I admit that at first I was impressed by the questions posed by the presenter and the answers from his guest, but that did not last long with the beginning of the allegations of ‘knowledge and heroism’ from the guest and his historical mistakes such as the affiliation of Kuwait and large parts of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to Iraq which was originally a province of the Ottoman Empire.
The guest also erred in attributing the responsibility of the stupid Iraq war with Iran to the Gulf states, and Kuwait in particular and how the pain of the bereaved widows and orphans of Iraq rests on the shoulders of the Gulf people.
The guest also made a big mistake when he said that Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah was among the candidates to take over the rule in Iraq in 1920, while Sheikh Mubarak actually had died five years before that date.
This is a mistake that should not have been made, unless the goal is to gain the satisfaction of some, and to revive an idea that has long been in his mind to become an ambassador of Iraq or to return to be leader of the ‘People’s Party for Reform’ after the failure of his plans to ally with Kuwaiti figures to recommend him to be an ambassador to carry out activities that has nothing to do with diplomacy, which may have prompted the Iraqi government at the time to expedite the appointment of Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum ambassador to Iraq to put an end to its unwanted ambitions.
It was clear from the episodes that I may have wasted my time watching, and which could have been compressed to a much smaller number after discovering the guest was talking too much to promote himself, which often was empty rhetoric most of which can be attributed to the senior Iraqi opposition men and the senior clergy men such as Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, politicians such as Iyad Allawi, wealthy people such as Ahmad Chalabi, the hero of the Petra Bank scandal, and Shiite elites from separate religious political parties, of whom religious commitment was never known, and most of the leaders of the ‘Dawa party with its two parts, or three of their defectors such as Jawad (Nouri) al-Maliki, al-Jaafari, al-Shahristani, al-Abadi and others while he was in London.
It was an unforgivable fall from the tyranny; his ego tinted with arrogance and this may have prompted him to speak on behalf of the entire Iraqi people and his miserable attempt to force his own opinions and feelings on them as if he was an honest personality especially when he talked about controversial and sensitive issues which no two people in Iraq did not agree on.
Through his questions, the presenter of the program, Ammar Taqi, whom I still admire and respect also committed the mistake of limiting Iraq with all its religions, sects, provinces and its entire heritage to the holy city of Najaf for the followers of Shiite sects, and repeating his questions about its people and their customs, their traditions and references, their relationship to other religious references in Karbala, Kufa, Qom and others, the role of the Dawa Party, the history and reason for its founding, the circumstances of the execution of its founder, his ideas and philosophy and the repetition of returning to the subject of the supreme references in Najaf time and time again as if there are no matters in Iraq worth addressing other than the reference and what is around it.
The guest tried more than once to explain the reality of the marginal role of references in Iraqi politics, often with their desire and in line with an ancient Shiite heritage that calls for leaving politics to its people and devote itself to religious science until the appearance of the Mahdi.
I discovered wasting time in the middle of episode number 25 and after hearing the guest repeat the phrase ‘I am a liberal’ more than once and he strongly insisted on what he said whenever necessary to talk about a religious position and justify and defend himself as liberal.
The guest also mentioned that Sayyid Al-Khoei, the supreme Shiite authority, at the time of the popular uprising which followed Saddam’s resounding defeat in the 2003 war did not issue any statement in support of the uprising although its leadership (penetrated according to him) was at his home, and the reference Al-Sabzwari was the only one who issued (what looked like a political fatwa) in support of it, and how Saddam insulted Mr. Al-Khoei by arresting him and transporting him from his home to Baghdad to meet Saddam in a pickup car.
As for Al-Sabzwari, Saddam sent him a tall dark-skinned officer famous for carrying out orders and not hesitating to kill hundreds of thousands, to arrest him but he failed in that as he could not, for an unknown reason, cross the threshold of the room in which Sabzwari was sitting and he retreated disappointed to implement Saddam’s order.
In the absence of an explanation for the officer’s bewildering behavior, Mr. Faeq, a very liberal person gave his own interpretation saying that he knows Mr. Sabzwari as he is very close to God and constantly recites supplications and verses, and when that officer entered to arrest him, he recited a prayer that was enough to prevent the fierce officer from entering the room to get hold of him.
I do not know why the presenter of the program did not stop at this strange incident, and he who stopped at what is less important than it and asks the guest why Al-Sabzwari did not leak the text of that supplication to the supreme authority Al-Khoei, for example? Why did not great imams, better than him and higher in rank hear such supplication, and despite this they were martyred by the tyrants and their corpses were mutilated?
Despite the media hype around the program, the episodes, or the ones I watched were not successful. As long as the interviews were pre-recorded, the one who prepared them should have deleted the supplication part due to the difficulty of justifying an interview with a big number of episodes with those who believed in such metaphysical in the third decade of the twentieth century.
By Ahmad alsarraf