Iraqi Parliamentarians: "Opportune Time" for US Troop Withdrawal

News & Politics
This post was written by Dal LaMagna

Before I left for Baghdad, six other members of the Iraq Parliament met at Mohammed's flat in Amman. Each was aligned with the moderate National Dialogue Front, a secular party promoting one Iraq, a scheduled withdrawal of American troops, and Iraqi control of Iraq's oil.

Present were:
• Dr. Saleh Al-Mutlaq, former Minister of State and founder of the National Dialogue Party)
• Prof. Mustafa Al-Hiti, former dean of Baghdad's University's College of Pharmacy
• Ali al-Sajri, who has never attended a meeting of Parliament
• Mohammed Al-Dynee, who traveled to the U.S. to bring different viewpoints to members of Congress
• Taha al-Lihabi, injured in the April 2007 suicide bombing inside the cafeteria in the Green Zone next to Parliament
• Fallah Hassam Zaidan
• Assad Ibrahim Hussein
It was a raucous meeting among close friends with lots of cigarette smoking. They had agreed to meet and allow me to videotape their conversation, with the idea their words could be heard directly by Americans. This was important to them, since many of these Parliamentarians express views that differ from those of members brought over by the American Administration to speak to the media.

Assad Hussein delivered a five-minute, non-stop monologue that captured the essence of what everyone in the group had been saying. Thus, to give voice to their ideas, here is what Hussein said:

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