From the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)
This document is provided as a service by UNAMI. The material is drawn from non-UN sources and does not reflect the opinions of the United Nations, nor can the UN vouch for its accuracy
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
HEADLINES, Click to follow link
On 24 May, "Barid al-Iraq," a recent contributor to the Islamic Renewal Organization, posted a message claiming that Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi was taken out of Iraq to a neighbouring country for treatment and is now in "a stable condition". The participant claimed that Al-Zarqawi was smuggled in a "complicated operation" after he was wounded by a bullet that penetrated his right lung" He suffered breathing difficulties and was accompanied to the neighbouring country "by a mujahid physician from the Arabian Peninsula and another physician from Sudan ...," the statement said. The Islamic Renewal Organization at 22lajnah22.co.uk/forums is the website of the Saudi dissident group, formerly known as CDLR, based in the United Kingdom and headed by Muhammad al-Mas'ari.
On 23 May, the Basra Net website carried a letter from Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri to "the leadership of the front and its heroic mujahidin". Al-Duri's letter offered encouragement to "deepen persistence, composition, and coordination among all combat elements in the field." He offered greetings to the "dear comrades and brothers of the leadership of the front and its heroic mujahidin" and said that "your resolution has reached me." Al-Duri urged the mujahidin to fight the US at every possible place, time, and opportunity, saying "fight them every hour of the day and night." The Basra Net website at www.albasrah.net posts news of the Iraqi insurgency, operations, and Ba'th Party statements.
The Iraqi List, led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, has condemned the storming of mosques, Husayniyat [Shi'i mosques], and universities, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 24 May. Rasim al-Awwadi, member of the Iraqi National Assembly and representative of the Iraqi List, said that the list strongly condemns the attempts to create sectarianism in Iraq . Al-Awwadi said: "The Iraqi List believes that there is no difference between the Shi'i, Christian, or Sunni, or adherents of any other religions. Loyalty to Iraq is the first and foremost criteria for all Iraqis." (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 24 May 05)
The multinational force has allocated over 156m dollars for the implementation of several projects in the service sector in the province of Diyala , Al-Iraqiyah TV reported on 23 May. The projects are to be jointly carried out with Iraqi engineering teams, Col Steven Salazar, the commander of the multinational force in Diyala said. Salazar said: "Our aim is to open a building or a school, whether revamped or newly built, every week." (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad , in Arabic 23 May 05)
The construction of a specialist cancer hospital for children is under way in Basra and is expected to be completed in a year's time, Al-Iraqiyah TV reported on 23 May. The project is part of a plan to improve health services in the province. (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad , in Arabic 23 May 05)
The trade in security equipment has seen a big boom because of the security situation in the country, Al-Iraqiyah TV reported on 24 May. The TV's reporter said demand has increased for the types of security equipment and systems that were previously limited to government building. (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad , in Arabic 23 May 05)
Five Iraqi civilians, including a child, were killed by gunmen in Al-Hurriyah town of Al-Kut today. A source at Al-Kut Police confirmed that the five were shot dead and that no details on the incident have thus far been known.
Meanwhile, Salamah al-Khafaji, member [of the Iraqi National Assembly], escaped an assassination attempt carried out in southern Baghdad today. This attempt was the fourth in two years, a senior official said. The deputy prime minister [not further identified] who announced the news about the attempt gave no further details. [Video shows aftermath of attack] (Text of report by Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 24 May)
Unidentified men are thought to have assassinated the prayer leader of a mosque in Al-Ghazaliyah, west of Baghdad , who had been missing since the afternoon of 20 May, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 24 May. The TV quoted medical sources as saying that the body of Shaykh Iyad Khalid Muhammad al-Samarra'i, the muezzin (prayer leader) of the Al-Hamzah Mosque, was found near a slaughterhouse in Baghdad 's Al-Shu'lah neighbourhood. A hole was found in his head and torture and mutilation marks were seen on his body, the TV said. The victim's relatives were quoted as saying that his identity papers, money and his car had been stolen.
