Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Nomination Trouble for the De-Baathification Appellate Bench

Posted by Reidar Visser on Friday, 8 July 2011 18:53

Remember the special appeals court for de-Baathification cases? That’s the Iraqi judicial entity of seven judges that came into existence in January 2010 in a supposed attempt at harmonising the laws in force on de-Baathification with the process of vetting candidates for the March 2010 parliamentary elections. Of course, that attempt failed miserably and resulted in gross miscarriage of justice against hundreds of candidates, including such prominent Iraqiyya figures as Salih al-Mutlak who was barred from participating on the basis of a non-existing law.

While it is true that the Iraqi federal supreme court must shoulder ultimate responsibility for the failure to apply due legal process to the mechanisms of electoral candidate approval back in early  2010, the de-Baathification appeals court also played a certain role. However, after the parliamentary elections the court has been less prominent and the reason is very simple: After two judges were pensioned and one was killed, by September 2010 it no longer had any quorum to make decisions.

Early attempts by the Iraqi parliament to install replacement judges were aborted thanks not least to the efforts of the militantly anti-Baathist Bahaa al-Aaraji of the Sadrist movement. Last week, another attempt was made (the Sadrist are also worried about the lack of quorum on the court, since “Baathists continue to serve in government”), but again the process ran into trouble: Only two new judges were approved, whereas two others were left unconfirmed – ostensibly pending the examination of their curricula vitae by parliament, but with rumours about past Baathist ties swirling around (and with Maliki allies in his  State of Law alliance featuring prominently in the proliferation of those accusations).

The process of filling the appellate bench with new members illustrates the problems of reconciling old Iraq and new Iraq. The two judges that were cleared by parliament last week were Jalil Khalil Shakir and Sulayman al-Qaradaghi. Judge Jalil is a Fayli Kurd and his approval by parliament was loudly celebrated by Fayli Kurd media of a rather ethno-sectarian calibre: They even forgot to mention the outcome of the remaining nomination attempts! As for Judge Sulayman, his family name (Qaradaghi) could be Kurdish and could be an indication that he is a replacement on an ethno-sectarian quota basis for the Kurdish judge of the previous bench that was killed.

But two of the other judges that were also likely nominated on an ethno-sectarian quota basis were not approved by parliament. This applies firstly to Numan al-Bayati, whose family name sounds Turkmen and in fact is the same as one of the retiring judges (Hamid al-Bayati). The second case relates to Yas al-Saadi – was he intended as replacement for the retiring chief of the court, Muhammad Sahib al-Khafaji? In those cases, despite the quota imperatives, legacies of the past were not readily accepted by parliament, once more underlining how the previous regime was so much more than a bunch of relatives of Saddam Hussein from Tikrit. More broadly, this relates to a general problem that has delayed the passage of a new law for the federal supreme court:  In Iraq, it is almost impossible to find qualified judges with decades of experience that do not have any ties to the past regime. That in turn has prompted some of the Shiite Islamist parties to demand changes to the draft law on the new supreme court (which was prepared by the existing court). In particular, they want lower service thresholds for nomination to the new court.

Unless the Iraqi parliament can find pragmatic and consistent solutions for incorporating professionals that served in the previous regime, it is unlikely to be able to pass legislation on a new federal supreme court at all. In that sort of context, the old court and its various appellate institutions will continue to serve – with the legitimacy problems and susceptibility to political pressure that come with its own genesis during the days of Paul Bremer back in 2003–2004.

34 Responses to “Nomination Trouble for the De-Baathification Appellate Bench”

  1. bb said

    A Kurdish supreme court judge was killed? By whom and when?

    Was surprised to learn when perusing Musings recently that al-Lami had been assassinated because I did not recall you mentioning it here. Even though al-Lami had featured so much on the blog for so long?

  2. Reidar Visser said

    Bb, the judge in question was apparently killed in a drive-by shooting in August 2010. Iraqi judges are frequently targeted by assassins.

    The killing of al-Lami in late May was noted in a previous post here:

    There is a link in that post to some earlier reflections on his legacy.

  3. Salah said

    “But two of the other judges that were also likely nominated on an ethno-sectarian quota basis……”
    “…….Unless the Iraqi parliament can find pragmatic and consistent solutions for incorporating professionals that served in the previous regime”

    I found the two statements above both not stack up together.

    Both bodies (Iraqi federal supreme court, Iraqi parliament” both set up on same bases but in different ways.

    You may not agree but for Iraqis and more of there who watching Iraqi politics, the political system was designed on ethno-sectarian biases this starting from Bremer’s CPA creation and then after followed most of those within Iraqi polices in today Iraq they are more or less believing and behaving to level to their “ethno-sectarian” sickness.

    Let take one example of their behaviours when it comes to their sec. and whom they love and like:

    حنان الفتلاوي هي شقيقة اللواء صباح الفتلاوي مدير شرطة ذي قار والمعروف لدى اهلها فمن اراد فليتحرى عنه .. وهي عضو قيادة فرقة في حزب البعث ومشمولة بالاجتثاث نود الاشارة الى ان تاريخها معروف لدى منطقتها….

