Husayn al-Kurdi as an expert on Middle Eastern affairs.
He is the president of News International. Over the past
two decades, Al-Kurdi has had hundreds of articles
published on the Middle East. I ran this interview about
a year ago, but because of the persistent ongoing false
accusations by leftist pundits that Saddam Hussein was a
CIA operative and that the U.S. supported Iraq during
the eight-year Iran-Iraq War, it is crucial that the
truth about these times again be addressed.
ML: Today, we seem to be reading much
"revisionist" history about the Ba’ath Party that has
wandered far from reality. What is your opinion?
HAK: Well, let’s start from the beginning of the
Ba’ath Party. I notice in much and many of the
anthologies allegedly about Iraq, the question of what
the Ba’ath Party actually is has been completely
distorted. The Ba’ath Party comes out as some kind of
fascist party. However, if you study it, it is an
anti-fascist party and explicitly so. But, I’ve noticed
they’ve expunged all the anti-fascist part of the little
collections that they include in their anthologies. I
notice that, increasingly so, they’re calling it a
fascist party, while it’s definitely an anti-fascist
It’s totally absurd because the bases of the Ba’ath
policy are anti-fascism and anti-feudalism. Their
formulation is "unity, freedom, and socialism." The
primary project is to unify the long-suffering and
oppressed Arab people from imperialism so they can go
their own way and so they can also put a dent in their
oppressive conditions as well as those who serve the
interests of the usual suspects.
It is not a leftist or Marxist party. If you examine
what 90% of those are in the world, especially in the
Middle East and Iraq, that’s a good thing. They are the
ones who have been part of the problem in the way of
stopping the Ba’ath and Saddam fully realizing the goals
and aims, which have been repeatedly spelled out.
Somehow, the message has been obscured. Both what Saddam
and the Ba’ath did and what they said have been
Back to the origins of the Ba’ath. Not just in Iraq,
but throughout the Arab world. The Ba’ath was the
pan-Arab party par excellence. I was growing up then and
it was a romantic thing. You looked up to those guys
because they were always facing death and trying to
topple the pro-American type regimes. Yet, they were
these dashing figures. Saddam was one of them; running
around on their Vespas trying to make a real change in
society. That’s what I grew up around.
It was a great subversive nationalist Arab party. Not
leftist, not rightist; in both cases a good thing. The
leftists and rightists were the same as those in
America; two wings of the same bald eagle.
The Ba’ath Party is the party that’s fought to unify
Arabs and liberate them from imperialism. That is the
heart of the Ba’ath Party. If you read the crapola of
all the other parties, they somewhere go off and play
some kind of game with it, whether it be leftist,
communist, or the old rightist feudalist; i.e. the big
land owners. Look at Barzani. He actually claims that he
owns part of Kurdistan because he inherited it. That’s
something that goes back to the 16th century.
ML: The current rewriting of history includes
many "leftist" writers who opposed the Iraq invasion and
criticize U.S. imperialism. However, they also condemn
Saddam and say that he was put in power by the CIA.
What’s your take on this?
HAK: I’ve read and read and can’t see where
that’s true. What’s the source behind all these sources?
There’s nothing at all.
The thing we heard is that the CIA gave Saddam a list
of communists. Even I believed this at one time. But,
that’s an absurdity because everybody in Iraq knew who
the communists were. They were public figures as well. A
lot of them were tormenting the people a long time ago.
The Ba'ath Party did not need a goddamn list from the
CIA to say who they were, where they were, or what had
to be done about them. Go behind the sources and see
what it’s actually based on. The source will fold before
your very eyes, just like Curveball and all the stuff he
was coming out with.
ML: Another fallacy the left mentions is that the
U.S. supplied Iraq with much military equipment in the
Iran-Iraq War, thus the CIA kept Saddam in power. In
fact, Iraq only spent $200 million dollars with the U.S.
for this time, mostly on helicopters. Its major
suppliers were the Soviet Union and China, with whom
Iraq spent billions. After 1990, the CIA/Saddam
allegations took on a life of their own. How does this
play into the myths now being written?
HAK: You are pointing out the general fact of the
CIA’s activities toward Saddam and the Ba’ath. The
version via the Kurds that no deal was ever good enough
for them. Who put them up to it? Today, we know it was
the CIA and Mossad working in tandem.
ML: In 1991, Barzani and Talabani met with Saddam
to discuss the Kurdish issue. Neither mentioned the
alleged deaths of 182,000 Kurds in the "Anfal campaign"
of 1988. Today, one who questions this figure is put
into the same category as a "Holocaust denier," and
denigrated. Give us some background about this meeting
and the Kurdish issue in Iraqi in general.
HAK: They met and Talabani kissed Saddam on both
cheeks. The deal wasn’t anything new. Many, many times,
Barzani and Talabani had said, "Okay, we’re going to
give it up and be a peaceful and cooperative element in
helping to build Iraq."
Let’s look at 1970. The best deal the Kurds ever got
anywhere or ever will get, in my opinion, was granted by
the Ba’ath Party in negotiation. Still, after awhile, it
turned out not to be good enough
I know that the university in Sulaymaniyah, the most
advanced Kurdish institution of higher learning in the
world, was brought along with the Ba’ath regime and with
support of the Ba’ath Party.
The 1991 meeting was kind of a re-affirmation of the
old deal, the first of a series of which, and the most
fundamental of which, as a part of the law of Iraq, was
the deal in 1970, which was made a part of Iraqi
statutes and law.
ML: Contrary to be popularly-held belief that the
U.S. inserted Saddam in power, could it really be that
the CIA was trying to undermine Saddam and the Ba’ath
Party from day one?
HAK: Between the CIA and the Mossad, we have to
take that into account. There is an overlapping project
that has been in effect since the 1950s.
I don’t remember the period of 1968 to 1973 as the
CIA being supportive of the Ba’athists. They considered
Iraq to be a frontline state against Israel and a part
of the rejectionist front toward Israel and during that
period the U.S. was not friendly toward Iraq. The U.S.’
biggest client at the time was Iran. Then, the U.S.
signed off and had its own deal with Barzani to subvert
Iraq. It was precisely in that time-frame they were
carrying on their activities.
ML: In 1973, the Ba’athists committed an
unpardonable act in the eyes of the U.S. They
nationalized Iraqi oil. How does this affect the
HAK: You’re approaching an area where the bad
guys have always had it in for Saddam and the Ba’ath.
Pan-Arabism is something the Israelis and the U.S. will
never play. Then, you have the matter of "threatening
their (U.S.) interests" as an excuse to commit
aggression. Then you had an Arab country becoming too
strong. Then you had Saddam refusing to knuckle under.
He wanted to go his own way.
ML: How can this erroneous revision of history
change and reflect a more honest look at this period?
HAK: We have to re-examine the "official"
history. We’ve got to get tougher and tougher. I was
looking through a couple of anthologies earlier today
and the more that come out, the more they include Saddam
in a preposterous manner. The left tries to expose the
"real Saddam," but it’s far from the truth.
We heard that the Internet was illegal in Iraq under
Saddam. U.S. troops were surprised to find that Iraqis
knew about the Internet. Stories like this are only a
coverup for the other Arab countries where the people
are really put in a semi-feudal position by their guys.
The U.S. government and all those regimes have only one
job: to fool the American people. They are not fooling
There are some good Arab writers who depict reality,
but, for the most part, their works have not been
translated into English. A lot of scumbags have;