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By Hassan Hadad
August 12, 2004

  • At the request of the UN, the Iraqi government delayed the National Conference, which was scheduled for July 31, by two weeks. The UN is applying considerable pressure on the conference organisers to ignore the results of recent elections, conducted around Iraq to select 550 of the 1000 representatives for the conference. The UN is not happy with the fact that the majority of winning candidates are Shia Arab, although in a country which is two-thirds Shia this doesn't seem to be that surprising. Instead, the UN is trying to force Iraq to ignore election results and accept candidates of the UN's choosing - notably excluding many election winners and considerably reducing Shia participation. If the UN is allowed to get away with this then Iraqis will lose faith in future elections and the entire democratic process.

    On a more positive note, the small round of elections that took place to select candidates for the conference were successfully conducted in every city in Iraq, including hotspots such as Fallujah, Al-Ramadi and Tikrit. This is encouraging news for Iraq's upcoming January elections and it weakens arguments that elections cannot take place in volatile regions.

  • The interim Iraqi Government and Coalition have been caught in a catch-22 of their own making, as battles rage on in Najaf and other cities with Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army. If excessive force is used against the Mehdi Army a significant portion of Iraqi society will be alienated and turn against the government and the Coalition. However, the militiamen cannot be allowed to continue to cause such unrest if lawlessness is to be averted. This continuing problem was created by the active exclusion of all Sadr followers, who possibly make up the largest single group in Iraqi society, from all central and local government posts by the US-led Coalition since Saddam's fall despite the fact that Moqtada was very positive of the US-led Coalition before July 2003.

  • Continued focused unrest in the Northern Triangle has reiterated the failures of re-Ba'athification, which was an attempt to compromise with terrorists to try and calm the situation, as bombings, kidnappings and executions have shown. This tactic only brings back former regime members who are soaked with innocent blood and disregard any efforts to maintain public safety. Church bombings exemplify the disrespect that Ba'athists and Wahabi terrorists have for Iraqis of any religion and culture.

  • While Muslim states disagreed with the Saudi Arabian plan to send their troops to Iraq, NATO has started sending officers to train Iraqi forces. This gives hope that non-coalition NATO members have stopped dragging their feet and will not oppose a democratic Iraq.

 

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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