Monday, January 18, 2010


Several hundred candidates from about a dozen political blocs will reportedly be banned from Iraq's upcoming general elections in March.

The problem with this decision is that it seriously threatens to pull Iraq back to the political and security instability of several years ago, when boycotts and political sidelining put the country on the road to civil war.

The selective enforcement of law is not justice. It is also outrageous when the entity in charge of enforcing the "justice and accountability law" is led by a terror suspect.

Ali Faisal Al-Lami, the current head of the commission that issued the ban admitted that he supports one of the most notorious Iran-sponsored armed militias in Iraq.

To appoint a "reconciled" terrorist facilitator in a position where he judges who's qualified to run for office and who's not is a disaster. Whether Mutlaq and the other 500 candidates deserve to be banned or not is now irrelevant.

If the "justice and accountability law" is to be enforced, it should be enforced impartially on all Iraqi parties that have had a role in violence, before and after 2003 alike. Otherwise the law must be revised, suspended or, discarded altogether. After all, having two separate penal codes in one country does not foster justice and rule of law.

The ban has inflamed suspicions that the "justice and accountability law" is about exterminating the Sunni Arab constituent from political life to serve the Maliki's ambitions and Iran's interests--it is not about justice.

Since the surge began in 2007, Americans and Iraqis paid an immense price in blood and treasure to defeat our mutual enemies and make progress happen. We cannot allow this progress to be undone.

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