IRAQ is being devoured by starvation and thirst and drowning in unemployment and darkness, although she’s third in the world in terms of oil reserves. This is not strange in a country whose leaders looted $200 billion in 10 years (2003-2013), and conscripted 50,000 shadow soldiers from their followers and supporters to cause the military to appear like a caricature.
How will it be if the looter continues to issue threats to deliver Iraq as a handful of dust if he does not get an active part in governance? Wouldn’t the current protest be a pretext of a major quake on Iraq against the current leaders allied to the new Barmakids causing the uprising in several provinces?
Historically, Iraq has been a victim of those having an uncontrollable thirst for power, even through support of the foreign forces. This habit started with Nouman Ibn al-Mundhir, the last Lakhmid king of Al-Hirah (582-602 AD) who was subordinate to the Khosrow’s Sasanian Empire after he yielded to the Persians, and in return, they made him their puppet. Khosrow II even had the audacity to command Nouman’s daughters to become his maids. It was then the Arab tribes revolted and formed an army to confront the Persian invaders. Nonetheless, Nouman wasn’t spared; in fact, he died through the hands of those he had hired against his own people.
After that, chaos dominated for many years until the fifth Ummayad Caliph Abdul-Malik Marwan appointed Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef Al-Thaqafi to govern Iraq. He said “Iraq, the land of dissension” and his words became an anecdote, which Iraqis joke with. Al-Thaqafi ruled by the law of the sword, and in his first speech in the Iraqi city of Kufa, he explicitly said “O people of Iraq, by Allah, I see heads which are ripe and it’s time to harvest them, and I am the one to do so. O people of Iraq, by Allah, it’s as if I see blood between the turbans and beards…” after that he managed to render Iraq a land of conquest until the last years of the Ummayad Dynasty (662 – 750 AD).
During the Abbasid Dynasty (750 – 1258 AD), situation returned to the way it was before Al-Hajjaj became governor. At that time, the Barmakhs had become stronger and posed a major threat to the Abbasid Dynasty, especially after some of them became close to the fifth Abbasid Caliph Harun Rasheed.
They convinced Rasheed to marry a Persian lady and she had a child who was nurtured to aim at ruling. They believed whatever the Persians lost in Nouman’s revolt would be reinstated by Al-Maamoun her son (the 7th Abbasid Caliphate) who ended up killing his brother, Al-Ameen (the 6th Abbasid Caliphate).
Currently, the situation is no different in terms of conflicts witnessed between the Arab factions and their Persian adversaries, although both sides have Iraqi identity distributed on sectarian basis.
Iranian General Qassem Suleimani is behind the scene and his behavior is almost similar to that of Jafar Barmakh, the culprit behind the attempt to destroy the Kaaba and steal its black stone. His fate was almost similar to the fate of Nouman Ibn al-Mundhir.
It seemed Al-Mamoon was putting a full stop to Abbasid’s control and starting the era of conflict with the assassination of his brother, Al-Ameen. Persian interference in its affairs also signaled the start of foreign invasion due to dissension between its people. The Mongols invaded the land ruled by the Abbasids and rendered its capital Baghdad- described at that time as the Arab and Muslims’ office, a huge jail and graveyard.
Every time there was an invasion or revolution on a ruler, it ended with massacre and major chaos, even after the Hashemites established their kingdom and King Faisal took over the reigns of power. The period between 1920 and 1958 was the golden era in the history of Iraq in terms of stability and efforts toward development and prosperity.
This era ended with the military overthrow frenzy in the Arab world when the era of killings returned to the streets of Baghdad. At that time, blood floated on sea due to power lust among leaders of the political parties and factions.
The old Hajjaj was represented in 1979 by Saddam Hussein, the culprit behind one of the largest mass graves in Arab history. He portrayed himself as having the ability to subdue all Arabs and claiming the gatekeeper of the Arab eastern front in the war with Iran, which lasted eight years. At that point in time, the eyes of the Mullahs’ regime were on Kufa, Najaf and Karbala—being the pathway to the two Holy Mosques.
The Iraqi-Iranian war hardly ended before Saddam Hussein moved toward Kuwait. He invaded the country as a prelude to invade the rest of the GCC countries and committed the most brutal contemporary atrocities, seeing himself as another Hitler who could control the entire Arab World the same way his German predecessor tried to control Europe. However, the international coalition stood firm against him and liberated Kuwait the same way Europe was liberated from Nazism.
In the year 2003, Iraqis were ecstatic with the news of ousting of the Saddam regime. However, the current disastrous situation makes a few segments among the people to be sympathetic with the Baath dictatorship, especially after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard transformed to an occupation force- regardless of the American factor, carrying out programmed looting of wealth in Iraq.
If Al-Anbar protest in 2013 served as the womb where Iran incubated its terrorist product that transformed into DAESH, and it’s today planning to mount pressure by sparking crisis through the militia cards today, then it has rendered Iraqis hungry and unemployed by its confrontation against the world.
With this disastrous scenario publicized on the television screens for several days, we see hunger, as Iraq faces the challenge of Persian sectarian Barmakha. Iraqis themselves hold the ace to change the trend as history repeats itself. They should stop the new Barmakha, whether they hold Iraqi or Iranian citizenship, because nobody in this world will rescue them if they fail to help themselves. The hunger, thirst, deprivation and suppression are symptoms of all diseases and collapse of nations.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times