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The UN Trojan Horse

By Sama Hadad
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Published: National Review Online

Calls for the United Nations to be given a substantial role in Iraq are mounting. With the planned withdrawal of Spanish troops and the ongoing violence in parts of the country, President Bush is under increasing pressure to involve the UN. Bowing to such pressure will undoubtedly have far reaching consequences for Iraq's democratization.

Following the end of World War I the British established Iraq as a country that was ruled by Sunni Arabs; this minority dominated both the military and the government. This rule of a minority over a majority provided the foundations for Saddam Hussein's rise to power and decades of Iraqi suffering. So when Ambassador Bremer decreed last year to disband the Iraqi army and ban high ranking members of the Ba'ath Party from public office, he put an end to the legacy of minority rule in Iraq. This historic event was only matched by the formation of the Governing Council which, for the first time in Iraq's history, was a body that fairly represented Iraq's ethnic makeup. Ever since, these decisions have been the scourge of proponents of minority rule who have sought to undo them at every opportunity.

The latest assault came from the United Nation's Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, former undersecretary of the Arab League. His proposal for a new transitional Iraqi government, cloaked in the legitimacy of the UN, is in an attempt to undo the historic achievements of the past year.

The June 30 deadline is fast approaching and it is still unclear as to what sort of transitional government will guide Iraq to elections in January 2005. Currently, the strongest proposal on the table is for the expansion of the existing Iraqi Governing Council. Instead, Brahimi wants to scrap the body, and with it the fixed percentages that ensure fair representation for each ethnic group. In its place he wants a caretaker government, effectively appointed by the UN, and a national conference to choose a consultative assembly.

Making such sweeping changes for an authority that will only last for six months would be greatly destabilizing for Iraq. It makes no sense. But only by making such drastic changes will it be possible to break up the current political structure and re-establish the old one. It is a last ditch effort to plunge Iraq back into minority rule.

In a recent press conference announcing his proposal for Iraq's transition, the UN Special Envoy revealed his loathing of Iraq's departure from minority dominance by blasting the de-Ba'athification process. Brahimi's obvious lack of impartiality fuelled Iraqi opposition last month to his latest visit. Ayatullah Sistani has made it clear that he will not receive Brahimi and it is not hard to understand why.

The consequences of adopting Brahimi's plan would be catastrophic. If the Shia majority feel cheated out of power a popular uprising will undoubtedly erupt. Democratization will be stalled and Iraq's brutal history will be played out once more.

The proponents of minority rule were ignored when the Iraqi Governing Council was being formed. They were ignored again last November when they proposed the so-called 'Sunni plan'. Calls for UN involvement is their latest attempt at re-establishing minority rule. If Iraq is to be a successful democracy such proposals must be ignored once more.

 

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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