imposition of the no-fly zone on its military aircraft on August , . The letter pointed out that the UN Commission on Human Rights and Middle East Watch had both confirmed reports of cruel reprisals by the regime; the latter reported that the regime had committed genocide in its massacre of , Shiite women and children in southern Iraq, who were shot by the Iraqi army in a detention camp. The organization also reported that the regime had relocated its opponents, most of whom were Shiite, from the south to the north of the country, executing many of them in the process. Yet these reports were merely a small sample of what was actually taking place in Iraq, where the inhumane regime was moving hundreds

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of local inhabitants daily from the Marshes and southern provinces to detention camps said to be located in Mosul and in western Iraq, north of the nd parallel. The letter went on to warn that the infantry forces of the criminal regime were shelling the marshland area incessantly, using heavy artillery. As a result,  homes in the village of Umm al-Hosh in Amarah province were set on fire on September , ; three days later, ten other villages in the same province were burned. The letter concluded: We hereby request your Excellency to take appropriate measures in light of the present dangerous situation. We stress the importance of carrying out urgent measures to stop this destructive series of actions perpetrated by the regime against the people of southern Iraq. We urge the dispatch as soon as possible of international observers to investigate and reveal the extent of such crimes and halt them. We also urge the adoption of a new resolution ordering the removal of the Iraqi army from the air-exclusion zone and the dispatch of relief supplies to the besieged population, thus ousting the terrible and notorious agents of death and terrorism from this region. We await a firm and quick stance to put an end to the deteriorating situation in the marshlands. We tried for a long time to convince the West of the need to protect human rights in Iraq, especially in southern Iraq and the Marshes. We attempted to convince the West to send human rights observers under UN auspices. We raised this idea in our meetings with UK, U.S., and UN officials. Many international organizations supported our idea, but the West did not have the political will to make this happen. On November , , Amnesty International issued a report entitled Iraq: Marsh Arabs Still Persecuted; UN Should Monitor Human Rights On-Site. The report stated that: human rights violations have continued to escalate in the marshes of southern Iraq. . . . The level of violations makes it clear that it’s time for the UN to act. A proposal by the UN Special Rapporteur was made months ago to set up on-site human rights monitors in the country—that action could have saved countless lives if it had been acted on sooner.

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Amnesty International has long urged that a special UN team should be sent to Iraq, with powers to investigate alleged abuses, ensure protection for victims and work with the government to help enforce human rights standards. The UN has another chance to take up this potentially life-saving proposal when the General Assembly considers a resolution on Iraq next month. We urge the General Assembly to endorse on-site monitoring as a matter of urgency and ensure that future concrete action on this proposal is taken. In recent weeks, Amnesty International has received reports from eyewitnesses, some of whom fled their villages to escape bombardments, telling of widespread arrests and executions, along with the torture of detainees and the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians outside the context of armed conflict. On December , , the Supreme Council obtained a copy of Saddam’s plan to drain the marshlands of southern Iraq, which was to be carried out in stages. I received a copy of the report in Arabic which I summarized as follows: • Stage one was river engineering in Misan province, with the objective of establishing mud barriers, – kilometers (.–. miles) in length for each dam, on the banks of the main rivers that supplied the marshlands with water. • Stage two was engineering along the riverbanks in Misan province in order to establish two banks at the ends of all the rivers and their tributaries to limit the flow of water to the main river. • Stage three was the diversion of the Euphrates River to al-Masab alAam (which they called the third river or the leader river) in Thiqar province with the objective of diverting the Euphrates waters from alFudhailiyah,  kilometers (. miles) east of Nasiriyah, to the leader river. This operation was completed early in July  and resulted in the diversion of the Euphrates waters from their source to a lower-level canal to drain the marshlands. • Stage four was to build dykes on both sides of the Euphrates River in Thiqar and Basra provinces. The dam in this case was located between Mdainah (at parallels ° east and ° north) and Nasiriyah, passing through al-Chibayish (located at parallels ° east and ° north). The purpose of this stage was the prevention of the flow of water from the Euphrates to Hammar marsh with an earth dam parallel to the river.

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• Stage five was the division of the Marshes in Misan and Basra provinces through several barriers, as a prelude to drying them up. This was accomplished by building an earth dam starting from Abo-Sibour village (at parallels ° east and ° north). Clearly, Saddam had one objective: to destroy the environment of the Marshes. The stages were directives intended to dry up the marshes, and they were carried out by the authorities with brutal force to ensure their implementation even as the whole plan was shrouded in the utmost secrecy. The people of the Marshes suffered greatly as water became very scarce in certain areas while in others it became virtually unobtainable. This had dire consequences for agriculture, animal breeding, and the water supply available for human consumption. In addition, hundreds of thousands of inhabitants fled their native areas to escape the devastation of their environment. In January  Dr. Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum issued a report on the situation in the Marshes based on numerous sources, including the Supreme Council’s account of Saddam’s draining of the Marshes. The report found that the Marshes were no longer safe and that many of its inhabitants fled: Saddam’s regime had conducted heavy military operations in which thousands of local civilians died. The army used heavy artillery, helicopter gunships, and chemical weapons. The regime’s military actions affected the unique way of life of the Marsh Arabs and destroyed the ,-year-old cultural environment of southern Iraq. On February , , Middle East Watch issued a report about the symbiotic relationship between fighters and non-fighters in the Marshes, citing the existence of organized groups of rebels living in marsh villages. Although the Iraqi government said it had taken military action against deserters and saboteurs supported by Iran, Middle East Watch believed that much of the fighting in the Marshes on the rebel side was carried out by local people reacting to government oppression. Middle East Watch also reported that the damage done by draining the marshes was irreversible, with disastrous ecological, social, and individual consequences that effectively destroyed the way of life of the Marsh Arabs. That same month, in his report to the UN Commission on Human Rights, former Dutch Foreign Minister Max van der Stoel addressed the violations that were affecting the people of the southern marsh area in Iraq. He noted that in  there had been military attacks in the region, including aerial and ground bombardment and allegations of underwater mines set in the

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waters of the Marshes that caused many civilian injuries and casualties. Van der Stoel also reported on the significant negative effects on the region that Saddam’s project of draining the marshes had produced, including the lack of potable water for its inhabitants and the complete destruction of the ecosystem and ancient lifestyle of the people living there. In my campaign to make the world aware of the general situation in Iraq as well as the specific repression of the Marsh Arabs, I wrote letters to UK and U.S. officials and issued reports through continuous press releases and my “Iraq Update” weekly newsletter. My efforts gained the attention of UK and U.S. officials, the media, and international organizations. First Contacts The demolition of the Marsh Arab distinctive culture, Peter Galbraith wrote, is considered Saddam’s second genocide, effectively killing , Marsh Arabs.  Unlike the case in the north, U.S. forces did not protect the south, and no humanitarian assistance reached the Marshes. On July , , I received word of additional attacks by Saddam’s forces in the marsh areas. I relayed this news to Julian Walker at the British Foreign Office and to some members of the British Parliament and media. Walker, former British Ambassador to Qatar and a member of the UN committee tasked with the demarcation of the Kuwaiti-Iraqi borders, phoned to thank me for the information and requested a meeting to discuss these issues. I accepted his invitation, indicating that SCIRI’s representative to the international organizations based in Geneva, Ali al-Adhadh, who was visiting me in London, would attend as well. (Al-Adhadh was assassinated in Baghdad in  along with his pregnant wife as he attempted to take her to the hospital.) The Supreme Council had four official representatives: Baqir al-Zubaidi in Syria, who became Finance Minister under the Nouri al-Maliki government in ; Dhia al-Dabbas in Vienna, who became Ambassador to the Czech Republic in ; Ali al-Adhadh in Geneva; and myself in London. However, there were a large number of supporters and contact points in many countries of the world. On July , al-Adhadh and I met with Walker, a slim, active man in his sixties. We met him in his office in a historical Foreign Office building in Central London. We discussed the Marshes: the size of the region, its geography, its indigenous people, and the refugees who had taken sanctuary there.

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I explained how Saddam’s forces were surrounding the area and showed Walker detailed maps the Supreme Council had managed to obtain from officials of Saddam’s regime. Walker, who was already very knowledgeable about the Marshes, the tribes living there, and the army actions, took notes as al-Adhadh and I spoke. He asked about the number of inhabitants and size of the resistance forces and requested a copy of the maps. He confirmed my observation that the war in the Marshes included the use of heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery by Saddam’s forces, and that the targets were not only the freedom fighters hiding in the Marshes but also the civilians living there. I then mentioned British Prime Minister John Major’s initiative for the creation of a safe haven in northern Iraq and how it would be useful to have similar initiatives for the south. Walker said it would be difficult to create a safe haven in the south because neighboring countries had refused to allow the use of their territories. However, it would still be useful to create a media campaign to convince the British public about the oppression of the Shiites, similar to the campaign for the Kurdish cause after the uprising began in March . He emphasized the importance of sending photographers to the Marshes to capture what was taking place and broadcast it to the world. We explained that this would be extremely difficult, however, because neighboring countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran would not allow journalists and photographers to cross their borders. People in the south, I noted, said they wanted to be treated like the Kurds, who had international protection, freedom, and the ability to elect their own rulers. The Iraqi people are looking for those who will stand with them, rescue them, and deal with their real representatives, not with nominal opposition figures who have no real presence inside Iraq. Walker replied that the British government knew there were Iraqi opposition figures who lacked this legitimacy within Iraq. Ali al-Adhadh raised the idea of a visit to the UK by Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council, to meet with British Prime Minister John Major. Walker was open to this idea, but he felt the more important goal was to educate the British public about Iraqis and the oppression they were facing in order to pave the way for al-Hakim’s visit. Walker believed the regime’s attacks in the Marshes could provide an opening to a larger discussion about the repression of Shiites throughout the world and mobilize international public opinion to protect them. Sayyid al-Hakim could, as a result, gain a larger international political profile as a

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representative of the Shiites in Iraq, which could provide him with the opportunity to meet leaders in the West. He insisted that the tragedy of the Marshes must be presented to influence international public opinion, and the way to do that was by sending journalists and photographers to the Marshes. This could be accomplished by coordinating with the Iranian authorities, sending Iraqi photographers with the fighters, or asking the fighters themselves to record what was happening in the Marshes. Within days of my meeting with Walker, the British Foreign Office issued a statement expressing the British government’s concern over news of attacks against Shiites in southern Iraq. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said that London was in contact with its allies to study the deteriorating situation in the region. He added that the attacks violated Security Council Resolution  and that the British government was trying to find a role for the UN in southern Iraq. Al Hayat, the Arabic newspaper published in London, printed the Foreign Office’s statement. The newfound attention prompted British and American newspapers to publish news stories about the arrest of  Iraqi merchants and the execution of forty of them. Amnesty International also issued a statement that mentioned the names of those executed, which included three of my relatives. Although a few of these merchants were Sunnis, Iraqis believed that Saddam’s regime targeted Shiite businessmen because of fear they might support the opposition in the south. On August , , Julian Walker phoned again and requested new information about the situation in the Marshes, saying there was mounting pressure in British political circles for the government to do something. I responded with a letter detailing how, according to our sources in Iraq, Saddam’s forces had launched air and artillery attacks in the Marshes near Qalaat Salih in Amarah province. The army, I was told, was unable to launch a ground attack because of morale problems stemming from the regime’s decision to call up all Iraqis born between  and  for reserve service. In mid-August  I learned from sources inside Iraq that Saddam’s regime planned to build dykes on the rivers leading to the Marshes in Amarah and Basra. The project included a proposal to dig a river parallel to southern edges of the Marshes that would connect with the rivers serving the marshes and thus drain all the waters from them. I also received information that airplanes were being used for surveillance in the Marshes in Amarah province. On August , , just days before the imposition of a no-fly zone in the south, Iraqi planes flew over the al-Agar

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area after an attack. The people of the region believed Saddam was testing the international community’s reaction before launching another attack on the Marshes. Underscoring all the messages I received from my sources were pleas to broadcast the information and to mobilize political action from outside Iraq. By the end of August , the U.S., UK, and France had imposed a no-fly zone south of the nd parallel to protect the people of the Marshes. Known as “Operation Southern Watch,” it came about after the UN passed a resolution condemning Saddam Hussein for the repression of Iraq’s civilian population. At first, the zone covered mainly marshlands and included Basra, Iraq’s second largest city. But as Saddam’s regime continued to use planes for surveillance, bombardment, and repression of areas in southern Iraq outside the no-fly zone, it was extended northward to the rd parallel in , closer to the Iraqi capital, and thereby covering the southern third of Iraq. The Americans Reach Out Peter Galbraith described the situation on the ground in Iraq in  in an article in the Washington Post. According to Galbraith, the U.S. had betrayed the Shiite majority in Iraq by failing to come to their aid: The practical expression of this policy came in the decisions made by the military on the ground. U.S. commanders spurned the rebels’ plea for help. The United States allowed Iraq to send Republican Guard units into southern cities and to fly helicopter gunships. (This in spite of a ban on flights, articulated by General Norman Schwarzkopf with considerable swagger: “You fly, you die.”) The consequences were devastating. Hussein’s forces leveled the historical centers of the Shiite towns, bombarded sacred Shiite shrines and executed thousands on the spot. By some estimates, , people died in reprisal killings between March and September. Many of these atrocities were committed in proximity to American troops, who were under orders not to intervene. A similar myopia appears to have guided the U.S. administration in its dealings with Saddam’s Iraqi opponents. During the period from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August , , through the U.S. declaration of a ceasefire in the Gulf War on February , , U.S. officials were prohibited from

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meeting with the Iraqi opposition. This prohibition originated with a meeting of PUK leader Jalal Talabani and a U.S. official in . Back then, the U.S. had tilted toward Iraq and against Iran, so there were strong objections from Baghdad to the U.S. meeting with any Iraqi opposition members; Reagan Administration Secretary of State George Schultz officially forbade such contacts. But that does not explain why the restriction remained in effect after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi opposition groups that had met in Beirut in  continued to talk and negotiate a second round of conferences on how to remove Saddam’s regime. Initially it was thought that the opposition would convene in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh or Al Taif. The objective of the conference was to agree on a plan to topple Saddam’s regime with the support of regional countries. Meanwhile, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi—someone we will meet often in this history, and whom I will introduce more fully in the next chapter—gained the support of the U.S. and UK to organize a conference in Vienna in June . He managed to convince some Iraqi opposition groups to participate in the conference, including the two Kurdish parties and some unaffiliated and unaligned Iraqis, such as Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum, a religious scholar who had worked with Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim in London, and Dr. Laith Kubba, an Islamist who was formerly a member of the Dawa Islamic party. Of the five principal political currents, four boycotted the Vienna conference: the Islamic current (including SCIRI and the Dawa Islamic party), the nationalist contingent (including the Baath party Syrian wing), the left wing (including the communist party), and the liberal current. Only the Kurdish parties, which included the KDP and the PUK, participated in the conference. The Iraqi opposition had an important objective: to convince the international community, especially Western nations and international organizations, to support the Iraqi people in their struggle to rid themselves of Saddam’s brutal dictatorial regime. To that end, all of us worked to convince Western officials that a military coup was not the solution: it would only replace one dictatorship with another. Instead, Saddam’s regime needed to be replaced with a constitutional, parliamentary, pluralistic federal government. Until that time came, the West needed to wield international law and carry out UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution , which requested that Saddam’s regime cease its oppression of the Iraqi people and put an end to its human rights violations.

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On August , , I met Dr. Laith Kubba at the Al Khoei Foundation in London during the fatiha (death rites) for Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Abollqassem al-Khoei, the supreme religious authority of the world’s Shiites. I had met Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei in Najaf in his house and in the Khadra mosque or “Green Mosque” where he used to lead the prayers. Kubba, an Iraqi graduate of Baghdad University, had completed his higher education in the UK and was now an active opponent of Saddam’s regime. He served as Director of International Relations at the Al Khoei Foundation in London. Kubba and Dr. Ahmad Chalabi were the engineers of the June  Vienna opposition conference. As I have noted, major Islamic groups such as the one I represented, SCIRI, and the Dawa Party, had boycotted the conference. Kubba and Chalabi participated in the opposition delegation trip to the U.S. that followed. I asked Kubba about their visit to the U.S. He said he was optimistic; the new administration of Bill Clinton appeared to be receptive and was also willing to recognize the Shiites as representatives of the opposition, receiving Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum as the head of the delegation. He added that the Americans were serious about supporting the Iraqi opposition against Saddam. I had heard from some friends that when Dr. Chalabi was asked about the U.S. visit, he reported that it was unsuccessful. Dr. Chalabi said the U.S. had asked the delegation to contact other opposition groups that had boycotted the Vienna conference (a request confirmed by newspapers such as the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat). It was with this series of events in the background that I met on September , , with Frank Ricciardone, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission for Baghdad (–), who was based in Amman. I had met Ricciardone earlier, in July . He had told me then that he had come to London from Amman. While there, he had been working out of the U.S. embassy against Saddam’s regime. Jordanian authorities had advised him that his activities had caught the attention of Iraqi intelligence, which was planning to assassinate him. I began the meeting by sketching some history of the Iraqi people’s struggle against the Baath Party regime and the uprisings of , , and . I explained how the Iraqi people had been disappointed because the U.S. President had encouraged them to rise up against Saddam after his invasion of Kuwait, but let them down and allowed Saddam’s forces to crush them. I spoke about the work of Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, who was widely

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considered a prominent leader of the Iraqi people. I noted that he was also the son of the late Grand Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim, who was the highest religious authority in Najaf between  and , and that he had also been closely associated with Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, the Iraqi religious leader who, along with his sister, was executed by Saddam’s regime in . It was that year, I recounted, that Sayyid al-Hakim fled to Syria and then to Iran, where he began to lead the opposition’s activities against Saddam. I explained the different organizations Sayyid al-Hakim had set up since he left Iraq, including the Iraqi Mujahideen Movement (Harakat al-Mujahideen al-Iraqiyeen), which was active in Syria in -, the Mujahideen Religious Scholars Association in Iraq (Jamaat al-Ulama al-Mujahideen fil Iraq), and SCIRI. Ricciardone remarked that the term “Islamic Revolution” in SCIRI might pose a problem for Westerners, since it gave the impression that the group was extremist. The West is sensitive to the idea of promoting Islamic extremism, he said. Iraqis, however, were free to choose whatever ideology they wanted, so if they chose Islam, it was up to them. He continued that the idea of a confrontation between the West and Muslims, perpetuated since the Crusades, was an outmoded way to define relations between the two cultures today. Ricciardone was not wrong to raise concerns about how the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq’s name might be perceived in the West. I had in fact advised the SCIRI leadership and Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim that they should consider changing the group’s name to “Supreme Council of the Iraqi Opposition” or “Supreme Council of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq” with the same abbreviation, SCIRI. I pointed out that when I used the words “Islamic Revolution in Iraq,” people in the West often asked, “Is it connected to the Iranian Islamic revolution?” The question never came up, however, when I used the terms “Iraqi resistance” or “opposition.” The SCIRI leader agreed that I use the Supreme Council of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq although he did not change the official name of the organization. Before his assassination by Saddam’s regime, Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim had recalled that Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr had favored the names “Free Iraqis” or “Iraq Liberation Party” when he started his political movement in . Ricciardone said that the West’s long and good relations with secular groups and individuals such as Saad Saleh Jabur, with whom SCIRI also had positive relations, would help reassure the West. I assured him that our

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relations with Saad Saleh Jabur were also good and strong. He was a close friend of the brother of the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim, and they had fled Iraq together in  after being accused of planning a coup against the Baath Party with military officers and tribal chiefs. I also noted that the Supreme Council had good relations with participants at the Beirut conference, including Salah Omar al-Ali, a former Baath Party leader before and after the military coup of July , , who had defected and joined the Iraqi opposition in London. Salah Omar al-Ali was a co-founder of the Iraqi National Accord (INA) with Ayad Allawi, another Baath Party leader who defected and lived in London (although they soon split and headed different opposition groups). The Supreme Council’s relationship with Ayad Allawi was good as well. Ricciardone said there were some people who believed Salah Omar al-Ali had contacts with Saddam’s regime. I replied that we had heard these rumors but did not have evidence to support the charge. I also reassured Ricciardone that I had already approached the SCIRI leadership about the importance of strengthening relations with secular groups and with the Sunnis, arguing that they would give us strength locally, regionally, and internationally: locally against the regime, which was playing the sectarian card by casting the opposition as religiously based; regionally with the neighboring Sunni powers; and internationally as a broad-based Iraqi movement. I added that from my base in London, I had also already begun work to strengthen relations with other secular opposition groups and individuals, which included former military officers and ambassadors. Ricciardone went on to explain the American thinking about the overthrow of Saddam’s regime. He outlined a five-point program that called for () strengthening economic sanctions; () demonstrating the power of the Iraqi opposition on the ground; () isolating the regime from the north and the south through the creation of the safe haven for the Kurds in the north and the imposition of the no-fly zone in the south (which had just occurred in August); () gaining approval for a UN Security Council resolution that would allow the use of Iraq’s frozen assets to finance UN human rights inspectors and aid relief workers; and () maintaining continuous and gradually increased pressure on the regime generally by demanding the implementation of Security Council resolutions regarding WMD and human rights until the regime fell. I asked Ricciardone whether the U.S. thought the continued pressure would cause an internal movement among army officers to overthrow the

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regime. I mentioned that I had heard a lot about the American idea of instigating a military coup. Ricciardone’s answer was yes, so I explained that we did not think this was sufficient pressure to create the conditions for a coup. I told him there must be a safe haven in the south similar to the one for the Kurds in the north. He replied that this was not possible; creating a safe haven in the south would require wide international agreement that could not now be easily achieved. “Why aren’t UN observers sent to monitor the situation in Iraq and to deliver aid?” I asked. “The UN is weak,” he replied. As for other international powers’ cooperation with the U.S. on Iraq, he said the French were not working with Washington to the same degree as the British. I mentioned that I had learned from Ali al-Adhadh that U.S. relations with the French were poor, but I had noticed that the Kurds were benefiting considerably from French political and humanitarian support, which means they would be ready to support the opposition against Saddam. I then explained to Ricciardone the importance of dealing with the influential groups inside Iraq: real representatives of the Iraqi people. Dealing with such representatives would guarantee the cooperation of the Iraqi people generally, especially the religious scholars, tribes, and military officers. If the West imposed unpopular leaders who lacked grassroots support inside Iraq, the Iraqis would reject them. Ricciardone said the U.S. did not want to impose any group of leaders and that it had not championed one group over another. He added that Ali al-Adhadh had said in a meeting with an official from the State Department that it appeared that the U.S. was supporting Vienna conference participants only, but that was incorrect. The U.S. wanted to deal with all the Iraqi opposition groups, but wanted them to unite. I said that the Supreme Council did not have any problem with the Vienna conference participants and had agreed to attend a conference in Salah al-Din in October  to establish a united Iraqi National Congress. Still, when I raised with Ricciardone the idea of a visit by Supreme Council leader Sayyid al-Hakim to New York to meet the UN Secretary General and U.S. officials, he demurred. He said they had just received the group from the Vienna conference, so if they met Sayyid alHakim it would be said that they were working with different groups every day, and not with a united opposition. He added that a meeting could also provoke the Saudis, who would think the U.S. was “playing the Shiite card” in the region.

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I talked to Ricciardone about the Supreme Council’s vision of the future of Iraq: the importance of establishing a constitutional parliamentary system suitable to Iraq, which should be put before the Iraqi people in a referendum. If they selected a system we could adopt, that would be good; if they did not, we would try, through peaceful means, to convince the people to change their views. I reiterated that Sayyid al-Hakim’s vision of Iraq’s political future encompassed all of Iraq’s ethnic and religious groups—Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians, Muslims and non-Muslims. Indeed, many prominent Sunni leaders had told me that the real opposition inside Iraq was composed of Sayyid al-Hakim and the Kurdish leaders. As the meeting came to an end, I told Ricciardone that the Supreme Council maintained a cautious attitude toward the U.S. Washington was known for forcing its views on its partners; we wanted a relationship based on understanding and cooperation, not confrontation and animosity. He agreed with me, and said that he wanted to remain in contact. I later wrote to the Supreme Council leadership that we had an opportunity to open wide the doors of a relationship with the U.S. It was a historic moment, but considerable work remained: We needed to explain the Supreme Council’s goals not only to the U.S. but to the world.

2 The Journey from Salah al-Din to Washington

The period from  to  was a very significant one for the Iraqi opposition, which began to consolidate at an important conference held at Salah alDin in northern—Kurdish—Iraq in October . This period was especially crucial because of the opposition’s renewed efforts to work with Washington and London toward two goals: to pressure Saddam’s regime by enforcing UN resolutions condemning its brutal repression of the Iraqi people, and to give immediate relief to the Marsh Arabs, who, as described in the previous chapter, had lost their ancient way of life and habitat at the hands of Saddam. The Iraqi groups that had participated in the Vienna conference in June  set up the Iraqi National Congress (INC). The INC later sent a delegation to Washington in hopes of gaining the U.S. government’s recognition and support. However, U.S. officials told the group that the INC needed to work with the opposition organizations that had boycotted the Vienna conference as well, especially major groups such as the Supreme Council. The U.S. wanted to deal with an umbrella organization uniting the Iraqi opposition rather than separately with each individual group. Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, who emerged from the Vienna conference as a leader of the INC, began to gather the Iraqi opposition in another conference with the support of the Kurdish leaders and Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum. However, Dr. Laith Kubba had problems with Dr. Chalabi and did not attend the new conference in Salah al-Din. Before the October meeting in Salah al-Din, I met again with former Ambassador to Qatar Julian Walker, the British official who had initiated contacts with our group. Walker and I first discussed using Saddam’s frozen assets to provide humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people. He told me not to worry, that

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there would be sufficient funding, but not a lot. When I also asked about providing aid immediately to the people in the south, he said there was more concern about the Kurds in the north because the winter there is harsher than in the south. He also pointed out that providing aid to the south would require the help of Iran, which was wary of the West in general and the U.S. in particular. I told him that if Iran was posing a stumbling block, the aid should go through Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, which he acknowledged as a good idea. Our meeting then turned to the upcoming Salah al-Din conference and how the Supreme Council could play a role in mediating among the different opposition groups. Walker said the British had heard that the leadership committee of a unified opposition could be either three or seven people; “we would prefer three,” he said. He also said that they hoped SCIRI leader Sayyid al-Hakim would be part of the leadership committee, and that they would support his presence because of his credibility and the influence he wielded in Iraq. Once he was part of the leadership, he should then travel to the West to show that not every black turban signified an enemy extremist. Before the Salah al-Din conference, I also met again with Frank Ricciardone, the U.S. official I had met earlier in the year. The question of providing aid to the south and the upcoming conference also dominated this meeting. Ricciardone said the U.S. was talking to Max van der Stoel, the former Dutch Foreign Minister who was reporting to the UN about the human rights situation in Iraq, about how best to get humanitarian aid into the south. He also said he was aware of the mass transfers of Iraqis from the Marshes to the north that Saddam’s regime had begun. The U.S. would try to monitor the situation but, again, it was essential for us to contact U.S. journalists about the matter and have them query the administration publicly about what was happening in the Marshes in order to publicize their plight. Like Walker, Ricciardone reaffirmed the importance of creating a unified opposition at the Salah al-Din conference. He underscored this by saying he had been meeting with various Iraqi opposition groups whose depictions of the state of the opposition were colored by their own political leanings. That made it difficult to get a clear picture about the situation in Iraq. A preparatory committee for the Salah al-Din conference held several meetings in London. Committee members included representatives from the groups that participated in the Vienna conference and the new groups that agreed to participate in Salah al-Din. Lengthy debates ensued, including discussions about the name of the umbrella organization that would emerge from the conference. The groups from the Vienna conference insisted on

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keeping the name “Iraqi National Congress,” while the groups that joined afterward insisted on adding the word “United” to the name. Eventually the United Iraqi National Congress emerged from the committee. Another major issue the committee discussed was the representation quota of each group participating in Salah al-Din. Ibrahim Nawar, writing in Al-Ahram Weekly, stated that in the view of many, the most important achievement at this landmark meeting was the allocation of representative quotas to the various opposition factions along ethnic and sectarian lines— which became commonly known as the “Salah al-Din quotas.” Accordingly, Nawar reported, the Kurdish political entities were offered  percent representation, the Islamic Shiite parties and movements  percent, the Sunni groups  percent, the Turkmen parties  percent, and the Assyrians  percent. The rest was allocated to secular and liberal parties and groupings. According to one participant, the criteria of representation were based on “a virtual census,” with Shiite Arabs representing  percent of the population, Sunni Arabs  percent, and Kurds  percent. However, Ibrahim Nawar’s figures were not accurate; the ethnic quota which we agreed on in the conference was  percent for Arabs, divided equally between Islamists and Liberals;  percent for the Kurds (Liberals  percent, Islamists  percent),  percent for the Turkmen (divided equally between Shiites and the Sunnis), and  percent for the Assyrians. The religious and sectarian quota came out to  percent Shiite (Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen),  percent Sunni (Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen), and  percent Christian. A final central issue, discussed at length, concerned who would represent each group, and who from all of these ethnic, sectarian, and religious groups would attend the conference. Results of the Salah al-Din Conference The conference finally convened in October . The Iraqi National Congress that emerged from the gathering chose a leadership council composed of three men: a Shiite Arab and independent religious scholar, Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum; Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Democratic Party; and a Sunni Arab and former Iraqi army general, Hassan al-Naqib. An executive council representing many political, ethnic, and religious groups in the opposition was also named. I served as SCIRI representative on the council (a post I held until ). The head of the executive committee was Dr. Ahmad Chalabi.

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Chalabi comes from a wealthy and prominent family in Iraq and is now a well-known Iraqi personality. His father, Abdul Hadi Chalabi, was Deputy President of the Iraqi House of Lords during the monarchy and was well respected by the Iraqi people. He was loyal to the religious leadership in the holy city of Najaf. The INC executive council established headquarters in both Salah alDin and London. I attended most of its meetings, as did Chalabi, unless he was traveling, as he often did, to the U.S. I traveled with Chalabi and other opposition leaders as part of the Iraqi opposition delegations to the U.S. and throughout Europe and the region. The INC led a campaign to reach out to Western officials—especially the Americans—about the objectives of the Iraqi opposition. A primary objective was to convince the West to support the Iraqi people in their struggle to remove the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. At the same time, we tried to explain that a military coup was not a solution; if one did take place, it would only replace Saddam’s dictatorship with another dictatorship. Our other major objective was to pressure the West to protect the Iraqi people by enforcing international law and UN Security Council resolutions. In February , the INC executive council convened in Salah al-Din. Representatives from nearly all the opposition attended. The statement issued at the end of the meeting emphasized the sovereignty and unity of Iraq. To that end, a consulting committee of ten individuals (later enlarged to twenty) was given the task of determining the political and military strategies of the opposition, articulating the opposition’s political message, and holding discussions with regional and international bodies. Several posts were created to carry out the work of the council. The Arab Relations office went to Ayad Allawi, and Salah al-Shaikhly was named INC spokesman. The Foreign Relations office was given to the Kurds, with Barzani and Talabani appointing its head. The Relief Office came under Supreme Council authority, and I was later selected to head it. This progress in developing the INC took place even as doubt and debate emerged over the role of Dr. Ahmad Chalabi in the executive council. Lobbying the British In the months after the meetings at Salah al-Din, I met with Julian Walker and other British government officials in an attempt to develop a level of comfort and dialogue with Supreme Council representation within the

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INC. Overshadowing these meetings was the continuing bloodshed in the Marshes. In January , British MP Emma Nicholson wrote in Arab Review about her experience as witness to the Marsh Arabs’ “miseries and deprivation in the south of Iraq” as a consequence of Saddam’s project to drain the marshes. She saw and spoke to the victims about their experiences and reported that at one point, water in  villages of the Misan Marshes had dried up, forcing about , people to dig wells to access water for daily use. The surface of the reed beds was cracked and dry. As a result, the way of life of the inhabitants of the Marshes was destroyed; they were not able to hunt, fish, or keep their water buffalo. Nicholson wrote about the Supreme Council’s call to the UN on November , , to “intervene urgently to stop the Iraqi regime’s repressive actions in Southern Iraq,” to investigate the draining of the marshes, and to create a full security zone in southern Iraq. On February , , British Defense Minister Malcolm Rifkind wrote a letter to MP Nicholson, who sent me a copy of the letter: Thank you for your recent letter enclosing one from Dr Hamid AlBayati commenting on points raised during exchanges following my statement in the House on th July. I have read Dr. Al-Bayati’s letter with interest. I very much share your concern over the continuing repression of the civilian population in Iraq by the regime in Baghdad. I believe the no fly zone, enforced by coalition aircraft, is making a valuable contribution to the protection of the civilian population. I do not believe, however, that there is a great scope for deeper military involvement. This would be very difficult to mount in practical terms; it would also require further authority from the United Nations, which is unlikely for the time being. Nevertheless, we shall continue to monitor the position on the ground and respond to developments as appropriate. I would welcome any further information which you may feel would be of interest to us—for example, I should like to see the document evidence of repression referred to by Dr. Al-Bayati. Perhaps you would be able to get this to us? I am copying this letter, and Dr Al-Bayati’s, to [Foreign Secretary] Douglas Hurd. On February , Prime Minister John Major wrote a letter to Nicholson, who sent me a copy of the letter saying, “I am glad to have your firsthand account of the views of people from southern Iraq.” He added:

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We attach the highest importance to human rights issues. Iraq is once again in the agenda of discussion this month at the Annual Session of the Commission on Human Rights. Douglas Hogg [Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs] plans to address the Commission on  February and will make clear our views on Iraq’s continued unacceptable behavior. We will also continue to support in full the vital work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Iraq. By March , we had developed a better understanding with the British on the question of the Marshes. On March , I presented Julian Walker with maps of the dykes Saddam’s forces were building in the marshes in order to drain them. Although Walker said the British government had believed the dykes were indeed intended for agricultural purposes, as the regime claimed, the maps we provided made a strong case that something other than agricultural needs was driving the government to undertake the work at this time, and with such haste. Still, Walker was noncommittal when I again asked if a safe haven could be proclaimed for the people in the south as it had been for the Kurds in the north. Several days later MP Emma Nicholson and I had a meeting with Gerhard Putman-Cramer, head of the Iraq unit for the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and Assistant to Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Eliasson. Putman-Cramer came to London to examine the maps of the dykes after a long conversation between Nicholson and Eliasson about the Marshes. Putman-Cramer asked for more information and said Saddam’s regime had refused to grant visas to a UN delegation to tour the Marshes. This movement on the Marshes took place against the backdrop of the consolidation of the Iraqi opposition in the Iraqi National Congress. When I first spoke with Julian Walker after the Salah al-Din conference, I pointedly asked whether the British were going to support the INC and why. Walker said they were, because they believed it was better to work with an umbrella group representing the Iraqi opposition than to work with an opposition that was not unified. In the past we did not know who represented the opposition, he said. Moreover, he said the U.S. would support the INC for the same reason. I listened to his arguments and posed the Supreme Council’s concerns about the INC, especially concerns such as foreign interference, lack of real leaders who represented the Iraqi people, and bad politics in which some

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INC figures had engaged. I asked if he thought participating was better than boycotting the INC. He said participation was the better choice, even with all the mistakes and complications so far. He posed the question: If you destroy the INC, what is the alternative? On May , , Overseas Development Administration (ODA) Minister Lynda Chalker, Baroness of Wallasey, wrote a letter to Nicholson in which she stated that the disaster in the marshlands was being followed at the official level by influential people in the UK government. During the summer of , my focus returned to Saddam’s reign of terror in the Marshes. From my base in London, I worked with my British contacts Nicholson, Walker, and others to focus international media attention on the tragedy taking place and find a way to provide humanitarian aid to those suffering in the Marshes. Prominently missing from the discussions was the U.S. Walker continued to act as my main conduit in the British government when it came to trying to alleviate the crisis. In late July, he told me that the British government was focusing on concluding the negotiations between Iraq and the UN on Security Council Resolutions  and , which allowed Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people. The revenue generated by oil sales would go to an account at the UN:  percent of the proceeds would be paid out as compensation for the invasion of Kuwait; a smaller percentage would go to the UN for expenses; and the rest would be used to purchase food and medicines for the Iraqi people, with the UN monitoring the distribution. I asked Walker whether this course of action would strengthen Saddam. He said that precautions would be taken to prevent that from happening. What was most important now was stopping the Iraqi people from being forced to sell their own clothes and furniture to buy food; we needed them fed and clothed so that they could concentrate on taking action against the regime. Only two days after this discussion, Walker informed me that the British government would be granting £, in assistance to refugees from the Marshes. The money would go to the Committee for the Relief of the Iraqi People, an NGO headed by an Iraqi friend, Mohammed al-Qazzaz. Walker said that the British government had agreed with the Overseas Development Administration that this was the best way to distribute aid to the refugees. There was one major question for me, however: Was any of this aid going to be coordinated with the INC? Walker explained that, while the government supported the INC politically, it would still work with British NGOs; it

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did not want to provide aid through Iraqi groups separately. I reminded him that the government had promised to send aid through the INC, and he said he would meet with other government officials to discuss this. The British government ultimately did not give any humanitarian aid to the INC, citing the organization’s political makeup; the British did not want the humanitarian aid used for political gain. In summer , I managed, with the help of Emma Nicholson, to organize meetings for the Supreme Council leader’s political advisor, Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, with Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and other UK officials, as well as Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey. These meetings were the first between officials from the headquarters of the Supreme Council and British officials. Sheikh Hamoudi explained the situation in Iraq and the Saddam regime’s policy of repressing the Iraqi people. He requested the support of the international community for the Iraqi people and the implementation of Security Council resolutions, especially Resolution . British officials asked about the Supreme Council and its views regarding the situation in and the future of Iraq. At its peak, the Marshes campaign that Emma Nicholson and I conducted reached Prince Charles. In October , Nicholson helped arrange for me to be invited among a small group of people to St. James’s Palace. Nicholson introduced me to Prince Charles, who asked about the situation in the Marshes. I explained the regime’s policy of brutal oppression of the Iraqi people, the bombardment of the Marsh Arabs and the project to drain the Marshes. Prince Charles later delivered a speech about Saddam’s oppression of the Iraqi people, highlighting especially the situation in the marshes. There was wide media coverage of his speech. Later that month, on October , Prince Charles delivered a speech at Oxford University about Islam and the West in which he expressed his despair and outrage at what Saddam Hussein and his regime had done to Iraq. In particular, he spoke about what happened to the Shiite population of Iraq and the devastation of the Marsh Arabs. He spoke of the draining of the Marshes and the destruction of this unique habitat, along with the population that had depended on it “since the dawn of human civilization.” He even called out as “lies” the regime’s excuses that the Marshes were being drained for agricultural purposes. Meanwhile, Nicholson was making plans to travel to Jordan at the invitation of Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein. There she planned to coordinate aid efforts with Jordanian groups to provide humanitarian assistance

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to Iraqi children. The visit did not take place, however, because the Iraqi government was unwilling to accede to her conditions that they allow her to travel with well-known BBC journalist John Simpson, an interpreter, and a cameraman, and that she would be allowed to choose her own itinerary. Despair Up-Close: Traveling to the Marshes One of the important things I did with Emma Nicholson was to send the journalist Shyam Bhatia of the Observer to the Marshes inside Iraq, where he traveled with Supreme Council fighters in July . He came back after around two weeks with reports, pictures, and video about Saddam’s oppression of the people living there. He published a long article about the Marshes that appeared with color pictures on the front page of the Observer. We had selected Shyam Bhatia based on the advice of our people inside Iraq, who suggested that, with his dark complexion and an Iraqi headdress, Bhatia would not be recognized by Saddam’s intelligence forces, who would be unable to arrest or kidnap him. Nicholson had traveled previously to the Marshes herself and met a tenyear-old boy named Amar whose family had been killed in Saddam’s napalm bombardment of the marshes. Amar suffered burns over  percent of his body, including his face. Nicholson told me that she brought Amar to London for medical treatment, which she thought would take six months. However the doctors in Guy’s Hospital, which specializes in burn treatment and plastic surgery, told her he would need years of treatment as he grew; because Amar’s burned skin would never grow, they would need to continue to graft skin from other parts of his body. After witnessing his harrowing ordeal, Emma Nicholson decided to set up a nonprofit organization called the Amar Appeal to provide humanitarian aid to the people of the Marshes. In August , Nicholson decided to travel to the Marshes again, and asked me to accompany her and help organize the trip. I did so through the office of the Supreme Council in Tehran. We took three journalists with us: BBC correspondent George Alagiah, a cameraman, and Tom Rhodes from the London Times. We traveled from London to Tehran and met with Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Al-Hakim thanked Nicholson for supporting the Iraqi people against Saddam’s regime and urged Nicholson to do something to implement the UN resolutions and to protect the Iraqi people.

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George Alagiah hired a private jet to take us from Tehran to Ahwaz, and from Ahwaz the Supreme Council workers drove us to the Iran-Iraq border. We saw thousands of refugees from the Marshes. The temperature was greater than  degrees C ( degrees F). Young people were collapsing, and children and elderly people were dying as a result of the conditions. We saw boats and canoes carrying refugees across the border, packed with men, women, and children. We heard a story about a woman who delivered a baby while in a boat crossing. We heard shooting and bombardment in the Marshes, and we learned that many refugees were shot while they tried to cross the borders. I witnessed the wounds of some of those who had been shot. I interviewed many refugees on camera, asking why they had left the Marshes and come to live in these difficult circumstances. They said that the lack of water had destroyed their way of life dating back thousands of years, which depended on breeding buffalo, planting rice, fishing, and hunting birds. With the Marshes like a desert, life became impossible. People who had been shot told me that Saddam’s forces were shooting whoever tried to flee. I asked a young man what he used to do in the Marshes, and he replied that he had been fighting Saddam’s regime. When I asked him why, he answered that it was because the regime had executed his father. Emma Nicholson’s Amar Appeal managed to save lives. While we were at the border, I saw a makeshift clinic with two local doctors (one male and one female) and a couple of nurses hired by the NGO. I saw two tents. In the first tent, a doctor examined patients while a nurse provided them with medicine. In the second were two beds where people stayed for medical treatment and rest. A small generator provided electricity for a basic air-cooling machine commonly used in the area. Children were treated for diarrhea, elderly people rested from heat exhaustion, and young people were treated for heat stroke. A female doctor treated women refugees. I saw how important Nicholson’s work on behalf of the Iraqis was. As an MP she was providing political support within the British government and Parliament, and she was providing direct humanitarian aid to refugees to save lives. I felt that even with little money, NGOs could save lives more quickly than governments and international organizations; they are quicker to send aid when and where it is needed. One of the fighters in the Marshes told me how the situation had changed since the invasion of Kuwait on August , . Before the invasion, most people he encountered in the villages supported Saddam’s regime, except for those few houses he knew to go to if he needed food, shelter, or transportation.

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After the invasion, he could go to the same village and everybody was against Saddam’s regime, except for a few houses he knew to avoid because the inhabitants would report his movements and activities to the regime. In autumn , the British Ministry of Defense issued a report, of which I have a copy, titled “Iraq: Monitoring the Situation in the Southern Marshes.” The report contained an analysis of imagery for four villages from late September , suggesting that some villages in the marsh area of southern Iraq had been destroyed. Although there was no evidence that any of these settlements were fired upon by artillery, Iraqi ground force units—either burning buildings or using high explosive shells—were judged to be the likely culprits. In addition, it reported that water courses had dried up, probably as a result of Iraqi drainage projects in the region. The report contained four satellite images: destroyed buildings in “village one,” an abandoned settlement in “village three,” a destroyed building in “village four,” and destroyed buildings and probable fire damage. Kuwaiti Humanitarian Aid to Iraqi Refugees On my return from the Marshes in August , I spoke with Dr. Ahmad Chalabi about my visit to southern Iraq and the worsening situation of the refugees on the borders. He told me that Kuwait was providing some humanitarian assistance to the refugees. I told him I was aware of this, since it had been published in the Arabic Al Hayat and Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspapers in London. The papers had also said that the aid would be given to the Supreme Council to distribute. Chalabi was upset, insisting the reports were mistaken; he said Kuwaiti aid would come to the Iraqi National Congress, and that I had given (erroneous) news to the press. I told him the press had obtained the information from the Kuwaiti news agency, not from me. I suggested that he contact the Kuwaiti Ambassador in London to find out who gave the news to the press and who would get the aid. Chalabi replied that he had contacted the Kuwaiti Ambassador and taken steps in order for the relief to be given via the INC. I countered that it was important that the aid reach the refugees; it was unimportant whether it reached them through the Supreme Council or the INC. I added that the aid came from Kuwait as a result of direct talks between Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah. Sayyid al-Hakim spoke to the Emir about the situation of the Marsh refugees as well as the refugees in Kurdistan.

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He suggested that the Emir send aid to refugees from the Marshes, the Kurdish refugees, and even people inside Iraq to prove that Kuwait opposed Saddam’s regime but not the Iraqi people. The Emir agreed to send the humanitarian aid through the Supreme Council. The Emir and the Kuwaiti government trusted SCIRI leader Sayyid al-Hakim more than other opposition leaders and received him as an official guest every year. I was part of the Supreme Council delegation that met the Emir of Kuwait and numerous other Kuwaiti officials over the course of many years. Sayyid al-Hakim, however, suggested that the aid be distributed directly to the refugees by the Kuwait Red Crescent. Kuwait sent aid to the Kurdish refugees in the north, to refugees from the Marshes in the south, and offered to send humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people inside Iraq. But Saddam’s regime refused to allow the aid to go to Iraqis inside Iraq and issued statements saying that Iraqis did not need the help of Kuwaitis. Kuwait also gave donations to Emma Nicholson’s Amar Appeal. I was invited to a meeting in which Kuwaiti Ambassador to the UK Khaled al-Duwaisan gave Nicholson a check as a donation to her organization. Ambassador Khaled al-Duwaisan was of great support to the Iraqi opposition in their campaign against Saddam’s regime. He used to receive me and other opposition members in his office and invited us to lectures, functions, and events held by the embassy or by visiting Kuwaiti officials. Political Campaign Against Saddam Our campaign against Saddam’s regime included protests, pickets, and demonstrations. I organized many of these activities and participated in a large number of them in London, New York, Washington, and other places. On October , , France decided to receive Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the Revolutionary Command Council, the highest authority under Saddam’s regime. I organized a meeting of the Iraqi opposition groups in London, and we agreed to protest this decision. I organized a picket outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge in London. I and several other Iraqi opposition leaders were selected by the protesters to present a letter of petition to the Embassy of France. I spoke with London’s Baghdad newspaper on October , , and stated that we condemned France’s act of receiving Aziz, a key player in the criminal dictatorial regime of Iraq. I added that we were puzzled by the French rationale that they had granted

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Aziz a visa for medical treatment strictly on a humanitarian basis, even as they ignored the suffering of millions of Iraqi people. On October , I distributed accounts about Saddam’s use of chemical weapons against the Marsh Arabs to the media; news items were published by the Times and the Guardian. BBC correspondent George Alagiah, who had accompanied me and Nicholson on our trip to the Marshes, conducted a broadcast interview with me to discuss the evidence. British radio called me as well, and I received inquiries about Saddam’s use of chemical weapons in the Marshes from news agencies and correspondents in the UK, Europe, Japan, and the U.S. The news reached Europe; journalists contacted the British Foreign Office, which responded that they were discussing the news but had no confirmation. BBC radio quoted the Foreign Office as saying that something had happened but they did not know what; they later speculated that perhaps Saddam had used phosphoric gases but not chemical weapons. I sensed that, with the prospect of an international outcry, perhaps the West would now do something about southern Iraq. During my radio and TV interviews, I asked the international community to establish a safe haven in the south similar to the one in the north. When journalists asked MP Emma Nicholson for her opinion, she supported my view. Rend Rahim Francke, head of the Iraq Foundation in Washington and an activist against Saddam’s regime, wrote a letter to Emma Nicholson on November , , saying that the UN had handed the investigation into the chemical attacks in the Marshes to the UN weapons inspection team. Nicholson’s concern was that they might not find evidence to prove there had been chemical attacks if the team was not going to the border area or interviewing witnesses. Later on, the Supreme Council sent me the diary of an Iraqi soldier in Saddam’s army in the Marshes. The soldier wrote about phosgene gas and how to avoid its effects. We discovered that Saddam’s forces used phosgene in the Marshes. Phosgene is a poisonous gas, but according to a chemical weapons expert I contacted, it is not technically a chemical weapon. Lobbying Washington and New York The consolidation of the INC occurred as the administration of President Bill Clinton was taking office in early . In April, an INC delegation met with members of the new administration in Washington, including Secretary

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of State Warren Christopher and National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. They also met with Vice President Al Gore in what was meant to indicate the Clinton administration’s “greater commitment to democracy and human rights.” Later that year, I also traveled to Washington. The trip had its genesis in late , when I had provided Nicholson with videos about Saddam’s bombardment of the Marshes and maps detailing his plans to drain them. These were official maps drawn by ministries in Iraq to build dykes and dams shouldering the banks of the rivers and to create canals to remove the water from the Marshes to the Tigris. The videos were sent by our people in the Marshes and the official maps were confiscated from the regime’s positions in the Marshes by our people. I encouraged Nicholson to take the issue of the Marsh Arabs to Washington and New York. In December  she traveled to New York and had a meeting with UN Security Council members. Nicholson asked the KDP’s Delshad Miran and me, as members of the INC Executive Council, to travel with her to Washington and New York. She had contacts there and had arranged meetings with U.S. and UN officials to explain the tragedy of the Marshes. In late September and early October , I traveled with Nicholson in the U.S. for a series of meetings, primarily to further publicize the crisis in the Marshes and lobby the new administration and the UN for action. In Washington we had a number of meetings with officials at the State Department, including the Deputy Undersecretary of State for Human Rights and Rescue Affairs, Director of the Bureau of Refugee Programs, Undersecretary of State for Environmental Affairs, and Mr. Zimmermann, in charge of International Organizations and UNESCO. We met also with David Litt, Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs, Stephen Campbell, officer in charge of the Iraq Desk, and Gary Oba, officer in charge of the Near East Bureau. On Capitol Hill, we briefed House members and officials from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Nicholson arranged a meeting with the British Ambassador to the U.S. and his Cultural Attaché. We also met with Geoffrey Kemp and Jeremy Pressman from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In New York we met with Jan Eliasson, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Robert Devaki of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In all these meetings we were able to bring to light the situation in the Marshes. I would explain Saddam’s repression of the Iraqi people, how he was

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working to create an environmental catastrophe by draining the Marshes, how and where the government’s forces were deployed in the region, and the status of the refugees on the borders between Iraq and neighboring countries. Nicholson spoke about the work of her organization, Amar Appeal, in the Marshes. We spoke about Iraq’s armament and substantiated our claims with photos and the maps drawn up by regime officials detailing their plans to drain the Marshes. It was a very productive trip. Between  and , I met with U.S. representatives in London and Washington and presented evidence of attacks with poisonous gases and chemicals in the Marshes by Saddam’s troops. The U.S. believed phosphorus shells were being used. I also continued to allay American fears of the Supreme Council and the Iraqi opposition as threats to Iraq’s post-Saddam sovereignty. The Americans continued to believe that a coup was the best way to rid Iraq of Saddam, rather than working with the Iraqi opposition groups or the INC to create a ground-based insurgency. One of the more notable meetings with the Americans took place in May , when Sheikh Humam Hamoudi and I sat down with Ronald Neumann, Director of Northern Gulf Affairs at the State Department, along with the State Department’s desk officer and three members of the National Security Council. Neumann, whose father had been a well-known U.S. diplomat in the Middle East, began by noting how his Arabic was not as strong as when he had been stationed in Yemen and the United Arab Emirates; this set a tone marked by candor that continued throughout the meeting, which, because it was in English, I had to interpret for my colleague. We first discussed the U.S. position regarding UN sanctions. Neumann said that the U.S., within the UN Security Council, would continue to impose sanctions on Saddam after the allied coalition to liberate Kuwait disintegrated. We noted that the sanctions only concerned weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and asked about extending sanctions to include human rights and Resolution , which condemned the repression of Iraqi civilians. Neumann said there was no practical, political way to connect the sanctions with Resolution , but he noted that the coalition had used Resolution  as the legal basis for imposing the no-fly zone. We asked about working with Max van der Stoel, Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights, who recommended using Resolution  as the basis for putting Saddam on trial for crimes against humanity. Neumann replied that van der Stoel had been received in Washington by National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, which showed the importance the administration

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accorded his work. He cautioned, nonetheless, that even though the U.S. supported this idea, there was no groundswell of international support for it. We shared our thoughts on U.S. efforts and said we were thankful for the statement Secretary of State Christopher made in Saudi Arabia about Iraq and the Iraqi people in regard to Saddam’s violations of human rights. We felt the UN needed to adopt the cause of the Iraqi people and defend their rights by insuring full implementation of Resolution . This would put countries wishing to normalize relations with Saddam in the embarrassing position of claiming they were defending the Iraqi people even as they allowed Saddam to oppress them. We also said that the U.S. should take the initiative at the regional and international level to highlight and call for an end to the environmental destruction of the Marshes in southern Iraq. I gave Neumann a copy of a study (overseen by Emma Nicholson and with which I assisted) conducted by scientists at Exeter University, detailing the environmental destruction of the marshes. I asked him to pass it on to Vice President Gore, who was heading the administration efforts on environmental issues. We stated that the Gulf War had strengthened Saddam; while he would not necessarily begin a new war, he would carry out assassinations and use his wealth to cause problems. Saddam would continue to grow in power and would believe he had won, because he had only one definition of victory: staying alive and in power. We wanted to cooperate with the U.S. and the UN to make human rights the major focus in dealings with Iraq and to convince Egypt and Saudi Arabia to cooperate with the opposition. Turkey had relations with the Kurds and Turkmen, but not with other Iraqi opposition; this, too, needed to change. Neumann said the U.S. supported the opposition and that the INC— though it needed to be more inclusive and representative to enhance its reputation—was the best option for a unified opposition. The U.S. had been promoting the group to countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, but with little success. Turkey considered the INC a Kurdish opposition, while Saudi Arabia considered it to be a Shiite opposition. President Clinton had written to King Fahd, and Secretary of State Christopher also had discussed the issue with him. We agreed that the INC had problems, including its basic concept of federalism, which frightened many countries in the region, and its three-member leadership committee based on ethnic and sectarian divisions. Regional countries had begun to see Iraq as a divided nation. We had tried unsuccessfully to change the INC image. Moreover, popularly supported projects

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to remove Saddam had been available for the INC to put into action, but it had become an organization that did nothing but manage a radio station and distribute propaganda leaflets. Neumann said the U.S. understood this, but it was important to continue building forward from the INC, despite its problems. He asked if we thought the Iraqi people were ready to rise up again. Diplomats in Baghdad said the Iraqis lacked the will to carry out a revolution and that Saddam was safe. Hamoudi and I explained that diplomats in Baghdad only saw the security in place in the capital during the day; at night the leaflets came out, as did the resistance. In many other places the situation was unstable: we were ready to take control of a province and keep it in the people’s hands, but needed a safe haven to protect the area; otherwise, Saddam would crush it with extreme brutality as he did with the uprising of . Neumann said the U.S. wanted Saddam out, but did not want significant military involvement. They did not want to start another war, but if a situation erupted that required more troops, the U.S. would supply them. We noted that the issue of the south had come up very late, and with little urgency, when compared to the treatment of the Kurds in the north. Defending the rights of the people in the south and condemning their oppression would greatly help the image of the U.S. among the Iraqi people. We told him we wanted international resolutions preventing Saddam from using heavy weapons, and that inserting international observers into regions like the Marshes would give Iraqis a sense of hope and assurance that they would have some defense against Saddam’s forces. We had heard from Jalal Talabani that the Germans had supported the idea of creating a safe haven in the south. Neumann said he had read this in the newspapers. He said the U.S. wanted to keep pressure on Saddam, but the UN would not send any observers who were not accepted by Iraq. We asked whether government officials would receive SCIRI leader alHakim if he visited Washington. Neumann’s answer was positive, but the timing was crucial. His visibility would be obscured if there were more pressing international issues at hand, and it was far more useful and important that he visit France, which had shown real sympathy with Iraq. We replied that we had tried unsuccessfully to visit France with an INC delegation. Neumann inquired about the Supreme Council’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. We assured him of the good relations between the Supreme Council leader and King Fahd, and that Saudi Arabia also had approved the opening

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of a SCIRI office in the country. The Saudis said if SCIRI left the INC, Saudi Arabia would support us and asked why SCIRI, an Islamic organization, worked with an American puppet like Chalabi. Neumann said the U.S. had heard the same message, and that fragmenting the opposition was not the way to create the kind of resistance needed to unseat Saddam. In a resolute conclusion, he said the U.S. did not want conflict with Iraq, but if Saddam chose confrontation, it would be a mistake, and the U.S. was ready to face him.

3 Failed Coups and U.S. Policy Shifts

In late , I received word from the Supreme Council that the organization’s leader, Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, intended to visit the UK with a delegation from the organization. I recognized the trip as an excellent opportunity for the opposition and for our cause in Iraq, and I encouraged al-Hakim to meet with as many British officials as possible. In my opinion, it was important that the officials get to know al-Hakim personally and hear his views about the situation in Iraq, just as I felt the leader stood to benefit from listening to the British officials and their positions. When I wrote to the Foreign Office about al-Hakim’s intention to visit London, they suggested that Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Douglas Hogg receive him. When I informed the Supreme Council, they did not reply about the Foreign Office recommendation. I immediately set to work arranging meetings for the leader and his delegation, drawing on my contacts in the Foreign Office and Parliament. Together with MP Emma Nicholson, who continued to be an important supporter in our struggle against Saddam, I was able to arrange meetings for the leader with Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and three other British ministers. I saw these potential meetings as an opportunity to gain Western support in our fight against Saddam’s oppressive regime. The Supreme Council leader and his political advisor, however, did not share my point of view; they decided that it would not be fitting for al-Hakim to meet with a UK official of lesser office than the Prime Minister. However, a meeting with Prime Minister John Major was not an option. Emma Nicholson tried her best to convince the leader and his advisor of the necessity of the meeting with Douglas Hurd. She and I agreed that if

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al-Hakim and the British officials could come to a mutual understanding of each other’s views, the opposition stood to gain valuable support. The leader’s political advisor nevertheless remained adamant. Nicholson was embarrassed by al-Hakim’s refusal to attend the meetings she arranged and as a result became less enthusiastic about cooperating with SCIRI. With a somber voice she told me, “The Ayatollah was ill-advised.” I, too, was embarrassed, as the SCIRI delegation did not make their intentions known until after their arrival in London, by which time it was too late to apologize. Even with the refusal to meet with British ministers, the leader’s visit to the UK in January  was not wasted. During the trip, I arranged that alHakim meet with a group of MPs from different political parties and with the heads of the Foreign Relations and Defense Committees in Parliament. I also arranged a meeting with Archbishop of Canterbury Carey and the Representative of the Pope and the Catholic Church in London. The Supreme Council’s leader also took the opportunity to meet the leaders of the Iraqi opposition in London to discuss his project to unite the Iraqi opposition movement, his plans to topple Saddam’s regime, and his views about the future of Iraq, in addition to meetings and interviews with the media. Nevertheless, the full potential of the trip was not realized. In order to rescue the Iraqi people from Saddam’s oppressive regime, we would need Western support. While the leader’s trip made some headway, his refusal to meet with top officials highlighted the type of obstacles that still had to be overcome to achieve a unified, successful opposition effort. In early , while SCIRI’s leader and delegation were making their rounds in the UK, tensions in Kurdistan were rising. Clashes between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) had begun in May , when a dispute erupted between the two parties over control of Arbil, the capital of Kurdistan. Control of customs revenue was also a point of contention; Kurdistan’s main income came from the customs revenues levied on goods entering Iraq from Turkey through the Ibrahim al-Khalil checkpoint in Zakho, which was under KDP control. Before this outbreak of fighting, the Kurds had made good progress in governing Kurdistan in the years since the PUK and the KDP had agreed to set up joint administration of the region after the  uprising. The two parties held an election in  and formed a joint government. While the KDP continued to control Dohuk, the PUK governed Sulaimaniya, and both parties shared control over Arbil.

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The Failed March INC Coup Attempt By , the Iraqi army’s engineers had nearly finished draining Iraq’s southern Marshes, displacing the Marsh Arabs and spurring the opposition forces that relied on the Marshlands to change their strategy. On February  of that year, the Badr Corps—the military arm of the Supreme Council—launched an attack on Saddam’s forces in Amarah province. As I noted earlier, the Badr Corps consisted of thousands of Iraqi military officers and soldiers who had fled to Iran during the Iraq-Iran War, the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait, and most recently, following the suppression of the March  popular uprising against Saddam’s regime. The attack could only be deemed a success; Brigade  of the Iraqi army’s th Corps was destroyed. A large number of officers and soldiers were killed and many more captured and later released, while a trove of arms and ammunition was confiscated, including light, medium, and heavy machine guns, mortars, and anti-tank weapons. I was given a videotape of the attack, which showed Sayyid al-Hakim meeting with Badr Corps commanders and giving orders to launch the attack in the Marshes. The video showed the bombardment of the brigade’s positions and those killed in the attack. The Badr forces went on to seize control of huge land areas formerly held by Saddam’s forces; the video showed them planting explosives on the dykes that had been used to drain the Marshlands. The explosions blasted through the dykes, and water flowed through the openings, returning to the parched Marshlands. The attack stirred up interest in the opposition within Iraq and abroad, and Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Executive Council of the Iraq National Congress, began to make plans with the KDP and PUK, who had a truce in their conflict, and General Wafiq al-Samarrai, former head of Iraqi intelligence who had defected in , for a coup to overthrow Saddam, with U.S. support. As noted earlier, the two Kurdish parties had their own well-armed militias, known as the Peshmerga, “those who face death.” The INC itself had several hundred fighters who were mainly former officers and soldiers from the Iraqi army who had defected to Kurdistan. The INC guerrillas also included civilian refugees from Saddam’s regime in Kurdistan in northern Iraq. The plan was that the KDP would attack Saddam’s forces in Mosul, and the PUK would attack Saddam’s forces in Kirkuk. The INC fighters would help the Kurdish fighters, and General Wafiq al-Samarrai would contact military officers to join the military movement. They were hoping that defecting military units would join with KDP, PUK, and INC fighters and march to Baghdad.

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Chalabi, armed with pledges of support for the attack from some U.S. officials, managed to persuade the KDP, the PUK, and General al-Samarrai to participate. However, when he attempted to convince SCIRI to join the offensive, he met with resistance. Even with Chalabi’s assurances of U.S. aerial support, SCIRI was uncomfortable with the plan, which the group’s leaders considered risky and poorly prepared. They were skeptical about U.S. support, and asked me to check with U.S. officials to verify it. I spoke with Matthew Tueller at the U.S. Embassy in London, who confirmed SCIRI’s suspicions. U.S. policy, he told me, had not changed; the U.S. would not be supporting an attack with aerial bombardment. Nevertheless, Chalabi, the Kurdish forces, and General al-Samarrai planned to go ahead with their plan to attack Saddam’s army. In the end, Chalabi said the attack would, with or without the help of SCIRI, take place from the north. (At the same time, he had told U.S. officials that his plan included simultaneous insurrections not only in the north—Mosul, and Kirkuk—but also in the south’s largest city, the Shiite-dominated Basra.) However, at the beginning of March , I received a call from Julian Walker. He had just retired from the British Foreign Office, but continued to be in touch with the Iraqi opposition. He also maintained contact with a number of active duty Iraqi military officers. It was an important phone call: Walker told me that the British government had received news from inside Iraq that the regime knew about Chalabi’s planned attack against Saddam’s forces in Mosul and Kirkuk. Around the same time, I received a phone call from Matthew Tueller at the U.S. Embassy in London. He told me there were rumors “on the street” in Iraq that something would be happening soon. If the street knows, he said, Saddam’s regime knows too. Tueller also said that the Americans had warned Saddam’s regime to respect Security Council Resolution , which demanded that Saddam stop the repression of the Iraqi people, and threatened that the U.S. would take action if the regime were to do anything to worsen the refugee situation. Shortly before the attack, U.S. National Security Advisor Anthony Lake sent a cable to Chalabi and the two Kurdish parties telling them the plan had been compromised, and that if they were going to execute it, they would have to do so without U.S. assistance. Chalabi, the PUK, and General al-Samarrai went ahead with the plan; the KDP opted out. Military operations came to an end quickly. The lack of U.S. support deterred the Iraqi army from defecting to the opposition’s cause, depriving the operation of the force necessary to succeed.

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In , Saddam retaliated with his usual brutality, deploying his forces on the Kurdish capital of Arbil and killing hundreds of INC, PUK, and other opposition fighters. Chalabi left Kurdistan for London soon after and launched a media campaign against the Clinton administration for betraying him and refusing to support the coup. He focused on gaining the support of Republicans in Congress who were already opposed to the administration. While working for Republican support, however, Chalabi lost the backing of the Clinton administration, prompting INC executive members and staff to turn away from him as well. Moreover, a month after the failed attempt to unseat Saddam, the UN Security Council adopted resolution , which allowed Iraq to sell oil under UN supervision and ensured a steady flow of revenues to Baghdad to buy food and medicine. At this point, several members of the Executive Council and I advised Chalabi to remember the main principle of the INC: to serve as an umbrella organization for all opposition groups. It was not meant to be a stand-alone political organization or military force, and Chalabi needed to adhere to the main INC principles and cooperate with these constituent groups. The Turkish Incursion and Glimmers of Hope On April , , I, along with Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP and Latif Rashid of the PUK, met in London with Michael Habib and Matthew Tueller from the U.S. Embassy. At the time, Habib was second in command at the embassy, and Tueller was in charge of the Iraq file. The meeting had been requested by the Kurdish leaders to discuss the Turkish incursion into northern Iraq. At the time, Turkish forces were pushing into Kurdistan in response to the aggressions of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a militant group seeking to create an independent, socialist Kurdish state. The PKK had a history of kidnappings and attacks against the Turkish state, and was using the rugged mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan as a base, thus making the region a threat in the eyes of the Turkish government. At the meeting, Latif expressed his frustration that while a delegation from the INC had intended to travel to Turkey to protest against the incursion into Kurdistan, the Turks had refused to receive the party, as had the Foreign Office in London. Latif made the objective of the meeting clear to the diplomats: Kurdish leaders wanted to know the U.S. stance on the Turkish incursion. There had already been attacks on villages in which civilians had

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been killed or injured, and we were concerned for the continued safety of the civilian population. Further, I said we wanted to know the objective of the operation. From our perspective, neither the Turks nor the Iraqi opposition stood to gain from Turkish intervention in Kurdistan. Northern Iraq was already a volatile region, and we feared that Turkish operations there would only make the situation worse. We understood the legitimate Turkish concerns, and we had tried to secure safe borders with Turkey, but the Turks had not given us any forewarning of their actions, making cooperation extremely difficult. I added that we were worried about civilian casualties in such attacks and military incursions. The U.S. government, Habib and Tueller assured us, shared our concern for civilian lives and had already emphasized to the Turks the necessity of protecting civilians and human rights. The Turkish government had established that this would be a limited operation, and the U.S. had encouraged them to remember their commitment and end the attacks as soon as possible. It was made clear to us, however, that the U.S. did not find fault with the motives behind the operation, as the Turks faced a genuine threat from the PKK. Additionally, while there had been reports of human rights violations in Kurdistan by the Turks, Habib told us he did not have solid information confirming these reports. Hoshyar Zebari noted that the Kurds feared the Turks had other motives for the incursion, and I presented the case that this operation served Saddam’s interests. The Turkish government had said they would not withdraw from Iraqi territories before Iraq’s return to the international community, implying that they believed the answer to their problems in Kurdistan would be found through negotiations with Baghdad, not the opposition. Furthermore, they focused their occupation on territories traversed by crude oil pipelines, which suggested they were preparing to export oil from Iraq. It was our belief that this was done through coordination with Baghdad, as indicated by the visit of the Iraqi Foreign Minister to Turkey. Tueller again assured us that the U.S. government shared our concerns. There was, however, no evidence of any cooperation between Ankara and Baghdad. This information did not assuage our anxieties, and we reminded the American diplomats that our attempts to meet with the Turks to discuss security in Kurdistan had not been successfully realized. I said that if the Turkish incursion was not coordinated with Saddam’s regime, then it was

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against the sovereignty of Iraq, and if the incursion did have the consent of Saddam’s regime, it was against international law. In any event, it would cause tension between the Kurds and Turkey. This was a serious security problem, and given the lack of dialogue, we saw no clear line of approach to resolve the situation. The Americans agreed to contact the Turks to try to further assess their plan for the operation. Soon after, on May , , I accompanied a number of top INC figures to another meeting with Tueller, this time with Catherine Royle and Robert Wilson of the British Foreign Office. In attendance on behalf of the INC were Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP; Latif Rashid of the PUK; Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the INC Executive Council, now based in London; Amir Abdullah of the ICP; Sami Azara al-Majoun of the Iraqi Tribes Association; Aziz Alyan and Aida Osairan of the Iraqi Democratic Party; and Mohammed Abdul Jabbar of the Al Kawader Al Islamiya Movement. Together, we represented many of the key organizations that fell under the INC umbrella. Until then, British and American officials had been unimpressed by the lack of cohesion among the INC member groups. The INC, in their eyes, had failed to take initiative, and disagreements between individual groups had stalled progress. The officials were now arranging more regular meetings to exchange views. Royle explained that if Saddam were to approve the Oil-for-Food program, he would earn $. billion a year in revenue, but this was nothing compared to the amount he formerly accrued through the sales of crude oil without restriction. His motivation for rejecting Resolution  (the Oilfor-Food program) was based on the hope that Security Council members, namely France and Russia, would support the removal of sanctions. Royle did not believe that the French would support lifting the sanctions, as their calls for the elimination of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had gone unanswered by Saddam’s regime. Our focus should remain on implementing Resolution  inside Iraq, she told us. The U.S. and the UK could push for it, but a strong front from Iraqis at home and abroad would be most effective. There were numerous groups working under many different names, often with conflicting interests. It was time, Royle urged, for the INC to consolidate and present a unified front. I discussed the importance of ensuring the fair distribution of food for all Iraqi people, especially in the south and in the Marshes, where inhabitants had been besieged by Saddam’s forces and deprived of their livelihood. Chalabi asked the officials if they were implying that we should focus on raising our political presence in the UK. Thus far, we had difficulties in reaching

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out to the media. Hoshyar Zebari agreed; the press did not often respond to us. Tueller, Royle, and Wilson replied that it was necessary to raise awareness of the INC viewpoint both inside Iraq and abroad; the U.S. and UK would provide a good place to start. The American and British media were already discussing INC issues and were eager to hear more from the INC, especially regarding Saddam’s refusal to implement the Oil-for-Food program. At this point, I voiced frustration over the fact that, while we had been working very actively over the past four years, we had yet to see any significant results. We still suffered from the intervention of regional powers in Iraq; our calls for an international trial for Saddam and his aides had gone unanswered; we had rallied around Resolution  to stop the repression of the Iraqi people, but it was not being implemented; we had asked that the resolution be put under chapter VII (the UN Charter rule allowing for use of military force when international peace and security are threatened), similar to Resolution , but nothing had happened. The U.S. could influence other countries in the region, but, so far, we had not seen any results. Royle said I was right to have raised these issues. The British government and the INC had different interests, and as a result our views on the situation were different. The INC would have to make a move to influence the British. That said, it was important to recognize that even if there were a push for Resolution , international concerns would still prevent it from being implemented. It was time, I said, to look back and assess the actions we had taken and consider both the good and bad that had come of them. We should judge with a critical eye, but we should not sink into the negatives of the past and forget the future. We had to plan for action. I believed that if we were to take military action in Iraq starting in the north and south of the country, the army would move out from Baghdad, which would frighten Saddam and lift the morale of the people. The people inside Iraq were ready for change, and the army sympathized with us. There was a chance to bring change to Iraq, but if we did not act, we could lose the opportunity. We needed an action plan for the opposition and operational leadership inside Iraq. We would rely on God, and the people would follow us. Another Failed Coup and a Deadly Defection In September , Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein’s newly exiled son-inlaw, was asked in an interview with CNN what it was that Saddam feared most

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of all: did he fear a coup, or an assassination attempt? Kamel’s answer was simple: Saddam did not fear a coup because there were no serious attempts to overthrow him. There had been a number of plots, but they had all been foreseen by the regime and nipped in the bud. A prime example of a failed coup attempt in Saddam’s Iraq was that of General Mohammed Madhloum al-Dulaimi, longtime commander of the important Kirkuk Air Base, in June . It was no secret that the West in general, and the United States in particular, were in favor of a military coup to remove Saddam, so the regime kept a close eye on high-ranking military officers. Al-Dulaimi had planned a coup with help from some regional governments, but his plans were discovered by Saddam’s security forces, and the General and his supporters were arrested. Al-Dulaimi belonged to the Dulaim tribe, one of the largest Sunni tribes in Anbar province. Members held many high-level positions in Saddam’s government, outranked only by Saddam’s own Tikriti tribes. After the failed coup attempt, Dulaim tribal leaders met with Saddam to ask for al-Dulaimi’s release. In the meeting, Saddam agreed to their request to free him, remembering Anbar’s allegiance to him during the uprising in . Two days later, the General and his colleagues, were executed by the regime, and his body was returned home to Ramadi with orders not to hold any funeral or mourning. The people of Ramadi reacted violently to the execution, taking al-Dulaimi’s body through the streets in protest of Saddam’s betrayal. The General’s execution led to a series of battles between the Dulaim tribe and government forces in the months that followed. At the time, Dr. Laith Kubba noted that the conflict between the government and the powerful Dulaim tribe removed a significant segment of Saddam’s support and narrowed his power base. Dulaim tribal representatives later held a memorial ceremony in London. I attended to express my condolences on behalf of the SCIRI leadership and asked the representatives if they needed anything from SCIRI. They answered that they wanted our leader, Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, and SCIRI in general to talk about Saddam’s oppression of the Dulaim tribe in the international arena. The tribe was ready to cooperate to topple the regime. Only a few months after the coup attempt, Saddam Hussein’s son-inlaw Hussein Kamel defected to Jordan in August . His break with the regime was a great shock to the world. Kamel was the former head of the Military Industrial Commission and the person responsible for all of Iraq’s WMD programs. In Jordan, Kamel announced his intention to lead the fight

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to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In Iraq, Saddam suddenly became eager to make an accounting of his weapons programs, but to the opposition, there were different factors to consider. The day after Hussein Kamel defected, Saddam’s regime quickly handed over more than  boxes of documents to the UN Commission in charge of dismantling WMDs. The regime claimed to have discovered these documents hidden from the UN team at Kamel’s farm. However, these documents revealed that Saddam’s program to develop WMDs was much bigger than the UN thought and that the regime had a full system to hide WMDs and related documents, effectively playing cat and mouse with the UN inspectors. The Iraqi opposition groups had divergent views about how to deal with Hussein Kamel. Some announced that they were ready to cooperate with him, others were more hesitant, and a third group rejected the idea altogether. Kamel had already contacted some Iraqi opposition figures in London such as Hani alFkaiki, an ex-Baath Party leader and a member of the INC Executive Council, Nabil al-Janabi, who was not known by the Iraqi opposition, and also a spokesman for an Islamic party. Soon after, the spokesman issued a public statement saying that the party was ready to cooperate with Kamel. However, the party issued a statement the next day saying that the spokesman was expressing his own personal views, not the party’s position on working with Saddam’s sonin-law. I personally believed that Kamel could not be accepted as a leader in the opposition because he was involved in war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity; his hands were stained with the blood of the Iraqi people. I noted publicly that “we welcome anyone who is against Saddam . . . but Hussein Kamel cannot be a symbol or leader of the opposition movement.” It was with this background—and a recent breakthrough in a meeting in Dublin on the rift between the PUK and the KDP—that I took part in a meeting with the U.S. Embassy’s Matthew Tueller and the British Foreign Office’s Catherine Royle, Robert Wilson, and Barry Lewin, who visited the INC office. Ahmad Chalabi (INC), Hoshyar Zebari (KDP), Latif Rashid and Nawshirwan Mustafa (PUK), Hani al-Fkaiki (an ex-Baath leader), Salah alShaikhli (INA), Mohammed Abdul Jabbar (Islamic Cadre Movement), Aziz Alyan (Iraqi Democratic Party), and Ghanim Jawad (Al Khoei Foundation) were also in attendance. Chalabi welcomed the American and British diplomats to the meeting. He praised the recent agreement between the two Kurdish parties, noting the INC role in bringing the two parties together, and said that the INC was ready to work to implement the agreement.

