The Iraqi parliament voted to strip the parliamentary immunity of one of its members, Mithal Alusi for visiting
Alusi challenged his colleagues in a parliamentary session this week, “Are you holding me accountable for not hiding secrets? For being honest? For not walking behind the curtains? It is better than visiting in secret.” Ali al-Adeeb of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa Party opened by suggesting Alusi’s recent comments might be “part of an undisclosed plan to subdue our proud society to gradually accept what it rejects by principle.” Ayad al-Samarrai, of the Iraqi Islamic Party, called Alusi’s visit a betrayal of his oath of office “as the Zionist Entity is described as an enemy of the State of Iraq in Iraqi law.” Alusi replied, “This is my second visit
After my first visit I was received as a colleague and a friend by the (Shiite Supreme Council, the biggest component of the governing Shiite Alliance) Council and by al-Dawa. What has changed this time? Is it because I mentioned
Some members of parliament were contemplating treason charges, which could carry the death sentence, but Tariq Harb, an expert in Iraqi law, said those charges had questionable legal basis. And an article in the Iraqi constitution, he noted, gives citizens the right to travel anywhere they wish. By the end of Sunday’s session, lawmakers had banned Alusi from traveling outside the country and from attending further sessions. Alusi, for his part, said parliament’s speaker had suggested the matter might be swept under the rug with an apology, but he has absolutely no intention of giving one. “I believe in what I have done,” he said. “I will never stop . . . They can arrest me, they can kill me, but I will keep going.” Powerful forces were aligning against him, he said, and Sunday’s events were a victory for “Qaida and Iranian intelligence, a loss for democratic process” (Nicholas Spangler & Mohammed Al-Dulaimy, ‘Maverick Iraqi lawmaker accused of complicity with Israel,’ News Tribune, September 14, 2008).
Alusi is the only Iraqi politician in recent years to publicly visit
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “There can be no clearer case of a brave, anti-Islamist Iraqi democrat and ally in the war on Islamist terror than Mithal Alusi exactly the sort of ally the
“It is clearly incumbent on the Bush Administration to intervene and apply the greatest possible pressure on the Iraqi government, which owes the United States an enormous debt of gratitude for ridding the country of Saddam Hussein and paying in lives and treasure so that Iraq may become one day a proper democracy safeguarding the rule of law, to drop all charges against Alusi. If the Bush Administration stands by and does nothing, it will be a tragic and terrible failure that demonstrates to our enemies that the friendship and ideals of the