Istanbul Update: Iraqi Dissenters

06/23/2005 09:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

At the end of my last blog I mention I have just heard from Tom Hayden that members of the Iraqi Parliament were asking for the US to withdraw. I asked him to check out the credibility of what he heard and below is his response:

Source is strange but credible: The Journal of Turkish Weekly, June 19, 2005. Check and see at, or

The reason it seems credible is that the letter apparently was sent by Falah Hassan Shanshal of the United Iraqi Alliance, which won the elections and is the largest bloc. It was sent to their speaker, Hajem Al-Hassani, according to Agence France-Presse.

82 members is one-fourth of a 285 member parliament elected under the machinery of occupation. The Alliance platform in the January elections, I believe, called for a withdrawal timetable. US intelligence agencies worried about the possibility, and the US applied pressure to make the withdrawal conditional on winning the war, not a calendar date. So the platform, which called for a timetable, got thrown away once the new regime was installed, and instead a request was sent to the UN to continue the occupation. At that point, the 82 dissented and wrote the letter, complaining that there were no consultations with representatives.