After his remarks, Mr. Alusi was approached by the columnist for additional clarification.
First of all, he said, “In Iraq, there is no occupation—there is liberation.” Alusi acknowledged that mistakes have been made, as is the case in any war. But for the first time in Iraq’s history, he said, “There is such a thing as democratic elections.”
And as for the terrorists that have fled Iraq in order to fight on another front in Afghanistan—as if miraculously beamed from one country to the next—Alusi urged the audience to get a map and locate the massive territorial divide these terrorists have miraculously hopped over on their way to Afghanistan.
“Iran is at the center of all the troubles in our region,” he said. And just as they meddled in Iraq’s affairs, they are now complicating the situation on the ground in Afghanistan in order to provide themselves with cover, he explained. They need time to finish developing their nuclear arsenal, he said.
Three years ago Alusi lost two sons to terrorists. They were gunned down right in front of him. He anticipates and accepts the same fate.
“It’s very clear this is a liberation,” he told me. “People on the left in America have a problem with this. We in Iraq don’t have a problem with it. We call it a liberation because we know this is a liberation.”
Later, Alusi said, “I would like to say to the American people, thank you—not only because Saddam is gone—thank you for the change on the street and for the change in [our hearts].”
When asked about the controversial timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Alusi pleaded, “This is not the time to give up.” Later, he said, “Please, the time you are working for us is over. Now we are your partner. We are facing now Iran. And Iran is not an Iraqi problem. Iran, in the reality, is an international problem.”
Alusi resents the fact that in America, Iraq is being turned into a political issue. “This is not fair to the Iraqi people,” he said. “This is not fair to the American soldiers. We know the price they paid. We paid the same price. We have lost families and children.”