Place Your Bets: Pro Occupation, or Pro Iraq?

Raed Jarrar: The Bush administration is not just beating a dead horse in Iraq -- it's betting all our tax money on it.
From Raed Jarrar:

The Bush administration wants to support "moderate Iraqis" now.

The administration is trying to support a new front led by Al-Hakim of SCIRI (the Iranian-backed Shia fundamentalist), Al-Hashimi of the Islamic Party, and the Kurdish ruling coalition.

This is not the first time that the Sunni Islamic Party, SCIRI, and the Kurdish coalition are working together.

In Dec 2002, the same names and faces participated in the Iraqi Opposition Conference in London and came away with a long list of promises to turn Iraq into heaven on earth when they reached power.

After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, members of these three fronts along with other foreign-backed groups like Allawi and Chalabi tried to return to Iraq and create coalitions with other Iraqis still inside the country. In fact, the last elections in December 2003 demonstrated just how such political groups from outside Iraq who carried with them some kind of foreign agenda were able to successfully infiltrate Iraqi politics.

They blended in with other Iraqis. They created bonds based on sectarian backgrounds. Thus, groups like SCIRI ended up working with Al-Sadr and Al-Fadila and formed one coalition based on the fact that they were all Shia groups. Their strategy was similar to that of the Islamic Party who formed a Sunni Coalition with other Iraqis.

But, in October 2006, 10 moths after the elections, reality hit home and realignment occurred.

The Iraqi Parliament passed a new regional law that had been pushed for by SCIRI, the Kurdish coalition and others. The law lay the foundation for splitting Iraq into three regions - something all Iraqi nationals inside the country before the fall of Baghdad were dead set against.

Passage of the law was unconstitutional for many reasons and technicalities. Yet, its passage served something good. It was a good wake up call for the pro-Iraq politicians: Iraqi politicians who are for keeping Iraq's unity and for ending the occupation of
their country.

The newest push by the Bush administration that supports the creation of a "new alliance of moderate Iraqis" is doomed. This "new alliance" is made up of the same old people who failed over and over during the last four years.

They are not a real alliance. They are not new. And each of them is working on a different foreign agenda.

They are not moderate enough either. Notice that their militias are slaughtering Iraqis right and left.

And they are not even Iraqi enough! The only quality they share in common is their desire to keep the coalition troops in Iraq longer.

The Bush administration is not just beating a dead horse, it is betting all our tax money on it.
Written in collaboration with Jennifer Hicks
Raed Jarrar is an architect and political analyst currently based in Washington DC. He was born in Baghdad and spent most of his life in Iraq, where he obtained his first degree in architecture at the University of Baghdad.
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