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Iraq: The Megastar


Abdulwahab Badrakhan
Al-Hayat
2005/05/21

http://english.daralhayat.com/opinion/OPED/05-2005/Article-20050521-ff53f9b4-c0a8-10ed-004e-5e7a52c46e1d/story.html

From now on, let it be known that should Iraq be heading towards a civil war, God forbid, then everyone including Arabs, Persians and Kurds, whether Sunnis or Shiites, even non-Iraqi Arabs, are all held responsible. Nonetheless, on top of this list are the Americans who planned this war, occupation and the blunder we are currently witnessing.

Humility collapsed, followed by sanctity, thus the sectarian rhetoric is prevailing since none of the `new Iraqis`, who have returned to the country with the occupation. They controlled the country with the help of the occupier without any consideration to national rhetoric. More dangerously, the political reality was entirely swallowed by the quagmire of divisions and sectarian discrimination, since the early occupation days, if not the first `Government` when the ministers set off to establish their ministries appointing and dismissing in accordance with the sectarian affiliation. If one diverged from this despicable norm, he is liable to reproach and accountability. Despite warnings, the new rulers resumed their odious practices. The elections followed under circumstances and givens we are already know. After elections, comments and declarations sought to caution from stirring the sectarian conflict, this time in a contemptible manner.

It is not a coincidence for the so-called `Abu Mus`Ab Al-Zarqawi` to turn into a `megastar` in Iraq. One may say that this terrorist leader is now ruling the country, where some have provided him with the power and status. It`s essential to remember some of his letters broadcasted on the internet and filled with anti-Shiite sectarian enmity. Diverse reactions were noted in dealing with these letters: either candidly and with lack of concern, or with an anti-sectarian incitation. In both cases, mistakes were committed. the negligent provided him with the opportunity to fix his reckless analysis of the Iraqi situation under the occupation, whereas the others, by their speeches or practices, granted him the legitimacy he was seeking.

Al-Zarqawi was not expressing himself alone, he was addressing Iraqis who felt being rejected and targeted, in addition to their despair and suffering from the repercussions of a historical defeat. No one realized the necessity to separate Zarqawi and his rhetoric from those who should have had an alternative other than Zarqawi and his atrocious approach. Opportunities were available if some had tried to seize them. There has always been a possibility for dialogue and search for a compromise, had there been someone genuinely caring about the future. On the contrary, many -lacking vision and awareness- were inflamed by a so-called `eradication`. Yet, in the midst of fury and enthusiasm to `eradicate the Baath`, they eradicated anyone who was not ready to succumb to the eradicators. The eradication stage, by murder or exile, led many of those who served in the previous government, whether Baathists or non-Baathists, to become hostile to the new rulers. A new stage started with Allawi`s government trying to rehabilitate those who survived the elimination. With Ibrahim Al Jaafari`s government, the stage of chopping heads was looming back.

This matter caught the attention of Condoleeza Rice`s, during her first visit to Baghdad through Iraq`s Kurdistan. It was behind the remark she made about the necessity to open up to everyone. This means, the necessarily to seek benefit from the elements of the former regime, who were not involved in the massacres. This was accompanied by talks in American newspapers on some communication channels between the Americans and the Baathists, who are currently enlisted in the resistance. Whether this holds any truth in it or not, it is necessary to note that the timing came too late. It followed a series of measures taken by `new Iraqis` under an American supervision to materialize a new regime, based on an absolute elimination of all figures of the former regime. No one had realized or perhaps wanted to realize that Saddam`s regime was not only based on killers and murderers. Instead, the entire nation was suppressed, including Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, before Americans grant Kurds the opportunity to gradually exit their seclusion and establish an autonomy isolated from Baghdad.

These measures, stipulated by the `government`s management law`, were conclusive in setting reasons and motives for a `civil war.` Apart from Shiites and Kurds, there was a third beneficiary from that law: Al Zarqawi, with everything he represented and all those who work through him. Only yesterday, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament announced that the major articles of the new Iraqi Constitution will be extracted from the `government`s management law.` Al Zarqawi wouldn`t even have dreamt of such an opportunity that would extend the `license` he was operating through. While the Speaker was speaking on the margin of the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea, news agencies were registering an increased number of Shiites migrating from the `Death Triangle` near Baghdad, to escape from threats and oppression. Earlier, waves of silent Sunnis were migrating from other regions. Unfortunately, all those who ruled out the civil or sectarian war in Iraq are today forced to acknowledge this reality. The power and privileges distribution, stipulated by the `Government`s management law` seems to be enforced by the violence on the ground and people. An action is still available for those who wish to think and behave `patriotically.` The odd thing is that we don`t see any spiritual leader who is interested or preparing any initiative that might calm down the situation and prevent this daily slither from turning into a sectarian confrontation which will not offer any solution to the Iraqi crisis.

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