    ويكفي ان نشير لبعض الكتابات عنها وننقله هنا نصا فقد كتب احدهم ممن يعرفها ويعرف عائلتها قائلا:

    (اما حنان الفتلاوي عضو مجلس النواب فهي بطلة من نوع خاص، عرفت بشجاعتها منذ تقلدها الحلقات الحزبية للبعث الصدامي في منطقة محيزم في مدينة الحلة وببسالة اخيها صباح سعيد محسن الفتلاوي في الحرس الجمهوري والذي تقلد الاوسمة والانواط والذي اصبح اليوم بجاه عضوة مجلس النواب قائد الشرطة في الناصرية مستغلة منصبها في تجاوز هيئة المسائلة والعدالة .

  4. The trouble with the federal supreme court and the de-Baathification appellate bench appointments is the lack of consideration for integrity and moral high ground for the appointees. The appointments were subject to political consensus like almost every high profile appointment. I think such appointments could have benefited from a screening process by a wide body of peers, such as the lawyers union. Part of the blame must fall on Ayad Allawi for his appointment of bad supreme court judges.

  5. Jason said

    “Dammit, make a decision.”

  6. Reidar Visser said

    Jason, this is totally off-topic (which is why I didn’t publish your previous link as well) but if anything the pedestrian nature of the remarks by Panetta, a recent CIA chief, should give pause to those who express surprise about the level of US incompetency in Iraq. The fact that he could enumerate the AQ claim as a reason for being in Iraq anno 2011 leaves me quite speechless.

    In other comments, Panetta has emphasised how “weapons from Iran” are the big problem in Iraq. In fact, the big problem in Iraq is people like Panetta and his former colleague in the Obama admin, Amb. Chris Hill, underwriting the Iranian paradigm for Iraq by continuing to approach Iraqi politicians as representatives of sects. The aim of this post was to show that the cleavages in Iraqi politics are far more complex than that.

  7. amagi said


    If you will indulge me slightly, can I ask you how you think Panetta (or whoever) would respond to your accusations? You must have, at some point, had discussions along these lines with someone who has something to say for himself?

  8. Reidar Visser said

    Oh, the standard line is that the non-sectarian Iraq is something that may have existed in the 1970s but is dead today. People who are a lot more reasonable than Amb. Hill will tell you this.

    What these people fail to appreciate is that the selection of Iraqis that were propelled to power in 2003 were a particular brand of exiled politicians who had long lost all connection with Iraq and who saw the ethno-sectarian card as the best way of maximising their own personal gain. Of course, in the chaos that reigned, it was easy to sell that sort of message, but on top of that both Iran and the US have abetted it quite consistently – possibly involuntarily in the case of the US, but consistently nonetheless.

  9. bks said

    BAGHDAD — One of Iraq’s three vice presidents resigned Monday in an apparent attempt to distance himself from what is seen as an increasingly dysfunctional government.

    Shiite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a member of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, could not be reached for comment. No formal reason was given for his resignation, after four years in office.


  10. observer said

    The above ASSUMES that the US and the UK had no intentionof creating (or deepening) a sectarian divide. A premise I used to reject but faced with 8 years of “repeated” mistakes by US and UK, I cna not but conclude that it is a purposful project (to deepen the divide). No amount of “stupidity” or naivete’ can expalin the incompetence… other than there is a plan and the plan is divide and make Iraq weaker…

  11. Jason said

    Reidar, you’re absolutely right about Panetta’s “pedestrian” statements. A very sophomoric start as Sec Def. Never a favorite of mine. Even so, I don’t believe he was serious about the AQ comments – just slipped that in to try to motivate some grunts and didn’t think to realize anyone else was listening.

    IMO, you oversell a bit on U.S. responsibility for the sectarian paradigm in Iraq. Recall that an AQ-Baathist alliance was taking hold by force from the north and the Mahdi Army and Badr Brigades in the South – how else were these sectarian groups to be stitched together but by bringing together representatives from each existing power-grouping and co-opting them into the new political process? Rather than stitching multi-sectarian Iraq together, the Iranian mischief-making is expressly designed to tear it apart: Allawi and Maliki both were running pan-Iraqi, nationalist campaigns before the elections were spoiled by the Iranian-inspired De-Baathification mess which was really a cover for Iranian sectarian interests. Isn’t an Iranian hand visible in the Sadrists’ blocking of reasonable appellate candidates as mentioned in your post above?

    Please forgive me for getting you off-topic.

  12. Yeah, like a self-fulfilling prophesy.
    IMHO the way out is to guarantee the integrity of the political process by letting the UN run census and elections and let the people of Iraq decide. The UN oversight will reduce interference and influence of terror over the outcome of the elections.

  13. bks said

    Jason: It would be impossible to overstate the responsibility of the U.S.A. for anything that is going on in Iraq. If there were a larger, more powerful government in a position to adjudicate the hostilities, we’d be forced to pay reparations into the 22nd Century.


  14. Reidar Visser said

    Bks, the choice of words in that story is somewhat misleading because it merely relates to presidential approval of a resignation that took place in May (and that was reported here: )

    Jason, what you don’t include in your analysis is that each time some US representative visits Arbil to talk to Barzani s/he also backs up the vision of a tripartite, sectarian and fragmented Iraq, exactly as the Iranians do albeit with altogether different means.

