Readings 397 Section: Perspectives 09/10/2020 12:23
The division of Iraq is a scenario that is still on the table
Baghdad / Obelisk:
Khaled Alawi Al-Ardawi
It is not new to talk about the project to divide Iraq in the regional and international political arena, as many decision-making circles have discussed it with research, analysis, preaching or warning, and the project has come close to realization after the terrorist organization ISIS took control of large parts of Iraq and Syria after mid-2014.
Defeating this organization militarily and regaining the lands that it controlled, in addition to the prevailing local, regional and international variables were factors of curbing unhelpful to the success of this project or proceeding on the way to achieving it during the past period.
But silence about the project does not mean that it is completely absent from the agendas of some decision-making circles in Tel Aviv, Washington and other relevant capitals, and it is still a dream in the minds of some Iraqi leaders who reject their presence on the map of the current Iraqi state, and what may turn dreams into reality on the ground And paving the way for the implementation of this project, in some way, in the foreseeable future, two important things are:
First - the behavior of political leaders in Iraq.
Some friends and political leaders in Iraq may see that raising the issue of partition is an unjustified provocation, and at an inappropriate time, believing that matters in Iraq have not reached the level of involvement in the partition project, and that the political leaderships of the main Iraqi components: Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds are partners in ruling Iraq, as they are partners in protecting its unity and sovereignty.
But this talk contains a great deal of optimism, and a little intelligent disregard for the deterioration of the situation in their country, which may reach the point of denial, as these same arguments contain a great deal of validity on one side, and a greater amount of fallacy and lack of awareness and understanding on the other side, how?
It is true that the leaderships of the three major Iraqi components (Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds) share the formation of Iraqi governments after 2003, and share the spoils of power and influence, as well as engage in corruption files, weaken government institutions, and encourage impunity, and have stood by each other in the face of Terrorism, when it threatened everyone's interests...
But other than that, it does not seem to fully believe in the principle of participation, coordination and solidarity at the same level in managing the state and determining its destiny, especially in the very complex main files such as: Iraq's foreign relations, the presence of foreign forces inside its territory, and the relationship of religion In the state, the organization of military and civilian forces, energy, border crossings and others, some of them do not even hide their opposition to the texts of the Iraqi constitution of 2005, whose provisions were laid before them, so he began calling for a change in the form of government from parliamentary to presidential, believing that the presidential system would be a magic solution.
The accumulated problems of Iraq, not to mention the political disputes that indicate a severe intersection in the interests of the Iraqi forces that directly threaten the supreme interests of their country.
Some of the above files are a clear reflection of the desire of the leaders of one component to impose them on the leaders of the other two components, and the opposite is true in other files, and that the imbalance in coordination and mismanagement within the federal government in Baghdad has been the most responsibility for the Shiite leaders. Because they represent the majority in the government and parliament by virtue of their numerical majority, or because they lead the executive authority in the state, or because some of them try to impose their agendas by force and without a studied understanding with the leaders of Sunnis and Kurds, or because their ideological principles differ from their counterparts among the Sunni and Kurdish leaders, in addition to other reasons.
This Sunni and Kurdish feeling of the isolation of the Shiites in running the state, and holding them responsible for the decline and lawlessness of the situation in Iraq, whether justified or involving prejudice and denial of responsibility, will increase dramatically in the future, and some Iraqi Sunni leaders have recently taken to the media.
As for the Kurdish leaderships, they do not hide their resentment at remaining in the orbit of the Iraqi state, and they previously conducted a referendum to separate from them, which took place in very wrong timing and conditions at the time, so it is expected that in the event that the situation remains as it is, feelings of resentment increase in the Sunni and Kurdish circles of The Shiite leaderships in Baghdad, and the matter may reach the point of posing the feasibility of remaining in Iraq or the feasibility of the current political process as a whole.
It is clear that the ideological and ideological foundations, the map of interests, interests and alliances, and the current and future perceptions of state building in Iraq among the Sunni and Kurdish leaders are completely different from their counterparts The Shiite leaderships, which the recent leaders did not try to put an end to, especially after the defeat of the terrorist organization ISIS with blood that was mostly Shiite.
The influential Shiite leaders believed that the post-ISIS conditions allowed them to continue playing according to the previous ISIS rules, and this belief was just a very misleading thinking.
The Shiite leaders’ perception that there are appropriate conditions to impose their vision and agendas on the system of governance and administration in their country may be their weakness that will transform the project of dividing Iraq into the terrifying scenario that awaits them in the future.
What must be pointed out is that all Iraqi political leaders should not have hopes for a reproduction of the failed Lebanese experience in their country.
This is because the demographics, geography and international plans that helped keep the unstable Lebanese experience to this day are totally different from the Iraqi situation.
