Tuesday, January 15, 2013

جێبه‌جێبوونی ئۆتۆماتیكیی پلانه‌كه‌ی جۆ بایدن له‌ عیراق

حه‌وت ساڵ له‌مه‌وبه‌ر، كاتێك جۆزێف بایدنی ئه‌وكات سیناتۆری دیموكراته‌كانی ئه‌مریكا له‌سه‌ر ویلایه‌تی دیلاوه‌یر پلانی دامه‌زراندنی سێ هه‌رێمی فیدرالی كوردی، سوننی و شیعی له‌ عیراق خسته‌ به‌رده‌م داڕێژه‌ڕانی سیاسه‌تی ئه‌مریكا، ناڕه‌زایێكی سه‌رتاسه‌ری دژی ئه‌و پلانه‌ عیراقی گرته‌وه‌. ئه‌وكاته‌ زۆربه‌ی هێزه‌ سه‌ره‌كییه‌كانی عیراق كه‌وتنه‌ دژایه‌تی كردنی پلانه‌كه‌ی بایدن، جگه‌له‌ كورد، كه‌ جێبه‌جێكردنی ئه‌م پلانه‌ هێنانه‌ دی خه‌ونی له‌ مێژینه‌یانه‌ بۆ سه‌ربه‌خۆیی و جیابوونه‌وه‌ له‌ عیراقی عه‌ره‌بی. ئه‌م ترسه‌ی عیراقیه‌كان ئه‌وه‌نده‌ی تر زیادی كرد كاتێك ئۆباما هاوڕێ به‌ ته‌مه‌ن و پڕ ئه‌زموونه‌كه‌ی خۆی، جۆزێف بایدنی بۆ جێگری سه‌رۆكی ئه‌مریكا كاندید كرد. ئه‌و كات زۆربه‌ی بۆچوونه‌كان پێیان وابوو ئه‌گه‌ر بایدن ده‌ستبه‌كار بێت، ئه‌وه‌ مانای یه‌كسه‌ر دابه‌شبوونی عیراقه‌ له‌ چوارچێوه‌ی پلانه‌ پێشنیازكراوه‌كه‌یدا، كه‌ به‌ڕای هه‌ندێك چاودێر جێبه‌جێكردنی ئه‌و پلانه‌ له‌و كاته‌دا ده‌بووه‌ هۆی ناسه‌قامگیری سه‌رتاسه‌ری له‌ ناوچه‌كه‌دا. 

دوای ده‌ستبه‌كار بوونی ئۆباما و بایدنی جێگری، بۆ خۆدوورخستنه‌وه‌ له‌ ناڕه‌زاییه‌كانی وڵاتانی ناوچه‌كه‌ و نیشاندانی نیه‌ت پاكی ئیداره‌ی ئۆباما، ئه‌مریكا پاشگه‌زبوونه‌وه‌ی خۆی له‌ پێشنیازه‌كه‌ی بایدن ڕاگه‌یاند و ئه‌و كاته‌ له‌سه‌ر زاری چه‌ند دیپلۆماتكارێكی ئه‌مریكی ڕاگه‌ینرا كه‌وا ئه‌مریكا نایه‌وێت ئه‌زموونی یۆگسلافیا له‌ عیراق دووباره‌ بێته‌وه‌. 

ئه‌م پاشگه‌زبوونه‌وه‌یه‌ی ئه‌مریكا له‌ پلانه‌كه‌ی بایدن بووه‌ مایه‌ی خۆشحاڵی عه‌ره‌به‌ نه‌ته‌وه‌ په‌رسته‌كانی سوننه‌ و شیعه‌، و له‌ هه‌مان كاتدا مایه‌ی ناڕه‌حه‌تی بوو بۆ كوردی عیراق. لێره‌دا ده‌كرێ بپرسین، ئایا پاشگه‌زبوونه‌وه‌ی ئه‌مریكا له‌ پلانه‌كه‌ی بایدن بۆته‌ هۆی ڕه‌واندنه‌وه‌ی ترسی دابه‌شبوونی عیراق؟ به‌ چاوخشاندنه‌وه‌ به‌ ڕووداوه‌كانی چه‌ند ساڵی رابردوو به‌ ڕوونی بۆمان ده‌رده‌كه‌وێت كه‌ چۆن عیراق به‌ پێی خۆی به‌ره‌و پلانه‌كه‌ی بایدن هه‌نگاوی گه‌وره‌ ده‌نێت. 

