By Dahr Jamail
24 November, 2004
Inter Press Service
prime minister is following in the footsteps of the last president.
The rule of Ayad Allawi, the U.S. appointed interim prime minister of
Iraq, is now more in the style of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein
than a leader of a supposedly democratic state.
Most Iraqis had
celebrated the overthrow of the regime of Saddam Hussein. But under
what has developed into a brutal and bloody occupation people are turning
against the interim prime minister as they turned against Saddam.
One of Allawi's
earliest moves after his appointment was to form a new version of the
feared secret police in Iraq. The Economist reported that Allawi's rivals
accused him of recruiting former torturers to man a new apparatus
In July Paul McGeogh
of the Sydney Morning Herald reported that two eyewitnesses saw Allawi
execute six people at the security centre in the al-Amadiyah district
of Baghdad. The men had been detained for allegedly attacking U.S. forces
two weeks before the handover of power.
The appointed interim
prime minister has instituted martial law, threatened to detain journalists,
and banned the Arab channel al-Jazeera from reporting within Iraq. Allawi's
minister of justice has brought back the death penalty and spoken of
chopping off the hands and heads of those described as insurgents.
Now comes the siege
of Fallujah. At a refugee camp in Baghdad filled with families from
the besieged city, anger erupts at the mention of Allawi's name.
says we are his family, said Mohammad Ali, a 53-year-old refugee
wounded by U.S. bombs in his home in Fallujah. Can you attack
your family, Allawi? Do you attack your own family, Allawi?
Allawi is a traitor
to the people of Iraq, said Dr. Um Mohammed who works at a hospital
in Baghdad. He is an American puppet who enjoys the killing of
Iraqis. A trader in central Baghdad Abdel Hakim Abdulla said Allawi
has never made a decision that benefits Iraqis.
Anger is building
up against Allawi also over the role he played before he was appointed
interim prime minister. He is the man many hold responsible for providing
fraudulent intelligence that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the United
His now discredited
statements to U.S. intelligence that Saddam Hussein had links to the
terrorist attacks of Sep. 11 were used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
This had shaken his credibility amongst Iraqis from the beginning.
The right-wing Daily
Telegraph of London published a newly discovered document
from Allawi Dec. 14 last year. Allawi, who was then a member of the
Iraqi Governing Council stated that the mastermind of the Sep. 11 terrorist
attacks Mohammad Atta had been trained in Iraq with support from Saddam
information was cited by U.S. intelligence as compelling evidence that
Saddam Hussein had contacts with al-Qaeda. It was cited as justification
for the failing occupation of Iraq.
A second part of
the memo also believed to have been provided by Allawi alleged shipment
of uranium from Niger to Iraq. This is another claim that has been proved
Allawi was reported
by the International Herald Tribune to have said that Saddam Hussein
had stashed billions of dollars in banks around the world. No evidence
of these billions has emerged.
Allawi again was
said again to have provided the 'intelligence' in a British government
dossier that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which could be made
operational in 45 minutes, according to a report in the New York Times
May 29 this year. This 'intelligence' has been acknowledged to be false.
Allawi, a Shia Muslim,
was unanimously nominated to the post of interim prime minister
May 28 by the U.S.-appointed former Iraqi Governing Council.
Adam Daifallah wrote
in the New York Sun that Allawi heads a group comprising primarily former
Baathist associates of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein and has
received funding from the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency of the United
States) and has unsuccessfully worked with American intelligence for
years to oust Saddam through coup attempts.
Born in Baghdad
in 1946 into a well-known business family, Allawi became a member of
the Baath party after it rose to power. He left Iraq in 1971 to go to
university in London, and did not return to his home country until just
after the U.S.-led invasion last year.
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