Finding a Political Solution

From Raed in the Middle

Iraqis need a political solution

Nadim al-Jabiri is a professor of political science at Baghdad University, a member of Iraq’s parliament, and the head of the Islamic Virtue Party (Al-Fadhila). Here is a piece he sent me about the latest surge:

“Despite the overwhelming demands of the majority of Americans and Iraqis to end the war and occupation of Iraq, and despite the Baker-Hamilton report’s recommendations for de-escalation, President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki are designing a new “surge” targeting the Iraqi capital.

Many Iraqis welcomed the first few steps President Bush took following the release of the Baker-Hamilton report recommendations, like pressuring Mr.
Al-Maliki to include more Sunnis in the government, reconsidering the de-Baathification process, and re-evaluating the laws for distributing oil revenue. But the current Bush-Maliki plan for attacking Baghdad shows that the Baker-Hamilton report was not taken seriously enough. In fact, the new Bush-Maliki strategy is the polar opposite of that report’s major recommendations.

The new Bush-Maliki plan includes sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, mostly to Baghdad, and sending more Iraqi troops, mostly from the Kurdish militia “Peshmerga,” to Baghdad.

Increasing the U.S. troops will show Iraqis that the U.S. administration is against setting a timetable for withdrawing all the occupation forces. This will both increase and legitimize the Iraqi armed resistance to the occupation even more, and it will destroy all the other non-violent options. In addition, this will put an end to the participation of many Iraqi groups in the ongoing political process, because people like us will lose faith in achieving our goals and getting our country back through diplomacy.

Sending the Peshmerga, the Iraqi Kurdish militia, to fight Iraqi Arabs will activate other militias and justify forming even more militias in the middle and south of Iraq. This could lead to increasing the civil violence, and might even spark an Arab-Kurd civil war that will be added to the current civil conflict that was fueled by the destruction of the Shia Shrines in Samarra in February of last year.

The current political plan of President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki in establishing a US-backed coalition that includes the few Shia and Sunni parties that are justifying the occupation and working to divide Iraqi into three separate regions will do nothing other than increase the violence and confirm sectarian divisions.

Iraqi political groups like Al-Fadila party, Al-Sadr movement, the National Dialogue Front, the Reconciliation and Liberation Front, and many other Sunnis, Shias, Kurd, and Turkoman groups can’t see any chance for this Bush-Maliki plan to succeed. Because, unlike our plans, this plan is not based on a political solution that can put Iraqis together in building a non-sectarian government that aims to stabilize Iraq and end any foreign intervention.”

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