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Al-Jazeera interview with Maj. General Mizher Al Qaissi, Official Spokesman for The General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries

Al-Jazeera

June 24, 2014



00-34

Our guest today is Maj. General Mizher Al Qaissi, Official Spokesman for The General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries.

Maj. General Qaissi, welcome.

00.42

I welcome you as well as your respected viewers

00.44 – Of course, according to your wishes we have not shown your face and we will also alter your voice; we respect your wishes for privacy and welcome again.

General Qaissi, how do you evaluate the situation in the field now in Iraq?


01.03-01.19

MQ: Bissmillah Al Rahman Al Raheem. As a start, I am used to beginning every new interview by asking God for his mercies on the souls of our martyrs and for them abide in paradise and I pray for glory all the glory to our heroic revolutionaries.

01.20- 02.54

MQ: Today, the Tribal Revolutionaries have lit a flame for a Revolution that will never be put out; this Revolution began since our people asked for legitimate rights and they asked for them through their constitutional sit-ins but they were met with fire and brimstone. Guns were our last resort to impose our will. But with God’s kindness and with the kindness of our incubator which area is growing larger day by day we have been able to control Mosul, Sallahudeen, Falluja, Garma, Beiji and most of the northern area and now we are close to Baghdad’s parameters and at its external limits in areas of Baghdad’s Belt as well as the fact that we have been able to expel the government army from Diyala – large parts of the areas in Diyala, and parts of Kirkuk province. So, now, this is the situation in the field – the Revolutionaries control these areas. Today, should we walk around in Mosul and were we to contact any of Mosul’s inhabitants you would see genuine joy and great happiness that Muslawi inhabitants are feeling and living after the removal of this injustice from their lives.

02.55- 03.02

What pushed you into starting this stage – I mean instead of self-defense to occupying areas in the north of Iraq?

03.03 – 03.55

MQ: The person who started it is Maliki – Maliki forced us to behave in this manner. For when (army) divisions are sent to our areas and checkpoints and inspection points are set-up in our areas the intention is to degrade and subjugate people and this is what we will not accept and this is what we mentioned in our first statements when we stated and defined the enemy as whoever hurts the Iraqi people and insults their dignity as well as attacks them and their possessions.

A few weeks ago Muslawis were unable to cross bridges from the Right Bank to the Left because of the checkpoints there that insulted them and frisked the women and attacked them by beating them and by verbally abusing them.

03.56 – 04.16

When you say "control", control is not only in the hands of Tribal militants but also in the hands of ISIL. How much is ISIL in control of areas within the areas that are influenced by Tribal militants?
04.17- 04.26

MQ: The fact is, ISIL is present and no one can deny its existence.

04.27 – 04.29

You fought them – you fought them in the past.

04.30- 05.47

MQ: The Revolutionaries did not fight them – the Sahwas fought them – and the Sahwas are part of the American Project – yes, they fought the "Tandheem" (al Qaeda) for reasons that we are not concerned with because they (the Sahwas) are part of a larger project that is much larger than these naïve people who volunteered to fight. But what happened is that this organization exists in Iraq and has its external extensions in Syria and even in the world; it has its sleeping cells; it possesses abilities; but this Revolution is a Tribal Revolution that rose against oppression and the Military Councils are a part of these rebellious forces. The Military Councils’ emblem – the General Military Council’s emblem is the green map of Iraq on a white standard and then the shield that surrounds Iraq that will protect Iraq from Farisee interference and influence. This is our emblem.

05.48 – 05.59

We will talk about this interference but how far is this cohesion between the Tribes with ISIL’s organization – Is there direct cohesion – is there coordination?

06.00 – 06.46

MQ: There are no connections nor is there coordination. As I have previously said – the organization exists and it has some fighters and it has some areas in which it moves, but this revolution is that of Tribes and this is what we want to get to the whole world – that this Revolution is a new Iraqi Spring and that it is an armed Revolution to end repression and injustice. It has no connection with any other agendas. And it has no relationship to any terrorism or any other parties. It is a Revolution of pure Iraqi Tribes who rose against an oppressive government.