    In general, I agree with Observer that the net effect of all of this is an Iranian-US-led process that will end up tearing Iraq apart, but unlike Observer I think that incompetence rather than bad intentions is what has influenced the position of the USG. I think the oil reserves of southern Iraq are of too much importance to the US and the world economy to allow the USG to adopt a secret partition policy for Iraq with an Iranian zone of influence in the south. Of course, Peter Galbraith openly advocated this, and sometimes during the first half of 2009 the Obama administration seemed on the verge of allowing some kind of grand bargain with Iran, but I think the “policies” adopted by the USG towards the Iraqi elections in 2010 were shaped by a different set of considerations – and above all were basically a reflection of Washington’s continued inability to view Iraq with anything other than ethno-sectarian lenses.

  15. Salah said

    “above all were basically a reflection of Washington’s continued inability to view Iraq with anything other than ethno-sectarian lenses.”

    Are there reasons why US keep seen iraq not in lenses?

    With all those academics, Intellectuals, high rank US politicians and advisor are all have lost their direction how to fix a single small state that demolished by them and other 32 state by invaded it, moreover US past historical experiences in Germany, Japan, South Korea, also may Latin America, make wonder what US up to inside Iraq, Why the mess there?

    If we look to L. Paul Bremer Bio, any one will impressed of his skills of of his work with disaster management with all these flash skills he holds, he end billions vanished with him, left Iraq as a stateless country if it is a county any more.

  16. Jason said

    My recollection is that U.S. intervention by Gen. Odierno only very recently, narrowly but successfully averted a second sectarian civil war between Sunnis and the Kurdish Peshmerga by stitching together joint patrols in the north. During election campaigning, the U.S. quietly supported the nationalist Iraqiya that, at the time, was supposed to heal sectarian wounds and unify the country – at least until the Iranian/al Lami inspired de-Baathification campaign drove an enormous sectarian wedge through the heart of Iraqi politics. The suggestion that the U.S. would cede Basra to Khamenei/Ahmadinijad is beyond ludicrous, as is the idea that we want to divide Iraq after so much blood and treasure expended trying to hold it together. Of course, that could happen if Iraq can’t defend itself from Hezbollah-style infiltration after its squabbling leaders wave goodbye to Americans. The frustration of some of the above posters is matched by my frustration over refusal to see clearly between (admittedly flawed) friends and mortal enemies of a unified Iraq.

    Getting back to your post – abuse of de-Baathification procedures has been a powerful weapon in the hands of those that would see Iraq divided. Perhaps there is a silver lining to the panel not having a quorum if the alternative is more abuse.

  17. Reidar Visser said

    Jason, I can only refer you to the remarkable, effectively pro-Iranian position taken by Amb Hill at a time when de-Baathification was perfectly reversible (Jan-Feb 2010):

    As for those joint patrols, again I beg to differ. The thing is, the joint patrols basically implied recognition the Kurdish definition of what constitutes a “disputed area” and as such came a long way towards rewarding the Kurds for Balkans-style land-grabbing in the name of ethno-nationalism during the confusion that reigned in early 2003.

    See also

  18. amagi said


    Many thanks for the response. Then your prediction is that Iraq is destined to rip itself apart? Is there no quarter where a little hope shines through? Is this gridlock really intractable? Where do you think this will leave Iraq in, say, three years time?

  19. Santana said

    Has anybody noticed that it is almost impossible to post anything about Iraq without mention of Iranian meddling or their evil doings in Iraq? It actually gives me some comfort when I see that it is pervasive and not just me- cuz I have been trying to curtail excessive posting so I am not viewed as “fanatically” Anti-Iranian! ….an accusation that does have some truth to it- lol….but it is only directed at Iran’s government. I am not anti-Iranian people at all…..The Iranians I have known and befriended here in the west have all been wonderful people- I am sure they are a tad bit different than some of the doozies back in Iran……

    I attribute all of Iraq’s problems to intense collaboration since 9/11 between Iran and the garbage that came into Iraq after removal of Saddam….(the Chalabis and Co)- I call them Sharagwa or Sheroog …they are the lowest form of humanity ……I would like everyone to read this please even though it looks intimidating and time consuming -but well worth it!! by Wael Al-Kaderi it’s title is “Change Baghdad’s name to Sharoogestan” !

    بلى فليتغير اسم بغدادكتابات – وائل القادري بهذه الكلمات اريد ان أجيب الاستاذ (هادي جلو مرعي) على مقالته التي طالب بها مازحا تغيير اسم بغداد , لكني هنا لا امزح كما فعل الاستاذ هادي بل اطالب فعلا بتغير اسم هذه المدينة لانه لم يعد يتلائم معها ابدا . انا لا اطرح هذا الامر بناء على الاسباب التي تكلم عنها الاستاذ هادي كضغف الخدمات وغيرها من الاسباب بل اطرحه لان بغداد لم تعد المدينة التي كانت عليها قبل نصف قرن ولن تعود ابدا الى ذلك في يوم من الايام . كانت بغداد مدينة اصيلة بسكانها الذين عاشوا متأخين لمئات السنين لا يفرقهم لا دين ولا مذهب ولا معتقد , فقد كان فيها احياء كاملة للمسلمين الشيعة والمسلمين السنة والنصارى واليهود واحياء اخرى متمازجة تعيش جنبا الى جنب لم يحصل بينها في يوم من الايام اي نزاع او فرقة , ولم تحدث فيها اعمال القتل والتصفية والتهجير ولم يحصل فيها سلب ونهب ولم تبنى بينها حوائط كونكريتية لبسط الامن في ربوعها . لذلك عاشت تلك المدينة بسلام دائم واجتازت جميع المحن التي مرت بها مهما كانت صعبة وشديدة . لكن هذا التأخي لم يعجب من كانوا يضعون الخطط لمستقبل العراق والمنطقة من الانكليز واليهود والايرانيين وغيرهم , لذلك فقد وضع تدمير هذه المدينة التاريخية العريقة ضمن مخططهم لتدمير العراق والمنطقة . لم يكن ذلك صعبا على من خططوا ذلك فالامر لم يكن يحتاج الى اكثر من اجراء تغييرات ديموغرافية على التركيبة السكانية لهذه المدينة عن طريق زرع عناصر طفيلية غريبة عنها ومن ثم ترك الامور تأخذ مجراها من وحدها . ولتحقيق هذا الهدف كان يتعين اختيار شريحة تحمل خصائص معينة اهمها سرعة التكاثر لكي تهيمن على المدينة خلال مدة ليست طويلة وثانيها انها لا تحمل اي ذرة من الغيرة لا على هذه المدينة ولا على هذا البلد . كان من السهل ايجاد هذه الشريحة , فـ (الشراكوة) الذين ترجع اصولهم الى مناطق شرقية تقع بين ايران والهند والذين نزحوا الى العراق خلال المائتي سنة الاخيرة واستوطنوا جنوبه وبالذات في منطقتي العمارة والاهوار كانوا افضل من تنطبق عليهم هذه الاوصاف . وكان الشراكوة قد بدأوا بالنزوح الى بغداد فعلا منذ تأسيس الدولة العراقية الحديثة بسبب ظلم النظام الاقطاعي من جهة ولعدم حبهم لمهنة الزراعة التي لم يمتهنونها الا مرغمين , الا انهم منعوا من الدخول والتغلغل الى داخل المدينة بسبب السياسة الصارمة التي اتبعها حيالهم نوري السعيد , لذلك شكلوا احزمة من الصرائف تحيط ببغداد من جانب المنطقتين الشرقية والشرقية الجنوبية . وبعد ان تولى صالح جبر الذي تعود اصوله الى الناصرية منصب رئيس الوزراء قام بتنفيذ اول صفحة من المخطط المرسوم لبغداد حين امر بأعتبار جميع هؤلاء النازحين من سكان بغداد سامحا بذلك لاول نزوح شركاوي الى المدينة . وبعد ذهاب صالح جبر وتولي نوري سعيد بعده لرئاسة الوزارة مرة اخرى عاد الى سياسته القديمة بمنع الموجات الجديدة من النازحين من التغلغل الى بغداد فتشكلت احزمة صرائفية جديدة من هؤلاء . وقف نوري سعيد بتصرفاته هذه حائلا امام بلوغ الهدف الموضوع لمدينة بغداد فكان لابد من ازاحته وازاحة الحكم الذي يقف ورائه فكان انقلاب 14 تموز عام 1958 الذي كان بالتأكيد وراءه الانكليز واليهود . اصبح عبد الكريم قاسم بعد هذا الانقلاب زعيما للبلاد وكان من ضمن ما هيأ لعمله هو اكمال الخطوة التي بدأها صالح جبر فقام بتهجير 100 الف نسمة من الفلاحين الذين يسكنون العمارة والاهوار الى بغداد واسكنهم في مدينة (الثورة) كما سميت في حينها , بالاضافة الى اعتباره لجميع سكان الصرائف الذين يحيطون ببغداد من سكانها الشرعيين . لذلك ليس غريبا ان يكره الشراكوة الى درجة كبيرة نوري سعيد والنظام الملكي ويقدسون ويمجدون بالمقابل عبد الكريم قاسم الذين يعتبروه الراعي الاول لظهورهم في المجتمع العراقي في الزمن الحديث . كانت هذه الخطوة هي السكين القاتلة التي غرست في خاصرة بغداد والتي لم يعرف احد في وقتها بانها ستؤدي في نهاية المطاف الى القضاء التام على هذه المدينة وتحطيم كل ارثها الحضاري . وبعد مضي اكثر من نصف قرن على هذه الاعمال والتكاثر الذي ليس له مثيل للشراكوة اصبحت بالفعل بغداد ليس كما كانت عليه قبلها ابدا . فبغداد يسكنها الان اكثر من ثلاثة ملايين شركاوي انتشروا في جميع ربوعها بعد ان ازال النظام الحالي عقبة احصاء عام 1957 التي كانت تعيق انتشارهم في المدينة . وقد نقل هؤلاء الى المجتمع البغدادي اسوء ما خلق الله من عادات وطبائع واخلاق وقيم ومفاهيم وافكار واعراف , وقضوا على كل شيء حضاري فيها حتى اصبحت بغداد اليوم مدينة شركاوية من الدرجة الاولى . وبغداد ستستمر بالتدهور والخراب والضياع ولن تعرف الحضارة والتطور بعد الان طالما ظل بها الشراكوة وطالما ظل عددهم يزداد يوما بعد يوم . وبغداد ستبقى محرومة من الامن ولن تعرفه ابدا بعد اليوم طالما سادت وعمت بها الاخلاق والاعراف الشركاوية السيئة , فمعظم الانفلات الامني الذي تعاني منه يعود سببه الى وجود هؤلاء فيها . وحتى اعمال التفجيرات التي تقوم بها منظمة القاعدة فهي غالبا ما تأتي ردا على اعمال هؤلاء او كردود أفعال على ممارستهم للطقوس الدينية المبالغ بها والتي لا اساس ديني لها في نفوسهم سوى تشبثهم بمحاولة الظهور وكانهم محور الطبقة الشيعية في العراق والراعي لها . انا لا اريد هنا ان أتجنى بأقوالي هذه على هذه الطبقة من الناس ولا ان الصق بهم صفات غير موجودة فيهم , لكنها الحقيقة المرة والواقع المؤلم الذي يخشى الكثير من الناس طرحه اما خوفا او لاجل عدم الظهور بمظهر عنصري . انا اقر بانه يوجد ضمن الشراكوة اعداد كبيرة من الناس الخيرين والبسطاء والمسالمين وانه قد برز منهم الكثير من المثقفين والمتعلمين المخلصين والمحبين للعراق , الا ان هؤلاء مع الاسف قلة قياسا بالاعداد الهائلة من السيئين فيهم من الذين تربوا في الشوارع كمتسولين ومتسكعين فلم يتعلموا منه غير صفات الشر حتى بات كل واحد منهم مشروع لأنتاج قاتل او مجرم او حرامي او نصاب . كما اني لا اقصد بكلامي هذا الطبقة الشيعية الاصيلة في المجتمع العراقي من سكنة بغداد ومحافظات الوسط والجنوب لانهم مختلفين كأختلاف السماء عن الارض عن الشراكوة . صحيح ان الشراكوة تشيعوا اثر نزوحهم الى العراق لكن ذلك لا يعني ابدا بانهم وسكان العراق الشيعة الاصليين سواء . ان الشراكوة يحاولون الان جاهدين ان يمتزجوا بالاوساط الشيعية الاصلية لكي يظهروا وكانهم وهؤلاء كيان واحد لكن ذلك لا يخفى ابدا على المتبصرين , ولو رأينا ما فعله الشراكوة في بعض مدن الجنوب كالبصرة مثلا لعرفنا بان أذاهم لا يفرق بين اي من مناطق العراق . من ناحية اخرى فانا اعرف ايضا باني سأتهم على الفور اثر ما طرحته اعلاه باني صدامي وبعثي وطائفي وتكفيري وشوفيني وغير ذلك من النعوت التي مللنا سماعها , لكني والحمد لله لست كل هذا ابدا . فاولا انا لست صدامي ولم احب صدام في يوم من الايام لكني اقر واعترف الان بانه كان افضل حاكم حكم العراق في العصر الحديث , ليس لانه جيد في شيء لكن لانه كان فعلا الدواء الناجع الضروري للتعامل مع السيئين من العراقيين ومن بينهم الشراكوة الذين وضحت طبائعهم وظهرت على حقيقتها بعد زواله . فحين زال سيف صدام شاهدنا بأعيننا كيف قام الشراكوة باعمال السلب والنهب والقتل المروعة التي حدثت بعد سقوط بغداد وكيف هربوا كل ما سرقوه للخارج وبالذات لايران وباعوه بابخس الاثمان مما اثبت بوجه قاطع بانهم لا يحملون ذرة من الوطنية وليس لهم غيرة مطلقا لا على هذا البلد ولا على اهله . وثانيا انا لست بعثيا ابدا , لكني وجدت من سير الوقائع التي مرت بالعراق بعد عام 2003 بان افضل حزب سياسي يصلح لحكم العراق على الاطلاق هو حزب البعث , ليس لانه جيد في شيء ايضا لكن لانه الوحيد الذي يعرف كيف يتعامل مع العراقيين ولانه الوحيد الذي يستطيع تطويق كل الخصال السيئة الموجودة في داخل نفوسهم . واخيرا فاني لست طائفي بالمرة فقد رأيت بعيني ما فعلته الطائفية البغيضة بعد حصول الاحتلال والتي زرعها وروج لها احزاب الاسلام السياسي حتى اصبحت اكره كل حزب اسلامي مهما كان لونه وانتمائه واكره كل المعممين مهما كان مذهبهم واتجاههم , وكم اخشى اذا استمر الحال على ما هو عليه الان ان يأتي يوم اكره فيه حتى ديني . وعودا على موضوع هذا المقال , اقول بانه لا حل لمشكلة بغداد الحالية ابدا وانه يجب تغيير اسمها الى اي اسم اخر بعيدا عن هذه التسمية كان يكون شركاد او شريكيد كما يصغر الشراكوة الأسماء , او شركستان لينسجم مع التوجهات الداعية لتقسيم العراق , او مدينة شركو المنورة … الخ . كما ادعوا ايضا كل بغدادي اصيل سواء ان كان سني ام شيعي او من اي دين اخر ان يهجر هذه المدينة ويتركها الى الشراكوة ليشبعوا بها وليسرقوا كل ما تبقى فيها مما لم يسرقوه لحد الان كنصب الحرية الذي اقامه زعيمهم الخالد على سبيل المثال . ان بغداد ستؤول الى هؤلاء بالكامل ان عاجلا ام اجلا , وهو امر ان لم يحصل اليوم فسيحصل غدا بالتأكيد لسبب بسيط هو ان سرعة تكاثر الشراكوة لا يمكن مقارعته ابدا , فبعد عشرين سنة سيصبح عددهم في بغداد فقط اكثر من عشرة ملايين شركاوي . وبقدر ما ان ترك المدينة لهم سيحد من الاذى المستمرين بايقاعه باهل بغداد الاصليين فانه سيؤذيهم أيضا لان هؤلاء كالبكتيريا لا يمكن ان يعيشوا الا متطفلين على الاخرين ولانهم كوحوش الغابة ان لم يجدوا من يفترسوه يفترسون ويأكلون بعضهم البعض . اما بغداد فما اسهل من احيائها من جديد وبناء مدينة جديدة بنفس هذا الاسم . يمكن اختيار بقعة تقع على مسافة لا تقل عن مئة كيلومتر شمال بغداد الحالية لبناء مدينة حديثة وعصرية في كل شيء وليوطن بها سكان بغداد الاصليين بعد ان يثبتوا انتمائهم الى تلك المدينة حسب احصاء اقترح ان لا يكون ابدا بعد عام 1927 . كما اقترح على أولي الامر في هذه المدينة الجديدة قطع دابر كل شركاوي يحاول الدخول اليها حتى وان كان للمرور او الزيارة , لأن دخول زوجين شركاويين من ذكر وانثى فقط الى هذه المدينة واختبائهم فيها سيؤدي بعد بضعة عقود الى نشوء ملايين من الشراكوة فيها وعودة نفس المشكلة من جديدفقط