Unidentified gunmen also attacked Col Adnan Duyan al-Salman, an intelligence officer in the former Iraqi army, in the Al-Shirqat area north of Baghdad late on 23 May. Medical sources in Al-Shirqat were quoted as saying that the man died of his wounds after being taken to hospital. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 0800 gmt 24 May)
At least five police killed in central Baghdad car bomb
A booby-trapped car driven by a suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi police patrol in central Baghdad 's Al-Aliwiyah area on 24 May, killing five patrol members and injuring the rest, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. Among the wounded were several female students, the TV said. Iraqi and US forces condoned off the scene of the attack on Al-Wathiq Square . (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 24 May)
Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV quoted police as saying that six people were killed and at least three wounded by the car bomb. It added that the bomb went off near a girls' school in central Baghdad . (Al-Jazeera TV)
IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES, 24 May 05
Al-Dustur [ Baghdad , independent daily newspaper]
- Sadrists optimistic about mediation, Association of Muslim Scholars proposing national charter of honour (Agencies quoted)
- Maryam al-Rayyis says Hammudi to head constitution-drafting committee, with Ma'sum, Al-Janabi as deputies
- Car bomb detonated in front of Habayibna Restaurant in Baghdad
- Freed Rumanian hostages arrive in Bucharest
- Jalal al-Talabani congratulates Sabaean compatriots (on 'Golden Baptism' day)
- Humam Hammudi: Constitutional committee to include candidates representing
- Association of Muslim Scholars, Sunni Endowment Board
- Iraqi police free two children held by kidnappers in Basra
Al-Mada [ Baghdad , independent daily newspaper published by Al-Mada Corporation for Media, Culture and Art]
- Large-scale operation carried out in and around Abu-Ghurayb to impose law and order, track down suspects Twenty-five booby trap car rigging experts netted by security forces in single month Sixteen suspects detained, including Izzat al-Duri's nephew,
- Al-Zarqawi lieutenant captured in Samarra Detention of suspect in possession of 6m US dollars Joint security plan laid to track down terrorism
- Allocation of 100m Iraqi Dinars in aid to marsh dwellers
- No ransom paid for release of kidnapped journalists, says Rumanian president (AFP quoted)
- Four car bombs go off in Baghdad , Kirkuk , Samarra
- Release of Ghazi al-Ubaydi confirmed by citizens, denied by officials
- Car bomb explodes in Al-Wahda quarter, wide-scale clashes erupt, taking toll on civilians as student at College of Education abducted in Mosul
Al-Mashriq [ Baghdad , independent international daily newspaper]
- Al-Zarqawi group claims responsibility for assassination of PM aide
- Iran agrees to give back Iraqi airliners
- Damascus releases thirty-six students suspected of planning to head for Iraq
- Police in Wasit arrest woman who has reportedly slaughtered three women abducted by gunmen
- US military intends to have troops stationed at four big bases in Iraq (AFP quoted)
- Two hundred and eighty five people detained in large-scale operation in Abu-Ghurayb (AFP quoted)
- Integrity Commission denies having issued arrest warrants against seven ex-ministers
- Publication of Saddam photos immoral act, says member of United Iraqi Alliance
- Sudanese government asserts willingness to facilitate repatriation of Sudanese subjects now resident in Iraq
Al-Mu'tamar [ Baghdad , comprehensive daily newspaper published by the Iraqi National Congress]
- Two housing complexes to be built to house 1.5 million citizens
- Al-Chalabi to head special contract endorsement commission
- Criticizing Al-Dari's statements, official spokesman (for Iraqi government) exonerates Sunnis from terrorist operations (Al-Hayat)
- Contesting chairmanship of constitution drafting committee, Kurds insinuating intention to take long leave from national assembly (Al-Hayat)
- Al-Sadr: We have gone a long way towards containing the dispute between the Badr Organization and the Association of Muslim Scholars (Al-Hayat)