06.47 – 06.59

What is your evaluation of the ability and the size of the organization. There are some who have spoken of 5,000 or 7,000, 10,000 now on Iraqi soil – you – what is your evaluation of these numbers and what is their ability?

07.00 –

Of course, in comparison to the Tribal Revolutionaries..

07.01 – 08.35

MQ: Of course, we are not in contact with them to know their size; and these numbers and exaggerations and the number of fighters have not been surveyed or polled by any official group or official organization or military organization, but what I wish to say is that no matter what the size of any armed force is it can’t be compared with that of the sons of the tribes – with that of all the sons of Iraq? So I do not believe that there is a comparison; the sons of Iraq are the sons of this country, the sons of all these cities that have been liberated – and that they bear arms in defense of their cities and their gains so whatever the size of the other organizations that allege that they are with the Revolutionaries or with the Revolution, and there is more than organization that alleges that it is with the Revolution, but their size does not amount to the size of the uprising of the masses – all the masses; today, the people who support the Councils in the liberated areas can be counted and surveyed by any foreign agency; today the people who want the Councils are children, women young men and the elderly and this popular incubator has grown in a large way because they have come to believe in our project and they have come to believe that our commitment is to liberate them and to end their persecution.

08.36 – 08.40

Are you working with ISIL on the basis of my enemy’s enemy is my friend, for example?

08.41 – 08.55

MQ: Never. We are continuing to work for with the people’s targets and our arms are authorized by the people; and so no matter how many types of guns there are pointed towards the central government it doesn’t mean that there is any coordination or cooperation.

08.56 – 08.58

Then ISIL affects your aims.

08.59 – 09.48

MQ: Not necessarily – It does not affect our aims. We plan and execute and we complete our execution during the time planned and assigned for it and no one has anything to do with this achievement. Perhaps some groups push towards the same target and this may coincide with our timing but it is we who plan and it is we who besiege and it is we who execute and these other groups may have their own plans and agendas and targets, but now, the party that has most legitimacy and that has gained its legitimacy from the people’s authorization and the Revolutionaries’ authorization is the Military Councils for Iraq’s Revolutionaries.

09.49 – 10.18

But the Western Community, Ban Ki Moon, Maliki’s government, a lot of parties, link events taking place now in the areas under your control with what ISIL’s elements commit and thus doesn’t this in fact affect what you are striving for and the just demands, in the absence of a clear position on your part?

10.19 – 11.31.

MQ: Yes, quite sure, it does. But, let’s think more clearly: today, there may be individual behavior on the part of one group or another, that goes against our constants and our behavior and that even goes against human rights, but who is actually promoting this party and is blacking us out? This is the bigger question. These parties, today, possess a huge media machine. I’ll give you an example: on You Tube, you can see very many videos that show certain scenes – human rights abuse – that hurt our cause – well, do you know that when we upload a statement on You Tube, it does not remain for more than 48 hours and then just gets deleted from the site;

11.40 – 11.57

MQ: Even our publications get deleted or blocked on You Tube; you know that You Tube is in California – alright then why do these videos remain for such a period – isn’t there a power that is keeping it on the site?

11.58 – 12.06

To end the part that is connected with ISIL, what is your position regarding these abuses that you have just said can be seen now on You Tube – what is the position of the Tribal Revolutionaries on this?

12.07 – 12.32

MQ: We are against any act that violates human rights no matter who the perpetrator; we strongly deplore and condemn it and we are against it; we are always against any violations of human rights; the others have their opinions but we do not support any violations whatsoever; and we do not perpetrate such acts even against our enemies;

12.33 – 12.40

Is it possible that one day we will see fighting between the Tribal Revolutionaries and ISIL as took place in Syria?

12.42- 12.49

MQ: Personally, I wish we will not be forced to do this.

