Ayad Allawi, the former Iraqi prime minister and leader of the Iraqi Nationalist ("Wataniya") Party, blamed the Iraqi government for policies that have allowed it to be "defeated by a bunch of dwarfs and killers as it sought outsiders’ help," instead of drawing on the "strength from its honorable people, from the tribes, army officers, dignitaries and politicians."
Allawi, in an interview with Al-Monitor via telephone and email from Amman, said that protests in Anbar province "have been met with repression and intimidation instead of [the government] adopting some of their demands by dealing with them morally and through a national dialogue." He described the protests as "initially peaceful, constitutional."
Allawi said, "The valiant Iraqi army has nothing to fight for. This brave army has lost its identity and its role. It doesn’t know whether it is fighting for the country or fighting for the sect or for the person or for the party."
The former prime minister, whose party gained 21 seats in the Council of Representatives during the April 30 elections, said US policy in Iraq is "without a compass" while Russian influence is growing, "a crescent stretching from the Crimea [Peninsula] and the Black Sea through Iran, Iraq, Syria and part of Lebanon."
The text of the full interview follows:
Al-Monitor: You suggested a road map to resolve the current crisis. What is this map?
Allawi: The problem doesn’t lie in just putting in new faces, although this is important. Perhaps more important, regarding how to get out of the impasse and the causes that led to it, is this map, which employs two axes: goals and mechanisms.
The essence of the goals are an inclusive political process without discrimination, quotas, exclusion or elimination — except for terrorists and those who steal public money; then achieving national reconciliation immediately; then building the institutions of a state that is professional and able to perform its duties away from regionalism, starting with internal security, the armed forces and the judiciary and its institutions.