John Gray's Heroes - Number Two - Iyad Allawi - Saddam Mark II

Iyad Allawi ,one of Bush and Blair’s fake ‘democrats’ in Iraq. He murdered Iraqi dissidents for the Ba’ath party in the early 70s , organised car and cinema bombings for the CIA in the 90s and as interim Prime Minister shot suspects without any trial. John Gray says I'm wrong to criticise people like Allawi who have risked their lives on the line for their country.

Gray tells me that I'm wrong to criticise Iyad Allawi (sometimes spelled Ayad Allawi) who has, in Gray's view , put his life at risk for his country.

I don't deny that Allawi has put his life on the line for his view of what's best for the country - the trouble is that, like Saddam before him, his vision of a secular Iraq involves the torture and murder of those suspected of opposing him. People can change - but Allawi's recent history shows he hasn't.

Allawi started his career in the early 70s as a Mukhabarat (Iraqi secret police) assassin killing Iraqi dissidents in Europe for the Ba'th party (1). He later fell out with the Ba'ath and Saddam - who tried to assassinate him in turn. Allawi then worked for the CIA in the 90s organising car and cinema bombings in Baghdad (2). In 2004 the Bush administration appointed Allawi as Iraqi Interim Prime Minister - a post which he held until after the elections of January 2005 in which the Blair government and Bush administration sent advisers to help his election campaign (3). In that period the Iraqi government forces commanded by the Pentagon and Allawi continued to torture prisoners using the same methods as Saddam (this still continues today under the new government after Allawi's coalition lost the January and December 2005 elections) (4), (5).

Allawi also begab a television programme in which people who had clearly been tortured and beaten confessed on air to being terrorists. Were they guilty? Who knows. Anyone will confess to anything if tortured enough. (The execution of people who havent been given fair trials and whose confessions have only been made under torture continues under the new government) (6)

Senior diplomats from several countries told a Sydney Morning Herald journalist that they had been taken to witness Allawi shooting suspects in the head at a police station in Baghdad.(7)

Gray attempts to dismiss Human Rights Watch , the New York Times , the Sydney Morning Herald and Seymour Hersh (the veteran and renowned investigative journalist who first reported the My Lai massacre and torture at Abu Ghraib) as "sensationalist websites" (and refused to post my reply pointing this out).

Allawi is "secular" and so not a "sectarian" like the militias. He fell out with Saddam - so he's "brave" and a "democrat" in Bush and Blair's dodgy claims. Well Saddam was also secular - and wasn't sectarian. He had a Christian - Tariq Aziz - as his deputy. Is it worth keeping adding to the over 650,000 lives thrown away so far to try to replace one torturing, murdering, secular, non-sectarian, thug with another?

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(1) = New Yorker magazine 28 Jan 2005 , ‘Annals of National Security : Plan B’ by Seymour Hersh’,

(2) = New York Times 9 Jun 2004 ‘THE REACH OF WAR: NEW PREMIER; Ex-C.I.A. Aides Say Iraq Leader Helped Agency in 90's Attacks’ ,

(3) = New Yorker Magazine 25 Jul2007 ‘Get Out the Vote - Did Washington try to manipulate Iraq’s election? ’ by Seymour Hersh ,

(4) = Human Rights Watch 25 January 2005 ‘Iraq: Torture Continues at Hands of New Government - Police Systematically Abusing Detainees’ ,

(5) = Amnesty International 6 Mar 2006 ( AI Index: MDE 14/001/2006 ) ‘Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq’ ,

(6) = Amnesty International 20 Apr 2007( AI Index: MDE 14/020/2007 ) ‘Iraq: Televised 'confessions', torture and unfair trials underpin world's fourth highest executioner ’ ,

(7) = Sydney Morning Herald 17 Jun 2004‘Allawi shot prisoners in cold blood: witnesses’ ,

copyright©Duncan McFarlane 2007