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Iraq's Role in Resolving the Iraqi Issue - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Anyone who thinks that the Iraqi issue, with all its complexities, can be solved through foreign intervention is under a false impression, whatever the identity of these interventions might be, as they would only increase the complications of this thorny issue.

We have continuously been talking, warning, and emphasizing that any decision related to domestic issues should be an Iraqi national one stemming from a soul that is committed to the resolution of the problems of the citizens, and based on a constructive spirit of citizenship, a decision adopted according to a clear impartial spirit and not regional or international will.

Many people have relied on the US role to solve the problems of Iraq. However, this role has not been able to find successful solutions for the problems of Iraq and the Iraqis since the beginning of the occupation until this day.

While we do not forget the role of each of the US and British Administrations in helping the Iraqis change the previous regime, and to get rid of its power, unfortunately the lack of vision, and the fact of not authorizing the Iraqis themselves to lead their country have increased the bleakness of the scene; as a result, Iraq has fallen into grave problems from which and from whose consequences Iraq still suffers.

Perhaps one of the gravest mistakes in Iraq is the adoption of the principles of both political and sectarian quotas in the Iraqi society, which has never known such nomenclatures since the establishment of modern Iraq except sometimes in narrow forms, and at other times as a result of authoritarian stances. The Iraqi citizen has never defined himself except as Iraqi, whatever his religious, sectarian, or ethnic belonging might be, and he used to practice his rites according to his beliefs. This is guaranteed by the new Iraqi Constitution, despite some important shortcomings in it. The sectarian political scene in Iraq, and its reflections on the government performance have led to complications in Iraq’s regional relations, and these complications in their turn have opened the door to igniting the destructive activities of the extremist powers in all their forms.

Today, the responsibility for rectifying what can be rectified before the US withdrawal from Iraq is on the shoulders of the US Administration, the international community, and the United Nations. It is primarily a moral and legal responsibility. At the forefront of what is required is the protection of the democratic course for which the sons of Iraq have sacrificed a great deal; this protection is stipulated by the security agreement between Iraq and the United States, and the letters received by the Iraqi political blocs from the United States to explain this agreement, an agreement against which we have stood because of its lack of clarity with regard to the preparedness of the armed forces, and the internal security forces. Also at the forefront of the requirements is the implementation of the political reform document ratified by the previous Council of Representatives, and also getting Iraq out of the control of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

We demand at least the implementation of this article [regarding Chapter 7] of the agreement, the annexed letters, the political reform document, and the salvation of the political process from the political and sectarian quotas, because democracy in all its history has never been known to adopt quotas or divisions; democracy is justice.

Our opponents accuse us of pursuing the internationalization of the Iraqi issue. The Iraqi issue indeed has been internationalized since the beginning of the nineties because of the previous regime’s invasion of Kuwait. We have done our utmost, whether during our premiership of the Iraqi Government or through our national political pursuit and the relations binding us with our brother leaders of the Arab and Muslim countries and our friends among the world leaders, to liberate Iraq from the shackles of Chapter 7. We have talked to our brethren, the Kuwait leaders, and we have found them to be open for constructive dialog with Iraq. The Kuwaiti leaders have stressed their keenness and preparedness for such a dialog. However, there have been no measures by the [Iraqi] authorities to get Iraq out of the control of Chapter 7. This consolidates the continuation of the internationalization of the Iraqi situation.

It is well known that keeping Iraq under Chapter 7 also means that the priorities of the UN responsibilities include the protection of the Iraqi borders, environment, and wealth, which were supposed to be transferred eight years after the fall of the previous regime to the Iraqi State, which still lacks complete institutions, entity, and character.

The political scene across the greater Middle East from Afghanistan in the East, Sudan in the west, to Yemen and Somalia in the south is a grave scene characterized by extremely grave tensions that might, God forbid, storm the region. We consider that the extremist powers are engaged in real confrontation with the moderation powers across the arena. What makes the situation more critical is that the powers of moderation – be they governments, organizations or institutions – are not involved in the UN resolutions, resolutions some of which contribute to increasing the tension and creating a state of instability characterized by apprehensions.

We believe in and stress our source which we have followed since we were in the Iraqi opposition until we became a state. Specifically, the Iraqi solution ought to be Iraqi, the Iraqi decision ought to be Iraqi in order to build the state of institutions, a state that respects the independence of the judiciary, and puts the needs of the citizen at the top of its priorities, and we ought to leave the domain of sectarian quotas, and respect our people’s choice in selecting their leaders away from marginalization, the marginalization of the votes of the electorate or the political powers on the Iraqi arena.

The votes of the Iraqi electorate in the latest legislative elections, despite the arbitrariness practiced against us, have expressed – in a way that calls for respecting and appreciating this marvelous people – the people’s desire to abandon political sectarianism, build the Iraqi State, and achieve national reconciliation as a base for building the state and its institutions on foundations of impartiality and professionalism.

The Iraqis have chosen Iraq, and voted for those who have the Iraqi national project that preserves the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of the people, and protects them from the humiliation of the livelihood needs of which they have been deprived by force.

Iyad Allawi

Iyad Allawi

Iyad Allawi is the former prime minister of Iraq.

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