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‘But my name will live on …’

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A friend and reader sent me a controversial and charlatan episode from the black box interviews of its presenter and author Ammar Taqi with the Iraqi politician Faeq al-Sheikh Ali as if he was telling me: ‘I will not let you rest from writing daily columns and this is what happened’.

In light of all the allegations, true or false, that were made by Mr. Faeq al-Sheikh Ali during the 46 episodes of the ‘Black Box’ program in which the guest of the episode tried hard to highlight his vital and pivotal role in opposing Saddam and he spearheading many matters and that he had complex and deep relations with all the opposition symbols or those who were its symbols, and some of them became thieves but the interviewer Ammar Taqi in a movement that seemed to be a return to awareness surprised the guest with the following question:

Do you believe that you were wronged by the Iraqi politicians by not mentioning your name as a prominent dissident who played a vital role before the fall of Saddam?

The guest replied: Yes, and they did that out of fear that my name would be mentioned.

The presenter did not pay attention to his strange answer, and wondered: In the course of researching and preparing for this program, I found the following:

Ahmed Chalabi (the biggest, most important, richest opponent and spearhead of the resistance before the fall of Saddam and the closest to America) did not mention your name at any stage or any meeting, before and after the fall of Saddam although he mentioned the names of many personalities; Aziz al-Samanji did not mention your name in his book “The Iraqi Opposition Train”; also, Hassan Al-Zubaidi in the 800-page “Encyclopedia of Iraqi Politics” did not mention your name, even though he mentioned the names of 1,500 other Iraqi personalities; Iyad Allawi (the well-known symbol of the resistance) did not mention your name in his book “In the Minefield”; Paul Bremer, U.S. government official who served as director of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq (2003–04) after the fall of Saddam did not mention your name in his memoirs.

How did all these personalities forget to mention your name, and they are the most famous in the resistance and in documenting the stage before the fall of Saddam, the presenter asked.

The guest replied, first of all I do not work for any party in any country. These all have relations with many countries.  (I myself don’t know for whom Bremer was working. Why was he afraid of mentioning Faeq’s name in his memoirs?); two, I am independent and I have no affiliation with any country, and no one has any clue about me. (What does this have to do with not mentioning your name in the memoirs and bios?); three, I am the father of the Iraqi opposition, the bearer of the banner of fighting Saddam, my head is high and even after my death I will advise whoever will bury me to keep my head held high; four, I am honored that these people did not mention my name in their books; five, history will immortalize me as the brave and heroic Iraqi who stood against Saddam, whose intelligence negotiated with me and offered me a blank check just for not mentioning his name in the interviews, and I refused and six, history will mention my name after 30 years through doctoral and master’s theses that the next generation will write about me, the generation that I am now raising in Iraq.

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I cursed the friend who sent me the interview episode, and I blamed Al-Qabas deep inside for its unintended role in distorting something from the modern history of Iraq!

email: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf