• Iraq
  • February 23, 2010
  • 7 minutes read

Nothing Has Changed in Iraq

Nothing Has Changed in Iraq

Perhaps the only meaningful statement in the testimony of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in front of a committee investigating the war on Iraq, is the one that disclosed that the US wanted in 2003 the elimination of Saddam Hussein’s family-Baathist regime. All Blair did, to summarize his testimony before the committee, is become “convinced” of the viewpoint of the Americans and practically comply with their desires that see the justifications for war as not important as long as the aim is set in advance.

There was indeed a justification to get rid of a regime that plunged Iraq into three devastating wars. The first with Iran, the second with the international community after committing the crime of invading Kuwait and the third with the United States and its allies, who in 2003 found the right opportunity to finish off an important Arab state and turn it into a state with a lost identity. Saddam’s regime did not cause the third war, but did everything to facilitate it; starting by ignoring the regional and international realities to the extreme and its lack of knowledge of the importance of the balance of power in relations between states. All of the justifications put forward by Blair to justify war that are meaningful and are not based on facts or legitimacy. This is why Clare Short, who was a cabinet minister in his government at the time, was pushed to describe him as “a liar” in her statement a few days about the circumstances of Britain’s decision to participate in the war on Iraq.

It is no longer important what Blair says to the people of the region. It may be important for the British alone, especially since some of them are still looking for the truth and for the reasons for killing so many soldiers and the loss of billions of pounds without achieving significant results, other than Tony Blair’s slogans, such as the invasion of Iraq “made the world safer.” Was Saddam Hussein in the last years a threat to anyone but the Iraqis?

All that took place is that the former British Prime Minister, who remained in power between 1997 and 2007, participated in redrawing the map of the Middle East and changed the balance of power in favour of Iran, directly, and Israel, indirectly. Perhaps the most important feature of today’s Iraq is that it is a country with an uncertain future, controlled by sectarian parties whose first loyalty, to varying degrees, is to Iran, on one side and the Kurdish parties, who knew very well how to serve their own interests, on the other side. The Kurds seem to limit their concerns to work to build an independent state in Kurdistan, when conditions permit. The Kurds are currently moving in a manner that indicates a great political maturity. They have benefited and are benefiting from a unified Iraq to the greatest extent, in the absence of objective conditions that would allow them to create their own state which they are building brick by brick.

Today, Iraq is a wide geographical area with huge oil wealth. But it is also a “square” used as a platform to destroy the Arab region by launching sectarian impulses. If not, how can a ruling of the called “Accountability and Justice” committee prevent some five hundred people from standing for representatives election set to be held in the seventh of March?

The committee based its ruling on “de-Baathification” law, which was approved during the reign of the US viceroy Paul Bremer in Iraq post-occupation. It is true that the committee retreated from its decision and left the election legitimacy of those wishing to run to be determined at a later stage. But it is also true that the decision to prevent certain people belonging to the Baath party to run or casting doubt on their legitimacy even if they win the elections, provoke sectarian impulses.

At least this is what is said by many ordinary Iraqis with a minimum sense of political awareness on the interpretation of the ruling of “Accountability and Justice.” There are Iraqi politicians who go further than this when they say that the sectarian parties want to simply put their hands once and for all on Iraq, backed by Iran. De-Baathification is not required as much as is the need to marginalize the Sunni Arabs, once and for all. This view is also shared by Shiite Arabs who believe that the root of sectarian strife should be eliminated, and not Sunni Arabs.

Perhaps the best answer to Blair and his claim that the world “has become safer,” is a question of five words: “Has anything changed in Iraq?” Nothing has changed at all.

In 2010, targeting political parties was done in the same manner of Ba’ath. The Ba’ath’s Revolutionary Commanding Council in March 1980 passed a law on the “prohibition” of Dawa party of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Perhaps the difference is that the there are no mass executions these days, especially since the US military is still present in its bases inside Iraq. The case becomes to retaliate against a vulnerable person here or there, who has no clan protected like Mr. Tariq Aziz, whose only fault was to be a Christian and he responded early to Iran, which tried to assassinate him in 1980 before the start of the war between the two countries as a symbol of a particular regime that allows him to be a Christian and a minister. That the treatment of Tariq Aziz in prison, especially after suffering a stroke and was taken to a US hospital, does not bode well. It indicates a malicious manner in dealing with a man who did not have any power at decision-making levels, as a desire for revenge Saddam’s way, no more.

Nothing has changed in Iraq. The only new thing is Iranian influence is confirmed by the broad treatment of Tariq Aziz. This transaction is an integral part of the process of displacement of Iraq’s Christians from their homes and their land and to emphasize that they no longer have a place in “Democratic” Iraq.

Tony Blair can say what he wants. He will not go to jail because of what he did in Iraq. Britain is truly democratic. The only thing certain is that all Arabs must realize that the region had entered a new stage and the big question: What will happen when the US withdrawal later this year, as promised by President Obama?

Khairallah Khairallah