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Matthew Tueller welcomed the Kurdish agreement, but was concerned about the continued media attacks between the two parties. The Kurds needed to show the Americans that they were serious, Royle said. At the present time, she wanted to know of other plans we had in the works and our concerns about implementing them. Discussions about the role of the U.S. in implementing the Kurdish ceasefire agreement continued for some time. Hani al-Fkaiki, a member of our delegation who had mediated between the Kurdish parties, was asked by Chalabi to comment on the situation. Chalabi’s first concern was that the Americans issue a statement saying they were committed to identifying those who breached the cease-fire and that something would be done to address such transgressions. He felt that the developments were too important to ignore, thus continuous dialogue was crucial. There had been many agreements and disagreements in the past, Chalabi said, but one thing both sides could agree on was that we needed to learn from our successes and our mistakes as we moved forward. Chalabi affirmed that in order to find a permanent solution, we still had issues to resolve. First, both sides were at one time or another upset with the U.S., because the Americans had made a general call asking to implement peace and had said the U.S. would stand against those who breached the cease-fire. The Kurdish parties now demanded public assurances from the Americans. Latif responded that the progress made in Dublin between the Kurdish parties was a step in the right direction; there were media campaigns, but there was no actual fighting taking place in Kurdistan. Speaking on behalf of the PUK, he stated that they were committed to reaching a peace agreement, not just a cease-fire. They wanted a lasting peace under the supervision of the necessary authorities; without international peace observers on the ground, the whole agreement would be in danger. He agreed with Hani al-Fkaiki that the fighting had paralyzed both the Kurds and the INC, and that they needed to resolve their problems in order to focus on more important issues. The PUK was serious about the Dublin agreement; in the next meeting, its leaders were ready to sign a peace agreement. Hoshyar Zebari spoke for the Kurdistan Democratic Party. He said that they also publicly welcomed peace in the region, were committed to the agreement, and were in the process of drawing up practical plans for implementing the agreement’s principles at their next meeting. They were in constant contact with the U.S. State Department regarding this issue and were serious about the subject; the Dublin agreement had given them hope. Both

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parties wanted to see peace prevail in Kurdistan; if an attempt was made to undermine the peace process, it was coming from other parties that did not want peace. I said that our view since the  Salah al-Din conference was that we should have a plan of action against Saddam’s regime in Baghdad, and that the Iraqi opposition groups should work together to implement this plan. If we had established such a plan in , the Kurdish parties would have been busy fighting Saddam’s regime instead of each other. I did not support the idea of an American presence in Kurdistan, and I made my opinion known. The INC and the Iraqi parties could do the job. There would be sensitivity around the presence of the Americans, especially from neighboring countries such as Syria and Iran, which might harm the opposition work in Arbil and Sulaimaniya. I believed that we needed to be clear in our views, because there were forces that wanted to see the Americans in Arbil, in Salah al-Din, and in the committees that oversee the cease-fire. Nawshirwan Mustafa, the second-ranking man in the PUK, did not agree with me on the matter; in his view the American presence in Kurdistan was necessary. He believed Arbil’s disarmament required American experts to monitor the cease-fire and financial experts to monitor customs revenue from trucks crossing Turkish borders, which was one of the reasons for the Kurdish conflict; the INC and the Iraqi parties were not enough. Matthew Tueller said the Kurdish parties must demonstrate their sincerity in implementing their recent peace agreement. The Americans could mediate between the parties, but they needed to reach an agreement of their own accord, not because of the U.S. presence on the ground. Many actions needed to be taken to bring peace to Kurdistan, but the Kurdish parties had continued to mount hostile media campaigns against each other. It was not up to the State Department to convince anyone—Congress, Republicans, or Democrats—to help the Kurds unless the KDP and the PUK worked to improve their situation. From there, the meeting moved on to discussing the defection of Saddam’s son-in-law Hussein Kamel, and how this would affect both Saddam’s regime and regional coalitions. The importance of this development was lost on no one, and Tueller noted that there were clearly many concerns, expectations, and even rumors swirling about. At this point, it was necessary to stop and evaluate the situation. He established three important issues. First, the realignment of Jordan’s King Hussein away from Saddam’s regime presented us with a chance to gain crucial support, and we needed to seize the

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opportunity. Second, there were strong indications that UN sanctions were affecting the regime so adversely that it would not be able to survive. We were on the right path, and it was time to tighten the rope. Finally, Tueller wanted to know if Kamel had contacted the opposition, and if so, what was he intending to do. Chalabi responded that, in his view, one of the most important outcomes from Kamel’s defection was that it drew attention to the fact that Saddam’s regime was responsible for the economic hardships resulting from the sanctions, because of its refusal to implement UN resolutions. Kamel’s defection was a big blow to the regime and provided a major opportunity for us to work to bring Saddam down. I agreed with Tueller. The change in Jordan’s political alignment was extremely important for us, because the Jordanians knew more about the situation inside Iraq than other governments in the region. Furthermore, I knew that some countries had signed attractive contracts with Hussein Kamel while he was working for Saddam and now were in shock over his defection. His departure from Iraq proved that our claims of repression of the Iraqi people were true, and confirmed that the Iraqi opposition, not the army, was in control in northern and southern Iraq. Hussein Kamel talked publicly about the regime’s brutal torture of Iraqi prisoners and about control by the Iraqi opposition in provinces in the north and the south. Together, these developments provided a valuable opportunity to move forward. The next question posed to the INC came from Wilson. The officials wanted to hear our opinion regarding Hussein Kamel’s potential position in the opposition. Could we see a role for him as an active leader in our efforts against Saddam, or was his importance only in defection? Zebari echoed the sentiment that Kamel’s defection had certainly been a strong hit to the regime, and that people were saying that, if Saddam’s own daughters could defect, who could blame anyone else for doing so? We were expecting further defections; however, many people still considered Kamel as part of the regime and perceived his defection as a personal and family conflict. Kamel could play a role in the opposition, but for that to happen, his defection would have to be seen as a political move rather than a family squabble. So far, he had made overtures toward the Iraqi opposition based in Saudi Arabia, but he had yet to reach out to the INC. I did not agree that Kamel could potentially be part of the Iraqi opposition. As head of Iraq’s Military Industrial Commission and WMD program, Kamel had been responsible for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against

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humanity. To work with him would be to lose our credibility with the Iraqi people. Kamel shared the same brutal, oppressive mentality as Saddam. Furthermore, he had lost all authority in Iraq when he defected, and thus lacked the ability to move even a single soldier. If Kamel had the power to topple Saddam’s regime, he would have done so from inside Iraq. If he could not unseat Saddam from inside Iraq, he certainly could not do so from abroad. Finally, Kamel had competed for power in the regime with Saddam’s son Uday; Uday had proven to be the more powerful figure, and it was this that drove Kamel’s defection, not a desire to break with the regime’s oppression of the Iraqi people. We agreed to continue discussing these issues, especially Hussein Kamel’s defection, the change in Jordan’s position and policy toward Saddam’s regime, and how the Iraqi opposition could benefit from such developments in Iraq and in the region. At the beginning of , the question of Hussein Kamel and how to deal with the possibility of an initiative on Iraq from King Hussein of Jordan continued to dominate our discussions with the Americans and the British. The talk came to an abrupt end in February, when Hussein Kamel and his brother Saddam decided to return to Iraq, amid promises that they would be forgiven for their defection. Upon arrival, both were quickly forced to divorce their wives and then were executed by the regime. Debating the Oil-for-Food Program On March , , Barry Lewin and Robert Wilson from the British Foreign Office visited the INC to meet the members of the Executive Council. Along with myself, Ahmad Chalabi (INC), Latif Rashid (PUK), Dr. Kamal Fouad (PUK), Hoshyar Zebari (KDP), Delshad Miran (KDP), Hani al-Fkaiki (exBaath Party leader), Amir Abdullah (Iraqi Communist Party), Mohammed al-Barazanchi (Islamic Movement in Kurdistan), Riyadh al-Yawir (ex-Arab Nationalist), Ghanim Jawad (Al Khoei Foundation) and Aida Osairan (Iraqi Democratic Party) attended this meeting. Latif began the meeting by inquiring about the status of Resolution  and asking if there had been any new developments regarding the Oil-forFood program. Lewin responded that, with regard to the timeline to implement the resolution, it would be possible to use an existing pipeline to export oil very quickly, if Saddam acquiesced. Wilson wanted to know if we had a sense of

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what the Iraqi government was planning to do. Six months before, the general feeling was that deliberations would not work. Now the regime seemed to want negotiations to succeed. The British wanted to know whether the regime was deceiving the UN. Chalabi did not trust the regime’s interest in the program. He told the diplomats that Iraq was looking to expand its exports in order to strengthen the regime. If they received food and medicine in exchange for oil, they would sell the aid in the north and use the money to finance the regime rather than distribute it to people in need. Providing Saddam’s regime with the means to export Iraq’s oil would be like opening Pandora’s Box. We were going to present a paper to the UN addressing these concerns. There was potential for this to provide Saddam with the boost he needed, and so, as we came closer to implementing the resolution, we faced many problems. Wilson answered that the food must be sold at a reasonable price; otherwise, Saddam would export it and use the money for his benefit. I emphasized that we were facing a sensitive stage in our struggle against Saddam, who would certainly find loopholes to benefit financially, politically, and economically from the resolution. Saddam had succeeded in deceiving the UN for years about WMDs, even under the watch of world superpowers and the UN. Given his track record, he would certainly find ways to take advantage of the Oil-for-Food program so that it served his interests. Clinton’s Second Term On January , , several days after Clinton’s inauguration for a second term, I met Matthew Tueller from the U.S. Embassy and asked him about the views of the second Clinton administration regarding Iraq. He told me that Madeleine Albright would be sworn in that day as Secretary of State, and he did not know what kind of changes she would introduce. It was important to remember that she was coming to Washington from the UN, so she had a solid history of dealings with Iraq and had a good sense of Saddam and his intentions. Overall, Tueller believed there would be no great change in U.S. policy; the economic sanctions against Saddam’s regime would remain in place, and the U.S. would continue to put maximum pressure on Saddam through diplomatic and political means. The U.S. was not looking to contain Saddam’s aggressions; it was operating with the goal of regime change in mind. Tueller told me the U.S. continued to believe the best approach was international

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pressure and a policy of isolation. Saddam was already chafing under the pressure and was looking to break out of his isolation from the international community. He had been forced to accept Resolution  (Oil-for-Food), and with UN inspections teams working in Iraq, he could no longer do as he wished behind the organization’s back. My concern with Resolution  was the same as it had always been. Would Saddam actually use the profits from the sale of Iraq’s oil to buy food and humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people, or would the money be used to strengthen the regime? Tueller acknowledged that Saddam would try to use the funds for his own purposes, but the resolution established many procedures to put restrictions on the regime and audit the accounts. We would have to be vigilant; Saddam was already trying to purchase missile parts with the revenue from the oil he exported to Turkey, Iran, and Jordan. Meanwhile, I commented that Saddam’s rhetoric toward the Arab states that had supported Kuwait during his invasion was menacing. Tueller agreed. The Gulf Cooperation Council states were concerned: they recognized the danger Saddam represented and agreed that he was not to be trusted. Tueller explained that U.S. policy toward Saddam was not merely designed to contain and isolate him; rather, it was aimed at implementing all Security Council resolutions. As it stood, however, Saddam’s regime, if unchecked, represented a very real threat to the stability of the region; it needed to remain in isolation. At this point, I raised the issue of Saddam’s recent attacks against Kurdistan’s capital, Arbil. At the end of August , the Kurdish parties were once again at odds, and the PUK was rumored to have aligned itself with Iran. In response, the KDP, under the command of Massoud Barzani, formed an allegiance with Baghdad and attacked the PUK in Arbil. The city fell, and there were reports of the Iraqi army indiscriminately killing hundreds of opposition members. This was a major setback for the Iraqi opposition and for foreign governments working for regime change. Naturally, I wanted to hear Tueller’s take on the situation. Were there any U.S. activities or projects in Kurdistan? Had U.S.-led reconciliation efforts made any progress with the Kurds? What was the U.S. position regarding Barzani? Tueller agreed with my assessment; the attack had been a blow to the opposition and to U.S. policy toward Iraq. We needed to keep the pressure on Saddam now more than ever in light of his recent success with Barzani and in Arbil. After the attack, it had been necessary to evacuate humanitarian aid workers for their safety, and it seemed that the overall American presence on

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the ground in Kurdistan was being reduced. Nevertheless, the U.S. would publicly remain committed to the Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, and all other inhabitants of northern Iraq. The U.S. had already doubled its efforts with Turkey and gained the full support of the Turks, who believed it was in their interest to protect the Kurds to prevent a mass migration like that of . The French, unfortunately, had withdrawn from the international protection effort in Kurdistan; only the American, British, and Turkish forces remained. In addition to air protection, Tueller told me the American government was trying to build a presence on the ground and to enter the north by sending officials and relief workers. They were also concentrating efforts on mediation between the KDP and the PUK, which Tueller said was the key to a solution and stability in the region. They were successful in some of these areas. Regarding the U.S. position on Massoud Barzani, Tueller reported that Saddam was disturbed because Barzani was maintaining distance from Baghdad. I said Saddam had not been able to swallow Massoud, who was meeting with the Americans and had signed a peace agreement in Turkey. Tueller told me that in his meeting with the Americans, Barzani was told he had made a huge mistake by siding with Baghdad. He could not continue to support both the regime and the opposition; he had to pick a side and stick with it. The goal for the Americans was to bring Barzani back to the opposition. I said that we did not foresee Saddam being able to devour a large, historical party like the KDP, and Tueller predicted that Barzani would in fact return to our side. Tueller continued that the Americans were looking to provide stability in the north to encourage Saddam’s inner circle to close in on him. After the attack on Arbil, the U.S. had targeted airports and radar stations in southern Iraq with missiles and had extended the no-fly zone from the nd to the rd parallel, just south of Baghdad. This had forced Saddam to close two additional air bases and left the Iraqi army feeling they were being punished for the attack. Until more information surfaced about Barzani’s plans, however, there was little more Tueller was able to say. While it was impossible to predict what would happen next, Tueller said the U.S. hoped it had made clear to Saddam that he would pay a price for his actions, and that this would prevent him from doing anything stupid. That said, Saddam was an irrational dictator, and he had shown us many times that he could not be relied upon to make sound judgments. I continued to air my concerns. Saddam was still attacking the Marshes, and in January , he had attacked Basra and Nasiriyah. He was arresting

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people and burning villages to the ground. I knew I spoke for many when I expressed my concern for the worsening state of human rights in Iraq. In the last few years, new laws had been issued by the Revolutionary Command Council calling for the hands and ears of military deserters to be cut off. The Marshes in southern Iraq had been drained and their inhabitants displaced, and electricity going to the Kurdish province of Dohouk had been cut: I wanted to know what was being done to stop these violations. Tueller replied that the no-fly zone in the south had been expanded, and this provided cover for civilians in the south and defense for some military operations. The problem was that Saddam had ground forces in the south— enough to absorb the opposition’s attacks from the Marshes—and there was little that could be done about the situation. The Americans were aware of the destruction of villages and displacement of their inhabitants, but they could not take action for fear that Saddam would attack. In the north, the presence of Kurdish fighters in the mountains made their job easier, but in the south, the regime had sent the elite Republican Guard in lieu of a large ground force, which would have been unacceptable to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the U.S. It was also not possible to pressure the Security Council to act, since Rolf Ekéus, Director of the UN Special Commission on Iraq, was fairly confident that the regime had destroyed all its WMDs and was close to reporting that it was time to lift the sanctions. Tueller told me that it was necessary for the U.S. to focus its efforts at the Security Council on keeping the sanctions in place rather than pushing for more. The U.S. would point out that Saddam’s cooperation with the UN on one single occasion did not and could not erase all his transgressions of international law, UN resolutions, and human rights. Saddam still had not released Kuwaiti POWs from his invasion of Kuwait, nor had he returned the Kuwaiti properties the regime had stolen, and he continued to oppress the Iraqi people. If it came down to it, both the U.S. and Britain were prepared to veto any attempt to remove the sanctions. Tueller reiterated that change in Iraq had to be led by Iraqis themselves and not by the international community. The U.S. encouraged all opposition groups to work together to develop a political plan for regime change. Tueller acknowledged that the very nature of the regime made it difficult for any opposition work to be done from within Iraq because Saddam would be quick to crush any dissent. What was important, Tueller continued, was the unification of the opposition forces abroad. When I inquired about the possibility of trying Saddam for war crimes, Tueller told me that the mood in the Security Council was not encouraging;

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Russia and China would not support such a trial, and the U.S. did not want to back the initiative if it was doomed to fail. If the U.S. pushed for a trial and failed, it would be as if Saddam were acquitted of his crimes. Tueller believed that the situation in  would depend to a large extent on how the Oil-for-Food program was implemented. The UN had an important role that it needed to live up to. If it were weak or lazy, Saddam would succeed in breaking his isolation; but good monitoring and fair distribution of food would allow the Iraqi people to see direct aid from the UN, which would weaken Saddam politically. Additionally, high-ranking regime officials were using the sanctions for their own financial gain by controlling the import and distribution of food to the Iraqi people. If the Oil-for-Food program were properly monitored, the financial benefit for these officials would disappear, which would increase discontent and conflict in Saddam’s inner circle. As the meeting was coming to an end, Tueller stated that the Americans believed they would find every opportunity to tighten the screws and put pressure on Saddam. They would not neglect even small things. Four years earlier, when President Clinton came to power, there had been rumors that U.S. policy would change. Saddam tried to convince his friends and supporters that there was light at the end of the tunnel. It would be difficult for Saddam to say this with Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State, as she understood his games and would anticipate his tricks. Tueller told me that U.S. officials would make sure the people around Saddam knew that the U.S. and the West in general had no interest in rehabilitating Saddam or dealing with him at all. As long as the people around Saddam believed the West supported the dictator, they would not strike against him. Under Secretary Albright, they would know this was not the case. It was necessary for the Iraqi opposition to use its media influence to send the message that the world wanted to see Saddam removed from power. This message was difficult for the people around Saddam to comprehend, because they did not have contact with the world outside Iraq. They could not imagine that an American administration was unwilling to deal with Saddam because they were prevented from seeing the truth. An End to Dual Containment? On September , , I met Andrew Morrison from the State Department. I had received a phone call from Matthew Tueller, who told me that Morrison

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was visiting London to mediate the Kurdish negotiations between the KDP and the PUK, and he wanted to meet with me. I asked Morrison his opinion about the negotiations between the KDP and the PUK, which I had heard had failed. That day both parties had issued statements accusing the other of not having the desire to reach an agreement. Morrison said he was disappointed with the failure of the Kurdish negotiations in London. Negotiations had begun well, but the PUK had refused to compromise sufficiently to achieve an agreement. I asked Morrison about the state of America’s “dual containment policy.” I wanted to know if the Americans were considering changing their policy toward Iran after the election of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, even though they were still insisting on a policy of containment with Saddam’s regime. Morrison told me that the policy had not changed, but the Americans were waiting for a move by Iran. Morrison confirmed that there was a U.S. aircraft carrier on its way to the Gulf, and its arrival was being expedited because of Saddam’s violations of the no-fly zone. It was important to show a strong position in response to Saddam’s aggressions. He then asked my opinion about Iran’s attack on the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) bases. I answered that Turkey’s repeated land and air strikes in Iraq under the pretext of attacking PKK bases had made Iran ask itself why Turkey was allowed to interfere without Western objection, on the pretext of defending itself from a terrorist organization based in Iraq, when Iran could not do the same to defend itself against the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, recognized by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. The Iranians surely saw this as a double standard. However, there was a key difference between the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and the PKK. Saddam had publicly supported the MEK and its activities, but not the PKK. Even if the regime were providing covert assistance to the PKK, it was not the same as the regime’s official embrace of the MEK. Morrison had not heard of any statement from Iran justifying its actions on the grounds of Turkey’s incursions. Nevertheless, it was my conclusion that this was the case. The Iranian officials of course had not taken this as their official position, but I had observed that Iran had attacked more than once since the Turkish incursion into Iraq, and I believed the events were connected. Morrison conceded this was a good point, one that had not occurred to him. Saddam had also attacked the UN headquarters in Baghdad on February , , killing  and injuring more than ; he had claimed Iran was

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behind the assault in order to tarnish Iran’s reputation and, especially, to distance himself from any suspicion. Morrison replied that the U.S. knew it was Saddam and not Iran who had attacked the UN. I told Morrison we had information indicating the Baath Party had issued instructions to its members that cooperation with UN inspection teams was worthless because the economic sanctions were not going to be lifted. Perhaps this was the reason Saddam banned the UN teams from searching several important areas; this may also have been the rationale behind the attacks on the UN headquarters in Baghdad on February , , and on a UN convoy in northern Iraq on August , . We wanted to see a Security Council resolution issued to bar Iraqi officials from leaving the country in order to further isolate the regime. Morrison said the Americans would like to make that happen, but it would depend on the report of Richard Butler, head of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), and also on the position of the permanent members of the Security Council, to disarm Saddam. I pointed out that newspaper stories on that day had quoted Butler as saying there had been progress in destroying Iraq’s missiles and chemical weapons, but not its biological weapons. I suggested that perhaps Saddam was looking to keep some biological weapons for use in artillery and missile strikes. I had also received information that Saddam was able to import artillery and spare parts for Chinese-made artillery through Jordanian companies. This should be considered in light of the fact that Jordan had already announced the discovery of imported weapons set to be shipped to Iraq. I imagined, rather than run the risk of having a large shipment confiscated en route, Saddam was gradually importing small quantities of weapons through Jordan. We continued to discuss the sanctions, the regime, and human rights abuses, and ended with an agreement that we would meet later in September with officials from the British Foreign Office and other members of the INC. On September , , the British Foreign Office invited Iraqi opposition groups for a meeting which was attended also by a representative of the U.S. Embassy. From the Foreign Office there were Frank Baker, Iraq office manager, and Robert Wilson, Baker’s assistant. From the U.S. Embassy Iraq file, Matthew Tueller was present. From the Iraqi opposition, there were Dr. Ahmed Chalabi (INC), Latif Rashid (PUK), Salah al-Shaikhli (INA), Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein (Constitutional Monarchy Movement), Wafiq al-Samarrai, Sami Azara al-Majun, Mohammed Hussein Bahir al-Ulum (on behalf of his father Mohammed Bahir al-Ulum), and myself representing SCIRI.

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Robert Wilson welcomed the attendees and said the meeting was to discuss how America and Britain could support the Iraqi opposition. He said that, in regard to the policy of the British government, its position would be emphasized; we would not hear new things. He added that there were other subjects such as the no-fly zone and the Kurds’ problems. The UK would continue cooperation with the Americans and the French to impose the nofly zone and try to solve the conflicts among the Kurds. The opposition in London, he said, was important in Iraq policy; it was important for them that opposition factions work with each other instead of against each other. We had, he said, the same goals and a common enemy in Saddam. Salah al-Shaikhli raised the point of the language of sanctions in our statements; he urged those in attendance away from the harsh language of the UN, stressing that we must use humanitarian language and say specifically that we didn’t want the killing of Iraqi children. Saddam said that America and Britain caused the killing of Iraqi children and that half a million children were killed every year. Chalabi said we were happy that both the British Foreign Secretary and the U.S. Secretary of State concluded that it was not possible for Saddam to be rehabilitated. The important point that had to be raised, he said, was that these people were not against the Iraqi people but against Saddam. Frank Baker agreed and said that point would be reflected in future ministerial statements. They would tell the Iraqis that it would be hard to lift the sanctions as long as Saddam was in power and the Ministers would clarify that whenever possible. We next discussed regional interference with some Iraqi issues. I brought up Turkey’s repeated incursions into Iraq, pointing out that the large number of troops they sent to Iraq with no country speaking up pushed other countries to interfere. Why would it be acceptable for Turkey and not for other countries? Latif said it was unfair to compare Iranian or Turkish influence and Saddam’s influence; we blamed everyone but those concerned. The meeting was about Iraqi opposition unity, the objective to find a better Iraq, and to question the reasons behind the problems among the opposition. Frank said the first point was that when he said many people were entering northern Iraq he didn’t want to get into the subject of who was responsible. The essential problem was the Kurdish-Kurdish conflict. This was the main problem in the opposition work. Robert said it was not possible both to come up with constructive discussion and to set up a trial for the war crimes. We had to put self-criticism

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aside—that is, to separate constructive criticism within the opposition and strong public censure of Saddam’s regime. The opposition had to build itself and develop its activities as a unified group. Frank said we had to think of who was behind the disasters; we were meeting because of Saddam and his mistakes, and he was the reason for problems and disasters. Matthew said it was hard to be lenient toward sanctions because it would mean easing the pressure on the regime. Sanctions meant we were against Saddam and lifting them would mean we were with Saddam. Robert said one of the difficulties was convincing people inside Iraq. When sanctions were imposed, he said, we didn’t expect they would continue for seven years. We had to think of alternatives that were acceptable and could be passed through the Security Council. Matthew said they wanted to see more movement toward Oil-for-food Resolution ; the sanctions were not a policy but the best instrument in our hands. I said that sanctions against the Iraqi people could be eased by distributing food and medicines fairly to all, through the United Nations. Also, sanctions against Saddam’s regime could be strengthened by preventing regime officials from traveling, and by setting up a tribunal for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. I asked Matthew to talk about American policy toward Iraq and the Iraqi opposition before I commented on two items regarding British and American policy. Matthew said there was nothing new in American policy—there was no change; they supported the goals of the opposition and respected the unity and sovereignty of Iraq. They were hoping that Iraq would not become a danger and a threat to its neighbors. Some people, he said, might ask how long this policy would continue; Secretary of State Madeline Albright stated that this policy would continue as long as it was necessary. The U.S. was not telling the opposition what we had to say or do; that was up to us. They were saying that there was evidence that Saddam’s movements would not be peaceful. They didn’t want to see an end to Saddam’s isolation, they wanted to see change in Iraq; they wanted Iraq to be strong and stable, and to participate in the stability of the region. I said that what American and British policy raised was good, but that we didn’t hear it except inside meetings halls and rooms; what was raised outside was something different. As a simple example, the invitation letter to this

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meeting, which found its way into the media and other people’s hands, had no mention of the attempt to change the regime of Saddam, no mention of the rights of Iraqi people and the violations of the regime in its persecution of the people, and no mention of Security Council Resolutions  or . Nonetheless, we found that this letter mentioned the differences between the Iraqi opposition groups and an implication that the political work of the Iraqi opposition was inactive and ineffective. The letter raised the subject of the attempts of the Iraqi regime to contact the opposition. Therefore, it was important to change the agenda—to change the focus from flaws in the opposition to the crimes of Saddam’s regime. They had said they would issue statements against the regime at the appropriate time. I therefore suggested that we issue a strong statement in regard to this meeting to confirm some of the following points: • Saddam’s regime’s continuing crimes against the Iraqi people in the north, middle, and south of Iraq, especially in the Marshes, where he was still sending armed forces and security apparatus to suppress and terrorize the residents in a clear violation of Resolution . • Saddam’s regime’s continuing threat to the regional countries through mobilizing forces in Basra and Nasiriya provinces, close to Kuwaiti and Saudi borders, and sending heavy weapons such as artillery and tanks since August , ; this is a clear violation of Resolution . • Saddam’s regime’s continuing violation of Resolutions  and  by degrading the humanitarian needs of the Iraqis through trickery, delay in implementing these resolutions, lack of fair distribution of food and medicine, and depriving the residents of southern Iraq of their humanitarian needs. • That we demand the Iraqi people as well as the people of the region be protected from Saddam’s suppression, by the enforcement of Security Council resolutions related to human rights. • That Iraqi opposition powers are responsible for facing the regime, building their joint action framework, and moving toward a united field action program; they do not exclude any oppositionist political power from this movement. • That an international tribunal will be set up to try Saddam and his top aides for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. • That all forms of negotiation with the regime are condemned; warn that all contracts signed with Saddam’s regime outside the frame of oil-for-

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food resolutions will not be respected by the Iraqi people or the future government of Iraq. • It is not possible to achieve security and stability in the region as long as Saddam remains in power. • Saddam’s regime is still refusing to release thousands of Iraqis, Kuwaiti POWs, and other prisoners, in clear violation of Security Council resolutions. Robert said it was not possible to issue a statement without the consent of high ranking officials, but some of these points would be delivered to the Ministers in order for them to issue statements based on them. At the end of the meeting, Chalabi said there was one point that was not discussed yet: what could be done to activate the Iraqi opposition? Robert said the UN lobby had a huge impact on the UN and in the humanitarian affairs department, because most of what was said in the Security Council was from the western states, and the information was from the regime and the people who worked with it. With regard to Resolution , the humanitarian affairs department did not have information; there was a list of questions they wanted answers for and these were not political. He asked if we would take them to have a look. On September , , I visited with Kuwaiti Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, who was visiting London for medical treatment. My friend Dr. Saad al-Ajmi, director of the Kuwaiti Information Center in London, organized the meeting. After I greeted Sheikh Saad al-Sabah, I asked him about his health and his medical treatment in London. He said he was better after his treatment. I conveyed to him the greeting of Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and his wishes for Sheikh Saad Al-Sabah’s speedy recovery, and I told him Sayyid al-Hakim wanted to visit him in Kuwait after his medical treatment in London in order to wish him good health. Sheikh Saad alSabah conveyed his thanks to Sayyid al-Hakim for his greetings and wishes and said Sayyid al-Hakim was welcome to visit him in Kuwait at any time. Sheikh Saad promised to send an invitation when he returned to Kuwait. It is worthwhile to mention that Sayyid al-Hakim visited Kuwait every year for many years during the lunar month of Ramadan. However, after the assassination attempt on Saddam’s son Uday in , the Kuwaiti government asked Sayyid al-Hakim to postpone his trip, and so he could not go that year.

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After Sheikh Saad’s return to Kuwait, Sayyid al-Hakim received an invitation to visit Kuwait during Ramadan in . I was invited to visit with him and we stayed for ten days, during which we met the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jabir al-Sabah, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Saad al-Sabah, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and other officials. We had meetings with Kuwaitis in governmental organizations, institutes, universities, guest houses (Diwaniyas), and mosques. We had many meetings with Kuwaiti, Arab, and foreign media based in Kuwait. These visits to Kuwait were essential for our work because they sent an important political message to people inside Iraq, including Saddam’s regime, to the regional countries, and to the whole world. The message was that the region could not coexist with Saddam’s regime, that the leaders in attendance still supported the Iraqi opposition, and that, when the Emir of Kuwait, King of Saudi Arabia, President of Syria, and other high ranking officials in the region received Sayyid al-Hakim and delegations from SCIRI, the Supreme Council clearly was accepted on the highest level in the region. On October , , I met Ralph Schlit from the German Embassy after he phoned to request a meeting about the latest developments in the Iraqi case. I spoke to him about the history of the relationship between the Supreme Council and Germany, which had started with meetings between myself and the employees of the German Embassy in London, in addition to several meetings with the German Mission to the United Nations during my travels with the INC delegations, as well as the approach of individuals from the German Foreign Ministry who had come to London to meet with me three times in the past two years. I also told him about the visit of a delegation of the Supreme Council, including myself, to meet with officials from the Foreign Ministry in Bonn in January , and finally I mentioned the meetings between the Supreme Council representative in Vienna, Dhia al-Dabbas, and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the SCIRI delegation’s trip to Bonn. I told Mr. Schlit that we wished Germany played a bigger role in the international policy, especially in the Middle East, and that it would become a permanent member in the Security Council. He said we had a long way to go to achieve that, but it was Germany’s goal and direction. I spoke about the Supreme Council; his Eminence Sayyid al-Hakim, the Badr forces, and the Iraqi resistance’s military operations inside Iraq. Schlit

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asked about the Badr forces and their numbers. I said I could not mention a specific number, but there were thousands of fighters, mostly former officers of the Iraqi army. Schlit asked, since I had spoken about the assassination of the brother of the Supreme Council leader in Sudan, whether it was dangerous for me in London. I answered that it was, because after one of our meetings with the British Foreign Ministry in the presence of a representative from the U.S. Embassy, Saddam’s Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz presented a threatening complaint to the UN. We had also heard of the arrival in London of an assassination team with names of some Iraqi opposition leaders; and in the past British intelligence had warned of two agents of the regime gathering information about me in London. I told him that, however dangerous, this was our path in the struggle against the dictatorial regime of Saddam to save our people from his brutality and repression—even if it cost our lives. Ralph Schlit asked about the activities of our London office and other offices of the Supreme Council in the world. I said there were four official SCIRI representatives in Syria, Vienna, Geneva, and London, and trustees in other parts of the world. I talked about the London office’s political, media, social, humanitarian and Iraqi community activities. Schlit asked if SCIRI had insiders working within the regime and able to access classified and sensitive information from the inside. I answered that there were officers and officials who contacted and coordinated with us from the inside, and we did get classified and sensitive information. For example, I had met the day before with Andy Morrison from the State Department and was able to tell him that Baath party orders were issued stating that the cooperation with the UN inspection teams would not be beneficial. Following this statement, the regime banned entrance of the inspection teams in some sensitive areas, a move that was followed by an attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad and on a UN convoy in northern Iraq. Schlit asked if there were signs from inside regarding the end of the regime, brought about by an insider or by our forces. I told him there had been coup attempts by people from Takrit such as General Raji al-Tikriti, and by some Sunni tribes such as the Jubour and Dulaim tribes, so Saddam had started to depend on his family members. Then he had started to have problems even among family members, such as his cousins, half-brothers, sons, and sons-in-law, including those who defected to Jordan in August  and were lured back and killed in February . The problems kept rising and Saddam could not solve them in spite of his many efforts.

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I discussed the military coup attempts including the attempt in mid-August , in which  officers and members of the Baath Party were executed. Schlit asked for the names of the officers who had been executed. I gave him the names and explained the affiliation between the executed individuals and Sunni areas and Sunni tribes; there had been an officer from Samara, and links to the ‘Ubaid and ‘Azza tribes, a Shiite tribe Tamim, and members of the Baath party leadership like Ahmad Taha al-Azzoz, who had participated with Saddam in the assassination attempt of Qasim in . Ralph Schlit said this was important and valuable information for Germany’s evaluation of the situation regarding the regime and the opposition. I told Schlit that we would like Germany to issue statements condemning Saddam’s violations of human rights and an invitation from the German Foreign Ministry for a delegation from the Supreme Council to visit Germany again to discuss the latest developments, and to strengthen relations. On April , , I met Frank Baker, British diplomat in charge of Iraq in the Foreign Office. I asked him whether he had a view about the project I had discussed with Julian Walker regarding cooperation between the Supreme Council, Kurdish parties, and Sunni officers. He said that they hadn’t yet made a decision and the matter was still being studied; they were talking about this project with Jalal Talabani and the Supreme Council only. With regard to political coordination, we had agreed that the Foreign Office would coordinate with only four opposition groups: the Supreme Council, PUK, INA, General Wafiq al-Samarrai, and, if he was in London, Dr. Chalabi as a fifth member. Baker said that Talabani was talking to them about coordination with us, Wafiq, and the INA only: not with the INC or Chalabi. That was why we should not talk about the project in front of the entire opposition. He added that the meetings with the broader Iraqi opposition would be about humanitarian issues; there would be one in the next month. I asked him his opinion regarding Dr. Chalabi and he replied that Chalabi would separate himself from the PUK in order to get the KDP on his side. I replied that it was necessary to bring the KDP to the side of the opposition and distance them from Saddam, and that we didn’t mind meeting them. Baker said we had to make sure that they didn’t place one foot with the regime and another with the opposition: it was not possible to involve them at this stage in any joint work—they had to prove themselves before we could trust them. On April , , I met with Julian Walker, who had recently met with high-ranking military officers from the United Arab Emirates. He said that

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Sheikh Abdullah, an important figure as the son of Sheikh Zayed and the Minister of Culture and Guidance, along with Sheikh Haza’a, the second son of Sheikh Zayed, was funding Saad Saleh Jabur, who had recently convened a meeting of the opposition. The meeting came up with a three-member committee responsible for communicating with the Iraqi opposition powers to prepare for a broad opposition meeting. I had heard that Al Dawa Islamic Party had received a letter from this committee regarding coordination and a broad meeting of the opposition. Walker informed me that the UAE was funding the activities of Sharif Ali bin alHussein of the Constitutional Monarchy Movement as well. I had heard from another source that Saudi Arabia had stopped funding Saad Saleh Jabur, and that Sheikh Zayed’s son was funding Saad Saleh Jabur. This funding came from a campaign by Sheikh Zayed for mediation between some opposition groups and the regime, begun after Sheikh Zayed had met with Saddam’s half brother Barazan al-Tikriti in Morocco. I believe, I told Walker, that since uncovering issues about Saad Saleh Jabur’s destructive projects, it was important to create distance between him and the opposition powers and figures. Gauging Perceptions in the U.S. In a letter dated June , , the Supreme Council leadership requested that I answer several questions about the issues raised and discussed with U.S. officials on a visit I had made to Washington earlier that year. On June , I replied in a letter that captured, I think, the state of the relationship between the Iraqi opposition and the U.S. in the months just before the passage of the Iraq Liberation Act in the fall of . U.S. officials, I wrote, had raised issues regarding the Iraqi opposition in general and the INC role in the opposition effort. They voiced their support for the Iraqi opposition’s work to uncover Saddam’s crimes, concentrate on human rights concerns in the country, and spread information through the Internet. U.S. officials told me and other opposition figures that they would not deal exclusively with any one party, nor would they support any specific individual or group. Instead, they were looking to deal with the opposition as a whole and reminded me that the INC was only one group in the opposition effort. Furthermore, the officials had no desire to work with Ahmad Chalabi, even though many in Congress still supported him. The Americans stated that there would be no normalization of relations with Saddam Hussein, and that while there was a strong desire to see Saddam

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removed from power, they had no magical solution for toppling his regime. For the time being, they would concentrate on drawing international attention to Saddam’s war crimes and human rights abuses in hopes of gathering support for an international tribunal that would lead to an indictment. They would also concentrate on the fair distribution of food in Iraq, especially in the south. The State Department would also be appointing an official to handle all relations with the Iraqi opposition. The U.S. felt it would be difficult to implement a policy that would establish a safe haven in southern and western Iraq similar to the protected zone in the north. However, if the international political situation changed, the subject could be raised again for study and implementation. In discussing the regional response to Iraq, the Americans said that the recent trip by the Assistant Secretary of State and other high-level officials to Iraq’s neighboring countries convinced them that those countries’ positions had not changed. Iraq’s neighbors still wanted to get rid of Saddam. During the visit, however, U.S. officials were asked repeatedly what their plans were to topple the dictator, and the U.S. had no easy solution. I was told that there was potential to convince these countries to cooperate with the Supreme Council. They had tried to arrange a meeting for me with the Saudi Ambassador, who was traveling outside the U.S. at the time, so they instead organized a meeting with his assistant. After I returned to London, I received a telephone invitation for the leader of the Supreme Council and a delegation to visit Saudi Arabia and meet several high-ranking officials, including Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz (who was to become King in , following the death of King Fahd). With regard to the Supreme Council’s importance and role, I wrote that U.S. officials believed the Council to be a major force among the opposition groups. They respected the role and popularity of the Supreme Council’s leader among the Iraqi people, and they believed that the Council, with the forces it maintained inside Iraq, could prove essential in the process of bringing down Saddam’s regime. There was a feeling among American officials that the U.S. policy of containment had failed, as had military action meant to discipline and discourage Saddam. The Americans were still feeling pressure from Russia and France to lift the sanctions, and there was growing pressure within the U.S. to do so as well. Overall, the Iraqi opposition could be much more effective than the U.S. when speaking out against Saddam’s brutality. The State Department was behind us, but they emphasized that they did not want to put the opposition

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in a position that it could not handle, just as they did not want to make promises they could not fulfill. In the summer and early fall of , I had a series of meetings with U.S. officials and leading opposition figures. I was told by both Martin Indyk, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East affairs, and Matthew Tueller that the U.S. was considering alternatives to the sanctions against the regime and was looking to work with the opposition. Tueller told me that the U.S. did not want to use force against Saddam, but was willing to threaten the use of force to scare him into cooperating with the UN. As the representative of SCIRI, I made our position regarding U.S. support clear: we would welcome political support, but we were not interested in receiving any financial aid—either directly or through NGOs—from the U.S. government. During this time, I also met with Ahmad Chalabi of the INC and Jalal Talabani of the PUK on separate occasions. Chalabi told me he was unwilling to work with the Americans because their position was weak. He also did not see northern Iraq as a suitable base for opposition action because of KDP cooperation with the Baghdad regime. I suggested we consider forming a new framework for the opposition in order to make progress. In my meeting with Jalal Talabani, he spoke of his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, where he had assured the Saudis that there was an alliance between the PUK and the Supreme Council, a coalition of Arabs and Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, and Islamic and secular organizations. Our alliance showed that there could be cooperation, and that post-Saddam Iraq would not descend into civil war. Overall, Talabani’s conclusion was similar to my own: he had seen good developments during his trip—the meetings with the Saudis were positive—and there was an increased U.S. seriousness about the Iraqi situation. On June , , I met Tom Warrick from the Office of War Crimes in the State Department. He spoke about Saddam’s crimes, including documentary proof and the possible trial of Saddam. Tom was a lawyer who had worked successfully on war crimes trials in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Cambodia. I asked about the success of a trial of Saddam at the United Nations. Tom replied that Secretary of State Albright and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues David Scheffer had thought it would be impossible to hold a trial for Yugoslavia’s criminals in the United Nations because of Russia’s supporting the Serbs, but, he said, we succeeded in achieving that. It was the same in the case of Rwanda’s criminals, since France had a profound influence in Africa. That’s why he thought that the trial of Saddam was

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feasible. When he asked me about my opinion regarding Saddam’s crimes and his trial, I replied that his crimes were continuing daily and it was important to convict him so that he would be isolated politically. Tom said documents were needed to convict Saddam, and that Kurdistan’s documents about Saddam’s crimes, captured by the Kurds after the popular uprising of , had been transferred from Kurdistan to the U.S.; the documents numbered almost five and a half million pages. Tom added that they had allocated $, to publish them on the Internet to make them available for all readers. Tom said he was going to Kuwait to convince the Kuwaitis to publish their documents about the war against Kuwait online. He asked about the possibility of convincing Iran to publish its documents about the war online. I said that the Supreme Council had a Documentary Center for Human Rights in Iraq, in which we had a lot of documents about Saddam’s crimes. Tom reiterated the importance of publishing them online so the whole world could see them. I said I would discuss that with my group in my next visit to them. On June , , I met Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk in London. After I explained our views about major issues, he said the presentation was very good and made it clear that our views were in agreement. Indyk said that the policy of sanctions against Saddam was not enough and the U.S. was thinking about alternatives. The U.S. was thinking of dealing not with Saddam but with an alternative government, and wanted to support the Iraqi opposition. Indyk emphasized our common goal to topple Saddam’s regime—a repetition of what the Secretary of State said in her statement in Georgetown. He also said there had been mistakes in dealing with the Iraqi opposition, but the U.S. now wanted to deal with everyone. The U.S. had had reservations about dealing with the Supreme Council due to the tension in relations with Iran and some regional countries’ hesitation in dealing with the Council. Recently, since there were indications of improved relations with Iran and more acceptance of the Supreme Council regionally, the door was opened on their side for an improved relationship. They wanted to strengthen ties and continue to meet. Martin said that they would welcome an official visit from Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, although a meeting with the President was very difficult, due only to his busy schedule. I said they could take time in order to arrange for a meeting between Sayyid al-Hakim and the President. He said that Vice President Al Gore would be the next President and could meet with the Ayatollah.

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I replied that Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum met Vice President Al Gore, so we wanted Sayyid al-Hakim to meet the President. Martin said that Bahr al-Ulum was a part of an opposition delegation with people at a higher level. He asked that the issue of our leader meeting with the President not be an obstacle to our improving the relationship because there were important issues we could address without meeting the President. Their policy would be to support the opposition and help it organize. I assure you, he said, that the reception of Sayyid al-Hakim will be warm and hospitable, and that his visit will be useful in improving the range of relations between us. On August , , I had a meeting with Dr. Chalabi and asked about his views regarding the position of the U.S. on the Iraqi opposition. He said that some U.S. officials had visited him and asked him to cooperate with them regarding his plan to overthrow Saddam’s regime, but he refused. He said that the U.S. administration’s position was weak and that Congress should pressure them for a more serious position. I asked why we had to wait for them when they may not move; why didn’t we move as Iraqis and, with a focus on contacts inside Iraq, try to take action with the capacities we had? He said the movement needed protection against a military attack by the regime, and it needed huge capacities. He added that the U.S. was the only country capable of doing this and it was important to work to convince them of this issue. Chalabi said that we needed a base to work from the north or from the south, and that since the KDP cooperated with the regime, the north was no longer considered a base. He said he raised the subject of the south with the Americans, and he believed there should be persistent work to convince them about the subject. I raised with him the idea of a meeting of five that would include the Supreme Council, PUK, INA, INC, and General Wafiq al-Samarrai. I said the idea was to coordinate the work of the groups. He agreed, and suggested a meeting between him, General Wafiq, and me. Ahmed, Wafiq and I met the next day; Ahmed said he didn’t believe that Ayad Allawi would agree to meet with the four of us. When I asked the reason, he said he had met Ayad several times, the last a few days ago when he invited Allawi’s family for dinner in his brother’s house after the death of former Minister Abdul Amir Allawi. Ahmad believed that Ayad thought himself the only one who enjoyed U.S. support, so did not see any advantage to working as part of a group.

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All in attendance agreed that our work would concentrate on the media, Saddam’s trial, and meeting officials from friendly countries, and that we would meet again to determine movements when PUK representative Dr. Latif Rashid returned. We spoke about the PUK situation, and Ahmed said that there were some people in the PUK against Saddam but others who disagreed; they had some problems among themselves. He said that Jalal Talabani was with us  percent in the work against Saddam, and so were some members of the PUK, such as Jabbar Farman. Kosrat Rasoul’s concern, however, was only to get Arbil back from the KDP. I asked about Fouad Maasoom; he said he didn’t have a huge effect; Latif Rashid, he said was with us as well. Chalabi and Wafiq spoke about their action in March ; there were supposed agreements with some Western officials, but their governments did not confirm them. Wafiq had said that Saddam went to his hometown every week and had two routes only, so we knew where he went. The officials of the West had been planning to work with Wafiq in  through an agreement with a U.S. officer, who was suddenly called in and transferred when his agency found out, because they hadn’t approved what he agreed with Ahmed and Wafiq. Ahmed said the operation would have been difficult, but might have succeeded. When I asked about the chance of success, he said it was  percent, although a British newspaper had published an article accusing the UK government of planning and supporting the operation. On August , , I received a telephone call from Matthew Tueller in the U.S. embassy in London, requesting a meeting at my office. We spoke about general issues and I asked about the U.S. position on the latest crisis between Saddam’s regime and the UN. He said the U.S. wanted to give the Security Council and Secretary General a chance to convince Saddam to implement the agreement signed with the Secretary General. He added that they didn’t want a bilateral crisis between the U.S. and Saddam’s regime, but they did not exclude the military option in case the regime would not comply with the agreement. He said he believed that they must threaten force in order to make the regime obey, as had happened previously. He wanted us to participate in some of the activities to be involved in the new U.S. plan to support the opposition, such as UN visits, an international tribunal for Saddam, a conference about the future of Iraq, etc. I expressed our refusal to be part of plans financed by the U.S. He said they were sorry to hear that. I told him our relations with the U.S. depended on the level and seriousness of its support for the interests of the Iraqi people in facing Saddam’s regime.

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He asked what I meant by “seriousness,” so I explained that it depended on their interest in defending the rights of the Iraqi people, uncovering Saddam’s crimes, and giving consideration to military resistance inside Iraq. Tueller said the U.S. was serious about creating a relationship with the Iraqi people, including Shiites, and they considered the Supreme Council a major force for Shiites. They gave importance to the defense of the rights of the Iraqi people and shedding light on the crimes of Saddam’s regime. Regarding the meeting of the Supreme Council leader with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, he said it was crucial because Annan heard from the regime, so he should hear from the opposition, also. However, he said that the UN visit and meetings with UN officials needed an appropriate scenario. I explained that the meeting must be with the Secretary General because the Supreme Council leader had been received by former Secretary General Pérez de Cuéllar. On October , , I met with Dr. Chalabi, who said that he wanted to travel to Tehran to meet with Supreme Council leader Sayyid al-Hakim and Jalal Talabani regarding the latest developments. Chalabi said that Congress had passed the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA) with a majority of  to  votes in the House of Representatives and unanimous approval in the Senate. He said that the ILA stated that U.S. policy must be to topple Saddam’s regime, but it was amended to state that U.S. policy is to support the parties working to topple Saddam. Chalabi added that the Republicans wanted the ILA to state the support of the INC as a party capable of toppling Saddam, but the Democrats objected, so they agreed not to mention the INC in exchange for the support of both parties. Moreover, Congress asked the administration to nominate Iraqi groups eligible for the U.S. financial support. President Clinton would sign the ILA. Chalabi said two members of Congress, Senate majority leader Trent Lott and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jesse Helms, mentioned the Supreme Council specifically as one of the major powers in the opposition inside Iraq. He said the Republican Party would tour some regional countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Turkey to explain their policy regarding Iraq: toppling Saddam’s regime through the Iraqi opposition. The U.S. told Chalabi, he continued, that some countries were against arming the opposition; Saudi Arabia wanted a military coup and the rest were opposed to supporting the opposition. Chalabi had contacted the Democrats and relations with them had improved; they voted in favor of the ILA along with the Republicans.

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I asked him about the administration position; he replied that their position toward him and the INC had improved and that the State Department had been in contact. Chalabi said the most important point was that the Americans were fighting the opposition because we were not unified and were unable to conduct any real and serious work; we were not up to the mission of toppling the regime. There must be, he said, an agreement on a complete project and a military plan to topple the regime between the Supreme Council and Talabani; we must do something that impresses the U.S. An initial thought Chalabi had for a plan was to highly train two brigades of about eight thousand, ask that they be provided with protection from Saddam’s heavy weapons or armed against the tanks, and then liberate the city of Basra; if we won two battles, the army would start to join us. He said that if we started talking to some of the neighboring countries, such as Kuwait and Jordan, they would allow us to enter Iraq through their borders. When Latif Rashid arrived, he said that they had met the same day with Massoud Barzani, who was touring Germany, Switzerland, and London. After my visit to the U.S., the Americans told me that they had spoken with the KDP regarding our positive position toward them, and indicated that we would meet with them. So I contacted Hoshyar regarding a meeting. The conversation with Chalabi continued regarding the possibility of holding a meeting for the Executive Council of the INC with the Supreme Council, the PUK, and whoever else could attend. Chalabi said that the Supreme Council had four members, the PUK two, and Modhaffar Arsalan and Nazar Haidar along with Ryadh al-Yawar in addition to himself should attend, so it would be possible for the quorum to be complete.

4 A Strategic Shift: From Containment to Liberation

After months of deliberation in the U.S. Congress, the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA) became law on October , . Many Iraqis joined the Iraqi opposition movement after the adoption of the ILA. Adnan Pachachi, who lived in the United Arab Emirates and traveled periodically to London for many years without getting in touch with the opposition, requested a meeting with me through Ghasan al-Atiyya after the passage of the ILA. On November , , I met with Adnan Pachachi, who served as Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from  to , and Ghassan al-Atiyya, an active member of the opposition in London. After some general conversation about developments in Iraq, Pachachi asked about the Supreme Council’s position toward the Iraq Liberation Act, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Clinton only a few days earlier. The ILA declared that it should be United States policy to seek to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and replace it with a democratic government. It directed also that “the President designate: () one or more democratic Iraqi opposition organizations that meet specified criteria as eligible to receive assistance under this Act; and () additional such organizations which satisfy the President’s criteria.” I informed Pachachi that the Council had not issued a public statement on the subject; the leadership of the Supreme Council was in the process of assessing the ILA. However, I knew that the general line of the Supreme Council was to refuse external influence and financial support from the U.S.—because it would undermine our credibility, and we would be accused of being American puppets. We had publicly rejected State Department

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support in the past, saying that we would depend on God and the capability of the Iraqi people; this time would be no different. Atiyya noted that the ILA was a dramatic change in U.S. policy, which seemed to be moving away from containment and toward toppling Saddam’s regime. Moreover, the direct mention of the Supreme Council meant that there had been a change in America’s position in regard to the Council and its leadership. He also pointed out that the Iraqi opposition was being referred to as the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south. Atiyya wanted more attention drawn to central Iraq and prominent Sunni figures like Pachachi, who had broad regional and international contacts. He wanted to form something like a coalition or a front in order to convince the world about the importance of changing Saddam’s regime. Pachachi commented that, for the rest of the world, the problem in toppling Saddam was that the Iraqi opposition was scattered, and there was no clear replacement for the dictator. Forming a united front, he said, would help to convince people both in Iraq and in neighboring countries that the opposition could be successful. When I asked if other prominent Sunnis were also supporting this idea, Pachachi told me that Adeeb al-Jadir was on board; Atiyya said that twentyfive leaders—mostly Sunni—who had withdrawn from the opposition out of frustration had been invited for a meeting in an attempt to convince them to return. Atiyya said that the situation between Dr. Ahmad Chalabi of the INC and Ayad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord had reached a new low. Each was trying to assert control at the expense of the other, and elements in the U.S. administration had begun to take sides. A new front or coalition, he said, would renovate the opposition’s image and gain regional and international support. He had recently visited numerous countries in the region, and several were willing to follow Jordan’s lead and cooperate with the opposition. He told me that he would be traveling to Washington later in November to offer some proposals to the Americans. He was prepared to travel to Tehran after his return from Washington to meet with SCIRI leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Finally, he had spoken to Jalal Talabani of the PUK, who was willing to work with the Supreme Council and other prominent, independent figures to form a new front. There was also talk of bringing Massoud Barzani of the KDP into the coalition. At this point, Pachachi said he was not inclined to work with the Kurds and would not depend on them. He wanted to work primarily with Arabs

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because he felt the Kurds had their own ambitions and private agenda; he thought it might be possible, however, for the Kurds to have a limited role in bringing about change in Iraq. I wrote to the Supreme Council leadership with my initial evaluation of Pachachi and Atiyya’s proposal. In my estimation, the two did not have power in Iraq, but were looking to make a move from abroad to form something new. The motivating factor for Pachachi was the Iraq Liberation Act, which shifted U.S. policy from containment to regime change. The SCIRI’s well-known leader, activities inside Iraq, my work in London, and our good relations with al-Atiyya no doubt made Pachachi and Atiyya recognize the power of the Supreme Council; forming an alliance with SCIRI might bring them U.S. support as well. My recommendation to the leadership was that it would be useful to work with such people, especially Sunnis like Pachachi, who were well-known figures with broad contacts. I had suggested working with the Sunnis in the past and still believed it was a good idea. The opposition was always criticized as consisting of only Shiites and Kurds; cooperation with Sunnis would disprove this. A few days later Chalabi phoned to tell me that Martin Indyk, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, had called him to Washington for an urgent meeting. Indyk told Chalabi the situation in Washington had completely changed; it was a different world now. I said that we wanted action from the Americans, not just words. The U.S. had made many promises in the past that it did not fulfill; real measures needed to be taken to protect the Iraqi people. Indyk had told Chalabi that the U.S. was ready to work with the INC to move seriously toward regime change. He was calling for the INC to hold an urgent meeting of the Executive Council to discuss future plans with both the Americans and the British. Following the adoption of the Iraq Liberation Act, the Supreme Council sent me its assessment of the new U.S. policy, which I conveyed to the U.S. It stated that the recent American position showed indications of movement in the right direction, such as discussion of the role of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi opposition, and interest in avoiding exposing the Iraqi people to harm. However, the Supreme Council found some faults with the ILA that could lead to the failure of these efforts and thereby unintentionally benefit the regime. SCIRI insisted that what was needed was assistance directed at protecting the people inside Iraq, as they were the true opposition to the regime.

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The representatives of the opposition outside Iraq did not need the assistance offered by the ILA. Instead, the international community should, as they had done for the people of Kosovo, focus their efforts on preventing the regime from oppressing the Iraqi people. Meeting with Indyk Again On November , , I met again with Martin Indyk. Accompanying him were Robert Wilson, responsible for Iraq in the British Foreign Office, and Matthew Tueller, responsible for Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in London. We began the meeting discussing recent events in Iraq. I raised the issue of the bombings and repeated attacks against civilians taking place in southern Iraq, which had enraged the people and in my opinion had led to the assassination attempt in Karbala on Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Vice President of Iraq and Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Command Council. I told the officials that Saddam would surely retaliate with attacks against the Iraqi people, and I pointed out that there had been relative silence in the U.S. about these attacks and about the situation in southern Iraq in general. I continued reproaching Indyk for the U.S. failure to consult the Iraqi opposition. Even as the U.S. sent delegations to other countries, officials had not bothered to speak to the opposition to get our perspective. Indyk replied that the State Department had issued a statement regarding the events in the south of Iraq, but the media had not picked it up. He told me that the U.S. also expected some kind of military action in the coming weeks or months, and asked what they could do to assist when the inevitable crisis or military strike occurred. He also asked if we would be able to successfully carry out a plan to remove Saddam. The U.S. could help us if we helped them; there had to be a process of give and take. We agreed that regular meetings were necessary so that we could exchange news and views. With regard to the seriousness of the situation and our desire to see results, Indyk wanted more open dialogue about what we could accomplish together so that there would be no overly optimistic expectations that the U.S. could not fulfill. He suggested that we meet in early December to continue developing a strategy for working together. He told me that he wanted to meet with the leader of the Supreme Council or another figure of authority in the organization. At this point, I wanted to know if his suggestions were for a short-term strategy. He told me that the U.S. thought of a military strike as a short-term

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strategy, but the long-term goal was to topple the regime. I asked whether that meant a change from the U.S. policy of containment toward a policy of ending Saddam’s regime. The new policy, he told me, was “containment plus”: the U.S. had money from Congress to support the opposition, but could not directly provide weapons. We would have to take it one step at a time. I told him that we could not accept financial support from the U.S., we had made that clear in a public statement after the adoption of the ILA. However, we did need the political support of the international community in implementing Security Council resolutions to protect the Iraqi people and to prevent Saddam from using his heavy weaponry to oppress the people. Indyk said that he had invited Sayyid al-Hakim to visit the U.S., and Jalal Talabani had suggested that a meeting at the UN would provide a good reason for his visit. I told Indyk that such a visit might take place if a meeting could be arranged with Secretary General Kofi Annan. Indyk reminded me that he did not work for Annan, but that he would try to make it happen. Indyk turned to the subject of Iran. He told me that when he declared that the U.S. wanted to topple Saddam, he was asked if the Americans were looking to Iran for help. His response was that the U.S. would take help wherever it could find it, but the Iranians had a problem with the U.S., and it was difficult to get past it. I told him that the Iranians did not trust that the U.S. was serious about developing relations. The Iranian perspective was that, although the Americans declared that they wanted to improve relations with Iran, they would be working against them behind their backs. They felt this was happening already with Radio Free Iran, which was similar to Radio Free Iraq and was set up by the U.S. to broadcast messages against the Iranian government. Indyk pointed out that Radio Free Iran did not call for the overthrow of the regime, as Radio Free Iraq had; in addition, it had been established by the Congress and not the State Department. He asked if we had any feedback from inside Iraq about Radio Free Iraq. I told him that most people in Iraq did not listen to opposition radio very much because they were afraid of punishment from Saddam’s regime. BBC and Monte Carlo were more popular channels. Radio Free Iraq transmitted Western programs and music, while Iraqis normally preferred Iraqi programs and music. We then spoke a bit about relations with other countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia. I mentioned the possibility of a meeting between the Supreme Council and Egypt, and asked him about relations with Turkey. He replied that Egypt and Turkey were U.S. allies, but still difficult to work

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with. I told him that we wanted to maintain balanced relationships with all countries in the region. Indyk also asked about our relations with Syria. I answered that they were good, and that we had an active office in Syria. I added that if other regional countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt could offer similar assistance and allow us to open offices, it would be in the interests of our cause to work with them. Next, Indyk asked about the situation in northern Iraq. In a meeting in June , I had raised the issue with him of our presence in Kurdistan and our desire to base our operations in the north, and he had told me he would try to broach the idea with the Kurds. I went on to ask him about Massoud Barzani of the KDP, noting that Barzani was pulling away from Baghdad and back toward the opposition. He told me that he did not know whether Barzani was moving back toward our side, but he did know that he was closer to the PUK. Indyk commented that Massoud was like the Supreme Council: ready to work with the U.S. if there was a serious effort against Saddam. I responded that everyone—including regional countries—was ready to work with the U.S. if there was a serious push to end the regime. He agreed, and told me that everyone was sick and tired of waiting for action. My next question was obvious: if the U.S. knew it had the backing of the opposition, the Kurds, and regional countries, when was it going to get serious? The Americans could make a move whenever they wanted, Indyk answered. The U.S. was like a sleeping giant, and Saddam was a small animal that was beginning to bother it. Saddam was hitting the sleeping giant and pulling on its ears to get its attention. So far, the U.S. had ignored Saddam, but if the creature were to wake up, it would crush the dictator and end his existence, Indyk said, striking his fist against the table for emphasis. Indyk asked about the Supreme Council’s relationship with the INC. I told him we did not have a personal problem with the group’s leader, Ahmad Chalabi, but that we had reservations about some of his policies. The INC was established as an umbrella organization for Iraqi political groups that have military forces, such as the Supreme Council, KDP, and PUK. We told Chalabi he should consult these groups about any movement and decisions he made. But Chalabi had tried to build an army for the INC, which could not work. He had told us in an Executive Council meeting that INC funding came from Iraqi businessmen who wished to remain anonymous, but he told the media that funding had come from the U.S. This damaged our cause because the Iraqi people refused funding from foreign countries; we were

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forced to declare that our group, as an INC member, did not receive foreign funds, and if any opposition group or individual was taking money, this had nothing to do with the Supreme Council. I later wrote up an evaluation of the meeting with Indyk for the leadership of the Supreme Council. I said that Indyk was open and friendly—much more so than the last time in June. He obviously wanted to strengthen relations with the Supreme Council. Chalabi in Tehran On December , , Latif Rashid and I met with Ahmad Chalabi, who spoke about his visit to Tehran, where he had been well received. During his trip, he had the opportunity to speak to Jalal Talabani about convening a meeting of the INC Executive Council. Chalabi reported that Talabani would agree to a meeting if the Supreme Council would participate as well. Chalabi told me that he had already spoken to the Supreme Council’s leader Sayyid al-Hakim about the possibility of such a meeting. Sayyid al-Hakim would not agree to a meeting until the Americans issued a statement about the rights of the Iraqi people and the violations of human rights taking place in Iraq under Saddam’s regime. Chalabi thought this was possible, and was going to approach the Americans about issuing such a statement. I asked Chalabi if Iran was ready for dialogue with the Americans about regime change in Iraq. Chalabi replied that he had not raised the subject; he preferred not to interfere and did not want to put himself between two strong powers like the U.S. and Iran. This was an interesting position for him to take, given his previous behavior. I asked him why, if he did not want to put himself between two strong powers, he had previously sided with Republicans in Congress and criticized the Clinton administration. He laughed and did not comment. Chalabi then spoke of occasions when the Americans had let him down, including Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani’s coup attempt against Saddam in . Shahwani, a Sunni military officer from Mosul, was retired and living in Jordan, but his three sons were officers in the Republican Guard. Through his sons, Shahwani started to contact other military officers in the Republican Guard to organize a military coup against Saddam, and with their help he sent money and satellite equipment for coded communication to some officers. Saddam’s intelligence services managed to infiltrate the coup attempt and put the officers involved under surveillance. Around  military officers

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were arrested and most of them were executed—including Shahwani’s three sons—before the coup could take place. Chalabi said he had received word that Saddam’s regime had discovered some coded communications equipment, which he passed on to CIA director John Deutch and other officials. However, the CIA did nothing to stop the coup attempt and prevent the arrest and execution of the Iraqi officers. Chalabi said that he did not know the CIA had sent this kind of equipment to Iraq, and that the Americans did not do anything until Saddam captured the involved officers. After the arrest of the officers and the confiscation of the equipment, Saddam’s intelligence service contacted the Americans using the very equipment that had been sent to Iraq through Shahwani. On December , , I wrote an evaluation of U.S. policy toward Iraq now that the Iraq Liberation Act had been signed into law. President Clinton had named the Supreme Council as one of seven Iraqi opposition groups eligible to receive U.S. support, and the Americans were expressing strong interest in meeting with Supreme Council leader Sayyid al-Hakim. These actions officially recognized the Supreme Council and our role in the opposition, even though we refused to accept any funding from the U.S. There was also a U.S. call for a role in changing the Iraqi regime and an invitation to regional countries to support the project to remove Saddam. I wrote that the Supreme Council must work actively inside and outside Iraq to gain effective positions on the ground; this would determine the future of the struggle inside Iraq and in the region. I also reiterated my thoughts about changing the Supreme Council’s name—dropping the word “revolution”—which I had proposed consistently ever since I had taken responsibility for SCIRI’s London office in . I believed such a change was necessary if the Supreme Council was to gain greater acceptance among secular Iraqis, regional countries, and international powers—as well as with the media. Unfortunately, this did not happen until . Desert Fox In December , Richard Butler, chief UN weapons inspector, reported to the Security Council that Iraq had not been cooperating with inspectors. In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Charles Ferguson, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote: “President Bill Clinton ordered U.S. forces to strike targets in Iraq. Over a four-day period, Operation Desert Fox struck about  Iraqi facilities. The goal was to degrade and diminish Saddam Hussein’s

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ability to use weapons of mass destruction as well as his conventional military. Militarily, Desert Fox appeared to be a smashing success. It hit  percent of its targets and  percent of all strikes were highly effective, according to Pentagon analysts.” Secretary of Defense William Cohen said that, since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the U.S. and other countries had enforced the Security Council resolutions to “contain Iraq from attacking its neighbors and from using weapons of mass destruction,” and that containment policy continued to be in effect. These nations would maintain a strong, ready force in the Gulf to respond to any contingency and would ensure that economic sanctions on Iraq stayed in effect until Iraq complied with the Security Council resolutions and mandates. “Our quarrel is not with the Iraqi people,” he said. Funding and Uniting the Opposition In early to mid-January , I visited Kuwait with Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and a delegation from the Supreme Council. During that visit, I arranged a meeting between Dr. Adnan Pachachi and SCIRI’s leader. Sayyid al-Hakim urged Pachachi to gather the Iraqi Sunnis and establish an organization that represented them; there were Kurdish parties and Shiite groups, but there were no real political groups that represented the Sunnis. Dr. Pachachi told me that this meeting with the Supreme Council leader was his first, and he was impressed with his personality and thinking. During the visit I also organized a meeting for al-Hakim with General Najib al-Salihi, who had been an officer in Saddam’s elite forces, the Republican Guard, until the mid-s, when he defected to Kurdistan and settled in Jordan. From Amman, he had been trying to organize a military coup against Saddam by sending money to some military officers in Iraq. In response, Saddam’s intelligence apparatus arrested the officers and had a female member of Salihi’s family raped, which they videotaped and sent to Salihi in Amman. Salihi had the courage to go to the media and reveal the tragedy, saying that Saddam would regret what he had done. Female relatives of many Iraqi opposition figures had been raped by Saddam’s regime, but few would risk speaking of it publicly in a conservative society such as Iraq. I know Iraqi friends whose female relatives were imprisoned by Sadam’s intelligence and were too ashamed to talk about the arrests to other people. At the time of the meeting, Salihi was preparing to move from Amman to Washington, where he would be a less easy target for Saddam’s regime.

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He told Sayyid al-Hakim that he had a list of , military officers—army, Republican Guard, and security apparatus members—of whom  to  were willing to move against Saddam if asked to. Salihi also reported on information from the Saudis. They told him that the Americans had asked them to contact Sunni military officers about a possible coup attempt. Salihi said Washington’s plan was to have continuous aerial bombardment against Saddam’s military units, and when a unit moved against Saddam, the Americans would provide support and protection for it to overthrow the regime. Salihi was asking for the support of the Supreme Council. He noted that if Sayyid al-Hakim were to lead the Iraqi forces, they would follow. When I returned to London from the Kuwait trip, one of the regime’s agents, an Iraqi businessman who lived in London, contacted me. We had spoken just before I left for Kuwait, when he told me that Saddam was weak, so it would be in the best interest of the Shiites to reconcile with the dictator and reap the benefits. He asked me to raise the issue with SCIRI leader Sayyid al-Hakim. As requested, I brought the issue to al-Hakim’s attention during our trip to Kuwait. Sayyid al-Hakim rejected the idea of reconciliation outright. When I returned to London, I met again with the businessman and told him what the leader told me. He responded that he wanted to talk to al-Hakim personally, because a relative, the chief of a tribe who held an important position, had conveyed to him a message for al-Hakim. This agent also had a warning for me: his relative had told him that I was hurting the regime in Iraq considerably through my activities and media appearances. He told me to be careful; there were people who could hurt or even kill me, and certainly the opposition did not want to lose leaders. I was not afraid. I believed in fate, I told him, and I would die when it was my day to die. On January , , Dr. Latif Rashid of the PUK and I met with Andrew Morrison, director of the Iraq office at the State Department, and Frank Ricciardone, the State Department’s new Special Coordinator for the Transition in Iraq. (Ricciardone had been appointed to the position only six days earlier, on January .) I had met Ricciardone in  when I first came to London, and Dr. Rashid had known him since then as well. At Ricciardone’s request, I arrived thirty minutes before Rashid, so we could discuss some issues regarding the Supreme Council in private. I spoke about the conditions necessary for successful regime change in Iraq. Ricciardone wanted to convey that the scale of confrontation with Saddam was

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broad and open. Saddam was challenging the U.S. more and more every day. The U.S. would strike the areas of its choosing. Ricciardone said he thought the change should take place from the inside and through the true opposition powers; moreover, the regional countries must have a role in the project of change. The U.S. was in the process of speaking to the countries surrounding Iraq to convince them of the need for regime change and discuss future issues. The problem for the Americans was that the Supreme Council had refused to work and cooperate with the U.S. because of problems within the organization. He told me that if I could speak to the SCIRI leadership and convince them to cooperate, it would be a big help in the project of changing Iraq. I told him that there was no internal problem preventing us from having a dialogue with the U.S., and we had held talks with U.S. officials for many years now. Our problem was that the U.S. was not committed and did not have a clear policy against Saddam’s regime. We had a list of demands we raised with U.S. officials that ranged from easy to more difficult: setting up an international tribunal to indict Saddam, sending human rights observers to Iraq, implementing Security Council resolutions to protect Iraqis and to prevent Saddam from using his heavy weapons against them, and providing food and medicines for the Iraqi people under UN supervision. Ricciardone said that when the U.S. administration initially approached him to coordinate with the Iraqi opposition outside Iraq, he had refused. Not long after, he was approached by Secretary of State Albright, who wanted to know why he had rejected the position. Ricciardone explained that he did not want to be the U.S. representative to what could potentially become a failed government in exile. He also said he had reservations about the Iraq Liberation Act. Any opposition group that accepted U.S. support would be branded as a traitor by supporters of the regime, and Ricciardone did not want to work with opposition groups that would be stamped “Made in America.” Change should occur from inside Iraq, he told her, and by a true opposition. He said he was saddened by the failure of earlier projects to bring change in Iraq, and hurt by the administration’s lack of seriousness. Secretary Albright responded that the administration had become serious about the Iraq issue; the policy of containment had failed because it was not possible to contain someone like Saddam, who was continuously challenging the U.S. Saddam’s actions were costing the U.S. large amounts of money and causing a lot of problems. Administration officials were fed up with this situation, and it must end, she told him.

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Ricciardone told me that the U.S. was looking to work with powers that had a presence inside Iraq and that were capable of bringing about change. He also said that Phebe Marr, the former official in charge of the Iraq file at the Department of Defense, was going to be serving as his political adviser. He would also have a military adviser—a retired general from the Special Forces—and other specialists on his staff. Ricciardone said they did not have a complete strategy yet, but the Defense Department was working on drawing up plans, and his military adviser was knowledgeable about these issues. The U.S. was planning for the long term, and that meant a gradual, stepby-step approach to avoid repeating the Bay of Pigs debacle. They did not want to enter into a confrontation they were not ready for, Ricciardone told me. They did not want to involve people in a movement against the regime only for them to be slaughtered because the U.S. was unable to protect them. I replied that we appreciated that they valued the lives of those involved. Ricciardone said there was no patriotic Iraqi group willing to accept public support according to the Iraq Liberation Act, but the Act existed and we needed to deal with it. What was important, he pointed out, was that the Act forced the administration to adopt a policy of toppling Saddam rather than containing him. At this point, I brought up many of the Supreme Council’s reservations about the Iraq Liberation Act, along with our vision of the role that Western countries, the international community, and the UN could play in implementing Security Council resolutions, stopping the regime’s repression, and protecting the Iraqi people. My points were well received by Ricciardone and Rashid, who brought up the issue of our work on Saddam’s international tribunal as board members of INDICT, the NGO chaired by British MP Ann Clwyd which collected evidence to indict Saddam and his top aides. INDICT was established in late  to campaign for the creation of an ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal—similar to those established for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda—to try leading members of the Iraqi regime on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide and torture. The campaign was launched in the British House of Commons and in the U.S. Senate. INDICT initially looked to the UN to find a mechanism for trying Saddam Hussein and his regime. Despite overwhelming evidence that Saddam and members of his regime committed such crimes, the Security Council failed to respond to the victims’ demands for justice. Additionally, the permanent

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International Criminal Court (then under discussion, now an established international entity) would never gain jurisdiction over the crimes already committed by Hussein and his henchmen. Faced with these obstacles, in  INDICT began to focus on collecting evidence to seek indictments by national prosecutors. The arrest in October  of former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet in the UK, based on a warrant issued by a Spanish judge, showed that the prosecution of crimes against humanity could occur anywhere law enforcement authorities were willing to take action. The efforts of INDICT and other organizations campaigning for justice in Iraq successfully prevented members of the former regime who had committed crimes against humanity from travelling with impunity. In August , for example, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a senior member of the regime responsible for planning genocide and other crimes against humanity, fled Vienna, where he had come for medical treatment, following attempts to secure an indictment against him. In late , Saddam’s half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti was expelled from Switzerland after INDICT filed a complaint to Swiss authorities accusing him of genocide and torture. A case filed by INDICT in  was credited with preventing Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, from traveling to Europe. INDICT filed cases in the UK, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Norway, and had prepared cases for filing in Germany and several other European countries. In December , INDICT filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee against the Iraqi Olympic Committee and its president, Uday Saddam Hussein, for the torture of Iraqi sportsmen. This directly led to the disbanding of the Iraqi Olympic Committee in May . INDICT participated in the Transitional Justice Working Group, a group of Iraqi lawyers and judges who prepared detailed plans for the war crimes trials ultimately held in Iraq. INDICT worked to help the Iraqi people achieve justice and reconciliation following the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime. The chair of INDICT was MP Ann Clwyd, who was appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair in  as Special Envoy to Iraq on Human Rights. She continued in that role under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She was also chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group. Other members of the INDICT board included senior Iraqi opposition figures, human rights activists, and leading international lawyers. The work of INDICT has

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been supported by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former UK Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and Tony Blair, among others. Dr. Rashid wanted INDICT to include a broad base of Iraqi opposition groups, but Chalabi wanted to control everything himself by appointing two of his assistants, Nabil Musawi and Zaab Sethna. Rashid said he respected Chalabi and still worked with him, but he felt that reviving the INC would be useless since Chalabi was running the INC with a few of his followers and was not consulting with other major groups in the INC such as the PUK and KDP. Dr. Rashid also raised the issue of protecting Kurdistan, and said that, despite many statements by officials such as President Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Martin Indyk regarding the protection of the Kurds, there was true fear in the north. If Saddam were to launch an artillery attack and move a few tanks, people would flee from Sulaimaniya. Ricciardone said that the U.S. was serious about protecting Kurdistan, and there would not be a repeat of Saddam’s  attack on Arbil. Rashid asked him about the possibility of providing the Kurds with anti-tank weapons. Ricciardone, however, reminded Rashid that he was not in the military; that subject would require further study. At this point Ricciardone asked if we had any well-known Sunnis working with us. He pointed out that some had accused the Shiites and Kurds of trying to divide Iraq. I told him that we had contacted many Sunni officers, political figures, and tribal chiefs, and were encouraging them to join us and face Saddam. Ricciardone said that resolving problems within the opposition was up to us and the U.S. did not want to interfere. Ricciardone had told the Secretary of State that the INC was an old framework and that there was no use in reviving it. The U.S. wanted to see a new framework that reflected unity, coordination, and agreement within the opposition, but beyond that, they would not impose or support any particular arrangement. Ricciardone said that he had visited Egypt with Secretary of State Albright and met with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, and the President’s Adviser Osama el-Baz, all of whom supported change in Iraq. Nevertheless, they were against cooperating with the Iraqi opposition. He noted that Secretary Albright had wanted to announce the selection of Ricciardone as U.S. coordinator with the Iraqi opposition in Egypt, but the Egyptians had rejected the idea. Ricciardone said that he had visited Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Prince Turki al-Faisal, and Prince Faisal

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al-Saud, all of whom said they supported the project of regime change. Most important, both Prince Saud al-Faisal and Crown Prince Abdullah told Ricciardone that the Saudis had no reservations about working with the Supreme Council. Sectarian differences were not an issue for the Saudis; Shiites in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia live peacefully alongside the Sunnis. Ricciardone had also visited Turkey and spoken to the new Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit. He told us that the Turks were very difficult, but could be convinced to meet and work with the Iraqi opposition groups. He also noted that they were completely against the idea of federalism for Kurdistan in northern Iraq, whereas the Kurds insisted on having it after the fall of Saddam’s regime. The Turks were dealing with the ongoing issue of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and were concerned that the U.S. did not do anything against groups working with the PKK. Ecevit named the KDP as one such group, but not the PUK. Rashid remarked that the PKK had begun to attack and criticize the PUK. Ricciardone commented that this was a good thing, since it distanced the PUK from the PKK. At the end of the meeting, Ricciardone said that he had an upcoming interview with CNN; he wanted us to watch the interview and let him know our opinions of it. He knew that when Saddam saw him on TV, he would be very upset; in , Saddam had sent a group to assassinate Ricciardone in Jordan, which forced him to leave Amman for London. When Saddam saw Ricciardone alive and well, speaking to the press, he would be reminded of his failure. After the meeting, Dr. Rashid and I agreed that the U.S. officials had become more serious about changing Saddam’s regime. In addition, we felt that Ricciardone’s views were very sound, and that he was committed to working and cooperating with us. The ILA and Clinton’s Letter to Congress As noted earlier, the Iraq Liberation Act directed the President to designate one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organizations as eligible to receive assistance; the U.S. administration thus needed to formulate criteria for such groups. Officials from the State Department had meetings with numerous Iraqi opposition groups following the Act’s passage to ask about their organizations and parties. I worked hard with these officials to help them understand the Supreme Council’s ideology, structure, and ideas on the future of Iraq.