سه‌ره‌تا داهێنانی مۆدێلی دابه‌شكاری (محاصصه‌) تائیفی و ئیتنی له‌ نێوان پێكهاته‌كانی عیراق (سوننه‌، شیعه‌ و كورد) و كردنی به‌ بنه‌مایه‌ك بۆ پرۆسه‌ی سیاسی عیراق خۆی له‌ خۆیدا دانانی به‌ردی بناغه‌ی پلانه‌كه‌ی بایدنه‌ له‌م وڵاته‌ ده‌ستكرده‌دا كه‌ له‌وه‌ته‌ی دروستبوونیه‌وه‌ نه‌ سه‌قامگیری و نه‌ حوكمێكی دیموكراسی به‌خۆیه‌وه‌ نه‌دیوه‌. له‌دوای رووخانی ڕژێمی سه‌دام حوسێن، سه‌رجه‌م هه‌ڵبژاردن و ده‌نگدانه‌كانی عیراق له‌ قاڵبی به‌رته‌سكی تائیفی و ئیتنی ده‌ربازیان نه‌بووه‌، به‌ جۆرێك كه‌ ده‌نگده‌ری كورد ده‌نكی بۆ كورد، سوننه‌ بۆ سوننه‌ و شیعه‌ش بۆ شیعه‌ بووه‌. باشترین نموونه‌ دوایین هه‌ڵبژاردنی په‌رله‌مانیی وڵاته‌ كه‌ له‌ ئاداری 2010 به‌ڕێوه‌چوو و له‌ ئه‌نجامدا وڵاتێكی ناسه‌قامگیر زیاتر له‌ نۆ مانگی بێ حكومه‌ت و ده‌سه‌ڵاتێكی شه‌رعی به‌ڕێكرد به‌هۆی ڕێكنه‌كه‌وتن له‌سه‌ر ناونانی سه‌رۆك وه‌زیران كه‌ ئایا له‌ لیستی هاوپه‌یمانی نیشتیمانی شیعه‌كان بێت یان لیستی عیراقیه‌ كه‌ خاوه‌نی زۆربه‌ی ده‌نگی سوننه‌كان بوو.

موژده‌ی دروستبوونی حكومه‌تی عیراق له‌ چوارچێوه‌ی ڕێككه‌وتننامه‌ی هه‌ولێر زۆری نه‌خایاند و جیاوازییه‌كانی نێوان هاوبه‌شانی كابینه‌كه‌ی مالیكی ته‌قییه‌وه‌. ئه‌ڵبه‌ته‌ ڕه‌وكردنی به‌هاری عه‌ره‌بی به‌ره‌و ڕۆژهه‌ڵاتی ناوه‌راست و گه‌یشتنی به‌ سوریای دراوسێ كاریگه‌ری زۆری هه‌بوو له‌سه‌ر زه‌قبوونه‌وه‌ی جیاوازی نێوان پێكهاته‌كانی عیراق. 

ده‌وڵه‌تی عیراق به‌ فه‌رمانڕه‌وایی شیعه‌كان نامۆیه‌. عیراقێك كه‌ زیاتر له‌ هه‌شتا ساڵی ژێرده‌سته‌یی فه‌رمانڕه‌وایی ئاگر و ئاسنی سوننه‌ی كه‌مینه‌ی به‌سه‌ر برد. به‌ پالپشتی ئێران، كارێكی ئاسته‌م نه‌بوو بۆ شیعه‌كان تا مه‌رامی پاوانخوازی خۆیان نیشانی هاوبه‌شه‌ سوننه‌ و كورده‌كانی پرۆسه‌ی سیاسی بده‌ن له‌ دوای كشانه‌وه‌ی هێزه‌كانی ئه‌مریكا. یه‌كه‌م هه‌نگاویشیان هێرش كردنه‌ سه‌ر تاریق هاشمی جێگری سه‌رۆك كۆماری عیراق بوو، كه‌ سه‌ركرده‌یه‌كی دیاری سوننه‌ی عیراقه‌ و به‌ ته‌نیا خاوه‌نی ده‌نگی زیاتر له‌ دووسه‌د هه‌زار ده‌نگده‌ری هه‌ڵبژاردنی په‌رله‌مانی ئاداری 2010 بوو. هێشتا كێشه‌ی تاریق هاشمی یه‌كلا نه‌كرابۆوه‌، به‌غدا ده‌ستی كرد به‌ دروستكردنی ئۆپه‌راسیۆنه‌كانی دیجله‌ بۆ نیشاندانی هێزی سه‌ربازی ده‌وڵه‌ت دژی هه‌رێمی كوردستان. 

