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News Analysis

By Sama Hadad & Yasser Alaskary
November 1, 2004

Iraqi Security

After an ambush by infiltrators that left 49 Iraqi National Guard trainees dead, Prime Minister Allawi blamed the incident on "major neglect" by some of the US-led forces in Iraq since trainees were not provided with arms. However, negligence lies in Allawi's pet policy of re-Ba'athification, where former Saddam regime members and members of the former Sunni elite have been actively sought and recruited, which has resulted in the heavy 'infiltration' of Iraqi security forces and government. A few examples include:

  • Amer al-Hashimi (Wahabi ex-Major General in Saddam's army) who was installed as commander of the new Iraqi army, only to be fired in August for aiding the Wahabi/Salafi insurgency by providing them with information and appointing some in high ranking positions within the new army.
  • Yousef Khalaf Mahmood who was appointed by Allawi as Head of Security for the cabinet, was arrested last week for working with terrorist groups, supplying them with the names and home addresses of all officials and staff in the government. As a result, several government employees and their families have already been murdered in their homes by terrorists.
  • Talib Al-Lahibi (served as an officer under Saddam) who was appointed Commander of the Iraqi National Guard for the province of Diyala, was arrested in September for ties to the insurgency.

The idea that Iraq can rely on members of the previous Sunni/Ba'athi elite for its security is naïve and foolish as it is not in their interest to see a Shia-dominated democracy succeed.

Voter Registration

In spite of threats by terrorists against electoral staff, voter registration has begun in Iraq, under the cover of issuing the 2005 ration cards. The top UN elections expert, Carlos Valenzuela, has contradicted Kofi Annan's on-going doubts on the credibility of Iraqi elections, saying "elections can be credible" and conducted on time. The UN should adjust its actions to match Valenzuela's positive remarks, as it has thus far dragged its feet in providing any serious help to Iraq's preparations for elections.

Politicisation of Army

Allawi has evinced a greater willingness than his predecessors (the CPA and the Iraqi Governing Council) to use the Iraqi army for internal security tasks. History has shown this to be extremely dangerous as the army's role in internal security in the 1930s and 1960s led to its politicisation and eventual involvement in repression and coup-plotting. Added to this danger is the fact that virtually all appointments within the nascent Iraqi Security Forces have come through Allawi's Iraqi National Accord.

International Summit

Iraqis are questioning the purpose of the upcoming international summit on Iraq, to be held in Egypt. The main champions of the summit (who include the Arab League, France, Russia and the Organization of the Islamic Conference) favour an Iraq ruled by a minority Sunni-elite and opposed the removal of Saddam's regime and continue to resist efforts to establish a democracy in Iraq. It is questionable what countries in the Arab League, made up of dictatorships of one form or another, can offer Iraq in its quest for democracy.

 

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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