Obama must tackle Iraq’s new dictator

114077994 300x200 Obama must tackle Iraq’s new dictator Few could have expected it. Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, once the darling of bi-Partisan US administrations, today seems engulfed in domestic upheaval as the Arab Spring has shown no sign of abating in Iraq.

But rather than choosing to resign power respectfully like in Tunisia and Egypt, al-Maliki seems to have made up his mind to hold a firm grip on power using deadly force like fellow dictators in Libya and Syria.

No longer able to tolerate the weekly demonstrations by Iraqis in central Baghdad’s al-Tahrir Square, and with widespread arrests failing to subdue the population irate over corruption and lack of basic services, earlier this month al-Maliki sent his thugs under the disguise of ordinary government supporters to brutally attack protestors demanding the resignation of his government.

Iyad Allawi, a former Iraqi Prime Minister and the de-facto leader of the opposition movement, recently launched a stunning televised attack on al-Maliki accusing him of running a new dictatorship in Iraq and owing his Premiership to Iran’s theocratic rulers.

Iran clearly has huge sway over the Iraqi Premiere and runs a virtual ghost army in Iraq responsible for most attacks on the Coalition forces.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates over the weekend said Shiite extremists, not al-Qaida terrorists, are to blame for most of the recent American military deaths in Iraq, and they’re “clearly getting some fairly sophisticated and powerful weapons” from Iran.

One area of clear Iranian intrusion in Iraq is in Camp Ashraf, a refugee camp for 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), which recently came under deadly attack by al-Maliki’s forces at the behest of Tehran.

The PMOI members at Ashraf, who espouse a democratic tolerant interpretation of Islam and call for democratic regime change in Iran, are the mullahs’ worst nightmare. Most recently they have been encouraging the millions in Iran to hold anti-government protests.

On 8 April, several thousand Iraqi armed forces launched a major military rain on the refugee camp killing 36 unarmed and defenceless men and women and injuring hundreds more. Several dozen residents were deliberately run over with military vehicles in an attack described by Senator John Kerry, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a “massacre”.

Despite widespread international condemnation including by the UN human rights chief and the US State Department, no meaningful action has as of yet been taken to prevent further such attacks.

On 18 June, a hundred thousand Iranians from around the world gathered in Paris to demand UN protection for Ashraf residents and to warn against an Iraqi government plan to relocate the residents in Iraq, which clearly would be a prelude to their slaughter.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani who addressed the rally quite rightly urged the UN to establish a permanent monitoring team at the camp and for the US to provide the team with a small protection force. This simple action could easily prevent Iraqi forces from carrying out further brutal attacks against the residents.

Mr. Obama will be seen now and by future generations as the US president who allowed Iraq to slip away from democracy and into the clutches of Iran’s fundamentalist regime unless he acts fast to stop Iran’s unacceptable meddling in Iraq. He must warn al-Maliki that any breach of international law at Camp Ashraf to curry favour with Iran’s mullahs would not be tolerated by America or its allies. He must also order the State Department to shelve its plan to relocate the residents in Iraq and instead formally request of the UN to station a permanent monitoring team at Ashraf under US military protection.

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  • Firozali A.Mulla

    What do you think of Ahmadijan now? I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • siavosh33

    Well done
    Lord Clark.

    Assisting people who struggle for just cause has always been your top priority. I am
    sure Iranian people always remember brave politicians like yourself who has
    come to their assistance since 3 decades ago. 

    Best Regards


  • Jabur

    Why don’t the British and American government give refuge to the terrorist Iranian group? Or better still send them to your protege regime in Bahrain to further suppress the people of Bahrain? We Iraqis do not want them on our soil.

  • Habib

    عراق بسوی دیکتاتوری نظیر ایران با همان شیوه های سرکوب و همان لباس شخصی ها

  • Mohammad

    Maliki is a war criminal

  • Britishsoldiers

    I’m afraid your alegations are factualy in correct. First of all the reason why the PMOI are in Iran is for one reason and one reason only to fight the Extremist Islamic government in Iran. The reason why Saddam allowed them to stay was due to the fact that he was enemies with the same government. That is the end of the relationship between Saddam hussein and the PMOI nothing else this is not an organisation that needs outside funding. Last year they had a fund raising where they raised almost £2m in the space of a few weeks.

    Thus it was a case of two parties who had the same enemy even if they did dislike each other.

    I am sure that the PMOI disliked Saddam as much as the regime in Iran but there war is with the religious fascists in Iran. Not with Saddam.

    Finally and to make a direct reply to your allegation of terrorist activities. There have been court cases in Britain and in the European courts where the PMOI have been taken off the list of terrorsist organisations. Very simply because there was absoloutly no proof.

    The british and Eurpean governments are desperate to put this organisation on the list of terrorsit organisations but thankfully in both places there is the rule of justice of innocence and guilt. If you make a charge you have to be able to prove it in a court of law.

    They tried and they couldnt the allegation did not stand up and was quashed.

  • Britishsoldiers

    Al Maliki must follow your constitution and International law if they are to move on from Saddams reign.

    In England there are organisations which the government does not want on there soil but international law states that if they are protected peoples under the 4th Geneva convention then they must be granted assylum.

    The Camp Ashraf residents are protected persons under International law and thus they must be granted assylum in Iraq and they must be protected. I have been warning for ages about the treatment of the residents of Camp Ashraf not just for their sake but also for Iraq.

    If Maliki is willing to massacre 34 Men and Women in camp ashraf with out a care in the world then he will end up doing the same to his own people. Which we have seen has recently become the case.

    A civilised society is built upon the rule of law and how closely this is followed will determine how civilised that society is.

    If Maliki is not allowed do infringe on the human rights of the residents of camp ashraf then he will not be able to do the same to his own people.

    The residents of camp ashraf need to be protected firstly because they want democracy and freedom something which the middle east is screaming out for at the moment and secondly so that Iraq can show that it has changed from the dictatorship of saddam hussein is now willing to follow its own law and international law.

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