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President Clinton designated seven groups as qualified to receive assistance under the Act: the Iraqi National Accord, Iraqi National Congress, Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdistan Democratic Party, Movement for Constitutional Monarchy, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The President was authorized to give these groups broadcasting, military, and humanitarian assistance; the Act specifically did not grant the President authority to use military force to achieve its stated goals. On January , Clinton had written to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, naming these seven groups and their leaders and outlining their principles: The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq is a mass movement with primarily Shia Arab—but also Sunni Arab and other— supporters. Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a spiritual guide for millions of Iraqis, is its elected leader. SCIRI espouses the creation of a democratic, constitutional government that respects the rule of law. It advocates free speech, a free press and equal rights for women and members of minority groups. SCIRI has not yet indicated whether it is amenable to designation under the act, but its position among the Shia of southern Iraq would make this list incomplete without it. The Supreme Council issued a statement refusing U.S. assistance. However, for the Supreme Council and its leader, Clinton’s letter was considered international recognition. On April , , the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms, and the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Benjamin A. Gilman, wrote a letter to Supreme Council President Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim urging him to attend a conference for the General Assembly of the INC. The letter was sent to me and I translated it and sent it to the leader. He replied on May ,  and sent me the answer, which I translated and sent to the two Senators: We in the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq thank you both for your serious interest in the suffering of the Iraqi people, your emphasis on ending the regime of the tyrant Saddam and the oppression prevailing in Iraq, as well as on the unity of the Iraqi opposition and your aspiration for a just government achieved through

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democratic elections. We consider your interest to be an important development in the U.S. position toward the regime of Saddam, in spite of past policies characterized by support for Saddam’s regime and by silence over the oppression of the Iraqi people and over the crimes of the regime, as well as the extensive harm which has been caused by the policy of containment, and by doubts about the people’s movement to achieve a change for the better. We wish to refer to that part of your message which dealt with the necessity of working with your allies in the world to guarantee that the force for change in Iraq would receive the necessary support so as to form a serious challenge to that terrifying dictatorial regime. This cannot be realized through a meeting of the Opposition—even if a meeting is an important step and necessary task—because this meeting might take place several times in a wide and complete form and yet not bring about the change. The meeting will remain isolated, separated from its essential results and consequences, as long as a number of arrangements have not been prepared. These are: • Preparation of Iraqi civilians, who were, and are still, exposed in a savage fashion to operations of mass oppression by the regime, in spite of the existence of Security Council Resolution  and the recommendations of the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as well as the Rapporteur of Human Rights. • The existence of a plan for fieldwork depending basically on the efforts of Iraqi citizens and of its true forces. These are the resolute armed resistance, the heroic Iraqi tribes, and the Iraqi army and armed forces which have rejected the regime. • Clarity about the political future, for all sections, sects, and ethnic groups of the Iraqi people—whether Arab, Kurd, Turkmen, Sunni, Shiites or the minorities—on the basis of unity of Iraq, its government, its land and people, and the establishment of justice by democratic means. • The guarantee of regional security on the basis of good neighborly relations, mutual respect and reciprocal interests. Without these no opposition project can succeed in practice, despite our adherence to its unity and our persistent work. The Iraqi people will continue—God willing—to fight and struggle for liberation, freedom, and the establishment of justice and of an elected government. Likewise the Iraqi people ask that all the

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faithful and those with live consciences who believe in justice and freedom … stand side by side with the Iraqi people in their ordeal, and that the International Community and the effective powers shoulder their humanitarian and moral responsibilities. Boycotting the Meeting at Windsor Although Ricciardone reported that he had told the Secretary of State that the INC was an old framework and that there was no use in reviving it, he later set to work to revive the INC and reorganize it. Ricciardone contacted all parties and individuals who used to be part of the INC and had withdrawn from it. Most of the Iraqi opposition groups contacted suggested having a new meeting at which the INC would elect new leadership. During my meetings with Frank Ricciardone, I had told him that in regard to the Iraq Liberation Act, the Supreme Council held the view that the U.S. government should not give financial, military, or training support to the Iraqi opposition. This aid would give Saddam and other governments in the region a weapon to accuse the Iraqi opposition of being U.S. agents. Some Iraqi groups and leaders, on the other hand, were not worried about their credibility in the eyes of the Iraqi people because they depended on the U.S. and not the people for support. Some believed that U.S. support would make their position stronger with countries in the region. Even some U.S. officials thought we should be happy to have backing from the Americans, as it would make us stronger in the eyes of the people. I told Ricciardone and other U.S. and British officials that simply organizing a meeting of the INC would not solve our problems; a meeting and election of new INC leadership would merely raise the hopes of the Iraqi people. If it was not followed by an operational plan to get rid of Saddam’s regime, the meeting would mark another setback for the opposition and would be a disappointment for the people. Eventually Ricciardone managed to arrange a meeting of the INC in the city of Windsor, west of London, on April –, , but I told him frankly that I would not be able to attend. The meeting elected a seven-member leadership for the INC, and I was elected as one of the leaders. However, I refused to take part in the leadership meetings or participate in INC activities. On April , , U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk gave a press conference in Bahrain at the end of his visit there. He stated that there were four red lines Saddam could not cross: manufacturing and deploying

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weapons of mass destruction, attacking Kuwait, challenging the no-fly zones in the north and south, and carrying out an attack on the Kurds in the north of Iraq. The last red line was added at the insistence of the PUK and KDP. They had been raising this issue at every occasion for many years; given the timing, it may have been mentioned now because the KDP made it a condition for their attendance at the INC National Assembly meetings in Windsor. I wrote to the leadership of the Supreme Council that these four red lines essentially gave Saddam the green light to kill the rest of the Iraqi people in the center and south, especially the people in the south who had started the March  uprising and were crushed by Saddam’s forces. The Iraqis in the south had been carrying out attacks on the regime since , and these attacks had escalated after the assassination of Sayyid Mohammed al-Sadr on February , . I suggested we ask Ricciardone to issue similar statements to protect the Marshes in particular, and the Iraqi people in general in the north, center, and south. Such statements about red lines might be interpreted as pressuring the people of Iraq to come to an agreement with the U.S., I wrote. Meetings in Washington In late September, I attended a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. On September , , I met with Bruce Riedel and Kenneth Pollack of the National Security Council. I talked about developments inside Iraq, especially since the assassination of Sayyid Mohammed al-Sadr on February , . I also talked about the fragmentation of Saddam’s family, and Saddam’s failed attempts to bridge the gaps among the three sectors of the family—the sons, the half-brothers, and the cousins. In addition, I spoke about the growing rage among the people and the Iraqi army, the strong popular anger following the assassination of Mohammed al-Sadr, the protests in Baghdad, and the hundreds of subsequent casualties in the Sadr City neighborhood when Saddam’s forces put down those protests. I criticized the delayed U.S. reaction to the assassination and its cool response to the killings of hundreds of Iraqis. I asked if they had a plan to topple Saddam’s regime. Did it rely on military officers staging a military coup, or was it another plan to work with the Iraqi opposition? I wanted to know if it was possible for them to encourage Iraq’s neighboring countries to open their doors to the opposition and to assure

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them about the future of Iraq. I added that it was important to take direct action rather than to focus on media work and propaganda. There needed to be a meeting for the few active Iraqi opposition powers. Riedel began by saying that Saddam represented a danger to U.S. national interests and to Iraq’s neighbors; so he had to be overthrown. The U.S. would not agree to lift sanctions regardless of what might happen at the Security Council. Saddam would not be allowed to get the funds to rebuild his army and weapons. He said one of the most important things to focus on was the unity of the Iraqi opposition as well as the Supreme Council’s participation in the INC National Assembly meeting. Was I going to attend? Riedel asked me. He pointed out that U.S. officials were trying their best to reach out to neighboring countries. Each time Secretary of State Albright met with a regional leader, she emphasized the necessity of working with the Supreme Council. As we knew, however, each country had its own private agenda, so our attendance at the meeting of the INC National Assembly would help to convince them. I told him that our attendance would depend on our assessment of the meeting and on the seriousness of the work done after the meeting. The meeting alone was not enough; there had to be action on the ground to back it up. I said the U.S. was patient and seemed ready to live with Saddam for a long time—even forever. We were patient as well: we had been fighting the regime since it came to power in , and we would continue to fight for another thirty years if we had to. However, the Iraqi people were suffering from endless oppression on a daily basis, and it was our combined responsibility to help and support them. Riedel clarified his position: he did not mean to imply that the U.S. was not looking to overthrow Saddam. They would overthrow him right away if it were feasible. They wanted to help, but they could not send American tanks to help Iraqi military resistance in southern Iraq because neighboring countries would not agree. For the time being, they had decided to help opposition groups such as the INC with non-deadly materials in the hope that the situation might change in the future. I said that in my opinion SCIRI was realistic and pragmatic. We were not asking for tanks, weapons, or money, because accepting U.S. aid would undermine the Supreme Council and harm its credibility. Nevertheless, we were asking for a plan to change the regime, and we would cooperate to implement this plan. We wanted a plan to protect the Iraqi people through the implementation of such Security Council resolutions as Resolution ,

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which was to stop Saddam from oppressing the Iraqi people, and Resolution , which was to prevent Saddam from sending his elite troops and heavy arms to the southern borders. We wanted to bring Saddam to an international tribunal for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. I told Riedel that we wanted help in uncovering the daily human rights abuses taking place in southern Iraq, such as random bombardment, imprisonments, torture, and executions. In the face of this, though, Martin Indyk had recently established four red lines that Saddam could not cross, thereby effectively neglecting to protect areas south of Kurdistan that were not covered by the no-fly zone. This seemed to imply that central and southern Iraq were fair game for Saddam to do whatever he wanted. Clearly this was a double standard. It was important to protect Kurdistan, I said, but the rest of the Iraqi people needed protection as well. Riedel told me that, while there were things the U.S. could not do, it could help monitor the regime’s criminals when they traveled outside of Iraq. He mentioned Vice President Izzat al-Douri, who had narrowly escaped capture in Vienna. Even though al-Douri got away, his narrow escape made the regime understand that it was isolated and could not move. This point did not carry much weight with me, because it was the Supreme Council that had made the first move against al-Douri, not the Americans. When we received word that al-Douri was in Austria for medical treatment, our representative in Vienna, Dhia al-Dabbas, spoke to Peter Pilz, a Member of Parliament from the Austrian Green Party, who helped Dhia file a case against al-Douri in the Attorney General’s Office. We provided witnesses and documents, and I wrote a letter to the Attorney General about my arrest and torture in Iraq, as did Dr. Sahib al-Hakim, a human rights activists in London who collected and published evidence about the Saddam regime’s violation of human rights, the President of the Organization for Human Rights in Iraq, and several other Iraqis. The U.S. initiative, by contrast, was weak and late in coming. On the day al-Douri was scheduled to leave Vienna, Kathy Allegrone, Deputy Director for Northern Gulf Affairs at the State Department, contacted me to see if I had any information about the matter. I confirmed that al-Douri was returning to Iraq that day, and she said the Americans would raise the issue with the Austrian government, but by then it was too late. Riedel assured me that they would move more quickly in the future. I also wanted to know what the Americans were doing about the oppression of the people in the south of Iraq. We had received reports that Saddam

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was moving tanks, artillery, and ground-to-ground missiles toward the south, which the State Department had ignored even though they knew the supplies were meant for attacks against the people there. Andrew Morrison had even contacted me and said that the State Department had information that the regime was going to attack us, but there was nothing they could do to help. Saddam moving his forces and heavy weapons to the southern areas was a clear violation of Security Council Resolution ; no action was taken in response. I continued to speak about human rights violations in the south and renewed my call for more films and satellite photos to show Saddam’s abuses to the world. Riedel told me that the State Department had informed all other agencies of the need to focus on this issue and to hand over these materials to the media, but they needed us to tell them where the violations were occurring as quickly as possible. News from inside Iraq generally took time to get to us abroad, I told him, and it took additional time to translate information and relay it to the Americans. Nonetheless, I would try to ask our colleagues to speed up the process. Further Discussions in Washington On the same day, September , I participated in an Iraqi delegation, along with Jalal Talabani, and Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, that met Richard Perle, David Wurmser, and two other representatives of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Talabani asked the question we all wanted answered: did the U.S. have a strategy to topple Saddam? Perle answered that there was no strategy in place, but amendments had been made to existing policies. In addition to the sanctions and policy of containment, the U.S. was looking to expand rules of engagement within the no-fly zone and was considering another military attack similar to Operation Desert Fox. Perle noted that the current administration wanted to send weapons inspection teams back to Iraq at any cost so that the Republican opposition could not use it against the Democrats in the upcoming election campaign. Perle added that he believed the next administration would be in a better situation to bring Saddam down, especially if George W. Bush, son of former president George H. W. Bush, were elected. His rationale was that Congress already wanted Saddam gone, and therefore had issued the Iraq Liberation Act; thus if the new administration also wanted to topple the regime, there

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would be no opposition from Congress. Moreover, if the incoming administration were to go ahead with a plan to remove the regime, but failed, it could pin the blame on Congress. I pointed out that the previous Republican administration under George H. W. Bush did not remove Saddam from power, even though they had a huge number of forces in Iraq after the liberation of Kuwait. Why would George W. Bush try to do what his father had not, considering that the mission was now much more difficult? A son does not always follow his father, Perle replied. Former president Bush realized that he had made a mistake by not removing Saddam from power when he had the chance. He openly admitted that his administration failed to realize the results of not toppling Saddam’s regime. They asked George W. Bush if he was going to do what his father did, and he answered that he did not want to be George Bush Number : he wanted to be George W. Bush Number . I told the Americans that there was a feeling among Iraqis that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats actually wanted to topple Saddam; Iraqis believed that if the Americans really wanted to remove the dictator, they could have easily done so. Even the Gulf countries thought the U.S. wanted to keep Saddam in power, because as long as he posed a threat to the region, Iraq’s neighbors would be reliant on the U.S. for weapons. Perle then asked me about the situation inside Iraq, and wanted to know if it were possible to change the regime from inside the country. Perle had told us earlier that, while he was certain the CIA was planning a coup, he did not believe it would be successful. I agreed that a military coup would be very difficult because of tightened security measures and the very nature of the brutal dictatorship. We believed that Saddam was coup-proof. I told him that, instead, we had projects for military fieldwork in the north and south of the country to squeeze the regime in the center. As to the current mood in Iraq, the Iraqi people were reacting with fury to the assassination of Mohammed al-Sadr. The next day I was part of an Iraqi delegation that met with Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk, Deputy Director for Northern Gulf Affairs Kathy Allegrone, and Special Coordinator for the Transition in Iraq Frank Ricciardone. The Iraqi delegation consisted of Jalal Talabani and Barham Salih from the PUK; INA president Ayad Allawi; Hoshyar Zebari from the KDP; Dr. Ahmad Chalabi from the INC; Sharif Ali bin Hussein from the Constitutional Monarchy Movement; and Sheikh Ali Abdul Aziz from the Islamic

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Movement in Kurdistan. I attended as a representative of the Supreme Council. Ricciardone said that Indyk wanted to talk about the Iraq Liberation Act and the opposition; could we clarify the difficulties we were facing? No one should believe that the U.S. would loosen the rope around Saddam’s neck. Indyk had told Thomas R. Pickering, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, he had heard that Iraqis believed the U.S. wanted to keep Saddam in order to achieve peace with Israel and to reach an agreement on sending Palestinians to Iraq. This was not true; on the contrary, they were working at the UN to tighten the rope around Saddam’s neck. Indyk said it was great that all of us were there, and that this was an indication of unity among the different currents of the Iraqi opposition. He had met some of us previously, and he was happy that he had spoken to us in London about agreement and unity among the Iraqi opposition groups. He noted his belief that the unity of the Iraqi opposition was crucial and urgent. Indyk said we were reaching an important crossroads at which Saddam looked very weak, and we could see that change was close. Saddam had indicated that he thought we would use force against him— this was a defensive position. Saddam had also begun to send messages to Arab countries asking for reconciliation. Although some of these Arab countries were not willing to reconcile, they kept talks going under the pretext that, while Saddam was weak, he would be willing to do things he would not otherwise do. That, he added, is why we were at a major crossroads: if we could keep the pressure on Saddam, there was a good chance the regime would disintegrate. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was clear in her meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa and other Arab Foreign Ministers when she said that, from the American point of view, the U.S. could not reconcile with a crocodile such as Saddam. Indyk said that our meeting would create momentum for the next step in the opposition’s action. The general meeting is a big tent for the whole opposition; working together would develop an image of the future of Iraq after Saddam, which would help in the effort to build links between the outside and the inside. There had been disagreement about the ways and means to achieve this, but there was no disagreement about the necessity to build and improve relations. There have been efforts inside Iraq to resist the regime in the north, in the south, and in Baghdad; the people are resisting inside Iraq,

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and they need our help. We must look to actively provide that help. The INC National Assembly is important to this end. Sharif Ali said we were happy to work on organizing a meeting for the INC National Assembly. We were continuing to work with our allies to put joint pressure on the regime and connect the links we had inside and outside Iraq. Perhaps we could try to make the activities inside Iraq more visible. Indyk agreed, saying the U.S. had taken the first step in a report that used satellite photography to show what Saddam was doing. The U.S. would do what it could to reveal what was happening inside Iraq, but it also needed more detailed information from inside Iraq. Chalabi said that America’s change toward a greater commitment to help us topple Saddam could be felt, and it was an important sign of progress. Regarding information from inside Iraq, Chalabi said that we had this capacity; we had the people and the organization, but they lacked communications equipment. They needed systems that allowed videos made inside Iraq to be transferred directly to computers. Chalabi said we have people who could be trained to do this, but it was clear that these issues could not be resolved during that particular meeting. Jalal Talabani asked why Indyk was talking about the opposition inside and outside Iraq. The Supreme Council, the PUK, and the Islamic Movement in Kurdistan were all inside Iraq, and only needed to better coordinate their work between those inside and outside Iraq. It was a significant issue. Talabani also said he would like to raise an important point: the time for an uprising was ripe; the people were ready for it. When Sayyid Mohammed al-Sadr was assassinated, the Supreme Council leader Sayyid al-Hakim felt he could not control the people inside Iraq, because they wanted to rise up against the regime. The people had been waiting; every year, we had said that next year, Saddam would be overthrown, and next Nawrooz, we would go to Baghdad and celebrate there. We can go to Baghdad, but we cannot celebrate, Indyk said. Talabani said the most important issue was to find a realistic strategy to work inside and outside Iraq to achieve the ultimate goal of overthrowing Saddam. Indyk went on to say that “we need your help. . . . We’ve been asking for a plan for years and we haven’t gotten it yet. This time and before the end of the century, we must get it.” Zebari said we did not see that the U.S. was going to replace Saddam’s regime. If the opposition were focused only on public relations, there would be no alternative to the regime. We must work

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to be alternatives to the regime. It was important to have a meeting of the INC National Assembly, but the question remained: what is the next step? Are we going to repeat the past? We would participate in the proposed New York meeting of the National Assembly, but we had to look beyond that as well. Indyk said that we must act step by step—set the time and place for the meeting and take it from there. He agreed with Talabani: talking about the inside and the outside was not accurate; there was a connection between the opposition and the resistance, and it was vital to withdraw legitimacy from Saddam’s regime and provide a different regime. “That’s why we are talking about Iraq’s future and how we should train for the future after Saddam.” He reiterated that we wanted to strengthen the bonds between the groups. Allawi said that we had to differentiate between the armed resistance and the opposition inside Saddam’s regime, which should be taken into consideration since the opposition within Saddam’s regime would carry out the change by supporting the opposition outside Iraq and the resistance inside Iraq. I reminded Indyk of my visits to Washington where I spoke on issues regarding the south, and about ways to protect the Iraqi people and implement UN human rights resolutions, including Resolution . But what had recently happened in Iraq? After the assassination of Sayyid Mohammed alSadr on February , there was a massive response; thousands demonstrated in Baghdad, and hundreds were killed. In March the resistance controlled five cities, and military attacks were conducted against elements of Saddam’s security apparatus, the Baath party, and the army. But, I asked, what did the U.S. do? Instead of focusing on what was taking place in Iraq, they had given the green light to Saddam to brutally suppress these movements by setting down only four red lines not to be crossed: developing WMDs, attacking neighboring countries, ignoring the no-fly zone, and attacking Kurdistan. We supported securing the northern region but asked for the security of all Iraqis as well. Indyk responded, “We are moving in the direction you want; can’t you see a change in our position? Didn’t you read our report about the destruction of Al-Masha village?” I said the report was the first example of talking about what was happening in the south, but who knows? It may be the last. Indyk said that during his press conference in Bahrain, he had spoken about what was happening in the south, adding that the U.S. cared about the

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information and wanted to broadcast the situation to the entire world, but its policy was tilted toward protecting the north. I said that we were happy that the north was protected. “But you want us to protect the south,” Indyk replied. Why, then, I asked, doesn’t the United States protect the south? Indyk said that protecting the south was more complicated and required far greater capabilities. Sheikh Ali Abdul Aziz, President of the Islamic Movement in Kurdistan, thanked the American government, and said that the Iraqis were waiting for the implementation of the Iraq Liberation Act, especially since the announcement of the seven groups’ eligibility to receive support. Indyk said it was essential to keep working. The U.S. would do its best to support our efforts, hoping that they would succeed and that this bad regime would come to an end. Iraqis would leave the darkness they lived in under Saddam Hussein’s regime. “I hope to see you soon in Kurdistan or in Baghdad,” Jalal Talabani said. I said the important thing was to celebrate there, not just to go to Baghdad—reminding Talabani that Indyk had said we could go to Baghdad, but not celebrate. As the next few days of my September visit to Washington came to an end, I held meetings with a number of U.S. legislators and administration officials, all of whom were interested in the views of the Supreme Council and the INC, and all of whom were intent, it seemed, on seeing the Supreme Council join in the conference planned for the INC in New York. These included Senator Sam Brownback (R. Kan.); Leon Fuerth, National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore; and Representative Benjamin Gilman (R. N.Y.). The November 1999 INC Meeting in New York As I noted, the INC group that met at Windsor agreed to hold a conference for the National Assembly of the INC. This would be the first meeting of the Assembly in the seven years since its establishment in November  at the Salah al-Din conference. The Assembly was headed by a three-member council, Shiite religious scholar Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, and Sunni military officer General Hassan al-Naqib. The meeting took place in New York on November , . Members of the INC tried to convince the Supreme Council to attend the meeting, but

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our position was clear: we would not participate for the same reasons we did not take part in the Windsor INC meeting in April . Frank Ricciardone along with other U.S. and British officials tried to convince the Supreme Council to attend, but I explained our reasons for refusing to participate and our reservations about the meeting and U.S. policy. The Supreme Council believed the meeting was being held only for media purposes and not for real work on the ground. News reports of the meeting described a reinvigorated INC that had the full and explicit backing of the U.S. government. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering addressed the final session of the meeting. According to one report, he “praised the group for holding the meeting, which he said was a milestone that can prove wrong those who doubt the opposition’s ability to unite.” On June , , Vice President Al Gore told INC leaders that Saddam Hussein “must be removed from power.” He said this before a Washington meeting that included representatives of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and the Constitutional Monarchy Movement. Meeting with Albright On September , , I was part of an Iraqi delegation that met with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her team, which included Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Pickering; David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (implementing U.S. policy toward the United Nations); Special Coordinator for the Transition in Iraq Frank Ricciardone; and Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Rebecca King. The meeting was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings. The delegation included Dr. Barham Salih from the PUK; Farhad Barzani from the KDP; Mahdi al-Bassam from the INC; General Najib al-Salihi, an independent military officer; Riyadh SariKahya from the Turkmen Front; Emanuel Qanbar from the Assyrian Democratic movement, and Nazar Haider from the Islamic Action Organization. Secretary Albright welcomed the delegation and noted that we may have heard about the press conference she had held. A journalist had commented that she had spoken a few times about the importance of toppling Saddam, but asked what she had done to accomplish this. She replied that toppling Saddam had nothing to do with her tenure at the State Department and might go beyond the years that she would serve. She also stated that whether

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it would take ten years or more, U.S. policy was that Saddam must go, and they had to do their best to get rid of him. Saddam threatened his neighbors with WMDs, and his regime was a threat for all the Iraqi people and well as for the U.S. The policy of the U.S. was not to contain Saddam and keep him in a cage with his people; the INC and the U.S. were taking steps to train Iraqis in fields stated in the Iraq Liberation Act, meaning not military training. The same policy would be carried over to the next administration. Dr. Barham Salih read a joint statement agreed to by the opposition delegation. He spoke about the need to remove Saddam, to provide greater international oversight of the Oil-for-Food program, and to expand the nofly zone to all of Iraq in order to protect the Iraqi people from further human rights abuses, including ethnic cleansing. I underscored Salih’s statement and noted that when Saddam invaded Kuwait, George Bush had said that a new Hitler had been unleashed on the world. I told Secretary Albright that Hitler would be back again—indeed, Saddam had been in power longer than Hitler. Like Hitler, Saddam had waged unprovoked wars against his neighbors. He was willing to conduct genocide against the Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians, and all those who opposed him—even members of his family, such as his ill-fated sons-in-law. Saddam stated that he preferred to have  million supportive Iraqis than  million Iraqi rebels. I wanted her to think about why these facts got such little consideration in the West. Why were not voices raised on behalf of those being silenced by the brutality of Saddam? I told her I was a board member of INDICT, which had collected enough evidence to prosecute Saddam and other members of his regime. Why was not an international tribunal or an ad hoc court set up to try them, just as tribunals had been set up for the criminals of the former Yugoslavia, and for Rwanda and Cambodia? Albright said she felt that I was confirming her own stance; indeed, it was beautiful to hear a delegation on the other side of the table that thought exactly as the U.S. did. All the delegations she met were asking that tensions with Saddam’s regime be eased and the sanctions be lifted. She would not argue with me about what I said, but actually supported us and our efforts; we were on the same team. She had read the letter we sent when she was U.S. Ambassador to the UN; she had noted then that people believed there were international sanctions on importing food and medicine to Iraq, which was,

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of course, incorrect. Saddam was preventing food and medicine from reaching the people, and the U.S. was getting blamed for it. The U.S. supported the idea of an international tribunal and needed our help in forming one. Albright had spoken about this issue in the Security Council, and the idea had been rejected. There was disagreement about the tribunal even among countries that should have supported it. Our voices were important, and people needed to understand Saddam’s crimes. What she really could not understand was that there were people following her and accusing her of being a war criminal. She would tell them it was Saddam who had invaded another country, not she. Tariq Aziz, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, was using his lies to hurt the U.S., and Saddam was threatening the no-fly zone. Albright asked if there were any other comments. I asked her, if Tariq Aziz was hurting you that much, why did you not help us prevent him from traveling? INDICT had enough evidence to prosecute Aziz and needed only a political decision to support the tribunal to try Saddam and his aides. Albright said the problem was that there were three permanent members of the Security Council opposed to Saddam’s trial, and if the U.S. raised the issue in the Security Council, it would not get the support needed. After the meeting David Welch spoke to me alone and said emphatically, “Well done!” He said the meeting was good, and my comments were great. Indeed, he noted, the Secretary of State hadn’t intended to say all that the U.S. was going to do in front of everybody. On the Eve of the Presidential Elections On September , , I met with Deputy National Security Advisor Bruce Riedel and Kenneth M. Pollack from the National Security Council. I asked if U.S. policy was going to change after the presidential elections in November, and what the U.S. position would be if Saddam were to attack Kuwait or Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Riedel said their policy would not change after the elections; they would strike Saddam if he attacked Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or Sulaimaniya. They wanted to speak directly to Iran about Iraq. Although their points of view were not identical, they were parallel: both wanted Saddam gone, a new regime that respected the Iraqi people, and stability in the region. Some Iranians believed that the U.S. wanted a regime that they could use against Iran, but Riedel denied this was the case. What happened regarding Afghanistan

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during the meeting of six neighbors plus the U.S. and Russia earlier in the month, in which both the U.S. and Iran participated, showed serious progress; the U.S. Secretary of State had sat with Iran’s Foreign Minister and discussed cooperation in Afghanistan. On September , I wrote to the leadership of the Supreme Council about my meetings with U.S. officials, think tanks and university representatives during my visit to the U.S. I reported that the U.S. felt Saddam was putting pressure on them through diplomatic and media channels as well as by violating the no-fly zone and sanctions. The U.S. needed the Iraqi opposition to grow larger and strengthen its position. I opposed some of the issues that several members of our delegation wanted to raise, such as thanking the American government for their support of the opposition and requesting the implementation of the Iraq Liberation Act. The U.S. was puzzled by Saddam’s motivations and aims; why was he threatening neighboring countries? Was it because he was weak, or was it because he was strong? The U.S. administration was not willing to have confrontations during the election period in November , but if Saddam attacked Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, they would respond to him with extreme force. If he attacked Sulaimaniya, however, they said their response would not be as strong. There were indications that U.S. relations with Iran were improving: the Iranian delegation did not walk out when Clinton delivered his speech before the UN General Assembly as they did in the past, and Clinton stayed as well to listen to Iranian President Khatami’s speech. Albright also accepted a special invitation to speak at the “Dialogue of Civilizations” event where President Khatami also delivered a speech. Furthermore, Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Kamal Kharazi sat in front of Albright at the meeting of the Six Plus Two Group about Afghanistan. As a result, Iran was going to invite a number of members of Congress to officially visit Iran for the first time. The administration was ready for direct negotiations regarding Iraq, and there was an impression that the objectives of both countries, if not concordant, were parallel regarding Iraq and its future.

5 Uniting the Opposition

On March , , a few months after President George W. Bush’s administration took office, I delivered a speech at a meeting of the Iraqi Communist Party to celebrate its th anniversary. I had been invited to previous annual meetings at which I spoke about Iraq, the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi opposition. In my speech, I described the popular resistance inside Iraq and how it was achieving excellent results in all parts of the country—including Baghdad. I gave two recent examples of the resistance’s success. The first was the Katyusha missile attack on the Republican Palace in Baghdad on the evening of Tuesday, March , —the same evening the Arab Summit Conference was being held in Amman. Saddam’s regime did not mention this attack because it would indicate the weakness of the regime. The second example was resistance by individual Iraqis. I cited the story of a man in Karbala who had killed seven of Saddam’s intelligence officers in separate attacks because of the crimes they had committed against the Iraqi people. After the seventh attack, he was recognized by the next intelligence officer he was trying to kill and was arrested. He confessed to carrying out all the attacks alone. He had a handgun and had hunted intelligence officers at night in the city, carrying out his attacks and then returning home. I said it was necessary to talk about the new American administration and its policy on Iraq. Some members of the opposition were too optimistic about the new administration, thinking that it would topple Saddam’s regime. In fact, I said, it was not doing that much, except for developing what was being called “smart sanctions.” These would allow Saddam to sell as much oil as he wanted and then buy anything with the oil revenues except arms and military materials. The U.S. had allocated extra money through the Iraq Liberation Act for the INC to hold conferences and conduct training; I predicted,

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though, that the U.S. would say it had given money to the Iraqi opposition but we had not done anything useful. The opposition would lose its credibility and still be unable to topple Saddam’s regime with the money, conferences, and training; this is why the Supreme Council refused any financial support from the U.S. After I announced our responsibility for the attack on the Presidential Palace, agents from Saddam’s intelligence services forced my mother, my sister—whose husband had been executed—and three brothers to appear on television as a way to threaten me. I was afraid (having lost eight members of my family already) that Saddam’s regime might kill all of them, as had happened to the families of several other opposition leaders. On the television program, my family members were asked general questions about their lives under UN sanctions and whether I was in touch with them, to which they answered no. The intelligence officer who interviewed the family then said that I should get in touch with my family through the TV program and return to Iraq when I heard his message. The conclusion of Saddam’s intelligence, after long and comprehensive surveillance of all my family members, was that I had never been in touch with my family from exile in London, as I later found when I recovered my intelligence file. On April , , SCIRI leader Ayatollah al-Hakim said in an interview with the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat that he had no objection to speaking with Secretary of State Colin Powell about the protection of the Iraqi people. He supported the idea of UN involvement to impose a “no-drive” zone on the movement of Saddam’s troops. The new American administration came with a new tone, he added; it was trying to show some seriousness about the protection of the Iraqi people from the unlimited repression carried out by Saddam’s regime, so it would be possible to have a dialogue on the basis of protecting the people as a prelude to stability in Iraq. Al-Hakim continued: “If this basis has been adopted, there will be no objection to direct dialogue with the American administration.” Any dialogue, he said, needed a common base, and there was only one: stopping the unlimited repression Saddam’s regime was committing against the Iraqi people. He said that “the protection of the Iraqi people is the responsibility of the international community, and the United States is an important element within this community, which cannot be ignored.” Rather than an internal or regional case, Iraq’s situation had become international, and it was under the control of UN resolutions. If the U.S. believed that the repression of the Iraqi people should be stopped, then we could begin negotiations from this

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common ground. SCIRI had two kinds of contact with the American administration. The first was indirect, through general calls and announcements, speeches regarding our positions, and talks with Iraqi opposition groups in contact with the U.S. The second was directly through Dr. Hamid al-Bayati, SCIRI representative in the Iraqi opposition delegation who had visited the U.S. and the UN several times. Group of Four, Gang of Four, G4 After U.S. financial support began to flow to the INC with the enactment of the Iraq Liberation Act, the Supreme Council decided to leave the INC, mainly because the Council believed U.S. financial support would undermine Iraqi opposition credibility and give Saddam’s regime justification to accuse the opposition of being American puppets. Therefore I started to work outside the framework of the INC with three other major opposition groups: Massoud Barzani’s KDP, Jalal Talabani’s PUK, and the Iraqi National Accord (INA) headed by Dr. Ayad Allawi. We were called the Group of Four, although some in the INC called us the Gang of Four because they considered us a rival. In July , I traveled to meet the leadership of the Supreme Council and held discussions with Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim about the importance of having an alliance of many Iraqi parties. I said that the world in general and the Americans in particular wanted to deal with a single alliance rather than with many different opposition parties, so the Supreme Council should either return to the INC or work with other parties as an alliance. When al-Hakim refused to return to the INC, I convinced him to set up the “Group of Four.” When I arrived back in London, I spoke to the leaders of the other three groups, the KDP, PUK, and INA, and they agreed to the idea of the Group of Four. I invited them to meet in the Supreme Council London office and we held the first meeting. The Group of Four (or G) was described in the media as a Kurdish and Shiite organization, even though both the Supreme Council and the INA had some Sunni members. There was no Sunni party or group equivalent to the Kurdish or Shiite parties, so I tried hard to add a Sunni member to the G. I wrote to the Supreme Council leadership about the importance of adding a Sunni, but they were not satisfied with any prospects before them. Andrew Apostolou later wrote in the Washington Times that “the four most serious factions, the KDP, the PUK, the Iraqi National Accord, and the Supreme

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Council, which represents the Shia majority, are now increasingly coordinating their activities. This so-called ‘Group of Four’ represents the key sections of Iraqi society, while Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) has strong ties to the Bush administration but is, at best, a figurehead.” At the end of June , Matthew Tueller from the U.S. Embassy phoned to tell me that Fred Axelgard, who had replaced Frank Ricciardone as special coordinator for the Iraqi opposition groups, was in London and wanted to see me. I met Fred Axelgard, who said that he was assigned to both the Pentagon and the State Department; he had experience in military issues regarding Iraq, which was why he was wearing two hats. He explained that the new President had taken more than two months to appoint new staff, and that it had taken time also for the administration to review U.S. policy. I asked him about the new administration’s policy toward Saddam’s regime and when we would know the result of their review. Axelgard answered that, although he personally tended to want a stricter policy, the administration might adopt either a stricter or a more lenient policy toward Saddam, due to world pressure to lift the sanctions and normalize relations with Iraq. July and August were the months of summer vacation for the U.S. government, and he did not expect much to happen; he thought the results would be clear in September, when he would come back to London to meet with me. Axelgard asked about Iraqi opposition groups and parties. I told him that we saw clear distinctions among Iraqi opposition groups. The major groups had a political leader, organization, offices inside and outside Iraq, and military forces; these included the Supreme Council, KDP, PUK, and INA. There were also smaller groups and parties as well as independent religious, political, military, and tribal figures who were opposing Saddam’s regime. We respected all these groups and individuals and had good relations with them. At the close of the meeting, Axelgard invited me to visit Washington, offering to help organize my trip and meetings with U.S. officials. After September , however, Axelgard was sent back from the State Department to the Defense Department and I did not meet him again until , when he visited me in New York with Bill Tucker, a friend who was in the army and had worked as an attorney with President Reagan’s administration. The September 11 Attacks and Saddam’s Terrorism On September , , I was with my brother Ali and two friends, having lunch in central London, when we saw television reports of the New York World Trade

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Center on fire after being hit by an airplane. We believed, as many others did initially, that the plane had hit the Twin Towers by accident. We were shocked, as the whole world was, when we saw live images of the second plane. That moment crystallized for me the realization that the new evil and threat facing humanity is terrorism. I understood then that / was a benchmark in the history of humanity, and that we would thereafter divide history into two parts: before and after the / attacks. A few months after the attacks, I published The Terrorism Game, a book about religion, violence, and international terrorism. I wrote that Islam calls for peace and forbids killing. I studied the life and ideology of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and I concluded that extremists and terrorists such as bin Laden had misinterpreted the meanings of the Holy Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet, and the meaning of jihad in Islam. I also investigated the international network of Al Qaeda and its relations with other terrorist organizations and rogue regimes such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although Saddam Hussein was not directly linked to the attacks of September , he was involved in innumerable terrorist activities. My research included an examination of those activities, such as the  attempt to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush in Kuwait. Although that attempt was foiled, Saddam carried out many other assassinations, especially of Iraqis outside Iraq, including nuclear scientist Muayad al-Janabi in Jordan in December ; Sheikh Talib al-Suhail in Beirut in ; Iraqi-American businessman Fuad Khazi Taima, his wife, Dorothy, and his son, Laith, in McLean, Virginia in May ; and Harbi al-Jazrawi, a restaurant owner, in Berlin, Germany in . Harbi al-Jazrawi was an Iraqi Christian citizen who came to meet me in London in . He told me that Saddam’s intelligence services had tried to assassinate him with food poisoned with thallium. He showed me a report from a hospital in Berlin, which reported thallium in his blood. Indeed, thallium was widely used by Saddam’s regime to poison opposition figures inside and outside Iraq. In addition, on October , , two days after the USS Cole was bombed in Yemen by Al Qaeda, Saudi radicals hijacked a Boeing , Saudi Arabian Airlines flight  from Riyadh to London, and diverted it to Baghdad. The head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Taher Haboush, was waiting for the hijacked plane at Baghdad airport and introduced himself to the media as Deputy Minister of Interior. When the Saudi government asked Saddam’s regime to extradite the two hijackers, the request was denied.

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Indeed, the list of Iraqis and non-Iraqis assassinated by Saddam’s intelligence services is enormous. It includes former Iraqi Defense Minister Hardan al-Tikriti in Kuwait in ; former Prime Minister Abdul Razzaq al-Naif in London in ; Dr. Mohammed Habash from the Dawa Islamic Party in Rome in ; defector and former Saddam intelligence officer Captain Majid Abdul Karim in Sweden in ; Ni’ma Mahdi Mohammed and Sami Mohammed Mahdi, student activists against Saddam’s regime, in Karachi in ; Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim, brother of the leader of the Supreme Council, in Khartoum in ; and many others. Opposition leaders were also targets of assassination attempts, including Dr. Tahsin Muallah, former Baath party leader and INA member, in Kuwait City in ; Dr. Ayad Allawi, former Baath leader and President of the INA, in London in ; KDP leader Massoud Barzani in Vienna in ; and Shiite religious scholar Mohammed Zaki al-Suwaij in Bangkok in . In Amman, Jordan, on October , , Lawrence Foley, an executive officer of the American development agency USAid, was shot dead outside his home in western Amman. On February , , Secretary of State Colin Powell set forth evidence of what he said was a well developed Al Qaeda cell operating out of Baghdad that was responsible for the assassination. Al-Zarqawi had moved to Iraq in  and acted from Baghdad to assassinate Lawrence Foley. I believe he would not have been able to do so without the knowledge of Saddam’s intelligence: Saddam was aware and in control of everything that went on in Iraq. During our work in the opposition, the British police discovered and deported many of Saddam’s intelligence agents who had come to London to target Iraqi opposition leaders. In one of these cases, they deported two of Saddam’s intelligence officers who had gone to a spy shop owned by a Jordanian, who tipped off the police. They asked the shop owner whether I had purchased a bulletproof vest from there. The police told me this would have indicated that, if they planned to shoot me, they would target the head rather than the chest. The British police watched the two men for three months and discovered they were Iraqi intelligence agents. I was warned by the British police several times that I was one of the people on Saddam Hussein’s hit list. When I returned to Iraq in , I managed to get my file from the Iraqi intelligence services; it was filled with information about me, my activities, and my family. The file shows that they had all my family members under surveillance and had sent people from London, Paris, Pakistan, and elsewhere to watch me in London. They had a drawing of the office where I used

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to work and even the space where I used to park my car—a sign that there may have been plans to put a bomb under my car. In , I received information in London about a plan put together by Saddam’s son Qusay, in charge of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. Known as Operation , it was to have been implemented at the beginning of . The plan was an attempt to get rid of Iraqi opposition leaders and put pressure on the international community to lift the sanctions against the regime. In June the following year, an event occurred that further confirmed the deadly intent of Saddam’s regime. I received an invitation from a Pakistani religious scholar to attend a meeting to be held in July at the Islamabad Holiday Inn Hotel; high-level officials from Pakistan and abroad were to attend. The themes of the conference were the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed and the unity of Muslims. The Supreme Council representative in Syria, Bayan Jabr, was also invited. After Jabr and I conferred, we agreed that Pakistan was a dangerous place for us to visit, and in the end we decided not to attend. After Saddam’s government was ousted from power in , I discovered that the “scholar” was working for Iraqi Intelligence Service, and had been directed to contact Supreme Council leader Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, Bayan Jabr, and me. Their objective was to lure us to Pakistan so they could kidnap or kill us, as they had done with two Iraqi opposition students Ni’ma Mahdi Mohammed and Sami Mohammed Mahdi who were kidnapped, tortured to death, and beheaded. Their bodies were discovered by the Pakistani police, but their heads were never discovered; we heard that they were shipped back to Iraq. It seemed as if the closer we came to removing Saddam from power, the more Iraqi Intelligence wanted to get us. Saddam’s Intelligence also tried to lure the brother of SCIRI leader Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim to enter Iraq illegally so they could arrest or kill him. They sent the Sheikh of a Sunni tribe to London from Jordan; he (with myself in attendance) met Sayyid Abdul Aziz several times on separate trips. On many trips I met with the Sheikh alone and reported to the SCIRI leadership about our meetings. He claimed he had contacts with military officers in the Republican Guard and other places who could start a movement against Saddam or assassinate him, but he refused to give any details or proof of his contacts, which made us suspicious of his intentions. He focused on the issue that Sayyid Abdul Aziz should go with him, crossing the borders illegally to the areas of his tribe in Iraq, to plan a military movement against Saddam’s regime. Although we suspected that Saddam’s Intelligence was behind the plan, we continued to meet him whenever he

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was in London in case we could learn something about what Saddam’s Intelligence was planning. To the opposition living inside Iraq and in exile, the September  attacks resonated deeply with their experiences of Saddam’s brutal and far-reaching terrorism. A Meeting with the KDP When Saddam’s forces attacked Arbil on August , , they arrested members of Iraqi opposition groups including the Supreme Council and confiscated their properties such as offices, cars, and computers. The relationship between the Supreme Council and KDP thereafter grew cold. However, I continued to meet with KDP leaders such as Hoshyar Zebari, in charge of KDP foreign relations. In  I met Muhsin Dazaee, a KDP leader who had been an advisor to Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa al-Barzani, father of KDP leader Massoud Barzani. We talked about the historical relationship between the al-Hakim and al-Barzani families, and the effect of Grand Ayatollah alHakim’s  religious decree (fatwa) forbidding the killing of Kurds. Muhsin Dazaee remarked that the fatwa had a very positive effect on the Kurds. I told him I believed it was a pity that, after a mutual history stretching over forty years, relations between the Supreme Council and the KDP had grown so cold. Dazaee asked how I proposed to change this situation. I answered that I wanted him to talk to the KDP leadership about improving our relations. He said he would go back to Kurdistan and talk to the KDP leadership. Later he phoned me from Kurdistan and said that he had spoken with the leadership and they welcomed the idea. Delegations from the parties visited each other, and I managed successfully to improve relations. Many U.S. and UK officials had asked my view of the relationship forged between the KDP and Baghdad’s regime in , following the fight with the PUK. I answered that the Kurds were kept from fighting Saddam by the U.S., so they fought each other. With the KDP squeezed between Turkey, Iran, and Saddam’s regime, they had to go to Saddam; if the PUK were abandoned, they might go to Saddam, too. I added that the KDP was a large, historical, popular party among the Kurds, and I did not think Saddam would be able to swallow it. A U.S. delegation visiting Kurdistan told Massoud Barzani that I had been defending the KDP during my visits to Washington, even while relations between the Supreme Council and the KDP were cold; they advised him to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen his relations with the

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Supreme Council. Hoshyar Zebari told me in London that Barzani sent his greetings and thanks for my positions. On October , , I received a letter from the leadership of the Supreme Council, detailing the October  meeting between Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and the KDP delegation he received at his office in Tehran. The delegation was headed by Nechirvan Barzani, who was accompanied by Fadhil Mirani and Azad Barwari, members of the KDP politburo. The KDP delegation conveyed leader Massoud Barzani’s greetings to Sayyid al-Hakim and expressed the pride he took in the historic relationship with the al-Hakim family, despite the coolness in the relationship between the Supreme Council and KDP. Nechirvan Barzani went on to ask al-Hakim to understand the KDP situation, which required their limited contacts with Baghdad’s regime. The delegation emphasized the ties between the Shiites and Kurds in the struggle against Saddam’s regime. Al-Hakim thanked the delegation and acknowledged their ties; to have denied them, he said, would have been ungrateful to their fathers, grandfathers, and their people. The chill in relations between the groups had been uncomfortable. Al-Hakim went on to discuss the latest developments regarding the U.S., Afghanistan, Iraq, and the region generally. Al-Hakim expressed agreement with the KDP desire for coordination between the parties. We needed to evaluate our political statements and agree on what was useful, because the people for whom we speak were awaiting us. We had to consider the fact that regional and European powers were watching our movements, and we needed to develop our joint defense capabilities, monitor the regime, and focus on the political and popular powers that were inside Iraq. Sayyid al-Hakim counseled the KDP delegation that reaching an agreement with the regime was impossible; Saddam’s regime betrayed everyone, even the Gulf countries that had helped him so much, and his hatred of the Kurds would never go away. Al-Hakim emphasized our belief that there should be real work against the regime and not just angry actions. Toppling the Iraqi Axis of Evil On January , , President Bush made his first State of the Union address, in which he pronounced Iraq a member of the “axis of evil.” This axis, he claimed, linked “the world’s most dangerous regimes” threatening the U.S. with “the world’s most destructive weapons.” This was the administration’s first step in preparing the U.S. public for war.

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About a week later, on February , I received an invitation from the INC to meet and conduct a dialogue. I answered that I could not participate in INC meetings anymore, because the Supreme Council believed that INC acceptance of U.S. financial support undermined the Iraqi opposition’s reputation and credibility. U.S. financial support to the INC gave Saddam the ability to accuse the Iraqi opposition of being U.S. stooges and agents, and thus taint the Iraqi opposition’s image in the eyes of the Iraqi people, the rest of the region, and the entire world. On February , , Ethan Goldrich from the U.S. Embassy in London contacted me to arrange a meeting with Stephen Rademaker, Deputy Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, who was in London and wanted to meet me. Rademaker noted that he had not seen me in the U.S. for awhile, and I told him that while I used to travel to the U.S. twice a year (for the UN General Assembly in New York and at least one trip to Washington), I had not visited since Fred Axelgard, with whom I had planned to coordinate my next trip, had been transferred to the Defense Department after /. Policies regarding Iraq were still under review, Rademaker said, but President Bush had decided to move toward changing Saddam’s regime in Iraq. The question was how it could be achieved; there were many discussions going on about this topic. He wanted the views of SCIRI on regime change, the G, Chalabi and the INC, and a unified opposition in general. I explained our views on how regime change could be achieved by the people, the Iraqi opposition, and the army with the help of friendly states. I spoke with him about our coalition with the Kurds and our good relations with the Sunnis, including military officers and tribal leaders. I also spoke about our vision regarding the future of Iraq and how all the Iraqi opposition groups agreed that Iraq should be a constitutional, parliamentary, and democratic state that respects freedom and human rights. I spoke to Rademaker about the Group of Four, and how I had taken the initiative to establish it. I emphasized to Rademaker that the G was a strong meeting of groups with real power on the ground; the Supreme Council, PUK, and KDP all had armed forces, and the INA had contacts with Baath Party members and military officers inside Iraq. Rademaker emphasized the importance of uniting the Iraqi opposition within one framework so that the U.S. would be able to effectively work with them and reassure regional powers on a post-Saddam Iraq. He asked whether Chalabi would be part of the new order and about the SCIRI’s position

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regarding Chalabi and the INC. Rademaker reiterated the need to work to establish a unified framework for the Iraqi opposition. I did not think we should stray from the issue of confronting the regime, and I told him that I believed that real unity of the Iraqi opposition was through their work inside Iraq. If there were a real plan for the change of Saddam’s regime, we would not find difficulty in agreeing on a framework for the opposition. I reiterated that the INC receiving funds from the U.S. would undermine the reputation and credibility of the Iraqi opposition members, who were being accused of acting as American agents. Also, I thought that Chalabi’s plan to overthrow Saddam was unrealistic; he planned to train six light battalions to fight Saddam’s forces from the north and six from the south. He had excluded the Supreme Council and the Kurdish forces from planning, but numbered their troops as INC fighters, with himself as commander. Despite that, we respected all the Iraqi opposition figures and cooperated with them, including Chalabi. To conclude, Rademaker said that the U.S. needed justification to attack Iraq and would start to exert pressure to send the UN inspection teams back, which might open a door to confront Saddam’s regime. He believed that the U.S. had to support an opposition effort to provoke Saddam into making a blunder so that the U.S. could attack. I said the justification to change Saddam’s regime was the war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed by the regime against the Iraqi people and the region. The international community had interfered in Africa, Asia, and Europe because of violations of human rights. Saddam’s regime also harbored terrorist groups and supported and committed acts of international terrorism. The change of the regime could be achieved by setting up an international tribunal for Saddam and his top aides, similar to the one set up for former President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic, and by implementing Security Council resolutions which ordered Saddam to stop the oppression of the Iraqi people. On March , , I met with Thomas Krajeski, Deputy Director of the North Gulf section at the State Department, and Ethan Goldrich from the U.S. Embassy. Krajeski said that the President had made the decision to topple Saddam, and had issued orders to different parts of the administration to create a strategy to achieve that goal. The President had asked for a plan for postSaddam Iraq, so the U.S. government wanted to hold a conference for the Iraqi opposition to discuss the situation after Saddam’s fall, because there

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was fear of chaos, disturbances, and civil war. Headlines in the U.S. media stated that toppling Saddam was possible, but the more difficult task would be handling the situation after Saddam. Therefore, Krajeski wanted to invite Iraqi parties, organizations, political figures, and experts in fields such as oil, relief, construction, military, and law to the conference. The goals would not be to form a government in exile or coordinate a plan to topple Saddam, but to organize relief efforts, provide for an army, and establish medical care and utilities after Saddam’s fall. They had thought of holding the conference in May or June. I asked why they were discussing the situation after toppling Saddam, and not toppling Saddam. Krajeski answered that it was because the plan for Saddam’s removal was the task of other departments in the administration, not the State Department. They were tasked with gathering the Iraqis to convince regional countries that there was Iraqi agreement on a post-Saddam Iraq, and to prevent chaos. They had decided to support the Iraqi opposition outside the INC, since the INC did not represent all the opposition powers; they would support other organizations, parties, NGOs, and independent figures according to the projects they presented. I told him that the opposition’s focus was toppling Saddam, and that the U.S. must cooperate with the real Iraqi opposition powers, which did not exceed the number of fingers on one hand. These organizations were in agreement and were supported by regional countries. I told him that if all the Iraqi opposition were invited to a conference, the numbers would be too big, hampering progress and creating more problems; it could end up highlighting disagreements among Iraqis. If some did not get what they expected, they would issue a statement against the conference. Cooperation of the Supreme Council, Kurds, and Sunnis was enough for the mission to succeed. Krajeski reiterated that toppling Saddam was the job of another department, and he could not comment on that subject. I asked him if this meant they would send their own forces and topple Saddam alone. Krajeski answered only in part, saying that they must send forces to avoid repeating the experience of , and that Saddam could not be tolerated any longer. After September  the U.S. would not wait for Saddam to attack them with weapons of mass destruction, and they knew Saddam had developed such weapons, Krajeski said. They wanted to convince regional countries that Saddam must be overthrown. No one liked Saddam, but they were afraid of

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what would come after him; they wanted to hold the conference to tell these countries that Iraq would become richer and the world would continue to benefit from Iraq and its oil. They would bring experts on oil production, economics, judicial issues, and other areas to the conference. He also mentioned fears of a divided Iraq, with independent Kurdistan in the north and a Shiite state in the south, and asked my view on the subject. I said the Iraqi opposition powers had agreed to respect the unity of Iraq’s land, people, and government. The Kurds were saying that they were not looking to establish an independent state; the regional and international situation would not allow them to do so. Furthermore, the Shiites were not only in the south; they were all over Iraq, and they did not want a separate state. I assured him there should be no fear of the division of Iraq after overthrowing Saddam. Krajeski said that the Supreme Council would play an important role inside Iraq after the change, since the Shiites were the majority in Iraq. He invited us to Washington to meet with officials in the State and Defense Departments, White House, Congress, and National Security Council to explain our views to decision makers in the upcoming three weeks. The decision makers at the State Department needed to see the other parties—those outside the INC, such as the Supreme Council, INA, and Iraqi military officers. Ahmad Chalabi and the Kurds were currently the only Iraqis known in Washington; the decision makers had to meet and hear from the others. I agreed with Krajeski that only Ahmad Chalabi and the Kurds were present in Washington. In fact, I had suggested many times to the Supreme Council leadership that we open an office in Washington and had been told it was not the time to do so. However, the Supreme Council leader asked me to move from London to Washington after the August  visit to Washington, while I was busy with the preparations for the London conference which would (and did) take place in December . I said it was too late then to move from London to Washington. More than that, I had been invited by U.S. officials to visit Washington several times and could not go because the Supreme Council postponed the trips. As Rademaker had done, Krajeski asked about the G meeting and how it was formed. I explained it to him and added that the Supreme Council had had an alliance with the Kurdish forces, Sunni officers, and Sunni tribes for years, and represented all the tendencies of the Iraqi people. We had wanted to add other parties to the meeting so we could include five or six entities, but we were not able to find parties that had the necessary qualities.

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Krajeski asked if it would be possible for Sayyid al-Hakim to visit the U.S. I replied that it was possible if the appropriate conditions were provided; the head of the Supreme Council had been received by presidents, kings, and leaders of countries in the region. He was a religious and political figure, the son of the highest religious authority for Muslims in the world from  to . His meeting with the President, therefore, would reinforce the message that the U.S. was not against Islam and Muslims, but rather against terrorism. Krajeski said the religious dimension was good; other individuals and political figures, such as Jalal Talabani, Massoud Barzani, and maybe Dr. Ayad Allawi, must be invited as well. The subject then shifted to Iran. Krajeski wanted to clear up the notion that the U.S. would move on to Iran and Syria after Iraq: it was not true. The U.S. wanted to topple Saddam’s regime only, not to remove the regime in Iran or overthrow Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. He asked what I thought Iran’s position would be regarding the removal of Saddam. I said Iran’s position was positive, and that they approved of the recent toppling of the Taliban regime and the formation of a new Afghan government. I told him that relations between Iran and the U.S. had been improving quietly and gradually, but that including Iran in the “axis of evil” had created a major setback. The U.S. policy of dual containment put Iran and Iraq on the same level, and the U.S. eventually had to announce that the containment policy differed—that containment in Iraq was intended to change the regime, while for Iran it was only to change policy. It would be good to publicly distinguish the differences between the two countries as well, because they were now both regarded as the “axis of evil.” Krajeski said Iran had begun to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, and the Afghans had complained. They also had evidence that the Iranians were sending weapons to the Palestinians. In addition, there was Iran’s support of Hezbollah and Hamas. Finally, I explained the concern that the U.S. might attack Iraq, and then if Saddam agreed to let UN inspectors back, the U.S. would cease military operations—just as it had in . Even the Kurds feared this. Krajeski replied that the U.S. would not stop; they would never expose people to danger if they were not serious about overthrowing Saddam. If Iraq accepted the return of the UN inspectors, they must be able to enter anywhere, at any time, without advance warning, and Saddam must reveal all his WMDs. The U.S. thought he would go back to the old game, and confrontations would occur. There would be work through the UN, and the U.S.

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would observe the issue of dual use materials, so Saddam could not build his arsenal again; they were not imposing sanctions on food and medicine, but preventing Saddam’s access to oil revenues. The U.S., however, would not wait for long, and expected Saddam to make stupid moves, as he had done in the past. Krajesky became U.S. Ambassador to Yemen in , and I met him on a visit there with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in September . After this meeting, I wrote an evaluation with recommendations to the leadership of the Supreme Council. I reported that this was the first time the Americans were saying in an official meeting that the President had decided to overthrow Saddam; in the last meeting, officials had said the President had not made a decision yet. I also wrote that the media reports and political atmosphere confirmed that the second stage of the “War on Terrorism” had begun, and it would be between the U.S. and Saddam. I added that it looked as if the U.S. was concerned that Iran would oppose the change of regime in Iraq and put obstacles in its way. Therefore, it was necessary to speak to officials in Iran about their support for ending Saddam’s regime, since they might benefit from the improved situation in Iraq afterward. Iran had benefited from the removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Taliban, which was hostile to Iran, was replaced by a friendly government. A similar dynamic could take place with Iraq if Saddam were replaced. Reaching Out to the Supreme Council About a month after my meeting with Tom Krajeski, I met Dr. Allawi, his brother Sabah Allawi, and Nuri al-Badran, at their request, on April , . Dr. Allawi wanted to inform me about his recent meetings in Washington with officials from the State Department, National Security Council, and other departments; he sensed seriousness about toppling Saddam and regime change. The National Security Council and Pentagon were the ones now concerned with the project. Allawi had met with Ben Miller, Deputy National Security Advisor in charge of presenting security summaries to the president; Stephen Hadley of the National Security Council; and James Cunningham, who worked for CIA Director George Tenet to coordinate the process of change in Iraq. Allawi was told that President Bush had decided to change the leadership in Baghdad. The Americans wanted to adopt a pluralistic government so that everyone could share in building Iraq’s future.

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Allawi told them that the INA would not work separately from the Supreme Council, and emphasized our important role in changing the regime and in Iraq’s future, because the Shiites were the majority in Iraq. The Americans said they had trouble getting in contact with the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Allawi told them at this stage it was difficult to meet the leader, but it was possible to meet a delegation from the Supreme Council. He suggested they meet with the leader’s brother, Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim; Sayyid Mohammed al-Haidary; and me. The Americans told Allawi that they were ready to meet the Supreme Council, and Allawi suggested the meeting take place in Vienna or Geneva. Allawi told me he had contacted Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and stressed the importance of the meeting; Al-Hakim had promised to study the issue with other members of the Supreme Council and get back to him. The meeting would be to discuss the subject of changing Saddam’s regime and the role of the Supreme Council in the process, with one or more people from each department participating. Meeting the delegation would be a prelude to a meeting between the President of the Supreme Council and the U.S. President or Vice President. On Saturday, June , I met again with Dr. Ayad Allawi and Nuri al-Badran from the INA to discuss the Supreme Council, the Group of Four, and Washington. I told them that Ahmad Chalabi had recently met the leader of the Supreme Council and accused the Group of Four of acting as a new umbrella group for the opposition. The Supreme Council leader replied that it was a group of powers cooperating, that they respected Dr. Chalabi as an independent political figure, and would let him know if they decided to make the G an umbrella organization for the Iraqi opposition. At his last meeting with them, the Americans had asked Allawi whether disagreements inside the Supreme Council were creating weakness in the leadership. He told them that the new session of the General Assembly of the Supreme Council had made the Council stronger and more united. He emphasized that the leader was a political and religious leader of the Shiites in Iraq, and the son of Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, the highest Shiite religious authority in the world. When asked about the Dawa Party and some other Islamic groups, Allawi answered that the main power inside Iraq was the Supreme Council. The Americans told Allawi that many Iraqis spoke on behalf of the Supreme Council; he advised them to meet the Council directly and hear their opinions. They asked whether there was any development regarding

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such a meeting. Allawi said he would ask Hamid al-Bayati about the Supreme Council position. I told Allawi that the Supreme Council leadership was waiting for my trip to Tehran to make the picture clear to them and then decide about meeting the American officials. The discussion moved on to the role of the Kurds in the process of overthrowing the regime. Allawi said that their role must be decreased, and that they must remain within Kurdistan. He said that if they crossed into Sunni areas, they would provoke the Sunnis; therefore the INA and the Supreme Council together must move into the center and the south. I replied that we had a strategic alliance with the Kurds and that they must have a role in the process of regime change in Kurdistan and in Iraq as a whole. We could not limit their role to Kurdistan; they were Iraqis, and there were Sunnis and Kurds in the center and south of Iraq as well. The Sunni Arabs should not be provoked by the Kurds’ presence. At the close of the meeting, Allawi said he would travel to Washington again because of the dramatic escalation of events regarding Iraq. He would meet with the National Security Advisor, along with others, including General Wayne Downing, Head of Special Operations during the – Gulf War. Downing developed the plan for the INC by which Iraqi exiles would be trained to liberate and protect air force bases in southern Iraq. Talks in Washington Before my meeting with Allawi, in early June, I had visited Washington with the Group of Four to participate in a conference organized by Professor Carole O’Leary at the American University, focusing on the Kurdish role in postSaddam Iraq. There I was quoted as saying, “The struggle of the Kurds is held dear by all Iraqis, as they consider it as part of their national struggle for freedom, justice and legitimacy. . . . [Kurdistan is] a democratic region in a country ruled by a dictatorship.” While we were in Washington, many officials from the State and Defense Departments and the National Security Council met with us, including Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. During the trip and throughout all our meetings, I felt that the Bush administration was divided in its position regarding the INC and Chalabi. The State Department and the National Security Council were against the

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INC and Chalabi, and they asked us to criticize him. I refused strongly to do so, saying that we are Iraqis and we do not attack each other. Civilian officials at the Pentagon, however, were supporting the INC and Chalabi; they threatened some members of the delegation by saying that Chalabi had been their ally for many years, and they would not allow anybody to marginalize him. We told the officials that we were surprised by the contradiction in their positions; they could not expect the Iraqi opposition to unite while they were divided about such an important issue as the INC and Chalabi. Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, wanted to see a reconciliation between the G and Chalabi. He wanted to invite all of us for a meeting, but it was too late to arrange: some of the G delegation members had already left Washington, and Chalabi was in London. I was told that he would invite the G with Chalabi at a later date. August 2002 Visit to Washington On July , , I received a letter from Ryan Crocker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (who later became U.S. Ambassador to Iraq in March ). The letter was addressed to Supreme Council President Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, KDP leader Massoud Barzani, PUK leader Jalal Talabani, INA leader Ayad Allawi, INC leader Ahmad Chalabi, and Sharif Ali bin Hussein of the Movement for Constitutional Monarchy, inviting them to attend a meeting at the State Department on August , , co-hosted by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. (I sensed that Chalabi had convinced the Americans to invite Sharif Ali, in addition to the G and himself, so that he would have two votes in the event a G configuration was established. Sharif Ali was part of the INC and an ally to Chalabi.) During July , I visited the headquarters of the Supreme Council and had several meetings with the leadership. I asked the leader to send his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim to visit Washington and participate in the meetings of August. He refused and said he would send his political advisor Sheikh Humam Hamoudi first; if things went well he would send Sayyid Mohammed al-Haidary, who was in charge of the political department. If that meeting went well, he would then send his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz. I told the leader that everything would end in a few months’ time, and there would be no time to do all that.

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In a meeting with the members of the Supreme Council, I was asked when I expected the U.S. to attack Saddam. I answered that the U.S. would need several months of preparation for the war, which could take place between January and March , but no later than that since the heat in the desert would be too much for U.S. troops. They asked jokingly when we should meet in Baghdad. I said, in May, God willing. Since I was so busy with the numerous developments and my various activities, I had forgotten this conversation by the time I returned to Baghdad in May , , but was reminded by some of the members I met. Eventually, Jalal Talabani managed to convince Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim to send his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz to Washington. At the outset, Sayyid Abdul Aziz kept telling Talabani that he was not sure if it had been a good idea to go to Washington. By the end of the trip, however, he told Talabani that the trip had been worthwhile. This was the only trip to the U.S. that Sayyid Abdul Aziz took before . He gained the background to deal with U.S. officials in Iraq during his many trips to the U.S. as a member of the Governing Council set up in July , and after the assassination of his brother by Al Qaeda and remnants of Saddam’s regime in August , , as the leader of the Supreme Council. It also gave the U.S. officials the chance to meet him and listen to his views about the situation in Iraq before and after . During our trip we met with Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and we had a video conference with Vice President Dick Cheney, who was at his ranch in Wyoming. In the meetings, we highlighted the importance of focusing on Saddam’s violations of human rights more than on WMDs, pointing out how the international community had intervened in the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo. The U.S. response was that while human rights issues would have a better reception in Iraq, in the U.S. and Europe the issue of WMDs would have more impact. We suggested a focus on Saddam’s support for and harboring of terrorists as well as the regime’s own acts of terrorism. We discussed Saddam’s assassination of Iraqi leaders in many countries outside Iraq and the assassination attempt against former U.S. President George H. W. Bush in Kuwait in . We had heard media reports of U.S. officials saying that U.S. forces would topple Saddam and then move on to Iran, then Syria, and even to Saudi Arabia. These statements had frightened many countries in the region, which had begun to oppose the overthrow of Saddam’s regime. Our view was that the U.S. should make it clear to the region and the world

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that Saddam’s regime was a unique case. Within ten years’ time, Saddam had launched two wars against neighboring countries; he invaded Kuwait, annexed it, and tried to erase it from the map; he acquired, developed, and used chemical and biological weapons against the Iraqi people and neighboring countries; he oppressed the Iraqi people; he followed a policy of ethnic and sectarian discrimination; and he challenged the international community in refusing to implement Security Council resolutions. Saddam had committed war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity that were punishable by international laws. We suggested that the U.S. work toward finding a solution for the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. With Israel occupying Arab and Muslim holy lands since  and attacking Saddam’s regime, Arabs and Muslims would consider an invasion another unjust occupation of Arab and Muslim holy lands and would fight against it. U.S. officials asked about Saddam’s forces—how strong they were and whether they would resist the allied forces. The delegation took the view that Saddam’s forces would not defend the regime because they did not believe in Saddam’s hostile policies and wars against neighboring countries; they had very low morale and would surrender quickly or desert when they had the opportunity. We gave the example of the liberation of Kuwait, when communications between the commanders and Saddam’s army in Kuwait were cut. The army did not resist, and fled. Some U.S. officials asked about the reaction of the Iraqi people when the U.S. and its allies attacked Saddam’s regime—whether they would rise up against Saddam’s regime or not. They asked whether people in Baghdad were armed, and whether they would rise up if the allied forces besieged Baghdad. We said that the experience of the popular uprising of March  would make people hesitant to rise up against Saddam’s regime. We noted again that after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, President George H. W. Bush had encouraged Iraqis to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam to step down; they rose up, but the U.S. let them down by allowing Saddam’s forces to crush the uprising with extreme brutality. U.S. officials said they were willing to organize and finance a conference for the Iraqi opposition. We said we preferred that the Iraqi opposition organize and finance the conference themselves. Accepting U.S. aid would give our enemy the pretext to attack and discredit the conference.

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We discussed our view for the future of Iraq after the fall of Saddam’s regime. Since the Salah al-Din conference in , the Iraqi opposition had been in agreement that the future Iraqi government should be constitutional, parliamentary, pluralistic, and federal in makeup. After the meeting with the Secretary of State, I read a statement to the media that the Supreme Council had written and that all the delegations had approved. The statement rejected war as a solution to solve the problems in Iraq and highlighted the need for a UN resolution calling for the end of Saddam’s regime. Although some U.S. officials said the UN was a waste of time, the British Prime Minister later managed to convince President George W. Bush to appeal to the UN to issue a resolution. The Security Council, however, did not agree to it. On August , , CBS reported that six Iraqi opposition leaders had spent two hours meeting with top administration officials, and emerged saying they had won encouragement from the Bush administration in their case for ousting Saddam Hussein. “A spokesman for the group, Dr. Hamid al-Bayati, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, said the Iraqis presented their vision ‘for the overthrow of the dictatorial regime in Iraq.’” After we finished our meetings with the U.S. administration, the six groups met and agreed to set up a Preparatory Committee for the upcoming opposition conference. We also agreed to add a seventh Islamic member: the Al Dawa Islamic Movement, a splinter of the Al Dawa Islamic Party, headed by Ezz al-Din Salim. A Frank Discussion with Chalabi At his request, I met Chalabi with Latif Rashid and Fouad Maasoom (from the PUK) in late September . Chalabi began by asking our opinion of President Bush’s speech in the UN General Assembly on September . It was obvious to me that President Bush had spoken about what the opposition delegation had suggested to the administration officials during the August meeting: Iraq’s human rights violations and Resolution . Chalabi said that Bush’s speechwriters had sat with him and that he had suggested the topics. I reminded Chalabi that, a day before the speech, at a Preparatory Committee meeting, Chalabi had predicted that the U.S. President would tell Saddam and his aides to leave Iraq within a specific period of time, but Chalabi hadn’t mentioned human rights or Resolution  as President Bush did.

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I upset him, and he asked angrily if I thought he couldn’t influence the Americans. I said I was only pointing out the discrepancies in what he said before and after the speech. The situation was defused for the moment, although there continued to be tension. The discussion turned to the possibility of an interim government. Chalabi said the Americans wanted a partner in the process of changing Saddam’s regime, and an interim government must be formed, so they will deal with it. I asked whether this had been his opinion originally or their idea. When he seemed again upset by my question, I assured him that we just needed him to be frank so that we could try to cooperate with him. Chalabi answered that it was his opinion he was trying to convince the Americans to accept. I next asked if the Americans were willing to recognize and deal with such a government. Chalabi answered that they were, and when I pressed for specifics about who had said this, he replied that it had been the Department of Defense; he added the DOD would be in charge on the ground, as it had been in Afghanistan. The Supreme Council’s Badr Corps and Kurdish forces would not be allowed to fight Saddam, due to the Council’s ties to Iran and Turkish sensitivity over the Kurds; but if these forces were under the banner of an interim government, the U.S. would be able to deal with them as partners in regime change. Without this partnership, the U.S. would bring in officials from Saddam’s regime to keep the situation controlled. I asked Chalabi why the DOD had not raised this issue during the delegation’s visit to Washington the month before. He answered that William J. Luti from the DOD had raised the subject with Sheikh Hamoudi after the Supreme Council delegation left Washington, asking why the opposition did not form an interim government. Chalabi told us that Hamoudi had replied that it was not the right time for the subject. I was dubious that Luti had spoken to Hamoudi about this. Hamoudi had told me, and Latif Rashid confirmed, that whenever he had raised operational issues with Luti, he had gotten political answers. At one point in a meeting, when Luti again brought up the unity of the opposition, Hamoudi even turned to Chalabi and asked if they were meeting with the DOD or the State Department. I told Chalabi I thought the term “interim government” would cause problems for us. I suggested that it could be called a committee to coordinate the opposition’s work, or a leadership for the opposition.

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Chalabi said there was no problem calling it anything we wished; if the next conference of the opposition came up with a Leadership Council, it would enable the Americans to deal with it as a partner in the process of change. I brought up his dealings with the media. I did not think it was wise to announce these developments so early, and I asked why Chalabi had not kept the issue of an interim government among Iraqis. Although Chalabi denied raising the issue to the media in the beginning, he admitted later that he had spoken about it at a press conference only to broach the idea with the opposition. Chalabi said he had spoken to Sayyid al-Hakim of the Supreme Council about setting up an Iraqi government in exile during his visit to Tehran in June. Al-Hakim had said that there were three conditions to the success of such a government: territories to govern, international recognition, and financial capabilities, which were not available to the opposition. Chalabi believed that these things were available and added that he had also spoken with Talabani of the PUK, who had agreed about setting a government in exile. Fouad Maasoom suggested Chalabi present a written proposal about establishing an Iraqi government in exile for the PUK and the Supreme Council to study. I asked that the issue remain between us, and not be raised in the media or with anyone else. Chalabi agreed, and then we all agreed to meet again to continue the discussion. As the meeting dispersed, Rashid and Chalabi left together, and I told Maasoom we needed a direct relationship with the Defense Department to verify Chalabi’s claims. He suggested he contact U.S. PUK representative Barham Salih, who had met with the Secretary of Defense twice, and ask him about the subject of these meetings and the issue of a government in exile. An anonymous senior official at the Defense Department had been quoted in a British newspaper as saying the DOD was thinking of forming an alternative government chosen from the opposition inside and outside Iraq. I said this issue was extremely important and very sensitive; we should discuss it with the DOD directly, rather than through Chalabi. We could not risk being denied a role in the process of change, and we could not risk having the DOD rely on Saddam’s officials, as Chalabi claimed they might. At the meeting, Chalabi had also raised the issue of providing military training to thousands of Iraqis under the auspices of the Iraq Liberation Act. I told him that the Supreme Council was against any US financial support

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or military training. Chalabi had also raised the issue of Iraqi oil policy after Saddam in the media. He said he favored the creation of a U.S.-led consortium to develop Iraq’s oil fields, which had deteriorated under more than a decade of sanctions. “American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil,” he added. These were provocative statements, and they caused some Iraqis to complain. “I think we should control Ahmad at this sensitive stage, to reduce the damage he might cause,” I said. I suggested that we agree with him on certain issues, so he could feel comfortable. I also suggested telling him that we could work with him during the next opposition conference on setting up a Leadership Council that would be a partner in the regime change process. We would thus guarantee his cooperation with us and ensure a successful conference, instead of putting obstacles in its way. On October , I received a letter from Marc Grossman, Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, addressed to Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, brother of the Supreme Council leader, who had participated in the meetings of the Iraqi opposition groups in Washington in August. On October , Sayyid Abdul Aziz sent a reply to Grossman in which he thanked him for his interest in following up on the questions that had been put to him during the meetings in Washington. His interest was also made apparent, Abdul Aziz said, in President Bush’s speech to the UN in September, where he emphasized the suffering of the Iraqi people and the importance of implementing Security Council Resolution  and the resolutions connected with it. We believed, he said, that these means represented the best way of settling the problems of Iraq and of the region, and of averting the dangers Saddam’s regime posed for Iraq, its people, and world peace and security. We considered that this represented the firm U.S. position concerning Iraq and its future. Sayyid Abdul Aziz reaffirmed what was discussed in our meetings: that it was necessary that the future government of Iraq be elected by the Iraqi people and represent all parts of the Iraqi populace—Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, and other religious and ethnic minorities. The future government of Iraq should guarantee their legitimate rights, ensure their freedoms and political plurality, and honor and respect the faith of the vast majority of the Iraqi people—Islam—along with the other religions. It should ensure that Iraq was free of WMDs, follow a good neighbor policy, and prevent Iraq from being a source of aggression. It should work for

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Iraq to take its natural place among Arab states, Islamic states, and the international community, and to respect all international treaties, agreements, and resolutions of the UN. We had not, Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued, ceased from exerting every effort to save Iraq and its people from the suffering imposed on them by their criminal rulers, and to protect them from the dangers that threaten them. Sayyid Abdul Aziz mentioned the Iraqi Opposition Conference, which had been brought up in meetings, the organization and expenses of which the Iraqi opposition groups would manage and fund. It had been agreed, and we had confirmed, that it would be a conference encompassing all Iraqi movements and groupings that were in agreement with our political message and the future of government in Iraq. On November , I received a letter addressed to Supreme Council leader Sayyid al-Hakim from Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs I. Lewis Libby. They were writing to express their appreciation for the party’s agreement to hold a broad-based conference of the Iraqi opposition, which they understood would take place in London on December . The U.S., they said, was looking forward to a conference at which a full range of Iraq opposition would lay out for the world their united vision for the future of Iraq. They expected that it would be a major public event that would highlight the Iraqi desires for freedom and for the creation of a peaceful, democratic, multiethnic Iraq assured of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, a nation at peace with its neighbors, free of weapons of mass destruction, and in compliance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They expressed their appreciation for our commitment to making this unified conference a success. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad On December , , I attended a meeting held between President Bush’s Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador-at-Large for the Free Iraqis, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Preparatory Committee for the Iraqi Opposition Conference. We were there to discuss certain issues about the size and the attendees of the conference, which was fast approaching. Attending with Dr. Khalilzad were Ethan Goldrich and another official; from the Preparatory Committee were Fouad Maasoom and Latif Rashid of

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the PUK, Sami Abdul Rahman and Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP, Sharif Ali bin Hussein and Faisal Qaragholi of the Constitutional Monarchy Movement, Salah al-Shaikhly and Nuri al-Badran of the INA, and Nabil Musawi from the INC. I attended on behalf of SCIRI. Khalilzad thanked us for coming, and began by saying that the conference must be comprehensive but small. Then there was some discussion about how many representatives should attend. Khalilzad said there were up to  names of possible attendees: Arabs, Kurds, Sunni Arabs, and Independents were to attend. He said we needed to talk with Dr. Ahmad Chalabi and include him in the proceedings; the conference was not against anyone. Chalabi and some of his supporters in the U.S. such as Kanan Makiya campaigned to put pressure on the Americans to include as many independent and unaffiliated Iraqis as possible on the list of attendees, since he was afraid of the influence of the major groups. In the lists of attendees, Dr. Chalabi tried to include as many of his followers as possible as unaffiliated persons. Sharif Ali expressed his pleasure at Khalilzad’s appointment and his willingness to work closely with him on this important work. The problem, he said, was not weapons of mass destruction, but the freedom and future of Iraq. We needed to work to make the conference successful and convey a message that Iraqis are united. Al-Shaikhly said we wanted names that had resonance inside Iraq; there were three million uaffiliated Iraqi personalities outside Iraq, and we could not include all of them. I pointed out that we had agreed on certain issues at our August meeting in Washington, including the number of  participants. The key issue was that we wanted to be independent: Iraqis must have the central role in organizing and financing the conference. Khalilzad said the mission should be Iraqi-led, but with the partnership of states all over the world; there must be trust among all the partners. Although the country was ours, we must work as partners. “I hope that this partnership lasts long,” Khalilzad said. “You are experts in Iraq, and you have been struggling for a long time.” In view of the larger mission to liberate Iraq, the disagreements were minor differences. If we wanted to succeed, we had to work together. Khalilzad said that if there were important figures who wanted to attend, there was no problem; the conference had to be comprehensive and broad. The outcome of the conference and its vision for Iraq, he continued, were important. Until now, people were saying we were unable to hold a conference.

