No reconciliation is possible with Saddam’s henchmen

Yasin Aziz

By Yasin Aziz:

Former Iraq premier Ayad Allawi has suggested (in an interview with The Times on 21st August) that at least one of Saddam’s old henchmen be given a place in the new Iraqi government as a gesture of reconciliation and an attempt to restore the discredited unity of a state torn apart by the conflict between Shias and Sunnis. Allawi recommended a post for Sultan Hashim Ahmad, who was Saddam’s defence minister from 1995 until the fall of the dictator in 2003, and who, in 2007, was sentenced to death for war crimes. This is an abhorrent suggestion by Allawi, himself a one-time Saddam henchman.

How can we Kurds possibly accept such an approach to solving Iraq’s problems? Iraq as it is has no future in togetherness. The most viable solution is a loose federalist state; the Kurdistan region already has an autonomous region, which largely includes economic autonomy, if not complete self-determination, and it is internationally recognised.

To the old Baathists, I say: historically it is not inherent in your Arab culture to be humanist and democratic. The last 90 years of our experience has proved this, especially when you tried to wipe us out from the surface of Iraq through the use of WMDs and the Anfal Campaign. A true reconciliation is achievable only when all of Saddam’s surviving henchmen, and Maliki, are put on trial and punished for crimes against humanity.  As one of the victims of Halabja and the Anfal campaign, I will never forgive you for your crimes. In addition, the spirit of the Peshmarga nowadays is the strongest hope against the forces of evil.

Yasin Mahmoud Aziz is from Halabja and lives in the UK.  He is the author of ‘Dum Dum Castle’ and two books in Kurdish and he is planning several more books. ‘A Few Days Life of Revolution in Halabja’ is due to be published in the coming months. Email:

One Response to No reconciliation is possible with Saddam’s henchmen
  1. tony cranston
    August 23, 2014 | 21:15

    As an Englishman with a little knowledge of the region beyond the western media slant. I agree with Mr Aziz. How can you forgive such crimes and reward them with a gov position…?

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