Adnan Pachachi

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Adnan Pachachi : biography

14 May 1923 –

On May 29, 2004, Pachachi said of the US invasion of Iraq "The Americans thought they were marching into an underdeveloped country, expecting to face little resistance and be welcomed with flowers. The Americans quickly realized that the Iraqi is a patriot, one who defends his country, just as his ancestors have done for thousands of years. We are an educated people with a long history, and we are a cultured people. The Americans also did not expect the infrastructure they found in Iraq. They were surprised. They couldn’t understand that a dictator like Saddam Hussein had invested a large share of oil revenues in infrastructure projects, such as highways, modern irrigation canals and industrial plants, which one doesn’t find in just any country. The marines were confused by this new realization, as well as by their failure to achieve a swift victory and by the ongoing resistance. It also confounded the American concept, that is, if a sound and credible concept ever existed. No people in the world wishes to live with occupiers, and we Iraqis are no different." Pachachi also commented on the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse "What kind of reaction do you expect from the Iraqis? Regardless of age, profession and political affiliation, we are all horrified and furious about these atrocities. I had already heard about the brusque approach taken by the Americans during house searches early on. However, I was completely taken aback by the gruesome scope of the torture and human rights violations that have now come to light. Not just I, but all Iraqis demand a tough investigation and punishment of the perpetrators and the people behind them. We also need guarantees that such atrocities will cease once and for all. What has happened cannot be undone, and the long-term psychological consequences are unforeseeable." SPIEGEL ONLINE, May 29th 2004

Lasseter, Tom. , June 3, 2004. Accessed June 15, 2008.

Political activity since 2005

A secularist, Dr. Pachachi put together a list of candidates called the Assembly of Independent Democrats (his party Democratic Centrist Tendency was included) to contest Iraq’s January 2005 legislative election. Prior to the elections Pachachi accused the United States of interfering in Iraq’s affairs by insisting that the January 30th election go ahead on that date. Sunni Arab political and religious leaders, including Pachachi, called for a six-month delay arguing that the violence sweeping the country meant a free poll could not go ahead. "The strange thing is that America and Iran, who differ on everything, agree on one issue of holding elections on January 30th," Pachachi told reporters. "It is not the business of the United States or Iran or any other country to talk about delaying or sticking to the date. We are very upset by such attempts as foreign states sharing their opinion in this issue. Let us try to agree among ourselves because external attempts might deter any agreement."

In May 2005 he commented "The current situation in this country is very serious, the security is terrible, the services are almost non-existent the provision of the essentials is extremely inadequate. There is rampant corruption and selfishness the Iraqi political class is only a bit better than that of the Congo."

For the December 2005 elections, he was elected as a member of the list headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Following Arab political tradition, Pachachi opened the first session of the Iraqi National Assembly in April 2005, as the oldest member elected.

In January 2007 Pachachi blamed occupying forces for the sectarian violence in Iraq “The vast majority of Iraqis are not involved in sectarian violence, they want to live in peace. Militias act in the name of a sect. I blame this on the occupying power, which established a system based on division.” He is reported to have close links with Dr. Muhamad Ayash al-Kubaisi and the Association of Muslim Scholars. FrontPageMagazine.com, May 18th 2004

At the time of the March 2010 parliamentary election, Pachachi again stood as a candidate on Allawi’s Iraqi List.Salah Hemeid, , Al-Ahram, Issue No. 988, 4–10 March 2010.Jason Koutsoukis, , The Age, 7 March 2010. He expressed serious concerns about the credibility of the election: "There have been wide reports of intimidation of voters; there are certain to be attempts at voter fraud". Pachachi suggested that the government could be planning fraud due to its alleged printing of seven million unnecessary ballots. Nevertheless, he was hopeful, arguing that voters were more interested in the candidates’ ability than in sectarian concerns and that "if they are allowed to [vote] without intimidation or fear, this could be a watershed moment and an example to the rest of the Middle East." However after the elections in August 2010, he said "The idea that Iraq is being left in a good position is utter nonsense," and American officials should not "delude themselves." Later in August 2010, he was interviewed on the Al Jazeera programme Without Borders, when asked if he was satisfied with the performance of Paul Bremer during his year as civilian administrator in Iraq, Pachachi replied "No, Bremer was receiving his instructions from the Ministry of Defense and as I told you the Pentagon was controlled by a group of Zionist extremists." aljazeera.net, August 11, 2010 In August 2011 he said "The biggest beneficiaries of the deteriorating conditions of the Iraqi army and the elimination of Iraq’s military power are Iran and Israel, as it stands there is no opposition to Iranian influence nor a deterrent to Israel’s policy in the region." aawsat.com, August 9, 2011 In December 2012, Pachachi told Al Arabiya that "Iraq is a failed state and in need of a revolution" further lamenting “Sorrow fills my heart that the Arab Spring has skipped Iraq. The wind of change that toppled regimes and rulers didn’t reach the country,” he went on to blame the US invasion for the current state of the country and rampant sectarianism within it, stating “The Americans allowed a sectarian-based political system due to their beliefs that Iraqis are divided by their sectarian and ethnic background and that the political assembly must represent this truth. What the Americans did not understand was that Iraq long witnessed intermarriage between Sunnis and Shiites.” AlArabiya.net, December 18th 2012