Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Between Iraqi Baathism and absurdity | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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It seems that the destructive role that is being played by the current Iraqi government may transcend the domestic Iraqi scene and have an external affect, particularly on Syria. This is with regards to [the Iraqi government] supporting the al-Assad regime, at the expense of the Syrian people, as Iraq today has decided to stand with the Syrian regime, in the same manner as Tehran and the Iranian agents in the region.

In order to see the danger that Iraq represents today, particularly this Iraqi government that is led by Nuri al-Maliki, we must examine two very important pieces of news that reveal much about the reality of the situation in Baghdad today, and the threat that the mentality running the scene there represents. The first piece of news reveals that 13 of 14 web censoring apparatus sold by a certain US company to the Iraqi government ended up in the hands of the Baathist regime in Syria. This was in order to aid the al-Assad regime to monitor the online activities of the Syrian demonstrators and restrict their operations in order to crush the Syrian revolution. This was despite the fact that, as part of the US sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime; all those who trade with US companies are prohibited from selling or providing the al-Assad regime with any technological equipment.

As for the second piece of news, which was published on the same day, this is that the Iraqi government arrested more than 600 Iraqi citizens on charges of affiliation to the [outlawed] Baathist party. Indeed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki personally issued a statement about these mass arrests during a television interview, saying that “the Baathist party is prohibited by the Constitution, because it is a criminal party that led to the fall of the national sovereignty and it targeted the Iraqi people through mass graves and chemical weapons.” More importantly, al-Maliki himself stressed that he believes that “the Baathist mentality is a mentality of conspiracy and coup.”

Therefore, how can the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pursue those affiliated to the Baathist party in his own country, and say that this is a “criminal” party that is responsible for destroying Iraq’s “national sovereignty”, targeting the people of Iraq through “mass graves”, and that it’s mentality is one of “conspiracy and coup”, and then, after all this, come out and support the Baathist regime in Syria? This is something that makes no sense! Why does the Iraqi government find it permissible for the Baathist regime in Syria to kill its own people, whilst it is rounding up and arresting Baathists in its own country? Is the Baathist mentality that Nuri al-Maliki spoke about not present in Syria today, especially after more than 3,000 Syrian men, women, and children, have been killed [by the Baathist regime]|? Or is the story much simpler than this, namely that as long as the al-Assad regime – even if it Baathist and represents the other side of the same coin with regards to the practices carried out in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – is affiliated to the Persian axis in the region, [then it enjoys Iraqi support]. Therefore, we saw how some current Iraqi leaders, whether we are talking about high-ranking [government] officials or even party leaders – rose up in defense of Bahrain’s Shiite community, and spoke about the people of the Arab Gulf in the same manner that Imam Malik [Ibn Anas] spoke about alcohol! Therefore today, they are supporting Baathist Bashar al-Assad, who al-Maliki himself previously accused of conspiring against Iraq, whilst the people of Iraq are being suppressed under the pretext of their affiliation to the Baathist party!

This is a saddening state of affairs, and indicates that we are facing a long dark period in the region!