12.51- 13.06

Now there are calls for volunteering. Sayed Ali Al Sisstani has called for volunteers to save Iraq. Has Iraq, in fact, entered into a direct sectarian war – Sunni-Shi’i?

13.09- 14.01

MQ: The Marji’iya, Ali Al Sisstani announced this really strange fatwa because they want to distort this war and turn it into a sectarian war between 2 sects that have coexisted for more than 1000 years and have lived together peacefully and lovingly. They wanted to turn this into a sectarian war. I revert to your question: here are volunteers – now what use was the regular army which training cost 2/3 of the state’s budget? Did it stand its ground so that these volunteers who are being quickly prepared and an army that is being driven to the battle battlefields?

14.02-14.05

Excuse me, but you are criticizing this army but you contributed to bring down this army now.

14.06 – 14.46

MQ: Yes, what I mean is, has this army that has been trained been able to hold its ground so that some units that are being prepared in a hurry made up of volunteers being taken away from their families – many of them – and we issued a statement concerning this holding Maliki responsible for these minors who have been pushed into hot combat zones to certain death. You know this is a message intended to inflame emotions.

14.47- 14.52

General Qaissi, what is the plan now – what is needed? To bring down Maliki with force of arms?

14.53- 15.26

MQ: We tried all means and we showed that our strategy was that of guerilla warfare for the sake of change. So the aim is change by force of arms and by any other means. If we’re forced to bring him down by force of arms we will bring him down but if there were other solutions, there are those who will be authorized to deal with that.

15.27 – 15.31

What are the possible solutions from your point of view?
15.32- 16.37

MQ: Typically armed conflicts and the philosophy of armed conflicts are mostly concluded by political solutions. It is not possible for revolutionary movements to continue militarily without political solutions and arms will be put down once their aim is realized. We wanted to realize this aim with the least possible losses but we were forced to bear arms. We are not alone and I emphasize this now - we are not on our own – there is a nation behind us that authorized us to bear arms. When we came, we came as leading officers from the former Iraqi Army leading revolutionaries from the tribes and from our people and when these revolutionaries ask us to lay down our arms and when we are close to their aims we will respond to their request and we have repeatedly emphasized we are not warmongers, we do not wish to shed blood but on the contrary any blood that is shed on Iraq’s soil no matter what part it emanates from is blood that is too dear to us.

16.38 – 16.47

How are you going to face America, should it decide to direct quick air strikes at the Tribal Revolutionary militants?

16.48 – 18.43

MQ: And how will it be able to target the Tribal Revolutionaries’ headquarters? How will it be able to do that and the Tribal Revolutionaries are in every house and in every street, in every home? There is more than one revolutionary who has carried a gun and who has contributed to this Revolution or who has supported this Revolution. Is it going to kill all the Iraqi People? Is it going to annihilate Mosul or is it going to annihilate Falluja as Maliki wants to annihilate complete quarters and districts to exchange them with new quarters and districts? This talk in military science is illogical because it needs annihilation so if the United States of America and whoever is behind it prepared to annihilate half of the Iraqi People let them do it. This is the answer. Secondly, we , all of us, were the people who resisted the American Occupier, and the Military Councils for the Iraqi Revolutionaries , only this elite was chosen from all the fighters who previously fought the Occupation armies, for their greater expertise in guerilla warfare tactics, for this reason the majority of the commanders were people who fought the Americans and we know how to fight them even if they were to come for a second time, however, as I previously stated, this is not possible even though it were to be confirmed by the United States and its Drones that there are headquarters as well as groups that are gathered on bases, and strikes were to be carried out against us that killed people, would that end the Revolution? The answer is NO! And quite definitely NOT!... Because it is the Revolution of all the people.

18.44 – 19.06

Then I will use your words and say that in military science, also, it is stated that in order to bring down any regime, the capital should be reached and here I mean Baghdad; look at The Sham, (Damascus) for example, it withstood and in the end the regime has now taken the initiative – is Baghdad one of your targets? Part of your map?

