Sheikh Jamal Al Dhari – President of Iraqi National Project
westen news Agency
Day by day, Iraqi nationalist groups are progressing in raising awareness within regional and international society regarding the dire need for a comprehensive vision that addresses the real challenges that Iraq has been facing for the past decade and a half since 2003.
This has proven to be a very difficult mission to achieve, because the political parties currently leading Iraq refuse to acknowledge their incompetence. As a result, they are opposed to any overture by the Iraqi nationalist groups.
Their opposition to any comprehensive plans set forth by the nationalist groups stems from the personal and financial gains that these political Islamist parties and their leaders have achieved since 2003.
The Iraqi people have now reached a desperate point and have lost any hope of a meaningful solution for both ending this crisis and for creating a brighter future, largely due to the following reasons:
– The ghost of terrorism, which lingers due to the absence of any real nationalistic strategy that will prevent re-emergence of ISIS or any other terror groups. This is mainly due to the fact that the Iraqi government only deals with terrorism through military means, neglecting its root causes. There also are indications that the presence of terrorism actually serves the political ambitions of the politicians within the Iraqi government, as they can use the pretense of fighting terrorism to gain personal political and financial support.
– The continued authority of the same corrupt and sectarian politicians that have ruled since 2003 and have brought Iraq to its knees. The result is that new, young and independent leaders are not expected to replace the current corrupt politicians anytime soon, especially when considering the grip that the Islamist parties have had over the government since 2003.
– The refugees and displaced millions of Iraqis is still a major issue that is not being addressed properly. The government is not doing enough to provide these people with either housing or basic services in the aftermath of the war against ISIS. In fact, it is throwing many obstacles in their way, making it very difficult for them to return to their towns and cities. Even the assistance from outside of Iraq is weak and insufficient, due to the fact that international groups do not trust the current corrupt Iraqi government.
– The ever increasing Iranian meddling and influence in Iraq’s government, military, economic and social structure, against which no effort at all has been made to try and mitigate it.
– The proliferation of light and medium weapons in the hands of unofficial groups that are supported by regional powers. This is a major concern, as these weapons will be used to intimidate the population and to instill fear everywhere.
-Reports of possible vote rigging in the upcoming elections. This is a major concern and a serious development that can lead to violent post-election clashes, especially with the immense presence of weapons in the hands of hundreds of rogue groups that are under the direction of corrupt politicians that are supported by foreign powers.
– No real effort nor any reforms are being undertaken by the government to combat corruption, nor are there any restrictions being imposed by the government to prevent corrupt parliamentary and cabinet members from entering the elections.
– All efforts towards national reconciliation have been terminated. Without this, the government can neither advance nor achieve real national stability. And this is made worse by the downgrading of Iraq as a focus of international efforts aimed at achieving stability. For example, the March 2017 Munich Security Summit completely ignored the Iraqi security situation and focused instead on Syria, which was a major error, due to the fact that Syria and Iraq are intimately intertwined
– No strategy by the government for infrastructure, agricultural and industrial development. The government has completely ignored all plans put forward in these areas by the nationalist groups.
– The lack of basic services, which has exacerbated the hardships of the Iraqi people in all parts of the country. This is appalling, when considering the country’s high level of national income, totaling in the range of hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue annually.
Every new Iraqi administration blames the lack of services on the previous administration, while the fact remains that it has been the same political party in charge of Iraq since 2003.
The fact that officials are appointed according to political affiliation and nepotism – not for their qualifications – is deeply problematic and makes it even more difficult to provide basic services to the people.
Yet despite all of the challenges mentioned above, there is still hope for Iraq, but it will require the help of the international community and especially the United States. And now, there is an increased awareness of and serious call for change amongst millions of Iraqis, including Iraqis from all sects and backgrounds. This should be expected, as they have lived through 15 years of volatility, violence, corruption and poor governance. Their government has not provided for them even the most basic of needs.
In conclusion, real change for Iraq cannot be achieved without international support for nationalist group efforts designed to help the country progress. Without the help of the international community and especially the United States, we will not succeed. Now is the time for international support to be provided