How can Iraq be re-unified?
In the middle of July, the Iraqi Parliament held its meeting and elected the parliament Presidency Board (a Sunni as a Speaker, a Kurd and a Shiite as Deputies). This is a clear deception of democracy. Because while electing the first deputy of the Speaker, who is a Shiite, their representatives shouted protesting against Ahmad Chalabi’s nomination for the post. Chalabi is a Shiite too in Mwahidoon bloc. His opponents said that his nomination is not possible as they had already agreed on who was going to be elected. They are doing something that they think no one knows about. However, all the scenarios and agreements are known by ordinary people on the street.
It is doubtful if this process could normalize the political turmoil and moving forward to an agreement on naming the president and the prime minster with their deputies. We should also bear in mind that among all these people holding the posts in the past eight years, power was uniquely and practically held and exercised by PM Nuri al-Maliki single-handedly. What has caused already to raise a new question is that after nominating the Speaker of the Parliament, al-Maliki stated that “the will-be-Iraqi-President, who will be a Kurd, must work on maintaining law and order, the unity of Iraq, a person that should not exceed the Iraqi law and constitution, and have the total belief in the unity of the Iraqi soil.” Actually in the past few years, the only party in the Iraqi Presidency, Government and the Parliament that have practically worked to sustain security and political coexistence and maintaining a unified Iraq have been Kurdish representatives. Sunnis and Shias are the main factor behind the deteriorating situation of Iraq. They have moved towards the destruction of Iraq, especially Nuri al-Maliki who wants to hide the fact of his political and governing failure by attacking the Kurdistan Region.
The bitter reality is that according to Iraq's PM the prime and direct source of Iraqi crises does not seem to be ISIS, terrorist groups, radical Islamists and Sunnis, or former Saddam Hussein’s affiliated and Baathist members, but the Kurds. Al-Maliki has chosen the military option to solve his problems. He accuses his opponents of destroying Iraq. Moreover, he has punished the Kurdish people by cutting their budget. He has not done anything to make the parties return to the Constitution. Al-Maliki has duped his Shiite loyalists under the pretext of standing against the ISIS into fighting his own opponents from both the Shiaas and the Sunnis. These are the real risks over the future of Iraq.
They internal and external parties who want to re-unify the disintegrated Iraq are wrong, because those parties only can do that by creating a totalitarian authority. They can rebuild a new unified Iraq through oppression and killing. They will rebuild a hellish Iraq as before. But the Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani said in an official meeting in Erbil last week with the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran: “We’re not staying in the fire of sectarian radicalism and false governing of Iraq. The reason behind every problem in Iraq is related to the culture of self-imposing, totalitarianism and the wrong governing of affairs. We’ve warned Bagdad of the terror threats but they didn’t take it seriously, and after their failure they intended to cover their failure by accusing the Kurdistan Region.”
So, how Iraq can be rebuilt while those who rule in Baghdad instead of admitting their mistakes and stepping down they accuse the peaceful Kurdistan Region as the reason behind their self-created hell. By implementing such policy they trigger racism and enmity against Kurdistan. Neither the US nor Britain can limit the far reaching influence of Iran and other Arab countries on the developments. In addition, they don’t want to pretend to know anything either. On the contrary, by intending to maintain Iraq united, they sacrifice the rights of the main victim of the Sykes-Picot agreement, namely the Kurds.
We know that the Sunnis, who are supported by Sunni Arab countries, are standing against Shiaa’s power. Some other countries, under the pretext of being nationalist Arabs, lament the disintegration of Iraq. For example, Egypt considers Kurds as a threat and Syria considers ISIS as a menace.
Turkey’s relations have developed with Southern Kurdistan and the Kurdish leadership. The two countries work together as allies to the US and the West in the strategic decisions in the region and combating terrorism. They’ll be two major parties in sustaining the stability in the area and sheltering thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. They’ll also try to maintain neutrality and supporting those whose rights are violated. Even further, there’s a mutual political and economical understanding between them about the future of Kirkuk and determining the future of people living in the area and the Article 140. So it’s normal that the Iraqi Turcomen will no longer have concerns regarding their situation in Kurdistan.
The main question is: what kind of Iraq do Maliki’s colleagues and some Arab countries and Iran want? Will they turn a blind eye to ISIS and radical groups’ crimes for the sake of preventing a Kurdish state? Is it OK if Kirkuk is controlled by a terrorist ISIS from Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon and Afghanistan? While the Kurds must be punished because they have developed their peaceful region and eliminated the threats from terrorists in the area?
The second question is: has al-Maliki been practically able to stay in power? What kind of Kurd does he want to be Iraq'si President? We should bear in mind that any Kurdish representative going to Baghdad should shoulder the post of presidency after an approval by the Kurdish political parties. This is according to a decision by the Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. At the same time, Nuri al-Maliki doesn’t have the right to talk about the personality of the Kurdish representatives. The person that is appointed according to Baghdad’s standards will be a weak, untrustworthy, deviant and will be the representative of al-Maliki, not Kurdistan.
We may ask: does America want the Kurds to have a positive role in the Arab crises of Iraq? Iran has the same intention too. The main question is that how far the Kurdish parties in this era, which is an important milestone in Kurdish history, trust the classical mentality of Baghdad. It is a well-tried mentality of aggravating crises instead of solving them. I’m a pessimist in this regard. The Iraqi reality is pitch dark. There’s no light for any harmonious coexistence in a democratic, peaceful and free Iraq.