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Iraq is sovereign, not a Maliki State

THE question that everyone seems to ask is in what direction is Al-Maliki taking Iraq. And what has he done during his eight years in power to alleviate the sufferings of 36 million Iraqis? Has the rate of illiteracy in Iraq not hit 30 percent? Are 54 percent of Iraqis not living under poverty line in spite of the fact that Iraq is blessed with huge oil revenues? What happened to the one-million strong army personnel on whom you had spent $20 billion? Why could they not withstand a few hundred terrorists from an organization which was eradicated in 2009? Your military is folding like a pack of cards blown away by the wind.

Oh Maliki, here you are calling on the Americans to return to Iraq — the Americans who had a huge price to liberate your country only for your ally Iran to hastily announce its readiness to come to your rescue in the name of fighting terrorism. Do you want the situation to drag on into eternity? Indeed, the ongoing events are a mockery written with the blood of innocent people because of a leader who is ‘unprecedented’ in the history of Iraq. Those who ruled this great Arab nation before him, in spite of their oppression and holding onto power until their last breath, never threw the country into a sea of sectarian sedition just because they wanted to stay in power. Was it decreed upon Iraq to come out of one dictatorial hole and enter into another narrower than the first?

Since 1958, the rule in Iraq has been characterized with murders, displacements, expulsion and destruction. All leaders have assumed power by overthrowing their predecessors, through massacres and detentions, committing crimes against humanity and forcing millions to flee the country. Where are the freedom and democracy, peace and security that were promised to common Iraqis?  Some rulers have enjoyed the wealth of the country and lived prosperous lives with their families but the common man was forced to live a life of a destitute and poor. One such ruler was the late Saddam Hussein who brought his people under US occupation and because of his arrogance and tyranny he did not find a single soul to stand by him when the US Marines marched into Baghdad. In fact, he took refuge in a rat hole on one of the farms.

Did his wealth save him? Did anyone who was shouting slogans in his favor ‘with our blood and soul we will sacrifice for you O Saddam?’ come to his rescue? Did Al-Maliki think even for a while when he was practicing all these political and security enormities that the people who had revolted against Saddam and resisted the US occupation forces were looking forward to a democratic nation and a secure life and that they will not accept a new dictator?

Will they accept a dictator who has monopolized the ministries of Defense, Interior and National Security and even intelligence? Does it not mean that this person is infected with the madness of suspicion, megalomania and obsessed with power? In 2003, the Iraqis did not differentiate between a Sunni or a Shiite, or a Christian and any other doctrine. Yet, during the tenure of Al-Maliki, sectarianism gained momentum because of the doctrine he has adopted.

The devil of the civil war re-appears supported by injustice and discrimination against a basic constituent in the society although this constituent had waited for a long time hoping everything would become normal. Yet, the ruler is blinded by the insight of a ruler who does not know the difference that the people are not ready to enter the long-necked bottle of fear and oppression.

If Iraq in the past decade had reasonable governments which realized the need of striking a balance between the country’s social structure without discrimination and disloyalty, we would not see the collapse of either the military institution or other institutions which suffer from a state of emptiness — a phase considered most dangerous in this country’s history due to the persistence of Al-Maliki to remain in power in spite of reaping failures all these years. The question is: What should be done to get rid of this disaster? The solution rests in bolstering harmony among the sons of one homeland regardless of their religion, doctrine or political belonging. They should base their harmony on patriotism putting aside their differences and shunning calls for revenge.

They have given an opportunity for strangers to occupy their land in the name of controlling terrorism. Those who fight to protect others will not provide service free of cost. He will put the price he wants. It is worth mentioning here that Iraq over the years has been the cupidity and greed of many countries. To avoid all this and keeping at heart the interests of our brothers in Iraq, the Saudi Prime Minister has called upon the Iraqis to put aside their conflicts and the policy of discrimination and accusations of disloyalty and agree to a national unity government to protect the unity of Iraq and control terrorism. The problem in Iraq is not of today. Will the Iraqis realize this or they will prefer to continue on their path and drag the country into an unseen future?

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

By: Ahmed Al-Jarallah

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