The Guardian December 13, 2000


IRAQ: resistance grows

Dr Subhi Al Jumaily is a member of the Central Relations Committee of 
the Iraqi Communist Party. He was in Australia recently and spoke to The 
Guardian* about the situation in Iraq.

Dr Subhi Al Jumaily: As you know in Iraq there is a dictatorship, 
and this regime is responsible for the tragedy that has befallen the Iraqi 
people  economically, politically and socially.

The regime has committed wars against Iraq's neighbours  Iran and later 
Kuwait  which have resulted in the economic sanctions imposed upon Iraq.

There are a lot of difficulties with daily living for the Iraqi people  
the high price of things, the shortage of food, the very high unemployment 
 about one third of the Iraqi workforce.

There is a big lack of industrial and agricultural production, even with 
all our natural resources and capabilities in Iraq, we need to import 
everything because there is no production.

There is a crisis in the medical condition of the people, lots of deaths of 
women and children, lots of diseases which did not exist before in Iraq  
such as cancers which we believe have been caused by the weapons, such as 
uranium and depleted uranium weapons, that were used against Iraq.

The regime continues its political suppression of the Iraqi people, there 
are many executions taking place, and liquidation by assassination, within 
the ruling regime and the army as well.

But there is public resistance to the regime, and this is feeling is 
continuing to rise.

Resistance takes different forms. There are assassinations of political 
representatives of the regime  especially the government officials 
responsible for executions  counter-assassinations.

This resistance is happening widely across Iraq  even in Baghdad the 
capital.

For instance our Party has a very wide distribution of its political agenda 
and publications. Our newspaper is distributed very widely, and we have 
many other activities.

We believe the only solution is to get rid of this regime, and to set up an 
alternative democratic system.

Guardian: Can you say more about the opposition forces, is there any 
co-operation between them? Or are the actions spontaneous and 
uncoordinated?

SAJ: There are numerous Iraqi opposition groups, but due to the 
terror of the Iraqi regime their activities are limited. The opposition is 
not very united, but there is a co-operation between them, inside and 
outside of Iraq.

Still, lots of public actions happen without any real organisation.

We need to clarify that most Iraqi people oppose the regime. It is only a 
minority who support the government and reinforce their power.

Our proof of that is that there was an uprising by the Iraqi people in 1991 
that liberated 14 big cities out of 15. Only Baghdad was left.

That is evidence, and there was a referendum that Iraqis don't want that 
regime.

G: What is the Party's position on the sanctions?

SAJ:The sanctions are only punishing the Iraqi people and not the 
Iraqi Government.

We are asking for the sanctions to be lifted immediately  to guarantee 
economic and political stability for Iraq as it was before.

But at the same time we continue to demand the isolation of the Iraqi 
regime diplomatically, politically and militarily.

G: Do you think the sanctions are playing into the hands of the 
regime?

SAJ: I think for the moment yes. Yes we believe that the Iraqi 
regime is using the sanctions for their benefit. 

The Iraqi Government is using the food rations against the Iraqi people by 
threatening to withdraw them, threatening to take their food away.

G: And the Party's position on the continued bombing by the British 
and US warplanes?

SAJ: We condemn the attack by the British and American airforces 
against our country and we ask them to stop bombing Iraq.

There is no excuse for them to bomb us.

Even these attacks are benefiting the Government  it then shows itself in 
the position of defending the country and as national heroes.

We ask for the end of these bombings because it is causing a tragedy for 
the Iraqi people.

G: Can we turn to the Communist Party itself  you are an illegal 
party but you manage to continue your work despite this. Can you perhaps 
elaborate on the circumstances the Party is working in?

SAJ: Yes, the Party is working in very difficult circumstances.

We work in three areas, firstly, in the area of Iraq under control of the 
regime, the Party is working underground. But even with the oppression, the 
Party has never ceased activity.

