Thursday, June 10, 2004

The first test.

The Security Council resolution about Iraq was a huge step forward, as besides giving the new Iraqi government the international recognition it need; it will reduce the problems that are facing the coalition and Iraqis in rebuilding Iraq and establishing democracy. One of the benefits of obtaining international legitimacy is that the so-called resistance will no longer be viewed as so by the majority whether outside or inside Iraq.

This is a great achievement for the coalition and Iraqis, and I consider this as an achievement for Iraqis because without their leaders’ efforts and the almost unified support and acceptance of Iraqis for the new government, it would’ve been impossible to make this success.

To give the Iraqi government the legitimacy will certainly weaken the position of those who claim to be defending Iraq by fighting the coalition and turning into a war zone.

However, most Iraqis do not look as excited about it as the rest of the world and this comes because of two reasons; first because Iraqis didn’t look very seriously at this resolution and were mainly concerned with whether the USA will fulfill her promises in allowing the formation of the new government and the authority hand-over. When one recalls that the USA went to topple Saddam without authorization from the Security Council, it becomes comprehensible why Iraqis don’t take the UN and the Security Council that serious, although many of them still want the international community to play a bigger role in the Iraqi scene.

The second point is that as the date of hand-over and the elections get nearer, different ethnic groups are becoming more anxious about the future. In regard to the last resolution, the major players are the Kurds and the conservative Sheát.
These two components of the Iraqi community have suffered the most at the hands of Saddam, and they were not privileged as well during the period when Arab Sunni or powers from outside Iraq ruled Iraq. Their sufferings go back for centuries.

In my opinion, this dispute between the Kurds and the Sheát comes from old fears that although justified psychologically, should not really be considered this much in reality.
Beside that, each one of these parties have their own dreams; the Kurds want independence and the Sheát want as much control as possible in any new government as they think the fact that they’re the majority (55-60% according to most reasonable guesses) gives them this right.
Fears and dreams have been, and still, govern the reactions and future views of the majority of both parts.

I must say I do sympathize greatly with both and I understand their dreams, only I can’t see these dreams as good for anyone, including these parties.
If the Kurds got their independence, the result will weaken the rest of Iraq and will not result in the creation of a strong and prosperous Kurdish state. As we know, this is absolutely unacceptable for Iraq’s neighbors and such state, with no outlet to the sea, limited resources, and hostile environment, is doomed to failure.
However, I do support the Kurdish demands in taking preventive measures against a possible majority dictatorship.

I think that many Sheát and Kurds have understood that there’s no way that these dreams can come true and I’ve noticed also that some are already showing more understanding to the other parties’ rights, fears and dreams and the number of people seeing this reality is increasing everyday, still there are some parties that are trying to take advantage of such emotionally-provoked dreams and use them to strengthen their own positions among their citizens by keeping loyalty to religion and ethnicity.

The scene may look scary now as both parts are holding to their dreams and still earnestly looking to make them come true, since their dreams interfere with each other and with those of other components of the Iraqi society as well.

Still, I'm optimistic about what's happening and I have reasons to be so:
The only fact that the majority of Iraqis are working hard in perusing their dreams shows a lot; it shows that Iraqis, after all, do trust that the USA will hand them the authority despite all what we hear in the media about the "hatred and distrust among Iraqis" when it comes to the USA. It also shows that Iraqis worry but also have hopes and dreams, they're not apathetic and they're dealing actively with what's happening in their country.

The other fact is that neither part did resort or even threaten to use violence to achieve their goals. They didn't go further than demonstrating and showing their disapproval in statements made by their current representatives.

We're witnessing what may be the first real test facing the Iraqis in dealing with their conflicting interests and ambitions. Asking the USA for help or interference will not do as America should not, and will not, interfere with such issue except if that was needed to prevent events from taking a violent course, since the USA is really interested in building a real democracy in Iraq and this can only come through solid agreements among different parts of the Iraqi society that make them work in accordance with each other serving both, their private interests as separate groups and Iraq as a whole.

Again I say that I do sympathize with the She'at's ambitions in having the majority in any future government with preserving the minority's rights and I do support a federal state, although I don't agree with the emotions behind such classifications (ethnic and religious)that separate Iraqis from each other and I don't see any real democracy coming out of it, but it's a temporary state in which all parts need reassurance until they get over their horrid memories and come to see the beauty and benefit of a liberal democracy.And then they will stop seeing themselves as *just* Shea'ts or Kurds and will start to have more faith in their future as Iraqis.

This dispute still carries dangers as there are so many governments and powers that hate to see a true democracy in Iraq and will not spare an effort to further inflame any disagreement or distrust among Iraqis since they have their dreams too, bringing civil war to Iraq. Still Iraqis should settle this issue by themselves and if we fail then it will be our failure and we should deal with it and we'll certainly learn from it what can serve us better in the future.

-By Ali.

(P.s. This is our first post from our home. Thanks a lot to all the good people who made it possible through their donations to help us keep and promote our site.)

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