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Rashid said we would cooperate entirely. It was a partnership, Khalilzad repeated. We would work together even if we had differing views. Rashid agreed. We did not have to consider the conference as establishing a government or a leadership but rather as a message to the people inside Iraq that there will be a democratic, unified, and free Iraq. We did not have problems regarding the political agenda. He asked Khalilzad to help the group reach out to the independent and unaffiliated Iraqi personalities. Who were they, and who did they represent? We needed to accept some of Chalabi’s group and some of Kanan Makiya’s; we needed help to talk to them. As the meeting came to an end, Khalilzad said that he knew the matter of Independent Iraqis was difficult, but the problem had to be solved. He suggested meeting with Chalabi that day. Our time was limited, as we had only one week to send the invitations. Chalabi, meanwhile, made many attempts to delay the Iraqi Opposition Conference in London. On December  he visited the leader of the Supreme Council in Tehran. They discussed the statement that had been prepared by the Supreme Council and agreed upon by the Iraqi opposition delegation that met with the U.S. administration in August —the same group that comprised the Preparatory Committee. They agreed to emphasize the importance of holding the Iraqi opposition conference in London on the day announced; to select a follow-up and coordination committee; and to have the conference political statement based on the political statement of the  Salah al-Din conference and the press statement released by the Iraqi delegation following the August  meetings. The political statement and institutions that would emerge from the conference were to adopt the principle of defending Iraq’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; they were to reject the occupation of Iraq and the appointment of a foreign military commander or civilian administrator. The conference decisions must be made by consensus; they should guarantee the independence of these decisions and assert the credibility of the Iraqi opposition. The group needed to move from the opposition stance to a leadership role in Iraq, and allow political powers and individuals inside Iraq who did not participate in Saddam’s crimes to participate in the new government. On December , Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and I met with Zalmay Khalilzad, who said that if the Americans did not have the support of the Supreme Council, the U.S. would face a major problem. He wanted to meet the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim.

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Abdul Aziz said it was hard for his brother to travel, so he had taken responsibility for representing the Supreme Council at Mohammed Baqir alHakim’s request. At this point, Khalilzad aired many of his thoughts. There are issues on which we need to reach agreement, Khalilzad said. We understand the major role of the Supreme Council in Iraq and respect that, he said, and we understand that success in Iraq requires the cooperation of the Supreme Council. The U.S. leadership believes that nothing will happen without you. We need to continue our contacts with the Supreme Council and talk not only about the conference, but about other things. With regard to the conference, the U.S. assessment is that if we can come out and avoid internal conflict between Shiites and Sunnis, Arabs and Kurds, and Liberals and Islamists, the conference will be successful. The Iraqi opposition must demonstrate its unity, and show that it wants to get rid of Saddam. Khalilzad recognized that the major movements such as the Supreme Council were doing their best to avoid failure and to counter the impression that the Iraqis were not ready for liberation. A lot of people feared regime change would result in acts of vengeance and civil war. Some people in America were saying the focus should be on disarmament. But for the Iraqi opposition to succeed, such positions needed to be refuted, and the leadership would have to take on this and other major responsibilities. In his dealings with Afghanistan, he knew great leaders who did great work in resisting the Soviets, but later could not agree on a way to govern and sustain their own country. Khalilzad admitted that the U.S. had made mistakes, and he had spoken about them. He noted that the opposition had resisted Saddam, but it could not run the risk of doing what the Afghans did and become involved in a civil war after Saddam was gone. The conference, he concluded, would be a test to see if Iraqis were capable of working with each other. Preparing for the London Conference On December , , at ten o’clock in the evening the six members of the Preparatory Committee for the Iraqi Opposition Conference met with Ambassador Khalilzad. Attending were Massoud Barzani and Hoshyar Zebari from the KDP; Latif Rashid from the PUK; Ayad Allawi, Nuri al-Badran, and Salah al-Shaikhly from the INA; Ahmad Chalabi and Nabil Musawi from the INC; and Sharif Ali bin Hussein and Faisal Qaragholi from the Movement for Constitutional Monarchy. I attended as the SCIRI representative.

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I told Khalilzad that the Preparatory Committee had been meeting in the offices of the Supreme Council, the PUK, and the INC to discuss three issues: the Iraqi opposition program, changing Saddam’s regime in Iraq, and the transitional period. We had talked about our vision for the future of Iraq and agreed that a small group of Iraqis should write a draft paper outlining our plan so that it could be discussed at the conference. We had made two major steps; writing the papers about the political vision of the Iraqi opposition and the transitional period after the fall of Saddam’s regime, and making these papers available to the public so that nothing would be secret. Khalilzad asked to see the drafts of these papers to see whether the U.S. and the Iraqis agreed; if the U.S. and Iraqi views differed, I could make U.S. views clearer, Khlailzad added. Khalilzad also suggested there be a role for Iraqi women at the conference; a woman must attend the first opening session, even if she had to take his own place at the podium. We agreed that the Iraqi conference and the Americans did not necessarily have to agree on every point. Our dialogue was useful, but for the U.S. to force anything on the opposition would not be right. The paper must be an Iraqi paper, not an American one. Zalmay agreed with us that less interference on the part of the Americans was better, but if their help was needed, they were ready to provide it. We continued by discussing the size and proportion of the Follow-up Committee that would emerge from the conference. Barzani pointed out that, regarding the makeup of the conference and the percentages represented, the Salah al-Din quotas were already agreed upon, and if they were not completely accurate, making them so would be impossible until a census could be taken in Iraq. Khalilzad agreed that the matter needed discussion and stated that what we came up with at this point would have to be accepted, not only by the leaders of our parties, but by all Iraqis who planned to participate in the conference. We agreed that all groups should be represented in a committee of thirty to fifty members, but for the purposes of meeting and traveling, there should also be a leadership of seven to ten members. I agreed with Barzani that each political movement should decide who would represent them; as long as each faction of the opposition was represented, the internal problems of each could be worked out separately. This was a time to work together. We had to come to a consensus about the components of the committee among ourselves, and then we would determine how each party would be represented

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in the committee. We needed a comprehensive Follow-up Committee and a small leadership that could be active and effective. The six groups invited to visit Washington in August gave the impression of being a core foundation with power on the ground and credibility in the eyes of the Iraqi people, the region, and the world. The London Conference, December 14–17, 2002 As noted earlier, Dr. Chalabi made many attempts to prevent us from holding the London conference; apparently he feared it would replace the Iraqi National Congress as an umbrella organization for the Iraqi opposition. He argued that instead of holding the conference, we should revive the INC by holding a General Assembly and electing a new Executive Council. Nevertheless the G insisted on holding the London meeting. Approximately  Iraqis participated in the London conference, including representatives of around fifty political groups, parties, and organizations. We opened the conference with the speech of the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, read by his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. In part, he stated: This conference represents a great achievement for the Iraqi Opposition; in the expression of its will, its capabilities, its independence, and its deep understanding of the situations surrounding it. The Iraqi opposition will express through this conference its views, its stances, and its political programs to shape the future of Iraq. The whole world has realized that Saddam’s regime represents a real problem that the Iraqi people and the international community cannot tolerate, and change in Iraq is expected. This will open the door for developments, complications, and dangers for which we should be ready, so that the change will be for the benefit of the Iraqi people and for peace and security in the region and the world. We should work hard to prevent violence, extremism and use of force; to prevent Saddam’s regime from using people as human shields; to prevent the use of developments in Iraq to destroy and kill Palestinians; and to find a just solution to the Palestinians’ problem. We should work to avoid civilian casualties; material destruction; a power vacuum that would open the door to military commanders from inside or outside Iraq; foreign hegemony of Iraq, its land, its sovereignty, and its resources; and

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a security vacuum that would cause chaos, instability, and cases of revenge and attacks on public and private properties. It is important to observe the values and principles we believe, to assure all religions and all the parts of the Iraqi people who might fear the future that we intend to build brotherly relations among Shiites and Sunnis, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and all other parts of the Iraqi people. It is important to reflect the unity of the Iraqi opposition, express its clear vision for the transitional period and future of Iraq, and select a strong and competent follow-up committee. The international community and the U.S. face a major test of their credibility regarding the important issues: the war on terrorism, the protection of the Iraqi people and the region from the dictator’s regime, and implementing Security Council resolutions. Assisting the Iraqi people is a duty according to international law and UN Security Council resolutions, and we need to take a courageous position to show Iraqi readiness to cooperate with the international community in all legitimate fields, with the absolute rejection of all fears and problems concerning the future of Iraq. Other Iraqi leaders followed Sayyid al-Hakim by delivering their own speeches. The conference then began discussions about three papers drafted by the Preparatory Committee’s subgroups, the Political Statement of the Iraqi Opposition, the Transitional Period in Iraq, and the Final Communiqué of the Conference. The conference decided to establish the Follow-up and Coordination Committee. The group held long meetings and debates about the numbers and members of this committee, and how to allocate them. Some of the meetings continued all night and into the early morning. We originally began with thirty to forty members but ended finally with sixty-five. The conference approved the list of sixty-five members by consensus. We decided to hold a meeting for the Follow-up and Coordination Committee in Salah Al-Din in Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. The Dawa Islamic Party and the London Conference The December opposition conference was notable for the absence of one major group: the Dawa Islamic Party. On September , , the spokesman for the party, Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, had issued a statement regarding

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the conference in which he stated that the participation of the party would depend on many things: the independence of Iraqi political decisions in this initiative, the Iraqi groups who would prepare for the conference, the composition of the conference, the total number of participants, their capabilities for political enrichment, the objective of the conference, the response of the Iraqi political current, and the steps to be taken following the conference to save Iraqi sovereignty, independence, freedom, security, and stability. Between August and December , I tried to convince the Dawa party to participate in the London conference. I visited four times with Dr. Ibrahim alJaafari, the leader of the Party who became the second Prime Minister after , to convince him and many of his colleagues, such as Sadiq al-Rikabi, Haider al-Abadi, and Abdul Razzaq al-Kadhimi, to participate. The last visit I made was to party leader Dr. Haider al-Abadi, childhood friend and neighbor, who became the first Minister of Communications in Iraq after  and later became a member of the Iraqi Parliament. Ultimately, however, they refused. In our meeting, I told al-Abadi that I had received information that highranking Syrian officials had approached their Iranian counterparts to propose that Syria and Iran work together to stop the U.S. from toppling Saddam’s regime with the Iraqi opposition’s help. The Iranians objected that Saddam’s regime was bad for Iraq and the region, and they should help the Iraqi opposition, who were friends of Iran and Syria, to come to power. Al-Abadi told me that he had heard this as well. I asked how he could accept that all the Iraqi opposition groups were going to participate in this conference and his party was not: how could the party agree to be a part of an alliance to stop Saddam’s regime from changing? It is ironic, ultimately, that Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari of the Dawa Party became the first President of the Iraqi Governing Council after , and that the Dawa Party headed two governments: the transitional government led by Dr. Jaafari and the subsequent one led by Nouri al-Maliki. The Iraqi Communist Party also participated in the Governing Council, and the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, Tariq al-Hashimi, became Vice President in Nouri al-Maliki’s government. After London On January , , the leadership of the Supreme Council wrote to me about a meeting that Dr. Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, an independent Islamist who

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had left the Dawa Party (and who became, after , Iraq’s National Security Adviser), had with Dr. Ayad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord (INA). Allawi told al-Rubaie the following: • The Americans don’t want the Supreme Council to monopolize the representation of the Islamist Shiites because it is connected to Iran. • The democratic Islamists should gather and cooperate among themselves to establish a form that would take into account modern thinking and come to an understanding with the West. • The Iraqi National Accord is attempting to hold a conference in Cairo which would include  Iraqi opposition members; among those invited are Sayyid Hussein al-Sadr, Mohammed Abdul Jabbar, and Laith Kubba, all of whom lived in London. • Discussions in Washington about expanding the Follow-up and Coordination Committee from  to  people and the Leadership Council from  to  people are ongoing. This meeting showed that the U.S. was trying to undermine the Supreme Council and to encourage other groups and individuals to compete with it. On February , , the UN Security Council met to hear a presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. On February , I participated in a meeting in Ankara with Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, his son Mohsen al-Hakim, Zalmay Khalilzad, and two people accompanying him: the political advisor at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and Yael Lempert of the State Department. The meeting was also attended by Nechirvan Barzani, Sami Abdul Rahman, Rosh Nouri Shawees, and Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP. No one from the PUK attended. Khalilzad welcomed us to the meeting, saying he appreciated our presence, and then he summarized the current situation: The results of the London conference were good, and since then there had been positive developments. We had done something about the future of Iraq. He wanted to share his views about where we were, and to consult with the Supreme Council and the two Kurdish parties. He would wait until the Salah al-Din meeting of the Follow-up and Coordination Committee to talk about our particular joint concerns and to come up with a road map to lead Iraq to a democratic regime. It was important for America that Iraqis participate in the political process after the liberation. Our participation was important and meaningful and would lead quickly to a democratic government. The U.S. was committed

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to working with the Iraqi opposition, as they had explained to the Kurds and other Iraqis. They would be liberated to build a democratic Iraq. The U.S. believed the obligation of the Kurds now was to participate in the process and this feeling was mutual between the U.S. and the Kurds. After the liberation, the U.S., along with its Coalition members, would work to provide stability and security for Iraq. There would be concerns over security issues directly after the liberation. The U.S. wanted to identify the location of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and they wanted to know about the presence of any terrorist organizations as well. They wanted to discourage people from taking the law into their own hands, and from moving into areas by force; the people needed to be encouraged to deal with issues legally. Opposition leaders would have a responsibility to play a positive role in influencing people not to resort to violence in certain areas when problems arose, or in strategically important areas, or in areas with certain ethnic and sectarian minorities. The U.S. wanted to encourage people to solve problems by legal means, and to cooperate with the Coalition forces that would be liberating them. The U.S. government in general and the President in particular rejected the idea of setting up an Iraqi Interim Government at this time: if the Iraqis did not agree on this point, they would play a negative role when they should serve a positive role. Khalilzad did not want a misunderstanding over this important topic: if a government is formed in exile, the U.S. would reject and condemn it. He also sought to assure Iraqis that America understands the responsibility and challenges it is facing. Iraq is a country of many resources but also of many problems. The U.S. would work with the opposition and with the other Iraqis for as long as it took to build Iraqi economic prosperity, constitutional reforms, a strong army, and security institutions to put the country on the path to democracy. They would also work to preserve security and apply it in all of Iraq. Khalilzad emphasized that any military interference in Iraq by a country such as Iran would be considered a hostile action, and would be dealt with by America as a hostile action. He had said earlier that the U.S. wanted Iraqis to play a role in building a democratic Iraq as soon as possible. He wanted to discuss some ideas of how Iraqis could play that role in this project. The U.S. believed that there must be an Iraqi advisory council working with Coalition forces on administration, relief, and rebuilding the country in order to prepare Iraq for self-administration. They wanted to consult with the Iraqis on this advisory council: on how many members it should consist

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of and how members would be selected. He said he did not have fixed, concrete rules, but he would discuss it with us, in case we had opinions or ideas. In the first stage, the council would not have executive and legislative powers. There could be institutions, associations, and a judicial council: again, we would discuss the number of judicial council members and how they would be selected. There would be a review of the legal and judicial system, with a view to reform them, and there would be consultations about war crimes committed and prosecuting the perpetrators. The U.S. believed that under this council the judicial system would improve. They also believed that it would be best to form a constitutional committee to draft a constitution. It would be crucial also to identify reliable Iraqi experts inside and outside Iraq who might be able to provide consultations for the current ministries. These ministries would remain after the liberation of Iraq, with the removal of the former high-ranking officials. Relevant specialists at home and abroad would be appointed to various ministries to provide advice and consultation in their service to people, and also to consult with the Coalition forces. In addition, the U.S. would look to educated Iraqis to consult on the reform of the current bureaucratic system: there would be a need for reform in many areas, and they could be responsible for reforming the administrative system. On the security level as well, there needed to be major reforms. Some institutions that served the regime would need to be dismantled. Here Khalilzad emphasized that, although Iraq needed a police force to provide security, a single army to protect the country, and intelligence to prevent any espionage, there were many security institutions that needed to be dismantled, and this must be discussed with the Iraqis. The U.S. believed that democracy building must start with local, municipal, and provincial elections; after that a constitutional convention must be set up. There was no formula for this constitutional convention, and the U.S. would consult and work with Iraqis on it. Khalilzad felt it was important to conduct a proper, just, and accurate census, and that people must trust those who administer it. There was discussion about having the UN monitor the census rather than the opposition or the Coalition. There must be discussion before, during, and after the liberation. As he said earlier, there would be a judicial council, and a constitutional convention to determine the nature of the regime in Iraq—constitutional or republican, and so forth. The constitutional convention should represent all Iraqis, and it would discuss the elections that would be held in Iraq after the fall of Saddam’s

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regime and the government that wins the elections. All responsibilities would be transferred to that government, which would have full authority to deal with them. There were many things that needed to happen that he could not address at that time, such as building organizations of civil society and party laws within the constitution. The constitution would have to reflect the points of view of the Iraqi people regarding federalism and the republic. All government models should be allowed to compete. As he had said from the outset, the eventual goal was to build a democratic government that would be committed to all international covenants, would not threaten its neighbors, would dismantle weapons of mass destruction, and would respect the law, religions, minorities, and women: a regime that is committed to democracy and economic prosperity in Iraq. He remarked that when he discussed these issues with friends and allies, they said they were not realistic. However, the U.S. understood the difficulties and the security challenges Iraq would face after its liberation. Iraq faced problems because of the past regime’s policies, such as the repression of and tensions with the Iraqi people. People felt that their lives and assets were not respected, and many had lost members of their families. There was no external force that could solve Iraq’s problems without the cooperation of the Iraqis, and the U.S. wanted that cooperation. Khalilzad was optimistic, and he hoped that we could build this Iraq; and if we built this Iraq, others would benefit along with Iraq. We would move the region toward stability, thus serving the whole world. Here, he referred to the U.S. commitment to these goals and said that the U.S. would stay as long as there were a need for them in Iraq, until the mission was accomplished and not one day after that mission was accomplished. Participation was needed, and they would remain participants in building a new Iraq. He hoped for this to be the basis for a constructive dialogue, as had happened with the Kurds, and that it remain so before, during, and after the meeting of Salah al-Din. Sayyid Abdul Aziz opened the discussion, voicing what was on the minds of many in attendance. He said that in Afghanistan there had been major operations, but an Afghan government was established from the first day, and ministers emerged from the Afghani opposition. Khalilzad replied that in Afghanistan there were U.S. Special Forces and joint work with the people on the ground, so the American forces were small and limited. This model was different, since American forces on the ground in Iraq were going to be larger and the most powerful force.

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Sami Abdul Rahman said that what was needed were secret cells; people in Kurdistan were ready to go. The world would be with the U.S., he said, if work was done jointly with the Iraqi opposition. He said that it must be considered that the army might surrender, which would lessen the length and casualties in the war to liberate Iraq. Without this possibility, he said, I would be worried. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim brought up the possibility of the opposition powers issuing a call for a popular uprising. Khalilzad did not recommend this. People must stay in their homes to avoid civilian casualties, he said. The U.S. would deal with the Iraqi army, and it did not want the Iraqis to expose themselves to danger by being in the streets. I said that in  the people in the south had risen up against Saddam’s regime following the liberation of Kuwait; they could do the same this time if they saw that the regime was weak in the south. Khalilzad advised us to discourage people in the south from moving against Saddam’s regime. The Coalition forces would not be able to distinguish between Saddam’s forces and other armed groups in the south. Khalilzad wanted to leave for Kabul, since there was a military plane waiting for him, but Sayyid Abdul Aziz and I expressed our strong dissatisfaction, saying this was unfair. We had come long distances for this meeting. I had come all the way from London to Ankara just to meet for an hour, and I found this entirely unacceptable. Khalilzad apologized three times, but we did not accept until he had stayed approximately another hour and a half to discuss some further issues. The talks continued in a private meeting, since the Kurds had already departed. Al-Hakim told Khalilzad that we agreed initially on the objectives he had raised: Iraq should be a stable, united, democratic country, free of WMDs, with good relations with its neighboring countries. These were the central objectives all the Iraqi opposition had worked for since the meetings in Washington in August  and the London conference in December . There was a fundamental difference, however, in the way we believed we should achieve these goals. Khalilzad saw these goals achieved by the U.S., but the Iraqi opposition believed that they should have the largest role, as had been stressed in the London conference. But now we understood that the U.S. wanted to abolish the role of the Iraqi opposition and of the Iraqi people, even while asking for their help in certain areas. This was very dangerous and would cause many problems for us and for them; we did not want problems

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for the U.S., for us, or for Iraq. This lack of involvement was different from what was approved by the Iraqi opposition, and we had to respect the Iraqi perspective. In the London conference around four hundred Iraqi opposition figures had approved their vision of the future government in Iraq, and here the U.S. wanted to abolish that vision. Al-Hakim continued that in the London conference the Iraqis had rejected a military governor, just as they rejected any imposed government. The Follow-up and Coordination Committee was elected, in part, to fill the political vacuum, and the decision was made to form a series of committees (their members to be determined in the Salah al-Din meeting) whose responsibilities were set out during the London conference. Many discussions were held about the mechanism for forming an interim government and about the transitional period: our aims were the same goals to which Khalilzad referred. When we met with officials of the U.S. administration, they emphasized the independence, leadership, and respect for and importance of the opposition. Now, however, we felt the Iraqi opposition’s role was becoming marginalized. Al-Hakim felt that some with whom Khalilzad met, intentionally or unintentionally, had led him to take misguided positions, such as differentiating between the home-based opposition and those who were abroad. The Iraqi opposition represented a unity of forces inside and outside Iraq. The Kurdish powers (Barzani and Talabani), for example, were abroad, but the Kurdish people still accepted them when they went back to Kurdistan after , as was proven during the elections of , and they were able to control the northern areas. The same was true of other well-known political powers. It was a mistake to differentiate between the opposition at home and abroad: the two were one. The U.S. believed American troops would be able to ensure security, but al-Hakim did not think this could be achieved. If there had been no real KDP and PUK presence in northern Iraq, blood would have been shed between the tribes and the people as a result of the hatred, oppression, and difficult living conditions they had endured under Saddam’s regime for more than twenty years; if these forces had been replaced by advisors, security would not have been achieved, and a heavy price would have been paid. If Iraqis were to feel that the parties who fought for them and sacrificed so much were being isolated, their reaction would be strong. For example, Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, with no outside advisors but with only their own capabilities,

above: Author with Massoud Barzani (center) and François Hariri (right) of the Kurdish Democratic Party at Salah al-Din conference in Kurdistan, October 1992. below: Author interviewing Iraqis in the Marshes of southern Iraq in August 1993. Tom Rhodes of the London Times is to my right.

above: SCIRI leader Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim meets with Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey and MP Emma Nicholson at Lambeth Palace, January 1995. below: Author meeting with (left to right) Jalal Talabani, Riyadh al-Yawer, and Ahmad Chalabi in Paris, 1996.

above: Author speaking at INDICT meeting, French Parliament, Paris 1998. An agent of Saddam’s regime filmed all Iraqis attending the meeting. below: Author and SCIRI leader Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim join other Iraqi opposition members in Trafalgar Square, 1998. These demonstrations were held continuously from 1996 until 2003.

above: In February 1999 we delivered a petition to British Prime Minister Tony Blair condemning the assassination of Mohammed al-Sadr by agents of Saddam’s regime. From left: Aqeel al-Safar, Mahmoud Uthman, Baiqr al-Nasiri, Sayyid Hussein al-Sadr, and author. right: Condemning the assassination of Mohammed alSadr at Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner in London, February 1999.

above: Meeting with U.S. special coordinator Frank Ricciardone (lower right corner) and other Iraqi opposition members in Los Angeles, 1999. below: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meets with Iraqi opposition delegation at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, September 14, 2000. From left: Hoshyar Zabari, Rend Rahim Francke, Ahmad Chalabi, Madeleine Albright, Riyadh al-Yawer, Hamid al-Bayati, and Barham Salih.

above: Author speaking at National Press Club, Washington, D.C., September 2000, during a Middle East Institute conference on Saddam’s crimes against the Iraqi people. below: Informal moment as SCIRI head Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, author, and other SCIRI leaders prepare food during a meeting of the SCIRI General Assembly in Tehran, 2001.

above: Iraqi opposition delegation before meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell, August 2002. From left: Ahmad Chalabi, Salah al-Shaikhli, author, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Sharif Ali bin Hussein, Humam Hamoudi, Hoshyar Zebari, and Ayad Allawi. below: In front of the remains of one of Saddam’s palaces in southern Baghdad, June 10, 2003.

above: The author found this photo of himself and other Iraqi opposition figures in the files of Saddam’s intelligence unit in 2004. below: Author speaking before UN Security Council as Ambassador of Iraq to the United Nations, 2006.

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were able to maintain security. In the past, Saddam’s military capabilities had been a hundred fold greater, but the regime had failed to control the Kurdish region. These powers were easily able to achieve security inside Iraq. The judiciary system was an important issue, al-Hakim continued; it was necessary to quickly initiate a trial of the regime’s criminals inside Iraq—another decision that had been resolved during the London conference. If this issue were to be suspended, the people would seek vengeance themselves. I mentioned to Khalilzad that in the London conference all the opposition groups and participants had agreed that the Iraqi opposition must play an important role in the change process, in setting up an Iraqi government after Saddam’s regime fell, and in a transitional period of two years. How would we achieve that? Khalilzad thanked us and said this was a good start. This was only the beginning; the objective was to discuss and exchange our points of view. The U.S. had previously held long talks with the Kurds. The question remained, he said, what the role of the Iraqis was going to be. The purpose of the entire enterprise, Khalilzad thought, was to figure out how to liberate Iraq, and to enable the Iraqis to manage their country. On the transitional stage, the U.S. administration was clear about the situation. The Kurds were ruling their region; in the rest of Iraq, the Americans knew the current situation and knew the desired final outcome: that Iraqis rule themselves. The Americans also knew this would happen and that the Coalition forces would help liberate Iraq. The U.S. could authorize the opposition to topple the regime and give us weapons, Khalilzad said, but that might take a long time. The U.S. could see that while American forces were liberating Iraq, the government would fall and a new, pure Iraqi government would be set up. But for strong and fast movement, America and its allies would come with large numbers and quickly overthrow the regime; the opposition would be partners with the Coalition, but the major work would be done by the allied forces. By bringing thousands and thousands of troops for the operation, the Coalition would be responsible for the security of the people liberated. The question was how the Coalition would bear the responsibility of sending thousands of troops to remove a government in the region. There was responsibility with this decision. The basis for sending troops to serve until the situation was normalized would lie in international law and the rules of war. The allies did not want to rule Iraq, but to have a partnership between the Coalition and the opposition parties. But because the Coalition would have forces on the ground, as an operational matter, they would need to lead.

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The U.S. believed there would be a transitional role for the opposition in some areas. If, for example, the security situation was maintained in the north, we could work together as partners in that area. If similar things took place in other areas as the regime fell, then these responsibilities could be quickly assumed by the Iraqis, perhaps within days. If there was any work that could be conducted by the Iraqis, it would be transferred directly, but since the Coalition forces were responsible for the immediate situation, this transfer could take days, weeks, or even months. This situation would still be temporary, but he did not want to deceive us: the U.S. would have overall responsibility for Iraq, and there was no alternative to that fact. Khalilzad said he had no concrete ideas about who should serve on a future Consultative Council. This also required consultation, to which the U.S. was open; they wanted to give the biggest possible role to Iraqis. Because of the situation, the role may not seem big at the beginning, but it would expand eventually to all of Iraq. He was not saying that the opposition outside Iraq was wrong; he understood that some were trying to ignore the opposition inside Iraq, but he had not done so. The real Iraqi opposition figures were free and patriotic, and had paid heavily through arrests, torture, and the killing of their families. The U.S. had great respect for the Iraqi opposition and must keep the door open to people inside Iraq to join the efforts, as he had said in London. He considered the Iraqis friends and partners in this historic project, and he hoped the dialogue would continue. Khalilzad told us at the London conference the Coalition intended to appoint a military commander; we had asked why they wanted to appoint a military commander in Iraq when there had not been one in Afghanistan. Khalilzad had responded that a small number of special forces had cooperated with the Afghan Northern Alliance to topple the Taliban, whereas Iraq would require a large number of ground forces; thus a military commander would be needed. Now he said the U.S. had changed its view and would appoint a civilian administrator to Iraq. I asked Khalilzad about the big change in the U.S. administration’s view on Iraq and why it did not plan to set up an Iraqi government as soon as Saddam’s regime fell. I added that we had also told him in the London conference that we needed to discuss the future of Iraq, and that he had said we had plenty of time. Khalilzad was now saying the U.S. wanted an Iraqi Consultative Council, even though he did not know how it should be constituted. The U.S. kept saying that these things required consultations and discussions, so why, I asked, didn’t we discuss them now, before it was too

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late? I added that we wanted the U.S. to set up an Iraqi government immediately after Saddam’s regime fell; otherwise the occupation would bring resistance and violence. Khalilzad replied that the U.S. would set up an Iraqi government as soon as possible, but that the Americans were still considering these issues and did not have fixed answers, so we would discuss them when we met in Salah alDin for the Follow-up and Coordination Committee. We felt that the answer was vague because it could take them weeks, months, or years to set up an Iraqi government. Our assessment of the meeting was that the Americans were backing down from their promises to and agreements with us. Particularly upsetting was that the U.S. was marginalizing the role of the opposition forces in toppling Saddam; a popular uprising could have given credibility to our efforts, but that idea had been rejected. To us it was incredible that, after all our meetings, Khalilzad had said, “The question remains what the role of the Iraqis is going to be.” It was clear when he stated, “It is important for America that Iraqis participate in the political process after the liberation,” that they did not want the Iraqi opposition to be involved in overthrowing the regime, so the U.S. could control the situation. For Khalilzad to say, “we want to discourage people from taking the law into their own hands, and not to move into areas by force: we have to encourage them to deal with issues legally,” was a message to our forces not to move in the south against the regime or to take control. As he had stated, “The U.S. government in general and the President in particular rejects the idea of setting up an Iraqi interim government at this time.” On February , , the American, British, and Spanish UN diplomats proposed a resolution in the Security Council ratifying the use of force against Saddam’s regime, but it did not gain sufficient support. The Meeting of the Follow-up and Coordination Committee On February , , the -member Follow-up and Coordination Committee convened in the summer resort town of Salah al-Din, in Kurdistan, northern Iraq. Since the beginning of , the six-member Preparatory Committee, of which I was a member, had been busy arranging this meeting, which had emerged from the London conference in December . We had planned to have the meeting in January, but logistics regarding where and when we could hold the meeting pushed the meeting to February.

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When Zalmay Khalilzad tried to cross the Turkish border into Kurdistan in a U.S. military helicopter to attend the meeting, the Turkish authorities refused to give him permission. (He has since told this story many times during the years we worked together at the UN; we would remember many such events and laugh at the absurdities.) He had to phone Secretary of State Powell, who informed President Bush, so they could put pressure on the Turkish officials. Eventually, after several days’ delay, Khalilzad and several other U.S. officials managed to cross the border to attend the meeting. His helicopter was escorted by Turkish fighters to make sure nothing went wrong. He told me later that he had entered Kurdistan with many U.S. officers but returned alone to Turkey, because these officers ultimately helped the Kurdish fighters take control of areas in Mosul and Kirkuk when the war began the following month (March ). The Turkish authorities asked Khalilzad what happened to his fellow officers, and he replied they had to stay behind. The Turks did not allow the U.S. forces to go to Iraq through Turkey or open a battle front against Saddam from the north, although it would have made the war shorter and easier. The meeting began with a letter from Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, which was read to the assembly and followed by speeches from other opposition leaders. Al-Hakim’s letter stated that the group were gathering to complete what they had started in the London conference, and if this happened it would be another achievement by the opposition. He emphasized the importance of strong, effective, and competent committees to follow up on the opposition missions, and a comprehensive work program that reflected political, socioeconomic, and military reforms in Iraq. He stressed the importance of insisting on the principle of respect for justice and the freedom and independence of the Iraqi people without foreign hegemony. He added that the most important dangers we were facing because of the expected war were foreign hegemony, loss of lives, damaged infrastructure, and property. If there were a morally and politically accepted reason for the war, it would be to rescue the Iraqi people from the prejudiced and sectarian dictatorship and the terrorism and destruction of this regime. Al-Hakim noted grave concerns that the Coalition would let down the Iraqi people, as they had during the popular uprising of March , and as they had in Afghanistan. The Iraqi people and all the nations in the region refused to go back to any sort of colonialism or occupation under the banner of freedom and democracy. This would cause new religious wars in Iraq and in the region, and would run counter to what the U.S. had announced as a

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principle in its war on terrorism: to solve the reasons behind political violence and terrorism. He called on Iraqis to share the responsibilities among all the components of their people, and to respect the beliefs of all ethnic, sectarian, and religious groups in Iraq. He called for cooperation with the international community on fighting the War on Terrorism, liberating oppressed nations, dismantling WMDs, fighting crimes against humanity, and respecting human rights specifically including women’s rights. The meeting continued for four days and ended late on Saturday, March , . The conference saw the election of a six-member leadership committee. Five were present: Jalal Talabani, Massoud Barzani, Sayyid Abdul Aziz alHakim, Dr. Ayad Allawi, and Dr. Ahmad Chalabi. The Sunnis attending the meeting failed to select a single representative among them, so it was decided to invite Adnan Pachachi to join the Leadership Council. Both Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani contacted Adnan Pachachi and invited him to join, but Pachachi refused because of the membership of Dr. Chalabi. (After the fall of Saddam’s regime, Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari of the Dawa Islamic Party and Nasir al-Chadirchi of the Iraqi National Movement were added to the leadership.) The hope was that the leadership committee would form the nucleus of a transitional government as soon as Saddam Hussein was overthrown. The Pace Quickens On March , , I took part in a meeting in Salah al-Din of the Supreme Council, PUK, and KDP. Besides myself, Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Massoud Barzani, his son Masrour, Dr. Rosh Nouri Shawees, and Jawhar Namiq attended. Attending from the PUK were Jalal Talabani and Kosrat Rasoul. Sayyid Abdul Aziz began: “Events are accelerating quickly, and we must have a plan for change; we have to be the basis of that change.” Massoud Barzani then announced that a joint leadership between the PUK and the KDP had been formed. He and Talabani had created a joint leadership with four members from the politburo of the PUK and four from the politburo of the KDP. He said that we must set to work immediately that week and complete our preparations. The mistakes of the  uprising should not be repeated, individually or collectively. We had to participate in the central government, and the politics and the government in Iraq should be changed. Further, our agenda must be coordinated with the Americans in order not to clash with them.

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Next, Talabani spoke about liberating Baghdad: the opposition needed a committee with one person from each party to deal with the issue, but we did not want to trigger America’s sensitivity. It was obvious to me that the Iraqi opposition had changed its political thinking since the popular uprising of : they had learned from their mistakes and did not want to repeat them. In  the President of the Supreme Council had issued a statement saying that if U.S. forces entered Iraq after the liberation of Kuwait, we would fight them. However, when the U.S. forces entered Iraq, the Supreme Council did not fight them. In  I told him not to repeat the mistakes of  by making such a statement. He accepted the advice and did not express this sentiment again. Even the Kurds’ political thinking had changed. After dreaming of an independent state for all of the twentieth century, they now believed they needed to participate in the central government, and that the politics and the government in Iraq should be changed. On March , Turkey’s parliament failed to pass a proposal to allow more than , U.S. troops to operate from Turkish bases and ports in the event of a war with Saddam. It was believed that the measure would pass, and Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul pushed for its approval, but the proposal failed to gain a majority vote, and Gul declared it had been rejected. CNN reported that “the United States [had] offered $ billion in economic aid to offset fears that war could be devastating to Turkey’s economy, and refusal to participate would limit Turkey’s role during a war and in a postwar Iraq.” On March , , the six-member Committee that emerged from the London conference for the Iraqi opposition groups met with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in Salah al-Din in northern Iraq. Khalilzad began by saying that the American delegation had the honor to be in Salah al-Din to meet with the six-member Committee of the opposition’s conference. He said he was happy to meet with the brave opposition and look at the democratic future of Iraq. We are here to ensure our commitment for a democratic, comprehensive, and pluralistic Iraqi government that respects human rights and laws. The future Iraqi government should live in peace with its neighbors, implement United Nations resolutions, and respect the beliefs and traditions of the Iraqi people. Some people say it is impossible to have democracy in Iraq; the United States disagrees with that completely. The same accusations had been made about Germany and Japan before the liberation during World War II. Iraq has the highest level of

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education of all countries that have been transformed from dictatorship to democracy. America is proud to play a role in the evolution of the Iraqi people, Khalilzad stated. It is necessary for them to know we will help, instead of letting them suffer under dictatorship. We are committed to building a democratic Iraq. The Iraqi people will be free, and their struggle will be a memory. Iraqis should be free in choosing parliamentary rule that guarantees federalism. We must have de-Baathification as well. We expect the Iraqi army to have a positive role, he continued. The armed forces will be part of the process of change; and they have to refuse to attack civilians or use WMDs. He said, too, that the American government has no desire to stay in Iraq. The only thing we want is to see WMDs destroyed, terrorists arrested, and the Iraqi people liberated in order to build their future. What we need to build in this conference is our joint work to make this vision a reality. He continued: We want to build a wide alliance with the Iraqi opposition. The Coalition forces need help and technical support to assist them in identifying where and when to start rebuilding the country. As part of the work with the Iraqi opposition forces here, I have been asked to form a task force in order to work as allies to build a democratic and federal Iraq. We have to expand to include all the following fields: • Relief work for people in need. • Reconstruction work. • Practical thoughts to rebuild Iraq and facilitate the relief operations under an emergency law to build the future with the alliances. Furthermore, Khalilzad added, we need a plan for post-Saddam Iraq in order for Iraqis to get what they deserve. We are sending a message to the Iraqi people about a democratic Iraq, and we will immediately start working with the task force in order to help build democracy. The selection of people who will rule Iraq will be decided by the Iraqi people, the opposition, and the Iraqis who do not want to be under Saddam’s regime anymore. We will work with everybody to help build a new Iraq. Iraqis are a strong people with a great and rich history. Iraq can and must be different, with a new government that respects people instead of persecuting them, he continued. America has no problem with the Iraqi people but has problems with Saddam’s regime which oppressed

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the Iraqis, and is aware of their suffering under Saddam’s regime. The whole world knows the problems that the Iraqi people went through. We want a free Iraq, with free people and a democratic government that works along with the opposition. If military work is necessary, then the alliance forces will never leave Iraq before completing their job and will not stay a minute after accomplishing the job. It is time now, he concluded, for Iraqi people to rise to democracy. I hope I can see a better life for the Iraqi people, and that Saddam’s terrorism will be a memory one day. To move forward to the new Iraq will be a challenge, but American officials are committed to working with the opposition to achieve that goal. God bless the Iraqi people. Jalal Talabani assured Khalilzad that the Iraqis would be their partners in facing terrorism. Mr. Talabani asked Khalilzad to convey his greeting to President Bush and to let him know that the Iraqis would never forget the people who would liberate Iraq. Iraq will succeed if it depends on democracy and pluralism, in which Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, and Kurds work together to achieve it. He concluded by saying it had been a pleasure to have Khalilzad and the delegation there. On March , , Saddam Hussein received an ultimatum from President Bush: either leave the country within forty-eight hours or face a military attack. The Meetings in Ankara In the meeting of the Follow-up and Coordination Committee in Salah al-Din at the end of February, Zalmay Khalilzad had failed to convince the Kurdish leaders to allow Turkish forces to enter Iraq from the north. Turkey wanted to send troops to Iraq to set up camps for Kurds who might leave Kurdistan, and to avoid the exodus of Kurdish refugees near the Turkish border as had happened in . All the parties agreed to meet with Turkish officials in Ankara for further discussions. On March , , along with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and Muhsin al-Hakim, I attended a meeting in Ankara with Khalilzad; Ryan Crocker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs; and Tom Krajeski in the North Gulf Section of the State Department. Khalilzad began by saying the U.S. had spoken with the Turks, and that the Turks were concerned about specific issues. First, they were concerned by the lack of Turkmen on the Iraqi Leadership Council. We had assumed that it would be best for the Turkmen to speak

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with their Turkish counterparts; therefore we had representatives from the Turkmen Front and Abbas al-Bayati’s Islamic Union for Iraqi Turkmen meet with the Turks. Second, they were concerned about the possible movement of refugees from Kirkuk and Mosul, who had been suffering from oppression, displacement, and confiscation of their property, and worse at the hands of Saddam’s regime. These people had legal rights, and needed to be assured that their needs would be met and problems solved. A committee that included Iraqis and the Coalition should be formed to address these issues. This was imperative so that refugees would not take the law into their own hands. Khalilzad went on to say that leaders and representatives of the Iraqi people should issue statements to Iraqis everywhere not to take the law into their own hands, assuring people that there will be procedures to solve problems through legal means. There should be no encouragement of demonstrations, for fear that local armed militias would take it upon themselves to control the situation. The Coalition would have forces to maintain security, but any security problems would be an additional burden. It was in our interest to reduce people’s motivations to take the law into their own hands. This depended on the Turks’ cooperation as well, because the issue of the Iraqi Turkmen was of concern to them. The Turkmen leaders must not encourage the Turkmen to take the law into their own hands. The Turks, Khalilzad continued, were also concerned about the Kurdish refugees who might flee to Turkey, and they wanted to establish refugee camps within Iraq. The Turks said they do not want hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees near their border, as happened in . The Kurds felt that the Turkish concerns about refugees were only a pretext to send Turkish forces into Iraq against the Kurds’ interests. The U.S. replied that the issue of refugees would not be as bad as in ; the U.S. would be a presence in the north as well as the south, reducing the need for Turkey’s concerns. The Coalition would provide relief and aid, as would the two Kurdish parties, which had their own plans to take care of the refugees. No one could be definite about the number of refugees who would migrate in different directions. Khalilzad pointed out that, in order to solve the problem of the refugees and other issues that concerned the Turks, such as terrorism and the PKK, Turkey had asked for the establishment of a committee that included Iraqis, Turks, and Americans based in the north of Iraq or in Turkey. This committee

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would attempt to deal with and contain any problems, eliminate any misunderstandings, and set up mechanisms for conflict resolution. He added that there were two kinds of meetings we discussed. The first was the Turks meeting with us and with the two Kurdish parties. The issues to be discussed included the refugee situation, Kirkuk and Mosul, the PKK, and Turkmen representation in the Leadership Council. The second type of meeting would include the Iraqi Leadership Council and others, including participants from the Islamic Union for Iraqi Turkmen; Sharif Ali bin Hussein; and Yonadam Kanna from the Assyrian Democratic Movement. These participants were not members of the five-member Leadership Council, which consisted only of Sayyid al-Hakim, Barzani, Talabani, Allawi, and Chalabi. Khalilzad went on and said that he would like to hear our point of view regarding the meetings and the future of Iraq and of Turkish-Iraqi relations. I had said to the Turks that it was up to the Leadership Council whether they agreed to sit and talk with others or not, and that there might be a chance to hold two meetings, one with the leadership and one with the others. I said that nothing should be imposed on the leadership. It is how I understand things, and I believe they have the same thing on their mind. There are different options, and as I understand, it is imperative to have a Sunni Arab within the leadership. I think that Dr. Ayad Allawi will agree, and his deputy, Salah al-Shaikhly, will be here. I hope we can solve the problems with Pachachi, because he said that he cannot participate. In regard to Sharif Ali, he is approved by the others. Is it possible to agree on these issues among the group of four during the day, as the mechanism is related to the approval of the group of four? As regards the other members, there is a concern regarding adding an Assyrian, because some people say that in order to represent the spectrum of the Iraqi people, it is better to have an Assyrian. Let’s suggest that you add a Sunni Arab, a Turkmen, and an Assyrian; the number will be nine. I believe that there is progress in achieving the project, and if it is possible to benefit from the presence of the leadership and think about a candidate, we will be able to kill two birds with one stone. Also regarding the provisional authority, I hope that there will be time during the next two days to talk about this issue. We need to talk

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about building the provisional authority directly after the liberation. We would like to meet individually with you some time in the afternoon or in the evening, and with the leadership as well, to talk about the practical steps toward the formation of the provisional authority. I expect that Sayyid Abdul Aziz will be happy about this, because he gives us a hard time about it every time I meet with him. I hope that we reach an agreement regarding this subject before we leave. Sayyid Abdul Aziz replied to Khalilzad: On the contrary, you give me a hard time all the time. As regards the provisional authority; it is necessary to speed up the process of discussion and research, and complete the primary conception of it. We are ready to meet any time today in the afternoon or any other time; we have to reach an agreement on a vision in order to obtain a secure status for the Iraqi people. As regards the Leadership Council: we had discussed that there are rules for the formation of the Leadership Council; these rules are the quota of the Salah al-Din meeting. We hope that these rules will be taken in consideration, and if so we will not have any problem. During the Salah al-Din meetings, we had agreed on adding another Islamist, but there was hesitation and we postponed that. The candidate was one of the colleagues from the Dawa Islamic Party (Ali al-Adeeb). Khalilzad commented that he should have raised the issue of the Dawa Party before, because it was very important to have a representative for the party. Sayyid Abdul Aziz explained that he had thought of raising the issue, but if we had declared the name from the Dawa party and they refused, we would be in a weak position. Ayad Allawi didn’t have any problem. Sharif Ali was on our side, and there was no problem regarding him, but there were reservations regarding his representation of the Sunni Arabs. Sharif Ali had said that he didn’t represent the Sunnis, but we required a Sunni representative, as Sunnis were a part of the Iraqi nation. If Sharif Ali agreed to represent the Sunnis, and the Sunnis agreed to him as well, we would not mind at all. Sayyid Addul Aziz continued that he thought it was better to have Turkmen within the leadership. The first problem was that Turkey dealt only with the Turkmen Front. Second, the Turkmen Front did not represent all the

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Turkmen: around half were not in this front, as many of the Sunni Turkmen as well as the Islamic Turkmen did not participate in it. We had asked two Turkmen to join us in order to help: Abbas al-Bayati (who was there to meet with the delegation) and Sheikh Mohammed Taqi al-Mawla (who was waiting in case we needed him). (Both became members of the Iraqi House of Representatives after the  elections.) Sayyid Abdul Aziz added that the Assyrians were well respected, but their numbers were few, so the members of the leadership thought that there was no need for their presence. It was possible, however, to include them within the committees. In regard to the Kurds and the Turks, al-Hakim hoped they would reach an agreement on a specific formula. There was a concern as to why the Turks didn’t include Islamist or Shiite Turkmen in these deliberations. We wanted these parties to be included, especially concerning issues such as Kirkuk, because there was a large number of Islamist Shiites inside and outside Kirkuk who, if they were neglected, could not be kept under control. With regard to the joint committee of Iraqis, Turks, and Americans established to solve the problems, al-Hakim wanted to know who would be included and who would form it. Al-Hakim also suggested that the statement issued by leaders of the Iraqi people at the end of the meeting be released after the leadership was recognized; the leadership would be respected by Iraqis when the statement reached the Iraqi people and was recognized by the Coalition forces. Khalilzad said that the Turks preferred the meeting be Kurds, Turkmen, and U.S. only, “but when we raised the subject of the Leadership Council with them, they said that they called for two kinds of meetings: one to raise specific issues with the Turkmen, the Kurds, and the Americans, and one for the Iraqi opposition in general.” Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that if they invited us, we would discuss the issue. We would like to meet with the Turks as either the Supreme Council or the Leadership Council. Khalilzad wanted to spend time discussing the issue of the transitional authority—this was the future, and after the U.S. had spoken to us, to the rest of the powers, and to their colleagues in the world, the American government decided it was right and useful to have an Iraqi provisional government, like the Afghan government following the overthrow of the Taliban regime. They understood that the liberation of Iraq would necessitate some responsibilities for the Coalition according to international law, including guarantees of

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security and humanitarian aid, but as they said previously, they were not willing to rule or to control Iraq. What we want to achieve, he said, is to build a mechanism with you and with the other leaders to form this Iraqi government. In Afghanistan we had organized a conference in Bonn, Germany, for the Afghan opposition groups one month after the toppling of the Taliban regime. We hope and expect to move that fast in order to carry out something similar in Iraq. My question that we want to discuss and give you time to think about is regarding finding ideas about the mechanism to establish a provisional government. I am sure that Sayyid Abdul Aziz has many ideas about this subject through his previous discussions. I said, “We had agreed that you would recognize the Leadership Council and the recommendations of the Salah al-Din meeting through a press conference.” Khalilzad responded that we had conducted a joint press conference in Salah al-Din. I pointed out that he had not properly recognized the Leadership Council during the conference. Khalilzad said there was no problem; we could conduct a joint press conference to support the Leadership Council. It was obvious that the Turks wanted to have meetings with the U.S., the two Kurdish parties, and the Turkmen Front to find a place for the front in the future of Iraq. The Turks had supported the secular Turkmen Front for many years, although it did not represent all secular Turkmen, let alone the Islamist Shiite or Sunni Turkmen. The meeting of the Iraqi Leadership Council, Dr. Khalilzad and his team, and the Turkish officials took place on March  in Ankara. The Turks were cautious about changing Saddam’s regime in Iraq, believing that this could result in the Kurds having influence in the new Iraq, which meant the Kurds might gain influence in Turkey as well. But the meetings reassured the Turks that the Kurds would not have an independent state in northern Iraq and would remain part of Iraq. Asla Aydintasbas reported in the National Review that at the Ankara summit Zalmay Khalilzad . . . firmly declared Washington’s “no uprisings” strategy to the Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunni Iraqi opposition leaders. . . . As the thinking goes, uprisings across the country would not just “complicate” the military planning, but turn off potential allies inside the regime by

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stressing the exiled Iraqi opposition’s role. That, in turn, might alienate both the Sunni elite in Baghdad and Iraq’s military commanders who might switch sides as the operation unfolds. Aydintasbas quoted me as saying, “We talk to the Americans regularly but they believe it is better for people in the south to stay at home and not take part in any activity against the regime. . . . Millions of pamphlets have been distributed in the south instructing residents to stay at home.” The Iraqi Leadership Council had problems with the final communiqué of the March  meeting, and Sayyid Abdul Aziz instructed me to join the committee selected to draft the communiqué. The Turks wanted certain concerns to be mentioned that we did not want to mention. I said either we have consensus on everything or we do not have a final communiqué. The Turks had no choice but to accept. They also did not approve of federalism in Iraq, which was a Kurdish condition adopted by all the Iraqi opposition in the London conference of December . It was difficult to negotiate, but the final communiqué for the meeting stated that the Iraqi opposition agreed to have a constitutional, parliamentary, democratic regime in Iraq. It also stated the importance of respecting the independence, unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Iraq. At the end of the meeting, I flew back to London on the same plane as Zalmay Khalilzad and Yael Lempert of the State Department. When we landed at Heathrow, Khalilzad received a telephone call from Washington and was told he needed to return: the war against Saddam’s regime had begun. It was March , Washington time, and March  in Baghdad.

6 War and Occupation

On March , , American and British forces began the intense invasion of Iraq by land, sea, and air. The Allies’ first key objective, Basra, was bombarded within hours, and after the pre-dawn cruise missile strike aimed at Saddam and his top aides, there were simultaneous attacks around the country. Michael Smith wrote in the Daily Telegraph that “The Allies’ military strategy was based on decapitation of Saddam’s regime by targeting Saddam and his two sons by air strikes, and by heading to the capital Baghdad as quickly as possible.” The Opposition’s Reaction On March , the Iraqi Leadership Council (ILC) that had emerged from the Salah al-Din meeting of the Follow up and Coordination Committee to the London conference issued a press statement that the Council, while it appreciated international support, called upon “all the Iraqi people throughout the country to prepare for an uprising to liberate the cities and countryside from the grips of dictatorship by joining the banner of the Iraq opposition Leadership Council and the patriotic Iraqi opposition working under it.” Although Khalilzad had asked the opposition leaders not to encourage an uprising, the Iraqi Leadership Council believed it would be all right. The release continued with a call to • The Iraqi Army and all individuals within the Iraqi Armed Forces to sever links with Saddam’s regime and to join the Iraqi opposition in the following manner:

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In the south, after forces join the Iraqi opposition, the leadership of the opposition will declare this to the Coalition so they are able to distinguish between them and regime forces. These forces will perform their patriotic duty of maintaining the security of citizens, protecting public property, and preventing retribution and chaos. In the north, contact should be made with liberated areas of Iraqi Kurdistan to join them and the active opposition there. These forces can also move to the liberated areas if it is not possible for them to remain in their [home] areas. In the center, forces wanting to join opposition forces can do so by declaring this to the Leadership Council of the Iraqi opposition in order to coordinate with them. The Iraqi Armed Forces, by joining the ranks of the Leadership Council of the Iraqi opposition, will follow its orders and instructions, and reject all orders of the brutal Baghdad regime. • All Iraqi embassies and Iraqi diplomatic representations outside Iraq to declare their separation from Saddam’s regime and to join the ranks of the Iraqi opposition and the institutions extending from it. ■





The statement continued: • Upon the liberation of Iraq, the Leadership Council will declare the formation of an independent provisional government as a coalition to run the affairs of the country, to uphold the dignity of the people, and the unity, national sovereignty and independence of the country. • This government will include political figures with experience who have a history of patriotic struggle and competence and with loyalty to Iraq, including those inside Saddam-occupied areas now. Among the duties of this government will be negotiation and dialogue with the Coalition and the UN to uncover, destroy, and eliminate all Weapons of Mass Destruction, and to put in place a timeline for the withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq. • The Transitional National Assembly will be formed from the Follow-Up and Coordination Committee of the Iraqi opposition as well as from the representatives of parties, groups, and figures not represented within the committee, including patriotic and democratic figures inside the country. Its task will be legislative during the transitional period. It will supervise the independent provisional Coalition government according to the principles of the statements of the London Conference

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(December ) and the Final Statement of the Salah al-Din Conference (March ). • The Leadership Council of the Iraqi opposition will seek help from the United Nations, neighboring nations, the Coalition, and all nations of the world to lift the sanctions from Iraq, to alleviate principle and interest on debts incurred by Saddam, and to offer economic, technological, and scientific assistance to Iraq for its development. The statement ended by noting that the “Leadership Council of the Iraqi opposition will build a democratic, liberated civil society respecting Muslim values. It will also rebuild the armed forces and state structures on a modern and democratic basis, far from racial, ethnic, sectarian, and political discrimination.” On March , , I received a letter from the leadership of the Supreme Council which included some political analysis and guidance. The letter consisted of three parts. Part  stated that Saddam was the one responsible for everything that had happened in Iraq, including war crimes and human rights violations. The United States bore a big part of the responsibility for Saddam’s control of the Iraqi people and the situation in the country. It stated that the United States intended to impose a military commander on Iraq. However, the U.S. had begun to hesitate regarding the idea of appointing the military commander, due to pressure from the Iraqi opposition. It went on to state that the Islamic world had turned against America, due to their policy of refusing to support the Iraqi people’s movement to topple Saddam themselves. They had thus monopolized the effort so that Saddam’s fall looked like the work of a conqueror and occupier. The Supreme Council was not ready to fight under either the U.S. or Saddam’s umbrella, because both were looking after their own interests. The Council was working toward a presence inside Iraq to achieve their just objectives by waiting until Saddam’s regime is shaken up, since it is not in the interest of the Iraqi people for the opposition to confront the Americans. What was needed was that the opposition be on alert and under a state of emergency, and conduct their activities with that in consideration. The Supreme Council would not cooperate with the U.S., but it would negotiate with them to secure the Iraqi people’s rights and to contribute to building the future for Iraq, which is something both correct and needed, along with reducing damage and danger. There is a difference between cooperation and demanding rights.

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The difference between the Council and some other opposition groups was that those groups accepted being dependent on the Americans and believed in their custody of Iraq, which was the opposite of what the Council believed. Organizing and mobilizing the Iraqi people and the provincial committees were good projects that should be activated and guided. The Iraqi army’s defense was not for the love of Saddam but rather out of resentment of the American invasion; there was no doubt that the Americans were not thinking of the Iraqi people’s interests, but of their own interests and their control over Iraq. The Supreme Council was undertaking political and media work to stop that danger. The Council’s overriding slogan would be “No to Saddam, no to America; yes to freedom, to independence, and to justice, as well as to enabling the Iraqi people to achieve self-determination.” At this stage the goals, in other words, were “freedom, independence, and justice,” with fair elections conducted by the Iraqi people. Part  of the letter stated that the U.S. administration was still rejecting the involvement of Supreme Council forces, while the Council was insisting on their involvement. This was one of the key points of conflict between the Supreme Council and the U.S. It went on that the American statements still hinted, one way or another, at the appointment of a military commander and a marginalized role for the Iraqi opposition and the Iraqi people; clearly, this was another important point of disagreement with the U.S. The letter continued: We must deal with the invitations to recruit people outside the Supreme Council’s forces with an open mind. Although Badr Corps is the official and legitimate military channel for the SCIRI, we must not clash with the others, and not get involved in side arguments and battles. Some groups of the Iraqi opposition called for the formation of an interim government prior to toppling the regime. We find these steps were premature and not adopted by the parties at previous meetings. Our position is for the interest of the Iraqi people’s will, and to work on rescuing the Iraqi people from the internal despotism represented by Saddam’s regime and the foreign ascendancy represented by the occupation. However, our position toward the actual fighting between Saddam and America is a neutral position, since we do not join the battle or fight on the side of either of these two parties.

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Our slogan is “freedom, independence, and justice” because the Iraqi people under the Baath party rule or the foreign Coalition will not enjoy true freedom, justice, or independence. We need to prepare ourselves, our families, and all Iraqis to enter Iraq through the military presence or by mobilizing people peacefully; no one will have the right to ban our entrance. We do not insist on the entry of our armed forces only, but we would like our people to enter peacefully, actively, and effectively—for the future of Iraq. The anniversary of the martyrdom of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr will be on April ; we need to use this occasion to confirm the role of the Shiite religious authority and religious scholars in saving the Iraqi people and drawing the agenda for the change, and to free the will of the people in Iraq. We should avoid any clashes with other parties that are mobilizing the people inside Iraq, but instead we must stress commitment to the principles and guidelines in such sensitive matters. We should work within our projects, such as the provincial consultative committee, mobilization forces, and committees inside Iraq. Our position to negotiate with the U.S. does not mean we agree with them in their project, it is rather to work on imposing our opinion, and gaining our rights through this political action and military work. Some of the religious decrees (fatwas) that were linked to a number of religious scholars did not call for jihad or fighting; and we agree with the contents of these as far as the necessity of rejecting the invasion and occupation. Part  concluded: The slogan of freedom, independence, and justice means the liberation from internal tyranny first, independence from foreign influence, and then the establishment of a just regime based on equal rights and full political participation. The Strategy on the Ground The Coalition forces announced that their plan was not to clash with the Iraqi army, but to attempt to neutralize it so that it would surrender. In the first few days of the campaign, these forces said that they were negotiating surrender with the commander of the st Division in the city of Basra. However,

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Baghdad television carried an interview with the officer referred to, who said that he would never surrender, and that he would resist and defend Iraq against the occupation forces. In Saddam’s second speech after the beginning of the war, he mentioned the name of this officer, among the officers who were resisting and not surrendering to the attacking forces. Similarly, there was a lot of talk about the possibility that some Iraqi army units and some units of the Republican Guard were surrendering to the Allied forces. But we did not see any military unit, let alone forces from the Republican Guard, surrender to the Coalition forces, with the exception of the forces in Mosul, which surrendered a number of days after the fall of Baghdad. The Coalition’s hoped-for military coup against Saddam’s regime also never transpired; there was a coup movement among some officers and possibly some army units, but it did not amount to anything. I had explained on many occasions—as the Supreme Council had also asserted—the impossibility of carrying out a military coup. Apparently the Coalition forces expected to be given flowers by the Iraqi people when they entered Iraq. But this did not happen, since many Iraqis preferred to remain silent. Some said that they were against the regime of Saddam but that they preferred not to see the forces of the Coalition in Iraq. Likewise, the countries of the Coalition expected to witness a popular uprising against Saddam’s regime after the military operations took place, similar to the one of March , which had liberated  of  Iraqi provinces. But the Coalition forces were surprised by the lack of any such uprising. Western media asked a lot of questions about the reasons the Iraqi people were not taking action against Saddam’s regime. I spoke frequently to the media about the reasons for the lack of an uprising, and pointed out that the most important one was what had happened in , when President George H. W. Bush encouraged the Iraqis to move against Saddam’s regime and then neither helped nor protected them when the regime brutally suppressed the uprising. After I spoke about this on the BBC Evening News at the end of March, Prime Minister Tony Blair referred to my words during a press conference the following day, when he was asked about the real danger that many Iraqis considered the Western forces invaders and occupiers. In reply, Blair suggested listening to the statements I had made, which warranted repetition, about the people in southern Iraq’s bad memories about the allies’ treachery in  and the years following. They would not revolt against the regime as

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long as they were uncertain whether they would receive support. Ordinary Iraqis who had lived for years under the authority of Saddam and had been betrayed twice, he was sorry to say, could not be confident about coming out and expressing their views until they could be certain that Saddam’s regime had gone. The allies did not allow the Iraqi people to move against Saddam’s regime; their recommendation was that Iraqis remain in their homes. The pretext was that they feared a confused situation should the people move into areas where military operations were taking place against the regime—that the allies would not be able to distinguish between friend and foe. The Americans warned the forces of the Supreme Council not to move against Saddam’s regime. Thus our position, which we announced to the people, was to ask them to remain neutral in the war between the Coalition and Saddam’s regime. We did not want to be on either the side of Saddam’s regime or the side of the forces of the Coalition. The End of the War On April , U.S. forces entered Baghdad; on April , Ahmad Chalabi and his Free Iraqi Forces were flown to Nasiriyah. British armed forces took over the southern Iraqi port city of Basra. In the early hours of April , U.S. tanks entered Firdos Square in central Baghdad, and the whole world saw the large statue of Saddam Hussein in the square pulled down. The statue’s fall signaled the fall of Saddam’s regime in Iraq. I was in London watching the news, and I celebrated the occasion with my brother and our friends. In the following days the allies gained control over Baghdad and secured the capital. Iraqis were jubilant and celebrated the fall of the regime all over Iraq, especially in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq and in the southern regions of Iraq. Saddam had followed a policy of ethnic discrimination against the Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians in northern Iraq as well as of sectarian discrimination against the Shiites. When the Iraqi people had risen against Saddam’s regime, he had used unlimited brutality to suppress them; especially the Marsh Arabs in the south. I have to mention that there was opposition to Saddam’s regime among Sunnis also, as some Sunni tribes and Sunni military officers had also attempted to topple Saddam. They, too, were brutally oppressed by Saddam’s regime. The celebrations at the fall of Saddam’s regime were much harder to find in the

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provinces where Sunnis formed the majority, such as the western provinces of Salah al-Din and Anbar and the northern province of Ninawa. In those areas, the Sunnis felt at a disadvantage with the fall of the regime: Salah al-Din was the home province of Saddam, and Anbar and Ninawa provided the majority of the officers of the Iraqi army, police, and intelligence services. After Baghdad, the next major urban area to fall was Kirkuk, the oilrich city in northern Iraq. It was an easy target for U.S. Special Forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga militias. Turkey was very sensitive about the Kurds reaching Kirkuk; control of the area had been the source of dispute between the Kurds and Turks for many years. But the fact that Turkey had not allowed the U.S. to deploy its troops through Turkish territory made the U.S. flexible about allowing the Kurds to enter the city. For the Kurds Kirkuk was an important Kurdish city that Saddam had tried to Arabize. Kirkuk is also rich with oil and thus important for future power and influence. On April , a day after Kirkuk was captured, Mosul, the capital city of Ninawa province, fell to Coalition forces. Mosul was the third largest city in Iraq after Baghdad and Basra. The Fifth Corps of Saddam’s army did not fight and negotiated their surrender with U.S. troops. The last target in Iraq was Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, which U.S. troops captured on April . U.S. forces expected strong resistance and fierce fighting in the town. But they did not see anything apart from small pockets of resistance. With the capture of Tikrit and the surrounding region, the Coalition declared the major fighting in Iraq effectively over. Chaos Everywhere After the collapse of military resistance in Baghdad and the downfall of Saddam’s regime on April , severe unrest prevailed in various areas of Iraq. This included • Pillaging and ransacking of palaces, ministries, and public institutions in Baghdad and the rest of Iraq. • Pillaging and looting of cultural and educational institutions and establishments, such as universities and museums all over Iraq. • Pillaging and looting of medical establishments, such as hospitals, which led to the collapse of Iraq’s health infrastructure. • Chaos and upheaval in Najaf, which resulted in the murder of Al Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khoei, son of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Abollqassem al-Khoei, and threats against other religious authorities.

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• A chaotic situation in Kirkuk, as a result of the arrival of the Kurdish Peshmerga, which aroused the sensitivities of the Arabs and Turkmen. • Armed confrontations between Iraqis in various regions of Iraq, including incidents in which citizens were defending their property from gangs of thieves. This violent chaos in all parts of Iraq resulted in a great deal of destruction: the large-scale destruction of public property at presidential palaces, ministries, and other public buildings and establishments; massive loss of official documents and evidence concerning the crimes of the regime that had been stored in security and military intelligence offices; and considerable loss of historical treasures from museums and of valuable property from palaces. All this was public property belonging to the Iraqi people. We had warned the Coalition about the possibility of chaos and theft in the event of Saddam’s downfall, and we felt that this could have been avoided by taking certain measures. Among these measures were imposing a curfew; giving the Iraqi opposition—especially those with major forces and extensive capabilities—certain responsibilities for the maintenance of security; and making use of some of the elements of the former organizations of the government which had not been involved in the regimes’ crimes. As Paul Bremer later wrote, “three weeks of largely unchecked looting—spurred by longsuppressed rage against the regime, or conducted as sabotage by Baathist ‘dead-enders’—had destroyed many of the government buildings in Baghdad. Only the Oil Ministry had been spared, because American troops had been ordered to guard the site. It contained archives and data on the southern and northern oil fields—the patrimony of the Iraqi people.” The Coalition could have prevented the chaos if it had positioned some forces outside government buildings. Some may have argued that they did not know the importance of doing this, but the Coalition did protect other buildings, such as the Oil Ministry and some of Saddam’s palaces, leaving other places and buildings to be vandalized and burned to the ground. I asked many U.S. political and military officers why U.S. forces protected the Ministry of Oil but not other ministries, and they said they did not know the answer. I asked if they had raised the issue with their superiors; they answered that their superiors had no answer either. This was a big mistake by the Americans, and the Iraqi people paid heavily for it with the wealth and heritage of their country. Many of Iraq’s valuable antiquities found their way to other parts of the world such as the U.S., Europe, and even Latin America. U.S. authorities and many other countries

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ultimately handed back thousands of stolen antiquities to the authorities in Iraq. The Transition from Dictatorship to a New Iraq The Iraqi opposition groups that met at the December  London conference had discussed the future of Iraq and the kind of regime the Iraqi people wanted. They wrote, discussed, and approved many papers, including one on the transitional period following the removal of Saddam. They decided that the transitional period from the fall of the regime to the general elections should not exceed two years after the establishment of a transitional authority. It was considered the most dangerous stage for Iraq after the fall of the regime. Likewise, the forces of the Iraqi opposition agreed on the establishment of a civilian Iraqi government immediately after the fall of Saddam’s regime that would reflect the reality of Iraqi society and its different ethnic, sectarian, religious, and political orientations. There were different points of view about what role the UN should play after the fall of Saddam’s regime. Such differences existed even among members of the Security Council themselves. The U.S. was not enthusiastic about a large UN role in Iraq, but other members of the Security Council, especially Russia and France, were more enthusiastic. The Supreme Council said there must be a fundamental role for the UN for the following reasons: • The future Iraqi government must be legitimized through the UN. • There must be a Security Council resolution about the situation in Iraq and support for the new government by the Security Council. • We need UN organizations to take part in relief work at the end of the war. • We need the participation of the maximum possible number of states in rebuilding Iraq, and this requires a role for the UN. • Some UN member states have large debts owed by Iraq, amounting to billions of dollars; the participation of these states in the rebuilding of Iraq will help in the settlement of these debts. • Iraq has sizeable, long-established commercial relations with states, some of whom opposed the war, such as France, Russia, and Germany. It would be useful for those states to participate in the future of Iraq

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through the UN in order to protect the interests of both Iraq and those countries. Even before the fighting had ended, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan headed to Europe on April , and sought consensus from Security Council members on a UN role in the reconstruction of Iraq. The Administration of General Jay Garner and ORHA The U.S. government had been considering the appointment of General Tommy Franks, commander of the Coalition forces, as military governor of Iraq after the fall of Saddam’s regime. However, the Iraqi opposition groups refused to accept the idea of a military governor. Therefore, the American administration appointed a retired general, Jay Garner, as director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA). Garner appointed three people to be responsible for the north, center, and south of Iraq. Those officials then appointed assistants to carry on the administration of Iraqi affairs until the formation of a Transitional Administration. General Garner’s office had communicated with a number of Iraqis in America, who in turn got in touch with other Iraqis in America and abroad who would be attached to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and form the management team for every Iraqi ministry after the downfall of Saddam’s regime. On April , I received an official invitation from the U.S. government for the Supreme Council to attend a meeting in Nasiriyah, in southern Iraq, on April . I asked who was to host the meeting. The answer was that it was to be hosted by General Franks, although Garner eventually convened the meeting. I asked about the objective of the meeting, and heard that it was to exchange views regarding the mechanism for the formation of the Interim Iraqi Administration. The Supreme Council announced that it would not attend the meeting for the following reasons. • There had been no consultation with the Supreme Council about this meeting, who was to be invited, and what the mechanism would be for their selection and invitation. • We had agreed with all the forces of the Iraqi opposition at the December  conference on the need to form an Iraqi government in Baghdad

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immediately after the fall of Saddam, so as to assume responsibility for the administration of the country. • The U.S. administration was insisting that General Garner’s administration would govern Iraq for a period of three to six months after the fall of Saddam and the end of military operations. • The administration wanted the formation of an Interim Iraqi Administration, and not an Iraqi government, which would be under the supervision of General Garner instead of being independent. • We favored the invitation of Iraqis to such a meeting, but were against the invitation of Americans to the meeting because that implied the Iraqis were working under the supervision of the military governor, and in the shadow of the military occupation of Iraq. On April , Garner convened a conference of about eighty Iraqis in Nasiriyah. Officials in the administration said the aim of the meeting was an exchange of views and ideas about the foundation of the interim Iraqi government. On April , , President Bush declared Iraq “liberated.” The April Baghdad Meeting Following the Nasiriyah meeting, the U.S. administration organized another meeting for approximately three hundred Iraqis in Baghdad. General Garner attended the meeting, along with Zalmay Khalilzad, President Bush’s Special Envoy for Free Iraqis. I received an invitation from officials in the Pentagon for eight members of the Supreme Council, including myself, to attend. We considered General Jay Garner’s mission to be as stated in the name of the office he headed: reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. It was not a political mission. Therefore, we were ready to cooperate with him in his mission of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance through our engineers and experts. We believed that the political process should be left to the Iraqis, who should organize a conference in Baghdad for Iraqis inside and outside the country to select the future government. Hence the Supreme Council did not participate with political leaders, but sent engineers and technocrats affiliated with the Council. The U.S. invited many Baath party members from the old regime to the Baghdad conference. One of them began to attack the Iraqi opposition figures who came back from exile, who became furious and responded in kind. This caused chaos and disturbance during the meeting.

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I asked Sayyid Hussein al-Sadr, a Shiite religious scholar in London who participated in the Baghdad conference, about the presence of Baath party members. He said that two thirds of the participants were from inside Iraq and one third from outside. He added that half the people from inside Iraq were ex-Baath party members. I also asked him about the process of selecting the participants in the conference. He told me that he asked General Garner about this, and the answer was that they depended on Western intelligence and friendly regional countries’ databases, in addition to advice from some expatriate Iraqis. To me, this echoed what I had been told about the desire from some U.S. quarters to keep Baath party members in power, or to keep “Saddamism without Saddam.” The Supreme Council Position We in the Supreme Council decided that we were not going to be part of a process organized by the U.S. to select an Iraqi Interim Authority under General Garner’s rule. However, we could be a part of an Iraqi process to select an Iraqi government to rule Iraq independently. Many television and radio stations asked me whether the Supreme Council would lose the chance to be part of a future government if it did not attend the meetings organized by the U.S. in Nasiriya and Baghdad. I answered that we were not opportunists, and what we were after was not just a post in a future government. We were believers and did our duty to our God, our country, and our people. Others asked whether we were afraid that we would be marginalized if we boycotted the U.S. meetings. My answer was that we were part of the Iraqi people and would stick with them and their demands. The Iraqi people demanded through demonstrations to see an independent Iraqi government with an Iraqi leader rather than an Interim Authority under General Garner. If the U.S. could marginalize the Iraqi people, they could marginalize us. The Supreme Council was one of the largest organizations among the Iraqi opposition, however, and represented a large portion of the Iraqi people, so there was no way the U.S. could marginalize us: it would be contrary to their principles of democracy. Now the big question was which process was going to prevail, the U.S. process of marginalizing the Iraqis, or that of the Supreme Council, which was putting Iraqi people in control. Was there a way to merge the two processes? How? My answer was that the U.S. had two ways to deal with Iraq and the Iraqi people.

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One was to impose things, which would cause instability in Iraq and the region. Saddam tried to impose things on the Iraqi people for more than thirty years, and the result was fierce resistance and opposition to him and to his regime, which ended up with internal, regional, and international isolation. The other was to understand Iraq, to listen to the Iraqi people, and to respect their realities and their makeup. The people and opposition of Iraq demanded an Iraqi process to select an Iraqi Transitional Government which would prepare a permanent constitution and organize a free election. Although we demanded an Iraqi process, we did not mind listening to suggestions from others. This happened in both the opposition conferences in London, in December , and in Salah al-Din, in March . Both conferences were attended by President Bush’s Special Envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad. He had suggestions that we listened to, and we adopted what we found correct and useful. We refused, however, to accept anything forced on us. We could merge the two processes by listening to suggestions from the U.S. about those they were willing to invite and topics they would like to discuss. However, we needed to keep it an independent Iraqi process, and no names could be imposed on us. The Iraqi Leadership Council At the end of April , Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim returned to Iraq. On May , Khalilzad and his team visited Sayyid Abdul Aziz. There were frank discussions about the issue of forming an Iraqi government. Khalilzad said that there were three approaches to this issue that they could implement. First, according to international law, the U.S. had the right to appoint a government for Iraq by virtue of their occupation; but America did not want to exercise this right. Second, the Iraq Leadership Council could appoint an Iraqi government, but there might be a challenge that the Council did not represent all Iraqis. Third, well-known Iraqi figures from all over Iraq could form a government, so it would not be a government imposed either by the Americans or by the Leadership Council. This, he said, was what America was trying to achieve. The meeting continued with discussions about the mechanisms for implementing the third option. The Americans had no clear idea about implementation, so it was decided that this be discussed in a meeting between the Leadership Council and Khalilzad to determine a way forward.

