Exclusive - Hamid Al-Bayati Extended Interview Pt. 2

  • Aired:  06/19/14
  •  | Views: 28,713

Hamid Al-Bayati explains how the media doesn't always accurately reflect what is happening on the ground in Iraq. (8:10)

[APPLAUSE]>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

SO WE'RE TALKING, HERE'S WHATWE'RE TALKING.

SO THE BIG CRITICISM OFAL-MALIKI FROM THE AMERICAN

PERSPECTIVE, AND I DON'T KNOW,MAYBE WITHIN IRAQ, IS THAT HE

HAS NOT ALLOWED THE SUNNIMINORITY A ROLE AND THAT THEIR

ANGER AT THAT IS HELPING TOFOMENT THIS SECTARIAN DIVIDE.

ALLOWED ISIS TO SWEEP IN WITHNOT ONLY NOT BEING FOUGHT, BUT

BEING JOINED, AND IF HE HAD BEENMAYBE MORE WILLING TO DO THAT,

WE WOULDN'T FIND OURSELVES HERE.

>> WELL, JON, THIS IS ANIMPORTANT ISSUE HERE.

WHEN THERE IS GOOD NEWS IN IRAQ,IT'S NOT REFLECTED IN THE MEDIA.

>> Jon: THERE IS GOOD NEWS?

>> YES. TWO DAYSAGO, 16 LEADERS,

SUNNIS, SHIA, KURDS,EVEN CHRISTIANS, THEY GATHERED

IN THE HOUSE OF THE FORMER PRIMEMINISTER IBRAHIM AL-JAAFARI, AND

THEY AGREED AND THEY READ ASTATEMENT.

THEY SAID THEY SHOULD LEAVETHEIR DIFFERENCES ASIDE.

THEY SHOULD HAVE A UNITYMISSION, A UNITY GOVERNMENT TO

FIGHT TERRORISM.

SO I THINK THERE IS HOPE THAT WECOULD AGAIN UNITE AFTER WE SAW.

THIS IS A CANCER.

IF WE DON'T GET...

>> Jon: ARE THESE INFLUENTIALLEADERS?

>> THEY ARE.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW, WE HEAR THATSISTANI, WHO IS CONSIDERED TRULY

INFLUENTIAL WITHIN THE SHIITECOMMUNITY, HAS CALLED FOR SHIA

FIGHTERS TO JOIN TOGETHER TODEFEND THE GREAT SHIA HOLY SITES

OF THAT PART OF IRAQ.

WOULD HE SIGN ON THE THAT TYPEOF AGREEMENT, AND ARE THE 16, DO

THEY HAVE THE TYPE OF SWAY THATYOU WOULD NEED TO HAVE?

CERTAINLY NOT WITH THEBA'ATHIST, BUT WITH THE MAJORITY

OF THE COUNTRY.

>> WELL, SISTANI IS RESPECTED BYALL IRAQI PEOPLE, BEING SUNNI,

SHIITES, KURDS, AND OF COURSE,HE SAID PEOPLE SHOULD

BE ABLE TO DEFENDTHEMSELVES, BECAUSE

HE FELT THAT ISIS COULD SWEEPBAGHDAD AND OTHER AREAS.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> SO NOW PEOPLE START TORESTORE CONFIDENCE WHEN SISTANI

GIVES THEM THE PERMISSION TO BEREADY, NOT ATTACK.

THERE WAS NO SINGLE ATTACK INBAGHDAD AGAINST INNOCENT PEOPLE,

ALTHOUGH ISIS COMMIT MASSACRES.

>> Jon: YES, BUT THE SHIA, FORINSTANCE, THAT ONE ATTACK ON THE

PRISON AND THE 50 PRISONERS.

>> THERE ARE CONFLICTING STORIESABOUT THE PRISON...

>> Jon: CONFLICTING STORIES...

>> BUT THIS IS NOT IN BAGHDAD.THIS WAS IN DIYALA.

>> Jon: I SEE.

