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Oppositionists or Troublemakers? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It was previously requested that a clear differentiation in the constitution would be made to separate the menacing Baath party members from the reasonable ones. Reassuringly, a constitutional committee was set up to supervise the operation. They requested that the Arabic and Kurdish languages would be addressed by their names in the constitution instead of using the phrase &#34The Two languages of Kurdistan&#34. This request was also granted. They also demanded that the constitution would assert the Arab identity of Iraq and that it is a member of the league of Arab states, and such a demand was fulfilled. They asked for an affirmation upon the unity of Iraq, and so it was written in the constitution that Iraq is a unified federation. They called for an amendment of the law of nationality, and according to their request, a child acquires Iraqi nationality if born to an Iraqi mother and father, but not if born to an Iraqi mother and non-Iraqi father. They also insisted upon the postponement of settling controversial articles until after the parliamentary elections as they are not satisfied with the current government and parliamentary system, and their request was realized.

A week ago, such requests seemed almost impossible and incapacitating, yet they were accepted merely to satisfy members of the Baath party to include them in the democratic scene that is currently taking place in Iraq, so why all the trouble?

The answer is that there are two types of oppositionists; a destructive group that only seeks to disrupt the political operation including security, under the belief that they will be granted further concessions if they continue to shout and protest rather than taking part in the elections. This group has practically succeeded in achieving the latest changes mainly because of the methods they followed, and they believe they can go further still with their demands.

The second group is an ignorant one that is leading Iraqi citizens into more trouble and missing a great opportunity to be part of a collective political endeavor that is of their best interest. Members of this group represent a minority that is currently enjoying international protection and the attention of the United Nations; both factors are not quite abundant and cannot be guaranteed later in the future.

Recently, these opposition groups requested the modification of the conditions to mobilize their followers to participate in the elections, however when their wishes were fulfilled they continued in their opposition, threatening and assuming failure of their enemies and propagating their new venture. Despite understanding the position of the first group who bet on achieving modification by the use of force, I am amazed of the second group”s naiveté that is heading towards further rejection.

Continuation of adopting such chaotic opposition will only lead to one definite result; total disintegration of Iraq. This disintegration will satisfy politicians of southern Iraq and almost all Kurdish politicians, yet it does not serve the citizens of central Iraq. So why are they driving themselves towards such a miserable goal?

Such is a simple form of the Arab ignorance of political life, the very same kind of ignorance that was adopted when dealing with the Palestinian crisis. Such ignorance is the reason behind all the remorse that fills our hearts and the mistakes for which we are still paying until this very day.

Arab Sunni oppositionists were deceived by parties that promised them support and in turn they believed that such parties would support and protect them in the future. What an immense delusion!

Oppositionists today will surely drive Iraq into secession if they vote &#34no&#34 to the constitution; there would be no other solution for an arid desert that is poorer than that of Somalia

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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