Iraqi Oil Minister Outspokenly Supports Division of Iraq!
The Iraqi Minister of Oil, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, wrote an article worthy of study and speculation in Al-Adalah newspaper that revealed a deep-rooted sentiment about dissolving the history of the country. Abdul-Mahdi wrote that many countries like Iraq have broken up, whether forcibly or voluntarily; the same is likely to happen to Iraq, he claimed.
Through this assertion, he has expressed understanding about the reality of what’s happening in Iraq much sooner than his colleagues—in fact much sooner than even some Kurdish political parties. He is certainly more astute than other politicians in his desire to return to a discourse on constitutional solutions to the situation given the increasing demands of decentralization by Ramadi, Basrah, and Kurdistan. It’s noteworthy, however, that each area differs in their demands for how self-autonomy might look like.
Desires for increased local (i.e. regional) autonomy are not only held by the Kurds, but also by Sunnis in Ramadi and many in Bas- rah. In the likely event of a Kurdish referendum on independence, a majority of Kurds would undoubtedly support independence from Baghdad. This is not necessarily related to shortsightedness or current sentiments, but rather a final breaking off after the past century’s occupation and tyranny against the Kurds. A new generation wants a free Kurdistan.
The move towards division, new powers, and new decision-making centers is very realistic, not only a pipedream. Kurdistan must work with Baghdad to find a mutually understanding and peaceable solution for leaving Iraq. As Abul-Mahdi wrote: “Division of Iraq has become a natural thing, so discussion in this regard is necessary”.
He is trying to bring forth a real, pragmatic discussion for making the inevitable decision in a way that will prevent violence and other issues. His realism, pragmatism, and open-mindedness, particularly considering his background as a Shiite within Al-Da aqa party, should be lauded.