Highlights

 
Quotable
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.
John F. Kennedy
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
January 17, 2004

Another Son Rises in the West


by Sanjay Suri

The son of a former Iraq prime minister plans to return to Iraq next week to offer his share of leadership.

Saad Saleh Jabr, whose father Saleh Jabr was prime minister in 1947-48 during the reign of King Faisal II, will return to Iraq after 35 years of exile spent in the United States and Britain.

Jabr follows Sharif Ali, a cousin of former King Faisal II who has returned from Britain to Iraq to offer monarchy as a unifying force. Despite the high royal position of his father, Sharif Ali has not got far down the royal road.

Several other exiled Iraqis have returned to Iraq from Britain to engage in political life on the strength of their connections with the U.S. and British governments during their period of exile.

Jabr, who has been working as a middleman for Western companies to win contracts in the Arab world during his years in exile, has been a force among Iraqi opposition leaders largely on the strength of that lineage, and of weekly newspapers he produced from 1984 up until the invasion of Iraq last year.

He launched the first Iraqi opposition newspaper Al Tayar from his base in London in 1984. That was followed up by a new weekly Free Iraq in 1992.

Every opposition leader in Iraq is familiar with the newspapers," Jabr told IPS Friday. "In fact half the members of the Governing Council have graduated from our group."

A spokesman for the Governing Council called him in London Thursday to discuss his political agenda on return to Iraq, Jabr said.

Jabr said he had discussed his return to Iraq with senior British officials and with senior leaders within Iraq. "I'll talk to the Americans when I get there," he said. But U.S. officials are making arrangements for his security, he said.

Jabr has had mixed relations with the United States. His wife is from the United States "and I'm a big baseball fan," he says.

Jabr says he has corresponded twice with U.S. officials, including Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials, to support coup attempts against Saddam Hussein.

The attempts failed, and the United States must take a fair share of blame for that, Jabr says.

Jabr heads a political party, the Free Iraqi Council. That will now add to about 120 political parties already in existence in Iraq.

"But my real aim is to bring these parties together," he said. "For five years we should freeze all the separate political activities and work together to rebuild Iraq."

Parties need to come together urgently in order to stop different groups going their own ways, he said. "There are differences emerging between Arabs and Kurds, and between Shias and Sunnis," he said. "We are getting to the stage when this kind of thing could get out of hand."

Discussions with key Iraqi leaders suggest that many are keen to consider a joint action plan by political parties, Jabr said.

"My main aim is to get everyone together. I want to tell people that goddammit, where is this sectarianism going to get you? I am a sheikh, but I am a liberal sheikh."

Jabr plans to make his move to unify parties outside any efforts by the Governing Council. "I am glad that some people have accepted those positions on the Governing Council, but I would not have accepted that myself," he told media representatives earlier.

Jabr says he will push for rule by Iraqis to replace the United States. "They can take all the bases they want, wherever they want, but they should leave the running of the country to Iraqis, we know how to do it, let us run the show."

Jabr is keen to convince Iraqis and the West that he can have a role to play. The elderly leader came to a press meeting walking unsteadily with the support of a stick.

"You must ask why I walk with a stick," he said. "I overdid the exercising and hurt my back. I will leave this stick behind when I return to Iraq."

Inter Press Service

(Inter Press Service)


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Israeli Claims Over Abused Journalist Challenged
    7/18/2008

  • Amnesty: US Sets Standards, Fails to Meet Them
    5/29/2008

  • UK: Once Again, Stop the War
    10/31/2006

  • Iraq: Little Brother Poses a Problem
    10/15/2006

  • UK Officer: Afghanistan Policy 'Barking Mad'
    9/26/2006

  • Watch That Box for al-Jazeera, and More
    9/22/2006

  • Report: Taliban Taking
    Over Again
    9/6/2006

  • UK Foreign Policy Hangs Above Terror Threat
    8/29/2006

  • UK Muslim Leaders Begin to Doubt the Plot
    8/18/2006

  • A Story Left Incomplete
    7/7/2006

  • Taliban Regaining Influence, Report Warns
    6/7/2006

  • War Provoking Terror, Amnesty Says
    5/24/2006

  • Rights Group: Iraqi Women Worse Off Under Occupation
    3/30/2006

  • Afghan Farmers Feel Pinch of Poppy Eradication
    2/6/2006

  • Iran Air Strikes 'Under Consideration'
    1/14/2006

  • Two Sides to a Withdrawal
    8/18/2005

  • London: Last Police Lie Blown Off
    8/18/2005

  • Police Response More Frightening Than the Killing
    7/27/2005

  • UK Cleric: 'Reclaim Islam From Terrorism'
    7/19/2005

  • Iraqi Shadow Seen Over Train Attacks
    7/16/2005

  • Iraq Clouds Blair Victory
    5/7/2005

  • 78 Journalists Killed Last Year
    3/24/2005

  • Torture and Oppression of Kurds in Syria
    3/11/2005

  • Palestine Peace Move Could Be the Kiss of Death
    3/2/2005

  • UK: Torture All You Want, but Leave the Cameras at Home
    2/25/2005

  • Proposed UK Law Makes Guantanamo Look Liberal
    2/24/2005

  • In Iraq, It Could Be Getting Worse for Women
    2/23/2005

  • For UK Troops, Abuse Only Happens if Photographed
    1/20/2005

  • Child Soldiers Still on the March
    11/18/2004

  • Glass House Weakens US Case in Darfur
    9/22/2004

  • In the UK, a 'Terrifying' Judgment on Suspected Terrorists
    8/14/2004

  • Athens Goes 'Rambo' on Security
    7/31/2004

  • Where the Taliban Once Tread
    7/19/2004

  • Report Reveals Lies, Not the Liar
    7/16/2004

  • Palestinians Run Into Another Wall
    7/14/2004

  • Palestinian Win Rises Higher Than Israeli Wall
    7/10/2004

  • Blair's Troubles Multiply
    7/9/2004

  • Saddam Could Call CIA in His Defense
    7/3/2004

  • Britain's Guantanamo
    6/24/2004

  • Amnesty: Abu Ghraib Cases Not Isolated
    5/27/2004

  • Report: US Needed 500,000 Troops to Pacify Iraq
    5/26/2004

  • Foreign Firms Continue to Try to Do Business in Iraq
    4/29/2004

  • What Becomes of Brits Released From Guantanamo to Become Test Case
    2/22/2004

  • Britain: Tories, Civil Rights Groups Lead Strong Opposition to Secret Trials
    2/4/2004

  • Rights Group: Iraq War Was 'Not Humanitarian'
    1/26/2004

  • New Effort Launched for Guantanamo Detainees
    1/21/2004

  • Another Son Rises in the West
    1/17/2004
  •  

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com