The 21st Century Phenomenon



Relatively to the growing confusion in Afghanistan, the CIVIL WAR in Pakistan with the local Tehrik-e-Taleban, the new front between Sunnis and Shiites in Yemen and the growing threat of home grown Islamic terror in the Western Democracies, especially in USAIraq almost disappeared from the headlines as if things are going well in Iraq.


On Monday 11/16/2009, 12 people have been shot dead by gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms in a pre-dawn attack in a Sunni village of al-Saadan, South-West of Baghdad. Among the dead was Attala Ouda al-Shukir, a senior figure in the Iraqi Islamic Party -IIP, the country’s main Sunni Arab political grouping. Among the killed people there were three of Mr Shukir’s sons and four of his cousins. They were, probably, former members of the local Awakening Council.


Later, six people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a market in the Northern city of Kirkuk, police said. The ethnically-mixed and oil-rich city of Kirkuk remains a flashpoint, and attacks continue there. Just recently, on 11/08/2009, Iraqi parliament passed, after endless delays, an election law which specifically addressed the issue of Kirkuk and the allocation of sectarian seats in the Iraqi Parliament. But on Sunday 11/15/2009, Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi of the IIP threatened to veto the crucial election law, which paves the way for the vote, unless more seats were guaranteed for Iraqis living abroad, most of whom are Sunni Arabs.


Human Rights Watch said in a report, on 11/11/2009, that ethnic minorities living in Northern Iraq face a human rights “catastrophe” as Arabs and Kurds vie for control.


Although Iraq held relatively fair elections, on 01/15/2006, it seems that Iraq is so divided over ethnic issues and ethnic interests that they feel urgent need to change the law to insure the ethnic interests. The changes made in the elections law emphasize the deep splitting of Iraq on expense of a common, united Iraqi identity.


Former loyalists of Saddam Hussein, based in Syria, does not accept the Shiaa domination of Iraq and continue to undermine the efforts of the Iraqi regime to establish a sense of security in Iraq (see – SYRIAN-Connection). On the other hand, Iran is waiting behind the corner to put Iraq in flames should the USA go too far in imposing sanctions on Iran over the nuclear proliferation issue, not to mention using military power against Iran (see – Buying-Time).


Transparency International, an international watchdog group said, in a report published on Tuesday 11/17/2009, Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries that receive billions of dollars in international aid, are among the world’s most corrupt nations (see – SQUANDERED BILLIONS).


Al Qaeda and Islamic militancy is the least of Iraq problems. Ethnic tension and violence, corruption, the Sunni-Shiaa rift and the USA-Iranian confrontation tear Iraq apart. The prospect of Iraq to become a democracy is very slim.   


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