Head to Head

Will ISIL put an end to Iraq?

Iraq’s former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie discusses ISIL, sectarianism and the nation’s crisis.

“I paid heavily, in blood, sweat and tears for a democratic and new Iraq. I went to Saddam’s torture chambers three times. So I defend the new order,” says Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie talking about Iraq’s new government.

When you have an existential threat and ISIS is storming and wanting to occupy Baghdad, you use anything, everything, whether what you call militias, or you use barrel bombs.

by Mowaffak al-Rubaie

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges Iraq’s former National Security Adviser Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie on ISIL strategy, foreign intervention, and whether the Iraqi government is to blame for fuelling the Sunni-Shia divide.

We explore the myth and reality of sectarianism, the legacy of the Iraq War, and whether the Iraqi state can survive as a single entity. Who is responsible for the rise of ISIL and will Iraq be able to forge a better future?

Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie was a key opponent of the Saddam Hussein regime and helped US officials plan the 2003 invasion.

Since then, he has played an instrumental role in developing the new political order, having served on the Iraqi Governing Council and then as National Security Adviser, and even overseeing the execution of Saddam Hussein.

Joining the discussion are Dr Anas al-Tikriti, a British-Iraqi political analyst and CEO of the Cordoba Foundation; Dr Abbas al-Hussaini, a former executive member of the Iraq Reconstruction Group and a close ally of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi; and Professor George Joffe, a senior fellow at Cambridge University.

To watch this episode on Youtube click here