له‌ عیراقی ئه‌سیری كاریگه‌رییه‌ هه‌رێمییه‌كانی ئێران له‌ باشوور و توركیا له‌ باكوور و خۆرئاوا، نامۆ نییه‌ ئه‌گه‌ر ببینین سه‌رۆك وه‌زیران فه‌رمان ده‌ربكات بۆ هێرشكردنه‌ سه‌ر ئۆفیسی وه‌زیری دارایی كابینه‌كه‌ی خۆی و پاسه‌وانه‌كانی ده‌ستگیر بكرێن. به‌ كورتی، ئه‌زموونی چه‌ند ساڵی ڕابردووی پێكه‌وه‌ ژیانی عیراقییه‌كان له‌ چوارچێوه‌ی ده‌وڵه‌تێكی مه‌ركه‌زیدا سه‌لماندی كه‌ له‌ دروستكبوونی قه‌یران و ته‌نگژه‌ی یه‌ك له‌دوای یه‌ك زیاتر هیچ به‌رهه‌مێكی تری نابێت. 

خۆپیشاندانه‌كان، هه‌نگاوی گه‌وره‌ به‌ره‌و دابه‌شبوون

ئه‌و خۆپیشاندانانه‌ی له‌ ئه‌نجامی هێرشكردنه‌ سه‌ر ئۆفیسی رافع عیساوی وه‌زیری دارایی له‌ پارێزگا سوننه‌نشینه‌كاندا سه‌ریان هه‌ڵدا، پێی ناوه‌ته‌ هه‌فته‌ی سێیه‌م و نه‌ك هه‌ر كپ نه‌بۆته‌وه‌، به‌ڵكۆ بۆته‌ هۆی سه‌رهه‌ڵدانی خۆپیشاندانی پێچه‌وانه‌ له‌ پارێزگا شیعه‌نشینه‌كاندا. 
ده‌ستپێكردنی خۆپیشاندانه‌كانی سوننه‌كان و به‌رزكردنه‌وه‌ی ئاڵا و دروشمی سه‌رده‌می به‌عس له‌ ئه‌نبار و تكریت، نیگه‌ڕانی زۆری لای شیعه‌كان دروست كرد و ئه‌وانیشی هێنایه‌ سه‌ر شه‌قام. كاریگه‌رترین دیمه‌ن ده‌ركه‌وتنی له‌ناكاوی عیزه‌ت دوری جێگری پێشووی سه‌دام حوسێن بوو كه‌ تێیدا وه‌ك هه‌میشه‌ هه‌ڕه‌شه‌ی له‌ناوبردنی شیعه‌ی كرد. 

له‌ كاتێكدا هێزه‌ سوننیه‌كان خه‌ریك بوو له‌ دژی مالیكی یه‌كیان ده‌گرت، ده‌ركه‌وتنی عیززه‌ت دوری بیانوێكی باشی دایه‌ ده‌ست شیعه‌كان بۆ ئه‌وه‌ی بڕژێنه‌ سه‌ر شه‌قامه‌كان و ئه‌وانیش لای خۆیانه‌وه‌ ناكۆكییه‌كانیان وه‌لاوه‌ بنێن و جۆرێك له‌ یه‌ك ڕیزیان تێدا دروست بوو بۆ وه‌ستانه‌وه‌ له‌ دژی دووباره‌ بوونه‌وه‌ی مۆته‌كه‌ی حیزبی به‌عس. ئه‌مه‌ له‌ كاتێكدایه‌ كه‌ چه‌ند مانگێكه‌ هێزه‌ سیاسیه‌كانی هه‌رێمی كوردستانیش به‌ یه‌كگرتوویی دژی هه‌ژموونی عه‌ره‌بی به‌ گشتی و شیعه‌ به‌ تایبه‌تی وه‌ستاونه‌ته‌وه‌.