>> BUT IN BAGHDAD, THERE WAS NOSINGLE TAKE AGAINST ANYBODY, SO

PEOPLE NOW, I THINK THEY FEELTHE IMPORTANCE OF UNITE AGAIN TO

FIGHT THIS DANGER WHICH IS ADANGER FOR ALL IRAQIS, NOT ONLY

IRAQIS, IT'S A DANGER FOR THEREGION AND THE WORLD.

>> Jon: THAT BRINGS TOLARGER POINT. YOU KNOW,

WE'RE SORT OF UNDER THEIMPRESSION THAT THIS IS ALL

BASED ON SORT OF A PROXY WAR,THAT IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA

ARE THESE TWO POWER CENTERS, ANDTHAT IRAN THROUGH HEZBOLLAH

AND THE AL-QUAEDS HASDESTABILIZED SYRIA OR HELPED TO

DESTABILIZE SYRIA AND THEAREAS DOWN THROUGH LEBANON AND

CONTINUE TO DO SO, AND THATSAUDI ARABIA HAS BEEN FUNDING

THESE SUNNI EXTREMIST GROUPSTHROUGH, YOU KNOW, THEIR MONEY,

AS WELL.

AND THAT ULTIMATELY THIS IS APOWER STRUGGLE BETWEEN THOSE TWO

CENTERS.

IS THAT A REASONABLE WAY TODEFINE THE CONFLICT AND WILL

THERE BE A WAR WHERE THEY JUSTDECIDE, OKAY, LET'S GO AT IT

JUST THE TWO OF US.

WHAT IS THE END GAME HERE?

OR IS IT JUST A TENSE STANDOFFBETWEEN THE TWO POWER CENTERS.

>> THE UNITED STATES IS THE ONLYSUPERPOWER IN THE WORLD NOW.

AND THEY SHOULD PLAY A ROLE INTHE REGION.

THERE ARE AMERICANS WHO AREFIGHTING WITH ISIS RIGHT NOW.

>> Jon: THERE'S AMERICANSFIGHTING WITH ISIS?

>> YES, YES, YES. ONE OF THEMALREADY HAD A SUICIDE ATTACK.

HIS NAME IS WAS ABU HURAYRAAL-AMRIKI.

>> Jon: OK. >> THERE IS AN ESTIMATION OF

AROUND 70 AMERICANS ARE FIGHTINGWITH ISIS.

>> Jon: OK. >> THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF

FOREIGN FIGHTERS, AND SOME OFTHEM, HUNDREDS OF EUROPEAN

ORIGINS.>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> THESE COULD COME BACK ANDATTACK IN THE UNITED STATES.

I'M NOT TRYING TO FRIGHTEN YOU.

I'M TRYING WARN YOU.

>> Jon: YOU CAN'T FRIGHTEN ME.

I'M A JEW.>> OK.

>> Jon: I WAS BORN FRIGHTENED.

>> WE'RE COUSINS THEN.

>> Jon: WE ARE COUSINS.

BUT, YOU KNOW, TO THE OTHERPOINT, THOUGH, DOES THIS,

IS THIS A POLITICAL PROBLEM?

IS THIS A RELIGIOUS PROBLEM?

IS THIS A TRIBAL PROBLEM?

IS THERE A SOLUTION TO... ITFEELS LIKE, YES, THE UNITED

STATES CAN BE INVOLVED, BUT WEDON'T HAVE THE MORAL AUTHORITY

IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD.

WE JUST DON'T. IT'S WHY OURSTATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT

-- WE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ALLOWEDTO

KEEP 15,000, 20,000 TROOPSTHERE.

YOU KNOW THAT WASN'TTENABLE.

AND AL-MALIKI COULD HAVE NEVERGOT THAN THROUGH PARLIAMENT.

IRAN DOESN'T EVEN WANT TO TALKWITH US.

WE'RE THE SAME WITH THEM.

I GUESS MY POINT IS: WE CAN'TCONTROL THAT PART OF THE WORLD,

THAT PART OF THE WORLD HAS TOSOLVE THIS CONFLICT IN SOME WAY

ITSELF.

AND THEY WON'T UNLESS, AND WHILEI APPRECIATE MAYBE THE 16 PEOPLE

IN IRAQ, DON'T THE SAUDIS ANDIRAN HAVE TO GET TOGETHER AND

HASH THIS OUT?