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The relationship of the Supreme Council with the U.S. was also discussed, and the conversation was transparent and frank. The American side acknowledged that the Supreme Council was a real power and had the right to practice their activities; there was no difference between the Supreme Council and any other power. Khalilzad apologized about what had happened earlier in April, when U.S. forces arrested many leaders in the Supreme Council office and confiscated money, computers, and other equipment. This occurred while I was in London, before my return to Iraq on May . The leadership of the Supreme Council got in touch to tell me that American forces in Baghdad had arrested the head of the Political Department of the Supreme Council, Sayyid Mohammed al-Haidary (later a Member of the Iraqi Parliament), Adel Abdul Mahdi (later Vice President of Iraq), and other members of the Supreme Council. I contacted Dr. Khalilzad in Washington, who contacted the U.S. military in Baghdad, and they were released the next day. Khalilzad said that when the Americans heard Sayyid Abdul Aziz alHakim was returning to Iraq, they welcomed the news. Khalilzad thanked Sayyid Abdul Aziz for his statements about the importance of having democracy in Iraq. Sayyid Abdul Aziz explained to Khalilzad that the Badr Corps were now an Iraqi force that had no military activities inside Iraq. They were military men who had defected from the Iraqi army and fought only Saddam’s regime inside Iraq. After the fall of Saddam’s regime, they had transformed themselves into a political organization focused on reconstruction and humanitarian work. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim also spoke about how to manage the security conditions in Karbala and Kut, and gave some useful information on how local people had managed the situation. On May , , Supreme Council leaders wrote to me about the visit of General Garner, accompanied by a high-ranking British officer, to Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in the office of the Supreme Council in Baghdad. Hakim welcomed General Garner, who was very respectful. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim talked about the Saddam regime policies and the three central problems: dictatorship, ethnic discrimination, and sectarian discrimination. He said there must be stability in the country and cited the current problems of the Iraqi people: the political vacuum, the unstable security situation, and the deterioration of services. He spoke about the good security situation in Karbala on the holy day of Arbaeen, forty days after the

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anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and the third Imam for the Shiites of the world. Garner spoke about the security situation as well, and asked for real assistance in managing it, such as activating the police forces and other security issues. Garner also said that the security issues related to the Supreme Council must be solved, especially for Sayyid Abdul Aziz and the Supreme Council’s headquarters. According to the assessment of the Supreme Council leadership, Jay Garner was more positive about the Leadership Council than Khalilzad. Garner thought the Leadership Council must be active and form a committee to manage the situation in Iraq. The Kurdish leaders emphasized that it was Garner’s position to support the Council, consisting of Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talabani, Dr. Ayad Allawi, and Dr. Ahmad Chalabi. Garner asked for Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim’s advice about reorganizing the police forces. He said that they would have a meeting the next day with the military leadership, and were ready to work to solve all these problems. Garner added that they would have meetings the day after next with the Supreme Council separately and then together with the Leadership Council; there would be a special conversation with the Supreme Council about the south, because they believed the situation there was much worse than in Baghdad. Garner and his colleagues admired what they had seen in Karbala during the religious observance of Arabaeen, noting in particular the coordination, organization, management, controlled security, and other administrative issues. He said that some people had urged the Coalition to forbid people from going to Karbala during Arabaeen, but they had refused to stop it. Garner asked about the date of Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim’s trip back to Iraq and the route he was going to use to reach Najaf. He said security would be provided for him; it was his natural right to return to Iraq and go to his residence safely. He confirmed that he would inform all the present forces in the region about Ayatollah al-Hakim’s movements. Sayyid Abdul Aziz confirmed that he would follow up on this issue and get Garner the details. However, when I returned to Iraq with Sayyid Mohammed Baqir alHakim on May , , we did not have any U.S. or British security. We depended on our own Iraqi security. The British allowed us to have only two handguns—in essence, nothing, compared to the arms and machine guns in

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the hands of terrorists and insurgency groups. (We kept our machine guns out of sight, on the floor of our cars.) For our return, our convoy of around twenty cars entered Basra, traveled through Nasiriyah, Samawah, and Diwaniya, and arrived finally in Najaf on May . Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, men, women, and children in every town, city, and village came out to greet us. Sayyid al-Hakim delivered public speeches in these towns. The British forces in Basra and the U.S. forces in other provinces watched the situation from afar. Many Iraqis recognized me from my frequent appearances on Arabic and English satellite TV channels such as MBC, Al Jazeera, and BBC. They welcomed me back and shared their good feelings about these programs, expressing the comfort they felt when I attacked Saddam’s regime and defended the Iraqi people’s rights. On May , I arrived in Baghdad and went to the house of my brother Hasan (who would be kidnapped and killed in  by loyalists to Saddam’s regime). On May , ahead of a meeting with Coalition leaders that evening, I participated in a meeting of the Iraqi Leadership Council. Participating were Jalal Talabani, Fouad Maasoom, and Nawshirwan Mustafa of the PUK; Massoud Barzani, Hoshyar Zebari, and Rosh Nouri Shawees of the KDP; Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and myself of the Supreme Council; Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari of the Dawa Party; Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, Nabil Musawi, and Mudhar Shawkat of the INC; Nuri al-Badran and Imad Shibib of the INA; and Nasir al-Chadirchi, Hdaib al-Haj Hmud (brother of Mohammed), and Hashim al-Shibli from the Iraqi National Movement. Among the important issues discussed were the upcoming meeting with Coalition force leaders; recent mass grave discoveries; the security situation; UN Resolution  (giving authority over Iraq to the Coalition forces); new proposals by Paul Bremer, the newly appointed U.S. Presidential Envoy to Iraq; the activities of the Baath party; and Coalition participation in rebuilding Iraq. Chalabi spoke about the mass graves discovered in Iraq after the fall of Saddam’s regime. He said that in Shannafiya city, in southern Iraq, Saddam’s intelligence had buried twelve Russian trucks filled with people, and in Al Mahawil, around a thousand people were discovered to have been buried alive. He suggested we send letters to the international organizations to come and document the mass graves. This suggestion was well received, and Talabani suggested we also invite Arab countries that supported Saddam, as well as such friends of Saddam as

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Khair el-Din Haseeb, so they could come see for themselves. He suggested also inviting international organizations such as INDICT and the Middle East Watch. Zebari brought up the urgent case of Paul Bremer, requesting the names of the Iraqis to represent the Iraqi Leadership Council that would meet with him, and deciding that each head of delegation had the right to bring only two delegates. He brought up also the expansion of the Follow-up and Coordination Committee; there were preliminary ideas regarding that subject. Maasoom said that parties attending the upcoming meeting may be useful to include on the Leadership Council or the Preparatory Committee. Regarding security, Barzani raised a point he had raised before—that we did not know what the Americans wanted, or did not understand it. Delegations had visited Kurdistan to suggest combining efforts to form an Iraqi patriotic government. Yet after we had risked our credibility in the long struggle, the government was not formed. If the Americans formed a government without any authority, it would be a farce. Who was to form this government, the U.S. or us? We were late. If we had formed a government two weeks ago, it would have been ahead of this uncertainty. Barzani continued, saying that the truth was there was turmoil, that we needed to understand what the Americans wanted to do, and what they wanted us to do. Yesterday, he said, a taxi passed by our office here, and people inside the taxi started shooting. The security situation was bad. The Americans do not maintain security, and on the other hand, they do not let us maintain security. He went on to say that, the day before, the Coalition had said an employee from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to see him, so he met him. It was Mohammed Amin, a Kurdish spy for Saddam’s regime. Talabani said that during Saddam’s regime we had tried to assassinate Amin several times, but we did not succeed. Barzani said, “We tried to kill him ten times. I went crazy because the Americans want him to reassemble the Ministry of Foreign Affairs!” Another example he gave was Munthir al-Naqshabandi, a Kurd who tipped off the regime, causing the execution of five people, and then became a minister— the Americans sent for him to work with them as well. In Arbil, Barzani said, the Parliament passed a decision to ban people like Munthir al-Naqshabandi, who had blood on their hands, from engaging in political work. Yet the Americans sent for al-Naqshabandi to reassemble the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. People were leaving Iraq because it was impossible to live under such conditions.

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It was ironic that Imad Shibib, an ex-Baath party member from the Iraqi National Accord, which represented former Baath party members, raised the issue of dismissing the Baath Party members from their jobs, but it illustrated the extent to which the Coalition decision to work with Baath party members upset the opposition, which had been working against them for so long. Imad Shibib said the Baathists were prepared to come back within thirtysix hours; the threats continued to come from them, and they had plans. They had established the Al Talayi’ party and other parties. Not even  percent of them had been arrested, and there were fourteen with the rank “branch member” of the Baath Party in Fallujah alone. All the movements and threats were organized; they had financial resources of millions of dollars, weapons, new leadership, and new orders. They were worse Saddamists than Saddam himself. They contributed millions for assassinations. Mohammed Tahir alBakaa, philosopher of the Baath party, was elected Dean of one of the universities. He ran for the post, and the Saddamists threatened anyone who tried to run against him. Shibib supported what Zebari said, that we must agree on fundamental points to show our unity. They should issue a statement and broadcast it, stating that the highest four levels of the Baath Party’s ranks—members of the Regional Command, the branch, the group, or the division—could not stay in their jobs. The total number would be around six thousand people who would be dismissed. Chalabi said that there were not six thousand, but thirty thousand, people who held these four ranks within the Baath party. Adel Abdul Mahdi brought up the recent confiscation of weapons and orders that one had to get permission to carry arms. Only Baathists seemed to have permission. There were three choices: to be under occupation, to appoint a government, or to have the leadership committee appoint the government. A Security Council draft resolution stated in its preamble that the authority would be the occupation force—that is, whoever belonged to the Coalition forces. This meant that any force that might join the Coalition— Turkey or maybe Israel—could manage Iraq, since it would be the authority according to the preamble. I asked what we were going to do. I suggested forming a committee to give suggestions regarding the elimination of the Baath party, such as encouraging members of the party to confess to their previous crimes; whoever did not confess would be subject to punishments and public exposure about their level in the Baath Party leadership. I gave as an example the truth and

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reconciliation committees in South Africa that were established after the fall of the apartheid regime. Chalabi said we had neglected de-Baathification at the beginning; there were differences in points of view, which was a setback. U.S. policy was to hand the administration to the ORHA after the military operations ceased. The ORHA was looking for individuals identified by the CIA, which had recommended individuals from the Baath Party. When they brought Mohammed Amin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were objections from the ministry employees; they contacted foreign newspapers, and the New York Times published articles about the incident. One of the university professors went to the ORHA to complain, and he was received by the director of the Abu Ghraib prison during Saddam’s regime. Chalabi said that on May , , General Tommy Franks had announced the banning of the Baath Party; as a banned party, its members must hand over the properties of the party. In an interview with the Washington Post, Paul Wolfowitz said that they had banned three ranks of the Baath Party and would deal severely with , of them. Chalabi also recalled that General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with whom we had met in Washington, had said that, politically, we needed to rid Iraq of any hint of the Baath Party. The day before our meeting, Bremer issued a strong statement against the Baath Party. But these things happened after it became clear from people’s objections that Bremer’s idea about bringing members of the Baath Party on board to make work easier was a mistake. And now work was delayed. Adel Abdul Mahdi said we had security problems, but the most dangerous thing was the Security Council resolution; if it passed, then we would have no choice but to clash with U.S. forces or stay away. I said that we must send a delegation to New York to meet members of the Security Council, as we had during the time of opposition, to discuss the draft resolution and lobby the Security Council members. We needed to explain that the Iraqi people refused the occupation of Iraq, which would lead to security problems and violence. We had to emphasize the importance of setting up an Iraqi government as soon as possible to avoid a political, security, and intelligence vacuum in the country. We could not accept what the draft resolution stated: that the occupying force was the authority. We had agreed in our conferences in London and Salah al-Din, and in our meetings with U.S. officials, to set up an Iraqi government immediately after Saddam’s regime fell.

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Nasir al-Chadirchi wanted to discuss sending a delegation to the Western countries, especially to the permanent members of the Security Council. The discussions turned next to the upcoming meeting that evening with the Coalition leaders. Nuri al-Badran said the meeting would be an important one; we needed to understand from the Coalition what type of government they wanted. Zebari explained new details he had learned about our meeting with Bremer that night. The first stage was a meeting at the convention center with Bremer and General John Abizaid. Each head of delegation had the right to be accompanied by two delegates, and each delegation could bring two media members. At : p.m. there would be a dinner, and the meeting would finish at  p.m. Talabani said we needed to emphasize de-Baathification, and to have an agenda about the following issues: • Prohibiting members of the Baath Party with a rank of firqa (division) member and above from any official position. • Arresting some of the officials. • Preventing all Baathists from entering the armed forces. • Setting up a government without the Baath Party. As Barzani said, the Americans wanted to bring two Baathist Kurds into the government and give them responsibilities. With regard to the security and stability issues, we should have suggestions to hand to them. Al-Maliki said we needed a definition of de-Baathification, because there were more than a million Baathists who were saying that the de-Baathification was against them. If we said that the ban was on a member of a firqa and up, then the others and their families would be comfortable cooperating with us against their leadership. Talabani said the Baathists now felt there was nothing against them. There were talks about a deal with the Baathists to dismiss some fifty thousand of one and a half million members of the Baath Party and to confiscate their property. I said I thought that there were low-ranking members of the Baath party who were criminals and high-ranking members who were innocent. We should add that Baathists with a rank below member of a firqa but proven to have been criminals would also be punished, and members who were higher than branch members but were innocent would not be punished. There were

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rumors that the Baathists were meeting and planning assassinations. A Baath party member warned my family that I was in danger from Baath party members. Talabani said we needed to form a delegation to send to the meeting this evening. Abdul Aziz said we should decide who will attend; if the Americans refuse to receive the people we send, that will be something else to deal with. It will not be only America, but also the UN involved in that issue. The Security Council Resolution was studied and presented by the Americans and the British, and not by the others. A delegation must be formed to present our proposal this evening as proof of our unity and to counter the resolution. Talabani suggested sending delegations to London, to the U.S. Congress, and to Security Council members such as France, Russia, and China, to lobby public opinion. Chalabi said he felt sending a delegation of the Leadership Council to America would create an embarrassing situation for the American administration. If we, he said, the friends of America, opposed this resolution, who would support it inside Iraq? He wanted to speak frankly; there had been setbacks and changes in U.S. policy. What we were told in Kurdistan was different. When the meeting took place in the presence of Khalilzad and Ryan Crocker, we agreed to set up an Iraqi government. Then Khalilzad announced when he left the meeting hall, in front of a hundred journalists, that the United States would support formation of an Iraqi government, and the Leadership Council would be the core. When UK Special Representative in Baghdad John Sawers came, he said Britain did not support setting up a government, but rather wanted an administration. When I asked Khalilzad if he agreed, he replied it was the UK view, not that of the U.S. The Arab countries were opposing forming a government; they wanted a role. Chalabi added that Sawers had asked if we wanted them to step aside. He answered yes and raised the sovereignty issue. Chalabi said Sawers panicked and told him that the sovereignty subject was another issue, and we could create another forum for it. Bremer was not the one who put the resolution before the Security Council. The State Department and the National Security Council, in cooperation with the British Foreign Office, drafted the resolution, and then it was discussed at the meeting of advisors of the National Security Council. We should protest that they did not consult with us regarding the resolution. He suggested issuing a statement to that effect. Chalabi said this would put us against the U.S.

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Zebari said we should work in the direction of holding a general conference. If we wanted to form an administration or an authority, it would complicate matters: the allies would not give us any power or sovereignty, so we could not yet move forward on that project. Until we did that, how could we run daily politics, maintain security, and deal with the de-Baathification issue? They had to understand that we did not support the draft resolution. We needed to maintain contact with them; Bremer came with a lot of authority. Talabani said we needed to advise the allied forces that some people considered them liberators, while others considered them participants in the liberation; but if they adopt the resolution, they will be occupying forces. He repeated that we had to talk to the Americans in “flowery language” and on the basis that “your friend is the one who tells you the truth, not the one who agrees with you.” We asked the Americans what they were going to give to the Iraqi authority, and they answered only the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice; the rest would remain in their hands. This was less than the authority of Yasir Arafat in Palestine. Talabani continued: “We will tell them they will lose a lot if this resolution is passed, and as their friends, we will lose also.” Talabani said that if we sent him in the delegation, he would say that to them. He continued, saying Garner had come to Kurdistan and said they would set up an Iraqi government. Khalilzad made an announcement to the press about setting up an Iraqi government. Now we had Bremer, who we could not bring to our side. Bremer had no authority to change the decision of the Secretary of State, which had been presented to the Security Council. We had to move on this quickly. We also could not win over the British representative John Sawers here, but we had to go to London and win the British to our side. I said that we should not think with the opposition’s mentality. As Talabani said, those who are stealing are not asking permission, so why should we ask permission? Why do not we set up checkpoints to protect the neighborhoods? It was okay to disagree about this here, but we needed to have a unified position outside. Jaafari agreed with my comment about the criminals and innocent people in the Baath Party. There were people who had been granted the rank of a member of a Baath party branch because they were scientists, but they were not criminals. There were those who had committed crimes and must be punished in a civilized way, so they knew the Iraqi opposition was civilized.

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Those who received governmental positions because they were Baath Party members should be banned from their positions. I said that before the end of every meeting, we needed to agree on what was going to be released to the media and to the people in order for our statements to be compatible. In regard to the delegation, those who participate must be of a level able to make decisions so that results can be achieved during the discussions. Chalabi said that, in regard to the Baath party, we can say that a firqa (division) member and above, and whoever is proven to be involved in crimes, is banned from official position. Al-Chadirchi said the people were afraid and cautious, so we must encourage them in the name of the Iraqi Leadership Council. We needed to form a committee to suggest follow-up steps regarding issues discussed in the meeting. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we needed a headquarters for the Leadership Council, so people could come to us; we suggested opening five offices and forming a committee to write suggestions regarding today’s meeting. Mudhar Shawkat said that the Americans should open two or three banks in Baghdad to raise the exchange rate of the dinar. He did not recommend dealing with dollars during the transitional period, because it may confuse the market. In the Soviet Union they cancelled zeros from the old ruble and created the new ruble. The ORHA had dollars, we had dollars, Talabani and Barzani had dollars, the government distributed dollars, and those who came from abroad were bringing dollars into the country. All this led to more dollars offered in the market and thus to an increase in the relative value of the Iraqi dinar. I asked if this was the only reason behind the dollar’s depreciation and how to increase the Iraqi dinar’s rate of exchange. Dr. Ahmad Chalabi said Saddam’s loyalists were playing a role in depreciating the dollar. Nuri al-Badran said we want security provided for the centers that distribute food, and to decide the kind of material to be distributed and determine the needs according to the previous numbers. Jaafari was expecting that we would touch upon the humanitarian institutions, such as the mental hospital in Shamiya, where the patients had been let out on the streets. Chalabi said Saddam had secret bank accounts abroad that were estimated to have billions of dollars, mostly in Lebanon and Jordan, as a result of his

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illegal activities, which had been the main resource for the regime. Saddam’s secret funds were estimated to be a billion dollars in Lebanon, distributed among twenty banks, and two billion in Jordan. Talabani said Lebanon had admitted to having  million dollars there. Chalabi said the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) was in charge of selling Iraqi oil, and Saddam al-Zibin, its director, was in Jordan now and estimated to be worth millions. Those who were authorized to sign for these accounts were still free. All Iraqi bank managers outside Iraq had been appointed by Saddam’s intelligence, and there was major corruption in their work. We needed a way to investigate the issue, and to protect the accounts at the Central Bank. This was a big problem for any authority in Iraq. We had to raise these issues with the Americans. Nuri al-Badran said there were large amounts of money in bank accounts abroad, but we should start working on the ones inside Iraq. Most of the bank managers were members of Saddam’s intelligence. There was a covert system to put money in secret accounts under code names, and we had to uncover it. The meeting concluded by appointing a delegation to attend the meeting with Bremer, and we agreed to raise at the meeting the issues of security, violence, and chaos in Iraq, as well as concerns about the Baath Party and its crimes against the Iraqi people (especially the mass graves discovered after the fall of the regime) and the dangerous activities of its leaders. The priorities to be discussed were the draft UN resolution, the question of the occupying forces being considered the authority in Iraq, and the Coalition’s apparent lack of commitment to setting up an Iraqi government.

7 Dealing with Bremer

Before the arrival of L. Paul Bremer as Presidential Special Envoy to Iraq on May , , both Zalmay Khalilzad and Jay Garner had agreed to set up an Iraqi interim government. When Bremer was appointed, however, he pushed both Khalilzad and General Garner aside and refused to set up the Iraqi government. In April , Zalmay Khalilzad told me over lunch at Pera, a Turkish restaurant in New York, that he had agreed with the Iraqi Leadership Council (ILC) that an Iraqi government should be established; and he had announced that to the media after the meeting with the ILC in April . When Bremer took over, however, everything changed. Bremer wrote that some people thought that we could get away with a short occupation and quickly turn full authority over to a group of selected Iraqi exiles. In part, this optimism was based on the relative ease of a military campaign that had been described as “a cakewalk.” And it appeared to be encouraged by the predictions of some Iraqi exiles. Just the day before, as I drove to work at the Pentagon, the lead story on the : a.m. news had been that Jay Garner had announced his intention to appoint an Iraqi government by May . Bremer wrote about Khalilzad’s promise to turn over power to the Iraqi Leadership Council consisting of Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talabani, Dr. Ayad Allawi, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, Dr. Ibrahim Jaafari, and Nasir al-Chadirchi:

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In short, we wanted more control over creating the interim government than the ILC wanted us to have. The situation was complicated by the fact that in his last meeting with the Council . . . earlier, then “Presidential Envoy” Zal Khalilzad had left them with the impression that we would turn over governing power to them by mid-May. The Iraqi decision to establish an Iraqi government after Saddam’s regime fell had nothing to do with the optimism or relative ease of a military campaign. It was because of the vision we had for the situation in Iraq and the region, which Bremer never understood. We told the Americans—in the London conference of December  and the Salah al-Din Conference of February —that they must set up an Iraqi government after the fall of Saddam’s regime. We had discussed this idea with U.S. officials in Washington in August , London in December , Salah al-Din in February , Ankara in March , and Baghdad in April–May . We believed that if Saddam fell and there was no Iraqi government, we would refuse to allow Iraq to be put under foreign occupation. We warned the Americans that the Iraqi people— like the regional nations and any other nation in the world—would not accept foreign occupation. We realized that occupation would bring resistance. We told them that Arabs and Muslims would consider the occupation of Iraq as an occupation of Arab and Muslim lands, a parallel to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Arab-Islamic territories. Bremer’s pretext for not setting up an Iraqi government was that there were no Iraqi leaders to lead this government. He wrote, “while the American-led Coalition had accomplished half of its stated goal of regime change by ousting Saddam Hussein, we were far from identifying honest, energetic, and patriotic Iraqis who could govern post-Baathist Iraq.” In fact, Bremer did not know anything about Iraq, the Iraqi people, or the Iraqi opposition before his appointment. Bremer thought that the Iraqis in exile had wanted to rule Iraq. We repeatedly explained to him and other U.S. officials that there were real powers and true leaders among the opposition who had bases inside Iraq and were popular among the Iraqi people, such as the KDP, PUK, and Supreme Council. The elections in  demonstrated that, when it was eventually allowed, these powers and leaders were elected by the Iraqi people. In his review of Bremer’s book, University of Louisiana professor Robert Dreyfuss wrote that “right at the start, Bremer admits he didn’t know

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anything about Iraq. His qualifications to handle the job were, in , well, murky. . . . Bremer was President Bush’s man; he told the president what he wanted to hear.” First Meeting with Bremer On May , , I was part of the Iraqi group that met with L. Paul Bremer at Saddam’s Republican Palace in Baghdad. It was my first time inside the palace although I had driven past it many times; it is situated in Karradat Mariam across the river from the al-Karrada al-Sharqiya neighborhood where I was born and raised. The palace was built during the monarchy before  and has a blue dome which was bombarded during the successive military coups in the s. With the U.S. army occupying the palace, it was like a military barracks, dirty, with no electricity or air-conditioning, and many satellite dishes, generators, cables, and partitions dividing the big halls into small rooms for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) headed by Bremer. The group who attended the first meeting with Bremer included Adel Abdul Mahdi and myself of the Supreme Coucil; Massoud Barzani, Dr. Rosh Nouri Shawees, and Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP; Jalal Talabani, Nawshirwan Mustafa, and Mohammed Sabir of the PUK; Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Nouri alMaliki, and Sadiq al-Rikabi of Dawa Islamic Party; Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, Nabil Musawi, and Mudhar Shawkat of the INC; Dr. Ayad Allawi, Nuri al-Badran, and Imad Shibib of the INA; and Nasir Kamil al-Chadirchi, Dr. Mohammed al-Haj Hmud (brother of Hdaib), and Hashim Abdul Rahman al-Shibli of the Iraqi National Movement. Joining Bremer were General Jay Garner, General John Abizaid, Ryan Crocker, and Scott Carpenter, as well as British Special Representative John Sawers. Bremer welcomed us to the meeting and apologized for the disorganization. He said he was looking forward to serious discussions about the issues he would raise. He wanted to tell us how glad he was to be in a free Iraq. President Bush had asked him to help us in the process of returning Iraq to the free Iraqis. He continued to say that he admired our determination to achieve a democratic and free Iraq. The statements of the London conference and Salah alDin meetings were goals we shared: an Iraq free of WMDs and Iraqis living peacefully with their neighbors. He welcomed the new members of the Leadership Council, Dr. Ibrahim alJaafari and Nasir al-Chadirchi. This leadership, he said, was a precious partner

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for the U.S. The Coalition was trying to lead Iraq toward democracy and development. He asked to talk a little bit about priorities and about things that were on his mind as well as on the Coalition Provisional Authority’s mind. He noted that conditions in Iraq were better: Iraq was finally free of the terrorist regime, and the Shiites of Iraq were free to practice their religious rituals in a way they had never experienced before. There had been elections for the local administration in different regions. He commented that his friend Jay Garner had worked hard during those months in order to achieve major progress. The water in Basra improved for the first time in years, and electric power was much better than before. He acknowledged that there were problems, and that the Coalition wanted to see progress. Bremer said the Coalition was working hard to restore civil services in Iraq; Garner and his team were working to speed up the process wherever there were problems. It was in keeping law and order that they faced the greatest challenge. The Iraqis had concerns, and the Coalition shared these concerns. The Coalition was talking to Iraqis in the streets. They heard concerns about security, especially in Baghdad, and it was Bremer’s priority to develop security and stability. General Abizaid was present to answer our questions in this regard; the Coalition had an effective program to preserve security and lawfulness. Another issue, Bremer noted, was de-Baathification. The Coalition had issued instructions that day to outlaw the Baath Party, and they had provided copies of the order for everyone attending. The Coalition would consult each one of us to execute this policy; we needed to reach a point where the people were not afraid of the Baath Party and Saddam’s regime, and the Coalition wanted to hear our opinions about these issues. Chalabi expressed his thanks for the efforts to remove the Baath Party; it had been a nightmare for the Iraqi people. The allies said they had come to implement Bush’s policy of de-Baathification, which was a good thing. The Baath Party was legally disbanded, but Saddam’s security plan was unknown. We still saw a threat to both the Coalition forces and the Iraqi opposition forces. There were a million and a half Baathists, and people were concerned. Ayad Allawi suggested forbidding members of the leadership of the Baath Party from having public jobs. Bremer said they wanted to issue further orders during the next days.

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Sawers said he knew some of us from London, and it was an honor to see us in Baghdad. He welcomed Ambassador Bremer, who had authority to make decisions to speed the process. Jalal Talabani said, “We struggled and sacrificed tens of thousands, but were not able to remove Saddam; thank you for removing him. This is the first stage.” He continued: The second stage is establishing democracy. As you mentioned, since the Salah al-Din conference in , and again at the London conference in , and the Salah al-Din conference in , we have raised the slogan of a democratic and federal Iraq. We mean to clean the society of Baathism, and we do not mean by arresting all the Baathists. Your orders are good, but we need other things. We need to clean the schools’ curricula of Baathist thinking. Execution has been the punishment for criticizing the President. I will be frank with you, because of the Arabic saying, “A friend is one who tells you the truth, not one who agrees with what you say.” We told our American friends it was easy to topple the dictatorship within two to three weeks, but that the problem would start after toppling Saddam. We asked for cooperation between American and British forces and the Iraqi opposition forces, but it was not received well. When we talk about rebuilding the ministries, you have to coordinate with the Iraqi leaders; it has to be a person from the leadership. There is some chaos; we have been told different things. Sometimes we have been told that we are a provisional government, other times that we are civil administration: we want to know the real policy. You carried out a historic task; we don’t want to underestimate your work; there are small problems, but discussing them at this time might lead to a misunderstanding. We are now at Saddam’s palace, and it is a big victory for you and for us. The Coalition forces did a lot for us. It is important for us to listen to the British, due to their experience and long relationship with Iraq. We can cooperate with you on the basis of the London and Salah al-Din principles. We want you to consider the leadership and its value, and we appreciate your soldiers’ role and their courage in getting rid of Saddam’s regime. Bremer thanked Talabani for his frankness. When we get to know each other, he said, we will also find out that he, too, is frank. He had been told, he

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said, that he was not diplomatic. He completely agreed that we must achieve a complete victory and not just a military victory, although it was a great military victory. Massoud Barzani also expressed his thanks for Iraq’s liberation: We were proud to be part of the Coalition; we had sacrificed our blood together with American blood during the liberation. We were committed to fighting terrorism, and we were facing a large and widespread challenge. The impression we got when we met with Iraqis, Barzani said, was their concern about security and general services. Barzani noted that he thought the policy regarding de-Baathification was on the right track. The Baath regime did not exist any more. Barzani said that we wanted help identifying the dead who had been interred in mass graves. They had discovered another mass grave for al-Anfal victims in Shannafiya the day before. Barzani continued that we were committed to work with the Coalition, but it had to be clear to everybody what we had decided in the London conference. There was a political program, plans, and documents from the London and Salah al-Din conferences. We could not start from zero. “We achieved these things through cooperation with you, especially,” Barzani, told Bremer. “You are a person who has worked in the war against terrorism for a long time, and we suffered from terrorism.” Bremer said, “I hate terrorism, and I’ve been fighting it for twenty years.” He congratulated Masoud Barzani for achieving democracy in the north. He agreed regarding putting the regime’s criminals on trial; the Baath regime had ended, and we were now working to ensure they would not be back. The procedures that we will follow, he said, will confirm that we are determined that they are not coming back, and that the Baath regime is over. I thanked Bremer for the opportunity to have the meeting, but told him frankly that we in the Supreme Council did not feel we were allies. The Coalition forces had attacked some of our offices and arrested some of our leaders and members, and they had confiscated money and computers. I told him that after I contacted Khalilzad, he spoke to the U.S. army, which released the leaders, but the rest were still in prison, and the money and computers had not been returned. In regard to de-Baathification, I told him the Iraqi people were afraid that he would keep Saddamism without Saddam, by removing Saddam and keeping his loyalists in power. Baathists had to be distinguished from Saddamists. There were Baath Party members who were not loyal to Saddam, and there

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were Saddamists who were not members of the Baath Party. Many Baath party members were forced to join the party to make a living; some lowranking Baath party members were criminals, and some high-ranking Baath party members were not. The Iraqi people could tell who was a criminal and who was not. We should punish the criminals and give amnesty to the rest. The proof was that, during the popular uprising of , many Baath Party members joined the Iraqi people and rose up against Saddam’s regime; I had met many of them living in exile in various countries. Jaafari thanked Bremer for toppling Saddam. The military victory had been faster than anyone expected. This, he said, was a result of the political defeat of the regime that had been achieved by the Iraqi people. Saddam’s announcement that he got . percent support in a referendum was a lie; the real voting by the Iraqi people was represented by the mass graves of different sectors of Iraqi society that were isolated from the regime. Jaafari continued to warn that Saddam’s intelligence and Baath Party members were meeting, and they were active again. The Iraqi people were concerned that they could continue their subversive activities. The practical step was to arrest these people; we could not wait until they committed crimes. Robbing and vandalizing, he said, did not represent the culture and tradition of the Iraqi people. Saddam released a large number of criminals to fight with him against the Coalition forces. The practical step was to go back to the list of the released criminals to see if they could be brought to justice. Dr. Jaafari added that although Saddam’s regime was over, his existence as a person, his criminal capabilities, and his networks enabled him to tamper with the country’s destiny. He was glad, he said, about the orders that will be issued about banning the Baath Party. He noted that the Leadership Council had discussed the issue of de-Baathification that same day. The Baath party had no presence, but there were Baathists involved in crimes, and there were Baathists who occupied leadership positions. We needed, he said, to concentrate on the institutions that provided humanitarian help, such as hospitals, orphanages, and homes for disabled people. These institutions were suffering from lack of supplies, and it was necessary to provide them with at least the minimal supplies they required. Bremer said they shared our view about the criminals who had been released. The political prisoners would be respected, but the criminals must be arrested. General Abizaid would take care of this issue. Regarding humanitarian institutions, Bremer had visited the children’s hospital in Baghdad the day before, and admired the work of the Americans there during and after the war; they understood the hospitals’ problems.

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Nasir al-Chadirchi said the Coalition needed to understand the Iraqi case completely to the extent that the Coalition talks the same way we talk. I am, he said, the son of Baghdad; to me the security issue is urgent. If the Coalition is slow, some people will misunderstand the situation and imagine that the terrorist attacks were carried out by the Coalition forces, and if a bad security situation continues for a long time, the people will say simply that during Saddam’s time they had worked safely, and that the situation had been safe and secure, with more opportunities for work. He repeated the people’s request for adequate security. Al-Chadirchi also urged the Coalition to remember that it was the wheat season, and that the government used to give farmers higher prices than they would have received in the open marketplace. John Sawers replied that they had met with representatives of the farmers, and confirmed the commitment of the UN to buy the crops through the Oil-for-Food program. Regarding priorities, Sawers said there was only one master in Iraq: the Iraqi people. This was an American and British goal. If they got security back, the political life would be normal again, but they must have a mechanism to get Iraq to a normal political life. Chalabi brought up the Leadership Council’s concerns over the draft resolution regarding the transitional government. The most serious concern was Iraqi sovereignty. Chalabi also raised the issue of Saddam’s funds. Regarding security, he said this was a responsibility of the Coalition forces. He also had been told by General David McKiernan that he had the highest authority in Iraq. Chalabi asked Bremer, “Is your authority higher than General McKiernan’s authority?” Bremer said his authority was beyond General McKiernan’s authority. The Coalition would assign a Security Advisor; his mission would be to create a core for Iraq’s security force. Zebari asked whether we were to work as partners or individually. We had been working with Jay Garner on how to build the Iraqi interim international conference. There would be a conflict of interest between our work and the Coalition if we did not coordinate. Talabani and Barzani had prepared a memo. Zebari pointed out that we needed common ground. Zebari delivered the memo and asked if there would be meetings with the Leadership Council regarding the provisional government. Many of the regional countries, he noted, did not want us to succeed. Bremer said he would read the memo and consult the U.S. government, which dealt with the UN. He also said he needed details about holding the conference.

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Dr. Jaafari said there must be a Preparatory Committee with representatives of all the Iraqi parties. We needed to consider the reasonable proportionality acknowledged by the Iraqi people. Selection must also be democratic. The approximate number of members should be around twenty or thirty, because a larger number might paralyze the operation. We must specify criteria for those who attend the conference; there were the precedents of the London and Salah al-Din conferences and of the Nasiriyah and Baghdad conferences, the last two had been organized by Genenral Jay Garner. We could gather another, larger, conference to include opposition members from inside and outside Iraq; the Preparatory Committee could arrange for the conference and propose an election mechanism to select a provisional government. We were ready with any other details. Bremer said that the Preparatory Committee could arrange a mechanism to select the members of the conference. Sawers said it would help if we worked together on that. Zebari said we had a Secretariat and would be coordinating with others. The leadership had agreed on forming a Preparatory Committee. Our talk returned to the UN draft resolution to establish the authority in Iraq. John Sawers said the goals of the resolution were to end the economic sanctions; to allow oil to be sold, with revenues going to Iraq; to establish an Iraqi fund; and to ask the Secretary General to appoint a point person to work as a partner for both the Coalition and the Iraqis. There was a mechanism for progress here: now all the authority was with the Coalition, but they would transfer it gradually to Iraqis. There would be a problem if authority were transferred suddenly. Bremer said that if we read the draft resolution, we would see what Sawers had summarized, and Bremer agreed with Sawers. Whenever there was progress, the Iraqis would receive more authority. Talabani countered that there was lack of sovereignty in the interim authority. That meant there was no authority, and Iraq had no diplomatic relations. If the Coalition wanted to rule Iraq directly, they should tell us. A problem everybody was asking about, he said, was that the interim authority meant there was no state. Bremer said the Security Council was confirming the commitment of the member states to sovereignty and territorial integrity. There could not be a government before there were elections, John Sawers said.

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If this passed as a Security Council resolution, Talabani said, then we would need a Security Council resolution to lift it. If the matter was with U.S. officials we could discuss it with them. John Sawers said a new resolution from the Security Council was not needed to transfer the authority, draft a constitution, or hold free elections. The decisions were not made in the Security Council but here in Iraq. Jalal asked why, then, the Security Council resolution was necessary. Bremer replied that it was to lift the sanctions. Adel Abdul Mahdi pointed out that Zalmay Khalilzad had said there were three possibilities: a de facto authority, which the Iraqi Leadership Council (ILC) didn’t want; nomination of an authority by the ILC, which we did not want; or for the U.S. to take the initiative and nominate a National Council. According to what we had heard from Khalilzad and Jay Garner, we could select the names. Now the identification of power was different: we had an occupying power. Did we have sovereignty or not? Bremer said the fact was the Coalition was an existing power from a legal standpoint. There were immediate and important problems, such as security and de-Baathification. They needed our help; we had to move forward. They could not transfer to a complete democracy; the question was how to work toward it. One of the ideas was a local conference. Bremer said he did not know our work regarding this conference to comment about it. There was a suggestion to form a representative Preparatory Committee from different ethnic and sectarian groups. Sometimes, as a lawyer, the focus was on the words, but the important thing now was action. Talabani said that we understood they were an occupying force and that their presence in Iraq was necessary for security, to end the Baathist regime and to prevent neighboring countries from interfering in our affairs. We were asking them to stay until we built the democracy. Bremer said we will not stay one day after that. Jalal said he had to be frank: the U.S. had experience liberating Europe and Japan, where they had been an occupying force. Bremer said the U.S. was an occupying force in Japan for five years and in Germany for seven years, and they did not want it to take that long. He warned that one must be careful with such examples. Let us decide the next step and where it will take us, he suggested. He believed generally that a Preparatory Committee would lead to a general conference and then to a provisional administration. That would be the path, but how long it would take, he did not know.

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In the last meeting, Chalabi said, Dr. Khalilzad announced that we should have a provisional government within four weeks. Bremer said we must have a representative Preparatory Committee. He said the Provisional Authority would have an important role in writing the constitution and reforming the economy. It seems to me, he said, that this is the path that we are taking. He would travel to Kurdistan by the end of the week, and he had already gone to the south and the center of the country. He thanked us for coming on Friday which is a day off in Iraq. I said that forming a Preparatory Committee to arrange a conference could be done by expanding the Leadership Council to other groups not currently included: such as Turkmen, Assyrians, and women. The Follow-up and Coordination Committee that emerged from the Iraqi opposition conference in London could be expanded; it represented more than fifty political groups and the more than four-hundred people who took part in the London conference. We could add people who did not take part in the London conference, just as we had added Dr. Jaafari, and people who lived inside Iraq, as we had with Nasir al-Chadirchi. At the end of the meeting, Bremer said that he would talk to the media, and asked us to select a representative to talk to the media as well. We selected Massoud Barzani to speak on behalf of all of us. But Bremer refused to open the floor to journalists’ questions at the end of his statement and Barzani’s comments. The Reuters correspondent in Baghdad, Khaled Oweis, started to complain. He yelled at Bremer, saying the press had been waiting for hours and they were not even being given the chance to ask questions. Later Bremer wrote about this meeting and about our views regarding the formation of an Iraqi government: The Council members now spoke more assertively, beginning with Talabani. “While we sincerely thank the Coalition for all its efforts, we have to warn against squandering a military victory by not conducting a rapid, coordinated effort to form a new government.” Hamid Bayati, representing the Shiite SCIRI, spoke for the first time. “Ambassador, you must hasten the political progress. The ‘street’ is waiting for the freedom you promised.” I would learn that Iraqi politicians love to invoke the mystical “Arab street” on almost any argument. “With respect, Ambassador Bremer,” Chalabi said, “I must remind the CPA of the promises made in this past month about the establishment of

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a transitional government in a few weeks’ time.” He smiled benignly at Jay Garner. Bremer’s undermining of my use of the Arab “street” was a telling underestimate of the meaning of the phrase: to talk about the “street” was to talk about the general views and desires of the people; not taking these views into account before a functioning democratic forum could be established was a critical error. Although, when Mr. Talabani brought up the occupation of Japan and Germany, Bremer had said only, “you have to be careful with your examples,” he later wrote in his book, “Let’s keep in mind the relevant lessons of Germany and Japan.” He clearly looked to the long U.S. occupation of Japan and Germany as models for the entirely different situation in Iraq. In just one of the many such parallels in his book, he writes [of his position regarding Iraq]: “my new assignment did combine some of the viceregal responsibilities of General Douglas MacArthur, de facto ruler of Imperial Japan after World War II, and of General Lucius Clay, who led the American occupation of defeated Nazi Germany.” At the end of the meeting, Bremer invited us to dinner. Our hosts told us that it was the first dinner of Iraqi food, such as grilled chicken and kebab, served in the Presidential Palace since the fall of Saddam’s regime; until then, they always had U.S. military food. Our Message to the British On May , , I and several other Iraqi leaders participated in a meeting with David Manning, Foreign Policy Adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, at the Hunting Club, in Baghdad’s Mansur neighborhood. Jalal Talabani, Hoshyar Zebari, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, Nasir al-Chadirchi, and several others attended. Manning told us that Prime Minister Blair felt strongly about the painful things that had happened in Iraq, and one of the important issues was that there had been no good media coverage of the suffering of the Iraqi people in the past. The suffering of the Iraqi people had lasted for a long time; their lives had been miserable. He told us that a forensics team was being assembled to look into the regime’s past crimes. He moved on with a general opening question: “How do you see things going?”

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Jalal Talabani welcomed Manning and reaffirmed his appreciation for the role of the UK in toppling Saddam. Many things needed to be worked out now, he said. Regarding de-Baathification and the situation of law and security, Talabani warned that we had information that members of Saddam’s intelligence apparatus were still operating and had money and weapons. It was necessary to remove these gangsters. The Coalition’s duty, according to Tony Blair and George Bush, was to liberate Iraq. Liberation, they had said, was stage one; and the second stage was democratization, which meant allowing the Iraqis to decide for themselves. It was the right time to move forward in our plans. We needed to assemble a broad Preparatory Committee that would include political forces and representatives from the provinces, such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and others. Talabani said that we would hold a new conference and discuss the issue of forming a government. We needed security, a new police force, and a new army; and everything had to be purged of Baath Party members. He cited the example of the army toppling the Baath Party in , only for it to regain power in  through a military coup. We had to prevent their return. The Coalition must cooperate with the forces that had been fighting Saddam’s regime because these forces represented a large percentage of the Iraqi people. We were asking, he said, as friends and colleagues; the Prime Minister was a man of vision and would understand these issues. Al-Chadirchi supported Talabani’s words, which accurately represented our point of view and the Iraqi people’s experience. Zebari brought up the specific issue of the London conference and the Follow-up and Coordination Committee that had emerged from it. The Preparatory Committee for the conference in Iraq could consist of members of the Follow-up and Coordination Committee plus sixty-five representatives from different regions. We could set up a Political Council (Governing Council) and then a government. The Security Council’s draft resolution stated that the occupying forces would form the authority and then the Iraqis would form the administration. They needed the support of the largest number of political forces. I, too, expressed my appreciation for British assistance in overthrowing Saddam’s regime. I went on to explain that, after the British forces entered Basra, BBC Newsnight had asked me why the people did not welcome these troops. I had replied that in  people were encouraged to rise up against Saddam’s regime but were abandoned and betrayed when the Allies did not finish off the regime. During Question Time in Parliament, Blair had repeated

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what I said, that people in Iraq were frightened of moving and being betrayed another time. He assured Iraqis that they would not be let down again, that this time the job would be finished. For this to be done, I went on, we needed an independent Iraqi government and an Iraqi provisional National Assembly of three types of people: • People who had participated in the London conference (around  people from more than  parties and movements); • Selected people from outside the London conference; • Representatives of the Iraqi provinces. I added that the security situation was still bad. It was necessary to cooperate with Iraqis to maintain security. We must absorb the armed opposition forces into the armed forces and the police force, because they had fought Saddam’s regime for more than twenty years, and for them to have no work would be a problem for the new regime. In regard to the Iraqi political forces, I continued, the local administrators must be Iraqi and must be elected by Iraqi people. And it was necessary to have Iraqi forces protecting the streets, not the occupying forces. Occupying Iraq would trigger extremist forces who would use the excuse that they were fighting the occupiers of Islamic and Arab lands. Jalal Talabani said there were issues that must be resolved still, and we did not want the forces to leave; the Iraqi opposition forces were part of the alliance and it is in their interest to cooperate with us. Ahmad Chalabi brought up the Security Council draft resolution submitted by Britain. He wanted to add that, despite the fact that the resolution mentioned respecting sovereignty, it would strip sovereignty from Iraq and make the occupying forces the authority. The Iraqis had wanted to remove Saddam through the Coalition; the Iraqis had helped in isolating Saddam; and there was considerable evidence that the Iraqi army did not defend Saddam: thus the Iraqis themselves had contributed greatly to defeating Saddam’s regime. Chalabi continued: This was a liberation, not an occupation. It was impossible for any government to be independent with hundreds of thousands of occupying troops. David Manning thanked us once again, stating that it was wonderful to be back in a Baghdad that was liberated. By listening to us, he understood that the Iraqi people’s cause was a worthwhile one, and that we had waited for this day for a long time. Tony Blair had said that if they did this the wrong

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way, the liberating forces would turn into occupying forces, but in the Security Council it was necessary to mention the occupying forces. The Coalition could not leave the country without establishing a governmental structure and reconstruction, Manning continued. They would not stay one day longer than they had to, however. The Coalition had responsibilities, and the Iraqis had responsibilities. He understood the pressure we were operating under, and had already discussed the issue with Bremer and Sawers. Manning concluded, “It is necessary to discuss the security issue. I promise you that I will convey what you said to the Prime Minister. Ambassador Sawers and I will see the Prime Minister by the end of the week. We are using our best abilities to help the Iraqi people; we will help to get Iraq’s sovereignty back as soon as possible.” Resolution 1483 and the Reality of Occupation On May , , the Security Council adopted Resolution . Before its adoption, Bremer gave us the draft, and we were shocked at the language about the “occupation” of Iraq. During our meetings with Zalmay Khalilzad in London, Ankara, and Salah al-Din, we had warned against an occupation of Iraq. We had stated that an Iraqi government should be set up immediately after the regime’s fall. He had asked what we meant by “immediately,” to which we answered: from Day . If Saddam’s regime fell and there was no Iraqi government in place, Iraq would be under occupation. Occupation would not be acceptable in Iraq or in the region: it would mean resistance. Khalilzad said an Iraqi government would be set up as soon as possible. But for us this was too vague: it could take weeks, months, or years. We tried our best to stop the adoption of the resolution in the Security Council. We spoke to the French and Russian Ambassadors in Baghdad and asked why they would consider a resolution that stated Iraq would be under occupation. We told them that the Iraqi people and political groups did not accept occupation, and that occupation would be met by resistance. Both Ambassadors answered that the occupying forces had obligations toward the people of Iraq, such as maintaining security in the country and providing services to the people. According to the international humanitarian law, which has long defined the rules on belligerent occupation, complemented by

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human rights law, which binds any state exercising jurisdiction or control over a territory, the U.S. and UK must fulfill their obligations and continue to do so for as long as they exercise military authority over Iraq. International humanitarian law provides that once an occupying power has assumed authority over a territory, it is obliged to restore and maintain, as far as possible, public order and safety. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the occupying power must also respect the fundamental human rights of the territory’s inhabitants, including refugees and other non-citizens. The French and Russian Ambassadors told us that they wanted the occupying forces to bear their obligations according to international law and to provide security and services for the benefit of the Iraqi people. After the resolution was adopted, without the consent of the Iraqi people or political groups, we tried to see what was in the resolution that would be in the best interest of Iraq and the Iraqi people. We raised these points in our meetings with Ambassador Bremer, Ambassador Sawers, and other U.S. and UK officials. We told them that we noticed the resolution named three entities in Iraq: the Iraqi people, the occupying forces, and the UN. Bremer tried to interpret the resolution to his benefit, maintaining that it stated that the occupying forces were the authority in Iraq, and that the resolution gave him all the authority he needed to rule the country. Bremer tried to put the UN on the same side as the occupying forces to have more strength, power, and authority. In our meetings, Ambassador Bremer, Ambassador Sawers, and other U.S. and UK officials and military officers from the Coalition forces typically sat on one side, and the Iraqi groups sat on the other. The UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), Sergio Vieira de Mello, arrived with his team on June , . Ambassador Bremer invited him to join our next meeting, which took place in the Convention Center. It was the first time we had met with Bremer in the center, which was nicely designed with wide stairs, big meeting halls, and walls and floors of marble. Bremer told Vieira de Mello that he would introduce him to the Iraqi political groups. Bremer’s idea was to arrange for the UN team to sit with the Coalition, so he could have the representatives of the UN on his side. However, I had met Vieira de Mello and his team, after he was invited but before the meeting with Bremer, in de Mello’s office in the (Canal) hotel (where de Mello was killed on August , ).

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Vieira de Mello told me that Bremer had invited him to attend the next meeting between Bremer and the Iraqi Leadership Council. I told Vieira de Mello and his team that our understanding of Resolution  was that there were three parties in Iraq: the Iraqi people; the occupying forces; and the UN, under the guidance of the SRSG. I added that the UN and the SRSG should act independently, and should not be on the occupying forces’ side. I added that the UN should stand with the Iraqi people and not with the occupying forces. Vieira de Mello and his team understood Bremer’s attempt—some in the group were Arabs who understood how Arab nations have rejected occupation since colonial times, and how they had fought the British and French occupations in the twentieth century. Bremer decided to have a reception before the meeting, in which he provided sandwiches and beverages and introduced the UN team to the Iraqis whom they had not met. When Bremer invited Vieira de Mello to participate in the meeting, de Mello apologized and left, refusing to be on the occupying forces’ side in the meeting. It was clear that Bremer was not comfortable with the presence of the SRSG in Baghdad. He later wrote: Sergio de Mello, the new United Nations special representative for Iraq, arrived on Tuesday, June , and almost immediately came to the palace to call on me. “Damn,” I told Clay as we waited for him. “I didn’t think the UN would get its act together so quickly.” My plan was to cooperate with the United Nations as we worked toward expanding the G- into the larger interim administration. But the U.S. and the UN often looked at the world differently. . . . “I want to be helpful, Ambassador Bremer,” [de Mello] said. This was a relief to hear. The last thing we needed in the very complicated political minuet we were dancing was to have the Iraqis feel that they could play the UN off against the Coalition. When I met Vieira de Mello in his office, he was kind enough to walk me down to my car. I was surprised that he was not worried about his personal safety. The hotel was in an open area, and there were no concrete fences around it. I felt that anybody could shoot him dead from outside the hotel. I asked him, “Aren’t you worried about your security?” He answered, “I am a

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man on a humanitarian mission. I am a man of the United Nations, so I do not think I will be targeted.” I think Sergio Vieira de Mello, like many people in the world, could not understand that terrorists such as those in Al Qaeda had no limits; their objective was to inflict as many casualties and cause as much damage as possible. When they carried out a bombing in August  that killed Vieira de Mello, they designed it specifically to kill him in his office (twenty-one other UN staff members were also killed in the bombing). Their objective was to deter any international organization and to stop any diplomatic presence from entering Iraq. My argument about Resolution  was that the authority of the Iraqi people was clear, but the authority of Ambassador Bremer was not. Ambassador Sawers agreed with me, when I raised the point with him, that the authority of Ambassador Bremer was vague. Article  of the resolution stated that the Security Council supports the formation, by the people of Iraq with the help of the Authority and working with the Special Representative, of an Iraqi interim administration. Bremer, however, said that he wanted to appoint a Political Council and a Constitutional Council. Bremer said publicly that the Iraqi interim administration and its establishment were postponed. He also said that the Leadership Committee was not representative; that they did not represent all of Iraq, despite what the Leadership Committee members said. The Committee had by then grown to seven members; Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Massoud Barzani, Jalal Talabani, Dr. Ayad Allawi, and Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, from the Salah al-Din conference; plus two new members: Dr. Ibrahim Jaafari and Nasir al-Chadirchi. Bremer said that he was afraid the Leadership Council would not agree to set up an Iraqi government that could respond to the challenges and demands facing Iraq. Our concern was that there was a possibility that Bremer wanted to bypass the Iraqi interim administration by using these excuses, which went against the Security Council resolution and the interests of the Iraqi people. We felt that Ambassador Bremer was delaying the establishment of the Iraqi interim administration. CNN reported that the UN Security Council passed Resolution  “by a - vote, with Syria absent.” The resolution required a one-year review, so that the U.S.-led authority would not be open-ended. Paul Bremer, the U.S. Civil Administrator in Iraq, said on Wednesday, May , , that an Iraqi national conference probably won’t meet to choose an interim government until July.

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Addressing Security Concerns On May , , I participated in a meeting with General David McKiernan, who had commanded the Coalition land forces during the invasion of Iraq; Lieutenant General William Webster, Deputy Commander of Coalition land forces; and John Mulholland, commander of the U.S. Joint Special Forces; a British officer whose name was not written in my minutes attended the meeting as well. Participating also were Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP; Nuri al-Badran and Mohammed Allawi of the INA; Nabil Musawi and Araz Habib from the INC; and Hussein al-Rikabi from the Movement for Constitutional Monarchy. General McKiernan said their priority was security, although the economic situation was also important. We would discuss three issues: • Weapons policy (he gave us a draft of the weapons law); • Building coordination between our groups and the Coalition forces; • Militias, especially the Peshmerga. McKiernan hoped we had ideas in regard to the weapons policy, as we had to implement it as soon as possible. They intended to start the new policy in the beginning of June with an amnesty. He said he would like us to talk to people about the policy, so all would know what was allowed and what was prohibited. The policy was to be as follows: . Prohibited weapons were automatic weapons and explosive devices, except for those authorized by the Coalition forces. . Iraqis were allowed to keep their handguns and rifles at their houses, but not machine guns. Only individuals with permits would be allowed to keep a machine gun at their residence or office. . There would be amnesty from the beginning of June until June . During this period Iraqis had the chance to hand over their weapons or to ask for a permit to carry them. . There would be detailed instructions indicating who could carry weapons. The Coalition wanted people to hand over weapons at police stations. This was to be a joint effort among the police, the army, and the navy. McKiernan asked that each of our groups have a representative in every police station to report on how the weapons amnesty proceeded. The instructions regarding turning in the weapons were to be published in newspapers

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and broadcast on TV. Plastic bags would be provided for the weapons. No concealed weapons would be allowed; all guns needed to be carried visibly. Those who were allowed to carry guns could not be associated with the Baath Party. Those who did not hand over their guns would be subjected to punishment and trial. McKiernan said that, in regard to protecting the leaders of our groups, each leader would be allowed twelve bodyguards who would be allowed to carry Kalashnikovs. He was willing to listen to our comments regarding the weapons policy, but there were two other issues: the liaison teams between the Coalition forces and the Iraqi Leadership Council, and the issue of the militias. Iraqi groups or parties would have a coordinating officer with the Coalition forces to manage security issues and weapons permits. All armed militias were forbidden and should be dissolved except for the Kurdish militia, the Peshmerga, who would be allowed to keep their arms. Zebari said the weapons policy was good, but asked if the twelve bodyguards for the leaders were only for the high-ranking figures. The level of threats against the leaders varied, he said. McKiernan replied it would be decided when the liaison teams were chosen. Nabil Musawi said that if the Peshmerga were not to be disbanded, neither should the INC’s Free Iraqi Forces (FIF). General McKiernan said that the INC’s Free Iraqi Forces (FIF) had fought and were still under the authority of the Coalition, so their status would remain the same as it had been. “I hope that you will agree with me upon one point,” he said: “There are many weapons in many hands, and we have to control this issue.” I said there were different levels of leaders, and more protection was necessary for the Supreme Council leaders. I suggested that weapons permits be decided on a different basis. I added that holy places, religious scholars, and religious seminaries in holy cities such as Najaf, Karbala, Kadhimiya and Samara should be protected. I also brought up the issue of women being searched by U.S. soldiers, which was shown on TV, a practice that was unacceptable and provocative in our culture. The general said they would try to have female soldiers search women. He explained that if someone requested a gun permit, he would have to sign a “Pledge Form” stating that he was not a member of the Baath party. The

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names would be checked against the list of Baath party members and the information they had on record. McKiernan said they would also look into the issue of protecting the holy places. Ironically, the “Pledge Form” printed and given to us by the Coalition forces instructed that the permit applicant pledge that he (or she) was a member instead of stating that he (or she) was not a member of the Baath party. General McKiernan said it was a misprint. Regrouping Iraqis On May , I took part in a Leadership Council meeting. Attending were Jalal Talabani and Fouad Maasoom of the PUK; Nouri al-Maliki from the Dawa Party; Hoshyar Zebari and Abdul Qader al-Brifkani of the KDP; Nuri al-Badran, Hashim al-Shibli, and Imad Shibib of the INA; Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, Nabil Musawi, Entifadh Qanbar, and Goran Talabani of the INC; and Nasir al-Chadirchi from the Iraqi National Movement. Adel Abdul Mahdi and I represented the Supreme Council. We began by talking about recent developments in Iraq. I reported that the elections for the Union of Lawyers in Iraq had taken place that day under the supervision of a U.S. judge. Al-Maliki reported that Dr. Jaafar al-Naqib had been killed in the alJami’a neighborhood of Baghdad on May . He added that a brigadier and a lieutenant colonel from the former Iraqi intelligence services had also been killed in their homes in Baghdad. We turned next to the Security Council resolution. Talabani said, I read the resolution in English and Arabic, and there are important points in the resolution. They do not want a transitional government, but they want to consider America and Britain as occupying countries. I personally see mixed issues because they are talking about authority and administration. They connect the decision to the authority and administration approval, but it is clear that they do not accept the transitional administration. This text requires deep study. The resolution recognizes the rights of the Iraqi people, and states that the Security Council encourages the efforts of the Iraqi people in forming a transitional government, and welcomes the steps made by the Iraqi people and the statement issued from the al-Nasiriyah and Baghdad meetings, although the two meetings had started to form an independent Iraqi

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government. There is a mix between the authority and the administration. The police are mentioned, but security is not. Law and order in Iraq is under their control. The resolution said Iraqi people will do such and such, but how will they do that, and who represents the Iraqi people? I think we have to submit a memorandum to the two countries to show them our comments based on the resolution paragraphs. Chalabi said the resolution started by talking about Iraq’s sovereignty and at the same time stripped any Iraqi party of any kind of sovereignty. It put sovereignty under the control of the occupying forces in many areas, such as representing Iraq, making agreements, controlling Iraq’s resources, and using these resources the way they wanted. The resolution formed the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) and the International Monitoring and Advisory Board of Iraq, but they had no Iraqi members. They sold the oil, and all the oil revenues went to the DFI, even the taxes. The money would be used to cover the expenses of disarmament and the UN: the price of the war. “Are America and Britain getting their money back from the war?” Chalabi asked. There were voices in Congress demanding that the U.S. get the war expenses back. The resolution, Chalabi continued, put the authority in charge of forming the administration and stripped the Iraqi people of their rights to participate in selecting the authority unless it was approved by the occupying authority. The occupying forces were even to decide the contracts to sell the oil. They were to decide everything about the oil contracts. Would there be compromises with France and Russia? We did not have any authority or any voice when it came to these contracts. This resolution was very bad for the Iraqi people, Chalabi said, and he called on us to think carefully about this decision: “I ask you to form a public commission to defend Iraq.” We were in a very embarrassing position as a political leadership. Zebari agreed with Chalabi that the resolution was very bad; it changed everything we were about to do, and it gave international legitimacy to the occupation for twelve months. Chalabi asked whether we should participate in such an authority or decide not to. The Coalition would try to add some members and leaders, but we had to keep our position coordinated and united. They would try to give this authority credibility; we had to think about the options. Adel said we had to discuss our joint position. We thought we were on our way to form an Iraqi government; if we were called to participate in the

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provisional administration, should we agree to it? If we did not, could we keep our unity? If we did not participate, would they be able to convince some of us individually? They are establishing the Iraqi army right now, and this would decide the future of Iraq. What was our stance on that? Everyone had met with Bremer, Adel said, and he was more to the point and specific than the Security Council resolution. He said we will form the government after the constitution and the election, which might take a long time. What was the guarantee? We had heard some talk before, but then it changed. The way this was done would affect the future of Iraq. Al-Maliki said we had been moving toward the political process and now we were facing a military occupation. Al-Maliki added that we understood that we had to plan for a broad conference that would come up with a government and we were trying to understand the issues raised with us. Our goals were to form an Iraqi provisional government that had sovereignty. Was writing a memorandum about these issues enough? What do we have to do? We still did not have a leadership to tell us what to do. Zebari said that we needed a new Security Council resolution. Talabani said he would start the self-criticism: We had been too slow. Our slow action and our failure to expand the Leadership Council gave the justification to the Americans. Bremer said that the leadership did not represent the Iraqi people. Dr. Ayad Allawi said we should have sent a delegation to the UN to meet the Security Council members before the Security Council adopted the resolution, but we did not. We needed now to do the following: show a unified position toward UN Resolution , and send a delegation to the UK and the U.S. to learn their views and determine how we could best benefit from them. Chalabi suggested forming a committee to defend the Iraqi people. Why do we not make the Leadership Council, after its expansion, a committee to defend the Iraqi people? I suggested coming to a unified decision. We should decide that no party or group among us can participate with the Americans unless they receive approval by the Leadership Council. In other words, it is prohibited for any party to take any individual position toward this case, and a consensus will be needed in all cases. In regard to the Security Council resolution, we had to find out what positive developments it held for Iraq and the Iraqi people. We should talk to the world about the allied Coalition’s promises and how they had backed down from them. We should talk about the advice we had given to U.S. officials, which they ultimately ignored.

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I suggested doing the following: The leadership should issue a statement explaining its position toward the Security Council resolution. We should also ask Iraqis inside and outside the country to show their support for the leadership statement and demonstrate against the resolution. We should send delegations outside Iraq to talk to countries and governments. We should continue working on the Iraqi project of holding the National Assembly, and we should put together a mechanism to form an Iraqi government through the National Assembly. I reminded the group that the Security Council resolution did not oppose forming an Iraqi government, drafting a constitution, or having elections through consultations with the occupying authority. Chalabi said this resolution would put the occupying forces in charge of all the decisions about when to end the occupation, and they did not need any new resolutions from the UN. It gave them the authority to form the Iraqi administration and determine its authorities; this could actually be an encouraging development. The U.S. and UK were authorized to decide if the administration could be a government, and the resolution also had the positive provision that sanctions would be lifted. He called on us to form a Preparatory Committee immediately to hold a conference. Moreover, he said, we should show that the Leadership Council represents the Iraqi people by amassing Iraqis around the Committee and gaining their overwhelming support for it. If the U.S. and the UK negate the decisions of the Leadership Council and the National Assembly, then we will have done our duty in front of the Iraqi people and history. Al-Maliki said since there was an agreement among us, we should focus on the issues which we were close to agreement on and develop the ideas we have into decisions. Talabani said our opposition to the resolution must be political and gradual. We should start with a statement, sending a delegation, and contacting Congress; then we should develop our work and go to the Iraqi people to protest, object, and demonstrate. We cannot start with the public demonstrations, he said, because such action might be misconstrued. We had notes from Washington saying Bremer had suggested to George Bush that a transitional administration be formed, because it was not possible to have an Iraqi authority. Talabani suggested the following: • Establish a united position for the Iraqi Leadership Council. • Form a Preparatory Committee for the National Assembly.

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• Send a delegation to the U.S. and UK to capitalize on the positive points in the resolution regarding forming the government • Adopt a gradual, political strategy to deal with the resolution, beginning with the joint statement to the delegation, then moving to the popular objection and demonstrations works. He added that many parties contacted him and suggested we focus on the Preparatory Committee to set up an authority or administration. He had met with the Assyrian Democratic Movement, the Arab Socialist Movement, the Iraqi Communist Party, and the Iraqi Islamic Party; they all wanted to participate in the Leadership Council and the Preparatory Committee. Nasir al-Chadirchi said that expanding the Leadership Council would strengthen it in the eyes of the people. I said we should not forget women, Turkmen, or Christians when considering expansion. Talabani said this was true, but there was no consensus yet about the expansion of the Iraqi Leadership Council; we needed a wide front to face the resolution. Al-Maliki suggested the political statement we issue should clarify the leadership’s position about the resolution and demonstrate its unity. He agreed with what I had said about getting the public on our side and not provoking a violent confrontation, because it was not in our interest, and there was no need for it. Talabani suggested the order of actions: issue the statement first, then dispatch the delegation, then do the work on the positive public movement of objection and rejection. Talabani said he had criticized the resolution in the New York Times. Perhaps we now could state that the Leadership Council agreed on the following issues: • Establishing a united position by the Council members wherein no individual party may take a position without approval by the leadership. • Forming the Preparatory Committee immediately, and forming the National Assembly within a period of one month. • Sending a delegation to the UK and the U.S. to capitalize on the positive points in the UN resolution. • Carrying out a gradual policy when it comes to political work by sending the memorandum first, sending the delegation second, issuing a statement third, and building the public movement last.

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Al-Maliki asked if this agreement applied to participation in the administration. Talabani said it applied to all cases; we must have a united position. We ended the meeting with the agreement that all members of the Leadership Council would stick to the united position. When Bremer tried to appoint a Governing Council, Hoshyar Zebari asked me to arrange a visit for Massoud Barzani to Najaf to meet Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Meeting Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani I went to the holy city of Najaf and spoke to the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. He said he would organize the meeting with Sistani and asked me what we should do about Massoud Barzani’s visit. I said we should arrange for Barzani and the delegation to stay in a decent hotel in Najaf, which would be difficult, as the hotels in Iraq in general and in the southern provinces in particular were old and dirty, with bad furniture. I added that we should invite Barzani and his delegation for lunch. When the time came for their visit, toward the end of May , I waited for Massoud Barzani, his son Masroor, Hoshyar Zebari, and their delegation at the Square of the  Revolution, at the entrance to the holy city of Najaf. Upon their arrival, I greeted them and accompanied them to the hotel to have some rest. Later we visited the house of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a very simple, small house in a narrow alleyway near the holy shrine of Imam Ali. People in the streets of Najaf started to shout to greet and welcome Massoud Barzani, who was a noted Kurdish hero and Iraqi leader. They knew him as the son of the late Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa al-Barzani, who had strong relations with Najaf since the s through Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, the father of the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Grand Ayatollah al-Hakim had issued the religious decree (fatwa) forbidding Iraqis from fighting the Kurds in the s, when President Abdul Salam Arif had attempted to incite them to fight. The son of Ayatollah al-Sistani, Sayyid Mohammed Ridha, a religious scholar with high rank and extensive knowledge and education in religious studies, received us along with many other religious scholars at the door of the house, and he led us to the room where Ayatollah al-Sistani received his guests. It was a very small and simple room, with inexpensive carpet and some rugs on the side of the room for seating. There was no other furniture in the room, and a man served us tea in small traditional Iraqi cups called istikan.

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After the welcoming and greetings, Massoud asked Ayatollah al-Sistani, “Master (Sayyidana), what do you advise us?” Ayatollah al-Sistani said that the constitution should be written by an elected body of the Iraqi people. It should not be written by an appointed body, because it should reflect the desires and aspirations of all the components of the Iraqi people. Ayatollah al-Sistani then spoke about the importance of uniting the Iraqi people to achieve their objectives and aspirations. He spoke about the long suffering the Iraqi people endured and emphasized the importance of unity among the political leaders. Massoud Barzani thanked Ayatollah al-Sistani for his advice and promised to follow it; he then asked Ayatollah al-Sistani to pray for him. Ayatollah al-Sistani prayed for him to be guided and supported by God. This was the first meeting for an Iraqi political leader with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani since the meeting between the Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and al-Sistani that took place immediately after he and I entered Iraq on May . Sayyid al-Hakim told me that Ayatollah alSistani had advised that Sayyid al-Hakim should focus on political issues in Iraq while Ayatollah al-Sistani focused on religious issues. However, Ayatollah al-Sistani became more involved in political issues after the assassination of Sayyid al-Hakim on August , . I left with Barzani and his delegation for the house where Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim was waiting for us. It was a good house on a main road with a garden in front; Sayyid al-Hakim told me that it belonged to one of his brothers who had been executed by Saddam’s regime and that they had brought in furniture specially to receive Barzani. Sayyid al-Hakim decided to receive Barzani in his late brother’s house because the house Sayyid al-Hakim was living in (another brother’s house) was too small, old, and without furniture. The leadership of the Supreme Council including myself used to meet the leader Sayyid al-Hakim once a week on Thursdays in Najaf in the small house where he lived and we would sit on the floor, which is the traditional simple life of religious scholars. Barzani and his delegation had lunch with Sayyid al-Hakim, his brother Sayyid Abdul Aziz, and some leaders of the Supreme Council, (including myself), followed by a meeting. Barzani briefed Sayyid al-Hakim about the meeting with Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. Then we discussed the meetings in Baghdad with Bremer and his team, and Bremer’s ideas of appointing a Political Council and a Constitutional Council. Massoud Barzani asked Sayyid al-Hakim if he would participate in a Political Council if Bremer appointed it. Sayyid al-Hakim said he would

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not. Barzani replied that he would not participate either. Barzani added that Bremer wanted us to be the servants of the servants, and we would not accept that. Bremer wanted to appoint servants and for us to serve them, but that was impossible. After Massoud Barzani and his delegation left, Sayyid al-Hakim told me to tell Bremer that if he appointed a Political Council, the Supreme Council and the Kurdish leaders would not take part in it. He instructed me not to mention to Bremer which Kurdish leader would not participate; he felt Bremer would pressure that leader or convince other Kurdish leaders to participate as a way to put pressure on that leader. So I went to the next meeting and gave Bremer the message from Sayyid al-Hakim: if he was going to appoint a Political Council as he proposed in the previous meeting, the Supreme Council and the Kurdish leaders would not participate. Bremer’s assistant, Meghan O’Sullivan, told me that Bremer had instructed his team of assistants and advisors that each one of them should be the contact person for one of the major Iraqi political groups in the Leadership Council. She said she decided to be the contact person for the Supreme Council because she liked working with me and with the group. After I met O’Sullivan earlier, I invited her to my family’s house, to meet my family members. She was impressed by the level of education among the female members of my family, and their excellent command of English, let alone that of the men, who were doctors and engineers. I welcomed her decision to be the coordinator with me and my group, and promised to cooperate with her provided that she help us through the difficult times we were facing. We continued to meet more often than I met with Bremer and his team. O’Sullivan was a smart, well-educated, and courageous person. Against the military instructions to have guards, she would drive alone, outside the Green Zone, crossing the river on the  July Bridge to my neighborhood in Karrada, in southern Baghdad. In June , I had discussions with Meghan about setting up the Iraqi Governing Council, and I nominated many people to be members of the Governing Council according to the decisions of the leader of SCIRI, Sayyid al-Hakim. One of the nominees was Ezz al-Din Salim, the head of the Islamic Al Dawa Movement, a splinter of the Dawa Islamic Party. Salim was a prominent leader from Basra, the second most important city in southern Iraq, and a member of the Central Committee of SCIRI. He would become President of the Governing Council in May . He was killed later that same month on his way to attend a meeting of the Governing Council in the Green Zone.

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Toward the end of June , I met O’Sullivan in a hotel in the Karrada neighborhood, outside the Green Zone in southern Baghdad. I told her that I had decided to go back to London. She was surprised, and asked why I had decided to go when everyone was trying to get a position in the new Iraqi government. I replied, “Meghan, there are two types of people: some people are running after positions, and some are running away from positions. I am from the second type because a position has a responsibility in front of God, the people, and history, and I do not want to be in such a position.” When I told the SCIRI leader that I wanted to go back to London, he asked me to wait for Adel Abdul Mahdi to come back to Iraq from France and train some people to do the work I was doing. Later I introduced O’Sullivan to Adel Abdul Mahdi of the Supreme Council to coordinate issues with him. On June , , the Group of Seven and I had a meeting with Ambassador Bremer and several officials he had selected to attend: Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Meghan O’Sullivan, Andy Morrison, and Yael Lempert, as well as British Ambassador John Sawers and Martin Hetherington from the British Foreign Office. Several individuals in military uniform attended as well. Bremer thanked us for agreeing to this consultative meeting. He said the Coalition was listening to new opinions to set up a Political Council (which was called later the Governing Council). He had met the day before with President Bush in Qatar, and he said he was committed to a democratic and free Iraq represented by a government chosen by Iraqis, which lives in peace with its neighbors. Ambassador Bremer said they wanted to set up an Iraqi administration and to divide the administration into many parts, to which they might add other institutions in the future. First to be established would be the Political Council, which the Coalition would select by consulting with a group of Iraqis, and which would have responsibilities from the first day. The second part was the Constitutional Convention. Bremer said that there was consensus that there must be a constitution before the elections. The Coalition wanted the Iraqi people to draft a permanent constitution. Within six weeks, there must be a Constitutional Convention. The draft would be drawn up by ten or fifteen people; once the constitution was drafted, there would be an operation among all Iraq’s provinces and tribes to adopt it. I said that the most important issue was that there must be an Iraqi mechanism to select the Political Council. If Iraqis did not make the selection, then we could not defend the process. The region would consider the Council to have been set up by the Coalition forces and thus be a government imposed

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by the U.S. It would be advisable to mention the Iraqi role in selecting the Political Council on a consistent basis, so that people would understand its significance. I added that I had a message from Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, conveyed through the leader of the Supreme Council Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, who had asked me to deliver the message to Bremer. The message was that Sayyid Ali al-Sistani insisted that the Constitutional Council be elected by the Iraqi people and could not be appointed by Ambassador Bremer. The Constitutional Council should write the draft constitution, and the Iraqi people should vote on it through a general referendum. I learned that a draft for an interim constitution for the country had been distributed by the occupying forces, and I hoped to get a copy of it. Bremer said it was not an official version. A Shift in U.S. Policy On May , I participated in another meeting of the Leadership Council attended by Fouad Maasoom of the PUK, Hoshyar Zebari and Abdul Qader al-Brifkani of the KDP, Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari from the Dawa Islamic Party, Nuri al-Badran and Mohammed Allawi from INA, Nabil Musawi from the INC, Hdaib al-Haj Hmud on behalf of Nasir al-Chadirchi of the Iraqi National Movement, and Ridha Jawad Taqi and Abu Hisham of the Supreme Council. Hoshyar Zebari said we had information from our friends that the American structure in Iraq would change. ORHA would not remain, but be absorbed into the Coalition Provisional Authority; General McKiernan would leave and General William Wallace would follow him. The Coalition had admitted that their program had changed. Although we agreed with them about expanding the Leadership Council, they were not interested in the idea of a conference. Their priority was to run the government’s machinery and control security. They would act as if they were the real government. The essential priority for the U.S. was to write the draft constitution. Zebari hoped we would stick to our united stance and expand the Leadership Council. Lieutenant General McKiernan was the commanding general of the rd U.S. Army, U.S. Army Forces Central Command and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC). As CFLCC commander, he was in charge of all coalition land forces in Iraq until that authority was transferred from CFLCC to Coalition Joint Task Force , led by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, in mid-June . Lieutenant General William S. Wallace commanded the Army’s

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V Corps from July ,  to June , . As V Corps commander, he led U.S. ground forces during major combat in Iraq in March and April . He was reassigned as the commanding general of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Army’s Combined Arms Center located there. In March , General McKiernan led all coalition and U.S. conventional forces that attacked Iraq to remove Saddam from power. The military was surprised when McKiernan and his staff were not given command for postwar operations in Iraq, which instead went to V Corps under the command of General William Wallace, who was replaced by the newly promoted Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez. Nouri al-Badran said Ryan Crocker had visited the INA office to talk about the administration issue, and he expressed his interest in the constitution. He spoke in a technical way more than a political way, and did not mention the change in the Coalition’s priorities. He asked for the INA’s opinion about a permanent constitution, and they told him it should be written after forming the administration. I agreed with Zebari’s observation that there would be a shift in U.S. policy in Iraq and that the Americans had changed their priorities. They did not want us to hold a conference, which would set up an administration. However, if we stuck to our unified stance, they would listen to us, just as they had in the past when they had wanted to appoint a military commander in Iraq, and we had rejected the idea; they ultimately changed their mind. They needed an Iraqi partner, and they did not have a more powerful group than ours. They could not ignore us; the only thing they could do was to convince some of us to split off and support their project. Therefore it was important to remain united and to insist on our demands. That same day I met with Meghan O’Sullivan. I spoke with her about the worsening security situation. I told her the Coalition needed to rely on the Iraqis to improve security. They could set up local teams in each neighborhood. She asked my view about the Coalition’s weapons policy, and I replied that the law would cause problems: the Iraqi people would not hand over their weapons to the Coalition Provisional Authority unless they felt secure. She asked how the people perceived the de-Baathification law, and I said that the law was not accurate in its aim because it punished all Baath Party members from a certain rank and above, while it should punish only criminals. We discussed Bremer’s authority, and O’Sullivan said that Bremer believed he had authorization from the Security Council to form an Iraqi administration. I told her that Article  of Resolution  stated that the

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Security Council supported the formation, by the people of Iraq with the help of the Authority, and working with the UN Special Representative, of an Iraqi interim administration. Bremer said that he wanted to appoint a Political Council and a Constitutional Council. I explained that the Iraqi mechanism for selecting an Iraqi government could operate in one of two ways: through the representation of the parties and political movements, or through the formation of an Iraqi National Assembly that set up a mechanism to select the government. She asked whether we agreed to add the sixty-five people to the Followup and Coordination Committee, which had emerged from the London conference. I told her that we were ready, but we needed to agree on the idea of holding the Assembly before we decided on the names. O’Sullivan asked about the Leadership Council’s united position, and the date of the next meeting for the Council. That sounded as if someone who attended the Leadership Council had told the Americans about our decisions. I told her that we agreed that we should expand the Leadership Council to include groups that had not been included until now, such as Turkmen, Assyrians, and women. O’Sullivan asked whether we would consider it an Iraqi government if Paul Bremer selected it. I said we could not accept Bremer’s selection; the selection of an Iraqi government had to be an Iraqi process. O’Sullivan asked whether we would participate in a government formed by Bremer. I said that the leadership agreed not to participate in any government formed by Bremer. I added that we would watch him try, and then we would see how things turned out. On June , , my colleagues and I in the Iraqi Leadership Council had a meeting with Ambassador Bremer, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Ambassador John Sawers, Scott Carpenter (Director of the Governance group for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)), and other U.S. and British officials and military officers in the Baghdad Convention Center. There were Massoud Barzani, Dr. Rosh Nouri Shawees and Hoshyar Zebari from the KDP, Barham Salih from the PUK, Dr. Ayad Allawi from INA, Mudhar Shawkat and Goran Talabani from INC, Dr. Ibrahim Jaafari from Al Dawa Islamic Party, and I represented the Supreme Council. Bremer sat with John Sawers, his British assistant, and his advisors opposite us on one side of the meeting room, and we sat on the other side, facing them. Additional military officers and civilian advisors sat at the side of the room, looking toward both teams and taking notes.

