Iraq: the Old Saddam, a New Saddam, Al Maliki, and Allawi………


 Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

“Although the army has surrounded the city in the past few days, they have not entered it. The protesters gathered on the square agree that if the soldiers were to enter the city, they would be lynched. “The people of Fallujah have no faith in the army.” Saddam’s flag, with the three stars of the Baath Party, has become a symbol of resistance to the central government in Baghdad. “Maliki is the new Saddam!” Sheikh Khaled Hamood al-Jumaili looked fierce and bitter as he said these words, his hatred for the prime minister in Baghdad shining through. “The weaker he and his government become on the domestic front, the stronger they have to appear on the outside,” he continued…………………..”

“The plush accommodation halls on the outskirts of this southern Iraqi city, normally reserved for visiting Shiite pilgrims, now teem with displaced Sunnis fleeing violence in the western province of Anbar. There and elsewhere, sectarian tensions are brewing as Iraq spirals into the worst cycle of violence it has experienced in years. But here, in one of the holiest cities for Shiite Muslims, Sunni children play on brightly painted swings as families gather in the waning winter light beside clipped magnolia-lined lawns. The scenes are an effort by Shiite religious authorities to portray a picture of harmony as sectarian violence grows. Al-Qaeda’s local franchise, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is building strength in Anbar amid a Sunni-majority population that is growing increasingly disillusioned with the Shiite-led federal government…………..”

So the people who supported the old genuine Saddam and raise his flag are now accusing Al Maliki of being a “new Saddam”. Maybe he is, maybe not: but that charge may actually be an improvement, it sounds like the promising seed of a compromise.

Iraq is being divided by sectarian (and
hence political) tensions, some of it created by Iraqi politicians,
including the ruling parties in power now. But a lot of it is also
imported from the neighboring countries that keep inciting sectarian
tensions as well as sending terrorist volunteers and money into Iraq.
There are many people in Al Anbar who only need a motive to rise against the foreign Wahhabi Salafis who terrorize Iraqis of all sects. They did that once before. One problem with Iraq is that the politics are now almost totally sectarian (and ethnic), with a few tokens of inter-sect alliances. Allawi is a Shi’a (sort of) head of a Sunni bloc, Al Maliki’s bloc has a few Sunni allies; but tokenism is not enough to cleanse violent sectarianism.

Al Maliki and Allawi are not helping. Al Maliki seems intent on remaining in power, while Allawi is not trusted by most Iraqis. It would be healthy if both of them would vanish from the political scene. Maybe they both can go back into exile: Al Maliki can go back to Syria and Iran while Allawi goes back to Yemen and London and Amman (or even Riyadh, where he is popular in the palaces). Things may start to get better, especially if the neighboring regimes would stop meddling in Iraq.