>> I THINK, CONGRATULATIONS, YOUUNDERSTAND THE SITUATION IN

IRAN.

[APPLAUSE]>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

>> OKAY.

OKAY.

>> Jon: I UNDERSTAND.

I WIN A CRAPPY.

>> SO THE AMERICANS COULD HELP.

THEY HAVE TO ACT.

THEY HAVE TO HAVE INFLUENCE ONIRAQIS, ON REGIONAL POWERS, ON

EVERYBODY BECAUSE THIS IS ADANGER FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.

>> Jon: SURE.

>> AND WE HAVE NO OPTION BUT TOUNITE, AND THE STRATEGIC

FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WAS TO HAVEAN ALLIANCE BETWEEN IRAQ AND THE

UNITED STATES TO FIGHTTERRORISM.

NOW, IRAQIS NOW ARE FACINGTRAUMA AND EVEN MENTAL PROBLEMS

BECAUSE OF VIOLENCE...

>> Jon: THEY HAVE BEEN FORYEARS.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Jon: AND ALSO UNDER SADDAM.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW, THE SHIAPOPULATION

>> EXACTLY. FOR 30 YEARS THEY'VEBEEN SUFFERING. THIS IS WHY I

HAVE AN INITIATIVE IN THE U.N.,A RESOLUTION WHICH WAS ADOPTED

BY CONSENSUS IN THE GENERALASSEMBLY TO CELEBRATE WHAT WE

CALL THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OFHAPPINESS ON MARCH 20th EVERY

YEAR TO BRING HAPPINESS TOPEOPLE, DESPERATE PEOPLE

LIKE REFUGEES, WIDOWS, ORPHANSAND VULNERABLE PEOPLE.

>> Jon: RIGHT.>> AND I HAVE ANOTHER

INITIATIVE TO HAVEHAPPY TV ON THE INTERNET TO TALK

ABOUT HAPPINESS, ABOUT TRAUMA.>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> AND BY THE WAY, THE U.N. HASINTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOUTH ON

AUGUST 12th AND THE THEMEFOR THIS YEAR IS, YOU KNOW,

MENTAL PROBLEMS. WE'RE FACINGTHESE TRAUMAS IN IRAQ AND

WE NEED TO FACE THIS PROBLEM,BUT WE NEED THE HELP

OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY,ESPECIALLY THE UNITED STATES.

>> Jon: BUT THAT'S MY POINT.

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY...

IF THE UNITED STATES STEPS IN,THERE WE ARE TOO EASY A TARGET

FOR THE GROUPS ONTHE GROUND TO USE.

ANY TIME WE THROW OUR SUPPORTBEHIND A GROUP IN THAT REGION,

THAT GROUP LOSES THE SUPPORT OFTHEIR PEOPLE. WE ARE AN EASY...

>> YOU ARE ALREADY A TARGET,WHETHER YOU ARE GOING TO

INTERVENE OR NOT.

>> Jon: BUT, I MEAN, ON THEDOMESTIC FRONT, AL-MALIKI HAD TO

KEEP US AT A DISTANCEDOMESTICALLY, JUST LIKE THEY

HAVE TO DO, THE SAUDISTOO HAVE TO KEEP US AT

A DISTANCE. IT'S NOT,WE'RE NOT PARTICULARLY

WELL RESPECTED THERE. FOR SOMEREAL REASONS AND FOR

SOME REASONS THAT ARE, YOUKNOW, EXAGGERATED.

WE'VE CERTAINLY DONE OUR SHAREOF THINGS THAT WOULD NOT BE

CONSIDERED POSITIVE.

>> WELL, IN IRAQ, IN IRAQ AFTER2003, WE HAD THE DEMOCRACY

WE HAD AN ELECTED PARLIAMENT,WE COULDN'T PASS IN THE

PARLIAMENT WHAT WE HOPED FOR.WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE

REALITIES WITH THE PRESENT ANDTHE FUTURE.

>> Jon: RIGHT.>> AND AT PRESENT, WE NEED THE

U.S. TO ACT AND ACT NOW.

>> Jon: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE USTO DO?

AND KEEP IN MIND WE DON'T WANTTO DO ANYTHING. SO WHAT?

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