IT IS unusual for a geographic and historic curse to coincide in one place in this world. This makes Iraq a rare place as it cannot dissociate from such curse, except by transforming the geographical curse into a blessing which can be done by cutting off the sedition wind that comes through its borders.
Since Persia has known the concept of a State, it has been embarking on the expansionism scheme towards Iraq in order to cross the strategic pathway of the old world and control the movement in Levant between Asia, Europe and Africa due to the importance of this area.
It is no wonder that Babylon was the first destination of Cyrus ‘the great’ (founder of Achaemenid Empire) in his scheme to establish the Persian Empire in the year Six BC. Since then, Iraq has entered the tunnel of sedition, wars and distribution of loyalties; up to a point where Persian Khosrow had the audacity to ask Lakhmids King Al-Mundhir to send his daughters to him to become slaves in his castle.
Arabs have reestablished themselves in Iraq since then, until they defeated the Persians in the battle of Dhi Qar in the early seventh century. However, the Persian attempts to destabilize Iraq continued until the beginning of the Ummayad Dynasty. The trail of major sedition continues up to this day, igniting civil wars.
Revolutions backed by Persians continued throughout the Ummayad Dynasty, up to Abbasid Dynasty when the Persians established a troop of mercenary Arabs who were known as Barmakids.
These Arabs revolted against Abbasid ruler Haroun Al-Rashid. It all ended with what became historically known as the ‘fall of Barmakids’ in the year 803. Through that, the Barmakids were distanced from the authority.
Iraq continued to drench in seditions and chaos until Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef Al-Thaqafi came to stop the uprising against Abdul-Malik bin Marwan. During his governorship of Iraq, he uprooted the dissidence and division inherited by Iraqis from the Persians through centuries of occupation.
Al-Hajjaj is known for his famous statement when he assumed power in Baghdad, “O people of Iraq, I swear by Allah I could see heads which are ripe and time has come to harvest. I am the one who will harvest it. I swear, it is as if I am looking at blood between the turbans and beard.”
The Persians did not cease to seek any means in their attempt to destabilize Iraq throughout that period, in a bid to turn the Iraqis against the Arab leaders until the Ottoman Empire came and the situation started to change.
The Persians saw in it an opportunity to cement conflict between the Ottomans and the Iraqis. They were successful in this aspect as they formed a military group against the rule of Ottoman Dynasty.
Today, the Persian scene is repeating itself; especially after intense interference in the internal affairs of Iraq and masked occupation practiced by the sectarian militia groups loyal to Iran.
These militias are preventing the formation of the government, except if it is done in accordance with the conditions set by Iranian General Qassem Al-Suleimani – the actual ruler of Baghdad.
Hence, the miserable living condition, collapsing economy and civil war whose episode keep on repeating but in a different version make all expectations of prosperous future for Iraq just a pipe dream.
It seems every single detail of the scene in Iraq is similar to that of Lebanon. In Lebanon, the leaders of ‘Hezbollah’ hijacked the decision of the country, up to the extent that the Lebanese leaders are unable to rule their country with national determination.
In Iraq, it seems the Mullahs’ trend is more able to subdue the Iraqis and push them into the slaughterhouses of regional interests through proxy wars in some instances; and direct wars in other instances for Iraq to remain in the arena of settling Iranian vendettas until the end of time.
Therefore, the predicament of Iraq in terms of the geographical and historical curse with Persia has no solution unless all doors where the Persian toxic wind comes through are closed.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times