Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

What’s the Problem? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Whilst people are preoccupied with the disputes between Hamas and Fatah, the development of the situation in Darfur, the warrant issued for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, the riots taking place in Yemen and the subsequent crisis in that country and the concern that is caused by Iran and Lebanon’s troubles, there are indications that a new “catastrophic” problem is occurring between Kuwait and Iraq as strong-worded statements and accusations were exchanged between members of the parliaments of the two countries. This brings back memories of the days before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait causing painful political fear and heartache, as if the region needs any more problems. Has the Iraqi-Kuwaiti wound even healed fully only for it to be opened again?

The verbal escalation between official circles in the two countries shows that there are still some fundamental issues between the two countries that are yet to be resolved, the most important of which is perhaps the need for a clear, agreed demarcation of shared borders and settling the responsibility of joint demands. The land is ripe for stirring up trouble between the two countries. Ideological, sectarian and ethnic tensions are being incited between different parts of society, and voices are becoming louder as they warn of the threat that looms. There are open and hidden currents that are benefiting from exacerbating the situation and increasing tension and they are also seeking to back a racist and a separatist current to serve a certain ideology, sect or race.

It is true that there are “fundamental” and long-standing problems between Kuwait and Iraq, some of which have been dealt with in the wrong way. However, the new political status-quos in both Iraq and Kuwait, having taken into account regional and international developments, add even more danger to the equation.

Outbursts and exaggerated accusations between the two sides mean that confrontation and clashes are inevitable. As these baseless accusations and impossible demands continue, “anything” could happen and this will probably be painful and bloody and will open up old wounds once again. Iraq is being hit by a wave of heated currents of various political and religious sects, both old and new, and this wave will eliminate anything that gets in its way including a friendly, neighbouring country. In Kuwait on the other hand, currents there are waging on continuous changes and are seeking to exploit this wave. They are taking random shots; if they hit their target then that’ll be great, if they miss then the noise alone should serve other purposes.

The problem is that the Iraq-Kuwait dispute can no longer be considered a dispute between two states; human, spiritual and financial costs are still being made today and will, without doubt, continue to be paid by the forthcoming generations. It is ridiculous that the Arabs are demanding that Israel should demarcate its borders with the Arab countries and Iran should acknowledge the UAE islands and the Kingdom of Bahrain whilst they are unable to convince Iraq to fully “acknowledge” Kuwait and the borders that it shares with it.

Considering the events that took place between Iraq and Kuwait and the series of events that followed the foolish Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and the depressing episodes that still affect many people today, it has become necessary to “criminalise” any voices that attempt to aggravate the controversial issue once again. This issue has nothing to do with freedom of expression or opinion; it is about living with security and dignity. This is much more important.