Iraq’s pie in the sky

Unfortunately for Allawi, the protesters, like other Iraqis, are very unlikely to fall for his rosy dreams and generosity.
Sunday 09/02/2020
An Iraqi student during an anti-government protest in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, February 6. (AFP)
The world is watching. An Iraqi student during an anti-government protest in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, February 6. (AFP)

Whoever heard the pledges made by Muqtada al-Sadr’s in-law and Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi may have been transported into fantasy land.

Imagine that, once Allawi takes office, all Iraqis are going to wake up the next morning to find that Iraq had been transformed into another Germany or Switzerland: no more bombs, no more sectarianism or quotas, no more corruption, shady deals or commissions.

Ah, let the good times roll. All Iraqi citizens will be swimming in freedom, dignity and equity; no more favouritism in work opportunities and before the law; no discriminating between a member of a ruling Islamic party or militia and any ordinary citizen who is not a member of a party or a militia.

There will be rejoicing in the families of the martyrs of the October revolution and the latter would be honoured and their families compensated for their loss. The wounded would be treated and taken care of; the kidnapped and the arrested would magically reappear and their full rights restored; the displaced and the refugees inside and outside the homeland would return to their homes safe and sound and would be compensated for their losses and suffering; the jails would be emptied of their occupants, some of whom were being held prisoner for years without trial; corruption would magically disappear and Nuri al-Maliki, Hadi al-Amiri, Qais Khazali, al-Sadr, their relatives and their cohorts would be brought to fair and independent justice, because, from now on, the law is going to reign supreme above all Iraqis.

Unfortunately for Allawi, the protesters, like other Iraqis, are very unlikely to fall for his rosy dreams and generosity.

Of course, it is our ardent desire that Allawi would turn out to be a true patriot, free of all evil and man enough to be independent and stand his ground, so that he would go down in history as a rare Iraqi hero and the unique and beloved leader of the Iraqi people but let’s not get carried away.

Besides making the big mistake of accepting Allawi’s fraudulent nomination as Iraqi prime minister, the man has made a bigger and most dangerous mistake of taking the Iraqi people for fools. His speech was a plain fantasy.

Suppose he is given the benefit of the doubt and accept that he was sincere in his intention to implement all these promises, which, by the way, are above his means and the means of those who appointed him. In that case, the guy can only be either a deranged daydreaming schizophrenic or a dangerous fraudster who is deliberately deceiving the angry citizens. In both cases, he is rejected in advance and his candidacy will not come to pass safely.

Suffice it to know that al-Sadr, whose brother happens to be married to Allawi’s daughter, ordered his thugs to impose Allawi’s nomination on the masses of protesters at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, by force of arms and batons and just plain rude hooliganism, to have an idea about the monstrosity of the fraud. Al-Sadr further conspired with his “evil sisters,” the other rude pro-Iranian militias, to attack demonstrators in the other provinces.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that Allawi is sincere and determined to fulfil his promises, especially regarding bringing those criminals who shed the blood of protesters to justice. Suppose he orders serious and fair investigations right after taking office and that he finds out that the killers and kidnappers were militiamen from the Badr Organisation or Hezbollah or Asaib or al-Sadr followers. Do you think he would be able to bring them to justice?

The guy dared to promise the Iraqis to hold the bosses of corruption accountable for their deeds. Suppose he finds that the biggest and most dangerous of these corrupt people are Maliki, Amiri, Khazali, al-Sadr or their senior associates. Do you think he would be able to order their arrest and expect to be obeyed? What a sham!

Allawi promised the protesters they would have a new elections law, as they wished. Assuming he can do that and assuming that he can order new elections, can he guarantee that the elections would produce the real, fair and serious change that is expected and that could return the demonstrators to their homes, satisfied and safe, not fearing kidnapping, arrest or assassination?

Let’s say the sources of corruption agree to early elections under real and serious international supervision. It would be foolish to expect the United Nations and neutral countries to send a million observers to Iraq, one for each polling station, and even more childish to expect those observers to resist the armed militias and prevent them from snatching the ballot boxes and stuffing them with what they want.

In fact, the outcome of such elections would be a repeat of 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2018 elections and the next parliament would also belong to Amiri, al-Sadr, Maliki, Masoud Barzani’s party, Jalal Talabani’s party, Osama al-Nujaifi, Iyad Allawi and Mohammed al-Halbousi. The more things change, the more they remain the same, as the saying goes.

The bottom line is that no real and serious change will occur in Iranian-American Iraq, ever. As long as weapons are not in the hands of the state and as long as the state remains in the hands of the militia leaders and the militias are in the hands of the “mujahid” Esmail Qaani, Qassem Soleimani’s successor, only Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein or Tarzan would be able to disarm the killers, the swindlers and the agents of the occupier.

As to the poor soul and obedient slave Mohammed Allawi, he could never be a Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam or Tarzan. Hence, our story has a beginning but no end.