- Allawi reveals Saddam's regime had connections with Al-Zawahiri, Al-Zarqawi
Al-Adalah [ Baghdad , general political daily newspaper published by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq ]
- Sayyid al-Hakim visits prime minister to discuss vital issue facing Iraq
- King Abdallah optimistic about eventual end to terrorism in Iraq (KUNA quoted)
- Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi inaugurates introduction of credit cards to Iraqi banking system
- New civil service law for university teaching staff to come into effect soon
- Implementation of electronic government envisioned to do away with routine, corruption (Agencies quoted)
Al-Shahid al-Mustaqil [ Baghdad , general weekly newspaper]
- Al-Sadr stems sectarian war in Iraq
- Al-Chalabi offering bribe in return for having his dossier closed
- Tariq Aziz lawyer's sons kidnapped
- Allawi taking his first steps back to power
- Rice orders government to disband de-Ba'thification committee
- Americans steal documents on Saddam from his lawyer
- Americans face the music after publication of Saddam's prison photos
Al-Watan [ Baghdad , general daily newspaper published by the Iraqi National Movement]
- Al-Watan poll shows 65 per cent of Iraqis in favour of presidential system with president having prime minister's powers
- Ali Abu-Dima in custody of Interior Ministry,
- Al-Yawar's nephew implicated in ties with armed group (Al-Rafidayn quoted)
- Ninety female officers tackling security missions
- British expert accuses US of committing cultural holocaust in Iraq
- Armenian ethnic minority wishing for secular Iraqi constitution
- Iraq , Syria sign memorandum of understanding on marine transport cooperation
- International conference to help Iraqis write constitution
"It was very elating really to listen to cheers of 'Long live justice' being shouted loud and clear in the courtroom by the families of the defendants, as their kinsmen in the dock received the death sentence for having committed the ignoble crime of killing innocent Iraqis under the false banner of a 'holy war' - a pretext too thin to cover up the baseness of the terrorists' motives or the viciousness of their anti-Iraq manipulators."
"One cannot but wonder at the way some have rushed to classify terror victims according to sect. How would you expect such people to classify the living then? The simple fact is that those who are being blown up everyday by the indiscriminate terror machine are neither Shi'i nor Sunnis, but innocent Iraqis, and should be categorized only as such."
IRAQI PRESS COMMENT, 24 May 2005
Al-Da'wah carries on page 2 a 350-word article by Rasim Qasim urging the government to be more decisive in implementing its decisions. The writer says that several senior officials have refused to obey orders, creating chaotic situations and encouraging terrorism.
Al-Da'wah publishes on page 3 a 400-word column by Hadi Jalu Mar'i criticizing French foreign policies towards the Middle East region, especially the closing of Al-Manar satellite television channel and the recent statements by French political figures supporting the Mojahidin-e-Khalq Organization.
Sawt al-Ahali publishes on page 3 a 1,000-word article by Ahmad Sami Dakhil , member of the National Democratic Party's Central Committee, discussing the importance of implementing social reforms to ensure the success of the ongoing political process and democracy in Iraq .
Sawt al-Ahali publishes on page 3 a 700-word article by Fawzi al-Birisam entitled "Solutions for Iraqi Democrats' Calamity". The writer says although two years have passed since the fall of the former regime on 9 April, 2004 , the democratic, liberal and leftist political forces are still confused and incapable of establishing a base in Iraq .
Al-Bayan publishes on page 4 a 600-word column by Zaynab al-Khafaji commenting on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari's recent visit to Turkey , during which Iraq and Turkey agreed to begin a new era of bilateral relations based on trust and mutual interests. The writer urges all other neighbouring countries to react positively to the democratic changes in Iraq in order to ensure stability and security in the region.