19.07 – 20.16

MQ: We, as I previously stated, planned for change – to bring down the regime – If it were necessary to bring down the regime, its army and its militias with which it is entrenched in Baghdad, the Capital, and the time comes at which we have to strike, this target will be part of our planning and part of our priorities. Today, we are trying to eradicate oppression of the Iraqi people, and I am continuing to repeat this more than once, we are not warmongers and we are not trying to continue fighting and we do not wish to cause more losses amongst the government militia type army or amongst civilians who are in areas in the line of fire, for this reason I say that we have planned for everything and the initiative is in our hands and we are in possession of timing as well as the fact that we are the ones who choose when to attack.

20.17- 20.19

Do you have the ability to attack Baghdad, now?

20.20-

MQ: Yes.

20.21-20.22

I mean the military ability?

20.22-

MQ: Yes

20.23-

Or is there no intention, now?

20.26-20.28

MQ: To be quite honest, this cannot be divulged now. But

20.29 -20.34

I mean is the obstacle the intention or is it military ability?

20.35- 21.21

MQ: The military ability is available, and the military ability is growing but don’t forget that always when capitals are besieged, they fall by themselves and we have very many examples in armed conflicts. Often, there are people who are moaning inside, repressed because of the existence of this power and this force and you’ve noticed what has happened to a lot of these capitals including Baghdad, how Baghdad collapsed. Baghdad may fall automatically just by the Revolutionaries getting close to it.

21.22- 21.31

Let’s touch a little on politics. The Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a statement concerning events taking place in Iraq; what is your reading of the Gulf’s position concerning the Iraqi crisis.

21.32- 22.39

MQ: We welcomed this strong statement, although it is late in coming, and very late indeed; for we have been marginalized for some time, and we do not represent a component – this is a reality that I wish to state now on AlJazeera, we do not represent a component, we represent all the Iraqi People, and all the Iraqi People are groaning, perhaps one component is groning more than others because it is being targeted for a larger plan; it is being targeted by a plan which has come from evil Iran that wants to change the map and the demography of the region and then pushes towards – you know where its extensions reach to attain the Mediterranean Sea, so for this reason we welcome these positions that support us and we welcome all positions that stand by our side and support us and we do not ask of them anything but their support and to look at our demands.

22.40-22.43

What is being asked of the Gulf States now?

22.44- 23.45

MQ: What is being asked of the Gulf States is to look at the legitimacy of our Revolution nothing more and to examine themselves. We do not want to cause them more trouble and pressure than they can bear. But we ask that they look at the legitimacy of our demands with humanity. Maliki has killed us, violated our sanctities, arrested the women, and commits every atrocity, exposed our areas to annihilation, committed massacres, and we have no one but God – we raise our palms to the sky because we have no champion, we have spoken loudly and asked for help but no one answered us, and we appreciate this, because we do not want to burden them with more than their powers.

23.46- 23.55

Allow me, General, my last question is what is the political horizon? The future as far as you are concerned.

23.56- 24.49

MQ: The future – I will summarize it for you: We want a new Iraq, whose People enjoy its wealth. A Democratic Iraq with its People enjoying Democracy; governed by a government they choose that governs them with Justice and with its people coexisting with love for each other maintaining Iraq’s unity. We do not accept the fracturing of Iraq – we do not accept Iraq being fractured socially neither do we accept Iraq being fractured geographically. We want Iraq to return to being one body and to live together lovingly - that Basra’s son is employed in Mosul and Mosul’s son works in Thee Qarr and that this dark period ends that was brought in by the Occupation and this requires all efforts to be united and that all the Iraqi people Rebel for the sake of change and in order to arrive at and enjoy real Democracy and not sectarian democracy that these rulers came with.

24.50-

Thank you for allowing us to have this meeting with you, Maj. General Mizher Al Qaissi, Official Spokesman for The General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries. Thank you and thank you to our viewers for watching us. This is an Episode from "Liqa’a Al Yawm" (Today’s Meeting…) From Iraq. Thank you to our listeners."





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