U.S Se­nate watch­ing Iraq

The im­por­tance of an in­clu­sive, demo­cratic Iraq stressed

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Saadula Aqrawi

The US Pres­i­dent has urged the Iraqi Gov­ern­ment to counter the in­creas­ingly ac­tive ter­ror­ist groups in the coun­try, but Pres­i­dent Obama did not of­fer any new mil­i­tary aid to the gov­ern­ment. At the same time, his pro­posed Kur­dish pol­icy stresses the im­por­tance of an in­clu­sive and demo­cratic Iraq.

As an un­ex­pected con­se­quence of the invasion, and of mis­in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the US au­thor­i­ties, the Amer­i­can peo­ple per­spec­tive are in­creas­ingly neg­a­tive about Ge­orge W. Bush’s de­ci­sion to ini­ti­ate an of­fen­sive. That is why US pub­lic opin­ion about the invasion of Iraq has changed sig­nif­i­cantly since the years be­fore the in­cur­sion.

Se­cu­rity con­cerns would top the US agenda for the Iraqi gov­ern­ment through­out the ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress. The US is con­cerned about Iraq’s po­lit­i­cal bal­ance and is likely to ad­dress the Iraqi gov­ern­ment about the cost of ex­clud­ing Sun­nis, Kurds and other eth­nic mi­nori­ties. The bad poli­cies cur­rently be­ing pur­sued by the Iraqi Gov­ern­ment are iden­ti­cal to the poli­cies that drove Iraq to­wards civil war a decade ago. The US fears the same fate could be­fall Iraq once again.

The KRG pro­vides a shin­ing ex­am­ple of a mod­ern fed­eral demo­cratic coun­try. As stip­u­lated by the Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion, Iraq will be di­vided into fed­eral re­gions that will han­dle their own do­mes­tic af­fairs, leav­ing the Bagh­dad cen­tral gov­ern­ment to deal with in­ter­na­tional af­fairs. In an un­usual step, for­eign pol­icy lead­ers in the Se­nate warned that the Iraqi gov­ern­ment may be pulling the coun­try back to­wards civil war.

Lead­ers of the Se­nate De­fense and For­eign Af­fairs com­mit­tees said the Iraqi gov­ern­ment is con­tribut­ing to what the law­mak­ers call an alarm­ing slide to­ward sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence com­pounded by the Syr­ian civil war next door. The Iraqi gov­ern­ment’s mis­man­age­ment of Iraqi pol­i­tics is con­tribut­ing to a re­cent surge in vi­o­lence. They also be­lieve the Iraqi gov­ern­ment is overly dom­i­nated by Iran, and that its mis­treat­ment of the Sun­nis and Kurds is push­ing that mi­nor­ity group to­wards ex­trem­ism.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has tried with­out much suc­cess to fos­ter a more in­clu­sive gov­ern­ment in Bagh­dad. The US Pres­i­dent’s re­quest for more coun­tert­er­ror­ism aid is the other side of this pol­icy. Iraq wants to buy U.S.-made Apache he­li­copters and other equip­ment. The Iraqi gov­ern­ment has stressed its de­sire to pur­chase US equip­ment as a means of strength­en­ing longterm in­sti­tu­tional ties with the United States.

The Iraqi gov­ern­ment has re­port­edly asked for Apache at­tack he­li­copters and other arms from the US. How­ever, the US Pres­i­dent did not an­nounce any new mil­i­tary aid. He be­lieves al-Qaeda has grown more ac­tive in re­cent months, and would like to know how the US can work with the Iraqi gov­ern­ment to push back the ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion that op­er­ates in Iraq, but also poses a threat to the en­tire re­gion and to the United States it­self. The ca­pac­ity of a po­lit­i­cal sys­tem to re­spond to the pref­er­ences of its cit­i­zens is cen­tral to demo­cratic the­ory and prac­tice. In the US, pub­lic opin­ion con­tin­ues to ex­ert a strong and per­sis­tent im­pact on pub­lic pol­icy.

The Kurds and Pres­i­dent Barzani have also stressed that the State of Iraq should achieve the prin­ci­ples de­fined un­der its cur­rent con­sti­tu­tion as an Is­lamic, demo­cratic, fed­eral par­lia­men­tary repub­lic.

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