  20. Reidar Visser said

    Amagi, as said before, unless there is some kind of rapprochement between individuals from State of Law and Iraqiyya to form a political-majority government I see little hope for the future.

    Santana, I published that excerpt with some doubt. To my mind it is a piece of racist rubbish that replicates some of the more unfortunate things that were written in the Baathist press about the Marsh Arabs in the wake of the 1991 Intifada. The article underestimates the extent to which Baghdad has always been a city of immigration, and to postulate some kind of deliberate plot against it dating back to the days of Salih Jabr is just too fanciful to be taken seriously. Though if you opt to believe in it, that sort of timeline should at least relieve the Iranian revolution of being the mother of all evils in Iraq! On a more serious note, I think acceptance of the shurugis as part and parcel of Iraqiy society must be a fundamental component of any future civic, democratic culture in Iraq.

  21. observer said

    Jason, Santan, and all,
    The US NEVER supported Iraqiyaa, quietly or otherwise. In fact, I recall a VERY high level meeting with US officials in DC in which I lamented the fact that the US seems to be walking away from like minded political parties (i.e. secular) and embracing Islamic parties who pretend to be believers in democracy but practice what I call “Taqia”. The answer was shocking to me – and that is: If we (US) support secular parties, then they will surely fail because the public views the US with suspicion. In the meeting I states that the US need not support overtly ;).

    But upon reflection on the answer – it seems to me that the upper echelons at DoS are in fact either misinformed or there is a deeper plan. When King Abdullah made his speech several years back warning about the She3a crescent – I was one of those who dismissed the warning as too fanciful. But I can no longer ignore facts on the ground. The US is in fact putting its weight behind Maliki and Da3wa who happen to be supported by Iran. So explain that to me in terms my limited mind can understand. What is the US trying or hoping to accomplish? Drive Da3wa away from the arms of Iran in the hope that Da3wa become independent and “nationalistic’ (i.e. put Iraq’s interests above the interests of the larger She3a population in the region)? How many years of failure of policy in supporting Islamic parties does DoS need to “change” its posture?

    Reidar still embraces the “incompetency” argument (and argument that I supported until quite recently). But when one is faced with facts that one can not explain with the basic assumptions one holds, then one has to revise the assumptions and look for a better explanation. I will not say that it is a conspiracy to “divide Iraq” – as I do not believe that anything stays secrete (especially in DC). But I no longer reject the argument that there is a bigger plan at work.

    And truly when you think about it in the larger extent of the regional problem and the war on extremism (Islamic to be specific), then as an American I would like to see the Islamic world go through “a rebirth”. From that prospective, the Islamic populace have seen monarchy, army rule, despotic rulers but never an Islamic leadership (in the true sense of it). The Islamic parties all over claim “Islam is the Solution”. Well maybe we need to give the Islamic people the chance to see that Islamic parties are just as incompetent as the other parties and in fact the only solution is to embrace globalization, self dependence, liberal attitudes towards the market (i.e. secularism).

    Let us not just discuss Iraq – there is in fact a bigger problem to deal with. Let us analyze with the regional variables in mind.

