Is There Any Official In Iraq Who Isn't Corrupt?

It is not wise and fair to single out the Ministry of Trade as an example of how corruptible Iraqi ministries and government have become.

Corruption is a reality in our wounded country. It is more dangerous to the future of Iraq than terrorism, which has been tearing the country and its people apart.

It has taken so long to embark on any serious anti-corruption measures. For this reason, corruption has spread like an infectious disease and is easily discernible at all government ranks.

The newly built interests that have emerged since the U.S. invasion and the division of the country and government along sectarian, ethnic and factional lines stall any serious effort to fight corruption.

It is the responsibility of top officials such as ministers and director-generals to make sure that their institutions are free from corruption. To blame it always on low-ranking officials does not vindicate them.

We all know corruption is endemic in Iraq and we all know that no senior government official has ever taken tough measures against it.

The issue of the Ministry of Trade and corruption should not be left to media and statements by government officials. We need an independent judicial investigation to examine not only the Ministry of Trade but all other institutions which allegedly are mired in corruption.

If the investigation proves the existence of corruption in the Ministry of Trade, then the minister must resign.

If it is proven that the minister himself is involved, that will be a very serious matter. He must face punishment in the light of standing laws and regulations.

If we believe as we claim that we want to be a state of law and order, then let law and order rule. Anarchy rules when everyone becomes the judge, the lawyer and the police at the same time.

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