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Iraq…Explosions and Assassinations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It is said that all’s fair in love and war, and in Iraq it seems that all’s fair in love, war and the elections.

Following the “Bloody Sunday” bombings in Baghdad, the debate reopened with regards to who is responsible for this terrorist operation. Accusations were cast against a foreign country and then the name Fallujah was being thrown around; this was later denied but of course it will have serious implications. Then it was Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al Bolani’s turn to be held accountable for the recent terrorist bombings, and there were calls for his dismissal; however those affiliated to the Interior Ministry are saying that this is a step being taken by the Dawa party – which is led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – in order to strike a blow against al Bolani who is considered competition against al Maliki in the forthcoming elections.

Whilst al Maliki was announcing his “State of Law” [electoral] list, al Bolani was forming his “Iraqi Unity” coalition which also includes the leader of the Sahwa movement, the head of the Sunni Endowment and other [political] figures that al Maliki sought to include in his own coalition. Therefore the suspicion that characterizes the nature of Iraqi political differences is greater than the facts being specified by every party.

If the situation in Iraq was normal, and there was a consensus on the interests of Iraq as a nation, regardless of sectarianism and other issues, the call to dismiss the Interior Minister would have been understood and accepted. However Iraq today is a country that follows the quota system and partisanship, and unfortunately the intensity of competition with regards to the forthcoming elections has preoccupied the [political] parties and Iraqi figures away from the biggest and most important issue, namely serving and protecting the citizens of Iraq. Winning the elections does not justify sacrificing everything else, including security and protecting the citizens of Iraq. The operation of accusing al Bolani is nothing new and has been seen before, and there have been precedents of this, so why should we believe it today?

Following the “Bloody Wednesday” bombings, the same thing happened, and at the time there were calls for al Bolani to resign. However, it was then acknowledged that the security of the Iraqi capital falls under the purview of the Baghdad Operations Command, which has been in control of security in Baghdad for nearly three years.

Apart from this, those following up [on these issues] have become confused over the recent course of events in Iraq, as rather than these terrorist operations unifying the Iraqis – officials and citizens – in order to avoid further terrorist attacks, which are expected because of the forthcoming elections and the US withdrawal from Iraq and this is acknowledged by Iraqi officials themselves, we find that there are people in Iraq who are creative at placing the blame on each other in order to settle political differences.

In fact what is puzzling is what Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al Bolani said to our newspaper in response to his critics who called for his dismissal. He said, “If the internal security file were in my hands then I would be willing to be held accountable by any party for the internal security situation.” The question here then is who is responsible for the internal security situation [in Iraq] and why is al Bolani being subject to attacks over terrorist operations that have become suspicious due to their accuracy, severity, and recurrence?

Therefore it is clear to us that the desire to achieve a victory in the upcoming Iraqi elections has transformed Iraq into a country where anything goes, and the problem is that Baghdad is suffocating internally and externally, and many of its politicians are looking no further than the seat of power.

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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