Tawfiq Allawi’s failure to form a new government is a victory for the youthful protest movement and a condemnation of the failure and incompetence of the Iraqi political system, says Bahira Shaikhali on al-Arab
Bahira Shaikhali – al-Arab
(Translation by Mideast Mirror Ltd)
Rome, 6th of March 2020, Nena News – Many political analysts, observers, and writers are in consensus that the Iraqi October uprising’s [protest movement] youth have achieved a new victory in forcing PM-designate Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi to withdraw his candidacy. If Allawi had withdrawn earlier, he would have become a national symbol, but he dived into forming his ministerial cabinet, relying on a small handful of advisors, including his son, away from the protest and sit-in arenas.
In fact, he refused to meet with Iraqi union and association representatives and to dialogue with them on the government’s formation, prompting disbelief in his claim during his March 1st withdrawal speech that he sought to form an independent, non-quota government because his leaked cabinet makeup included ministers that ample information indicates are fronts for Shiite leaders and blocs.
Ironically, Allawi included a Turkmen candidate for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs who is currently an ambassador in a European country, Sundus Omar Ali. However, he soon crossed her off the list when it transpired that she was a Sunni, and he replaced her with another Shiite Turkmen named Hassan al-Bayati. This sparked a wave of ridicule against this man who claims that he is not sectarian and does not believe in quotas.
Indeed, this phenomenon where officials are dismissed is a recurrent one, and it takes place at almost all levels: PMs, ministers, speakers of parliament, as well as governors, general administrators, deputy ministers, and other special ranks. According to an opposition Iraqi official, the fall of officials is associated with failure and scathing criticism, and is both a social and career failure at once.
Of course, not all those we have seen fall from positions of responsibility are unqualified. However, the matter – which many of the political process’s figures keep under wraps because the problem lies in the regime and not the people who assume responsibilities, not to mention the consequent social downfall from repeated and persistent dismissal of officials – has distanced some of the most important and distinguished national competencies and prevented them from cooperating with a regime that does not honor those who cooperate with it.
Moreover, those with distinguished competencies failed, not because they were lacking, but due to the nature of the regime and its rampant disorder, which anyone who aspires to a post of responsibility must consider carefully. There is an Iraqi assumption that the crowd that [post-2003] U.S. Administrator Paul Bremer brought to Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s regime is inherently unprincipled. Anyone who reviews the insults exchanged within its ranks realizes that they are the dregs of the earth. Most have been criminals who were condemned for moral reasons, but when they came to power, they drove Iraq towards a phase of non-statehood.
They learned how to defraud abroad. Indeed, former PM Nuri al-Maliki, for example, has become known in the Levant as a master in forging passports and entry visas, as has [former finance minister] Baqir Jabr Solagh, and many have admitted that when their colleagues were part of the opposition, they worked as smugglers for their own interests and not to benefit the cause they claimed to be fighting for.
In terms of the policy, they propagated what is known as the ‘London Labor Charter’, which was a program to dismantle the state and destroy its institutions. Successive governments have succeeded, not in upholding the state, but in preventing any construction or reform. Ever since these Green Zone settlers arrived, development plans have been canceled and the Iraqi economy has been harnessed to serve the parties, the PMU [Popular Mobilization Units], and the Iranian overlord.
The current Iraqi system was designed to be disjointed and incapable of wielding the competence needed to manage public policy. Moreover, its figures lack experience in managing the state, since most have no practical experience in governance. Add to that all the regional and international interventions. Hence, failure has become inevitable, given these factors’ interactions, as well as the power of the armed political components that impose agendas intertwined with Iranian goals that strive to maintain the prevailing state of weakness and political flux. This is an Iranian mission that seeks to distract the region from the Iranian regime’s domination.
There appears to be no solution on the horizon except that proposed by the Secretary-General of the Iraqi National Front, namely, to impose the uprising/revolution’s will to overthrow the political process by force, including via a military coup, and impose a transitional government for a specified interval, after which the Iraqi people would be empowered to hold early democratic elections supervised by neutral, impartial and international committees and with international oversight – after all the militia forces are rooted out.
This may seem like a farfetched proposal, thus it may seem that the more accessible solution is for the revolution, which has lasted over four months, to maintain its peaceful course with support from all sides, especially since from the day it broke out on October 1st, the uprising has registered many successes, all of the Iraqi youth’s sacrifices notwithstanding.
It has proven to those who claim to be the largest bloc are the people, and that those who dominate Iraqi rule must depart and hand over the reins to the people. Otherwise, they will meet no better fate than other tyrants.