United States prioritizes meetings with Islamists above liberals, Alusi charges

by Heather Robinson

mithal election proclamation

Iraqi Parliamentarian Mithal al Alusi (pictured above) contacted me by phone last week to report that political moderates, liberals and secularists in Iraq are increasingly threatened as the United States spurns them in favor of Islamist extremists.

“If there is a high official from the United States government [in Iraq], they will meet all the Islamic parties and militias but they have no time to discuss issues with liberals,” said Alusi.

Elected three times to Iraq’s Parliament, Alusi has spoken out in favor of normalized relations between Iraq and Israel, and visited Israel several times to attend counter-terrorism conferences there. In February 2005, following his first trip to the Jewish State, terrorists murdered his two grown sons, apparently as payback for their father’s decision to visit Israel – a taboo in Iraqi society.

Undeterred, Alusi remained in Iraq and continued to build the Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation, which his sons had helped him establish.

Alusi has visited Israel several more times in recent years and in November, 2008 he won a case in Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court, the highest court in the nation, asserting it was no longer a crime for Iraqis to travel to Israel. In 2005, he received the American Jewish Committee’s Moral Courage Award.

The emergence of ISIS is the result of America’s lack of interest in and commitment to Iraq in recent years, Alusi believes. Moreover, he believes Islamist extremists in the region are being emboldened by America’s lack of involvement and seeming lack of a plan.

“People are being killed from [non-governmental organizations], people who lived to help,” he said. “What is the U.S. plan?”

“We liberals have great difficulties. But we are continuing,” he said.

More to come.

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