ئه‌م قه‌یرانه‌ی ئێستای نێوان شیعه‌ و كورد له‌ لایه‌ك و شیعه‌ و سوننه‌ له‌ لایه‌كی تر، بۆته‌ هۆی شه‌حن كردنه‌وه‌ی هه‌رسێ پێكهاته‌كه‌ به‌ هه‌ستی ئایینی و تائیفی و نه‌ته‌وه‌یی دژ به‌ یه‌كتری. له‌ هه‌مان كاتدا، چانسێكی زێڕینی بۆ حیزبه‌ تائیفی و ئیتنیه‌كانی عیراق به‌ كورد و سوننه‌ و شیعه‌وه‌ دروستكردووه‌ بۆ ئه‌وه‌ی بانگه‌شه‌ی هه‌ڵبژاردنی خۆیان له‌ چوارچێوه‌ی قه‌یرانه‌كاندا ئه‌نجام بده‌ن. 

هاوشێوه‌ی هه‌ڵبژاردنه‌كانی پێشوو، سیناریۆی دابه‌شبوونی تائیفی و ئیتنی دووباره‌ ده‌بێته‌وه‌ و دیسان كورد و سوننه‌ و شیعه‌، هه‌ر یه‌كه‌یان به‌ جیا ده‌چنه‌ هه‌ڵبژاردنی ئه‌نجومه‌نی پارێزگاكانه‌وه‌. ئه‌م راستیه‌ش له‌ تۆماركردنی ناوی قه‌واره‌ سیاسیه‌كان له‌ كۆمسیۆنی هه‌ڵبژاردنه‌كانی عیراق بۆ هه‌ڵبژاردنی ئه‌نجومه‌نی پارێزگاكان به‌رجه‌سته‌ بوو. به‌مجۆره‌ ئیدی پرۆسه‌ی سیاسی له‌ عیراقدا له‌سه‌ر ئه‌م شێوه‌ دابه‌شبوونه‌ تائیفی و ئیتنیه‌ ده‌ق ده‌گرێت و به‌ تێپه‌ڕبوونی كات گروپه‌ جیاوازه‌كانی عیراق لێك دوورده‌كه‌ونه‌وه‌ و په‌یوه‌ندی نێوان پێكهاته‌كان به‌ره‌و لێكترازانی هه‌میشه‌یی ده‌چێت. 

به‌م شێوه‌یه‌، ده‌كرێت بوترێت هه‌موو ئه‌و ڕووداو و حاڵه‌تانه‌ی له‌سه‌ره‌وه‌ باسكران ئاماژه‌یه‌كی ڕوونه‌ بۆ له‌سه‌رخۆچوونی عیراق به‌ره‌و دابه‌شبوون به‌ شێوه‌یه‌ك كه‌ یه‌ك بگرێته‌وه‌ له‌گه‌ڵ پلانه‌ پێشنیاز كراوه‌كه‌ی جۆ بایدن. له‌ ماوه‌ی چه‌ند ساڵی داهاتوودا ڕه‌نگه‌ خه‌ڵكی عیراق بگه‌نه‌ ئه‌و حه‌قیقه‌ته‌ی كه‌ گونجاوترین چاره‌سه‌ری دوور له‌ توندوتیژی بۆ ده‌یان كێشه‌ی ئاڵۆزی كه‌ڵه‌كه‌ بوو له‌ نێوانیاندا، ته‌نیا به‌ دابه‌شبوون بۆ سه‌ر سێ قه‌واره‌ی كوردی، سوننی و شیعی ده‌بێت. 


كارۆخ نوره‌دین خوێنده‌وانی ماسته‌ره‌ له‌ به‌شی سیاسه‌ت و په‌یوه‌ندییه‌ نێوده‌وڵه‌تیه‌كانی زانكۆی كوردستان – هه‌ولێر.

ئه‌م بابه‌ته‌ بۆ یه‌كه‌مجار له‌ سایتی خه‌ندان بڵاو كرایه‌وه‌.
http://bit.ly/11w9SUz

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Why we should be hopeful of this generation



Thanks to Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks, this year we could commemorate the Halabja Chemical Bombardment in a very different environment. Whenever I logged in to facebook, I was seeing a bunch of my 420 friends changing their profile pictures to a photo of Halabja under bombardment, a sketch of Omer Khawer – the symbol of the genocide of Halabja or a black page referring to 16th March 1988 in red color.

one of the most common photos published on social networks to commemorate Halabja.

