The preparatory Cairo conference for reconciliation ended with a final statement that came at the last minutes after there were doubts an agreement on one could be reached if not for the Arabic language that is pretty good at twisting and playing on the meanings of texts.
The conference itself is viewed as an accomplishment for the Arab League let alone reaching a final statement that satisfied all parties without much troubles.
In my opinion, the Iraqi parties had originally joined the meeting to show that they’re not against a national reconciliation or against what can solve the crisis in Iraq. Of course this does not apply to all the parties as with the presence of extreme trends on both ends of the spectrum, it was natural that a middle trend will emerge to approximate the extremes and this middle trend was born in Iraq and found its place in this conference and tried to deter the rivals from marginalizing each other in order to find a middle way.
The statement was decorated with a call to put a timetable for foreign troops withdrawal and this part was the focus of the talks while it is a quite technical issue that cannot be solved by Iraqi politicians as the final word will be in the hands of the elected government that is yet to come and this is the only entity that will have the right to speak on behalf of the Iraqi people.
We heard a similar sort of talks prior to January elections and many parties held the slogan of ending “the occupation” but after the elected representatives sat to figure out what to do most of them found that asking the troops to leave would be in no one’s interest so they found themselves asking the UN to let the troops stay for another couple of years instead of asking them to leave.
Again, this issue is a technical one and speeches mean almost nothing and I’m positive that whoever is to be elected next month will realize the complexity of the situation especially when it comes to building Iraqi forces capable of preserving security.
Some try to overlook regional and international balances and forget that Iraq is part of these balances and they even try to ignore the resolutions of the UN and Security Council forgetting that they also are part of this system which they’re going to rely on for one thing or another sooner or later.
What we actually need is to encourage the reasonable middle trend that weighs things by interests and logic, not emotions and mood and does not use a use that boring poetic language when discussing a technical task.
Anyway, I think this conference is going to change very little from the situation on the ground; those who endorse and practice violence do not really seek legitimacy from this or that conference.
But there are still a few good things that came out of this meeting as this is the first time since the fall of the past regime when the Arab League denounces Saddam’s regime opening the door for discrediting more dictatorships in the future.
Second there was a condemnation for media networks that were asked to lower their tone a bit and to stop saying things that might create hatred or encourage sectarian or ethnic differences and this call addressed both, Arabic and Iraqi media that is serving certain partisan interests.
Other than the above, nothing is worth mentioning and I feel that this conference isn’t going to make tomorrow different from yesterday.
I trust elections way more that I trust such events sponsored by a dying league. If we want to improve our conditions then we (Iraqis) must first think well before making our choice this time.
I say it again, those who claim they speak for all or most Iraqis and that troops withdrawal is a public demand should enter the election and wait for the results and when he wins, then he will have the right to say so because only then, he would be representing the people.