Posted on August 12, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
This interview of Sami Ramadani, senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University, occurred around the third week of June when ISIS/ISIL/IS (Islamic State) began terrorizing Iraq. It was saved here in draft status for over a month until the United States announced an air campaign against the terrorist group, suggesting the interview become reviewed. Mr. Ramadani’s interview of roughly seven weeks ago contains statements that looking back now seem prophetic.
The interview begins with the host asking Sami Ramadani (SR) about media reports claiming that violence in Iraq has been caused by Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict:
(SR) “I don’t think so. I think they stress this because this is what they did before they invaded Iraq in 2003 as well. They did that when they bombed Iraq in 1991. This type of scenario suits them, suits their line that this is a place of very backward people, medieval people, that have been waiting centuries just to slaughter each other – completely ignoring the history of the area, and the way these communities have co-existed for a very, very long time. And in terms of modern Iraq, there hasn’t been any communal conflict – people against people fighting – for maybe a hundred, two hundred years.”
Every report talks of festering sectarianism?
(SR) “There are political forces in Iraq – political leaders who are part of the so-called political process that the United States set off after occupying Iraq in 2003. The leaders of this so-called political process have been selected, chosen, and funded and backed so as they represent different sects and communities, so, the United States created the institutions that are led by sectarian leaders. So when they talk about sects in Iraq and sects hating each other, what they mean is the quarrel, the competition, between these different political figures that they themselves backed and financed and brought to power eventually. So the scene they have created is the scene they want to project to the outside world, that this is the Iraqi society in general.”
Divide and rule?
“Divide and rule. Old colonial process. And in the context of Iraq – because immediately after they occupied Iraq – United States, Britain, and so on, they were faced with massive popular opposition and a rising resistance. What better way to control the place but divide and rule policies, and this is precisely what they did. Because United States occupation forces were facing enormous difficulties in Iraq, the only way they could control the place is rely on these sectarian elements in Iraqi society. They did not create these sectarian elements, but they backed them, they nurtured them, and they made them lead the so-called political process – encouraging this festering wound, if you like, in the Iraqi political body.”
ISIS and Syria?
“Isn’t it ironic? Good thing you mention Syria. They backed these same terrorist groups in Syria, but now they’re talking about limiting their influence or hitting them in Iraq. There’s another side to this story, which is that these terrorist organizations – particularly ISIS – is being used within this regional power conflict as well. They are using these terrorist organizations to affect regime change in Syria, it has failed so far. And they want also to use them to remove Maliki from power. This is the subtext you could see in the news. The United States, through its various factions in the U.S. administration and outside it, calling on Maliki to resign. So really, ISIS has become the stick with which to influence policy in Iraq even further.”
“They are a bit unhappy that Maliki is friendly to Iran, has refused to coöperate with the United States to bring down Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria, so they are very unhappy about that, and they want him to be weakened and create a new government in Baghdad much more pliable and listening to U.S. interests. If that happens, then they are ready to weaken ISIS in Iraq.”
(Comment: When ISIS started terrorizing Iraq around two months ago, there were reports of possible U.S. air strikes to stop ISIS, U.S./Iran coöperation, etc.. The U.S. didn’t announce air strikes against ISIS until the past few days, after Nouri al-Maliki had been removed from power. Maliki apparently is going to start a legal challenge. This is the prophetic aspect of Sami Ramadani’s interview mentioned.)
“They affected regime change in Afghanistan through occupation, Iraq through occupation, and Libya through bombing and encouraging terrorist organizations. And Syria through armed groups, and Iraq through armed groups again. It’s a scenario to affect regime change whenever there’s a situation that does not suit them. And there is the elephant in the room as well which is that those developments do suit Israeli interests in the area as well. It weakens any potential for peoples in the region to support the Palestinians and so on and so forth.”
Who’s controlling who… monarchies?
“Very complex here… Again, back to Syria, because Qatar spent $2 billion – $3 billion according to Financial Times – funding and arming groups in Syria within 2 years. And Saudi Arabia has done the same, if not more, but different. Saudi Arabia backs different groups from those that Qatar backs, hence there is a friction between these two royal families. They are the same groups, but the media want to tell us that there are moderate and extremists. Well, if you throw arms into a conflict like that, who is to say which weapon is going to which party? The essential thing is they wanted to overthrow the Syrian regime, so they armed various groups in Syria, and they’re doing the same in Iraq.”
“In fact, this group that is sort of spearheading the onslaught in Iraq through the Syrian borders got its strength and power from the Syrian conflict itself. It got its arms through Turkey, it got its funds from the Saudi and Qatari and other Gulf sheiks. So, there is this combination of work which is aimed at weakening any potential for politics which does not suit U.S. or British interests in the area.”
U.S., British intervention?
“I don’t think they need to intervene directly at the moment because ISIS is doing the job of ultimately weakening Maliki, but they don’t want ISIS to control Iraq. They want to control it themselves, but they are using this context to potentially try to intervene – to consolidate their position…”
400 British ISIS mercenaries threat when returning to Britain?
“If it’s 40 or 4,000, I don’t think they know really, because this is a very volatile area. But one thing is sure. Initially, within the context of Syria, they allowed hundreds, if not thousands from across the world – many thousands if you count across the world, including the Arab world, Libya, etc. – volunteering to go and fight to topple Bashar Al-Assad. These fighters came through Turkey. It was a very well-organized operation in which the CIA itself intervened, and Britain. And the media here (Britain) encouraged people to go and volunteer, more or less, in Syria.”
“But you play with fire… There are risks here because they have been playing with fire, they have been encouraging extremist ideologies, especially the so-called Wahabi perspective of the Saudi royal family.. Qatari royal family. These are the forces that the United States, Britain and others are relying on in the Middle East.”
Thank you Sami Ramadani.
Searching for recent press conferences/addresses/talks by Nouri Al-Maliki with English translation or subtitles has thus far been unsuccessful. The history of Middle East war, and what is occurring now, becomes explained by control of colossal oil and natural gas resource wealth as the basis for violence, competition over market share – especially the European market now, with essential differences between opposing groups being all about how $multi-billions in profits from the sale of those resources become distributed.
A Middle East – North Africa Peace Conference attended by all stakeholders and genuine leaders – with the paramount goal of solving historic violence problems in the region through agreements on peaceful, fair, and honorable extraction of the resource wealth – would greatly benefit all men, women, and children living in those lands. Holding such a conference offers the best opportunity to significantly lessen the overwhelming level of war and violence experienced for far too long by innocent people living in the region.
A Middle East – North Africa Peace Conference is guaranteed to become profoundly successful – a historic accomplishment – if but one criterion becomes met. Each participant shall speak absolute truth.
(Thank you to goingundergroundRT at YouTube)