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Ambassador Bremer said he was happy to welcome us to this particular building, where there had been no electricity after the war, but which they since had managed to fix. The CPA had done some reconstruction work after toppling Saddam’s regime. This is a very important building, which is a part of where the Iraqi government will be based, Bremer said. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair were committed to restoring stability in Iraq. If we worked together, he said, he was sure we could achieve the goal of establishing a democratic representative government that lives in peace with its neighbors. Bremer wanted to discuss the plans for an interim administration, which they would work on for the next four to six weeks. He wanted our advice and would give his advice regarding forming that administration. The Coalition wanted to work with us and with the other Iraqis in order to have a transitional administration that represented the Iraqi people; they wanted concentrated work with the Iraqis. They hoped we would attend the next meeting, on Friday, June . Bremer thought the interim administration would consist of two parts at least: a Political Council and a Constitutional Convention. The Political Council would be made up of twenty-five to thirty Iraqis who would be the face of the interim administration, and who would deal with the Coalition, the Iraqi people, and the world. He foresaw two kinds of responsibilities for the Political Council: responsibilities regarding the ministries of the government, and the nomination of candidates who would serve as advisors to the ministries. The Coalition had senior advisors in each ministry, but they wanted a senior Iraqi adviser in each ministry as well, who knew about the ministry and its documents and could help make the ministry function again. From our point of view, he said, the advisors were not part of the Political Council. As he had told us two weeks earlier, by increasing the responsibilities of the chief advisors, the ministry would become more capable. They would ask the Political Council to nominate the interim ministers to the ministries, who might be the chief advisor or another person. Now, Bremer continued, in order to manage this kind of work, they believed that the Political Council must assist in the work of the chief advisor in each ministry. In each ministry there must be a periodic review of the minister’s work, with the advisor appearing before the people to explain his role. He wanted to meet with the Political Council every week. Bremer went on that the second circle of the Political Council was more important, to start managing the long-term issues. How would Iraq work

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after it has a democratic government? He gave some examples: The Coalition would consult with us on how to change the school curricula, how to promote trade, how to go about de-Baathification, and the law of establishing and managing the political parties. These questions must be answered through consultations with and advice from the Iraqis. They needed our consultation on the Political Council, and one of the issues would be to set up committees. He thought it would be important to have a wide dialogue regarding the school curricula and the formation of parties; such major topics needed serious discussions. The Coalition would inform and consult with the Political Council about the political initiatives of the Coalition forces, such as when to appoint individuals to the ministries. There had to be a budget for the Political Council’s projects in order to rebuild Iraq and its constitution. All the responsibilities of the Political Council would be salaried jobs, and membership was personal and not representational; therefore no member could nominate anyone else to take his or her place. Members of the Political Council could not serve as ministers until after the elections. The second part of the interim administration was the Constitutional Convention. When he spoke to us as a group and individually, he found that everyone agreed that there should be no election until there was a constitution. They wanted to form an administration and a Constitutional Convention, therefore they wanted to choose representatives who provided consultations on a nationwide level—a committee of twelve to fifteen individuals to write a draft constitution. They believed it was important to have a broad dialogue with the people, and that they understood the importance of what was being written in the constitution. Bremer welcomed our consultations. The Constitutional Convention would form committees and we would need a Secretariat; perhaps after the formation of committees, the constitutional commission would be postponed until the Constitution came to the Constitutional Council, and until they reached a draft that was agreed upon and approved by the Iraqi people. He did not know how much time this would take. He said this would be up to the Iraqis. The constitution must be a document acceptable to the Iraqis, and not imposed on them. When we thought of this project, he said, we realized there would be a lot of work to be done. There was concern from both sides. There were some suggestions on how to expand an advisory board. Bremer wanted our ideas on how to expand the meeting within two days, and

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about the people who would be invited to the Constitutional Council. As you know, he said, there was a problem about the de-Baathification Commission. He welcomed our suggestions regarding the people whom they invited to sit on the De-Baathification Council, a committee of fifteen to twenty people. He then asked for Sawers’s view. John Sawers said that Bremer had expressed the mutual thinking of the U.S. and the UK. During the previous two weeks, he had had consultations with us; he had wanted to develop the concept of an interim administration within the terms of the Security Council resolution, and to establish a flexible framework for the transition of authority from the Coalition forces to the Iraqis. Sawers said that urgent issues, such as the project of drafting a new constitution to ensure that the country would not go back to the nightmare under which it lived for the past thirty years, had to be dealt with. They wanted our advice and additional consultations at the next meeting. They wanted our reactions individually and collectively, to hear the consensus on issues to build an adequately strong structure. I intervened at this point and stated that, through our meetings, we had raised an Iraqi project, which depended on the Iraqis to select their rulers. John Sawers had told us, I said, that they wanted to develop the concept of an interim administration within the terms of the Security Council resolution. Security Council Resolution  stated that the Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, “supports the formation, by the people of Iraq with the help of the Authority and working with the Special Representative, of an Iraqi interim administration as a transitional administration run by Iraqis.” The Coalition, however, was raising another project, under which they would appoint the administration after consulting with the Iraqis. Was this still the case? I asked. Bremer answered that he would consult with us and with others, and would then appoint people. He must sign the document himself. Allawi asked about terms of the reference regarding de-Baathification. Bremer answered that he had a document regarding the uprooting of the Baath Party, and he distributed copies. Barzani told Bremer that we would like to work with him. In London, he said, before liberation, many people here had a concept about how to fill the transitional period. However, the priorities have changed now, and the idea that Bremer previously raised had changed as well. We needed time to examine these ideas among ourselves in order to give Bremer our opinion.

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Bremer understood that we would like consultation among ourselves over the next two days. Dr. Rosh Nouri Shawees asked about the phrase regarding representation “on a personal basis and not on a party basis”: did that mean they would not be members of the party, or that the party could not send someone on their behalf? Bremer had some ideas after consulting with us; one of the ideas would be to have a series of consultations and perhaps the members of the Constitutional Council nominated by others. The council had to be between  and  people. Mudhar Shawkat asked about the Follow-up and Coordination Committee. Bremer said he would be open to ideas. Sawers said the Constitutional Council had a mission, and we needed people who could get the job done; this should not be a lawyers’ council, although the Council would include lawyers from different parts of Iraq. Goran Talabani asked: Without elections in Iraq, which one of the councils would approve the constitution’s draft? Bremer replied that the Political Council would decide how to conduct the elections. Goran Talabani asked who would change the laws. Scott Carpenter said the Political Council would approve the elections topic. Bremer said that, until there was an elected parliament, the Coalition were the ones who would live with the constitution. Talabani asked, don’t you think that the Political Council or the Constitutional Council should do that? Bremer said it was important to have a broad dialogue; it seemed to him that the Political Council should set up a committee that conducts a broad dialogue before writing the constitution or the law, both of which should not be written by twenty people. Talabani said it was better that the draft come from an expanded committee. Sawers said the big political decisions would be taken through the constitution. Hoshyar Zebari asked who would choose the – persons, and what their qualifications would be. Bremer answered that it would be a representative group that had a difficult task: writing a constitution. This group probably would not be limited to lawyers only.

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Zebari asked whether Bremer would select the Constitutional Council. Bremer answered that he did not want to run a dictatorship, and they had not sent their young men and women to Iraq to establish one. There must be consultations, but in the end, he said, I am the one who signs the document. Goran Talabani brought up the question whether a large number of people or a limited number would conduct more successful work. In a previous meeting we had asked this question. We had spoken of about - people; was that up for discussion? That number, Bremer said, had been regarding the National Assembly. Right now we were talking about a group that will write a constitutional draft. He was not set on the number being  to , but he was clear that these representatives must be elected. Sawers said these people do not meet and do not vote, but do represent the provinces. They will go to their areas, speak to the residents, and gather the opinions of all the parties, groups, and sects so that everyone’s opinion is heard. I brought up the convention and suggested expanding the Follow-up and Coordination Committee from  to , as we agreed to have the number they needed. Bremer dismissed any talk of a convention, and said they were talking about consultations and then appointments. Sawers said the Political Council would be the major political player. They wanted leaders in the Political Council, and it was up to us to select the principal members of the Council and their alternates. Barham Salih asked about the elections of the local administrations and the courts for trying the criminals of Saddam’s regime. Bremer replied that, regarding the question about the courts, the Political Council might form a special committee in some of these fields. There would be a big conference of donors in New York in June. The U.S., UN, and Iraqis would be there. There would be representatives of the Ministries, including Communications. How could we make them operative again? All these decisions could be made in a positive way. You will see, he said. Barham Salih said the economic situation and the currency issues were key. Did we wait until a government was elected to deal with these problems? These matters could be decided in a few days. How could we guarantee a mechanism where we had input? Bremer said the currency issue was on their minds as well. There were difficulties they were facing with the currency in some areas; they were putting

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great amounts of dollars into an economy that had been closed. He did not know what they were going to do. They would probably make a decision in six to seven weeks, or maybe before that. What he could guarantee was that there would be no surprises. He said they were trying to encourage trade. They had looked into the Iraqi debt issue, to find out the size of the debts. They were struggling with the foreign investment issue. They wanted to hear some of our comments regarding this subject, but he did not want to talk about oil. We had to decide about the privatization policy regarding dozens of government projects, maybe not within the next few weeks, but rather in the upcoming months. They wanted that Political Council established soon. John Sawers said one of the possibilities was that the Political Council would form a committee regarding the currency, in order to develop proposals on the design of the currency. The direct question was how to inject cash. There are urgent issues, he said, and long-term issues, such as currency. They were trying to form a structure, but the decisions were taken on the basis of time. Goran Talabani asked about the timetable for replacing the currency that had Saddam’s picture on it, which was banned according to the de-Baathification law. Bremer said there was a real problem; we did not know how many dinars were used and how many we had. There was a different currency used in the north, but people there were not comfortable with the situation. They did not yet have a complete understanding of what to do about the currency with Saddam’s picture. Sawers asked if we wanted more Iraqi currency to stabilize the rate of the Iraqi dinar, despite Saddam’s picture, or should they withdraw the currency that had Saddam’s picture, which might lead to the instability in the price of the currency. Bremer said they were looking for our advice. The number one problem after re-imposing law and order was how to get the economy moving again. I said the economic situation was connected to security, like the chicken to the egg: which one came first? The main trade street, al-Rasheed Street, was blocked by a tank, there was no movement in the market, and gangs were operating in the industrial and commercial zones. It was necessary to form local units to maintain security there. There were killings and thefts. There were frozen funds at the banks that belonged to the ministries and universities, and without lifting the freeze on these accounts, we could not move the economy.

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Bremer supported my statement that the economy was linked to security and law. He had requested some information from me regarding the frozen funds; he wanted to make the banks function again and to make sure there were sufficient funds in the banks. I asked if it was possible to give urgent grants to get the wheels moving until the banks were reopened. Bremer said it was possible; they were looking into urgent grants to the ministries and universities. They were examining each case on its merits, and were receiving and reviewing proposals. Mudhar Shawkat pointed out that, to move the economy, we needed new rules for companies: to allow them in the country, to allow people to open accounts and deposit funds, and to hire workers and staff. But nothing was happening. Jaafari felt time was passing while the Iraqi street and the Iraqi people were in a state of anticipation. They did not differentiate between the political process and the administrative process. They looked only at performance; they were anticipating the political mechanism would be moving forward. We could distinguish between the political and administrative process. Everyone thought that the start of the political process was the magical solution to all the problems. The review process was good, but it had to be done according to the basis agreed upon. The political compass would point in one direction. Our consultations were very important; that is why he agreed with Barzani: there must be discussions. But the Iraqi people were expecting answers. Bremer said these had been useful comments. Each meeting was different, because they consulted with us and with others, and then changed their position accordingly. They wanted us to suggest names of individuals for broader consultations in the future. Back to London, and Then Back to Baghdad As I have already described, after the fall of Saddam’s regime, I returned to Iraq on May , , with the leader of the Supreme Council, Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. However, I was hesitant to take any government position in Iraq: during Saddam’s time, I had always prayed to God to help us get rid of Saddam, but not to test me in any government position. I decided to return to London and not to take any government position or political responsibility. It was difficult to convince the President of the Supreme Council, Sayyid al-Hakim, that I would go back to London and

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work from there to support the Supreme Council and the Iraqi people, as I had for many years before the fall of Saddam’s regime in . I told him I did not want to take responsibility, because we had struggled to get rid of Saddam’s regime and not to rule Iraq. I added that we should not keep all our cadres inside Iraq; we needed to leave some outside the country as well. After long discussions, and after he had asked me to do many things, Sayyid al-Hakim agreed. I went back to London at the end of June , while the deliberations to set up the Political Council—which was ultimately called the Governing Council—continued. Shortly after my arrival in London, the Associated Press in Cairo quoted me as accusing the Bush administration of reneging on pledges to hand over power to local political groups in Iraq. I also blamed Americans for failing to secure Iraq after Saddam’s fall and “plunging the country into an unending cycle of violence. They kept promising us Iraq would be ruled by its people once there was a regime change and Saddam was removed, but that didn’t happen and seems far from happening.” The remarks by al-Bayati, the chief overseas representative of the [Supreme] council, were the toughest to date about the Bush administration. He represented the council in prewar contacts between anti-Saddam groups and Washington. Adel Abdul Mahdi called me in London and said that Bremer was upset by my statements, especially about the security situation in Iraq. Mahdi said he had promised Bremer he would talk to me. I told Adel he should have told Bremer that if he had done the right things, I would not have criticized him. Later Adel phoned a second time and repeated that Bremer was upset about my statements in the media. He urged me to speak in more diplomatic language, to say the security in Iraq was bad but Bremer was not to blame. I replied that now that I was in London and not under Bremer, I could put pressure on Bremer, and that he and the Iraqi people should benefit from that in Iraq. However, after the assassination of Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim on August , , his brother, Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, became President of the Supreme Council and asked me to return. He told me that after his brother’s assassination, he faced a lot of responsibilities and needed me to come back to Iraq to be beside him.

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I returned in September  and worked closely with Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who was a member of the Governing Council. I joined him on many important trips, especially in December  when he became President of the Governing Council. A short time later, Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim announced that he intended to visit France, Germany, Russia, and Syria, among other countries. Ambassador Bremer quickly visited Sayyid Abdul Aziz at his home and asked why he intended to travel to countries that had opposed the war against Saddam’s regime. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim answered that he wanted to encourage these countries to forget past differences about the war and to focus on the present and the future, and to urge them to participate in rebuilding Iraq. He added that he also intended to visit countries that had participated in the war, such as Spain and the UK. We traveled to Spain and met Prime Minister José María Aznar. We had a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio on the morning of December , , when we received news from the Governing Council in Iraq that Saddam was arrested. Sayyid Abdul Aziz told Ana Palacio and she suggested adjourning the meeting. She provided us with a telephone to reach our contacts and make sure of the news. We contacted members of the Governing Council who confirmed the news. Sayyid Abdul Aziz held a press conference in which he announced the news to the world as the President of the Governing Council. We also met Prime Minister Tony Blair in the UK, President Jacques Chirac in France, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in Germany, President Vladimir Putin in Russia, President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and President Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan in the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed told us that he had agreed with the Americans before the war to allow Saddam to leave the country with his family and not chase him out of Iraq. He said he had advised Saddam to leave Iraq to avoid the devastating war, but Saddam refused. Saddam told him that he would fight and sweep to victory and they would see good things. However, Sheikh Zayed said, we did not see good things or a sweep to victory. He added that Saddam now faced the results of his injustice. It is worth noting that Sheikh Zayed took the initiative to advise Saddam publicly to step down before the war in , and the Iraqi opposition supported his initiative. The AP reported on March , , that the United Arab Emirates called for Saddam Hussein to step down, the first Arab country to do so publicly.

8 Negotiating the Transition

We began  with a major debate about the feasibility of holding general elections in Iraq to allow the Iraqi people to choose the government that would receive Iraq’s sovereignty back from the Coalition Provincial Authority (CPA) in June . In , we had suggested that Ambassador Paul Bremer and his team hold elections for the Governing Council so it would not be described as “U.S.-appointed,” but they refused. We next suggested organizing a conference in each province to elect representatives to a general conference in Baghdad that would choose the members of the Governing Council. Bremer again refused. As a result, the Governing Council was always described in the media as “the U.S.-appointed Governing Council” although the Iraqis, the CPA, and Bremer discussed in detail and agreed on every single member of the Governing Council. In  we suggested elections for the Iraqi government, which would receive sovereignty in June . Bremer said it was not feasible to hold the elections, citing, in addition to the bad security situation, the lack of electoral law, a census, or legislation for establishing political parties in Iraq. I believed that these were only excuses and pretexts: Bremer did not want to hold elections because he wanted to appoint the government he liked. David L. Phillips wrote in his book, Losing Iraq, that “When Bush administration officials promised democracy, Iraqis took them at their word. But instead of elections empowering Iraqis with responsibility for running their country, the Pentagon insisted on a new Iraqi constitution before Iraqis could go to the polls.” Bremer explained it this way:

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Elections are the obvious solution to restoring sovereignty to the Iraqi people. But at the present elections are simply not possible. There are no election rolls, no election law, no political parties law, and no electoral districts. . . . Electing a government without a permanent constitution defining and limiting government powers invites confusion and eventual abuse. . . . Writing a constitution, as all Americans know, is a solemn and important undertaking. It cannot be done in days or weeks. On January , , Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani refused Bremer’s plan to appoint a Constitutional Council to write a constitution and insisted on direct elections by the Iraqi people. When Bremer said that we could not have elections, Ayatollah al-Sistani said that the UN should decide whether elections were feasible or not. On January , demonstrations took place in Iraq in support of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, demanding direct elections for a Constitutional Council. On January , the UN was asked by the U.S. administration to figure out the dead-ended dispute over elections. The Governing Council decided to send a delegation to the UN to discuss the election issue. Bremer decided to come to New York with a CPA delegation, too. On January , I participated in a meeting between the Governing Council and the CPA delegation. On January , I participated in a meeting with the Security Council, and another tripartite meeting between the Governing Council delegation, the Security Council members, and the CPA. During the meeting in New York of the delegation of the Iraqi Governing Council with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Annan expressed his delight at receiving the delegation from Iraq. He emphasized that the UN was doing its best to support the Iraqi people inside and outside Iraq, and that the UN priorities in Iraq were issues of security and the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people. He added that the UN needed to know the priority of the most important issues for which the UN could give assistance. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council, expressed our thanks for the opportunity to hold this historic meeting. He conveyed our gratitude to the UN for tending to the issues of concern to the Iraqi people. He also mentioned the role played by the UN and its contribution to the establishment of the Iraqi Governing Council. We told Annan that we had some reservations about the agreement of November , , between the Governing Council and the CPA. Although

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there was general acceptance of the agreement, there were problems in the details. There were three major points of dispute. The first was in the selection of the Transitional Legislative Council. We believed that the best way to hold general elections in the country was to elect the Transitional Legislative Council; Ambassador Bremer, however, expressed his intention, when he arrived in Iraq, to appoint a Constitutional Council. When the Iraqis refused his plan, he raised the idea of selecting a caucus in each province, which in turn would elect a Constitutional Council. If elections were not possible, we said, then the UN should send a special technical team to assess the issue and give its opinion regarding the possibility of holding elections. Al-Hakim said that this was the view of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. The second matter was the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) during the transitional period, which was to be ready by the end of February . Our view was that the elected Transitional Council must approve this law. The third issue al-Hakim raised regarded security: whether it was possible for the UN to play a role or to provide advice and counseling in this area, to demonstrate the best ways to improve the safety of the Iraqi people. The other members of the delegation confirmed their united position in the Governing Council: the opinion of the Iraqi people should not be ignored, and the election process was the best way to choose the members of the Transitional Legislative Council. They also expressed their view that the UN should send a special technical mission to study the possibility of holding elections in Iraq and to maintain the timeline for the transfer of authority in June . The members of the delegation also stressed the desire of the Governing Council and the Iraqi people for the UN to play a significant role in ensuring Iraq’s political well-being, security, and economic stability. They also expressed the wish that the UN would give assistance to the Iraqi people and resume activities in Iraq, to help in Iraq’s reconstruction and allow Iraqis to achieve independence and sovereignty. Annan promised to study the idea of sending a special technical mission regarding the elections, and he also requested additional information on the security situation in Iraq to make a decision on the return of UN staff to Iraq. Meeting Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani Again When we returned to Iraq from our trip to New York, Sayyid Abdul Aziz alHakim asked me to visit the holy city of Najaf to brief Grand Ayatollah Ali

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al-Sistani about our trip. He told me that he could not go to Najaf himself because he received information about possible car bombs in Najaf during the period of his visit. After the assasination of SCIRI leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim on August , , Al Qaeda and the remnants of Saddam’s regime focused on plans to assassinate SCIRI’s new leader Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. There were suicide car bomb attacks against SCIRI headquarters and Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s residence on December ,  in which eighteen people were killed and many more injured. Sayyid Abdul Aziz sent me in his place on several other occasions when he felt there was a threat to his life, including on the occasion of double suicide attacks against the offices of the KDP and PUK in Arbil on February , , in which more than fifty people were killed and more than two hundred were injured. I travelled from Baghdad to Arbil through Diyala and Kirkuk to pay condolences on behalf of SCIRI and its leader to the leaders of the KDP and PUK in Arbil and returned late in the evening of the same day. My colleagues in Baghdad told me that I took a great risk to travel back late at night through the heart of Kirkuk and Diyala, where at that time there were many terrorist attacks daily. However, at the request of Sayyid Abdul Aziz I also travelled to the holy city of Najaf and visited the house of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani in Najaf, where I was welcomed by his son Sayyid Mohammed Ridha and taken to the private room where Ayatollah al-Sistani received his guests. When he came into the room, he received me warmly and hugged me. I briefed him about our trip to New York, our meetings with the Secretary General and Security Council, and our request to send a UN team to Iraq to decide if it was feasible to hold elections before June . Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani thanked me for my briefing and said that he was worried that after the long struggle and huge sacrifices they had made, the Iraqi people would lose their rights. He asked me to talk to people, especially young Iraqis and educated men and women in the universities, about their rights and how to defend them. After I left the room, I sat down with one of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani’s advisors and representatives in Baghdad, Sayyid Mohammed Aal Yahya Musawi, whose father knew my father and uncle and owned a business in central Baghdad near my family’s business. He asked for my help to conduct a study about the feasibility of holding elections in Iraq before June , so that sovereignty could be handed over to an elected Iraqi government and not an appointed one.

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When I returned to Baghdad, I visited many universities and mosques in different parts of the city and delivered speeches addressing the concerns of Ayatollah al-Sistani and the importance of holding elections for an Iraqi government that would take over sovereignty. I emphasized the importance of the participation of young men and women in the political life of Iraq, and the importance of protecting their rights. I invited around thirty experts from different ministries, institutions, and universities in Iraq, and we agreed to conduct a study about the possibility of elections before June . We had weekly meetings, and the finished study concluded that elections were feasible before June . I sent a copy of this study to Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani through his representative in Baghdad, Mohammed Aal Yahya Musawi, who had asked me to conduct the work. I gave another copy to Supreme Council leader Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, and a third copy to Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Special Envoy. Later proof for my argument suggesting elections could be held before June  was that we had general elections in Iraq in January , general elections in December , provincial elections in January , another provincial election in Kurdistan in July , and general elections in March , without any census or political party law. The security situation was much better in  than in , when we held two general elections and a general referendum. Meeting with Brahimi UN Secretary General Annan decided to send Lakhdar Brahimi and a UN team to Iraq to study the feasibility of holding elections in Iraq before sovereignty was handed back to Iraqis at the end of June . On January , Brahimi was appointed Special Adviser to the Secretary General on conflict prevention and conflict resolution. On February , I participated in a meeting between the Supreme Council leadership and a UN delegation led by Brahimi. Brahimi said they strongly insisted on the role of the UN, and the UN had no greater concern in Iraq than to serve the Iraqi people; they had no interest, he said, in oil or military bases. This seemed to me an implication by Brahimi that the U.S. forces were interested in military bases in Iraq and the U.S. administration in Iraq’s oil. Brahimi said the UN mission was always to help the Iraqi people, who had suffered greatly; now was the time for them to emerge from that long

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ordeal. They had heard the presentation of the Supreme Council, which he described as very clear, significant, and constructive, and he was all ears to hear our views. Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim expressed the views of the leadership of the Supreme Council and repeated our thanks for the UN response to the Iraqi request to send a team to study the feasibility of holding elections in Iraq. As Iraqis, he said, we had sought since the first day to end the occupation as soon as possible. We agreed with the representative of the occupying forces that authority must be handed back; the problem that had arisen was to whom the authority would be transferred. In our opinion the Iraqis agreed on the principle of going back and consulting the Iraqi people, in developing a permanent constitution for the country and holding elections, since the principle of going back to the people was the basis for this transitional phase. We had three options: . To appoint a group of Iraqis, and to have consensus on the appointment of this group, as had happened with the Governing Council; . To have elections rather than appointments, which was stated in the agreement of November , , between the Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority; . To hold elections on a level other than a general election. We thought the best option was the third one. We would thereby insure a state of representation, stability, and interaction with the Iraqi people. On the internal level we would prove wrong the enemies of Iraq when we had elections, and on the regional and international levels we would obtain legitimacy, which could not be achieved unless there was a government representing the Iraqi people. We had wanted to have the elections since the first day, and this was the position of the religious authority in Najaf. There was hesitation from some people who thought we were incapable of holding elections, but we believed otherwise. Some of the problems cited were legal concerns, such as the fact that Iraq did not have an electoral law or laws governing political parties. Also, in an ideal election, we would have had the opportunity to conduct a census to ensure proper representation, which we did not have sufficient time to carry out. The security situation was not so dire as to prevent elections from being held. Schools were open, and people were sending their children to them. Military attacks were taking place, but this would happen regardless whether

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elections were held. When one toured the streets, one would find normal life: merchandise was available in the markets, and people went shopping regularly. We pointed to the experience of Kurdistan, in the  elections that were held even though there was no government; in that case, the elections were controlled by the Kurdish political parties. Although Saddam’s regime made threats, the elections still were held in an acceptable manner. It was possible to hold elections, and we did not see any barrier preventing us from doing so. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that rather than conduct a census, which would take a long time, we could rely on food ration cards for election registration. He told Brahimi that I had conducted a study in which the experts demonstrated that elections could be held in three months. We could help clarify the issue, and we believed that if elections were not held, major problems would ensue, and the damage caused would be far greater than if we held premature elections. There were problems with the occupation, and there were problems with the elections, but there were far fewer problems with having the election than with other issues. In order to reach an agreement, Sayyid Abdul Aziz stated, we must hold the elections in Iraq. He welcomed Brahimi once again, and invited him to express his views in the matter. Brahimi responded that they had heard a clear consensus from the Iraqis demanding an end to the occupation and as soon as possible; there was a specific date for that to be done which should not be exceeded. They heard from us that the best way to answer the question of to whom sovereignty would be transferred was by elections. The question was whether it was possible. We have heard that security is not only the security of people who live their lives, but also of the people who nominate themselves in the elections, and their families. Perhaps an atmosphere of terror and pressure would prevent people from participating in the elections. Were these fears legitimate or exaggerated? Sayyid Abdul Aziz said this fear was exaggerated and would continue to be for a long time; it should not stop us from holding the elections. In addition, those nominating themselves through the caucus system suggested by the CPA as an alternative to the elections also had fears. There was fear of assassination among the Governing Council members as well. Aqila alHashimi, a member of the Governing Council, had been killed in September. Abdul Aziz asked, did that mean the Governing Council should be dissolved? Whoever was afraid should not run. We could not stop working due to the fears generated by some people. This was unjustified. We were obligated to conduct our duties. Brahimi asked if there was sufficient time to prepare the list of voters.

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Abdul Aziz directed this question to me, since I had prepared the study on the subject. I said that I had formed a team of about thirty people from various ministries and universities, such as the Ministries of Interior, Trade, and Justice, in addition to the Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology (COSIT) in the Ministry of Planning and the Ration Cards Department in the Ministry of Trade. The conclusion of our study was that it was possible to prepare election lists within weeks, and to hold elections before May , , so sovereignty could be handed over to an elected body. The lists of people could be based on the census of , with an estimation of the population’s growth up to . We could adopt the ration-card system for determining the people eligible to vote. It would be computerized, and supervised by the UN, so errors would be minimal. Ration distribution centers could be turned into election centers. Brahimi asked for a copy of the study. I gave him one, and he asked about the formation of the team. I said I formed the team according to the request of the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf, when I briefed him about our visit to the UN and our meeting with Secretary General Kofi Annan. The study was available and ready. I also participated in a team at the University of Baghdad that I helped form to prepare another study. Brahimi said they would meet the team at the University of Baghdad next Tuesday, February . Brahimi said we would have thousands of people in the streets if it was decided to hold the elections; the process would be long, and we would need to conduct meetings, seminars, and then the voting process itself. Millions of people would be on the move, and the current police were not enough to ensure security. Brahimi asked about the possibility of reaching consensus and agreement on a single, united view in the dialogue regarding the election. Abdul Aziz said the relations of the Supreme Council with other political groups were good. The original principle of going back to the people of Iraq was a very important issue and had been approved, and the original principle of elections had been approved; no one was saying it was not valid. Brahimi, he said, could look into the study led by Dr. al-Bayati, and when he was convinced of the feasibility of elections, he could convince other people about preparing the electoral lists. There were political problems; the politicians were afraid to run for the elections. That was a matter of political security; thus, we could reach an agreement with those politicians who rejected the

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elections and with the Governing Council on some format for the elections; the UN could help us bridge the gap. The disagreement was not on the principle of holding elections. Adel Abdul Mahdi said we strongly believed that the problems with conducting an election were not technical; they were merely excuses. There was anxiety in the country: the Kurds feared an Arab majority, while the Sunnis feared a Shiite majority, and the Christians feared a Muslim majority. The country was this way. If the political parties reached a joint agreement, then the technical problems would be resolved. The UN could have a role in that. An agreement could be reached through the policy of supporting elections. Brahimi said this was the right path, but would the framework for it be the Governing Council? Adel said if Brahimi helped, the framework would be the Iraqi political powers; there was a general desire for this. There was no desire to move against each other or to destroy one another among the Iraqis. Iraq was formed on the basis of minority rule, and now the situation had changed. Abdul Aziz said we believed that everyone must be involved for the sake of stability in Iraq. One of the criticisms was that there was a Governing Council of twenty-five members formed on ethnic and sectarian bases. The truth is, a consensus brought us to coordination, but in the constitutional phase, any person who got elected would be accepted. The UN could play a major role in calming those fears. Brahimi said this was an important point that we had not reached yet. We were only looking into the elections. The approach to make these assurances was important. Were they going to be made through the Transitional Administrative Law, which could include guarantees and assurances? The first thing, Brahimi said, was frankness. People should stop talking about the technical problems and be frank about what was required. Adel said we had heard that the Americans would not accept Brahimi’s conclusions and decisions. He asked Brahimi, who had met with President Bush, about the matter. Brahimi said his meeting with Bush was a courtesy meeting, but his talk with Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on Monday, January , was long and private. The Secretary General, as I had heard from him in New York, had gone to Washington Tuesday, February , and held talks in an expanded framework; he then had a meeting with the President and two of his aides. In all these meetings, the Americans said that the most important date was June , , by which they wanted to

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hand authority back to the Iraqis—to people who were accepted by the Iraqi people and qualified to receive the authority. The main issue was to decide how that could be achieved. The statements of the Secretary General, Brahimi said, must remain clear: we are coming here independent of any foreign influence, especially American influence. Yet the Secretary General cautions that we have been absent from Iraq since August , and now many things have changed. They wanted, Brahimi continued, to understand the situation as it was, and to understand the reasoning of the people who raised technical issues. What he had heard was not the whole truth; and he must know the whole truth. How, he asked, could we understand the facts as much as possible? We needed to try to understand the real U.S. intentions; when they spoke of “the end of the occupation,” we needed to understand what that meant. Adel reported that Adnan Pachachi had said that we would have sovereignty of Iraq by July , , and the elections could be held on March , . If we began preparations now, we could get to the elections in July . For example, if we delayed the date of the transfer of sovereignty from June  by two weeks, we could still work within the same time frame by having elections in the beginning of July and the handover of sovereignty by mid-July. Pachachi had raised this possibility, and, Adel said, the brothers in the Supreme Council were thinking about solutions. Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, who later became a member of the Council of Representatives in , said some people might think that the election was a Shiite demand, because the Shiites were the majority. But some Shiite experts were saying they may not win the majority in the elections: many Iraqi Shiites were abroad because Saddam’s oppression had prevented them from taking on a political role. However, we agreed that what was important was to hold the elections in the least amount of time so there would be less criticism, even if Shiites did not get a higher percentage of votes. The opposition’s conferences in Beirut in , in Salah al-Din in , and in London in  had determined that the transitional stage would take a year, while others had said it would last two years. Some said if it took two years, this would be the start of a dictatorship; it should not take more than one year. The elections were not a Shiite demand, Hamoudi said; we should agree upon joint lists in order to ensure everyone’s participation. Brahimi said he was very grateful for our time, and especially for this talk. He thought there was a possibility to achieve what was needed about many things we discussed.

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Zarqawi’s Letter On February , , I participated in a meeting between the leadership of the Supreme Council—which included Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, and Adel Abdul Mahdi—and Ambassador Bremer and his assistant that took place at the al-Hakim house. Ambassador Bremer had one topic he wanted to cover in the meeting. The Americans had arrested Hassan Ghul, one of the senior leaders of Al Qaeda, in January , and found a letter with him presumably written by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the notorious insurgent and the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. He gave us a copy, since he had obtained the approval of the U.S. administration to release it. The letter was a very sensitive security document, and he wanted to bring our attention to three points in it. Ambassador Bremer said the good news was that there was no hiding place for the terrorists. In Iraq they had no mountains and no Iraqis who sympathized with them; the ones who sympathized with them were as rare as red sulfur. The more dire news was the letter’s information about a plan to attack Shiite targets and make it seem as if it had been carried out by an Iraqi Sunni group. The Shiites, he said, were the key to change here. Zarqawi said in his letter that the Shiites were cowards, traitors, and pranksters, and could be led toward a sectarian war. Zarqawi also said that the Shiites would be more dangerous than the Americans once democracy took hold in Iraq. Zarqawi added that in four months, the Iraqi government would be established, and the Shiites would become stronger; Al Qaeda wanted to strike the Shiites so they would rise up against the Sunnis and lead the Iraqi people into sectarian war. Also in the letter was a claim of responsibility for twenty-five military attacks, including the explosion in Najaf in which Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim had been killed. This was consistent with Zarqawi’s strategic plan. Bremer told us that they had set more targets in addition to the Shiites, namely the Kurds and the police. Therefore, if we looked at the attacks that had begun in August —against the UN on August , against Sayyid alHakim on August , and later against police headquarters—the information seemed consistent. He had given a copy of the letter to Dr. Ayad Allawi, who was a member of the Presidency of the Governing Council and Chairman of the Governing Council Security Committee, and another copy to Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum because he was traveling. Tomorrow, he said, they would double the reward for information provided about Zarqawi to $ million. They would distribute his picture (they had several versions) all over the

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country. Bremer stated that we must urge the Iraqis to provide information so Zarqawi could be killed or arrested, because he was extremely dangerous. He added that after we released this information to the media on Thursday, it would be important for Iraqis (Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds) to condemn these acts. We were the ones, he said, to develop a strategy and to encourage Iraqis to fight this man. Sayyid Abdul Aziz thanked Bremer for coming to present this document. After the assassination of Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim in Najaf, Sayyid Abdul Aziz had issued a statement saying that there was a desire to start a sectarian conflict and a sectarian war. Al Jazeera TV interviewed Abdul Aziz, and he warned people against the efforts of some to create a sectarian and ethnic conflict. He had spoken about this subject also with Lakhdar Brahimi, and had asked Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the UAE, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the Emir of Kuwait, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to intervene, due to the real danger of a sectarian conflict. These nations were looking for mechanisms to help and had said that they were ready to cooperate. In talks with Lakhdar Brahimi on February , they discussed how Iraq was different from other countries that faced sectarian, religious, or ethnic problems. The main difference was that in Iraq there was a genuine relationship and love among the Iraqi people, regardless of their ethnic, religious, and sectarian backgrounds. In the past there had been no conflicts among the Iraqi sectarian groups: this was a positive point that must be stressed. Bremer complimented us on our self-control after the Najaf attack in which Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim was killed; we had acted rationally. He knew very well, he said, that in our hearts we did not want what had happened to take place. It was necessary to find a way to address the Iraqi people, because he was certain that Zarqawi would continue his attacks until he was arrested. Bremer asked how we found the meetings with Lakhdar Brahimi. Sayyid Abdul Aziz told him that there had been good meetings with Adel Abdul Mahdi and Dr. Hamid al-Bayati. He told Bremer that Brahimi was convinced the Americans were serious, and that they wanted to transfer authority to the Iraqis in certain cities, but did not insist on a certain mechanism; Brahimi remarked that it was important for the Americans to transfer the authority to a legitimate group that represented the Iraqi people. Brahimi asked us to help him with a trip to the holy city of Najaf to meet Grand Ayatollah al-Sitani.

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I told Bremer about my study regarding the feasibility of holding elections in Iraq before June , and how we had submitted a copy of the study to Lakhdar Brahimi. We could depend on the food ration system instead of conducting a new census, since the process was supervised by the UN and computerized; it included the entirety of Iraq, and the margin of error was very minimal. Lakhdar Brahimi had taken the study, and he questioned me about it further. He said that the problem of the elections was not technical but political, and that the Sunnis in Iraq did not want elections. Adel told him he should convince the Sunnis to accept the elections. Brahimi came later to meet the leadership of the Supreme Council and repeated to everyone that the problem confronting the elections was not technical but political. Sayyid Abdul Aziz suggested that Brahimi use his contacts and influence to solve the political problem. Bremer said he would go to Najaf on Thursday, February . He said we had heard from President Bush himself that he was committed to transferring authority in June, and there was no room for a different interpretation. He had heard from Lakhdar Brahimi that if they were unable to hold elections, they must present another way to assure people and provide legitimacy. Abdul Aziz said President Bush was very committed to transferring the authority and, God willing, the UN would convince him that holding elections was possible, and the shortest path for legitimacy. Bremer said the UN specialized in elections and asked if we had met Carina Perelli, the UN elections expert. I answered that Perelli had met with the Governing Council but not with Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. A Second Meeting with Brahimi On February , Adel Abdul Mahdi and I participated in a meeting with the UN delegation headed by Lakhdar Brahimi, which included Jamal bin Omar and Ahmed Fawzi. Brahimi told us there had been complaints from Iraqi women regarding the Governing Council’s law which stated that family issues should be judged in the court according to the religion and sect of the person’s family. Adel replied that the law was not against women or anyone: it simply canceled a law issued by Saddam’s regime which had stated that all Iraqis would have their family issues judged according to one sect. Before Saddam’s regime there had been Shiite and Sunni judges, and the courts were guided in family

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issues according to the sect and the religion of every Iraqi individual. Brahimi said forty women complained that the law was against them. Adel said we could present forty women who supported the law. Brahimi said he was sorry to have to speak to us about this subject, but it needed to be resolved. Adel asked Brahimi his opinion about having the elections before June. Brahimi replied that elections would not be easy. He was to meet the next day with professionals and experts at Baghdad University to hear their opinions, but we had made the matter look easy. The ration card data was good information, but it needed to be completed, which would take time. We heard from people that there were many false cards; some people had two or three cards for themselves. They tried to check this in the computer system, but the false names were difficult to check. In regard to security, there were militias who would work in the north against Jalal Talabani while there were police there, so we would have extreme groups against elections although we have police. As the UN, they were looking for the best organization to help us in the elections and the best way to make the elections possible. Adel said we were afraid that we were moving the country out of one hole and into another. We admitted that the elections would have some complications and flaws, but when we compared elections to other alternatives, they were the best option. Brahimi asked if that meant there was no choice. Adel explained that he was not saying that. The available arguments were one thing, but the depth of the problem was another. The excuses were political and were based on fear, so if we supposed we could agree on lists that represented all parties, we would see that all technical obstacles could be eliminated. This was a possible option that could be used in the elections too. Brahimi said that would be a step on the road to elections, but it was similar to the one-party policy, such as the Coalition and Hafez al-Assad’s policy in Syria. Adel said that in the  elections in Kurdistan, there had been a balance between the two Kurdish parties. Brahimi replied that there was fighting between them later. Adel told him that we had played the role of a mediator there. Brahimi replied that we had to agree. Adel went over the the elements of our logic and showed that we were not attempting to maneuver matters for our advantage. Brahimi said that ration cards had been forged in the past and now. He did not argue over the issue of elections.

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I said that forgery in ration cards could be detected easily with computer checks and magnifiying equipment. Kosovo had elections in  based on the census of . Elections took place in East Timor based on lists prepared immediately before the elections. Brahimi said Kosovo and East Timor were small; he and I could count their population. I said that the number was larger in Iraq, but we had statistics and the ration card data. But, Brahimi said, in the presence of the militias, no one would nominate members against the parties connected to these militias. I said there were no militias in the center and the south of the country, because the arms law issued by the CPA considered every militia illegal except for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The Supreme Council had transformed the Badr forces from a military wing to a political organization to carry out political activities and participate in the reconstruction of the country. Brahimi said we wanted to transfer sovereignty to a council set up by mutual agreement. Adel asked if it was a good proposal for study. Brahimi said it was not a proposal; it was him thinking out loud because of our talk. Adel asked if he had heard the proposal from others. Brahimi replied that he had not heard it from anyone. Adel said that sovereignty must be transferred, and then the elections would be held at the end of the year. Brahimi said he had heard that the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) reported that the elections could take place at the end of the year. Adel said we had heard this proposal that same morning from some Iraqi groups, specifically from Adnan Pachachi. Brahimi said they had been at Pachachi’s home and had met with the nationalist women, but the topic had not come up. Adel said the idea was to support the elections through joint lists, even if the elections were partial. Brahimi said this was what Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum had told them. Adel said that if the problem was assuring the weak and small parties that were threatened by the larger powers, we could assure them and include them on the lists that have a greater chance of success; this was our preferred choice.

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Brahimi said this was the main and the first choice, but he had doubts. In South Africa, he said, the elections were one of the worst he had seen in his life, but the results were good. Nelson Mandela came to an agreement with other parties, but after the agreement there was a fear that it would cause a bloodbath. There were three thousand journalists observing. The first day there was a bomb at the airport; they said it would be followed by something else, but it did not happen. The second day there were seven hundred journalists. When Mandela agreed, he did not ask for others’ advice. This was the first solution and there were other solutions. Adel said there were other ideas, but we were afraid that raising them might weaken the elections. He asked if I had something to add. I said that all the Iraqi experts expressed the opinion that holding elections was feasible before handing the authority back to the Iraqis on June , . Handing the authority over to a partially elected body would be much better than handing it over to an appointed body. We had suggested having elections for members of the Governing Council, and Paul Bremer had refused. Then we suggested organizing a conference in each province to elect representatives to a general conference in Baghdad that would select the members of the Governing Council. Paul Bremer refused again. As a result the Governing Council was always described as “the U.S.-appointed Governing Council.” Bremer’s view was that we could not depend on food ration cards in place of the census because, I noted again, he had heard from people that there were many false cards, and that some had two or three cards for themselves. They tried to check the cards using the computer system, but the false names were difficult to check. (It should be noted, however, that we did not have a census until , and we depended on the food ration cards in the two general elections of  and , and several provincial elections in  and .) Ultimately, it would turn out that the security situation in  was better than that of , when we had the first elections. The Arrival of Blackwill On February , , Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and I participated in a meeting with Robert D. Blackwill, who had arrived in Iraq as a personal envoy of President Bush to help solve the problems Paul Bremer could not.

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After welcoming Blackwill, al-Hakim told him we had met with Lakhdar Brahimi and continued our discussions with him. Through our discussions we reached the conclusion that there were no real technical problems in carrying out the elections before authority was handed back the to the Iraqis on June , only political problems. He told Blackwill that Adel and I were having meetings with Brahimi, and tomorrow he would meet with Sayyid Ali al-Sistani. Brahimi had asked us to provide him with protection and security in the holy city of Najaf. I assured him that, God willing, there would be good security. Al-Hakim continued to brief Blackwill, telling him that on Friday, February , Brahimi would tell us the results of his visit to Sayyid Ali al-Sistani. Talks were underway between the coalition and our colleagues regarding the new Iraqi army and the security situation. The day before, al-Hakim said, Bremer gave us a letter from Zarqawi to Osama bin Laden, which no doubt Blackwill also had a chance to review. It was a dangerous letter, so we had to prepare ourselves to face the Zarqawi group. That had been our analysis since the beginning, but now we had material evidence. Concerted efforts must be made to prevent their sabotage operations and attacks on the nation’s institutions. There had been another explosion that day, and the day before yet another massacre. We would like to hear from Blackwill, al-Hakim said, if there was any more information. Blackwill had some news in regard to Zarqawi: we must find him and kill him; it is that simple. Since you read his letter to Osama bin Laden, he said, you know that Zarqawi and his fellows have a strategy and criminal plans. I have taught strategy at Harvard University for fifteen years, and have the knowledge to say that his strategy is to create sectarian war between Shiites and Sunnis, which perhaps will set the Shiites against the Kurds, or the Kurds against the Sunnis, and so forth. Blackwill continued, saying that they were working vigorously to arrest Zarqawi, but he was very clever. They could not promise that they would find him, but they could pledge to strive to arrest him. The way these criminals killed innocent people was the lowest level of humanity. As for Brahimi, Blackwill was happy that we had had a good discussion, and very glad that Brahimi would meet with Sayyid Ali al-Sistani. He hoped at some point that Ayatollah al-Sistani would agree to meet the Americans. Adel Abdul Mahdi said there were Americans among Lakhdar Brahimi’s team. Blackwill said he hoped the Ayatollah would meet with the officials of the administration. He hoped we could convince him that the administration

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officials were not sick with typhoid. It is important that he meet and communicate with the Bush administration directly and not through intermediaries. He had asked every Iraqi he met if they had met al-Sistani—who is this man who is considered an Ayatollah? Was he tall or short? White or dark? Does he speak smoothly? Allow me to say, he went on, that every Iraqi, except for a very few, said good things. Even those who disagreed with his policy of direct elections were positive. He would convey all these things to the White House and to the U.S. government. Regarding the practical and technical aspects of the elections, Blackwill said he was not an expert on the subject, but he had met with experts in the CPA and experts from the International Foundation for Electoral Ssytems (IFES), an international organization with long experience in elections. They all said they could not hold an election at the end of June, but rather at the end of the year. He had questioned them regarding the issues we were most concerned about, he said, as if we were there. He said that we did not want a perfect election but rather a legitimate one. The Iraqis wanted the election on the level of a newly established democracy, not a well-established democracy. In spite of his attempts, Blackwill continued, they all insisted that it was not possible in June . He did not know if this was true or not, because there was a technical dimension that he could not judge, and we knew that experts were not always right. Al-Hakim told him that I had conducted a study about the feasibility of elections in which experts from several ministries, institutions, and universities concluded that an election was feasible before June . He said we were ready to provide it to him. I explained the details of the study, and how the office of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani had asked me to conduct it, and had participated in preparing and completing it. I knew that President Bush had sent Blackwill because Bremer could not convince the Iraqis. I hoped that Blackwill might be able to get the message to President Bush about the feasibilty of holding elections and the benefit of handing sovereignty back to an elected Iraqi government rather than one appointed by Bremer. Blackwill changed the subject and suggested we continue our meeting over lunch. If the UN team decided to hold elections before June, there would be problems. Blackwill said the U.S. wanted the UN to stay until the transfer of sovereignty; he asked us to convince the UN to stay. At the end of the week the UN delegation would be leaving for New York to announce their opinion, and he

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hoped that we agreed with them on one opinion. He asked again that we convince them to stay until the transfer of sovereignty. The CPA would dissolve in June, and it would be replaced with an ordinary U.S. Embassy with three thousand staff. In India, he said, he had eight hundred employees and did not know what they were doing every day. After the transfer of sovereignty, they wanted the UN to play a bigger role, such as in the development of the constitution. The U.S. believed that if the UN supervised elections in , their credibility would be strong. Therefore, the UN cared about the security of the UN representatives in Iraq, because if they suffered another successful attack, they would leave and not come back for a long time. The terrorists knew this, so we had to work closely to protect the UN and provide them with security. Al-Hakim said we were very close to this issue. We had been in contact with the UN and carried out major efforts to bring the delegation to Iraq. We also had visited the U.S. and Europe in the Governing Council delegation in December  to request that the UN return to Iraq. This, he said, was one of his points of disagreement with Bremer. Al-Hakim said that it was in our interest and in the interest of America for the UN to be here, and he raised this issue with President Chirac, Chancellor Schröder, President Putin, and Prime Minister Blair. He spoke strongly about the importance of the UN return to Iraq. Blackwill said it was very good that the Security Council had reached an agreement. That was a change, because there had been a lot of disputes between Europe and America over Iraq. Al-Hakim said he was talking about developments in the last two months. We had spoken with the UN Secretary General regarding the mechanism of UN presence in Iraq, and how to be in protected areas such as the Green Zone with less movement outside the Green Zone. In the past, the UN did not care about the security issue, and workers used to move freely, but they have learned the lesson. Al-Hakim said he thought that the risk of another attack on UN workers was very low. Blackwill said he hoped Aziz was right, but asked why he believed that. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim said he thought UN workers would be safe provided they followed his suggestions: stay in safe areas, do not move around a lot, and let the security authorities guide and inform them regarding which places were safe or unsafe. In New York, during one of the negotiations with Kofi Annan, we explained some of the reasons behind the security vulnerabilities of their presence here. We could preserve their independence and their security; they would be limited in movement but independent in their

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work. They understood that much more now than before, and they did not want to risk further killings. I said that when I met the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, the late Sergio Vieira de Mello, at the UN headquarters in Baghdad in May , he walked me down from his office to my car. I was surprised because the hotel was opened to outsiders and not protected with strong walls or concrete blocks. I asked him, don’t you worry about your safety? He replied, “I am a man of the UN and of humanitarian work, so I don’t think we will be targeted.” I think he underestimated the danger of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Now, I said, I think the UN is more aware of the intentions of such terrorist groups. Blackwill wanted to broach a sensitive topic. He described himself as a direct and frank speaker, which did not make him a good diplomat. Al-Hakim said this was his good luck, because he was frank as well. Blackwill asked if Brahimi’s being a Sunni complicated matters. If we would allow him to ask, would this limit his relationship with the Iraqis? Al-Hakim said this would involve some complexities. Brahimi may be neutral, but people would suspect his judgments because of his background. The same would be true if there were an American in the delegation; he might be independent, but people would still say America wanted him to say such and such. This was natural under these complicated circumstances. Blackwill did not think there were any other options. There was no one else of Brahimi’s rank in the UN. There had been de Mello and now Brahimi with this high rank, but that was it. Adel Abdul Mahdi said Brahimi is from an Arab country, but from a Berber community. Blackwill said this was the way the UN operates; they were people of different backgrounds. There was no perfect person to carry out this job unless he came from another planet. Al-Hakim said yes, no one is perfect. Blackwill said that even if he came from Mars, people would ask why he didn’t come from Venus. Brahimi had openness and sincerity, and that was up to us to discover. Finally, Blackwill brought up the issue of security. He thought this was a complex concern, because a new Iraq must have a national army. There were militias of certain political parties that could not be relinquished overnight, because we did not feel secure without them, due to the tragedies that had occurred. There was no silver bullet, as we told President Bush. The question

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was how Iraq could form a single national army as soon as possible, in a manner that was acceptable to all. This was the challenge, and Blackwill had no mathematical formula or equation for it. We would have to work together and think with them; together we must find a solution. After June , the U.S. could give advice, but Iraqis would be in control. The challenge was for Iraqis to be in control whether the U.S. provided advice or not. Al-Hakim said this was a good point. We agreed with Blackwill: we did not want militias in Iraq, and there was no interest in their presence. We had ideas and a list of options, so we needed to choose the most appropriate one. We had one problem, which was discrimination in dealing with the militias: some were treated differently from others, and this was bothering us. If we were to accept three principles—() there will be no militias; () there will be no discrimination; () there will be security institutions of the state—we could resolve the issue; and that was what was needed. All militias should be treated equally. Blackwill agreed, and said he would meet with Barzani the next day. Did we have thoughts about how these militias should be treated? Did we intend to deal with the Peshmerga? He did not think the Kurds would let go of the Peshmarga easily. Al-Hakim agreed that there should be no militias. The problem, he repeated, was that the Coalition allowed some groups to keep militias while we were not allowed to keep our own. As the meeting ended, al-Hakim said, “We must get away from politics. You are a professor at the university; let us talk about religious and cultural issues.” Blackwill replied, “I will tell you of my upbringing as a young man if you tell me about your life and youth. Then I will stay away from politics.” Elections No, Sovereignty Yes On February , , UN Secretary General Kofi Annan declared at the Security Council that “Elections cannot be held in Iraq before the end of June, but the June  date for the handover of sovereignty must be respected.” On February , , Annan sent a copy of Lakhdar Brahimi’s report to the President of the Security Council. The report concluded: the timing of credible elections in Iraq will be principally influenced by political, technical, and security conditions. In the current circumstances and anticipating continuing positive development, elections in

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Iraq may be scheduled eight months from the date that the necessary basic agreements, a functioning electoral institution and resources are available. For example, a target date for elections in January  would necessitate these conditions having been met by the end of May . In the assessment of the mission, this would permit credible and unifying elections in Iraq. The political conditions in the report referred to what Brahimi told us when he said the problem confronting the elections was political and not technical: the Sunnis were rejecting the electoral process in its current form. Yet we encouraged him to try to solve the problem as a Sunni Arab national and high-ranking UN official. The technical condition was having lists of people eligible to participate in the elections, and we had suggested relying on the food ration cards because they were computerized, supervised by the UN, and the errors were minimal. Both Bremer and Brahimi, however, insisted on having a census (which, as I noted earlier, we would not have in the elections of , , or ). On February , the Supreme Council leadership, Sayyid Abdul Aziz alHakim, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and I, participated in a meeting with Ambassador Bremer and his assistant, Meghan O’Sullivan. The meeting was about a letter Sayyid Abdul Aziz had sent to Bremer in which he stated some demands. This letter drew on a study I wrote and submitted to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf and Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, regarding the demands of the Iraqi people to the CPA and Ambassador Paul Bremer. Bremer began by saying he wanted to thank us for the letter. It gave an outline of the joint work between us. There were topics in the letter that would be addressed in the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), and it was on the meeting agenda of a committee to which Adel Abdul Mahdi belonged. There were other issues that we could deal with after the approval of the TAL. For example, a special law concerning the holy places could be discussed, Bremer said, when he better understood the issue. It seemed to him to be a good idea, and he wanted to know more about it. There was a good amount of work to be accomplished once the Transitional Administrative Law was complete. Sayyid Abdul Aziz thanked Bremer for his interest in this subject, and for his seriousness and presence at this sensitive stage. He continued, saying we had achieved a great deal, and the Coalition had tolerated many difficulties. Now there was a great challenge facing us from those who did not want to see

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democracy continuing in Iraq. There were those who wanted to create sectarian conflict, as indicated in the letter of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and others. We needed to work to preserve the legitimacy of government and to take it in the right direction. He asked that Bremer take this issue seriously to prevent it from turning into a dangerous situation. We wanted, al-Hakim continued, to achieve a situation that would enable us to defend our legitimacy and democracy. We wanted the support of the scholars and religious authorities. As for the Transitional Administrative Law, there were many directions we could go from here. One direction was to be satisfied with the general ideas and to leave the details to the constitution, because the devil was in the details, as they say in the West. Another direction was to go into the details now. Our Kurdish brothers were insisting that we go into the details, and that led to instability. The Kurds wanted the details to be reflected in the Transitional Administrative Law, al-Hakim said. We do not have a problem with this; the Kurds have been oppressed for many years, and we want to build an Iraq without injustice. Therefore, the details regarding other components of the Iraqi people also must be recorded in the TAL if the rights of the Kurds are. Otherwise we would have imbalance. One should take into consideration the points of view of all the groups in Iraq. We must reassure those groups by giving them practical proof that they were taken into consideration. Al-Hakim said that we had spoken to the Kurds about the same subject, and asked them if it was right to mention specifics on behalf of the Kurds but to ignore other Iraqi people in the TAL. He pointed out that the Shiites had been oppressed as much as the Kurds had been: we were murdered, our rituals were insulted, and our cities were destroyed. They wanted to state their demands, so it was up to us to state our demands in order to reach a balance in the TAL. The Kurds had replied that the problem was not with them: they had a Kurdish region that they had controlled in the past; they had a Parliament and a government. We had to give other provinces the same rights enjoyed by the Kurds in the northern region. How could we convince the Iraqis in general if we said that the law passed in the capital did not apply to Kurdistan? The Shiites had a religious authority in the holy city of Najaf; how could we say to them they did not have the right to recognize it? How could we convince people to support us and achieve social cohesion if we did not pay attention to their issues? We were asking only that the issues raised in the letter be stated in the TAL. We did not want a law for the holy sites, but rather only to state that

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it was not permitted to interfere with the holy places or in the affairs of religious authorities. We must have the right of veto in the south if there is a right of veto for Kurdistan. Two days earlier, the Turkmen had held demonstrations attended by ten thousand people; the Turkmen were not mentioned appropriately in the Transitional Administrative Law. There were two central questions that remained to be resolved regarding the Transitional Administrative Law: . To whom would sovereignty be transferred? . What was the guarantee for holding the elections, and when would they be held? These issues were central and important, al-Hakim emphasized. Bremer wanted to discuss the timetable of the Provisional Administration. We referred to a specific timetable, he said, and the TAL touches on that subject. Obviously, we will return sovereignty to the Iraqis in June , and there is a later date for the elections that should not go beyond January . Lakhdar Brahimi suggested that the Council elected to draft the Constitution should be in charge of the administration of the state: we agreed to that, so he spoke about this timetable. Bremer had asked that the Security Council issue a resolution regarding these dates. He thought a commission to organize the elections was a good idea, so they submitted it as a proposal to the Governing Council. Bremer also told the Governing Council that they must form a committee to deal with the NGOs, because there was much work to be done if we wanted to hold the elections in January . The NGOs had submitted a request to the Governing Council regarding the decisions that needed to be made before June . They agreed with us, he said, on calling the Elections Committee the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq, but they must make important decisions before June . In the letter, we spoke about the government that would hold authority from June  until the elections, and the need to consult with the broad base of the Iraqi people. Bremer agreed with that. The Transitional Administration Law would deal with that subject. Articles II and III of the draft of the law spoke of the need to make these decisions. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said all these things are important actions, and if Bremer agreed, they must be documented in the Transitional Administration Law. We would go to the people and to the religious authorities, and tell them

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that we had reached an agreement based on their opinion, and allow them to make comments on the draft of the TAL. We could issue a press release to say that we agreed on these issues. Sayyid Abdul Aziz added that he told journalists that there were few things left to agree upon. Bremer asked Sayyid Abdul Aziz what else he would like to have mentioned in the TAL. Abdul Aziz answered, “The issues I raised in my letter to you.” Bremer said some of the issues in the letter were mentioned in the TAL, and some were inappropriate for mention in the TAL. The holy places issue required a special law. We could talk about other problems outside of the Transitional Administration Law. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said it was possible to mention in the TAL that the authority does not interfere in religious authority affairs, it had the right to coordinate and to recognize certain things. This applied to all religions, including Christianity; we did not interfere in the affairs of the Christian religious authority. Bremer said this was mentioned in Parts I and II of the draft of the TAL. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that if Bremer accepted what al-Hakim had written in the letter, he could submit the texts. Bremer said at one o’clock he had an appointment with a delegation to discuss the texts. He did not see a place for some issues in the TAL; for example, reinstating the names of the streets and squares. These matters were to be taken up with the municipal or district councils. Sayyid Abdul Aziz explained the problem. If the TAL did not include such language, then we could not procure land to build a mosque or a cemetery in Najaf unless by the consent of the Minister of Municipalities, while the entire northern region remained outside the state’s control. We had to seek Bremer’s help to get land, while others had an entire region. It was good to give the others power, but we wanted the same rights. Bremer was worried that this would send the message that the people could form federal regions. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we should write that the province has the authority to conduct such work, without referring to the central government; the same could go for Kurdistan, Ramadi, and Mosul. Bremer said this was explained in the third chapter of the TAL, where authority is given to the provinces and regions. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we could say what we had granted to Kurdistan we shall grant for other regions and provinces; the important thing was the

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principle. This must be in the Transitional Administrative Law and not a Governing Council decision. Bremer said he did not have any objections to putting these details in the TAL. Sayyid Abdul Aziz replied that there must be an order issued by the Governing Council to form the High Electoral Comission of Iraq within two weeks. Bremer said he was the one in charge of issuing the order. As for the Interim Iraqi government, which would receive authority in June, it was stated in Article II that the interim government must be in consultation with the Iraqi people, and the UN shall play a role in these consultations. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the consultation between the government and the people was a good idea, but he wanted consultation with the people in regard to the draft of the TAL. In the agreement of November , , between the Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority, it was stated that the Transitional Administrative Law must be presented to the Iraqi people in order to solicit their opinions. How was that going to happen? Bremer said the agreement did not say that. It only stated that by February  we must finalize the law and the discussions. We must make sure that the Arabic and the English drafts are exact, and that will take days. This evening, we will announce that we have reached an agreement between us. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we could say that we agreed on general ideas but not the exact wording. Bremer said we must say that we agreed on everything; any delay would cause a problem. Chalabi had contacted Bremer and said that he was confident that an agreement would be reached that day; therefore he would send a delegation. There were two or three issues to finalize. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said if the people had a different opinion, what should we say? That we reached an agreement, or do we listen to the people and change the law? Bremer replied that the TAL says it is not subject to amendment. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked if the people could discuss that. Bremer said the members of the Governing Council held meetings in Nasiriyah, Najaf, Ramadi, and Mosul. There were a series of meetings to discuss the law on television. We printed a million flyers regarding the principles of the TAL and the independence of the judiciary. These discussions must continue. I said nobody opposed the independence of the judiciary, but there was a sensitive issue: how could a Council that was not elected decide for an elected

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Council? The TAL, which was written by the nonelected Governing Council, stated that the draft constitution, which will be written by the elected General Assembly, will not be approved if two-thirds of any three provinces reject the draft constitution. Today all the agreements were going to be set; we would present the law to some of the important religious authorities, then announce the law and its details. We had reached an agreement on many or all of the general lines. Bremer said, I do not think that we agree on something and then discuss it with the people. He thought some members of the Governing Council did not agree on discussing the law with the people. The Governing Council had carried out many significant efforts, and it was praised for issuing this law. There would be agreement among your sons and your grandchildren regarding the achievements of the Council. This issue must be resolved today, and then we can move on to what will happen after that. Bremer had spoken to Adel Abdul Mahdi that day, and told him that he had some reservations about the letter. The CPA formed the Governing Council according to the composition of the Iraqi people and the demands contained in our letter were the result of the composition of the Governing Council. Sayyid Abdul Aziz thanked Bremer for his efforts. Although we did not participate in the Governing Council meeting, we were satisfied with the work we had done to reach this stage. We wanted to reach an agreement after all this work and would be grateful if he helped to solve the problems of the holy city of Najaf. Religious Rights in the TAL As I mentioned, Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s letter to Bremer came as a result of a study I conducted about the religious, cultural, and historical rights of the Iraqi people, which had been violated during the time of Saddam’s regime. I recommended some measures to protect these rights in the Transitional Administrative Law and the constitution. Saddam’s regime arrested, tortured, and executed religious scholars from all religions and sects of the Iraqi people. The regime killed Shiite, Sunni, and Christian religious scholars, and demolished religious schools, holy shrines, seminaries, and churches under various pretexts. Saddam launched a campaign to rewrite and alter the history of Iraq, the region, and the world. Many books, studies, and articles were published

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which denied and altered history. Saddam tampered with every single brick in the historical city of Babylon and replaced them with new ones bearing his initials “SH” in Arabic. His policy was to change everything in Iraq according to the interests of Saddam, his family, and the Baath Party, including the names of historical places, public streets, and squares. There are many examples of Saddam’s oppression of religious freedom and rituals. After the military coup of July , , which brought the Baath party to power, Saddam was in charge of one of the several intelligence apparatuses that arrested and killed many Sunni religious scholars, including Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Badri, who was arrested and killed in . Many Christian priests were also arrested, tortured, and killed because they did not support the Baath Party or Saddam’s regime. In , when Saddam served as Vice President and Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr as President, the Baath regime tried to prevent Iraqi Shiites from going to Karbala in the lunar month of Muharram to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed who was slaughtered along with seventy-three members and companions during the Umayyad Dynasty. An uprising ensued during which thousands of people were arrested and hundreds, including some religious scholars, were killed. In July  Saddam removed President al-Bakr and declared himself President. A few months later, the regime arrested Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, who was transferred from the holy city of Najaf to Baghdad for interrogation in the General Security Directorate. Ayatollah al-Sadr’s sister Amina (she was also known as Bint al-Huda) went to the holy shrine of Imam Ali (Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law) and told people there about the arrest of Ayatollah al-Sadr. The news of the arrest spread quickly throughout Iraq, and demonstrations erupted in many parts of the country, forcing the regime to release Ayatollah al-Sadr and put him under house arrest. Saddam’s regime launched a campaign to arrest and kill all the religious scholars and the people who participated in the demonstrations after the arrest of Ayatollah al-Sadr. On April , , Saddam’s regime executed Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr for refusing the regime’s demands; they killed his sister Bint al-Huda to stop her from urging people to demonstrate, as she had done when her brother was arrested in . Saddam’s regime assassinated many religious scholars in the holy city of Najaf, and there were many unsuccessful assassination attempts against others. Saddam’s regime assassinated Sayyid Mohammed Taqi al-Khoei in , Ayatollah Sheikh Murtadha Borojerdi and Ayatollah Sheikh Ali al-Gharawi

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in Najaf in , and Ayatollah Mohammed al-Sadr in Najaf in . There were also assassination attempts against Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other religious scholars. I recommended in my study that the Transitional Administrative Law and the Permanent Constitution should have measures to protect the freedoms of the Iraqi people, including • Protecting the right of the Iraqi people to hold rituals: to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein during the lunar month of Muharram; and to mark the occasion of Arbaeen of Imam Hussein during the lunar month of Safar. • Protecting the places of worship for all religions such as churches, synagogues, and mosques. • Giving special status to all the religious authorities of Sunnis and Shiites, Muslims and Christians; and the religious authority in Najaf should be protected from any future persecution. • Reversing all the changes Saddam’s regime made to the religious, historical and cultural life of Iraq.

The Transitional Administrative Law On March , , Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim called me early in the morning and asked me to meet him in his office. When I arrived he gave me the draft of the Transitional Administrative Law. He asked me to have a look at it and to underline any issues to which the Supreme Council should object. He said that I had to underline only important things: red lines that they should not cross. I said, “They have been discussing the TAL for months, and you want me to give my views in a couple hours’ time?” He replied that Adel Abdul Mahdi delivered the draft the night before, and he wanted it signed in the afternoon. I had a look at the draft and underlined many paragraphs. But I found that the most important and problematic issue was the article stating that the draft constitution would be rejected if two-thirds of any three provinces in Iraq objected to it. Hoshyar Zebari told me that the Kurds put that article in so that they could reject the constituion if it did not reflect their demands. Two-thirds of the voters in the three Kurdish provinces—a very low percentage of the

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Iraqi population—could reject a constitution drafted by representatives of . million Iraqis. The same applied to the three Sunni provinces of Ninawa, Anbar, and Salah al-Din. Two-thirds of the voters in these three provices, a small percentage of Iraqis, could reject the constitution which is drafted by representatives of the Iraqi people. However, during the referendum on the constitution in October , only two of the Sunni provinces rejected the constitution: Saddam’s Salah alDin province and Anbar Province, the hub of Al Qaeda and the insurgency after the fall of Saddam’s regime. The third province, Ninawa, came very close to rejecting the constitution, with a little under fifty percent of voters voting against it. Most of the people in these three provinces who rejected the constitution were either loyal to Saddam or motivated by sectarian concerns. On March , , I joined Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in a meeting with Ambassador Bremer and President Bush’s envoy Robert Blackwill in Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s house. They had been in the town of Halabja that same day. Bremer noted that they were in Halabja on the anniversary of Saddam’s attack on the town with chemical weapons on March , . Al-Hakim said it had been a tragic event; he had transported some of the injured people to hospitals after the attack, and it had been very painful to see the suffering. Bremer remarked that one could still see that the grief and pain were present: five thousand people had been killed in the attacks. Bremer thanked us for seeing them, and then enumerated two issues they wanted to discuss: . The electoral law must be ready in May, and time was running out; so unless we completed the law, we could not have elections. . The UN had an important role to play, and needed an invitation from the Governing Council. It was important that the UN intervene in forming a provisional government. They were disappointed that the Governing Council had not yet extended an invitation to the UN. This point had become a topic of such concern to the U.S. that they sent Blackwill to Iraq to discuss the subject. Blackwill said it was good to see us again. The U.S. government was serious about the success of the transfer of sovereignty to a provisional Iraqi government; it was in the interests of the Iraqis and they wanted to ensure it. He

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was saying exactly what President Bush had told him—that there would be no delay in the handover of power. There was another American national interest at stake: the perceptions of the international community. The U.S. was asking for the UN to enter Iraq because it would give legitimacy to the process. The UN was helping many states in post-conflict democracy building and had a very good record in this area. Blackwill said there was another topic regarding the UN: he wanted to emphasize from the beginning that there would be a resolution for the Security Council to decide the date of direct elections which would perhaps be adopted in May. He was telling us, as a person who had been dealing with the UN for a long time, that such a resolution was possible only if the UN participated in the elections and in the consultations regarding the Iraqi provisional government. It would not be possible to exclude the UN until May. He believed that Iraqis who wanted to keep the time frame of the political process regarding transfer of sovereignty and set-up of the transitional Iraqi government needed to work with the UN. The U.S., Blackwill said, wanted a consultative role for the UN; it would not decide anything regarding the future of Iraq. It is not the role of the UN to design or plan the future, but to advise and help Iraqis reach an agreement. Blackwill added that the U.S. would not allow the UN to make decisions after all their sacrifices to liberate Iraq, but the UN could play an advisory role with regard to holding the elections. He frankly said that the credibility of the Governing Council had been damaged in New York due to the delay in inviting the UN. He stated that he had not heard of any case of democracy in the world in which the UN had no role to play. Blackwill thought we should invite Lakhdar Brahimi and the elections team to Iraq as soon as possible; if this did not happen, he said, there would be a very bad start to the new democratic Iraq. The UN and UK would not forget this, and the U.S. would not forget either. There was a meeting of the Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority, and the CPA wanted the Governing Council to send a letter to invite Lakhdar Brahimi and ask for advice and assistance in the elections and in the provisional government. There was no time to waste here if we wanted to achieve the transitional administration and the elections. Washington wanted elections to take place on the dates stated in the TAL, which we had agreed upon. They hoped that the letter would be signed tomorrow and go quickly to Secretary General Kofi Annan. They believed that if that happened, then we would get the Security Council resolution in May.