We also work in regions in Iraq not under government control  such as 
Iraqi Kurdistan, we work openly and legally there. Our Central Committee is 
based in Kurdistan and we have lots of bases there.

Our media there works actively in the Arabic and Kurdish languages, we have 
four TV stations and a central radio station with several relay stations to 
cover the whole of IRAQ.

And finally, we have lots of comrades abroad  we have organisations in 25 
different countries. These organisations provide a lot of support and 
solidarity and work actively within Iraqi communities.

We presume the Iraqi emigrant population is nearly three million now. Our 
organisation is working to raise the awareness of the Iraqi people's 
plight, the Iraqi issues and problems.

In 1993 we had the 5th Congress of the Iraqi Communist Party, and it was a 
defining moment in the rejuvenating the Party.

We adopted a new political program, and we also carefully assessed the 
party constitution. We also took into consideration the conferences of the 
Party all around the world.

G: What sort of the influence does the Party have?

SAJ: The Iraqi Communist Party has a big influence on the Iraqi 
political situation.

We believe that a lot of Iraqi people know that influence and they 
appreciate the influence of the Iraqi Communist Party.

Our Iraqi Communist Party is the only party whose members consist of Iraqi 
people form all different backgrounds: Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrian, 
Kildanian, and from all other sectors within Iraq. From all ethnic and 
religious groups.

This is a power for our Party.

G: What support is there in Iraq for the struggle of the Palestinian 
people, and in particular for their own state with Jerusalem as the 
capital?

SAJ: Our Party's stand is very clear in support of the Arab 
Palestinian population. We ask the Israeli troops to be withdrawn from the 
occupied areas, from all the occupied Arab lands  from the Golan, the 
West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

We support their right to self-determination, and their claim to an 
independent state, including Jerusalem as a capital.

We condemn the attacks and aggression against the Palestinians.

We have solidarity with the Palestinian people politically, and despite our 
own difficulties, we offer them financial support.

G: How do you assess the international situation? Is is a multi-
polar world really developing?

SAJ: There is one power dominating the world  the USA ... And we 
know that Americans are only looking after their own interests. They're 
using every means to increase their domination, even military aggression. 
Now we see that the US is even using the United Nations to support its 
political agenda.

The communist forces, peace-loving people, left-forces  they have vast 
interests in creating this movement against the domination of the US.

The latest movement against the corporate world, like the actions in 
Seattle, in Davos and here in Melbourne, are some indication of that 
movement. 

These indications will encourage communist and other socialist forces to 
create a "human" globalisation against the corporate globalisation.

G: What is the situation in the Kurdish region now?

SAJ: The existing regime has afflicted all manner of aggression 
against the Kurdish people, including chemical weapons.

Kurdish people deserve to live like any other people in the world, and we 
call for respect of their national rights, their choices. We call for a 
democratic system that would respect the national rights of the Kurdish, 
Kildanian, Assyrian, and Turkmen; and allow them to locally administer 
their regions autonomously within an Iraqi federation.

G: What is the relation between the Kurdish Communist Party and the 
Iraqi Party.

SAJ: The Kurdistan Communist Party of Iraq, and the Iraqi Communist 
Party are two parties within one party.

The Kurdistan Party struggles within Kurdistan and concentrates their work 
on Kurdish issues.

There are many links in our work together, our Kurdistan comrades are 
involved in the Iraqi Party's conferences and participate in the leadership 
of the Iraqi Communist Party as well.

G: Is there any message you'd like to convey to Guardian readers?

SAJ: I would like to thank the Communist Party of Australia for 
their hospitality here, and giving us the opportunity to speak to The Guardian.

I wish you all the best in your work, and hopefully to reach your 
objectives.

We share a lot of issues: we struggle for democracy, progress and social 
justice; and for a regime that provides better social justice than now. I 
wish you all the best in your struggle.

* * *
*Our thanks to the comrade who interpreted the questions and answers during the interview. Dr Subhi Al Jumaily answered the questions in Arabic.

Back to index page