Al-Bayan publishes on page 3 a 500-word article by Khayri al-Qarawi saying regardless of how it was done, the downfall of the former dictatorial regime in Iraq has marked the birth for a new era in the history of totalitarian regimes in the world in general and in the Middle East region in particular. The writer urges the leaders in the region to be brave and quickly implement reforms and establish democracy to keep up the momentum of changes.
Al-Bayan publishes on page 3 a 1,000-word article by Rashid al- Khayyun discussing the impact of the rehabilitation of southern marshes, which had been drained by the former regime, on the life and economy of the citizens in the southern region in Iraq .
Al-Adalah runs on page 6 a 700-word article by Sa'id al-Wa'ili criticizing the writers and artists who "praised and glorified" Saddam Husayn's tyrannical regime. The author calls on Iraqi writers and artists to "adopt a code of honour which forbids them from praising any political leader to prevent the emergence of a new dictatorship".
Al-Sabah al-Jadid publishes on page 1 a 400-word editorial by chief editor Isma'il Zayir commenting on the "cruelty of the violence-oriented tyranny" of Saddam Husayn's regime. The writer says that the former regime "curbed all kinds of freedom and turned the Iraqi people's lives into hell". Zayir calls on Iraqis to "build a new Iraq with organization and selflessness, and not just with optimism and faith".
Al-Ufuq carries on page 1 a 400-word editorial criticizing the senior Iraqi officials for "warmly welcoming" Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and "acquitting" Iran of any responsibility for the eight-year war and its current interference in Iraq's internal issues.
Al-Furat publishes on page 5 a 2,000-word article by Naji Akiri discussing the delay in the formation of the new Kurdistan government, calling on the Kurdish political leaders to "adopt solidarity as the best means to political stability".
Tariq al-Sha'b publishes on page 9 a 600-word article by Rida al-Zahi r commenting on the daily crimes targeting the Iraqi people, and wondering why the United States has "failed" to put an end to this tragic situation.
Al-Mada publishes on the front page an 850-word editorial entitled "Against Terrorism, Against Sectarianism," saying that there are two issues of extraordinary importance that have been created by the latest sectarian crisis, the first is the empowerment of national firms and the second is defending the public from "slaughter" irrespective of whether they are Sunnis, Shi'is, Kurds, or Christians.
Al-Dustur publishes on the front page a 450-word editorial by chief editor Basim al-Shaykh commenting on the recent trial of three terrorists who have been sentenced to death, and praising the stance of the terrorists' families who supported the judgments and confirmed that they agree to the sentences issued against their "sinful sons".
IRAQI BROADCAST MEDIA HEADLINES, 24 May 05
Programme summary of Iraq 's Al-Iraqiyah TV news 24 May 05
- Vice-President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi meets visiting Dutch minister of state. Video report covers talks over Dutch-sponsored conference on Iraq , Mahdi saying clerics have key role to avert sectarian strife, Deputy Prime Minister Rozh Nuri Shawes in talks with Indian officials over reconstruction. ( 3:44 )
- National Assembly discusses security, other issues. Video report
- National Assembly member Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim denies differences between Badr organization and Association of Muslim Scholars. Video report covers his comments saying Sunni Arabs should contribute to writing of constitution. (0:53)
- Minister of the Interior Bayan Baqir Solagh appeals for national unity during meeting with Sunni Arab leaders. Video report (0:30)
- Car bomb kills two, injures six; three multinational soldiers killed in Baghdad Video report covers violence across Iraq . ( 2:22 )
- Studio interview with Adil Abd-al-Rahim from the Islamic Da'wah Movement. He says foreign, Arab and Iraqi powers stand behind attempts to sow the seeds of a sectarian strife.
- Cabinet spokesman Laith Qubah says security forces have arrested hundreds of terror suspects. Video report covers his comments saying explosive-producing lab found. ( 2:28 )
- Clan chiefs, politicians call for punishing inciters to sectarian strife. Video report covers conference on national solidarity, participants supporting cabinet.
- Clan chiefs in Ziqar express support for cabinet. Video report covers meeting, condemnation of terrorism. ( 1:50 )
- Security Council receives report on Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon .
- Israeli-Palestinian meeting held in Tel Aviv fruitless. Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas to hold talks in Washington . (0:44)
- American and Afghan presidents sign partnership agreement. Video report
- Business bulletin. Financial committee set up to oversee government purchases. Boats used in fuel smuggling seized in Basra . Report on infrastructure projects in Arbil. Indonesian oil firm to develop Iraq oil fields.
- President Jalal Talabani has just received memo on terrorist activities in Tal-afar submitted by Turkoman MPs.
- Abu-Musa'b al-Zarqawi may have been injured in security raid - website.
Programme summary of Iraq 's Al-Sharqiyah TV news 24 May 05
- Car blast in Baghdad kills three US soldiers
- Yesterday's explosion in northern Iraq kills dozens of Iraqis
- Coalition forces storm areas near Al-Mosul to arrest suspected armed men
- Suicide blast targets police convoy in Baghdad , two police killed
- Iraqi court reissues arrest warrant for official in former regime of Saddam Husayn released by former government for health reasons
- Iraqi police arrest six people suspected of involvement in violence, cache of weapons found
- Oil official says no oil pumped through northern pipeline since Friday
- Unknown assailants assassinate mosque cleric in Baghdad , signs of torture on his body
- Armed group attack former intelligence official
- Increase in wave of assassinations points to a "neighbouring" country's involvement in attacks
- Member of the Iraq 's constitutional committee says all Iraqi factions will be involved in the writing of the new constitution
- International committee says there was serious mishandling of oil receipts by Iraqi governments since 2003
- The coalition headed by the former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi condemns the storming of mosques and all sectarian violence and incidents
UPDATES FROM THE KURDISH PERSS, 24 May 2005
Peyamner - Kurdistan News Agency
- About 250 persons staged a demonstration in Tiseen quarter of Kirkuk Monday afternoon demanding the Iraqi authorities to stop resealing arrested Baathisits and terrorist. Most of the demonstrators were Arabs affiliated to the [Shiite] Badr Organization.
- A terrorist explosion in a suburb of Kurds and Turcomans in Talafar west of Mosul killed 35 and wounded another 25 citizens Monday evening. The terrorists launched RBG rockets at the houses of two citizens in the quarter but the selling did not cause any harm. When people gathered to see what was happening, two cars planted with explosives intruded the crowd and blew up killing this large number of people, a Kurdish journalist heading Mosul Branch of Kurdistan Journalists Union said.
- The security department in Sulaymanya refuted allegation that said it has captured a terrorist band of Ansar-ul-Islam that reportedly infiltrated into the ranks of the border police. The department said that it did not capture any terrorist band recently.
- The food department in Sulaymanya denied suspension of food ration supply to the citizens but admitted that there were delay in the provision of many items, for which the Iraqi trade ministry to be blamed.
- Iraqi Senior Deputy PM Rozh Shawais invited a high delegation of Arab Sunni tribesmen for discussion on the Iraqi political process. The meeting participants reiterated the need for greater participation of Sunni Arabs in constitution drafting, in addition to preparations for the next elections and easing down the prevailing tension between Sunni and Shiite Arabs.
- Kirkuk city becomes more risky for Kurdish journalists, who have been receiving threats through telephone or letters to abandon their jobs or face death. In this context, a Kurdish journalist working for the KDP media in Kirkuk escaped an abduction attempt by a number of armed men on the eve of Saturday. Last week also,, two correspondents working in Daquq and Kirkuk for Bassera weekly received separate threatening letters demanding them to quit their jobs or get ready for death. The director of the KDP’s Voice of Kurdistan radio station in Kirkuk survived an assassination attempt the previous week when unidentified gunmen shot at his bedroom in a Kirkuk suburb. In the last two months, two Kurdish journalists were killed in Kirkuk ; Laiq Kakayee who worked for the KDP’s Kurdistan satellite TV and Saman Abdulla of the PUK’s KURDsat TV in Kirkuk .
