The UN Trojan Horse
Thursday, April 22, 2004
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.