The geography of the three large Iraqi components is distributed in specific areas that allow and encourage their division, as well as the possession of each of them to a relatively large geographical area, and the number of inhabitants is acceptable to be the people of a new country, not to mention the population's feeling of great resentment of the status quo, and their reduction of passionate feelings that aspire to Changing it in any way, in addition to the enjoyment of these areas with a tremendous amount of wealth, provides a stimulating economic base, and with the presence of the external factor supporting the partition project, the next danger is a real danger of stupidity to ignore it or not prepare for it.
Second - the results of the upcoming US elections.
On the third of next November, the fifty-ninth presidential elections will be held in the United States of America, which is considered one of the most complex and fiercest electoral sessions in this country; Because of the thorny and crises of the domestic and international conditions in which they are taking place, as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are competing for the presidency.
Despite the importance of these elections in America and internationally, they may have very important impacts on the unstable Iraqi situation.
In the event that any of the candidates wins, there will be important inevitable repercussions, so when the current president (Trump) wins, his presidency will be expected to start an escalation of the conflict with Tehran and its successor to the Beijing-Moscow camp, and this conflict will have important repercussions on the Iraqi issue, especially if it decides.
The Iraqi forces close to Tehran to engage in it in the interest of the latter, and perhaps then we will witness chaos and restlessness in the Iraqi arena, Sunni and Kurdish in particular, and Shiite to some degree, especially when Washington begins to punish the government and people of Iraq as a result of its belief that it does not adhere to complete neutrality in the conflict, and its threat to its interests and Middle Eastern policies,
At a time when Iraq is suffering from raging internal crises that make any possible sanctions a straw that breaks the back of the state and destabilizes its stability. Then it is expected that local parties, and perhaps with an external push, will start seriously thinking about forming independent regions under the false name of the Confederation, as a result of the Baghdad government’s confusion and its weak ability to control matters.
But if Joe Biden wins and becomes president of the United States, a scenario that has begun to increase in preferences in recent weeks, then Iraq will be face to face with the godfather of the project to divide it in Washington, who called for him strongly since 2006, and won the Senate vote in his favor in 2007, when he was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Council, and when he was Vice President Obama (2009-2017) he became responsible for the Iraq file in the American administration, and his management of this file led to the decline of the shares of democracy in Iraq in the interest of a political oligarchy (sectarian and nationalism) that exacerbated the deterioration of security and stability in the country
And it allowed the terrorist organizations to expand and transform from a security threat to an existential threat to the Iraqi state after the transformation of the terrorist al-Qaeda organization to the so-called ISIS, which controlled more than a third of the area of Iraq and Syria after 2014.
In addition to the above, it was responsible for creating the power vacuum In Iraq in 2011, with the support of the unplanned withdrawal of US forces at the time, that vacuum that was filled by Tehran, and the local forces not subject to the state, at the expense of the security and military forces, and the official institutions of the Iraqi government.
It is not surprising that Biden’s confusion has led to a catastrophic harm to state building in Iraq.
Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush) said in 2014: “I think he has been wrong on every major issue of foreign policy and national security over the past four decades.".
The two most prominent mistakes that the man committed, according to many observers, are: his support for the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, and his support for the unplanned American withdrawal in 2011.
Biden’s victory would be a bad omen for Iraq in the event that he continues to carry the project of dividing him up his sleeve, which is something that there is no doubt that will happen.
Because it stems from his conviction in this project, and his belief that it represents the best option for Iraq and the region, and to protect Washington's interests, and the advocates of local and regional division will find strong support from the largest country in the world, and this will encourage them to push further towards achieving their goals, and raise many problems in the way of stability The Iraqi state.
Therefore, the continuation of the Iraqi leaderships, especially the Shiites, with their current rivalries, their futile conflicts, the multiplicity of their agendas, and the undermining of their public’s confidence in them, and their attempt to impose a specific color on the state, regardless of the consequences, all this and others will represent a free service and additional valuable incentives that give the partition project its legitimacy and attractiveness in Many looked.
Iraq is on the verge of a dangerous crossroads in its history, and its political leaders, especially the Shiites, bear full responsibility for what the situation will lead to, at the level of their state’s survival and continuity as a single political and legal entity or its disintegration and division into more than one entity, as they bear responsibility for the huge amount of suffering of their people Whether at the present time or after the division.
It is important for no one to think that the division will take place without risks, for this is what he thinks is just a great illusion, as dividing Iraq in the event that it occurs will be Pandora’s Fund for Iraq, and perhaps for the Middle East, and its consequences will be serious and painful for everyone, and these risks may be addressed in another article.
What we would like to conclude with this article is: The problem of many Middle Eastern leaders is their always reckless rush to the front in order to get rid of the crises they are suffering from today, crises that were a direct cause of their occurrence, but unfortunately they realize with hindsight that their rush was just going Quick to fall into the abyss.
Therefore, the great fear is that the leaders of Iraq today will lead their country into an abyss, from which an exit is impossible.