  22. Observer,
    “maybe we need to give the Islamic people the chance to see that Islamic parties are just as incompetent as the other parties”\
    The solution is not as complicated as you mentioned, Of course Iraq is a case in point where the US for whatever reason partnered with sectarian rather than secular parties, and I agree with you the US excuse for not supporting secular parties sounds ridiculous, but the heavy reliance on the mechanism of consensus building rather than assuring free and fair elections opens the door to wheeling and dealing behind the scene and cripples the ability of peaceful transfer of power. What I am saying is: Your logic in letting Islamic parties rule in the Middle East is fine so long as you insure the integrity of the elections.

    As a first step towards clean elections, and in support of your point of possible US purposefulness in Iraq, census was deliberately avoided by the US until now. Running census by a deeply sectarian regime could lead to irreversible damage. Are we going to get more head-in-the-sand policies?

  23. Jason said

    Observer, so many points, I wish I could address them all, but just a few so as not to take over Reidar’s blog:

    “The answer was shocking to me – and that is: If we (US) support secular parties, then they will surely fail because the public views the US with suspicion.” You are right – that is the Obama Admin policy, that “legitimacy” of the elections trumps all else, and that the view from the ME is that if the U.S. supports it then it must be tainted. Perhaps wrongheaded, but should not be equated with support for Islamists. Make no mistake, we were all pulling for Iraqiya.

    “The US is in fact putting its weight behind Maliki and Da3wa who happen to be supported by Iran. So explain that to me in terms my limited mind can understand. What is the US trying or hoping to accomplish?” The goal is to incorporate the Shia, who were previously excluded, and who had the power to keep the country in a state of civil war, into governance of the country. Yes, it requires walking a fine line, but again, should not be equated with support for Islamic govt or Iran. After Iraqiya failed to win a majority, SOL appeared to be the most moderate of the Shia alternatives. Number one priority was to keep violence down and hold the country together.

    “I will not say that it is a conspiracy to “divide Iraq” – as I do not believe that anything stays secrete (especially in DC). But I no longer reject the argument that there is a bigger plan at work.” The “bigger plan” is to keep the different trends in Iraq from shooting at each other and stitch together a multi-sectarian country that is strong enough and nationalist enough to resist becoming an Iranian client state. Sometimes that means incorporating people into the political process that you would rather not.

    “Well maybe we need to give the Islamic people the chance to see that Islamic parties are just as incompetent as the other parties and in fact the only solution is to embrace globalization, self dependence, liberal attitudes towards the market (i.e. secularism).” Agreed, and I think that is part of the hope – that if the Islamists gain some power and fail to produce results, then the sheen of Islamic govt will wear off, and the people will swing back to more secular govt. I think the current thinking in Washington is that Iraqis will have to figure some of that out from themselves, independent of our pushing it on them, like the parent of a bullheaded teenager has to sometimes allow them to make their own mistakes.

    Since I anticipate that Reidar will object to my using “Shia” in a sectarian way, let me clarify that I meant the existing power brokers that we had not choice but to deal with: SOL, ISCI, and the Sadrists. Faced with the choice of incorporating them or fighting them (yet a third or fourth time) on the battlefield, the USG attempted to incorporate them.

  24. observer said

    Jason, and all,
    FYI – I am of a she3a family..

    The fact that “you were all” pulling for Iraqiya is nice but it does not match action on the ground when our opponents were/are being supported by Iran. Supporting She3a does not mean supporting Maliki for he has no monopoly on representing She3a, nor does any Islamic party (be they of the sunni extraction or otherwise) has a monopoly on representing their “sect”. If you want to say that the majority of Iraqi she3a are afraid of sunni domination – then yes that is true, but the answer to that is NOT support of a party that is supported by Iran….. Let me remind you of the 7 or so months following elections and the stalemate that occurred with Da3wa insisting on Maliki and SCIRI standing on the side lines and Sadris saying they will not work with Da3wa and the Kurds playing the two sides against the middle. What did the US do? Push Iraqiya to accept Da3wa as the leaders (despite having less seats and forget all about the constitution) and thus allowing Iran and Da3wa all the time in the world to twist arms and get the constitution reinterpreted and put all the pieces in place to get Maliki back on top. The excuse?? – oh well we do not want Sadris to be part of the government!! well congrats to the brain trust in foggy bottom and their counter parts in Arlington and Central Command – brilliant strategic move. Give me a break man. I can accept one, two, three, four years of mistakes while the boys get to “know” Iraq… But 8 years of continued mistakes is just too much for this writer to take. Fact is, however, regardless of the existence of a plan to divide Iraq – the end result is the same. A divided Iraq is emerging and the consequences will take 20 years to ascertain (sort of like how we abandoned Afghanistan in the late 80’s). Oh well.

  25. Jason said

    “The fact that “you were all” pulling for Iraqiya is nice but it does not match action on the ground when our opponents were/are being supported by Iran.” I agree, and judging from the latest poll of ME attitudes of the U.S. Obama has failed miserably to buy the goodwill that he naively hoped to achieve by sitting on the sidelines. Might as well have gone on and inserted ourselves anyway. But then again, Bush was always accused of being wrong for doing too much, so . . .

    So if you strongly oppose Iraq being divided, would you support the U.S. keeping troops in Iraq to hold back the Iranians from infiltrating Basra, whether Iraqis invite them to stay or not?