On Twitter, we could make the trend #HalabjaNeverAgain standing 4th on 16th March 2012 among other trends worldwide. Tens of videos of the moments of gassing Halabja or of national anthems, songs and poems written for Halabja from Youtube were posted and shared. Up to here everything seems normal.

#HalabjaNeverAgain placed 4th on twitter trends worldwide. 
                                            
What I want to stress out is that, this year, commemorating Halabja unified the Kurdish youth from all parts of Kurdistan, regardless of their religious and political affiliation. Political parties who are sharply divided in Kurdistan, usually influence their audience to stay away of interaction with people who have different political affiliations. This time, thanks to national spirit of the youth, political parties were reluctant.  In all the Kurdish groups and pages on Facebook, you could see Kurdish youth (youth are the most users of social networks in Kurdistan) with all their different affiliations sharing the mourns and the pain which Halabja left in their hearts.

From Facebook. Halabja memorial graveyard (left) and the symbol of Halabja chemical attack Omer Khawer (right). 
                            
The story was different among the politicians. The opposition parties and those in power were as usually divided even in commemorating what they all agree to call "the biggest tragedy in the Kurdish history". In the town Halabja itself, the opposition parties boycotted the ceremony of commemorating the chemical attack and turned the event into a political one. On the other hand, there was a remarkably low turnout among the ruling political parties in the ceremony. While March 16 should be marked by crowds of top Kurdish officials gathering around the memorial graveyard in Halabja, reiterating support to the victims and sharing their unhealed pain, only the out-going Prime Minister Barham Salih and few ministers of his resigned cabinet were seen in the commemoration ceremony, with no traces of Kurdistan Region's president as usual (he is rarely seen in Halabja).  

   KRG's outgoing PM Barham Salih standing a moment of silence for the victims, with Iraqi Shi'a leader Ammar Al-Hakim (left) and KRG's former minister of Martyrs Affair (right). Where is the mass of other Kurdish officials?           
             
 
While this indicates how sharply divided are Kurdistan’s political parties, who can’t even unite around their common tragedies of the past, Kurdish youth on social media portrayed an opposite image of the politicians. The unity of Kurdish youth marks a new era in Kurdish history, which is carrying the message that the youth are no more blindly and unreasonably companying and following the acts of their favorite political parties. This is a new developing attribute in the Kurdish society, and need to be taken into consideration. Educational institutions such as primary schools, social and psychological institutions and advocates should work on this attribute and develop it, so as to create social harmony and unity among this and the next generations. Kurdistan can’ afford further domestic divisions. I agree with the US Consulate General in Erbil who in the last week stated that local disagreement among the Kurds has always been the key reason for their being invaded and ruled by others. This is a positive sign which brings too much hope for anyone who wants to see a harmonized, well-educated and united society to become the basis of a bright future for Kurdistan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Too comfortable to care?




Following the uprisings of angry Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and other Middle Eastern people, Iraqi Kurds have recently filled Sulaimania’s streets and main squares to protests against the country’s widespread corruption, nepotism and dozens of the now-forgotten reform promises by the government. The first protests of Sulaimania were driven into violence and fatalities were recorded. 

The sustainability of peace and stability is crucial to KRG’s survival, but demonstrations and daily violence amid protesters and police and security forces largely threatens the region’s reputation of security and safety. At this juncture of Kurdish history, where Iraqi Kurds are in their initial steps of nation-building, the west and its huge oil and investing companies are a good friend to attract – to facilitate the nation-building process in Iraqi Kurdistan. The KRG have been successful in this aspect so far. But the Question is: will the KRG remain on this track?

Ten days of local unrest have largely affected KRG’s stability – while the region has survived years of neighboring tensions and bombardments by Turkish and Iranian artilleries. This indicates that local dissent is of great importance to Kurdistan’s future, and the KRG must find a way breaking the current deadlock, which is impossible without directly negotiating with the protesters who took the streets and are unlikely to go home soon. 

The people are not demonstrating for no reason. Their major demand is putting an end to corruption and injustice in the society. For more than two decades of KDP-PUK dominance over Kurdistan, social justice is absolutely missing; money, power and markets are overwhelmingly monopolized by ruling elites and their relatives. A tiny minority of the society (ruling class and their relatives) are controlling a vast amount of the region’s revenues and using it for their luxury. 