- A joint delegation of KRG-Erbil ministries of health and agriculture is visiting Lebanon for participation in a scientific symposium on health and environment.
- In an effort to change the health care provision system in Kurdistan Region, KRG-Sulaymanya Deputy PM Emad Ahmed chaired a joint meeting of the ministries of higher education and scientific research, social affairs and heath. A high committee to be headed by the deputy PM was established to carry out the transformation to the new system, according to which all the health centers at the Region would provide 24-hour ‘complete medical service’, Health Minster Muhammed Qador told the daily. Currently only 50 health centers out of about 500 are providing round-clock medical service, the minister confirmed adding that there would be no budgetary problems in shifting to the new system. He also complained that the federal Iraqi health ministry was not cooperative in providing Kurdistan Region health institutions with medical devices and supplies.
- The Iraqi ministries reappoint dismissed Baathisits to their jobs in Kirkuk , head of the de-Baathification commission in Kirkuk Irfan Kirkukli complained. Out of 1259 out-posted senior Baathists in Kirkuk , 522 were re-appointed to the education department, Kirkukli added bitterly.
- Constitution’s Content Can't Be Dictated By The Majority
By Aso Kerim
- In the past few days the Iraq National Assembly set up a committee comprised of 55 members of parliament to draft the constitution, 28 members of which are from the Shi’i Coalition List, in other words the make up the majority of the committee. It is seems that the constitution, which is set to be completed on 15th August of this year and then it will be put to the Iraqi people in a referendum in October, will be drafted in line with Interim Iraqi State Administration Law.
- So far it has not yet been determined who will become the head of the committee. For its part, the Kurdistan Alliance List has nominated Dr Fu’ad Ma’sum to the post, while the Shi’i Coalition has put forward one of its member Humam Mahmud. Hence, if it is put to vote the candidate of the Shi’i List will certainly win, and it should be understood that it will show the draft constitution to the Highest Religious Authority even before it has been ratified and put to the people.
- However, the Kurdistan Alliance list will not approve of this and will reject it, according to Article 61 of the Interim Iraqi State Administration Law, which stipulates that the constitution should be drafted on the basis of harmony between all sides. Otherwise if it is put to a general referendum and two third of voters from three governorates do not approve of it the draft will be rejected. Then, the Iraqi National Assembly will dissolve and new elections will be held and the process will be spin in this circle. Thus, there is no way other than drafting the constitution on the principle of harmony but from two premises: The first one is ethnic classification, because there are two main ethnic groups that live in Iraq that in turn is made up of two regions, South Kurdistan and Arab Iraq. Thus, the principle of equality between nations should be applied in rights, destiny-shaping decision irrespective of who is in the majority or minority, and should be based on a voluntary union of the two along with other ethnic minorities in the country. All these have to be enshrined in the constitution. The second premise: classification on the basis of creed or article of faith, in other words, the Shi’i and Sunni. Since the Sunnis are a minority as compared to Shi’is, they should not be forgotten and their aspirations and rights should not be overlooked.
- The society of Iraq is one that has been divided along these lines in the past which gave rise to discrimination and bloody conflict, and this fact is the essence of ethnic and sectarian polarization which has been vividly reflected in the elections. This is why the process in Iraq should begin with national reconciliation which is inherit in the system of harmony and by recognizing the interests of each of the main constituents, in the administration of the country, in the parliament and in drafting the constitution. The Shi’i Coalition should know and take into consideration these realities. It seems that the US, as was seen from recent visit by Condoleezza Rice to Kurdistan and Iraq, attaches great importance to the issue of drafting the constitution and work in the principle of harmony between all sides and the role of Kurds, as a main constituent in Iraq, who gravitate towards bringing about stability, peace and democracy to Iraq, as well as respecting human rights and peace with their neighbours.