  26. Jason said

    As for supporting Maliki, what was alternative? Allawi had exhausted efforts to put something together. Do you think there would not have been more blood spilled if we had installed him? Iraq went seven months without a govt and violence was spiking back up. There was a danger of everything falling apart. Maliki had only recently stood down the Sadrists, making him appear both strong on security and putting Iraq before Iran.

  27. azzam said

    Jason and all,
    It is rather disingenuous to tag Obama with abandoning secular Iraqis because supporting Malikis goes back to the Bush era. I can recall 2007 very well when it was all but assured that the parliament would pull a vote of no confidence.. but the US intervened. US elections take precedence (which when you think of it is rather treasonous as it puts party politics ahead of US national interests – but that is another subject entirely) and that has been a problem for Iraq. Anyway, this is not the place to discuss this…..

    Frankly – I am of the opinion that the US must keep forces to protect US INTERESTS not Iraq’s. Let us not pretend that the forces are to “help Iraq”. It is the US interests that must come first, second and last when it comes to deciding what the US will or should do. Which is why I am questioning the basis for the support of US to Maliki. It just does not make sense to me that the US would support (and has supported) a party supported implicitly and explicitly by Iran UNLESS there is more than meets the eye.

    As for a divided vs. united Iraq – I am strongly in support of a Kurdish-Arab federation.. But not a sectarian quota system between sunnis and she3a. Further, it is my earnest belief that a untied/federal Iraq with strong economy is best for US interests in the region and for the interests of those who profess belief in globalization and what it embeds in terms of the need for secular democracies.

  28. Jason,
    Do you think Iran will give up on Iraq without spilling blood? Sectarianism strives on fear, if the US pursues sectarian policies then it could foment fear in order to promote sectarianism, like a self-fulfilling prophesy.
    My favorite recipe for avoiding spilling blood is to have free, fair and totally inclusive elections After census, none of which was advocated by the US.

  29. Jason said

    “Do you think Iran will give up on Iraq without spilling blood?” They are already spilling blood, both Iraqi and American. There have been multiple bloody battles with the Iranian-backed militias. It will get worse after our troops are ushered out.

    “My favorite recipe for avoiding spilling blood is to have free, fair and totally inclusive elections After census, none of which was advocated by the US.” Agreed that there should be a census before the next elections, and that they should be free and fair. Who or what is holding up the census at this time? I would be shocked if it is the USG.

  30. Jason,
    During the first couple of years when the security situation was better the US actively discouraged census, the Iraqi gov was willing and eager but not the US. Some may think the US was protecting its allies the Kurds and they certainly have a lot to hide in the way of giving away passports to non-Iraqis, but the inside scoop says that it was an old NeoCons plan. Even Saddam knew about it, it was said, and he distributed census data on CD to UN and major countries. This claim can be verified by asking the UN and countries like Russia, China and France if they received such data. I believe accurate census is vital when the security situation is bad, without it personal data is totally unreliable, it is very irresponsible (or cynical if deliberate) to prevent it from taking place.
    Now, the situation is made worse by forced relocation and migration but the need for accurate data is more than ever. The US has less leverage than before therefore it sort of doesn’t matter where they stand. How is this relevant to the situation at hand? The U.S. mandate should be turned over to the UN with international partners. Part of the UN mandate should be to run the census and the elections. I am not advocating a full mandate where Iraq loses it sovereignty, only a partial time limited mandate where the presence of US troops is backed by the Security Council and is not subject to whimsical negotiations. I think Maliki’s nuances are not genuine, in order to win the US has to lose legitimacy and partner with Maliki, and that’s a slippery slope.

  31. Jason said

    As I recall the census issue was especially combustible in the early years due to the dispute over Kirkuk (and maybe still is). I believe the lack of interest was both a sop to the Kurds as well as an effort to kick the can down the road when maybe it would be less combustible.

    I don’t understand the rest of your post. The “NeoCon plan” was to democratize Iraq (by force as necessary) as a gateway for democracy across the ME. The U.S. no longer has any “mandate.” There have been multiple national elections. Everything has pretty much been turned over to Iraqis, and the U.S. is on its way out the door. So I don’t understand. Go have your census, but try to avoid provoking any hostilities over Kirkuk.

  32. Jason,
    In 2006 I started a petition calling for UN run census and elections in Iraq, the most enthusiastic support came from the Turkmenes of Kirkuk. UN run census may displease US allies so please don’t over-extend your “Go have your census” generosity, unless you think the US is willing to stand up to its Allies.
    The NeoCons plan to democratize the region came with preconceptions of sectarian divisions, if it came without preconceptions then it would have had better chance of success.
    Iraq has been pretty much turned over to Iran, Jason, your vision is lame.

  33. Jason said

    The NeoCons were lambasted for going into Iraq with NO understanding of the sectarian divisions (Bush allegedly didn’t even know there were different races/sects), and a failure to have a plan or enough troops to provide security in the “predictable” sectarian civil war that ensued. So I still don’t know what you are talking about.

  34. Reidar Visser said

    Jason, I think the trouble was rather that they knew very little about Iraq generally and in the moment they discovered sects they went on to exaggerate their significance and artificially enshrine sectarianism in Iraqi politics.

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