Protesters are getting more insistent on their demands as more public figures, university students, artists and different parts of the society join them every day. 

On the other hand, the KRG (and its two dominant parties) are having tougher and stricter response to protesters, ignoring their demands and even insulting them through their media outlets. None of KRG’s officials have met the protesters, just like no protests have even happened in Iraqi Kurdistan. 

For each bullet shot by the security forces, KDP/PUK special guards on protesters, more people turn their back on the KRG and seize loyalty to the well-known leaders and officials. Consequently, the opposition front will keep growing, leading to the collapse of the government, as the main aim of Kurdistan’s new-born opposition is the collapse of the government and taking over power by any means. In other words, the opposition groups in Iraqi Kurdistan are only seeking power. For those groups, the ends justify the means – they would mislead the people in any direction to achieve their own goals.  

To handle the turmoil, KRG’s officials need to get rid of their arrogance and show humble impressions to the people. Short term and long term reforming plans should get implemented, motivated by honest and real wills for reform. For immediate cure, Prime Minister Barham Salih and Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani should visit the protesters and discuss their demands – at least to prevent any exploitation of the masses, and before the masses being misled by irresponsible groups and parties.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas: Grim in Baghdad, Safe& Happy in Kurdistan

Report By Karokh Nuraddin
   
As terror forced Iraqi Christians to cancel most masses and Christmas celebrations, the story of Christians living in the Kurdistan region of Iraq was different.
 
“Christmas is a joyful event; our religion urges us for being happy and spreading happiness,” said Ano Jawhar, a journalist based in Ainkawa, a Christian stronghold in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In a festive atmosphere, Ainkawa’s churches, streets were decked with bright lights and large Christmas trees. Groups of children including those coming from Baghdad were seen arm-in-arm on the streets waiting for Santa Clause to come and hand out gifts.

At the entrance of Ainkawa town, trees and walls are lightened in various colors; the Churches were full of prayers and celebrators on Christmas night. 
The KRG has spent 142 million ID (nearly $113600) on Christmas and New Year celebrations for the town, according to Ferhad Marbin, head of Ainkawa’s Municipality.

 Less than 200 miles away from here is Baghdad where a deadly attack on October 31 resulted in the death of more than 50 people in a church after a few armed men took the worshipers hostage and shot them. 

Since then threats have been continuous and, in turn, a steady exodus of Christians has begun of whom there have been hundreds of families coming here to the semiautonomous region of Kurdistan in Northern in Iraq. 

 “We will spend an amount of this budget in buying gifts for the kids of the fled families, to limit their grief and depression” said Marbin, referring to the necessity of delivering more aids for those families.”

Large number of these Christians, however, now find unemployed, and are either with no accommodation, sharing houses with their relatives, of in houses in affluent Ainkawa which they can hardly afford, as reported by the IRIN, United Nation’s Humanitarian News Agency. 

The recent months have been the toughest for the Iraqi Christians, which made them not to think about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25, as they have been doing in the past. In Baghdad and Mosul, the mourns of Christians are still heard for the violence they face on daily basis. 

 “I am not going to celebrate Christmas this year,” said Abu Yousuf Yaqub, who had fled Mosul three years ago and found refuge in Ainkawa. “I want to share grievance of Baghdad’s Christians.”
 “Mosul is a very conservative place, the people there consider the Christians infidels,” he said. 

Yaqub’s son would have die, if he stayed in Mosul and refused to help the insurgents in buying arms, and funding them.
“We are not ready to sell our dignity, we left our home with only few belongings and we headed to Kurdistan,” said Abu Yusuf.

Since after the slaughter of the Baghdad Church, many Christians have decided not to celebrate Christmas this year, both in fear of more attacks, and for showing their grievance. 

“Of course they wouldn’t celebrate, those people’s hearts are broken,” said Jawhar.  
But Jawhar said that the coexistence between the Kurds and the Christians is “unique” in the Middle East, suggesting, “Erbil is more secure than Cairo for Christians.”

 This report was published in IKP-magazine, issue 17, Jan. 2011

Iraq’s Ironic Democracy



In a country where a genuine democracy has never existed, the post-Saddam Iraq’s democracy looks ironic. The people’s say is ignored, their rulers are imposed by U.S. and Iran and regional powers.