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Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim said we had been the first people to request a role for the UN. Our trip to Europe and the U.S. in December  and January  was for that purpose. We dealt with Brahimi very seriously through a series of meetings, and we facilitated his travel to the holy city of Najaf to meet with Sayyid Ali al-Sistani. Unfortunately, we found his dealings with us inappropriate. When Brahimi had examined a study conducted by Dr. Hamid al-Bayati, and discussed it with Adel Abdul Mahdi and Dr. Hamid, he said the problem was not technical but political. However, when he left Iraq, his report did not mention this fact, and he did not discuss with us the possibility of holding the elections; we did not hear any position from him regarding the elections. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we did not mind if the UN had a role in Iraq, but it was not acceptable in the streets of Iraq after the approval of the TAL. People were in a state of shock: there was no balance in the simplest things. There was a concern among the people, and the situation needed to be addressed. We had wanted, he said, to address all concerns because the TAL needed to clarify the issues of elections and the transfer of authority. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and the issues had been raised separately. For us there was a big burden; the killings continued, and we did not have permission even to defend ourselves. This question had been raised among our people, and the situation was unsatisfactory. Still, we were determined to continue, even though this situation would lead to many problems. I explained our positive position toward the UN before and after , and spoke about the study I conducted regarding the feasibility of holding elections before the transfer of authority and sovereignty to the Iraqis in June . The study addressed the possible problems confronting the elections, such as the need for a census determining the people eligible to participate; laws governing electoral and political parties; and security for the elections themselves. The food ration cards would be used to decide who was eligible to vote, we could have an electoral law issued by the Governing Council, and the Iraqi Security Forces could maintain security with the support of the Multinational Forces. Blackwill said he would like to mention two points. First, he did not think that the report written by Brahimi about feasibility of elections had been complete, and the UN had published only parts of it. Second, he thought that the report did a good job for Iraq and the UN: it helped to build momentum in the Governing Council on behalf of Iraq, and in general it was a good report. Blackwill went on to say that, despite the fact that Lakhdar Brahimi had spent only five days in Iraq, he was considered the most important international

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diplomat after Kofi Annan himself, and he was the most respected figure in the UN. In fact, Brahimi had written a long report commissioned by the UN Secretary General to address the past weaknesses and failures of the UN with regard to peace and security; it had received an overwhelmingly favourable response from states and has been followed by a mass of other reports and meetings. He was admired by world leaders for his successful intervention during the hostage crises in Lebanon, Sudan, and Afghanistan. There was a lot of evidence about his methods, and one can study his history; he does not impose his thoughts on any country but tries to unite the people of the country. He was aware that if he enforced things, he would be overreaching the mandate of the UN. He was a statesman and one of the best advisors for Kofi Annan in the Middle East, without a doubt. Lakhdar Brahimi and Sergio Vieira de Mello shared a similar standing as vital figures in the UN. We know, unfortunately, what happened to Sergio de Mello; but the U.S. hoped that we would come to see Lakhdar Brahimi in this way. If there were those who had concerns, Blackwill said, please reassure them. We share your opinion that the UN should not decide the fate of Iraq. Bremer wanted to address the process of elections and the provisional government. They understood the essential facts in Iraq after working with us during the last ten months. They would be ready to reassure those who had concerns about the lack of balance in representation. Blackwill said we must make sure that this point was very clear. Bremer said there would be consequences if the Governing Council entered into a confrontation with the UN: The provisional government would not have international legitimacy, and it would be difficult to hold elections. This was unacceptable to the U.S. and its government, and we must work to gain legitimacy. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we did not want to confront the UN. We had drafted a letter to the UN and it was available and it was ready to be sent by the Governing Council to request the UN’s participation. Al-Hakim had personally spoken to Kofi Annan, saying that the UN must have an important role. However, there was also our impression of what happened before and after the visit of Lakhdar Brahimi. We asked the UN to decide if the election was possible. They reported that it was not. Why was it not possible to hold elections? Lakhdar Brahimi did not return to tell us his reasoning before he left Iraq. This was our summary of the issue. Bremer said he drafted a letter of invitation for the Governing Council to send to the UN. The head of the Governing Council and Bremer expected the

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invitation of the UN to assist in organizing the TAL. He was happy to leave a copy of the letter with me and hoped to get approval tomorrow in the Governing Council because it was an emergency. We were late. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked what would happen if the UN said the TAL was not suitable for the elections. Bremer said they were not asked to comment on the law. The law was the law of the country. The request was to invite them. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim said the question still remained and added, “I know the UN and I hope that the UN’s stance is as Bremer has described.” Blackwill said they would put pressure on the UN to work the way Bremer had described and they would not stand by. He said he believed that our interests were shared ones. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim asked what would happen regarding the Independent High Electoral Commission. Bremer said we must fix the base of the elections and call the UN. Then we would have eight weeks until May to decide, in order to have the elections in January . Abdul Aziz al-Hakim said no work had been done on preparing voter lists. Bremer said he had hired an NGO to work on the technical issues and study the ration cards, and they would present an assessment of the accuracy issue. This was the best way to prepare the lists. Carina Perelli the UN election expert said they were able to depend on the ration card data, and she had been working with Brahimi on the issue of the elections. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim asked about the law of the holy places. Bremer said Ambassador Richard Jones would meet with Adel Abdul Mahdi, and he was open to the idea. “I hope to see you tomorrow at ten o’clock at the Governing Council,” he said. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said he would check his schedule, but if he could not participate at the Governing Council meeting his colleague would definitely go to the meeting. Blackwill said he hoped that the colleague and Sayyid Abdul Aziz attended with a positive attitude, God willing. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim said whether he attended or his colleagues, we were all okay with sending the letter. Debating Elections Again On April , I took part in a meeting between the UN delegation and the Supreme Council. The UN delegation consisted of the Special Envoy of the

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UN Secretary General, Lakhdar Brahimi, Ahmed Fawzi, Jamal bin Omar, and Mohammed al-Sadr. From the Supreme Council there were Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Sayyid Mohammed al-Haidary, Hadi al-Amri, and I. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the people in the streets were frustrated for two reasons: the lack of elections, which meant that authority would be transferred to a non-elected body; and the TAL in the transitional phase. There was a desire for the transfer of authority to take place, but there had been no proper work to convince the people in the streets. Lakhdar Brahimi asked what the means to do so would be, to which Sayyid Abdul Aziz recommended three approaches: . Reassure people that the authority would be transferred to an elected body within six months. The CPA had decided to transfer the sovereignty to a body with limited authority. . Reassure the Iraqi public regarding the issues to be clarified in the constitution. . Find a way to expand the government and the authority, and to include groups and parties currently unrepresented which already had a presence in the Iraqi streets, such as the Faili Kurds, the Shabak, and others. Lakhdar Brahimi asked if Sayyid al-Hakim thought that the atmosphere of fear from outside forces (such as those of the U.S.) could be contained. Sayyid Abdul Aziz answered that we had expected it. We had told the Americans that these were incorrect policies that would cause bigger problems in the future, because for the political issues they had relied on groups that had no real presence in the provinces and imposed them on people. The provincial councils were often not accepted by the people. Lakhdar Brahimi said the CPA forces were trying not to be biased toward a certain party, and therefore they were including these people on a political basis. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that on the security level, they had cut the country into pieces, and each piece was given to an officer. The police ran away during confrontations because the police force had been gathered very quickly, and among them there were many bad elements with bad records. Now these individuals were asking who they were defending. If authority was to be transferred this way, it would be natural that the authority would be weak. Lakhdar Brahimi said the next stage was transitional, and it would be wise to elect an Assembly to write the constitution and elect the transitional government.

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Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked if there was an idea to whom the authority would be transferred. Lakhdar Brahimi answered that these were issues they wanted to speak to us about. Last time we spoke, the impression they had from us was that there was a consensus that holding elections which would satisfy the Iraqi people before June was not possible. That was the impression he had especially from the experts, and it was the agreement he had reached in talks with Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, who told him that holding elections was not possible, but it was necessary that they be held before the end of the year. I was keen on that after I left Sayyid al-Sistani, Brahimi said. I heard, he continued, that you said you were disappointed. In addition, this was the result of a talk between  to  people and us. There had been a misunderstanding. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we had discussions and Sayyid al-Sistani received you and had discussions with you. If you remember when we met here, he said, you reached the conclusion that holding elections was possible from a technical point of view, but the problem was political, which is what we understood. We handed you a study conducted by Dr. Hamid al-Bayati and some thirty experts from various universities and different ministries stating that it was possible to hold the elections, and you promised to look into the study and get back to us. However, you left Iraq, and we did not hear anything from you. That was the reason for our disappointment. I added that it was Sayyid al-Sistani who insisted on having an elected government to receive the sovereignty back in June . Brahimi could not say that elections were not possible; Sayyid al-Sistani was aware of the study we conducted which concluded that elections were possible. Lakhdar Brahimi said they met with those who conducted the study. I replied to Brahimi, “I told you in your previous trip, in our first meeting at Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s house, that there were two groups that were doing studies on the feasibility of elections; the first group was composed of experts from the universities and the ministries, with whom I worked. We completed the study. The second group was formed in Baghdad University and they had not finished their study. I was attending their meetings, too.” I also told Brahimi, “You had asked for a copy of the completed study, and I provided you with one. After you had reviewed it, we had a second meeting in the Green Zone in the Presidential Palace in the evening, in which Adel Abdul Mahdi and I participated. In this meeting you raised some questions and I answered them. In the third meeting at Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s house, you said that the problem confronting the election was not technical but rather political. Therefore, Sayyid Abdul Aziz told you to work to solve the political

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problem, and we said we were willing to provide guarantees to Sunnis that they would be included in the government. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said Brahimi could interpret his talks with Sayyid Ali al-Sistani in two ways. Brahimi reported that Sayyid al-Sistani had said it was not possible to hold elections before the end of the year. But, Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued, it was also said that Brahimi was biased because he is a Sunni, so I contacted Sayyid al-Sistani’s son, who confirmed that his father had not said that. Brahimi should have denied this statement to avoid its being reflected on the Iraqi streets. Brahimi said if there was a misunderstanding, why didn’t anyone contact me? There were telephone calls between us. What was the benefit of our presence here if our role would contribute to the sectarian tension? There was enough tension. There is no need for our presence here; we don’t want to get a job. Brahimi also said, I am not young as far as the UN is concerned. There are people who say that Lakhdar Brahimi said there is a civil war in Iraq. I come from two places, Algeria, which had a civil war, and Lebanon, where I worked for a long time and which had a civil war. I had said that in Algeria, the situation started with small operations and escalated to a civil war that could not be controlled. We pray day and night for God to protect Iraq. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said in any event, we thank you for these clarifications. The points that Lakhdar Brahimi is a Sunni and that he was quoted as saying there is a civil war in Iraq were not the issue. The issue is the study conducted by Dr. al-Bayati, which had been presented to you. We felt that there was no answer given, even by your experts, to explain your justifications. Brahimi said some people had come to him from Najaf with Muwaffaq al-Rubaie; they had said they would bring experts, and came up with a large number of people. So we met with them for long hours. I thought it was the same group. They had said that a group from Sayyid al-Sistani had worked with them. That was a mistake, which we are willing to acknowledge publicly. We were ready to meet with you and with your experts, and to tell you that the elections were not possible for technical and political reasons. In such circumstances, the matters were not to be agreed upon by  percent majority, but needed concensus. However, after we have elections,  percent majority could decide. We had said and still say, Brahimi continued, that elections were not possible. It was more important to form a government that was acceptable to everybody. Today, he said, he was told that they wanted to conduct a census,

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and the census cannot be conducted in six or seven months to get an inventory of the population list. The second problem was that the security situation was not stable: elections cannot be held in an atmosphere such as the one in Iraq today. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the security issue was not in the hands of the Iraqis but rather in the hands of the occupation forces who had certain policies and long experience. After the armed groups that had established themselves and had deep roots were disbanded, it would be more difficult to hold the elections. In this we needed frankness and clearly accurate information, so the Iraqi people would know who was responsible for delaying the elections and who did not want to conduct them. Lakhdar Brahimi asked whether there had been a discussion with the occupation forces regarding the issue. Sayyid Abdul Aziz answered that no detailed talks had been held. Things were clear for him, and the security situation was being managed in a known way. We told the Americans that if they were unable to provide security for us and for the people, then allow us to protect ourselves. Abdul Aziz said that one of the reasons for the martyrdom of his brother, Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, was that we were not given permission—after telling the Americans we needed security trained by us—to protect him. They did not allow that, and now this sort of tragedy could be repeated. Lakhdar Brahimi asked if the CPA were responsible for security. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said, if the occupying forces did not fulfill their duties, the UN must intervene. Brahimi said that UN Resolution  clearly stated that the occupying forces were the authority responsible for security. The current, second phase after the occupation required a new dialogue; we needed to exchange opinions on how the government will be constituted and how we will deal with the security issue in the country. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the U.S. announced policies and then changed them. Yesterday, he said, they announced the formation of the Defense Ministry, the appointment of the Minister of Defense, and the formation of military and police forces, and we rejected all that. These are the people responsible for maintaining security. Sayyid Abdul Aziz thought that the UN had the ability to clarify these issues and could explain that the police in several provinces had run away and did not fight when they faced attacks. They did not fire a single bullet, and they did not respond to any order. Is this the organization that will protect Iraq?

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Brahimi said the UN delegation would stay for two weeks and then go back. We could contact him at any time. He was glad to hear the role Sayyid Abdul Aziz envisioned for the UN: Bremer had limited their role within the narrow frame of negotiating the formations of the authority and the mechanisms for the transfer of authority. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we had spoken about more broad roles, and I sent a letter to the UN Secretary General to that effect which caused me problems; but I felt it was my religious and national duty to do so. I did not write this letter by myself, but it was discussed by the Governing Council. Even Bremer was not very enthusiastic about a UN role. There were complications, and I did not withdraw my letter, but the situation grew cold with the UN and the enthusiasm was gone. I spoke in detail with the French President Jacques Chirac, and he wanted to understand the role we wanted for the UN. With me there was Jalal Talabani, other members of the Governing Council, and Dr. al-Bayati. We spoke with German Chancellor Schröder, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and President Putin of Russia. We spoke also with Arab leaders: Syria and the United Arab Emirates. We created an atmosphere, and there was an internal, regional and international will for a UN role. I said it was not a personal issue against Brahimi, but Ayatollah al-Sistani insisted on holding elections and transfering the authority to an elected government. The people stepped into the streets of Iraq and demonstrated in support of Sayyid Ali al-Sistani’s view of holding elections. We still believe the UN could have a positive role, which is specified in the letter. Brahimi thanked Sayyid Abdul Aziz and stated his confidence that they could resolve the misunderstanding that had occurred. Abdul Aziz shared his vision regarding the three options facing Iraq: . Holding early elections for a representative government. . Expanding the Governing Council. . Creating a council of selected people outside the Governing Council. If the first option was possible, then we would have insisted on it, Sayyid Abdul Aziz said; but if it was not possible, then we supported the second option of an expanded Governing Council. The third option was outside the Governing Council. If this option were chosen, the council must have an acceptable base among the Iraqi people. The Governing Council is to be recognized and expanded, instead of having new names and differences about each name; which will be a situation that cannot be controlled, especially

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when it comes to power. One principle would be to preserve the state of balance within the Governing Council at this stage until the elections. The other principle was to emphasize the need for accurately choosing members who truly represented the Iraqi people, unlike the current makeup of the Governing Council. Some members were assumed to belong to one party, sect, or city, but in many cases this was not true. Brahimi asked what the difference would be between expanding the Governing Council and creating a new Assembly. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said with a new Assembly we would start from scratch, and it is not necessary to do that. Brahimi said you will save yourself the trouble of choosing twenty-five people. Abdul Aziz agreed that we would be saving ourselves twenty-five seats, as well as preserving the quotas and ratios. Brahimi said the ratio could be preserved. Abdul Aziz did not insist on the Governing Council; something new could be set up. But there were people who had no qualifications, and this had caused a problem that we wanted to resolve. Brahimi asked what the role of this Council would be, if there was a cabinet. Abdul Aziz said it is not necessary to keep the entire Cabinet. We do not have to start from scratch. There are people who are opposed to that. Brahimi asked what the relationship would be between the Governing Council and the government. Abdul Aziz answered that we had two options: To work toward implementation of the Trasitional Administrative Law (TAL); or not to commit to the TAL and possibly reduce the Presidential Committee of the Governing Council, which could serve as the presidency of the state, and then the relationship will be clear between the Presidency Council and the Prime Minister if there is to be a Prime Minister. Brahimi asked how that Prime Minister would be chosen. Abdul Aziz replied that the Prime Minister could be elected by the new council either from the Governing Council or from outside. If we want to implement the TAL, we could appoint a President and two Vice Presidents, but their decisions would need to be unanimous since it is a Presidential Council. Brahimi said the Prime Minister would inherit this government and make changes by consulting with the Presidential Council and the Governing Council. The Prime Minister appoints with additions, deletions, and freedom to some extent.

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Abdul Aziz added, with the recommendation of the continuity principal. Brahimi asked from where the recommendation would be coming. Abdul Aziz answered that it would come from the Governing Council. Brahimi said, if this is so, it will be best to elect this council, and then the council would appoint the Prime Minister. He added that these are matters we do not need to be afraid of. Abdul Aziz said we need to establish the full picture. It is not possible to choose the Council, and then say that the Council is the one to choose the Prime Minister. Brahimi asked how Sayyid Abdul Aziz thought we could overcome these objections, including al-Sistani’s objections regarding the Transitional Administrative Law. Abdul Aziz replied that some of the amendments could be mentioned in the supplement. There are problems, the first one being how an unelected council such as the Governing Council could enforce terms on an elected General Assembly. Lakhdar Brahimi said no one could restrain the elected council. Abdul Aziz asked if he could mention in some of his statements that the TAL was non-binding. The second problem was determining the constitution, which is meant to be approved by the UN. Brahimi said talking of a permanent constitution means that there will be changes in the TAL. Abdul Aziz agreed that there will be changes in the TAL. Brahimi said there was a difference between the Governing Council and an elected General Assembly to prepare a new constitution. The Parliament and the Senate could meet in an initiative, on an article of the constitution. Amendments are required to some of the articles. In , when de Gaulle regained power, the French elected a Constitutional Council and created a new constitution. Abdul Aziz said they could do so because the old constitution would not have restrained them. Brahimi said each Constitution states that “this Constitution could not be changed unless by such and such” but the revolutionary machine is the one that changes the Constitution in our time. Abdul Aziz said if we included some points in the supplement it would help a great deal; for example, the point about the non-elected council not being able to restrain an elected council, and that the government is an interim one, so it does not have the authority to sign any long-term agreements having to do with sovereignty that exceeds the government’s term.

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Brahimi said there was a principle at work, which makes clear that any decision taken by a governmental body of a certain level can only be amended by an entity with the same hierarchical position: a decision by a parliament, for example, could be amended only by another parliament. Abdul Aziz asked, if the transitional government wanted to lease some of Iraq’s oil for a hundred years to Brahimi, would it be possible to cancel the contract in six months’ time? Brahimi said no self-respecting government would sign a contract with an interim government, and even if they did, it would be possible to review the decision. The Council of Representatives appoints a government and determines its authority and its term length. Abdul Aziz said the more we can agree on issues and explain them to the people, the more we will reassure them. Brahimi said the subject of agreements in regard to oil and other issues needed responsible parties negotiating them today and tomorrow. The parties that exist today will exist tomorrow. Abdul Aziz said the explanation of these issues had substantive relevance. How could we issue a law and then sit back and say that we will be present tomorrow to cancel it? We should, he said, define the authority of the Governing Council, Presidential Council, Government, Prime Minister, and Council of Ministers in the supplement, and our colleagues were working on completing that supplement. He thought these issues collectively could help maintain security in Iraq. Brahimi said we did not have a ready prescription to solve all the problems. He had one very important point: Since this expanded council was not elected, it would not be representational, and therefore this must be understood from the beginning. No matter how much work we put into it, it would never represent the people. The Council must have specific qualities, including diversity; for example: a person from each one of the provinces. Perhaps the people would say that this individual did not represent them, but we could tell them they were from their region. For example, the people of Mosul could say that this man is patriotic, clean, respectable, and nationalistic. You claim to have one better than him, but we do not have any objections to him. Abdul Aziz said we describe such a person as prominent among his people. He thanked Brahimi for his kindness, and said we were ready to cooperate with him for the success of the mission. Lakhdar Brahimi returned the thanks, saying he would see Sayyid Abdul Aziz again. If we wished to meet again at any time, we were to let Brahimi know.

9 Self-Rule

I had returned to Iraq in September  at the urging of Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, and began working with him on the Governing Council, of which he became President in December . Sayyid Abdul Aziz entreated me to take a government position, and the Supreme Council nominated me for the post of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. I agreed because I had known and worked with Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari for many years. On April , , I became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and Bilateral Relations. During the discussions to set up the first government in July , the Supreme Council nominated me for the position of Foreign Minister, but the KDP insisted on having this position. The Supreme Council asked me if I was interested in having any other ministerial job, but I declined. Two days later, on April , UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi accepted the suggestion of U.S. officials to set up an interim government that would replace the Iraqi Governing Council on June . On April , Brahimi assured the UN Security Council that a transitional government would be formed by May . Meeting Blackwill Again On April , I participated in a meeting of the Supreme Council with President George. W. Bush’s Special Envoy to Iraq, Robert Blackwill, who was accompanied by Yael Lambert from the U.S. State Department. After our welcome greetings, Blackwill said that one of our colleagues at the Governing Council had told him Iraqis spend thirty minutes for introductions and courtesies. In the United States, they go straight to the topic

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within thirty seconds. So the Iraqis, the Governing Council colleague had quipped, were more civilized. Blackwill said he was there because the U.S. President had asked him to meet with us and others to speak about the interim government. Brahimi, he said, was on his way to Iraq to consult with us. President Bush wanted Blackwill to come to talk behind the scenes to the Governing Council, and to Iraqis here and in the provinces, to understand what they wanted in the interim government. He intended to do that quietly, with no media, and assured us he would not repeat to any other Iraqis what we spoke about. As we knew, he said, the U.S. had its own points of view on several issues, but was looking forward to hearing ours. Blackwill went on to outline principles. There must be consistency between the present Governing Council and the transitional government; the U.S. did not want the Governing Council to be completely different from the interim government. Most ministers appointed in June  would continue to serve in the new government. If there were to be any changes in the Governing Council or the ministries, in other words, they would be in the upcoming weeks. Maintaining consistency was necessary in order to deal with the major challenges facing the new government; now was not the time to put in place a new formation. The U.S. believed that the members of the Governing Council had learned to work together and did not want to waste this experience. The second principle was the current balance in the Governing Council; the internal balances must not be altered but rather shifted into the interim government. The third principle was that the government must be formed and put in place by the end of May so that it could be given authority in June. Finally, he said, there must be a modest expansion to the government. By “modest expansion,” Blackwill said, he did not mean to add a hundred people, because the U.S. wanted to make sure of the transitional government’s approval, and a large number would be difficult to approve. He said he could give more details, but did not want to give a long speech like Fidel Castro’s—referring to Castro’s recent speech at the UN. How does that look to you, he asked. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said Blackwill’s remarks were detailed, concise, and accurate. He thanked Blackwill for his interest in pursuing this important and dangerous matter. He agreed on the principles Blackwill laid out, but wanted to add another: increased care in selecting the members of the interim government and ministries, if they were to be changed. We were unable to

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defend some members of the Governing Council before the public, because people did not consider them to represent them. We want, he said, those who represent the Iraqi people. Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued that the assessment of the political and security situation was not good. He was afraid the situation might reach a stage at which it would be impossible to control. Two days before the meeting, he was in Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and Sayyid Mohammed Saeed al-Hakim and noticed their concern. Unfortunately, he continued, the situation would not alleviate this concern. Doubts had begun to increase, and any change or expansion of the Governing Council and the ministries would require another process. The administrative formations for many areas were incomplete, and local people had interfered during the terms of certain officials. Blackwill had some questions about the nature of the interim government; there were many details that required a lot of work. He wanted to know if we were in agreement on the interim government, and then to learn more regarding the security issue. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that the transitional government, we believed, should have specific authority with regard to security and political matters. Because its term was only to be six months, it must not have the same authority as the elected government. We had studied, he said, transitional governments in various regions of the world in the past twenty-five years and found that they had no legislative authority, but rather executive and judicial authority. If the transitional government were to pass laws, these laws might not be accepted by the elected government. The mechanism of selecting the new members, we believed, would be very easy; we did not want a national conference of a thousand people to choose those members. The transitional government would have limited authority without legislative powers, chosen by limited consultations rather than a national conference. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that our thinking was very close to Blackwill’s, but added that we considered the Transitional Administration Law (TAL) as the law for this stage, and thus it should be approved by an elected council. An important problem with the law was how the Governing Council, which was not elected, could make decisions that would have any force on an elected council. This was one of the most important issues we faced with the Governing Council. Blackwill asked if there was a mechanism to change the law by a good majority, while not knowing how much the majority was.

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I said the TAL could be changed by a majority of three-quarters of the Governing Council plus the consensus of the Presidential Council. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the mechanism for changing the TAL was complex and difficult. The TAL controlled the future constitution, the languages in Iraq, and the nature of the country’s government; this was unacceptable. He thought that changing the TAL was a necessary issue in the talks about the political and security issues of the country. As for the government, it was supposed to be formed within the principle of law, with a balance in the Governing Council. The situation, he continued, was built on the basis of decentralization and it was not possible to form the government on that basis. The ministers traveled, held meetings, and conducted business as if they were an independent government. The same situation applied to the provinces; each province was to a large extent independent in its affairs. We needed centralization and decentralization in the right measure. It seemed as if some intended to cut Iraq to pieces, with each piece having a separate government. This made the decent parties and people stay away from politics. These are real issues, Sayyid Abdul Aziz said; while we might tolerate them at this stage, we cannot tolerate them in the upcoming period—especially when the government does not have strong agencies. The important thing is for this government to become a real government; rather than having every individual act as a government, each part must move with the rest of the parts. Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued that, during a meeting with President Bush at the White House, he had noted that Bush was proud to be a religious person, which was a good thing. There was, however, a negative attitude in the U.S. toward religious people in Iraq, although they had sacrificed a lot and had been persecuted. Still, Sayyid Abdul Aziz said, we found there to be harassment in one way or another. The day before the meeting, he had been talking to a group of people in Najaf about the meeting and the language President Bush had used, and had heard Secretary of State Colin Powell defend the role of Islam in Iraq. There was clearly a difference between what Bush and Powell said and between what was actually happening in the governorates and on the ground. Another issue Sayyid Abdul Aziz brought up was the relationships between the Supreme Council, the expanded council, and the government after its selection; there must be a kind of assessment and supervision. Blackwill said, respectfully, in regard to the Transitional Administration Law, we had been the ones who had drafted it. He had read the law in Washington. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said he wished Blackwill had been here.

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Blackwill said the law had been agreed upon through consensus, but Sayyid Bahr al-Ulum had said that the law was incomplete; everyone compromised to reach consensus. Blackwill thought opening the issues in the law was very dangerous for one important reason. If a man has a rug, but wants to change its pattern and pulls the threads, then the entire carpet falls apart. Therefore, we needed to be careful with pulling the threads of the law. A fundamental point for the law existed: if there were no law, there would be no legal basis for a transfer of complete sovereignty in June. The U.S. was determined to hand over authority in June, and we wanted the transfer to the Iraqis as well, he said. We needed a law for the transfer of sovereignty. The Kurds wanted to pull threads, as did the Sunnis, and if we were not careful, we would end up with scattered threads rather than a carpet. Blackwill blamed his poetic description on the ice cream he had been served. Sayyid Abdul Aziz served his guests a very good pistachio ice cream, which was helpful in the hot weather of Baghdad. Ambassador Bremer started to call this ice cream “a bribe” whenever it was served. Blackwill said at first that his wife would not allow him to have it because she did not want him to put on weight. Almost every guest would brighten up, start to make jokes, and laugh when the ice cream was served during long meetings about complicated issues on hot days. It was a welcome break for everybody. Sayyid Abdul Aziz thanked Blackwill for his poetic allegory. There were things that Iraqis wanted to amend. When the TAL was passed some of the Iraqi people celebrated, but the Shiite majority in the country rejected the law. They collected petitions with names of those who opposed the law. We were afraid, he said, that the carpet might be burned along with the house where the carpet is located. We have another poet here, Blackwill said. In any case, Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued, the issue should be viewed seriously. We agreed to sign the TAL because we wanted the process to move forward. If the process stopped, Sayyid Abdul Aziz said, it would only serve the terrorists. We cannot strengthen their foundations. Blackwill said he had read in the newspapers about the campaign against the TAL, and in a democratic society such protest is acceptable. However, action taken against the TAL, as was petitioned, he said, would cause us to miss the opportunity of transferring the authority in June. Everyone must consider, therefore, whether the law is bad enough to risk missing a handover of sovereignty in June, because that would be the practical impact of the abolition of the law. He hoped we would continue to reflect on this. The TAL did not have

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any power over the permanent constitution; a permanent constitution could be drafted that would reject every word in the Transitional Administration Law. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said one of the articles in the law stated that when the permanent constitution was presented to the people, it would be possible for two-thirds of three provinces to block it. Blackwill asked if the concern was not about the permanent constitution, but rather its ratification; anything could be written in the constitution, but we were concerned over its approval. Was that correct? Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the problem was how an unelected council could impose its opinion upon an elected council. There were some sovereignty issues that would appear, and as Blackwill had said, the government should not have full rights, such as over issues relating to citizenship and other issues; these should be postponed until we had an elected council. Blackwill said that in America the judiciary often rejected the opinion of the legislature. The problems we had mentioned would continue for months, but not for years. In the future the decisions made by an unelected council would change. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the TAL might be turned into a permanent law. This was not the intention or the goal of the U.S., Blackwill said. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the problem was not the intention but the reality. Perhaps we would not be able to pass a permanent constitution if two-thirds of the population of three provinces rejected it; in that case, it would not be possible to move to the permanent stage. Blackwill said he hoped that never happened. The U.S. wanted Iraqis to write their own constitution, to write whatever they wanted—not what the U.S. wanted. Blackwill had listened carefully to what Sayyid Abdul Aziz said and wanted to hear his advice regarding the interim government. He said that Sayyid Abdul Aziz could think about it, and we would meet again later on, as he would be here for two weeks for negotiations regarding the interim government, listening carefully to what the Iraqis had to say. At the beginning of the next week he would be traveling out of Baghdad, and if Sayyid Abdul Aziz thought he should, he would go to Najaf to listen to the people there. Blackwill said he would be grateful for Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s input, and would give him a few days to think about it. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that, God willing, there would be a chance for Blackwill to go to Najaf and meet with important specialists there, and in that case he would work to convey these ideas and principles. Blackwill said if he met with people there, he would like to listen to the religious scholars. And he would like, he said, to talk about the religious

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study in Najaf, because they would be doing that after the TAL. I can say with confidence, Blackwill said, that they are closer to God than the Transitional Administration Law. Perhaps they would like to meet with a professor from Harvard, such as myself. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that Blackwill had promised they would sit down and talk of things other than politics. Blackwill asked whether there was something else he wanted to add. Sayyid Abdul Aziz answered that they would follow up on the issues, God willing, and noted that we needed movement on political and security issues. Ambassador Bremer had promised me that there would be talks regarding the holy shrines, and he said that he would write a law regarding this issue after the TAL was passed. Perhaps he did not send someone due to his busy schedule, but that issue had an impact on society and needed to be addressed. Blackwill said he would mention this to Bremer; he was to meet with him immediately after our meeting. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said Bremer needed to give the people the opportunity to build mosques and schools, since they had been deprived of doing so for a long time. Land should be given to former prisoners and families of martyrs, he suggested. Although there had been much talk, and considerable money spent, these families remained without any real attention paid to them. Areas that had been adversely affected by Saddam’s regime and deprived of services, such as Sadr City and the al-Shula neighborhoods in Baghdad, also needed attention. These areas had problems with water, sewage, electricity, and other services. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said he had asked Ambassador Bremer to grant lands in Najaf to some religious institutions and as accommodation to visitors in Karbala and Najaf, but he had not heard from him, although Bremer had promised to review the subject. Blackwill said he would raise the issue with him. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we wanted to do something simple to help the people. It might be said that there was no funding or budget, but these were simple things that should be done for those who had been oppressed and deprived of their basic rights. As for the security problem, he had clarified his position personally and wished there were more response to these conversations. Blackwill told Sayyid Abdul Aziz to take care of himself, from the security point of view. Our lives and souls were in the hands of God, but we could help by being careful. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we were careful, but he called for lifting the barriers on taking measures to improve security.

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Blackwill said that the President still remembered the sacrifices made by Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s family; he always mentioned them to visitors, and it had a significant impact. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we thanked him for his attention. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked Blackwill to talk to him about a personal case, so Sayyid Abdul Aziz, Blackwill, and I went to another room where I translated for them. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said there was a special message for President Bush: three weeks ago we received information about some of the security agencies watching our headquarters. We then arrested three Iraqis who confessed that they were indeed watching our headquarters. They said they worked for an Iraqi intelligence apparatus under the U.S. forces’ supervision; they had hidden cameras and were trained in the U.S. We released them after we photographed everything they had. We wanted to know whether Blackwill had any information about this. Blackwill did not have any information but said he would look into it. When Sayyid Abdul Aziz had discovered this case three weeks earlier, he sent for me and said he wanted to tell me about something important and dangerous. Sayyid Abdul Aziz believed that there was an attempt to assassinate him by some U.S. agencies through the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS). The new IIS was established when Ambassador Bremer appointed General Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani as Director of Intelligence in . Sayyid Abdul Aziz showed me pictures of the three people arrested by the Guards of SCIRI headquarters and a handbag fitted with a hidden camera that was confiscated from one of the three people taking photos of the headquarters. Sayyid Abdul Aziz then asked me what I thought we should do. I suggested revealing the case to the U.S. media to put pressure on U.S. agencies if they had really been involved in an assassination attempt and to make the world aware of who might have done it. Sayyid Abdul Aziz agreed. I contacted a friend in the AP who checked with his bosses and said he was ready to report it, but they needed some evidence. I told him we had much evidence we could show him. However, another member of SCIRI convinced Sayyid Abdul Aziz to raise the issue with Bremer and give him all the evidence pertaining to the plot, and the case was closed. The Dire Security Situation On May , I participated in a meeting between a delegation from the United Nations and the Supreme Council leadership. Lakhdar Brahimi, Ahmed Fawzi,

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and Jamal bin Omar were members of the UN delegation, while Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and I represented the Supreme Council. Brahimi asked Sayyid Abdul Aziz about what was happening in Najaf. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said the security situation continued to deteriorate for two reasons: first, the flawed security policy adopted by the occupation, the consequences of which we warned about even before the war; the security situation was dangerous all over Iraq, not only in Najaf and Sadr City. Second, there were three enemies of Iraq who did not want Iraq to stabilize or change to take place: • the remnants of the former regime; • the extremists with relations to the former regime; • the terrorists from abroad who were crossing into Iraq. If you asked him how to solve the issue, Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued, he would say the following. The foreign forces were trained to fight a war, not to have the capability or qualification to maintain security in Iraq. They randomly gathered people to join the army and police force. These people were useless and were not fighting. We could benefit from the experience of Iraq’s Kurdistan and how the Kurdish parties there had controlled the security situation after the uprising of . The most dangerous thing, he continued, was that the terrorists had started to form a political and military shield, as had happened in Fallujah. They had, that day, a safe haven in Fallujah that could be used as a base to launch attacks. Some of the security forces that were fighting were the former regime’s men, who might really have wanted to participate in the battle of Fallujah so that when the remnants of Saddam’s elite troops arrived, they could form a joint front with them. Brahimi asked what the solution was. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said there was no solution but to rely on the political and tribal powers that had their own security forces. It was not advisable to bring troops from abroad. In Kurdistan, without Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, it would have been impossible to control security; a million people could not control security. Saddam’s regime had been unable to control the security situation in Iraq. We needed to give assurances to people. The appointment of a Fallujah commander who had been in the elite Republican Guard of Saddam’s regime had caused tensions. Brahimi said he had heard that the commander of the military forces in Fallujah had been replaced by a second commander. Was the first or second commander of Fallujah from the Republican Guard?

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Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that the first commander remained under the command of the second; that was a real threat for Baghdad and not a joke. An attack on Baghdad might occur and no one would be safe. Brahimi said you must have reviewed the papers we submitted to the Security Council. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said that Brahimi’s talk with the Security Council had been good and well balanced, the objective was clear, and we thanked him for that. He had sent a copy of that report to Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani to get his opinion. There was only one issue, which was the conference Brahimi had suggested. If we wanted to focus on it, then we would need to invite between , and , people. Moreover, we would have only six months, not to mention the lack of capability, to gather this large number. This might be one of the causes of tension in the country. Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued that we were supposed to conduct a careful study and to address the issue of the conference properly. Among the suggested solutions was for the number of attendees to be less than a thousand. Another solution was to adopt the policy of including all parties and movements and not to exclude anyone—from Salafists to Communists—and to have a preparatory committee of twenty-five people. The conference should be organized by the United Nations or by the Iraqi government. Otherwise, trying to gather a thousand Iraqis would be difficult; who would gather them, and how? Brahimi said it was necessary to form a preparatory committee, and to enable people to meet with tribal leaders. In front of the Security Council he had said that some Iraqis had noted that for thirty years they did not meet with their own families, so how could they meet with their neighbors? When people met, however, they would find that their problems were the same. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked who, if a three-member committee were elected and they spoke about different issues, would tell them what their limits were? Their authority must be defined, Brahimi said; they cannot say, for example, that we will write the constitution. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said there were two theories about the formation of the preparatory committee. The first was to rely on the major forces that opposed Saddam’s regime and hold elections later. The other theory lay in the depth of the American mistake; the U.S. wanted to rely on forces that had no presence inside Iraq. U.S. officials appointed a person here and there and ended up with a state of division that caused problems. Who would make up the preparatory committee? In your speech, Sayyid Abdul Aziz continued, you said that this committee must be formed out of qualified people and judges

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who were elected by the Iraqi government, or fifteen to twenty well-known figures from a conference of ,–, people. This could be good if there were a guarantee that it would remain under control. If we became seriously engaged, then we would work with great discipline within the limits we agree upon. Will the national conference elect a committee that has a consultative role? Lakhdar Brahimi said the financial and security matters were not discussed between the Governing Council and the Americans. I brought up the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which held Iraq’s funds. The UN agreed that this was Iraq’s money, but the UN was afraid that if it gave the monies it held to the Iraqis, people who held Iraqi debts could take it via legal means. Adel Abdul Mahdi said that the legal context for this protection was vague. He continued that among the Governing Council members, some felt responsibility for the security issue, but not all members did. The idea of keeping a military presence in Iraq was based on the concept of multinational forces under American command. While the Iraqi forces operated under these forces, there would be a representative of Iraq at the general command. The question was whether Iraq was compelled to put all of its troops under the multinational forces command and if some of the Iraqi forces remained independent, who was going to manage them? Which powers possessed by the forces would remain under the command of the government and which would operate under the command of the multinational forces? Brahimi responded to the first concern by noting that the UN was trying to point out that the immunity given to the DFI could not continue. Iraq would continue to enjoy that immunity for a while. However, since Iraq’s sovereignty would be handed over to Iraqis, Iraq would become a state like all other states and all issues should be addressed in the way they were dealt with in other countries. If the Americans were sincere, this immunity must continue for a time; this debate was ongoing in the international community. As usual, Brahimi said, the Americans had their own laws that they were able to impose on the international community; when U.S. forces participated, they would never operate under the command of a foreign commander. When we were in Haiti, although the UN forces formed the largest contingent, the commander was an American. When there are multinational forces, they agree on the commander. The UN had asked the Secretary-General to refer the issue to the Security Council in order to appoint a commander or to form a command center especially for such large numbers.

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Adel said Articles  and  of Resolution  referred to U.S. forces and the multinational force. However, who were the authorities? What were the guarantees? In Haiti the U.S. Secretary of State was reporting to the Security Council every fifteen days. Brahimi replied that there were many Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) and we could bring a model for such an agreement soon. That agreement would determine the situation of the forces, where they operated, their authority and immunities. In Haiti, a SOFA was not signed for seven months. We had two months now, Brahimi said, in which we must hold intensive talks between the Americans and the Governing Council. It was our concern to form an Iraqi government, as well as a work group that negotiated with the occupying forces and with permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council—countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, countries that had problems with the Americans—to prepare for the resolution that would be adopted. This resolution, he said to us, must be reviewed by you and gain your satisfaction; therefore, the next two months would be extremely important. There would be preliminary deliberations; they have rituals that start outside the Security Council as informal consultations. In the Security Council, the member states do not meet as equals. I said that we were the ones who had raised the issue of the sovereignty transfer, which Brahimi had raised as well. There were still some questions, such as the fate of the detainees, the transfer of sovereignty to the ministries, and the status of the contracts they had signed. Brahimi said we had spoken of the issue of detainees, the issue of oil contracts and revenues, as well as the issue of immunity. As for the debt issue, states were not the only ones that could impound; any company that was claiming a debt, rightly or falsely, could seize an Iraqi ship, aircraft, or cargo. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked for Lakhdar Brahimi’s perception of the government during his visit. Brahimi answered that he had met with the tribes, and no strange ideas were raised. People were talking about their views. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked for his perception of whether they would keep half, a third, or a quarter of the cabinet. Brahimi said he had no idea. Sayyid Abdul Aziz asked the position of the Muslim Scholars Association. Brahimi answered that they had not met with them at this time. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said he wanted to invite Brahimi for dinner with Dr. Ibrahim Jaafari, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, and Sayyid Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum.

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Brahimi said Chalabi had said some humiliating things about him and had criticized the marriage of his daughter to the Jordanian Prince Ali bin Hussein. As for Bahr al-Ulum, Brahimi said I know him and met with him in August  to arrange a meeting for him with Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait. However, now Chalabi and his people say I am a friend of Saddam and had encouraged him to invade Kuwait; that I smoked cigars with Saddam, when in fact I did not even meet him. This is offensive both to me and my family. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said he had spoken with Chalabi and so had Adel, and that was why he suggested a lunch or a dinner invitation. Brahimi said this was a generous offer and he could not refuse an invitation from him, but not with Chalabi, who would say what he wanted, even if it was unfriendly. Sayyid Abdul Aziz told Brahimi that Adel had praised him at the speech at the Security Council and Chalabi had added good things too. Lakhdar replied that this was not what Chalabi was saying abroad. His group had published an article in Tehran Times that would make any person feel ashamed. I am not a politician, he said. Adel said Brahimi was not a politician, but was conducting a politically dangerous mission: the formation of a government. He had been subjected to unfair accusations, so he must meet them to discuss things, because hearing things from afar was a mistake. The people invited had influence; we must fulfill our duty, so we will come to Sayyid Abdul Aziz’s place whenever he likes. As to whom we meet, leave that to us. Sayyid Abdul Aziz said we all strive to complete the mission. We want to coordinate the efforts and for the result to be satisfactory. We feel we shoulder a great responsibility. Brahimi said Adel defended them, but part of a statement issued by Bahr al-Ulum and Chalabi said that the project of the United Nations envoy opens the door for the forces opposed to our people. Adel said we did not defend them and that this was why we did not sign the statement. We have differences with the Association of Muslim Scholars; they are calling us America’s “Governing Council members.” But we understand this language. We believe that if the government were established and they joined it, then we would sit with them. The issue is not that we reject or accept, but to defend our beliefs. Brahimi added that Chalabi had called him a Sunni who had joined the Supreme Council. Adel’s attempts to reconcile Brahimi and Chalabi were supported by Sayyid Abdul Aziz, but they failed to convince Brahimi. The humiliation

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of Brahimi by Chalabi and his groups also caused problems for the SCIRI; we criticized Brahimi in a sensible way for not coming back to us after he stated to us that holding elections before the handover of sovereignty in June  was difficult for political and not for technical reasons. We in the Supreme Council understood the political reasons to be the Sunnis’ refusal to have elections. We asked Brahimi to remove the political reasons; we were ready to give assurances to Sunnis. When Brahimi was attacked and accused of personal issues not related to the elections issue, our legitimate criticism lost momentum. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani agreed to meet Brahimi in his first visit to Iraq. However, he refused to receive him during his second visit because of his statement about the elections. Partial Sovereignty? On May , Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari asked me to travel to New York to take part in the deliberations at the United Nations regarding a new resolution on Iraq. Some U.S. officials had made statements about giving Iraqis partial or limited sovereignty, while our staunch view was to see full and complete sovereignty returned to Iraqis. I began consultations with political leaders in Iraq and I went to the Governing Council on May  to talk with them about my upcoming trip. They were to have a session at ten o’clock in the morning in the Green Zone. While we were waiting for members of the Governing Council to arrive, we heard about an explosion at the gate to the Green Zone. A few members of the Governing Council finally appeared, including Muhsin Abdul Hameed from the Iraqi Islamic Party, Hameed Majeed Mousa from the Iraqi Communist Party, and Unadum Kanna from the Assyrian Democratic Movement. They told us that while they were queuing at the entrance to enter the Green Zone, there had been an explosion targeting the convoy of the President of the Governing Council for that month, Ezz al-Din Saleem, leader of a splinter of the Al-Dawa Islamic Party, Al-Dawa al-Islamiya. They added that they could see some cars of the convoy flying in the air. Less than an hour later we received news that the explosion had indeed targeted the President of the Governing Council and he was taken to a hospital. Later he, an assistant, and several bodyguards died in the hospital. The members of the Governing Council decided to continue the meeting, not to give up to the terrorists, whose objective was to stop their work. The

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next President of the Governing Council according to alphabetical order was Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer, who later became the first President of post-Saddam Iraq. So, the meeting started with Sheikh al-Yawer as chairman. After the beginning of the meeting, Ambassador Paul Bremer arrived and delivered a short speech in which he expressed his condolences to the Governing Council about the assassination of Ezz al-Din Saleem. After he finished, I told his assistant, Meghan O’Sullivan, that I would be traveling to New York regarding the new Security Council resolution and if Bremer needed to see me, she could phone. After Bremer left, Sheikh al-Yawer informed the Council of my intention to travel to New York and gave me the floor to explain the purpose of my trip. I discussed the dangers of partial sovereignty, of which some members, such as Chalabi, were aware. He warned me of the U.S. intention of giving back partial sovereignty. Other members of the Governing Council, such as Dr. Adnan Pachachi, asked questions irrelevant to the subject—for example, what was the function of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the UN? I told the Governing Council that I was not on trial in front of them about what the Foreign Ministry did in the UN, but was there to discuss what we should do to get Iraq’s full and complete sovereignty back. One day before my travel, Meghan phoned and said that Ambassador Bremer wanted me to postpone my trip. I told her I could not do that, because I had told her when we had met earlier that I was traveling, and that if Bremer wanted to see me, she could phone prior to my trip. I added that I would travel the next day to London and then to New York and that I took my orders from Minister of Foreign Affairs Zebari, not from Bremer. After I traveled to London on my way to New York, Foreign Minister Zebari phoned me and asked me to wait for him in London so we could travel to New York together. While in London I met John Sawers, who had been Bremer’s assistant in  and had gone back to London in . He was in charge of Iraq at the Foreign Office and later became the British Ambassador to the UN. I had discussions with Sawers about the situation in Iraq and the new resolution about returning sovereignty to Iraq. I asked Ambassador Sawers why Bremer had wanted me to postpone my trip to the UN. He answered it was because they were still in the process of deliberating about the new resolution and Bremer was afraid that if I went to New York, I would affect the deliberations in a way Bremer would not like. Nevertheless, after my arrival in New York with Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, we started holding talks with the Security Council members. We

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rejected the idea of partial or limited sovereignty and insisted on full and complete sovereignty to be handed back to the Iraqi people; we made sure that this was mentioned several times in the new resolution. While I was in New York, the President of the Supreme Council, Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, phoned me and said that Sayyid Mohammed Ridha al-Sistani, son of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, had called him and told him that the Grand Ayatollah refused to support the new resolution if it referred to the TAL. He added that the Grand Ayatollah made it very clear that mentioning the TAL in the new resolution was a red flag and that if it were mentioned, the Grand Ayatollah would object. I told Sayyid Abdul Aziz that I would talk to Hoshyar Zebari about the Grand Ayatollah’s view regarding the TAL. However, I said it would be better if Prime Minister Ayad Allawi talked to Zebari about it. While we were having lunch in the restaurant of the UN, Dr. Ayad Allawi phoned and asked to talk to Hoshyar Zebari. Hoshyar left us to talk to the Prime Minister privately, but I knew that it was regarding the Grand Ayatollah’s view. The U.S. and British Ambassadors invited us to dinner at the British Ambassador's residence and we discussed the issue of the new resolution. Hoshyar said it was important to mention the TAL in the new Security Council resolution. I said that Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani rejected the idea of mentioning the TAL in the resolution. In his speech in front of the Security Council, Foreign Minister Zebari demanded that the Security Council resolution include mention of the TAL. Nevertheless, the Security Council resolution was adopted without including any discussion of the TAL and Hoshyar was upset about that. The Government of Ayad Allawi On June , , Dr. Ayad Allawi became the first Prime Minister of Iraq after the fall of Saddam’s regime. Ali Allawi, in his book, The Occupation of Iraq, writes that “According to Pachachi’s discussions with Brahimi, ‘Ayad Allawi was not even being considered seriously’ in the early days as the first Prime Minister of Iraq.” It was the increased tensions in Fallujah and Najaf, however, that worked in favor of Allawi as a security-minded candidate. I disagree with Ali Allawi and think that Ambassador Bremer and the Americans favored Dr. Ayad Allawi as the first Prime Minister for Iraq right from the beginning, but they were afraid that Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani would reject Allawi’s nomination.

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On June , the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution  () and issued the following press release: The Security Council this evening [June , ] coalesced around a comprehensive resolution on Iraq, which endorsed the formation of the interim government and the holding of democratic elections by January , welcomed the end of occupation by  June, and determined the status of the multinational force and its relationship with the Iraqi Government, as well as the role of the United Nations in the political transition. . . . Among the several provisions concerning the multinational force, the Council decided that the force should have the authority to “take all necessary measures” to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq in accordance with the letters annexed to the resolution. (Those letters, dated  June, are from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government Ayad Allawi and United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the President of the Council.) The Council welcomed the letters stating, among other things, that arrangements were being put in place to establish a “security partnership” between the sovereign Iraqi Government and the multinational force and to ensure coordination between the two. The Council also decided that the mandate for the multinational force should be reviewed at the request of the Iraqi Government or  months from the date of the resolution, and that the mandate should expire upon completion of the political process. It would terminate the mandate earlier if requested by the Government of Iraq. On June , two days earlier than originally planned, Iraqis regained their sovereignty when Paul Bremer formally handed it back to the government of Prime Minister Allawi. The Confrontation in Najaf There were two major crises during Allawi’s interim government: the confrontation with Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf and conflict with Al Qaeda and the insurgency in Fallujah. In August , confrontations took place between U.S. military forces and Muqtada al-Sadr, the son of Ayatollah Mohammed al-Sadr, who was

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assassinated by Saddam’s regime in  in Najaf. Demonstrations erupted in many cities in Iraq against Saddam’s regime and the movement of al-Sadr became very popular, especially among the deprived Shiites in poor cities and neighborhoods. Muqtada became the leader of the movement after the assassination of his father and his brother. He opposed the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq and confronted them several times. The U.S. military found it difficult to deal with him and his supporters. The roots of the problem went back to Ambassador Bremer’s time, when he committed the mistake of closing a newspaper of Muqtada’s supporters, Al-Hawza, on the pretext that it had published false news when it compared him to Saddam Hussein. In response, Muqtada al-Sadr asked his followers to demonstrate for freedom of expression. I argued with some American officials and military officers and asked them if Al-Hawza was the only newspaper in Iraq that published false news. They answered that it was not. My next question was whether Bremer was closing all newspapers that published false news. Again they answered no. So why, I asked, out of so many Iraqi newspapers, had Bremer closed this one? To this they had no answers. In my neighborhood, Karada in southern Baghdad, where the newspaper used to be published, the followers of Muqtada protested peacefully—much like those who had taken part in the peaceful demonstrations that had occurred in Baghdad every day since the fall of the regime. The U.S. military in this case, however, confronted these demonstrators and arrested many of Muqtada’s followers. Tension spread to many Baghdad neighborhoods, such as Sadr City, Sha’ab, and Shu’la, where U.S. forces used excessive force, including tanks and helicopters, to arrest. Houses were demolished, and civilians, including children, were killed in sweeps by U.S. troops in pursuit of suspects. U.S. forces even removed some flags hung on electrical utility poles in Sadr City that had been displayed there to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein during the holy lunar month of Muharram, which upset residents. I heard stories from friends in these areas about what happened and spoke to the media at that time about these mistakes. The crisis spread from Baghdad to Najaf, when U.S. forces surrounded the holy city and skirmished with fighters from Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi Army. U.S. troops were poised to attack Najaf, and the Mahdi Army was ready to take sanctuary in the holy shrine of Imam Ali, which would have created a huge crisis for everyone. However, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, who was in London for medical treatment, decided to cut his

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visit short and to go back to Iraq on August , . He returned to Najaf by landing in Kuwait and traveling up the highway from Kuwait to the holy city. Millions of Iraqis greeted him along the way. He called Muqtada al-Sadr and sat with him for hours; he managed to defuse the situation and save the city from bloodshed with his patience, wisdom, and sound advice. ABC News reported that the Grand Ayatollah of Iraq’s majority Shiite population made a dramatic arrival in the besieged holy city of Najaf in a long convoy of vehicles. Ayatollah al-Sistani was met, they reported, by thousands of his supporters he called on to march to Najaf to save the city and the Imam Ali mosque. The Ayatollah called it a peace mission, but had to decide how to deal with Muqtada al-Sadr’s militiamen defying Iraqi and American troops and occupying the mosque. My brother Ali met with the Ayatollah in London while he was hospitalized there and knew something of his plans. In fact, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that while doctors were operating on the Grand Ayatollah, they told him to have a look at the screen to see the operation, but he later said, “I turned my face away from the screen and I was thinking of what was happening to the holy city of Najaf.” Fallujah At the beginning of November , Prime Minister Allawi sent delegations to countries in the region. He sent with them letters to the leaders of those countries about his intention to attack Al Qaeda and the insurgent groups in Fallujah in western Iraq. Allawi sent Minister of Foreign Affairs Zebari to Egypt and Saudi Arabia to deliver these letters. He sent Labeed Abbawi, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for Planning, with another delegation to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Wael Abdul Latif, a judge from Basra and former member of the Governing Council who had become the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Allawi’s cabinet and I, in my capacity as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and Bilateral Relations, were sent to visit Kuwait, Iran, and Turkey. The letters stated that the government intended to carry out attacks on Al Qaeda and insurgent groups in Fallujah and gave the reasons for the decision to attack: the threat these terrorist groups posed to the Iraqi government and people, and the attacks they had conducted against Iraqi officials and civilians. The letters also noted that the Allawi government had received

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messages from the people of Fallujah, asking the Prime Minister to intervene and protect them from Al Qaeda and the insurgents. In Kuwait, we met with the Emir, Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah. We delivered the Prime Minister’s letter and explained the situation. The Emir said that the Iraqi government is a sovereign government and any measures it takes against Al Qaeda and insurgence groups were sovereign decisions. He added that the Kuwaiti government understood the situation and would support any action by the Iraqi government against these terrorists groups. In Iran, we carried out a similar exercise with President Mohammad Khatami, who expressed concern about military actions taken by U.S. forces in Fallujah and civilian casualties in the city. Turkish Prime Minister Tayeb Rajab Erdogan also expressed his worries about civilian casualties in Fallujah as a result of the military attacks. When we went back to Baghdad, we had a meeting with Prime Minister Allawi and discussed the results of our visit to these countries. We emphasized the concerns that had been expressed regarding the fate of civilians in Fallujah. Allawi started a discussion about what we should do to avoid civilian casualties. We concluded our discussions by agreeing that the government would make sure that the civilians would leave Fallujah before the attack started and that the government would provide them with alternative living places and services. On September , , the Washington Times wrote that the U.S. military was on a course to try to subdue terrorist-infested Fallujah by force before the first national election in post-Saddam Iraq in January. Efforts to solve the persistent problem of Fallujah diplomatically were a failure, they reported, and the question was “when, not if ” to begin the operation. Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Buster Glosson was reported as saying that Iraq “cannot move to full democracy until Fallujah is tamed.” On November , , the operation, involving more than two thousand Iraqis and about ten thousand U.S. troops, began. They faced strong resistance, especially from the foreign fighters who had associated themselves with Al Qaeda. Some former military and intelligence officers from Saddam’s regime fought in Fallujah, too. One of the well-known intelligence officers who lived in my Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada, Majid Abo Diri’ (which means “the man with a shield”), fought in Fallujah. He had been in charge of security in the neighborhood during Saddam’s regime and had held similar posts in the holy city of Najaf and the holy city of Kadhimiya. After the fall of the regime in ,

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he disappeared; his sisters in Karada pretended that he was killed and started to wear black clothes in mourning. Some friends told me that he was given the nickname “the man with a shield” because when Saddam provided the security officers with bulletproof jackets, he volunteered to wear one; he asked Saddam to shoot him, both to show how well it would protect the officers and also to show loyalty to Saddam and his readiness to die for the dictator. Abo Diri’ was interviewed by an Arab television station before the battle of Fallujah and disguised himself by covering his face with a traditional red Iraqi headdress. During the interview he became emotional and pulled the scarf from his face, saying there was no point in hiding any more—that he would fight until death. Many people in Karada recognized him when he appeared in the televised interview. Many mistakes were made during the military operation in Fallujah, including American soldiers shooting injured people in a mosque, which was broadcast by a journalist, as well as the large-scale destruction of houses and civilian neighborhoods in the city. After the attack took place, more mistakes were made when U.S. forces did not work to rebuild the city or help create jobs for people, which would have dampened desire to join Al Qaeda or the other insurgent groups. U.S. forces withdrew from the city and left a military and security vacuum that was filled by Al Qaeda and the insurgent groups, which returned and took revenge on the people in Fallujah who had cooperated with U.S. and Iraqi forces. When General David H. Petraeus became Commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq, he initiated a new policy in which U.S. troops would clear an area of insurgents, hold it, and then help rebuild it. This new policy helped to turn the Iraqi people in Fallujah and other areas against Al Qaeda and insurgent groups in what used to be their safe havens.

Conclusion

The New Iraq

On January , , I accompanied Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim to the Baghdad Convention Center, where there was a polling station for Iraqi political leaders and officials. There we saw many high-ranking officials and media interviewing them. Sayyid Abdul Aziz and I spoke to several TV, radio, and newspaper correspondents. The Iraqi people were jubilant and were celebrating in the streets. Images of the Iraqi people, especially Iraqi women, showing their purple-ink-stained fingers were relayed all over the world. In many other countries now, people have begun to show their ink-stained fingers to the media during elections. Iraq was the starting point. Al Qaeda and the loyalists to Saddam’s regime threatened the Iraqi people and announced that everyone who participated in the elections was an infidel and deserved to be killed. The people were cautious in the morning, but by the afternoon they felt safe and went out to the streets and to the polling stations as individuals and in groups to vote. There were a few bombs and attacks, but no major outbreak of violence. On our way to the polling station, we passed through the streets of the Karrada neighborhood in southern Baghdad. There I saw Iraq’s old Russian tanks in the square leading to the  July Bridge with Iraqi soldiers on them. I felt that Iraq was back on its feet after the fall of the most brutal dictatorship in modern times, the chaos that had followed the removal of Saddam, and the occupation of Iraq. It was the first time in my life that I had voted in elections, and I felt that we had managed to achieve our objective of giving the Iraqi people the right to decide their future and choose their leaders. The Iraqi people had elected a General Assembly, charged with drafting the first permanent Constitution since . The Constitution was then approved by the majority of the Iraqi

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people in a general referendum in October . A second general election took place in December  to elect the first four-year-term government according to the new Constitution. Iraq’s Parliament represents all the components of the Iraqi people: all ethnic, religious, and sectarian groups in Iraq, including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Shiites and Sunnis, Muslims, Christians, Sabians, Ezidis, and Shabaks. In , a national unity government was established. On January , , we had the second provincial elections, and in July , we had provincial elections in Kurdistan. On March , , we had the second general elections for a full term government. A UN election expert who was in Baghdad during the elections told me that it was successful on all levels. He said the Iraqi Security Forces were responsible for security and safety, and very few terrorist attacks took place, although Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups threatened to kill those who participated in the elections. He added that the Independent High Electoral Commission announced that . percent of eligible voters participated in the elections, which is a good percentage, especially when compared to voter turn-out percentages of other democracies. Four major blocks won the majority of seats in the Parliament: Al-Iraqiya of former Prime Minister Dr. Ayad Allawi won  seats; the State of Law Alliance of present Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki won  seats; the Iraqi National Alliance of Ammar al-Hakim won  seats; and the Kurdish Block of President Jalal Talabani and Masoud Barazani won  seats. Negotiations between the major political groups to set up the new government were long and arduous. It is my hope that a strong and lasting national unity government will be formed from all four of the major blocks of Iraqi politics, in order to have security, stability and economic prosperity brought to all in Iraq. Since , post-Saddam Iraq has seen a number of men serve in positions of leadership, including former President Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer, former Prime Ministers Dr. Ayad Allawi and Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, and many former Ministers. This is in stark contrast to the dictatorial regimes of the past, from which we used to have executed Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Ministers. Looking back at my lost family and considering the imprisonment and torture I suffered at the hands of the Baath regime, I do not believe my sacrifices were in vain. They were for the sake of God, the people of Iraq, and my country.

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My brother’s kidnapping and killing in October  made it obvious that our enemies were frustrated not to have been able to stop the elections held that year. Since they could not stop the elections, they instead engaged in exacting revenge. From  until , Iraq was under the one-party rule of the Baath party, and everything was under the control of the government: the judicial system, the media, the NGOs, and so forth. Since , we have more than one hundred political parties, the judicial system and the media have become independent, and there are many active NGOs in the country. The Baath party also controlled the economy, overseeing all of the country’s exports and imports. Since  and the adoption of the Constitution, which says Iraq will have a free market economy, a variety of businesses, both foreign and domestic, have begun to flourish all over Iraq. During Saddam’s regime, many women were imprisoned, tortured, and executed for their participation, or that of their family members, in the opposition. They inherited a heavy burden when men were killed in the wars Saddam started against neighboring countries. Like other Iraqis, Iraqi women were deprived of their rights, especially their political rights. After , however, the Iraqi Constitution stated that  percent of Parliament members should be women, a large percentage compared with many countries in the world. At the time this law was instituted, in many countries in the region women were not allowed to vote, let alone to run for office. In , however, Kuwait changed its law to allow women to run for office and participate in elections. In the two elections that followed the Kuwaiti legal shift, no woman made it to Parliament, but in the May  elections, four Kuwaiti women out of fifty members were elected to Parliament for the first time in Kuwaiti history. In August  the Egyptian Parliament announced a temporary  percent quota for women, and other countries in the region have since held some sorts of elections, such as municipal elections in Saudi Arabia. Several women have taken ministerial positions in each Iraqi government since . During Saddam’s regime, women were not allowed to serve in any diplomatic mission outside Iraq. Most of the diplomats were from Saddam’s intelligence service; indeed, weapons caches, including machine guns and guns with silencers, along with ammunition and explosives, were discovered in Iraqi embassies all over the world after the fall of Saddam’s regime and handed over to authorities. Women also were not allowed to participate in any delegation traveling outside Iraq. Since , Iraq has had many female

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diplomats, including ambassadors, serving in important posts outside Iraq. Married women in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unlike married men, were given a salary of a single person during Saddam’s regime, a law that changed after the fall of the regime. The leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, wrote a letter to Osama bin Laden in which he said that if the new government were to extend its control over the country, Al Qaeda members would have to pack their bags and break camp for another land where they could resume carrying the banner. Their fighting against the Shiites, the letter said, was the only way to drag the Islamic nation into the battle. The security situation has improved dramatically since , when Al Qaeda tried to instigate a sectarian war between the Shiites and Sunnis by attacking the holy shrine in Samarra, which provoked a negative reaction and counterattacks. The security improvements since  have helped to shift the focus to improving services and reconstruction. Iraq is rich with natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, and water. It is also rich with human resources. With national reconciliation, improvement of security, and reconstruction, Iraq will soon stand on its own and become a flourishing and prosperous country again, as it was before the Baath party came to power in . The new Iraqi government needs to focus on providing services and basic needs such as clean water, sewage facilities, electricity, schools, hospitals, roads, and housing to the Iraqi people who were deprived of these by the policies of Saddam’s regime. This will not be achieved without reviving the free market economy, supporting the private sector, and attracting foreign investment in the country. Security is the key issue in attracting foreign investment and the main concern for the Iraqi people. Corruption is also a major disease in the country, and the government should work harder to tackle these issues. Openness between the Iraqi government and the regional and international powers is also important for gaining political, economic, and other kinds of support for projects in Iraq. Our ultimate objective is to build a modern state based on the principles of a united, free, sovereign, just, and independent Iraq according to the permanent Constitution approved by the majority of the Iraqi people; to mobilize the Iraqi people’s support for the political process of national reconciliation; and to use Iraq’s huge oil resources to achieve this project. The Iraqi identity should be above any ethnic, religious, sectarian, and political differences among the Iraqi people—a people who form a unique mosaic and have lived for centuries in peace and harmony. Iraq cannot be ruled by one

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ethnic, religious, or sectarian group; there must be a real partnership among all Iraqis to participate in Iraq’s governance. Although we face challenges regarding the political process, national reconciliation, security, and reconstruction, the Iraqi people are united in facing these challenges and difficulties to build their future.

Notes

Introduction . See article in Arabic at http://www.iraq-ina.com/showthis.php?tnid=. . Participation in the Iraqi Legislative Elections reached . percent; Al-Arabiya TV, March , . http://www.alarabiya.net/articles////.html. . L. Paul Bremer, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope (New York: Simon & Schuster, ), .

Chapter 1. The Birth of the Iraqi Opposition . Hamid al-Bayati, The Secrets of the February ,  Coup in Iraq in the British Secret Documents (London: Al-Rafid, ). . Hamid al-Bayati, Saddam Hussein and the Great Conspiracy: The Secrets of  July  Coup in Iraq in U.S. Secret Documents (London: Al-Rafid, ). . The holy city of Najaf, about  miles south of Baghdad, has great religious significance to Muslims. Besides being the center of Islamic literature studies, religious teaching, and jurisprudence, Najaf is home to the sacred shrine of the fourth Caliph of Islam, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. . Yusuf Ghanimah, History of the Jews in Iraq, with a Supplement on the History of the Jews of Iraq in the Twentieth Century, by Meer Basri, nd ed. (London: Al-Warrak, ), . . Peter W. Galbraith, The End of Iraq (New York: Simon & Schuster, ), . Ambassador Galbraith and I worked together as board members of the London-based NGO INDICT, chaired by British MP Ann Clwyd, a friend of the Iraqi opposition since the s. She later became Prime Minister Tony Blair’s envoy on human rights in Iraq. INDICT collected evidence about Saddam’s crimes and endeavored to set up an international tribunal to try Saddam and his top aides for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. . Ali Mohammed al-Shamrani, The Conflict of Counters: The Iraqi Opposition After the Gulf War (in Arabic) (London: Dar al-Hikmah, ), –.

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. Fran Hazelton, ed., Iraq Since the Gulf War: Prospects for Democracy (London: Zed Books, ), . . Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City (New York: Knopf, ), . . Ali Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, ), –. . Ibrahim Nawar, Iraqi Opposition and the Struggle to Remove Saddam – (London: N Publications, ), –. . Dr. Laith Kubba became the spokesman of the government of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in . . Michael Rubin, “Kurdistan Dispatch: Bomb Shelter,” New Republic, June , , http://www.iraqwatch.org/perspectives/winep-rubin-.htm. . Al-Shamrani, The Conflict of Counters, . . A Lecture by Hoshyar Zebari, Head of Foreign Relations for the KDP, in the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI), London, January , . . “Containment: The Iraqi No-Fly Zones,” BBC News, December , , http:// news.bbc.co.uk//hi/events/crisis_in_the_gulf/forces_and_firepower/.stm (accessed November , ). . UN Environment Programme-Grid ARENDAL, “From Wetlands to Drylands: The Destruction of the Mesopotamian Marshlands,” , http://www.unep.org/dewa/ assessments/ecosystems/water/vitalwater/.htm. . Amnesty International, “Iraq: Marsh Arabs Still Persecuted, UN Should Monitor Human Rights On-Site,” November , , http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ NWS///en/dedb-ed-dd-f-beceff/nwsen.html. . Dr. Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum was a friend in London for many years and an oil engineer who became the first Oil Minister after Saddam’s regime fell in . Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum and Sayed Jaafar al-Bassam, Iraqi Environmental Protection Group, Draft Report on Draining of Arab Marshlands in Southern Iraq, January . . I have a copy of the Middle East Watch Mission, “Current Human Rights Conditions Among the Iraqi Shi‘a,” January –February , . . Max van der Stoel, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Iraq, Prepared by Mr. Max van der Stoel, Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, in Accordance with Commission Resolution /, delivered February , . . Galbraith, The End of Iraq, . . “Containment: The Iraqi No-Fly Zones.” . However, President of the Supreme Islamic Council Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim estimated that around , Iraqis were killed following the March  popular uprising among the Shiites and Kurds. . Peter W. Galbraith, “The Ghosts of ,” Washington Post, December , , http://iraqimojo.blogspot.com///ghosts-of-.html. . This is according to Laurie Mylroie, an expert in Iraq issues who supported the Iraqi National Congress and Ahmad Chalabi. I met her several times in Washington and London, and in the INC offices at Salah al-Din in Kurdistan, northern Iraq.

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. I have known Kubba since we attended university in Baghdad. Later I met him in London, where we were part of a ten-member advisory council for Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim, son of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim and brother of Supreme Council leader Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Sayyid Mahdi al-Hakim was assassinated by Saddam’s regime in Sudan in . The Sudanese government announced that the Iraqi Embassy had carried out the assassination and broke diplomatic relations with Saddam’s regime. . According to Laurie Mylroie, a Saudi-backed coup had failed in July . She stated that “The Saudis were in fact pursuing a coup…. But unlike the American Arabists, the Saudis were not wedded to the idea Saddam had to be overthrown in a coup. They wanted to support the uprisings.” Laurie Mylroie, “The United States and the Iraqi National Congress,” Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, .

Chapter 2. The Journey from Salah al-Din to Washington . Ibrahim Nawar, “Untying the Knot,” Al-Ahram Weekly  (February –, ), http://weekly.ahram.org.eg///sc.htm. . Dr. Salah al-Shaikhly was an Iraqi National Accord member and former general director of the Planning Department in the Iraqi Ministry of Planning. . See Ibrahim Nawar, al-Muíarada al-ëIraqiya wa al-Siraí li-Isqat Saddam –  (Iraqi Opposition and the Struggle to Remove Saddam –) (London: N Publications, ), –. . Emma Nicholson, MP, “The Plight of the Marsh Arabs,” Arab Review (January ): –. . See resolution  text, http://www.fas.org/news/un/iraq/sres/sres.htm. . Humam Hamoudi was political advisor to the Supreme Council leader and after  a member of Parliament. . Speech by HRH the Prince of Wales, “Islam and the West,” delivered at Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, on the Occasion of his Visit to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Wednesday, October , , http://www.islamic-council.com/conferences_eu//.asp. . There was extensive media response to the Prince of Wales’s speech at the Oxford Centre. . See Laurie Mylroie, “The United States and the Iraqi National Congress,” Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, October , ; http://www.mail-archive.com/ [email protected] aol.com/ msg.html. . Ibid. . David C. Litt was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates in .

Chapter 3. Failed Coups and U.S. Policy Shifts . SCIRI’s insistence was based on a diplomatic formality. Sayyid al-Hakim had been received by the Emir of Kuwait, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and President Hafez al-Assad

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of Syria. Al-Hakim’s political advisor Sheikh Humam Hamoudi had visited London previously, and I had managed to arrange a meeting for him with Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. The leader should therefore meet with no less than the Prime Minister. . Kurdistan descended into armed combat. The PUK wrested control of the entire province of Arbil and forced the KDP out. The KDP managed to regain control of the capital after KDP leader Massoud Barzani struck a deal with Baghdad that saw central government forces join with the KDP in evicting the PUK. Jalal Talabani’s PUK was also forced out of Sulaimaniya, but managed to regain control. The fighting between the two sides would continue intermittently until , when the U.S. State Department worked out a deal that gave the PUK control of Sulaimaniya and the KDP control of Arbil and Dahuk. . Seymour M. Hersh, “The Iraq Hawks: Can Their War Plan Work?” New Yorker, December , , http://www.newyorker.com/archive////fa_FACT. . Hamid al-Bayati, The INC Plan to Overthrow Saddam, Fall of the Evil (London: Al-Rafid, ), . . “Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law says torture common in Iraq,” CNN exclusive interview with Hussein Kamel Hussein, September , , http://www.cnn.com/ WORLD// iraq_defector/index.html. . Patrick Cockburn, “Saddam Is Left Weaker After Crushing Revolt,” Independent, June , , http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/saddam-is-left-weaker-after -crushing-revolt-.html. . Peter W. Galbraith, The End of Iraq (New York: Simon & Schuster, ), . . Reuters News Agency report, August , . . Nawshirwan Mustafa subsequently split from the PUK in  to establish a new Kurdish coalition in the Iraqi Parliament called Gorran (“Change”). . Dual containment was a U.S. policy aimed at containing Iraq and Iran, outlined in May  by Martin Indyk of the National Security Council, and officially announced February , . . The U.S. State Department lists Mujahedeen-e-Khalq as a terrorist organization for its association with Saddam Hussein’s regime. The MEK was blamed for attacks on Western targets in the s and supporting the  American embassy takeover in Tehran. A  State Department report said that MEK maintains “the capacity and will” to attack “Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and beyond.” The Iraq government accuses the MEK of supporting Saddam’s regime against the people of Iraq during the March  uprising (see Center for Policing Terrorism report, www .cpt-mi.org/pdf/MeK.pdf).

Chapter 4. A Strategic Shift: From Containment to Liberation . Iraq Liberation Act of , Iraq Watch, August , http://www.iraqwatch.org/ government/ U.S./Legislation/ILA.htm.

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. In , Ambassador Paul Bremer appointed Shahwani director of Iraqi Intelligence Services. . Charles D. Ferguson, “Lessons of Desert Fox,” Boston Globe, February , , http:// www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles//// lessons_of_desert_fox/. . “Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Briefing on Operation Desert Fox,” U.S. Department of Defense, December , , http://www .defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=. . The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an attempt in April  by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba and overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. They were defeated in three days. . I have a copy of this letter from Bill Clinton (see also documents of House Foreign Affairs Committee). . Nawrooz is an annual Kurdish celebration of spring on March . . Judy Aita, Washington File Staff Correspondent, “U.S. Pledges Support for Iraqi Opposition, Pickering: U.S. Will Help Rebuild Iraq After Saddam Hussein,” BBC News, USIS Washington File, November , . . The Six Plus Two Group, an informal group dealing with the war in Afghanistan, was composed of China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, plus the U.S. and Russia.

Chapter 5. Uniting the Opposition . Andrew Apostolou, “When the Dictator Departs,” Washington Times, August , . . Hamid al-Bayati, The Terrorism Game,  September Attacks and New Alliances (London: Al-Rafid, ). . Ryan Mauro, “Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden: A Match Made Up in Propaganda?” http://www.probush.com/ryan_saddam_hussein_and_bin_laden.htm. . BBC, “U.S. Diplomat Shot Dead in Jordan,” October , , http://news.bbc. co.uk//hi/middle_east/.stm. . Patrick E. Tyler, “Intelligence Break Led U.S. to Tie Envoy Killing to Iraqi Qaeda Cell,” New York Times, February , , http://www.nytimes.com//// international/middleeast/ QAED.html?pagewanted=, chap. . . Stephen Kaufman, “Panelists Discuss Kurdish Role in Post-Saddam Iraq,” Washington File, June , , http://usinfo.org/wf-archive///epf.htm. . “GOP Ranks Split over Iraq Invasion,” CBS News.com, Washington, August , . . Ezzedine Salim was assassinated in Iraq in  when he became President of the Governing Council. . James A. Paul, “Oil in Iraq: The Heart of the Crisis,” Global Policy Forum December, , http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article//.html.

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. Kanan Makiya was an Iraqi exile teaching at Brandeis University who had worked against Saddam’s regime and had written two critical works about Saddam’s Iraq, Republic of Fear: The Inside Story of Saddam’s Iraq (New York: Pantheon, ), and Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising, and the Arab World (New York: Norton, ). . Inexact quotation, translated from the Arabic. . See Hamid al-Bayati, Fall of the Evil (London: Al-Rafid, ). . “Turkey Rejects U.S. Troop Proposal: Baghdad Starts Destroying Banned Missiles,” CNN, March , , http://www.cnn.com//WORLD/meast///sprj.irq .main/. . Asla Aydintasbas, “No Uprisings: An Unfortunate Policy in Iraq,” Nationalreview Online, March , , http://article.nationalreview.com/print/.

Chapter 6. War and Occupation . Michael Smith, “Allied Forces Invade Iraq,” Daily Telegraph, March , . . See Hamid al-Bayati, Fall of the Evil (London: Al-Rafid, ). . I have a copy of the Statement in Arabic, which I summarized in English. . L. Paul Bremer, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope (New York: Simon & Schuster, ), –. . Peru returned a few stolen Iraqi antiquities through the Iraq UN mission in New York during my time as ambassador. . Haseeb, a nationalist, former governor of the Central Bank in Iraq, and head of the Arab Unity Center, established the National Arab Congress in . . “U.S. Commander Orders Saddam’s Baath Party to Shut Down,” AP, May , , http://www.highbeam.com/doc/P-.html.

Chapter 7. Dealing with Bremer . L. Paul Bremer, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope (New York: Simon & Schuster, ), . . Bremer, My Year in Iraq, . . Robert Dreyfuss, “Book Review: My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, by L. Paul Bremer III with Malcolm McConnell,” Middle East Policy Council Journal ,  (Spring ), http://www.mepc.org/journal_vol/_dreyfuss.asp. . Oweis is a Jordanian of Palestinian origin. I had met him when I was in London. . Bremer, My Year in Iraq, . . Bremer, My Year in Iraq, . . Bremer, My Year in Iraq, . . Responsibilities of the occupying powers in Iraq, http://www.thethfire.com/ Politics%and%History/USresponsibilitiesIraq.htm. . “The War in Iraq and International Humanitarian Law, Frequently Asked Questions on Occupation (FAQ),” http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/iraq/ihlfaqoccupation.htm

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. Where Sergio Vieira de Mello was killed in a bombing on August , . . Bremer, My Year in Iraq, . . “U.N. Security Council Lifts Iraq Sanctions,” CNN, May , , http://www .cnn.com//WORLD/meast///sprj.irq.main/. . O’Sullivan was a fellow at the Brookings Institution under Richard N. Haass and served in the Office of Policy Planning at the State Department, where she assisted Colin Powell in developing the smart sanctions policy proposal. She was an assistant to Paul Bremer in the Coalition Provisional Authority after the  invasion of Iraq. . http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS//iraq/forces/commanders/us.command/ index.html. . “United Nations Resolution ,” Global Policy Forum (May , ), http:// www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article//.html (emphasis mine). . AP, “Leading Iraqi Shiite Group Feels Betrayed by Americans” (July , ), http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAZXMJNHD.html. . AP, “Bahrain Offers Sanctuary to Saddam,” Independent, March , , http://www .independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/bahrain-offers-sanctuary-to-saddam-.html.

Chapter 8. Negotiating the Transition . David L. Phillips, Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, ), . . Paul Bremer, “Iraq’s Path to Sovereignty,” Washington Post, September , , http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac/wp-dyn/A-Sep?language=printer. . See letter at Global Security, http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/ iraq/ //-al-zarqawi.htm. . See the report, www.un.org/News/dh/iraq/rpt-fact-finding-mission.pdf. . See: http://jcsl.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/short///.

Chapter 9. Self-Rule . David L. Phillips, Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, ), . . Ali Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, ), . .“Security Council Endorses Formation of Sovereign Interim Government in Iraq; Welcomes End of Occupation by  June, Democratic Elections by January ,” Resolution  (), http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//sc.doc.htm. . “Ayatollah Sistani to Broker Najaf Deal,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, August , , http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content//s.htm. . “U.S. Eyes All-Out Offensive to Subdue Fallujah Rebels,” Washington Times, September , .

