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Congratulations on the Awakening of a Moderate Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Regardless of whether Nouri al-Maliki acknowledges the results of the Iraqi elections or not, the time has come to congratulate the Iraqi people, and ourselves, on the new Iraqi awakening. The Iraqi elections confirmed to us that we are facing a moderate and rational Iraq, and a broad section of the Iraqi population voted – according to their inclination – for the multi-sect and secular coalition the Iraqiya bloc. This means that the majority of Iraq is moderate and opposes Iraq sliding further into sectarianism and isolation.

Al-Maliki’s failure to acknowledge the elections results means that he is going back on everything that he said previously concerning the democratic process and his desire to uphold this. Anybody who supports democracy must accept the results of the ballot, whether these results are positive or negative. One should not adorn oneself in democratic slogans when this serves one’s interests, and then turn against this when the wind blows in the other direction. If al-Maliki believes that a defeat by two votes does not represent a true defeat, then we must remember that every vote counts in democracy.

Therefore the victory of the Iraqiya bloc that is led by [Iyad] Allawi indicates that a broad section of the Iraqi population desires stability and the provision of services and health and education programs, like any other ordinary and moderate people. The Iraqi people want a government that will provide them with services, a non-isolated government that can see further than the end of its nose, unlike the al-Maliki government.

The Iraqi election [results] have revealed something that is promising and encouraging to everybody who is concerned about Iraq and the Iraqi people, and to all who are eager for this country to return to its rightful place in the Arab world. Iraq should play its expected and effective role rather than remaining confined within a narrow geographic angle. The time has come for us to see a moderate Iraqi government that has all-inclusive national concerns, rather than a government that does not hesitate to liquidate and politically exclude its opponents using prepared and pre-packaged accusations of sectarianism and other accusations. Unfortunately some people seem to have forgotten that the Saddam Hussein regime made it easy to accuse anybody of treason in the name of working for foreign powers, while the al-Maliki government brandished the sword of Baathism and used this to threaten all those who disagreed with it.

It is very important that we reflect upon the initial reactions of both Allawi and al-Maliki in order to see the major difference between the two men. Allawi considered his victory “a victory for all Iraqis who opted for national consensus and change, and [this] announced the death of sectarian and political quotas” adding that ” Iraq expresses its willingness to extend its brotherly hand to all neighbouring states: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Kuwait based on communication and non-interference in internal affairs.” Meanwhile Nouri al-Maliki, or as we previously named him, Iraq’s Ahmadinejad, said that “some of these results are unacceptable and unreasonable” adding that this “reflects large [voter] rigging.” Al-Maliki also stressed that he was already in the process of forming a new government and “screening” a number of the victors who he claimed were “terrorists” and “Baathists.”

From here it is clear to see that al-Maliki continues to look at his political opponents as “terrorists” and “Baathists” and wants to screen them, and this is despite the fact that he accepted that the ballot boxes be the judge between himself and his political opponents. Therefore we congratulate Iraq, the Iraqi people, and ourselves on the awakening of a moderate Iraq which brings with it a hope for a better tomorrow…a tomorrow where there is no place for Nouri al-Maliki’s government and the like.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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