After the establishment of the Iraqi state by Churchill in the 1920s, King Faisal, a non-Iraqi Sunni, was brought to rule the country. He was from the Hashemite Dynasty in Saudi Arabia. This resulted in undermining the Shiite majority in the south, and forcibly annexing the Kurds of the north to the newborn state. Until 2003, no regimes were democratically elected in Iraq.

Literally defining democracy, the word is derived from two Greek words. Demo-people and Kratia-rule, which means people’s rule. In democratic countries, people vote to elect the party that will rule for next four or five years. But in Iraq’s recent elections, people’s vote did not, and will be unlikely to, produce that result. Iraq’s new government, after 8-month of political stalemate, is a product of a struggle between the US and Iran. Without elections, we would have a similar US-Iran-made government.

The Sunni-backed Iraqiya coalition, headed by Iyad Allawi, won most seats, two seats ahead of the Prime Minister Nuri Maliki’s State of Law bloc. The Iraqi National Alliance, a Shiite bloc, came third with 70 seats. The Kurds came forth with 57 seats.

After the election results were revealed, Iran felt much threatened that the Sunnis may come back to power after their bloc had slightly finished first. The US, however, liked the results believing in the likelihood of less Iranian influence on a new Iraqi government, which will oversee the withdrawal of US forces next year.
Thus, an Iran-US contest began to shape Iraq’s new government. This contest lasted 8 months, led to an upsurge in violence and the deaths of 764 Iraqi civilians.

Iran finally became ascendant. It prevented the secular leader Allawi from forming a new government. Allawi has been promised to lead a strategic council that nobody knows how powerful it might be. Allawi himself does not seem to want that. What is more, Iran also reconciled two most rival Shiite parties of Iraq, Maliki’s State of Law and the Sadrists, further strengthening its hand in Iraqi politics. The anti-American Sadrist group, 40 seats, used to militarily fight with Maliki’s government in Baghdad and Basra.  But its support to Maliki was as deceive to kill Allawi’s hopes to come to power as threatening to the United States interests. It’s leader now studies religion in Iran. The White House has openly spoken out against the threats that this group poses on its interests, warning Iraqis not to allow them leading sensitive positions like security and intelligence ones.

Iran has historically had unhappy stories with Sunnis. Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Iraqi dictator, waged an eight-year long war against Iran following the Islamic revolution that unseated Mohammed Raza Shah in 1979.

The US, for its part, used its utmost capacity to ensure a good participation of the Sunnis and Kurds in the government to counterbalance the Shiite domination of Iraq. “The U.S. is therefore working with its long-time Iraqi ally, Iyad Allawi, in a desperate effort to assemble an alternative coalition that would keep out Iran and the Sadrists as much as possible.” said Ranj Alaaldin in a column to the Guardian.

An Iraqi initiative by Massoud Barzani, president of Kurdistan, finally ended the US-Iran political strugg
le over determining Iraq’s key posts. But this struggle lasts unknowingly longer and still has the possibility to produce another political crisis after Eid as Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian groups start struggling to control best ministerial and state portfolios. Maliki has “constitutionally” less than one month left to form a government.

The Kurds are unlikely to agree to get less than what they had in the previous four years. In the key ministries, they are looking to lead at least either Ministry Foreign Affairs, Finance or Oil. The Sunnis and Shiites are also struggling for these positions as well. Maliki’s group has already warned Sunnis and Kurds that the two ministries of Defense and Interior will be headed by independent people.  Who is independent in Iraq? This is by all means one of the most difficult questions to answer in a politicized country.

Iraq’s recent developments have essentially showed that the democracy building- process in Iraq is hindered by many factors, beginning from U.S., Iran and other neighboring country’s interventions who are attempting to impose their influence and challenge the Iraqis’ voice. Moreover, these interventions have resulted in creating mistrust among the Iraqis, preventing them from forming a government that is able to stabilize the country and provide basic services for the people. One now might rethink whether democracy is ultimately a good answer to Iraq?

Karokh Nuraddin is the managing editor of the International Kurdish Press (IKP), an English-language magazine in Kurdistan. 

 This op-ed was published in www.rudaw.net 
http://bit.ly/dpDmNT