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Iraq in Crisis Part (3 of 3) - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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With the downfall of the former Iraqi regime, several factors that ultimately created a state of imbalance and intensity have appeared. For one thing, the might of the central state and its institutions suddenly fell. The army was dissolved and people were left in a situation of complete confusion, being thrown from a state of total restriction to one of complete freedom. This occurred in a society that for centuries was unaware of the real roles of social institutions.

Power was seized by those who undertook a form of politics that did not practice the virtues of tolerance or debate. Moreover, many from outside Iraq were influenced by other environments during their absence. The downfall of the central state in addition to the presence of factional parties created an illusive feeling amongst these parties that they could establish a state within state. Such a feeling was confirmed by the presence of armed militia. The leaders of those parties then sought to enforce a factional reorganization of Iraqi society and to exploit factional sentiments to promote a form of governance that would never be successful in a country as pluralist as Iraq.

Amongst the Shi”a remains a battle of religious frames of references. In the southern region of Iraq, there is a clear Iranian influence. Despite the presence of a figure such as Sistani, the situation may have deteriorated to a worse state than the present one between influential Shi”a factions.

Amongst the Sunnis, allies of the former regime allied themselves with others from the international terrorist organizations with the aim of preventing Sunnis from political participation, a goal that they successfully achieved. They sought to cause instability in the cities of Sunni majorities, which only caused further imbalance in the socio-political structure that struggled to draft the constitution.

Iraq cannot be an exception to the laws of human development. It is a pluralist society in every sense. If the politicians do not take heed of this fact and fail to establish a pluralist democratic state, then the rest of the country will pay the high price of blood, causing a national catastrophe.

Intelligent people are those who learn from the experiences of others. It would be disastrous if people reinstate the belief that the only alternative to the ballot box is that of suicide operations.