Allawi: US Policy toward Iraq 'Without a Compass'

Al-Monitor: Who do you think is the political figure that can lead (the country out of the) the crisis? Do you think there is a specific name who, in your point of view, can play this role in case he presided over the government?

Allawi: Any figure who is committed to the road map and who is part of a working team and in full partnership. If we want to save the country, “going it alone,” as is now the case, should be completely eliminated. And when the government is a government of leaders and has a clear road map, then no prime minister will dare dominate, bribe or draw strength from external forces.

Al-Monitor:  What do you think of US policy on the crisis and the rejection of military intervention? How do you read Washington’s point of view?

Allawi:  For a while now, US policy has been without compass and sailed in rough seas, which the United States helped make be rough — whether intentionally or unintentionally, the result is the same. Washington is now talking about national reconciliation and genuine partnership and not marginalization. At first, the United States supported everything except this. In fact, it did the opposite.

The important and crucial 2010 election was further evidence of the US disarray, as is siding with Iran. US officials seem to have regretted that, according to their statements, but they do not have the same strength as when they were on the ground. Many now doubt [the United States’] abilities and whether it has a clear orientation. Military intervention is not the solution.

Al-Monitor:  Is this a regional conspiracy, specifically one by the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki believes? Or is it an Iranian conspiracy, as some Sunni politicians think? Or is it not a conspiracy at all?

Allawi:  I don’t know if this is a conspiracy by the countries you mentioned. But certainly Iran has and is intervening, and it is openly saying it. I don’t know about Saudi Arabia, but through my experience with it when I was prime minister, [Saudi Arabia] really cared about Iraq. But yes, other countries have pushed and are still pushing toward Lebanonizing and Syrianizing Iraq. Moreover, the conflict, or let’s say what’s happening at the global level, is the beginning of a new cold war.

If we examine Russia’s influence map, we see a crescent stretching from the Crimea [Peninsula] and the Black Sea through Iran, Iraq, Syria and part of Lebanon. This Russian area of influence may expand. In summary, conspiracies don’t have to be direct. Perhaps, to achieve certain goals, some things may fall off the side of the road to achieve these goals … just as a doctor treats a patient suffering from an elusive disease. The (treatment may cause other damage). I think that the weak Iraqi rule may have turned Iraq into a goal in the regional and international conflict.

Al-Monitor:  According to your information, how do you describe the collapse of the Iraqi army in Mosul and other cities? Do you think this army can recover? What do think of the recent proliferation of militias?

Allawi:  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. Will it fight the people? Is it a tool in the internal conflict or a tool to protect the homeland? In my humble opinion, this is why the army was reluctant or failed to fight.

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