Index

Note: dates are organized yy-mm-dd al-Abadi, Haider, Dawa party, 160 Abdullah, Amir, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince/ King of Saudi Arabia, 91, 111–12, 258 Abizaid, John, 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 Abu Ghraib prison, 200 al-Adhadh, Ali: assassination, 34; 92-07-29 meeting with author, Walker, 34–36 Afghanistan: and Iran, 128, 142; as model of government creation, 164 Al-Ahram Weekly, 46 Alagiah, George, 51, 53, 56 Albright, Madeleine, Secretary of State, 14, 77, 80, 84; 00-09-14 meeting, staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27; U.S. not reconciling with Saddam, 121 Al-Dawa al-Islamiya party, 302 Al Dawa Islamic Movement: 233; adding to conference, 149 Al Dawa Islamic Party: 9, 90, 149, 302; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44 Algiers Agreement, 2 Al Hayat newspaper: 01-04-03 interview with SCIRI, 130; printing Foreign Office statement, 36 al-Ali, Salah Omar: conference with JAC, 25; contacts with Saddam’s regime, 41 Al-Iraqi block, success in Parliamentary election, 311 Al Kawader Al Islamiya Movement, meeting 95-05-23 with Tueller, Foreign Office, INC, KDP, PUK, 68–69

Al Khoei Foundation, 39, 71–76 Allawi, Ayad, viii, 5; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 02-04-02 meeting with author, Sabah Allawi, Nuri al-Badran, 143; 02-06-22 meeting with author, Nuri al-Badran, 144; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; conference with JAC, 25; elected to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 171; first Prime Minister of Iraq, 304–5; in Group of Four, 131; ILC member to receive postwar power, 12, 206, 223; meeting with Miller, Hadley, Cunningham, 143–44; meeting with Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, 160–61; in Parliamentary election, 311; and sovereignty, 9 Allawi, Mohammed: 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 Allawi, Sabah, 02-04-02 meeting with author, Ayad Allawi, Nuri al-Badran, 143 Allegrone, Kathy, Deputy Director for Northern Gulf Affairs, 118; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24 allied forces. See Coalition forces

324

Index

Al Qaeda, 7–8, 133; Ayad Allawi intention to attack in Fallujah, 307–8; leader captured, letter found, 257–58; presence in Iraq, 12 rewards offered for information, 257–58 Al-Saud, Faisal, Prince of Saudi Arabia, 111–12 Al Tahrir party, crushed by Baath regime, 18 Al Talayi’ party, 199 Alyan, Aziz, 68; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75 Amarah province, attack on Saddam in, 64 Amar Appeal, 53, 55, 58 American Enterprise Institute, 99-09-27 meeting with Jalal Talabani, Chalabi, 119–20 Americans. See United States Amin, Mohammed, 198, 200 Amnesty International: report on Marshes, 31–32; statement on executions, 36 al-Amri, Hadi, 281; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88 Annan, Kofi, UN Secretary General, 15, 191, 251, 254, 265; 04-01-18 meeting with Iraqi Governing Council, UN Security Council and CPA, 248–49; meeting with, 102, 191; meeting with Tueller, 96; no elections before sovereignty handover, 267; respect for, 279 antiquities, stolen and returned, 189–90 Apostolou, Andrew, 131–32 Arab Summit Conference, 129–30 Arbil: attacks on, 77–78, 136; no repeat of attack on, 111; opposition work in, 73; retaliation by Saddam on, 66; shared by KDP and PUK, 63 Arif, Abdul Rahman, Iraqi President, 17, 18, 231 Armitage, Richard L., Deputy Secretary of State, 02-11-19 letter to Supreme Council, 153 army: police, absorbing fighters into, 219; morale problems, 36 al-Assad, Bashar, 14, 142, 258; 03-12 visit from author and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, 246 assassination attempts: author, 10; Bush, 133–34, 147; al-Douri, 101; Hussein, 86; at night, 60; Qasim, 89; Ricciardone, 112; Saddam’s fear of, 70; Ali al-Sistani, 275 assassinations, 147; al-Hakim, 11, 245, 250, 258; Mohammed al-Sadr, 116, 120, 123, 275;

Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, 40, 274; alSalim, 302; Viera de Mello, 223 Assyrian Democratic movement: 176, 230, 302; adding to ILC, 176, 178; 00-09-14 meeting, Albright and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 al-Atiyya, Ghassan, 98-11-03 meeting with author and Pachachi, 98–100 authority, transferring. See transferring authority Axelgard, Fred, 14; 01-06 meeting with author, 132 Axis of Evil, 137, 142 Aydintasbas, Asla, 179–80 Aziz, Tariq, Deputy Prime Minister, 55–56; prevented from travel to Europe, 55, 88, 110, 127 Aznar, José María, Spanish Prime Minister, 246; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, 14 Baath Party: Coalition working with, 199; crushing coup attempts, 18; eliminating, 199–200, 211; forbidding members from jobs, 199, 209; members invited to Baghdad conference, 192–93; military coup, 1963, 17–43; not cooperating with UN teams, 82; struggle against regime, 39. See also de-Baathification al-Badran, Nuri: 02-04-02 meeting with author, Ayad Allawi, Sabah Allawi, 143; 02-06-22 meeting with author, Ayad Allawi, 144; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; 03-05-24 meeting of ILCl, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 Badr Corps, 3, 7, 87–88; attack on Saddam in Marshes, 64; changed into political organization, 195; not allowed to fight Saddam, 150; official SCIRI military channel, 184 Baghdad: Coalition forces entering, 187 Baghdad conference, April 2003, 192–94

Index Baghdad newspaper, London, 55 al-Bakaa, Mohammed Tahir, 199 Baker, Frank: 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-04-24 meeting with author, 89 banks: Americans to open in Baghdad, 204; Central Bank, protecting, 205; corruption in, 205; grants for, 244 al-Barazanchi, Mohammed, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 Barzani, Farhad, 133; 00-09-14 meeting with Albright and staff, opposition groups, 125–27 Barzani, Massoud, 5–6, 97, 136–37; 99-11-01 meeting with INC National Assembly, 124–25; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council, KDP, PUK, 171–72; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; closer to PUK, 103; elected to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 171; to form a new front, 99; greeted in Najaf, 231; in Group of Four, 131; ILC member to receive postwar power, 12, 206, 223; in INC leadership council, 46–47; not participating in Bremer-appointed Political Council, 233; siding with Baghdad, 78; success in Parliamentary election, 311; U.S. position regarding, 77; visit to Ali al-Sistani, 231–32 Barzani, Nechirvan: 137; 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69 Basra: 209, 218, 233; beginning of rebellion, 27; liberating, 97, 187, 189; Saddam attacking, 22, 78, 93 Basri, Meer, 19 al-Bassam, Mahdi, 00-09-14 meeting, Albright and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 al-Bayati, Abbas, Turkmen to join ILC, 175, 178 al-Bayati, Hamid, passim; arrest and torture, 9–10; belief in fate, 107; brother’s kidnapping, 11, 312; danger in London, 88; family, 10, 129; letter about repression of Iraqi

325

people, 48; meetings with Iraqi businessmen, 107; refusing positions, 244–45; relatives, 11, 36; surveillance of family, 11, 134–35 BBC: correspondents, 51; Newsnight interview with author, 218 Bhatia, Shyam, 52 Bible, Genesis 1:26-28, 1 bin Hussein, Sharif Ali, 90; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58 bin Laden, Osama, 8, 133, 263; recruiting suicide bombers, 13 bin Omar, Jamal, 15; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88; 04-05-11 meeting with Supreme Council and UN, 296–302 biological weapons, destroying, 82 Blackwill, Robert D., Bush Special Envoy: 04-02-10 meeting with author, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and Adel Abdul Mahdi, 262–67; 04-03-16 meeting with author, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Bremer, 276–80; 04-03-30 meeting with Supreme Council and Yael Lambert, 289-96 Blair, Tony: 03-12 visit from author and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, 14, 246 bombings: planning aerial, 107; U.S. silence about, 101 Boutros-Ghali, Boutros, UN Secretary General, 30, 38, 42 boycotting: New York INC meeting, 124–25; U.S. meetings on new government, 193 Brahimi, Lakhdar, 15, 278–79; 04-01-31 meeting with Powell and Rice, 255; 04-02-07 meeting with Supreme Council and UN delegation, 251–56; 04-02-09 meeting with author, Adel Abdul Mahdi and UN delegation, 259–62; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88; 04-05-11 meeting with Supreme Council and UN delegation, 296–302; appointed Special Advisor to UN Secretary General, 251; inviting for assistance with elections, 277–79; neutrality as Sunni, 266, 282, 301

326

Index

Bremer, L. Paul, vii, 15, 206–46; 03-05-16 meeting with Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, U.S. and British officials, 234–35; 04-02-09 meeting with Supreme Council, 257–59; 04-02-27 meeting with Supreme Council leadership, 268–73; 04-03-16 meeting with author, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Blackwill, 276–80; authority higher than McKiernan, 213; authority to form administration not accepted by Iraqis, 236–37; choosing seating arrangements, 221–22, 237; closing Al-Hawza newspaper, 306; comparing position to postwar Japan and Germany, 216; on elections and constitutions, 247–48; head of CPA, 8; interpreting Security Council resolution, 221; looting, 189; no authority to change Secretary of State decisions, 203; not knowing anything about Iraq, 207–8; reaction to author’s comments about security, 245; refusing to allow elections, 262; refusing to set up interim government, 12–14, 206; request for ILC representatives, 197; review of first meeting with leaders, 215–16; uncomfortable with SRSG presence, 222; al-Brifkani, Abdul Qader: 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 Britain: lobbying, 47–52; deporting Saddam’s intelligence agents, 133; position against Saddam, 26–27; Special Representatives, 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 British Foreign Office. See Foreign Office Brownback, Sam, 14, 124 Bush, George H. W., 2–3; assassination attempts, 133–34, 147; call for Iraqis to force Saddam out, 27; mistake not to remove Saddam, 120 Bush, George W., vii, 137–38; administration reneging on pledges, 245; committed to transferring authority, 259; decision to remove Saddam, 7; phoned to pressure Turkish officials to allow helicopter across border, 170; potentially better to bring

Saddam down, 119–20; speech to UN General Assembly, 149, 152; ultimatum to Saddam, 174 Butler, Richard, 82, 105–6 Campbell, Stephen, 57 Carey, George, Archbishop of Canterbury: summer meetings with Supreme Council, Hurd, 51; 1995 meeting with al-Hakim, 63 Carpenter, Scott, 15; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44 Carter, Jimmy, UN resolutions not demanding Iraq withdrawal from Iran, 22 Casey, George W., 15 Catholic Church, representative meeting with al-Hakim, 63 CBS reports, Bush administration encouragement for Saddam ouster, 149 census: elections without, 9, 283–84; required before quotas, 157; taking accurately, 163; UN monitoring, 163 al-Chadirchi, Nasir, 12; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-20 meeting with Manning, 217–20; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; added to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee after fall of Saddam, 171; ILC member to receive postwar power, 206, 223 al-Chadirchi, Nasir Kamil, 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 Chalabi, Ahmad, viii, 5, 12, 171, 197, 201, 204; 97-09-29 meeting with Hurd, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-08-19 meeting with author, 94; 98-10-27 meeting with author, 96–97; 98-12-01 meeting with Rashid, 104–5; 99-09-27 meeting with Jalal Talabani, American Enterprise Institute, 119–20; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 02-09 meeting with Rashad, Maasoom, PUK, 149; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197– 205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-20 meeting with Manning, 217–20; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; attempts to delay

Index Opposition Conference, 154–55, 158; controlling him, 152; coordinating with Foreign Office, 89; criticizing diplomats, 301; elected to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 171; ILC member to receive postwar power, 12, 206, 223; INC as figurehead, 131–32; in INC executive committee, 46–47; including unaffiliateds in Opposition Conference, 154; Kuwaiti aid source reports, 54–55; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75, 75–76; organizer of Salah al-Din conference, 44; organizing Vienna conference, 38–39; planning with KDP and PUK, 64; relation to Allawi, 99; relation to Iraqi National Accord, 99; requests to criticize, 146; suggesting topics for Bush speech, 149; taking over Basra, 187; unrealistic overthrow plans, 139; unwilling to work with U.S., 92; U.S. refusing to work with, 90 Chandrasekaran, Rajiv, 24 Charles, Prince of Wales: speech at Oxford University, 51; support from, 14 chemical weapons, 22, 56; Kurdish fear of, 29; against Marsh Arabs, 33, 56 Cheney, Dick, Vice President, 14; video conference, 147 Chirac, Jacques: 03-12 visit from author and President of Supreme Council, 246; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz, 14 Christians: community oppressed in 1960s, 19; in expanding ILC, 230; and Muslims, relationships, 1; protected by TAL, 271 Christopher, Warren, Secretary of State: 93-04 meeting with INC, Lake, Gore, 56–57; statement about human rights, 59 CIA, 105; and coded communication equipment, 105; meeting with Ayad Allawi, Deputy National Security Advisor, National Security Council, 143–44; planning coup, 120 civilian administrator, U.S. appointing, 168 civilian attacks and casualties, 101: avoiding in Fallujah, 308; in Marshes, 30, 34, 35; potential in Turkish incursion, 67; in Saddam’s putdowns of protests, 116; staying indoors to avoid, 165 Clinton, Bill: 93-04 meeting with INC, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Vice President, 56–57; description

327

of Supreme Council, 113; naming supportable Iraqi groups, 4; Operation Desert Fox, 105–6; recognizing Shiites, 39; second term, 76–80; to sign ILA, 96 Clwyd, Ann, 109; chair of INDICT and AllParty Parliamentary Human Rights Group, 110; support from, 14 CNN interviews: Ricciardone, Frank, 112; Kamel, 69–70 Coalition: to act like real government, 235; to act as occupying force, 215; asked to cooperate with Iraqi forces after war, 218; concerns about let down of Iraqi people, 170; coordination with ILC, 224; created to reverse Kuwait invasion, 23; democratization, second stage, 218; diplomatic relations, lacking in interim, 214; importance of forming, 99; Iraqi people to cooperate, 162; leaders imposed by West, 42; major work done by, 167; needing U.S. help and technical support, 173; postwar improvements, 209; protecting only some buildings, 189; recognition of Iraqi leadership, 178; and refugees, 175; school curricula, changing, 239; 03-06-16 meeting with ILC, 201 Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), 8; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; 04-01-18 meeting with Iraqi Governing Council and UN Security Council, 248–49; creation, 8; after liberation, 176–77; occupying palace, 208; replaced by U.S. Embassy, 264–65; writing constitution and reforming economy, 215 Cohen, William, 106 cohesion, lack within INC members, 68–69 Commission on Human Rights, Annual Session 1993, 49 Committee for the Relief of the Iraqi People, 50 communication equipment, 105 Congress, U.S.: deliberation on ILA, 98; role in overthrow of Sassam, 119–120 constitution, 9; elections; approving, 310–11; to be written by elected body, 232; developing by people, 252; before elections, 239, 247; forming a committee for drafting, 163; freedoms to be protected, 275; methods of writing, 242; permanent, 287; replacing TAL, 293–94; written by elected body, 232. See also Constitutional Council

328

Index

constitutional convention, 163–64, 234; make-up and responsibilities, 238–40; to precede elections, 234 Constitutional Council, 239–42; as appointed by Bremer, refused, 232–33; Bremer appointing, 8, 223, 232, 237, 248–49; electing by caucus, 249; electing by people, 9, 235, 248–49 Constitutional Monarchy Movement, 125; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24;; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Iraqi Opposition Conference, 153–55; as supporters of monarchy, 21 Consultative Council, 168 containment policy, 7; failure of, 91, 108; moving away from, 99 coups: attempts, 88–89, 104–5; Coalition failed hope for, 184; creating conditions for, 42; failed, 69–70; organizing military, 106; planned by CIA, 120 CPA. See Coalition Provisional Authority Crocker, Ryan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, 15; 02-07-25 letter to Supreme Council, KDP, INA, INC, Movement for Constitutional Monarchy, 146; 03-03-18 meeting with American diplomats, 174–79; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, Bremer, U.S. and British officials, 234–35 Cunningham, James, CIA, meeting with Ayad Allawi, Miller, Hadley, , 143–44 currency, replacing after war, 242–43 al-Dabbas, Dhia, 35 date for handing of authority back to Iraqis, 255–56 daughters of Saddam defecting, 74 Dawa Islamic Party (Dawa Party): 17, 38, 39, 90, 134, 144, 160–61, 169, 185; 03-05-16 ILC meeting, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement,

Supreme Council, 235–36; including in ILC, 177; and London Conference, 159–60; as a main Iraqi opposition group, 21 dead, identifying, 211 de-Baathification, 173, 200–202, 210–12; Bremer’s concerns about committee, 240; Coalition instructions on, 209; criminals, released by Saddam to fight against Coalition, 212; defining, 201; fairness of law, 236; Saddam’s apparatus still operating, 218 debt: owed to Iraq, 190; transferring, 299–300 defectors: to Badr Corps, 3–4; Kamel, 70–71, 74–75; al-Salihi, 106; al-Samarrai, 27 Defense Department meetings with Group of Four, 145 delegations: sending from ILC to UK and U.S., 230; sending to London, Congress, Security Council members, 202; sending to Western countries, 200 democracy: believed impossible in Iraq, 172; promised by Bush administration, 247; stages to establish, 210demonstrations: in Baghdad, 20, 123; demanding elections, 248; for independent Iraqi government, 193; no encouragement of, 175 detention camps, 30–31 Deutch, John, 105 Devaki, Robert, 57 Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), 299 Diri, Majid Abo, intelligence officer, fighter, 308–9 distinguishing between Iraqi opposition and regime forces, 182, 187 Documentary Center for Human Rights, 93 documents and evidence, loss of during looting, 189 al-Douri, Izzat Ibrahim, narrowly escaping in Vienna, 109, 110, 118 Downing, Wayne, 145 dual containment policy: ending, 80–81; U.S. distinguishing Iraq from Iran, 141 Dublin agreement, 72 al-Dulaimi, Mohammed Madhloum, 78 Dulaim tribe, battles with government forces, 78 al-Duwaisan, Khaled, 55 Ecevit, Bulent, Turkish Prime Minister, 112

Index economic situation, restoring, 242–44; dinar, raising exchange rate, 204; dollar, depreciation, 204; economy connected to security, 243–44 Egypt: relationship with, 102–3; supporting change, 111; U.S. not reconciling with Saddam, 121; visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 Ekeus, Rolf, 79 elections: after constitution, 239, 247; for democracy building, 163; electoral lists, preparing, 253–54; ensuring security, 260; feasibility studies, 250–56, 259, 264, 278, 282; goal of ILC, 184; local after war, 209; people frustrated from lack of, 281; Political Council to conduct, 241; political, not technical problems, 259, 263, 267–68, 278, 282; provincial, 311; Al Qaeda threats to, 310–11; security sufficient for, 252–53, 284; as Shiite demand, 256; UN to decide, 248; using weapons issue during, 119; U.S. avoiding confrontation during, 128. See also constitution Eliasson, Jan, 15, 57; 93-03 meeting with UN Humanitarian Affairs, 49 embarrassment of UK MPs, caused by SCIRI unwillingness to meet with lower office, 62–63 End of Iraq, The (Galbraith), ix, 22 England. See Britain Euphrates River, diversion to drain Marshes, 32–33 executions: by Baath party, 17–18; in Marshes, 32; Saddam’s sons, 75; Shiites in southern Iraq, 37 Fahd (Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud), King of Saudi Arabia, 59–61 Fallujah: intended attacks on Al Qaeda, 307–8; as terrorist base, 297 fatwas: forbidding Iraqis from fighting Kurds, 231; forbidding killing of Kurds (1966), 136; for and against Kurds, 19; rejecting invasion and occupation, 185; against repression of Christians, 19 Fawzi, Ahmed, 15; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88; 04-05-11 meeting with Supreme Council and UN, 296–302 fear: atmosphere of, 281; of voters and candidates, 253–54

329

Feith, Douglas, 14; meetings with Group of Four, 145 films and satellite photos, call for, 118–19 Final Communiqué (of London Conference, 159 Firdos Square, vii, 187 al-Faiki, Hani, 71; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–76 Follow-up and Coordination Committee: 02-02-26 meeting, 169–71; adding members to, 237; committees, importance of, 170; establishment at London Conference, 159; expanding, 161, 197, 215, 242; forming Transitional National Assembly from, 182; governments, rejecting imposed, 166; home-based versus abroad-based opposition, 166; included in Preparatory Committee, 218; leadership committee, 171 food and medicine distribution, 84, 108 foreign investment, encouragement, 243 Foreign Office (British): 92-07-29 meeting with author, Ali Al-Adhadh, 34–36; 95-05-23 meeting with Tueller, INC, KDP, PUK, 66–68; 98-04-24 meeting with author, 89; 98-11-24 Wilson meeting with author, Indyk, 101–4; meeting with Supreme Council, 26–27; meeting with Tueller, Iraqi opposition, 71–75; support from, 14 Fouad, Kamal, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 France: receiving Tariq Aziz, 55–56; support for lifting sanctions, 68; withdrawal from Kurdistan protection, 78; president: 03-12 visit from author and President of Supreme Council, 246; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz, 14 Francke, Rend Rahim, 93-11-05 letter to Emma Nicholson, 56 Franks, Tommy: banning Baath Party, 200; considered appointment as military governor, 191 “freedom, independence, and justice,” 183–84 Free Iraqi Council: conference with JAC, 25; as supporters of monarchy, 21 Free Iraqi Forces, taking over Basra, 187 frozen assets: lifting freezes, 243–44; using for humanitarian aid, 44; using to finance human rights inspectors, 41 Fuerth, Leon, 124

330

Index

G4. See Group of Four (G4) G6 configuration, establishing, 146 Galbraith, Peter, vii–ix, 14, 22; describing ground situation, 37; and Marsh Arab culture demolition, 34 Gang of Four. See Group of Four (G4) Garner, Jay, 12; 03-04-15 meeting with Iraqis, 192; 03-05-03 meeting with Supreme Council, 195–96; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; administration of Iraq, 191–96; setting up interim government, 206; support for ILC, 196 Geneva Conventions, 221 genocide, 30, 126 Germany: relationship with Supreme Council, 87; and safe haven, 60; 97-10-10 Embassy meeting with author Ghul, Hassan, Al Qaeda leader, 257–58 Gilman, Benjamin A., 113, 124 Glaspie, April, Ambassador, 90-07-25 meeting with Saddam, 22 Goldrich, Ethan, U.S. Embassy: 3-12-02 meeting with author and Krajeski, 139–40; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalalzid, Preparatory Committee, 153–55 Gore, Al, Vice President, 125; 93-04 meeting with INC, Christopher, Lake, 56–57; potential next president, 93–94 Governing Council: 04-01-18 meeting with UN Security Council and CPA, 248–49; cabinet, creating, 286; consistency with transitional government, 289; duration and composition, 289–91; elected and non-elected, 272–73; expanding, 285–87; invitation to UN, 248–49, 276, 277; legitimacy lost if confronting UN, 279; nominations for, 233; president targeted in Green Zone, 302 government, civilian: duration to set up, 169; designing governmental units, 285–88; establishing, 11–12, 151, 190, 300; importance after fall of Saddam, 207; mechanism for selecting, 237, 311 Green Zone, vii, explosion at, 302 Grossman, Marc, Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, 14; 02-10-11 letter to Supreme Council, 152; 02-10-26 letter from Supreme Council, 152–53; meetings with Group of Four, 145

Group of Four (G4), 5, 131–32; explanation of, 138; founding, 141; London Conference, 158; as umbrella group, 144; Washington conference at American University, 145 Group of Seven, 234 Gul, Abdullah, Turkish Prime Minister, 172, 180 Gulf War, strengthening Saddam, 59 Habib, Araz, 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26 Habib, Michael, meeting 95-05-23 with Tueller, Foreign Office, KDP, PUK, 66–68 Hadley, Stephen J., Deputy National Security Advisor: 02-11-19 letter to Supreme Council, 153; meeting with Ayad Allawi, Miller, Cunningham, 143–44 al-Haidary, Mohammed, 144, 146, 195; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88 Haider, Nazar, 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 al-Haj Hmud, Hdaib: 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 al-Haj Hmud, Mohammed, 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 al-Hakim, Abdul Aziz, 14; 02-10-11 letter from Grossman, 152; 02-10-26; letter to Grossman, 152–53; 02-12-12 meeting with author and Khalilzad, 155–56; 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council, KDP, and PUK, 171–72; 03-03-18 meeting with American diplomats, 174–79; 03-05-01 meeting with Khalilzad, 194–95; 03-05-03 meeting with Jay Garner, 195–96; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 04-01-18 meeting with Iraqi Governing Council, UN Security Council and CPA, 248–49; 04-02-07 meeting with Brahimi, Supreme Council and UN delegation, 251–56; 04-02-09 meeting with Iraqi Supreme Council and Bremer, 257–59; 04-02-10

Index meeting with author, Blackwill and Adel Abdul Mahdi, 262–67; 04-02-27 meeting with Supreme Council leadership, U.S. Ambassador and staff, 268–73; 04-03-16 author, Bremer, Blackwill, 276–80; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88; 04-04-30 meeting with Supreme Council and Blackwill, 289–96; 04-05-11 meeting with Supreme Council and UN, 296–302; becoming president of Supreme Council, 5, 245–46; death of cancer, 2009, 5; elected to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 171; first visit to U.S., 4; ILC member to receive postwar power, 12, 206, 223; meeting with Foreign Office, Supreme Council, 26–27; President of Supreme Council, 246; returning to Iraq, 194 al-Hakim, Ammar: defending father’s U.S. meetings, 5; success in Parliamentary election, 311 al-Hakim, Mohammed Baqir, 20, 39–40; 93-08 meeting, 51; 95-01 meeting with Carey, papal representative, parliamentary representatives, 63; 99-01 meeting with Najib al-Salihi, 106–7; 99-01 meeting with Supreme Council, Adnan Pachachi, 106; 01-04-03 interview with AL Hayat newspaper, 130; 01-10-23 meeting with KDP, 137; 02-02-26 Follow-up and Coordination Committee meeting, 169–71; 02-11-19 letter from U.S. diplomats, 153; Americans having trouble contacting, 144; assassination, 5, 245, 258; elected president of Supreme Council, 3; to form new front, 99; in Group of Four, 131; not participating in Political Council, 233; sending subordinates to Washington, 146–47; visiting UK, 35–36, 62–63 al-Hakim, Mohsen, 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69 al-Hakim, Muhsin, 03-03-18 meeting with American diplomats, 174–79; and alMahdi, 18–19 al-Hakim, Sahib, 118 Hamoudi, Humam: 94-05 meeting with State Department, National Security Department, 58–61; 04-02-09 meeting

331

with Iraqi Supreme Council and Bremer, 257–59 al-Haqim, Mohammed Baqir: 5, 20, 25, 35, 43, 47, 52, 54, 70, 89, 107, 131, 137, 144, 147, 155, 158, 170, 196, 204, 231, 232, 234; assassination, 245, 250; election as president, 3 Hasan (author’s brother), 11, 197 helicopter gunships, 29, 37; in Marshes, 33 Helms, Jesse, 14, 96, 113 Hetherington, Martin, 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, Bremer, U.S. and British officials, 234–35 Hisham, Abu, 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 historical treasures, loss of during looting, 189 History of the Jews of Iraq (Yusuf Ghanimah), 19 Hogg, Douglas, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (UK), receiving al-Haqim, 62 holy places, law regarding, 225–26, 268, 270–71, 280, 295 House Foreign Affairs Committee (Committee on International Relations), 57; receiving names of ILA eligible groups, 113 House of Commons, launching INDICT campaign, 109 human rights: abuses by Saddam’s regime, 118; issues important to British, 48–49; ethnic cleansing, 126; humanitarian law, 221 political prisoners to be respected, 212; punishing in civilized way by Iraqi opposition, 203; violations, 6, 147; violations in Marshes, 31, 58 humanitarian aid: institutions to be supported, 212; Kurdish refugees, 28–29; Kuwaiti, 54–55; workers evacuated after KDP attack, 77 Hussein, King of Jordan, 73–75 Hussein, Qusay, 113 Hussein, Saddam: arrest, 246; assuming defensive position, 121; becoming vice president, 1968, 17; definition of victory, 59; family members, depending on, 88–89; fragmentation of family, 116; hatred of Kurds, 137; impossibility of rehabilitation, 83; intelligence apparatus after war, 218;

332

Index

Hussein, Saddam (continued) link to September 11 attack, 133; low morale of forces, 148; personal fears, 69–70; policy of divide and rule, 2; political campaigns against, 55–56; referendum, claim of support in, 212; regime refusing aid, 55; regime fall in 2003, 10–11; replacing currency with picture, 243; retaliation for Mosul and Kirkuk attack, 66; rewriting of history, 273–74; secret bank accounts, 205; sons-in-law, 69–71; subsidies for, 22; support by outside countries, 7; target of Allied air strikes, 181; trial of, 92–93, 95; ultimatum from Bush, 174 Hussein, Uday: 75, 110; assassination attempt, 86 ICP. See Iraqi Communist Party ILA. See Iraq Liberation Act Imperial Life in the Emerald City (Chandrasekaran), 24 INA. See Iraqi National Accord INC. See Iraqi National Congress Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq, 270, 272, 280 INDICT (NGO), 7, 109–11, 126–27, 198 Indyk, Martin, 14; 98-06-18 meeting with author, 93; 98-11-24 meeting with author, Foreign Office, Tueller, 101–4; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; introducing red lines, 115–16; U.S. ready to work with INC, 100 insurgency groups, 197, 305–309 interim administration, 9; developing in Security Council resolution, 14, 83, 240; exchanging views on, 191–92; plans for, 238 interim government: American recognition of, 150; begins, 289–90; committee to coordinate, 150; crises during, 305–9; establishment delayed by Bremer, 223; mechanism for forming, 166; not acceptable to Supreme Council, 192. See also transitional government; government International Criminal Court, lacking jurisdiction, 110 International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), 264 international law, 148; enforcing, 47; regarding new governments, 194; responsibilities for Coalition, 178

Internet: Kurdish documents on, 93; spreading information through, 90 Iran: and Afghanistan, 128; attack on MEK bases, 81; dialog with Americans, 104; hostile action to be dealt with by U.S., 162; U.S. relationship with, 102, 128, 141–42; visit by Iraqi diplomats about attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8; wariness of West, 45 Iran-Iraq War, 2–3, 21 Iraq Foundation (Washington), 93-11-05 letter to Emma Nicholson, 56 Iraq Liberation Act (ILA), 4, 90, 96–97, 98, 131; assessment by Supreme Council, 100–101; criteria for groups to aid, 112–15; difficulties faced, 121; evaluation of U.S. policy after passing, 105; implementation, 124, 128–29; military training under, 151–52; reservations about, 108–9; training Iraqis in fields, 126 Iraq: Marsh Arabs Still Persecuted; UN Should Monitor Human Rights On-Site (Amnesty International), 31 “Iraq: Monitoring the Situation in the Southern Marshes (1993),” 54 Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), 17 “Iraq Update” weekly newsletter, 34 Iraqi advisory council, to work with Coalition forces, 162–63 Iraqi Communist Party (ICP): 95-05-23 meeting with Tueller, Foreign Office, INC, KDP, PUK, 68–69; author’s speech at, 129–30; as leftist party, 21; meeting with British Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 Iraqi Democratic Accord, conference with JAC, 25 Iraqi Democratic Movement, 21 Iraqi Democratic Party, 21; 95-05-23 meeting with Tueller, Foreign Office, INC, KDP, PUK, 68–69; meetings with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75, 75–76 Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), 296 Iraqi Interim Authority, Supreme Council not participating in, 193 Iraqi Islamist Party, as a main opposition group, 21 Iraqi Leadership Council (ILC), 12; 03-06-01 meeting with U.S. and British officials, 237–44; 03-06-16 meeting with Coalition leaders, 201; call to uprising, 181–83; communiqué, final before war, 180;

Index coordination with Coalition, 224; creating, 151–52; creating headquarters, 204; democratic society to be built by, 183; demonstrating overwhelming support for, 229; discrimination rejected by, 183; entrance of all Iraqis to Iraq, 184; expanding, 215, 230, 237; Sala al-Din quotas, 46, 157, 177; slowness to respond, 228; support from Jay Garner, 196; taking control of Iraq, 183; turning power over to, 206–7; U.S. recognition of, 179 Iraqi National Accord (INA), 5; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, Dawa Islamic Party, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; coordinating with Foreign Office, 89; in Group of Four, 131; holding conference in Cairo, 161; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75; meeting with Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, 160–61; as nationalist party, 21; not working separately from Supreme Council, 144; qualified to receive ILA assistance, 113 Iraqi National Alliance, success in parliamentary election, 311 Iraqi National Congress (INC): 93-04 meeting with Christopher, Lake, Gore, 56–57; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; acceptance of U.S. financial support, 131; 00-09-14 meeting, Albright and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad and Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58;

333

03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; author on Executive Council, 5; consolidation, 56–61; coordinating aid, 50–51; creation, 42, 44, 46–48; as figurehead, 131–32; funding sources, 103; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75, 75–76; not in ILA, 96; planning with KDP and PUK, 64; qualified to receive ILA assistance, 113; refused entrance by Turkey and Foreign Office, 66–68; relation to Ayad Allawi, 99; relation to INA, 99; remembering main principles, 66; reviving and reorganizing, 111, 115–17; Supreme Council participation in meeting, 116; as unified Iraqi opposition, 59; U.S. funding undermining credibility, 139; U.S. support for, 49; Windsor meeting, 115–16. See also Chalabi Iraqi National Movement: 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Supreme Council, 235–36 Iraqi opposition: arrangements for meeting, 114–15; attack on Mosul, Kirkuk failure, 65; birth of, 17–43; connection with resistance, 123; curfews after falls, 189; dealing with Kamel, 71; direct action, importance of, 116; distinctions between groups, 132; feeling marginalized, 166; feelings of abandonment after first invasion, 39, 148, 218; focus on Saddam’s crimes, 85–86; focus on toppling Saddam, 140; media influence, 80; meeting with Tueller, Foreign Office, 71–75; origins, 20–22; plans for liberation, 7; reaction to invasion, 181–83; transitional role for, 168; uniting, 24–27, 42, 138–39, 156; U.S. failure to consult, 101; U.S. officials prohibited to meet with, 37–38; U.S. respect for, 168; U.S. support for, 59, 93, 102

334

Index

Iraqi Opposition Conference, London, December 2002, 153–60; Chalabi attempts to delay, 155, 158; Dawa Islamic Party absence, 159–60; November 19 letter, 153; preparations, 156-58. See also Preparatory Committee Iraqi Tribes Association: 95-05-23 meeting with Foreign Office, Tueller, INC, KDP, PUK, 68–69 Islamic Action Organization, 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 Islamic Al Dawa Movement, splinter of Dawa Islamic Party, 233 Islamic Cadre Movement, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75 Islamic Movement in Kurdistan: 99-09-28 meeting with U.S. diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan, and ILA assistance, 113 “Islamic Revolution,” problems with term, 40 Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), 5, 12. See also Supreme Council (for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) (SCIRI) isolation, U.S. policy of, 77 Israel: comparison to Coalition occupation, 207; occupying Arab and Muslim holy lands, 148; peace with, 121 al-Jaafari, Ibrahim: 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; added to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee after fall of Saddam, 171; Dawa Islamic Party not participating in London Conference, 159–60; ILC member to receive postwar power, 12, 206, 223; serving in leadership, 311 Jabbar, Mohammed Abdul: 68, 161; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75 Jabur, Saad Saleh, 21, 25; conference with JAC, 25; funding switching, 90; West’s good relations with, 40–41 JAC. See Joint Action Committee

al-Jadir, Aceeb, on board about coalition, 99 al-Jafaari, Ibrahim: 12, 21, 159, 160, 171, 197, 235, 316; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 al-Janabi, Nabil, 71 Jawad, Ghanim, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75, 75–76 Jewish community, 19 jihad, meaning of, 133 Joint Action Committee (JAC) established, 25 Joint Chiefs of Staff, ridding Iraq of Baath Party, 200 Jordan, 73–75; lead in cooperation with Iraqi opposition, 99; visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 journalists: as election observers, 262; sent undercover to Marshes, 51; using to query administration, 45 judiciary system, initiating, 167 Kamel, Hussein, 69–71, 74 KDP. See Kurdistan Democratic Party Kemp, Geoffrey, 57 al-Khadimi, Abdul Razzaq, 160 Khalilzad, Zalmay, 128, 307; 12; 02-02-26 Follow-up and Coordination Committee meeting, 169–71; 02-12-03 meeting with Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-12 meeting with author and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, 155–56; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee for the Iraqi Opposition Conference, 156–58; 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69; 03-03-06 meeting with Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 172–74; 03-03-18 meeting with American diplomats, 174–79; 03-03-19 meeting with ILC and Turkish officials, 179–80; 03-05-01 meeting with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, 194–95; discouraging call for uprising, 181; setting up Iraqi interim government, 206; trying to cross Turkish border in helicopter, 170 Khatami, Mohammad, election to Iranian presidency, 81 kickbacks from exporters to Iraq, 24 King, Rebecca, 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27

Index Kirkuk: Air Base, 70; planned attack on Saddam in, 64–65; Turkish fighters taking control, 170 Krajeski, Thomas, State Department North Gulf section: 02-03-12 meeting with author and Goldrich, 139–40; 03-03-18 meeting with American diplomats, 174–79 Kubba, Laith, 70; organizing Vienna conference, 26, 38–39 Kurdish Block, success in Parliamentary election, 311 Kurdistan, Kurds, vii–viii, 28–29; American presence in, discussion of, 73; attacking forbidden by red lines, 116; camps for Kurds leaving Kurdistan, 174; ceasefire, U.S. role in implementing, 71–72; crushed by Saddam, 27; customs revenue, at Turkish border, 73; federalism for opposed, 112; forces not allowed to fight Saddam, 150; harsh winter, 45; insisting in details in TAL, 269; Kurdish-Kurdish conflict, 83; main income from customs revenue, 63; participating in political process after liberation, 162; prewar concerns about Turks, 174–79; protecting, 111; refugees, aid from Kuwait, 54–55; rising tensions in, 63; role in overthrow process, 145; revolt, 28–29; role in post-Saddam Iraq, 145; Saddam’s hatred of, 137; ties with Shiites emphasized, 137; Turkish intervention in, 67; uprising forces contacting, 182. See also KDP; PKK; PUK Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), 125; 95-05-23 meeting with Tueller, Foreign Office, INC, PUK, 66–68; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27; 01-10-23 meeting with Supreme Council, 137; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, 161–69; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council and PUK, 171–72; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders,

335

224–26; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; clashes with PUK, 63, 77; Dohuk, control of, 63; to form a new front, 99; in Group of Four, 5, 131; as Kurdish opposition party, 21–22; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75, 75–76; qualified to receive ILA assistance, 113; relationship with Supreme Council, 136–37; suicide attacks on, 250. See also Kurdistan; PKK; PUK Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK): aggressions against Turkey, 66–68; compared to Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, 81; Turkish concern about, 112. See also KDP; PUK Kuwait: attacking forbidden by red lines, 116; diplomatic visits during Ramadan 1997, 87; Emir of, 54–55; humanitarian aid, 54–55; invasion, 2, 22, 23, 79; Saddam attack, U.S. position on, 127; visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 Kuwait Red Crescent, 54–55 Lake, Anthony, U.S. National Security Advisor: 93-04 meeting with INC, Christopher, Gore, 56–57; removing U.S. assistance for attack, 65; supporting trial for Saddam, 58–59 Lambert, Yael, 289 law, mechanism to change, 291–92 Leadership Council. See Iraqi Leadership Council Lebanon, visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 legitimacy: given to occupation by Security Council resolution, 227; through UN, 190 Lempert, Yael, 14; 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69; 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, Bremer, U.S. and British officials, 234–35; 04-04-30 meeting with Supreme Council and Blackwill, 289–96 letters: 93-02-03; Malcolm Rifkind to MP Emma Nicholson, 48; 93-02-10; Prime Minister to Emma Nicholson, 48; 93-11-05; Francke to Emma Nicholson, 56; 98-06-03; Supreme Council to author, 90; 98-06-12;

336

Index

letters (continued) author to Supreme Council, 90–92; 99-05-10; Supreme Council to Senators, 113–15; 02-08; author to Walker, 36; 02-10-11; Grossman to Supreme Council, 152; 02-10-26; Abdul Aziz al-Hakim to Grossman, 152–53; 02-11-19; U.S. diplomats to Supreme Council, 153; 03-03-23; Supreme Council to author, 183–85; Iraqi government about attack plans on Al Qaeda, 307–8; Supreme Council to UN re Marshes repression, 30–31 Lewin, Barry: meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76; meeting with U.S. Embassy, Iraqi opposition, 71–75 Libby, I. Lewis, Vice President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, 02-11-19 letter to Supreme Council, 153 “liberated,” Iraq declared as, 192 Litt, David, 57 lobbying, 47–52, 56–61 London Conference. See Iraqi Opposition Conference London Times, 51 Losing Iraq, 247 Lott, Trent, 96 Luti, William J., 150 Maasoom, Fouad: 02-09 meeting with Chalabi, Rashad, PUK, 149; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 Mack, David, 15 Mahdi, Adel Abdul, 195; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 04-02-07 meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, Supreme Council and UN delegation, 251–56; 04-02-09; author, UN delegation, 259–62; 04-02-09 meeting with Iraqi Supreme Council and Bremer, 257–59; 04-02-10 meeting with author, Blackwill and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, 262–67; 04-02-27 meeting with Supreme Council leadership, U.S. Ambassador and staff, 268–73; 04-05-11 meeting with Supreme Council and UN, 296–302 Mahdi Army, 306

Major, John: 93-02-10 letter to Emma Nicholson, 48; initiative for safe haven in northern Iraq, 35 Majun, Sami Azarza, 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86 Makiya, Kanan, campaigning to include independents in Iraqi Opposition Conference, 154 al-Maliki, Nouri, 21, 34, 160, 161; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; and political process, 228–31; success in parliamentary election, 311 Manning, David, Foreign Policy Advisor to Blair: 03-05-20 meeting with Iraqi leaders, 217–20 marginalizing Iraqis, 184, 194 Marr, Phebe, 109 Marsh Arabs, 33–34; bombardment of, 51; chemical weapons against, 56; clinics in, 53; despair in, 51–54; displaced by draining, 64; grants to Marsh refugees from British, 50; relief for, 44 Marshes, 29–34, 85; artillery attacks in, 36; call for fair distribution of food in, 68; doctors and nurses in, 53; draining by Saddam, 30, 32–33, 36, 48, 58, 64, 79; ending destruction of, 59; humanitarian assistance: none reaching, 34; interviews of refugees, 53; mass transfers to north, 45; media attention on, 50; mines, underwater, set in, 33–34; overshadowing bloodshed, 48; phosgene gas used in, 56; photographers, sending to, 35; public opinion, influencing with story, 36; publishing crisis with trips to Washington, 57; resistance built in by Supreme Council, 30; Saddam still attacking, 78; statements to protect requested, 116; way of life destroyed, 48 mass graves, 197, 211 al-Mawla, Mohammed Taqi, Turkmen to join ILC, 178 McKiernan, David D., 15; attack commander, 235–36; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26 media: Chalabi announcing interim government issue to, 151–52; American and British eager for INC information, 69; Bremer refusing to entertain questions from, 215; coverage lacking of Iraqi suffering, 217

Index media campaigns: Chalabi against Clinton administration, 66; Kurdish parties against each other, 73; about Shiite oppression, 35 Melkert, Ad, 15 Members of Parliament (MPs), 48; 95-01 meeting with SCIRI, 63; support from, 14 Middle East Watch: reports of cruelty by Saddam’s regime, 30; report on Marsh fighters, 33 military: commander appointed by U.S., 168, 183–84; involvement, deeper needed, 48; option not excluded, 95; plan, need for, 97; training, providing under Iraqi Liberation Act (ILA), 151–52; strikes, as short-term strategy, 101–2 Military Industrial Commission, 70; Hussein Kamel as head of, 74 militias, 224, 261 Miller, Ben, Deputy National Security Advisor, meeting with Ayad Allawi, Hadley, Cunningham, 143–44 ministries: appointments to, 239; continuing after liberation, 163 Miran, Delshad, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 Misan Marshes dried up, 48 Mistura, Stephan de, 15 money, funding; Iraq’s held in Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), 299. See also currency, replacing after war morale of Saddam’s forces, 36, 148 Morrison, Andrew, 14; 97-09-09 meeting with author, 80–82; 99-01-29 meeting with PUK, 107–12; 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, Bremer, U.S. and British officials, 234–35; with information about moving of military supplies, 118–19 Mosul: planned attack on Saddam at, 64–65; Turkish fighters taking control, 170 Movement for Constitutional Monarchy: 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; qualified to receive ILA assistance, 113 Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) bases, Iran’s attack on, 81 Mulholland, John, 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26

337

Musawi, Nabil: 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; 03-05-24 ILC, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36 Muslim Brotherhood, crushed by Baath regime, 18 Muslims and Christians, relationships between, 1 Muslim values, to be respected by new society, 183 Mustafa, Nawshirwan: 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75 Myers, Richard, ridding Iraq of Baath Party, 200 Mylroei, Laurie, 15 al-Nahyan, Zayed, 258; 03-12 visit from author and President of Supreme Council, 246 Najaf: Barzani visit, 231; car bombs, 250; confrontation in, 305–7 Namiq, Jawhar, 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council, KDP, and PUK, 171–72 al-Naqib, Hassan: 99-11-01 meeting INC National Assembly, 124–25; in INC leadership council, 46–47 al-Naqshabandi, Munthir, 198 National Assembly. See Transitional National Assembly National Review, 179–80 National Security Department, 94-05 meeting with Humam Hamoudi, State Department, 58–61 Nawar, Ibrahim, 26, 46 Neumann, Ronald, Director of Northern Gulf Affairs, State Department, 94-05 meeting with author, Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, State Department and National Security staff, 58–61

338

Index

newspapers: Al-Hawza, 306; Al Hayat, 36, 130; Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 39; Arab Review, 48; Observer, 51; Tehran Times, 301; Washington Post, describing ground situation, 37; Washington Times, 131–32, 308 Nicholson, Emma, 48; 92-12 meeting with UN Security Council members, 57; 93-02-10 letter from Prime Minister (UK), 48; 93-03 meeting with UN Humanitarian Affairs, 49; 93-08 meeting with Supreme Council leader, 51–52; 93-11-05 letter from Francke, Rend Rahim, 56; embarrassed by Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, 62–63; support from, 14 no-fly zones, 41, 58; enforcement effectiveness, 48; expanded rules of engagement, 119; expanding to entire country, 126; extended toward Baghdad, 78–79; northern, 29; Operation Southern Watch, challenging forbidden by red lines, 116; Saddam pressuring U.S. by violating, 128; southern, 36–37. See also Operation Provide Comfort Northern Gulf Affairs, Office of, 57 no-uprisings strategy, 179–80 Oba, Gary, 57 occupation: bringing resistance, 12; language in Security Council resolution draft, 220; mistake after war, 13; refusing, 169, 200, 207; rejection by Iraqi Opposition Conference, 155; view of U.S. presence as, 184 Occupation of Iraq, The, 304 Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), 12, 191, 200, 204, 235–36 oil: developing fields by Americans, 152; preventing Saddam’s access to revenues, 141; providing Saddam means to export, 76; revenue going to Development Fund for Iraq, 227; sales for food and medicine, 50, 66; Turkish incursion focus on pipelines, 67 oil and gas companies, 17–18 Oil-for-Food program, 68, 80; buying Iraqi crops through, 213; oversight, 126; Saddam benefiting from, 24. See also Security Council resolutions 986, 1111 Oil Ministry building, protected by Coalition forces, 189

O’Leary, Carole, 15; Washington conference at American University, 145 Olympic Committee, Iraqi, disbanded, 110 Operation 21, 135 Operation Desert Fox, 105–6 Operation Provide Comfort, 29. See also nofly zones Operation Southern Watch, 37, 115. See also no-fly zones Organization for Human Rights in Iraq, 118 Osairan, Aida: 68; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76 O’Sullivan, Meghan, 15; 03-05-26 meeting with author, 236–37; 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, Bremer, U.S. and British officials, 234–35; 04-02-27 meeting with author, Supreme Council leadership, Bremer, 268–73; contact person for Bremer, 233–34 Pachachi, Adnan, 106; 98-11-03 meeting with author and Ghassan al-Atiyya, 98–100; 99-01 meeting with Supreme Council, 106; invited to join Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 171; refusing to participate, 176; sovereignty and election timing, 256 Palace of the End, 17–18 Palacio, Ana, Spanish Foreign Minister, 246 Palestinians, sending to Iraq, 121 partnership of states in Iraqi mission, 154–55 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK): 95-05-23 meeting with Tueller, Foreign Office, INC, KDP, 66–68; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 99-01-29 meeting with State Department, 107–12; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 00-09-14 meeting with Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27; 02-09 meeting with Chalabi, Rashad, Maasoom, 149; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council and KDP, 171–72; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 meeting of ILC, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC,

Index KDP, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; clashes with KDP, 63; coordinating with Foreign Office, 89; to form a new front, 99; in Group of Four, 5, 131; as Kurdish opposition party, 21–22; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75, 75–76; qualified to receive ILA assistance, 113; rejection of provisional governments, 26; rumored alliance with Iran, 77; split about Saddam, 95; suicide attacks on, 250. See also KDP; Kurdistan; PKK Pentagon; 01-06 meeting, 132; seriousness about toppling Saddam, 143 Perelli, Carina, UN elections expert, 259 Pérez de Cuéllar, Javier, 15 Perle, Richard, 14 Peshmerga militias, 7, 64, 188–89, 224–25 Petraeus, David H., new policies for U.S. troops clearing areas of insurgents, 309 petroleum companies, 17–18 Phillips, David L., 247 Pickering, Thomas R., 14; 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 pillaging and looting, 188 PKK. See Kurdistan Workers Party planning: for action, INC and members, 69; for future of Iraq, draft papers, 157 police: absorbing fighters into, 219; activating forces, 196; gathered quickly, including bad elements, 281 Political Council: appointed by Bremer, 232–34; make-up and responsibilities, 238–39; powers for, 241–42 political process, Iraqis performing, 161, 192–93 Political Statement of the Iraqi Opposition paper, 159 political vacuums, 195–96 Pollack, Kenneth M., National Security Council, 14; 99-09-27 meeting with author, 116; 00-09-19 meeting with author, Riedel, 127–28 Pope’s representative, meeting with alHakim, 63 post-Saddam Iraq: civil war, preventing, 92; plan for, 139, 173; training for future, 123; transitional authority, discussing, 178

339

Powell, Colin, Secretary of State, 14, 147; 04-01-31 meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi and National Security Advisor, 255; presentation to UN Security Council on weapons of mass destruction, 161; pressuring Turkish officials to allow helicopter across border, 170 POWs: to be released, 86; Kuwaiti, abused by Republican Guard, 28; Kuwaiti, not released, 79 Preparatory Committee for the Iraqi Opposition Conference, 149; 02-12-13 meeting with Khalilzad, 156–58; independence, essential to, 154 Presidents (U.S.), 2–3, 22, 23, 56–57, 76–80, 137–38; 93-04 meeting with INC, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Vice President, 56–57; call for Iraqis to force Saddam out, 27; committed to transferring authority, 259; decision to remove Saddam, 7, 139; meeting with President of Supreme Council, 5; naming supportable Iraqi groups, 4; Operation Desert Fox, 105–6; pressuring Turkish officials to allow helicopter across border, 170; to sign ILA, 96; speech to UN General Assembly September 12, 2002, 149, 152 press, lack of response from, 68–69 Pressman, Jeremy, 57 Prime Minister (UK): 93-02-10 letter to Emma Nicholson, 48; 03-12 visit from author and President of Supreme Council, 246; appointing Special Iraq Envoy on Human Rights, 110; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz, 14; initiative for safe haven in northern Iraq, 35 Prophet, traditions of the, 133 provinces: liberated in 1991 uprising, 27; providing identical rights in TAL, 269 Provisional Administration, timetable for, 270 Provisional Authority. See Coalition Provisional Authority provisional government: formation, 182; hope for, 26; mechanism to establish, 179 public property, destruction of, 189 PUK. See Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Putin, Vladimir: 03-12 visit from author and President of Supreme Council, 246; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz, 14

340

Index

Putnam-Cramer, Gerhard, 93-03 meeting with UN Humanitarian Affairs, 49 Qanbar, Emanuel, 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 Qanbar, Entifadh, 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226 Qaragholi, Faisal: 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58 Qasim, Abdul Karim, 17, 18, 89, Qazi, Ashraf, 15 al-Qazzaz, Mohammed, 50 Qur’an: Al-Hujurat 49:13, 1; Al-Maeda 5:33, 19; instructions to talk to all people, 5; misinterpreted, 133 Rademaker, Stephen, 14; 02-02-23 meeting, 138–39 Radio Free Iran, Radio Free Iraq, 102 Rahman, Sami Abdul: 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69 Rapporteur of Human Rights, 114 Rashid, Latif, 66, 68, 71, 75, 82, 95, 97; 95-05-23 meeting with KDP, Tueller, Foreign Office, 66–68; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-12-01 meeting with Chalabi, 104–11; 99-01-29 meeting with State Department, 107–12; 02-09 meeting with Chalabi, Maasoom, PUK, 142, 149–52; 02-12-03 meeting, Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–76 Rasoul, Kosrat, 95; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council, KDP, and PUK, 171–72 ration-card system for voting, 253–54, 259, 260–62, 278 Reagan, Ronald, assistance to Iraq’s war effort, 22 red lines, 123; introduced by U.S., 115–16; neglecting non–no-fly zone area, 118 reforming systems after liberation, 163 refugees: avoiding exodus, 174; on borders, 58; camps, establishing for Kurds within

Iraq, 175; Kurdish, 29; from Marshes, suffering in extreme heat, 53; movement, committee to address, 175; U.S. guarding from Saddam, 65 regime change: alternative needed, 122–23; conditions necessary, 107–8; gangs of thieves after war, 189; Supreme Council views on, 138; U.S. goal of, 77; U.S. policy shift to, 98–100 Regional Command of Iraq, as nationalist party, 21 regional countries: assurance of post-Saddam plan, 140; not wanting Iraq to succeed, 213 regional fears of UN forces moving beyond Iraq, 147–48 regional security guarantee of, 114 regions and provinces given authority over land, 271 Reidel, Bruce, Deputy National Security Advisor, 14; 00-09-19 meeting with author, Pollack, 127–28 religion: depending on God, 99; people and places, protecting, 225–26; prayer by Ayatollah for Massoud Barzani, 232; relationships between believers, 1; respect for other, 152; rights, 271; role in Iraq, 292; Saddam’s abuse and oppression of, 273–74; study by author, 273; wars, fear of, 170 religious decrees. See fatwas Republican Guard, 27; allowed into south by U.S., 37; passing through U.S. checkpoints, 28; surrendering to allied forces, 186 Republican Palace, 208 resistance: connection with opposition, 123; examples of success, 129–30; individual Iraqis, 129; from Iraqi people as reaction to occupation, 169, 207, 220 resolutions. See UN Security Council resolutions Revolutionary Command Council, 55–56, 79 Rhodes, Tom (London Times), 52 Ricciardone, Frank, 15; 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27; 92-09-21 meeting with author, 39–43; 92-10 meeting with author, 45; 99-01-29 meeting with PUK, 107–12; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; assassination attempt, 112; interview on CNN, 112

Index Rice, Condoleezza, 04-01-31 meeting with Brahimi and Powell, 255 Ridha, Mohammed, receiving author and Massoud Barzani, 250, 231, 304 Riedel, Bruce, 99-09-27 meeting with author, 116 Rifkind, Malcolm, 93-02-03 letter to MP Nicholson, 48 al-Rikabi, Hussein, 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26 al-Rikabi, Sadiq: 160; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 Royle, Catherine, Foreign Office, meeting with Tueller, Iraqi opposition groups, 71–75 al-Rubaie, Muwaffaq, 262; meeting with Ayad Allawi of INA, 160–61 Rumsfeld, Donald, 147 Russia, president: 03-12 visit from author and Abdul Aziz, 14, 246 Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, Crown Prince of Kuwait, 97-09-30 meeting with author, 86 Sabir, Mohammed, 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 Saddam. See Hussein, Saddam “Saddamism without Saddam,” 193 al-Sadr, Amina (Bint al-Huda), 15 al-Sadr, Hussein, 161, 193 al-Sadr, Mohammed: 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation and Supreme Council, 280–88; assassination, 116, 120, 123, 275; son confronting U.S. forces, 305–6 al-Sadr, Mohammed Baqir: 116, 120, 122, 123, 185, 281; arrest, 20; assassination, 20, 40, 274 al-Sadr, Muqtada, confrontations with U.S. forces, 305–7 safe havens: Germans supporting creation of, 60; in south, 42, 56, 91 Salah al-Din conference, 1992, 42, 44–47, 73, 124, 149; allocation of representatives to, 46; INC created at, 46–47; “Salah al-Din quotas,” 46, 157, 177 Salih, Barham: 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi

341

opposition groups, 125–27; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; verifying Ahmed Chalabi’s claims, 151 al-Salihi, Najib: 99-01 meeting with Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, 106–7; 00-09-14 meeting, Albright and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 Salim, Ezz al-Din, 149; assassinated, 302–3; nominee for Governing Council, 233 al-Samarrai, Wafiq, 27, 28, 64, 65, 94; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; coordinating with Foreign Office, 89 Sanchez, Ricardo, postwar commander, 235–36 sanctions: considering alternatives, 92–93; to continue after liberation, 58; lifting, 79; meaning of, 83; pressure to lift, 91, 126, 132; Saddam pressuring U.S. by violating, 128; smart, 129; UN, 23–24, 41, 74; vetoing removal, 79; wording in statements, 83 Sari-Kahya, Riyadh, 00-09-14 meeting, Secretary of State and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 satellite photography, 54, 119, 122 Satloff, Robert, 15 Saudi Arabia: avoiding provocation of, 42; cooperation with Supreme Council, 91; funding rearrangements, 90; relationship with, 102–3; supporting regime change and work with Supreme Council, 111–12; support of SCIRI, 60–61; visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 Sawers, John: 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; 03-06-06 meeting with Group of Seven, author, Bremer, U.S. and British officials, 234–35 Schlit, Ralph, 97-10-10 meeting with author, 87–89 Schröder, Gerhard, German chancellor, 14, 265; 03-12 visit from author and President of Supreme Council, 246; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz, 14 Schultz, George, forbidding U.S. contact with Iraqi opposition, 38

342

Index

Schwarzkopf, Norman, ban on flights over Iraq, 37 SCIRI. See Supreme Council (for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) sectarian conflicts, efforts to create, 258 security: author’s comments to Associated Press, 245; choosing good methods to build, 266–67; concerns, meeting addressing, 224–26; connected to economy, 243–44; important to support of Coalition by Iraqi people, 213; improved after Al Qaeda, 313; institutions to be dismantled or created, 163; maintaining by Coalition forces, 175, 284; maintaining during occupation, 220; not maintained by Americans, 198; preventing elections, 247, 252, 284; situation deteriorating, 297; situation in postwar Iraq, 195–96; taxis, shooting from, 198; during transitional government, 291, 295; UN role in, 249; U.S. belief that American troops unable to achieve alone, 166; worsening postwar, 236 Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 113 Senate launching INDICT campaign, 109 September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, 7–8, 132–33, 136, 138, 140; as divider of history, 133 Shah of Iran, 2 al-Shahwani, Mohammed Abdullah, 104–5, 296 al-Shaikhli, Salah: 82, 83; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75 al-Shaikhly, Salah: 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58 al-Shamrani, Ali Mohammed, 23 Shawees, Rosh Nouri: 03-02-05 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council, KDP, and PUK, 171–72; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16 Shawkat, Mudhar: 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44 Shibib, Imad: 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer,

Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226 al-Shibli, Hashim Abdul Rahman: 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226 Shiites: crushed by Saddam, 27; majority betrayed by U.S., 37; objecting to TAL, 293; pilgrims march to Karbala devastated by Baath Party, 19–20; recognized by Clinton as opposition representatives, 39; religious authority confirming role in saving Iraq and in its future, 185; repression worldwide, 35; against Saddam, 2–3; as target of Al Qaeda plot, 257–58; ties with Kurds emphasized, 137; women and children, massacre of, 30 al-Sistani, Ali, Grand Ayatollah, 9, 249–51, 283; assassination attempts, 275; to meet administration, 263–64; refusing Security Council resolution references to TAL, 304; return to Iraq to defuse tension, 306–7; visit from author and Massoud Barzani, 231–32; worry about Iraqis’ loss of rights, 250–51 smart sanctions, 129 south of Iraq, U.S. protecting, 124 sovereignty: acquiring, 202–3; handing over to Iraqis, 256; lack of in interim authority, 214–15; partial, 302–4; Security Council draft resolution stripping from Iraqis, 219; Security Council resolution 1483, leaving to occupying forces, 227 Spain, diplomatic visit to, 246 Special Coordinator for the Transition in Iraq. See Ricciardone spies, as employees in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 198 stability: country, 195; region, Saddam threat to, 77 State of Law Alliance (party), success in Parliamentary election, 311 State of the Union address (Bush, 2002), 137–38 State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), 205 statue of Saddam pulled down, 187 Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA), 300 Stoel, Max van der, 15, 33–34, 45, 58 strategy: ground war, 185–86; long term U.S., 109; meeting to develop, 101

Index Sunni Arab, adding to ILC, 176 Sunnis: and coalition, 99; Iraqi opposition working with, 100; no political groups representing, 106; not wanting elections, 259; officers joining Iraqi opposition, 111; opposition among, 187–88; role in postwar Iraq evolving, 6–7; strengthening relations with, 41 Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI): 93-08 meeting with Emma Nicholson, 51–52; 93 summer meetings with Foreign Secretary, Archbishop of Canterbury, 51; 95-01 meeting with Members of Parliament (MPs), 63; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-06-03 letters to author, 90–92; 01-04-03 interview with AL Hayat newspaper, 130; 01-10-23 meeting with KDP, 137; 02-02-26 Follow-up and Coordination Committee meeting, 169–71; 02-10-11 letter from Grossman, 152; 02-10-26 letter to Grossman, 152–53; 02-11-19 letter from U.S. diplomats, 153; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad, Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-02-05 meeting with Khalilzad, State Department, KDP, 161–69; 03-03-02 meeting with PUK and KDP, 171–72; 03-03-23 letter to author, 183–85; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, PUK, KDP, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; 04-02-09 meeting with U.S. Ambassador Bremer, 257–59; 04-02-27 meeting with U.S. Ambassador and staff, 268–73; 04-04-05 meeting with UN delegation, 280–88; 04-04-30 meeting with Blackwill and Lambert, 289–96; 04-05-11 meeting with UN, 296–302; allaying American fears of, 58; arrests and equipment confiscation by Coalition, 195, 211; assessment of Iraqi Liberation Act (ILA), 100–101; building relationship with U.S., 37; cooperation required for success in Iraq, 156; coordinating with Foreign

343

Office, 89; dependence on America, unacceptability of, 184; description by Bill Clinton, 113; disagreements but unity, 144; forces rejected by U.S., 184; to form a new front, 99; in Group of Four, 131; insiders in regime, 88; Kuwaiti aid through, 54–55; leadership meeting in Najaf weekly, 232; leaders reluctant to visit West, 4; leaving INC, 131; as main power inside Iraq, 144; named eligible to receive U.S. support, 105; naming concerns, 40; negotiating, not cooperating, 183; not attending interim administration meeting, 192; opening office in Washington, 141; opposition to war, 8; origins, 20–22; participating with reconstruction but not politics, 192–93; participation in INC meeting, 116; position on selecting new government, 193; position toward ILA, 98; qualified to receive ILA assistance, 113; refusing external influence and financial support, 98; refusing to cooperate with U.S, 108; refusing U.S. assistance, 113, 131; rejection of INC, 138; relationship with Germany, 87; relationship with KDP, 136–37; relationship with Saudi Arabia, 60–61; relationship with U.S., 195; remaining neutral during Coalition war, 187; “revolution,” dropping word from Supreme Council name, 105; slogan, 184; view of future, 43; visiting UK, 62–63 surrender: of cities to Coalition forces, 187–88; object of Coalition ground strategy, 186 suspicious-acting sheikhs, 135–36 Syria: 03-12 president visit from author and al-Hakim, 246; Al-Assad president, 14; relationship with, 102–3; visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 TAL. See Transitional Administrative Law Talabani, Goran: 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44 Talabani, Jalal, 5; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 03-03-02 meeting with Supreme Council, KDP, and PUK, 171–72; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205;

344

Index

Talabani, Jalal (continued) 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-20 meeting Manning, 217–20; 03-05-24 ILC meeting, 226; 99-09-27 meeting with Chalabi, American Enterprise Institute, 119–20; about German support, 60; diplomatic trip to Saudi Arabia, 92; elected to Follow-up and Coordination Committee leadership committee, 171; to form a new front, 99; in Group of Four, 131; ILC member to receive postwar power, 12, 206, 223; rejection of provisional governments, 26 Taliban, 7, 133; meeting with Ayad Allawi, Miller, Cunningham, 143–44 Terrorism Game, The (al-Bayati), 133 terrorists, terrorism, 196; assassinating UN humanitarians, 223: Bremer fighting, 211; explosion at Green Zone gate, 302; focus on terrorist support, 147; forming political and military shields, 297; harboring groups, 139; leader captured and letter found, 257–58; locating after liberation, 162; as new threat, 132–36 al-Tikriti, Barzan, 88, 90, 134; expelled from Switzerland, 110 Tikriti tribe, 70 torture, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20, 25, 32, 74, 109, 110, 118, 135, 168, 273, 274, 311 trade embargos, 23–24 transferring authority, 214, 280–82, 300; to a council, 261; delaying, 256; George H. Bush’s commitment to, 259; gradually, 213; to legitimate groups, 258; timeframe for, 277–78, 281; UN to stay until finished, 264–65; to which unit, 252–53, 270, 282 transition: dictatorship to new Iraq, 190–91; organization, 182; phase, frustrating people in the streets with delay, 281; role for Iraqi opposition, 168 Transitional Administration, formation of, 191 Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), 9, 255, 291–94; to be approved by Transitional Council, 249; and decentralization, 292; design of, 268–73; ease of rejection by minorities, 275–76; implementation of, 275–78; not subject to amendment, 272; review by author, 275–76; al-Sistani refusing Security Council resolution references to, 304

transitional government: consistency with Governing Council, 289; powers determined, 291. See also interim government Transitional Justice Working Group, 110 Transitional Legislative Council, electing versus Bremer appointment, 248–49 Transitional National Assembly, 182, 229 Transitional Period in Iraq (London Conference paper), 159 tribunal, international, 84–85, 109, 139; setting up, 108; Supreme Council to participate, 95; U.S. support for, 58, 91, 126–27; for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, 118; worked on, 109 Tueller, Matthew, 14, 65, 68–70; 95-05-23 meeting with Foreign Office, KDP, PUK, 66–68; 95 fall meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75; 97-01-29 meeting, 77; 97-01-29 meeting with author, 76–80; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-08-19 meeting with author, 95–96; 98-11-24 meeting with author, Foreign Office, 101–4. See also U.S. Embassy Turkey: conflict resolution plan, 175–76; convincing to work with Iraqi opposition, 112; failure to allow U.S. troops to operate from Turkey, 172; forces not allowed to enter Iraq, 174; incursion into Kurdistan, 66–68; incursions into Iraq, 83; 03-03-19 meeting with ILC and Khalilzad, 179–80; prewar concerns, 174–79; relations with Iraqi opposition, 102–3; relations with Kurds and Turkmen, 5, 78; sensitivity about Kurds in Kirkuk, 188; visit by Iraqi diplomats about planned attack on Al Qaeda, 307–8 Turki al-Faisal, Prince of Saudi Arabia, 111–12 Turkmen: adding to ILC, 174–76; in Leadership Council, 230 Turkmen Front: 00-09-14 meeting with Albright and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27; not representing all Turkmen, 177–78 UK. See British government al-Ulum, Ibrahim Bahr, report on Marshes, 33 al-Ulum, Mohammed Bahr, 46, 52, 94, 257, 261, 300; 99-11-01 meeting with INC

Index National Assembly, 124–25; head of Iraqi opposition delegation, 38–39; INC leadership council, 46–47 al-Ulum, Mohammed Hussein Bahir, 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86 Umm al-Hosh village burned, 31 Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, meetings with Group of Four, 145 Undersecretary of State: 98-06-18 meeting with author, 93; trip to neighboring countries, 91 Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, 125; meetings with Group of Four, 145 Union of Lawyers, elections for, 226 United Nations (UN): asked to stand with Iraqis, not with occupying forces, 222; claiming elections are not possible yet, 277–79; deliberations on Iraq, 302–3; entering Iraq to legitimize processes, 276–77; headquarters, attack on, 81–82, 88; ILC seeking help from, 183; no-drive zones, 130; role after Saddam’s fall, 190; role in reconstruction, 191; supporting Iraqi people, 248; role after transfer of sovereignty, 265; 04-05-11 meeting with Supreme Council, 296–302; workers, vulnerability of, 265. UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), 15 UN Charter, chapter VII, 69, 240 UN Commission on Human Rights, 58; reports of cruelty by Saddam’s regime, 30; Special Rapporteur, 58, 114. See also Stoel, Max van der UN convoy, attack on, 82, 88 UN delegation: 04-02-07 meeting with Supreme Council and Brahimi, 251–56; 04-04-05 meeting with Supreme Council, 280–88 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), 114 UN General Assembly: Bush speech September 12, 2002, 149, 152; election, 9, 287, 310 UN inspection teams, 77, 105–6; banned from important areas, 82; needed for justification to attack, 139; return to Iraq, 141 UN Security Council: 92-12 meeting with Emma Nicholson, 57; 04-01-18 meeting with Iraqi Governing Council, and

345

CPA, 248–49; containing three members opposed to international tribunal, 127; discussions about partial sovereignty, 303–4; goals and function, 214–15; lobbying about draft resolution about occupation, 200; new Iraq government, 190; on occupying forces, 199–204 UN Security Council resolutions: draft resolution, 218; 687, 69; 688 (stop repression of Iraqi people), 29, 36–39, 51, 58–59, 65, 69, 85, 114, 116–17, 123, 152; 706 and 712 (Oilfor-Food), 50; 949 (protecting southern borders from Saddam), 85, 118–19; 986 (Oil-for-Food), 66, 68, 75–77, 85–86; 1111 (Oil-for-Food), 84–85; 1483 (authority over Iraq to Coalition forces), 8, 197, 220–23, 226–29, 236–37, 300; 1511 (occupying forces responsible for security), 284; 1546 (Iraqi sovereignty regained), 305; proposed, use of force against Saddam’s regime, 169; enforcement of human rights, 85; enforcing with Operation Desert Fox, 106; implementing, 41, 51–52, 102, 108, 139 UN Special Commission (UNSCOM, 79, 82 UNESCO, 57 United Arab Emirates, 89–90, 258; 03-12 visit to president from author and President of Supreme Council, 246; delegation from author and Abdul Aziz, 14; first Arab country to publicly call for Saddam’s resignation, 246 United States (U.S.): bearing part of responsibility for Saddam, 183; call for peace between Kurds, 72; decision to change leadership in Baghdad, 143–44; Department of Defense, to recognize interim government, 150; desire to focus on disarmament, 156; expecting military action, 101; failed governments in exile, fear of, 108; failure to consult Iraqi opposition, 101; fear of uprising like Islamic Revolution in Iran, 28; Iraqi groups dependence on, 115; Iraqi opposition not accepting financial support from, 102; letting Iraqis down after first invasion, 39, 148, 218; other experience as occupying force, 215; perceptions in, 90–97; pluralistic government, American desire for, policies, shift in postwar administration, 235–36; 143; popular uprising, refusal of support for, 27–29;

346

Index

United States (U.S.) (continued) rejecting Supreme Council involvement, 184; relationship with Iran, 102; relationship with Supreme Council, 195; Saddam as danger to national interest, 116; Saddam as threat, 126; statements on human rights violations, 104; staying in Iraq only as long as needed, 164; striking areas of own choosing, 108; support for INC, 59–60; trying to undermine Supreme Council, 161; wanting to abolish role of Iraqi opposition, 165–66;. umbrella organization, U.S. desire for, 44; willingness to supply troops, 60. See also Americans U.S. air support, Chalabi’s assurance of to SCIRI, 65 U.S. Embassy, 65; to replace CPA, 264–65; (Goldrich) 02-03-12 meeting with Krajeski, 139; (Tueller) 95-05-23 meeting with Foreign Office, KDP, PUK, 66–68; (Tueller) 95 fall meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 71–75; (Tueller) 97-01-29 meeting, 76–80; 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-11-24 meeting with Foreign Office, 101–4. See also Goldrich; Tueller U.S. forces: arrests of Supreme Council leaders, 195, 211; operation to subdue Al Qaeda in Fallujah, 308–9; use of excessive force to arrest protesters, 306 U.S. Mission for Baghdad, 92-09-21 Riccardione meeting with author, 39–43 U.S. policy: announcing and changing, 284; ILA as dramatic change in, 99; no change with Clinton, 77; shift to regime change, 98–100 U.S. State Department: ignoring moving of military supplies, 118–19; 2003 fall meetings, 57; meetings with Group of Four, 145; serious about toppling Saddam, 143; support refused by Supreme Council, 98–99; tasks after Saddam, 140 USS Cole bombing: 8, 133 uprising, popular, 27–34, 165, 169–72, 181; crushed by Saddam, 116; missing after Coalition military operations, 186; mistakes of 1991 not to be repeated, 171–72; north and south Iraq, 25; U.S. letting Saddam crush, 3–4, 148; U.S. refusal of support, 27–29

videotapes: bombardment of Marshes, 57; Iraqi opposition Marsh attack, 64 Vienna conference, June 1992, 38-40; boycotts, 38, 39; U.S. supporting participants only, 42; participants set up INC, 44; and preparatory committee for Salah al-Din conference, 45 Viera de Mello, Sergio, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, 221–23 visas, Saddam’s refusal to grant to UN delegation, 49 voting. See elections Walker, Julian, Foreign Office: 02-08 letter from author, 36; 91 meeting with Supreme Council, 26–27; 92-07-29 meeting with author, 34–36; 92-10 meeting with author, 46–47; 92 meetings with author, other British officials, 47–52; 98-04-24 meeting with author, 89–90 Wallace, William, V Corps and postwar operations commander, 235–36 war crimes, 92–93 War on Terrorism, 142, 171 Warrick, Tom, Office of War Crimes, 98-06-09 meeting with author, 92 weapons: amnesty for, 224 artillery importing, 82; explosive shells, 54; heavy weapons, preventing Saddam from using, 108; inspection teams, sending at any cost, 119; in Marshes, 33, 36; missile parts, Saddam purchasing, 77; U.S. tanks in neighboring countries, 116; neighbors relying on U.S. for, 120; policy, 224; Iraqi view, 236 weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), 58, 70–71, 152; development limited by sanctions, 24; dismantling, 171; elimination by provisional government, 182; French call for elimination, 68; Kamel as head of program, 74; locating after liberation, 162; and Operation Desert Fox, 105–6; phosgene, 56; phosphorus shells, 58; poison, 10, 55, 133; Powell presentation to Security Council on, 161; Saddam revealing, 141; Saddam’s deceit of UN, 76; Saddam threatening neighbors, 126; forbidden by red lines, 115–16 Webster, William, 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26

Index Welch, David, 3; 00-09-14 meeting, Albright and staff, Iraqi opposition groups, 125–27 Western forces as invaders and occupiers, 186–87 Wilson, Robert: 97-09-29 meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 82–86; 98-11-24 meeting with author, Foreign Office, Tueller, 101–4; meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition groups, 75–76; meeting with Tueller, Iraqi opposition groups, 71–75 Wolfowitz, Paul, Deputy Secretary of Defense: 02-11-19 letter to Supreme Council, 153; reconciling G4 and Chalabi, 146 women: celebration by, 310; complaints about family issue judgment law, 259–60; in ILC, 215, 230; rape and imprisonment, 106; role at London conference, 157; searched by male soldiers, 225; voting and office, 312; women’s rights, 171 Yaphe, Judith, 15 al-Yawer, Ghazi,: first president after Saddam, 303; serving in leadership, 311 al-Yawir, Riyadh, meeting with Foreign Office, Iraqi opposition, 75–76

347

al-Zarqawi, Abu Musab, Al Qaeda leader, 134, 257–58, 269, 313 Zebari, Hoshyar, 136–37; 95-05-23 meeting with Tueller, Foreign Office, PUK, 66–68; 99-09-28 meeting with American diplomats, Iraqi opposition groups, 120–24; 02-12-03 meeting with Khalilzad and Preparatory Committee, 153–55; 02-12-13 meeting with Preparatory Committee and Khalilzad, 156–58; 03-02-07 meeting with Supreme Council, Khalilzad, Lempert, KDP, 161–69; 03-05-16 meeting with ILC, 197–205; 03-05-16 meeting with Bremer, Iraqi and Coalition leaders, 208–16; 03-05-20 meeting with Manning, 217–20; 03-05-22 meeting with Coalition leaders, Iraqi opposition leaders, 224–26; 03-05-24 meeting of ILC, 226; 03-05-26 meeting with ILC, KDP, PUK, Dawa Islamic Party, INA, INC, Iraqi National Movement, Supreme Council, 235–36; 03-06-01 meeting with ILC, U.S. and British officials, 237–44; and Bremer, 208–14; and ILC, 197–203; and security concerns, 224–31; and sovereignty, 302–4; UN deliberations, 302; visit to Ali al-Sistani, 231 al-Zibin, Saddam, 205 al-Zubaidi, Baqir, 35