Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Al-Maliki: In the eye of the storm | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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You would be stunned by what is being reported in the international news agencies regarding the situation in the region, at which point you will have no choice but to say: my God! For when the sectarian movement in Bahrain was launched this was reported as being a democratic revolution, whilst when Syria revolted, this was described as a Sunni revolution, whilst today what is happening in Iraq is being described as Sunni protests.

When we criticize some media outlets in this regard, this is for a very simple reason, namely that they have failed to learn the lessons from the critical mistakes that were made during the Arab mistakes, particularly the mistakes of making generalization, populism and using inaccurate terms. As for what is happening in Iraq now, it is wrong to describe this as a Sunni revolution even if some of Iraq’s Sunnis themselves are describing it in this way and saying that they oppose al-Maliki and want to topple him. This is because Iraq’s Sunnis are not the only ones who have been subject to the injustices of the government; rather this is something that has affected all Iraqis. Indeed, the greatest injustice committed during the al-Maliki era has been against Iraq itself, and all its social components. In Iraq, al-Maliki has confronted the Kurds, and this almost reached the point of military clashes. He also confronted the civil political forces, including the secular Shiite forces, and the best example of this can be seen in what happened to Dr. Iyad Allawi. The same applies to the moderate Sunni figures, including even the secular forces that do not mix religion in politics. The most blatant example of this can be seen in what happened, and is happening, to Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi.

This is not all, for the same thing has happened between al-Maliki and the Sadrists, particularly Moqtada al-Sadr, who even issued a rare statement saying that al-Maliki is seeking to turn all of Iraq into a Shiite state. Were it not for the Iranian pressure on al-Maliki and the Sadrists, we would not have seen such dire events in Iraq. So after all of this, can this story be framed as a sectarian one? Can we view this as a solely Sunni revolution? The answer is no, for al-Maliki’s injustices are affecting everybody, even those in neighboring states, particularly the Syrians. This is thanks to the Iraqi government’s championing of the tyrant of Damascus’s regime, not to mention al-Maliki’s support of the sectarian movement in Bahrain. So what is happening in Iraq is that there is an oppressive regime – which is only different from the Saddam Hussein regime in terms of its lack of capabilities – seeking to monopolize all of Iraq, even if it has to destroy the country’s social components and distort its political system to achieve this. All of this is happening with America’s blessing, represented by Washington’s silence and indifference, and as a result of Iranian support, turning Iraq into a theater for the regime of the mullahs in Tehran.

In Iraq, we have a political scene headed by those who want to control everything and marginalize everybody else, in precisely the same manner that Saddam Hussein did, without any consideration for modern history or Iraqi unity.

Therefore, regardless of what has and is being said – even if this is being said by Iraq’s Sunnis themselves – what is happening there is not a Sunni revolution. Rather, this is evidence of the failure of a regime that failed to pursue political reconciliation, did not stop from marginalizing others, and did not take dialogue seriously. A regime that pushed all of Iraq’s components to clash with one another, which in turn placed the country’s social fabric at risk; this is what has led the country to the state it finds itself in today. Therefore, it is clear that al-Maliki is in the eye of the storm, and the worst is yet to come, so long as rule is the most important thing that he cares about, rather than preserving the unity of Iraq as a whole.