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Who is responsible for the crisis in “modern Iraq?”

Asos

Asos Hardi

By Asos Hardy* In order to fully comprehend the underlying reason for the current crisis in Iraq, it is important to have a sound understanding of Iraqi politics.

More importantly, it is important to understand past events that have inevitably shaped the country in the last decade. In order to delve into the socio-political dimensions of Iraq — extensive research is required. However, given the lack of extensive research, it will be difficult to review them here. Given that the situation is extremely complex because several events are intertwined — blame should be rightly placed on two men who are accountable for the current crisis by large. Back Obama, President of the United States, and Nuri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq.

Obama removed Iraq from his foreign policy priority and built his campaign on the US-withdrawal from Iraq. When he took office — involvement in Iraq’s internal conflicts were not on his agenda, and he did not oversee the developments. Obama essentially handed over Iraq to Iran and did not prevent Maliki’s sectarian orientated and authoritarian policies. Obama failed to help Iraqi people rebuild their country after the US-led invasion and rebuild their country based on the new constitution.

On the other hand Maliki took advantage of the vacuum the US administration left and exploited Obama’s baggy policies. Instead he used Iran’s support to undermine Iraq’s institution to control strategic positions within the government. He attempted to confront Kurdish people, and his Shiite opponents, consequently his policies destroyed the constitutional infrastructure the United States sacrificed for and built.

The current crisis could be the end of “Modern Iraq” but it is still possible to prevent this from happening. If we were to accept the premise that Obama’s passive policies towards Malik’s authoritarian policies are the main reason behind the current crisis, the solution is to change Obama’s passiveness towards Maliki’s policies. In the recent statements issued by Obama, it was clear that he was concerned about Maliki’s failure towards tackling sectarianism.

United States and Iran could potentially hold a mutual meeting about Iraq and if they agree on replacing Al-Maliki by making the political establishments accessible to all participating parties — including Sunnis, there might be hope for Iraq after all. Without the replacement of Maliki it will not be possible for Iraq to be secure but instead it will delve deeper into a long-lasting sectarian and civil war.

*Asos Hardi is the CEO of Awene Press and Publishing Company. Asos is the winner of Gebran Tueni Award of 2009.

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