September 2, 2012

Weissberg 2011: Former Iraqi Defense Minister Ali Allawi

"Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi was Minister of Trade and Minister of Defense in the cabinet appointed by the Interim Iraq Governing Council from September 2003 until 2004, and subsequently Minister of Finance in the Iraqi Transitional Government between 2005 and 2006. A Shia Muslim, Allawi was part of the Iraqi exile community in London during the rule of Saddam Hussein. He was one of the organizers of 'The Declaration of Iraqi Shia', a statement released in 2002. Before being appointed by the governing council in 2003, Allawi was a professor at Oxford University. Ali is son of Ahmad Chalabi's sister, making him Chalabi's nephew. Having worked as a merchant banker in London, he was elected as a Senior Visiting Fellow at Princeton University for 2008-2009."
Ali Allawi is the author of "The Crisis of Islamic Civilization." Read the review of the book by Kishwer Falkner.

He is described as a "puppet defense minister" by the Angry Arab, As'ad AbuKhalil.

In the lecture below, titled "The Second Iraqi State," given at Beloit College in 2011, Allawi explains the character of the Iraqi state, the nature of its society, and why national unity has never been a source that the state could draw on for strength in periods of crises. He lists the underlying reasons why Iraq has been invaded over and over again in the last hundred years.

He says: "Iraq is not totally an invented nation. It's not simply a creation in the minds of government officials in London and Paris. But, at the same time, it is not a natural nation. It's not something that has unity, the historical continuity that a country like Egypt has."

To skip the introduction, go to the 14:45 mark.