- It is true the commission drafting the constitution is made up of parliamentarians but there should also be among them representatives of Iraq’s three main constituents, Kurds, Shi’i and Sunni Arabs who all need to feel they are part of drafting the constitution. Furthermore, it is also important to take the opinion and views of representatives of all lists and other political forces from inside and outside the parliament about civil institutions and should be debated in the media before it is put to referendum. In many countries like ours, the issue of drafting the constitution is made by the participation of all, especially those who had conflict who after many years of bloody strife found an equitable way for coexistence and have put an end to repression, oppression and injustice.
- After many years of apartheid, oppression and tyranny the people of South Africa drafted a new resolution in 1993, while the people of Ethiopia after setting up a federalist republic in 1994 also drafted their new constitution. By the same token, Iraqis should do the same. The naiive views the Shi’i list has towards the style of democracy, from the premise that there is a majority bloc and a minority bloc, and in the daily work of the government and administration and in drafting the constitution, is not good for Iraq . The style of democracy which they are suggesting will not bring prosperity, stability, happiness and progress to Iraqi people.
- Saddam was removed in order to put an end to oppression, discrimination and dictatorship. Hence, before anything else, a democratic and federal state can only be realized by fraternal power sharing.
- Why is it not possible to have a united Iraq ?
By: Karwan Abdollah, The Globe
- It is obvious that an acute crisis and deep national uncertainty has been created ever since the collapse of the former Iraqi regime. This has come about because the will of the people has been ignored, while preference has been given to establishing a state and forcing its people into an involuntary union that for the most part is not what they really want. Therefore, anomalous situation has been created.
- Over the years the people of Kurdistan have made it known, through their national and patriotic political movement and their unique ethnic culture, they want an end to this state. However, we see that the demands for these rights are being answered in a very harsh way. Ever since the day this state came into existence it has shown a continuous racist attitude towards the Kurdistani nation. In short, preserving the unity of the state of Iraq at all cost meant dictatorship by either groups or individual against the Kurds.
- Have politicians set the course for a united Iraq ? What good has Iraq really brought about, other than to initiate numerous regional wars, declare a direct war against the people of Kurdistan , implement a policy of mass graves, chemical bombardment and the Anfal operation?
- At a time when Iraq could have been an affluent and prosperous country because it is home to one of the largest oil reserves in the world, it has been turned into a country of tragedies, misery, and poverty. Towards the end of Saddam’s reign the oppression of this dictatorial state reached an unacceptable level. Then once Saddam was removed from power the state collapsed. The question is this: Has this mentality which has been in existence since the establishment of the state 80 years ago changed, learned any lessons and become any wiser from the bloody and bitter experiences of the past? Will it be possible to rebuild the state if the same sort of rules and mentality continue to exist? The history of the past 80 years relations with Kurdistan region, which was forcibly attached to the Arab part of Iraq, have shown that the people of Kurdistan do not want this type of relationship as long as this type of mentality continues to exist and it will mean the conflict will not end and it will only worsen and deepen. In addition, if this mentality continues to prevail then the tendency towards belonging to Kurdistan will strengthen and believing in Kurdistaniness will only continue to grow.
- At present, the Arab governing elite is in the midst of a crisis of civilization and philosophical turmoil, and it is not likely that they would want to pursue democracy as an alternative to their present political situation. This is why the people of Kurdistan have the right to grab this historic opportunity in order to take a stance against the mentality of the Arab elite. The Kurdistani people should only be prepared to rebuild this state on one condition that is the permanent constitution should clearly outline the rights of the people of Kurdistan including the right to self-determination and the establishment of their own state.
- This is the only way the state that can guarantee that the Kurdistani citizenry will belong and associate with it. Otherwise, we along with all other citizens and ethnic groups in this new state will feel like foreigners and we would not have any inclination to be a part of Iraq . In this case, the people of Kurdistan have the right to reject this state and to choose another path.
NB: This is not an official document. The information contained therein was compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq , Information Office.
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