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Re: [casi] Recent Amnesty

Dear List,

I wanted to address the issue of "deductions" as in Rahul's message, but Jiale
did that already. I just want to add that without evidence, Rahul's statement
"most prisoners in Iraq are political prisoners, not criminals" raises suspicions
about preconceptions and biases. Scientific research is not a matter of personal

Iraq has been in dialogue with different opposition groups and figures for
some time now; with some, dialogue has been going on for a few years. The most
successful has been with the Arab Nationalist group represented by Kheiruddin
Haseeb and Wamidh Nadhmi, who though disagree with the regime, nevertheless oppose
sanctions and intervention in Iraq's affairs, and have opted for dialogue. They
have no problem with the regime. Some of the party's members work and live in
Iraq, and have applied for a permit to register their party and publish a paper.

In the past months, Iraq has entered into a dialogue with opposition figures
like Baqir Ibrahim and Abdul Amir al Rikabi. It is reported that al Rikabi had met
with Tariq Aziz in Algeria and presented him with a proposal for action. It is
also reported that the dialogue has also continued with other figures like Abdul
Jabbar al Kubaisy, and that progress has been made. There are rumours that Iraq is
agreeing to a wider political base of rule, and that Abdul Amir al Rikabi is the
strongest candidate to lead a government of national reconciliation composed of
different political parties, whose immediate task is to reform the political
system and fight any aggression.

Iraq refuses to deal with the CIA and MI5 supported groups (the INC and the
National Accord) and considers them spies and traitors. Iraq's Minister of
Information said a few days ago that there should be a differentiation between
those who disagree with the regime but still are nationalists, and those who work
with the enemy..
Iraq also refuses to deal with the Constitutional Party of the Sharif Ali,
because Sharif Ali (who lays claim to Iraq's throne) is not even an Iraqi by
birth, his father being an Egyptian.

The biggest issue is of course the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in
Iraq (SCIRI). It is reported that Hizbullah's Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah is working
hard to make Iran pressure Sayyed Baqir al Hakim so that SCIRI stays outside any
US aggression against Iraq. Nasrullah is said to hate Saddam, but he also believes
that if the Shi'is of Iraq would join a US attack on Iraq, that would alienate the
Arabs and Muslims against Shi'is, splinter Iraq and Hizbullah would stand to loose
all the support it had gained through decades of hard work. Nasrullah thus wants
SCIRI not to be part of any US aggression on Iraq. He is also reported as advising
SCIRI that if they do not want to enter into a dialogue with the GOI, then they
should not stand in the way of those in the opposition who want to do that.
Clearly Nasrullah is less under Iranian control than al Hakim is, and his views
reflect more the national spirit of the Arabs than those in Iran.

So in conclusion, talk of freeing prisoners as being due to pressure or a
trick does not reflect the whole picture of what has been going on. It is very
easy to draw conclusions, and drawing the wrong conclusions becomes much easier
when one doesn't have all the facts.


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