While continuing a political life in Turkey, and the politicized International Court busy focusing on African leaders, Iraq’s vice-president was found guilty of running death squads against the security forces, and the majority Shi’a community, and hence was sentenced to death in absentia.
It took less than 24 hours after the departure of U.S. troops in December 2011, for an assassination attempt to be made on the president Nuri al-Maliki. Government forces found weapons in the home of al-Hashemi. Either al-Hashemi was over-confident that storing arms in his home would present no problem, or it was ‘stored’ there for him. In the background Sunni’s were carrying out a wave of attacks on Shi’a civilians, and pilgrims during the Shi’a commemoration of ‘Eid ul Arba’een, and the U.S financed Sunni Awakening Councils were adding to the sectarian violence.
Sunni Tariq al-Hashemi first fled to Kurdish-run northern Iraq, when the charges were made against him. Al-Hashemi then left the country for Qatar, and then Saudi Arabia. Al-Hashemi was accepted by Turkey, whose president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared all out support for al-Hashemi at a news conference. Either al-Hashemi has been accepted as being innocent of the charges, or what al-Hashemi has been charged with is not important. While al-Hashemi is in Turkey, Erdoğan has provided al-Hashemi with protection in the form of 17 policemen and 5 vehicles including an armored vehicle. Considered a sectarian move, Erdoğan’s dislike for the Alevi’s, Turkish Shi’a was evident when he was elected as president by refusing the Alevi the right to worship, and imposing Sunni religious teachers on their children.
Maliki issued a warrant for al-Hashemi’s arrest mid-December 2012. It was April 2012 when Interpol issued a warrant to which Turkey refused to extradite al-Hashemi. Al-Hashemi, said there are three reasons behind it…
- His active opposition to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s policies in the area of human rights and just distribution of resources.
- Before the situation got worse in Syria, the Iraqi prime minister wanted to get rid of an influential Sunni politician who would oppose him on his Syrian policy.
From Turkey, al-Hashemi is working hard to for the three Sunni provinces to become independent from the government, basically the desires of Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and of course the U.S. April 2012, witnessed al-Hashemi going on an ‘official’ visit to Qatar, as it was referred to by the Qatar News Agency where he was welcomed on arrival by the minister of state, Sheikh Hamad bin Nasser bin Jassim al Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family.
This is one of many legacies of the U.S. invasion that like Syria, and Iran initiated the 1991 Gulf War amidst fears of Iraq becoming a regional power that would ‘relieve’ the U.S. of control over the Middle East. After killing 300,000 Iraqis, destroying the countries infrastructure (Syria!) and looting the country of its antiquities (which is happening in Syria), a series of crippling sanctions (Syria), and an excuse to enter Iraq (Syria) weakened the country leaving it to be preyed upon by U.S.., Britain and their allies. Dividing the country into three areas, the north was given to the Kurds, which is protected, resourced and has the largest oil reserves in the country. By playing off the Sunni, Shi’a and Kurds, the U.S. has successfully been able to prevent the country from developing through divide and rule (puppet government).
The trial involved 10 hearings and testimonies from al-Hashemi’s bodyguards, al-Hashemi’s son-in-law and relatives of the victims. However, bodyguard Odai Ghazi Amin, who served in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein, and joined al-Hashemi’s staff in 2008 said he was ordered by the al-Hashemi’s son-in-law in 2009 to escort bomb-planting missions on roads across Baghdad – so what position does that put Ahmed Qahtan, al-Hashemi’s son-in-law in!
The final judgement of death under the U.S. designed Article 4 of Iraq’s anti-terrorism law fell on the ears of a silent courtroom, amidst Sunni-Shi’a tensions, and a judge whose name could not be released for his own protection. The other two who were charged were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Al-Hashemi who constantly attacked and blamed Shi’as president Maliki for the sectarian war, stands accused of being central to 150 bombings, assassinations and other attacks from 2005 – 2011 (al-Hashemi took office in 2006) in a country that was relatively free of the kind of sectarian tit-for-tat that became prevalent since the U.S invasion of Iraq in 2003 pushing the country towards a civil war.
Another one of al-Hashemi’s accusations is that of torturing and killing his bodyguards in order to get a confession against him. Al-Hashemi said he has evidence, while Baghdad says the photos are ‘doctored’, but it is al-Hashemi’s bodyguards who have been left to face the music while he has escaped to another country to fight his battles for it is the weak who destroy and the strong who build! Al-Hashemi expresses fear for his life if he was to return to Iraq, but even in Turkey, al-Hashemi’a life is at risk not from Iraq, but elsewhere from within the Middle East, because of what he knows!
Rubin. M. “Tariq al Hashemi” http://www.commentarymagazine.com/topic/tariq-al-hashemi/
Salaheddin, S. “Iraqi Court Finds Sunni Vice-President Guilty of Running Death Squads; Sentenced to Death.” http://www.sott.net/articles/show/250940-Iraqi-Court-Finds-Sunni-Vice-President-Guilty-of-Running-Death-Squads-Sentenced-to-Death
Smith, A. “Did the U.S. Create a Civil War in Iraq?” http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/01/did-the-u-s-create-a-civil-war-in-iraq/