Strong Pro­pa­ganda, Weak Re­al­ity

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

Af­ter of­fi­cially start­ing op­er­a­tion to re­take the city of Mo­sul, it seems the Iraqi army can­not even con­trol the nearby coun­try­side, let alone the city of Mo­sul. It’s been a month since the op­er­a­tion be­gan and yet the Iraqi govern­ment sol­diers still haven’t been able to con­trol a few vil­lages near Makhmour, even with coali­tion air sup­port and Pesh­merga pro­tect­ing them from be­hind the front­lines. Yet, in all this, Prime Min­is­ter Al-Ab­badi has filled the air­waves with strong pro­pa­ganda—at­tempts to dis­tract from the real sit­u­a­tion.

Al-Ab­badi hasn’t been able to de­feat ISIS in An­bar and there is news of se­ri­ous star­va­tion in Fal­lu­jah as a re­sult of Iraqi army’s siege and ISIS’s ter­ror. Some won­der if the Iraqi govern­ment it­self may use this star­va­tion as re­venge to the peo­ple of Fal­lu­jah who con­sider them­selves a sym­bol of armed strug­gle against the US Mil­i­tary and Iraqi govern­ment af­ter 2003.

Al-Ab­badi’s claim to solve the prob­lems by form­ing a tech­no­crat govern­ment has been so strongly ap­plauded that both McGurk and Qas­sim Sulaimani have beefed up their sup­port for the Prime Min­is­ter. This is un­wise at a time de­te­ri­o­rates mil­i­tar­ily and con­tin­ues to col­lapse eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally. Iraq is func­tion­ally di­vided into three sep­a­rate forces. In­stead of solv­ing fun­da­men­tal, ac­tual prob­lems, Al-Ab­badi is tak­ing ad­van­tage of the cri­sis, draw­ing in­ter­na­tional sup- port, and cre­at­ing an im­age for him­self of the man of re­form who alone can save Iraq from her crises.

Al-Ab­badi’s makes strong re­marks to the me­dia. But ac­tu­ally lib­er­at­ing Mo­sul needs mil­i­tary and lead­er­ship prow­ess that goes far­ther than a TV in­ter­view. There must be a com­plete over­haul of the man­ner of gov­ern­ing if po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic prob­lems would get ad­dressed. Al Ab­badi has proven he isn’t ready for this, nei­ther will a change in a “tech­no­crat” govern­ment change this. Rather than see­ing an over­haul of the po­lit­i­cally bank­rupt sys­tem, we are only wit­ness­ing a change of faces. Shi­iti­za­tion re­mains as strong as ever.

Although Al Ab­badi’s po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated words about form­ing a tech­no­cratic govern­ment sounds nice, his prac­ti­cal steps re­flect him build­ing power around him­self. De­spite push back from the po­lit­i­cal par­ties, Ab­badi presses on, claim­ing to wipe away all bar­ri­ers to his po­lit­i­cal dream. In the end, he is the fore­most of un­suc­cess­ful tech­nocrats and should re­sign. He has failed mil­i­tar­ily and eco­nom­i­cally. Po­lit­i­cally he has es­ca­lated ten­sions be­tween Kurds, Shias, and Sun­nis. The so­lu­tion isn’t more strong words on the me­dia, but to ac­tu­ally do the work of gov­ern­ing and rec­og­nize re­al­i­ties on the ground (that a three-re­gion so­lu­tion may be best). More ac­tion and less talk, Ab­badi.

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