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[casi-analysis] The UN Trojan Horse

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 Analysis brought to you by the Iraqi Prospect Organization:

The UN Trojan Horse

By Sama Hadad
Thursday, April 22, 2004

Calls for the United Nations to be given a substantial role in Iraq are
mounting. With the planned withdrawal of Spanish troops and the ongoing
violence in parts of the country, President Bush is under increasing
pressure to involve the UN. Bowing to such pressure will undoubtedly have
far reaching consequences for Iraq's democratization.

Following the end of World War I the British established Iraq as a country
that was ruled by Sunni Arabs; this minority dominated both the military and
the government. This rule of a minority over a majority provided the
foundations for Saddam Hussein's rise to power and decades of Iraqi
suffering. So when Ambassador Bremer decreed last year to disband the Iraqi
army and ban high ranking members of the Ba'ath Party from public office, he
put an end to the legacy of minority rule in Iraq. This historic event was
only matched by the formation of the Governing Council which, for the first
time in Iraq's history, was a body that fairly represented Iraq's ethnic
makeup. Ever since, these decisions have been the scourge of proponents of
minority rule who have sought to undo them at every opportunity.

The latest assault came from the United Nation's Special Envoy, Lakhdar
Brahimi, former undersecretary of the Arab League. His proposal for a new
transitional Iraqi government, cloaked in the legitimacy of the UN, is in an
attempt to undo the historic achievements of the past year.

The June 30 deadline is fast approaching and it is still unclear as to what
sort of transitional government will guide Iraq to elections in January
2005. Currently, the strongest proposal on the table is for the expansion of
the existing Iraqi Governing Council. Instead, Brahimi wants to scrap the
body, and with it the fixed percentages that ensure fair representation for
each ethnic group. In its place he wants a caretaker government, effectively
appointed by the UN, and a national conference to choose a consultative

Making such sweeping changes for an authority that will only last for six
months would be greatly destabilizing for Iraq. It makes no sense. But only
by making such drastic changes will it be possible to break up the current
political structure and re-establish the old one. It is a last ditch effort
to plunge Iraq back into minority rule.

In a recent press conference announcing his proposal for Iraq's transition,
the UN Special Envoy revealed his loathing of Iraq's departure from minority
dominance by blasting the de-Ba'athification process. Brahimi's obvious lack
of impartiality fuelled Iraqi opposition last month to his latest visit.
Ayatullah Sistani has made it clear that he will not receive Brahimi and it
is not hard to understand why.

The consequences of adopting Brahimi's plan would be catastrophic. If the
Shia majority feel cheated out of power a popular uprising will undoubtedly
erupt. Democratization will be stalled and Iraq's brutal history will be
played out once more.

The proponents of minority rule were ignored when the Iraqi Governing
Council was being formed. They were ignored again last November when they
proposed the so-called 'Sunni plan'. Calls for UN involvement is their
latest attempt at re-establishing minority rule. If Iraq is to be a
successful democracy such proposals must be ignored once more.

Sama Hadad is the spokeswoman for the Iraqi Prospect Organization.

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