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[casi-analysis] RE: Sama Hadad

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Dear List,

Sama Hadad's posting below reflects her sectarian sentiments, and she has no
right invoking the name of Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in this manner.
Sectarianism is as disagreeable in Iraq as it is in Ireland and elsewhere, and
it is being promoted by the US through the occupation and through the
imposition of formal ethnic claims to political legitimacy. People should be
aware that there is widespread rejection of sectarianism across Iraq's

Kamil Mahdi

>From: "Sama Hadad" <>
>To: <>
>Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 12:49:29 +0100
>Subject: [casi-analysis] =?iso-8859-1?Q?The_Bush_Iraq_Plan_-_Make_or_Break.?=
>[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

>The Bush Iraq Plan - Make or Break.
>May 28, 2004
>By Sama Hadad
>On the 24th May 2004, President Bush reaffirmed his vision for a democratic=
> and free Iraq. If successful, this plan would see Iraq as a shining exampl=
>e of democracy and liberty in the Middle East. Whilst this may be one of th=
>e boldest political endeavors since World War II, it is a fragile process t=
>hat will not survive any political mistakes. The selection of the transitio=
>nal Iraqi government presents the greatest opportunity for such a mistake t=
>o be made.
>Having lived under generations of successive minority-dominated regimes, Ir=
>aq's Shia rejoiced when Saddam's statue was brought down. Subsequently, Shi=
>a regions have been largely quiet in comparison to the volatile Sunni trian=
>gle, which has been witness to large Coalition casualties. Despite the ongo=
>ing instability and mounting deaths, the Shia have remained optimistic abou=
>t their future. The Americans came with the promise of democracy and libert=
>y and therefore the majority of the Shia remained patient and hopeful. To t=
>hem, short-term inconveniences and struggles were an inevitable difficulty =
>that could be tolerated, in the hope that a new Iraq would emerge. A new Ir=
>aq that would bear no resemblance to that of the past. Sitting in a house i=
>n the slums of Baghdad in the sweltering heat of August last year, one woma=
>n reassured me when the power went out, "my dear, all this is worth
>ior to this past month, when have the Shia ever been the majority in govern=
>ment?" She was of course referring to the majority-Shia Governing Council, =
>formed in July.
>Now imagine, come the 1st July, and Iraqis wake up to a 'new Iraq' whose pr=
>esident or prime minister is a Sunni Arab. What will Iraq's Shia think? Wha=
>t will they do? It will not escape them that history is being repeated, for=
> once again they will find themselves in an Iraq which is two-thirds Shia, =
>but governed by an individual selected from the one-sixth Sunni Arab popula=
>tion. To them, Operation Iraqi Freedom will have been a sham and the lives =
>lost on both theirs and the Coalition's side will have been lost in vain. O=
>nce again the seeds of minority rule will have been sown in Iraq to create =
>a harvest of discord.
>Iraq is embarking on a crucial stage in its transition to democracy. The ne=
>xt eighteen months will set the foundations for a democratic Iraq: a perman=
>ent constitution, a referendum and Iraq's first democratically elected nati=
>onal government. With ongoing terrorist activities and continuing security =
>difficulties, its entrance into this crucial phase will be unstable to say =
>the least. The compounding instability that will be created by handing over=
> to an unpopular government headed by a Sunni president or prime minister, =
>will obliterate any chance of Iraq becoming a beacon of democracy in the Mi=
>ddle East. Iraq's central and southern regions, the Shia heartlands, will e=
>rupt into unrest on a scale yet to be witnessed.
>Ayatollah Sistani, the Shia's most senior religious leader, must not be for=
>gotten. Although he is opposed to a theocracy in Iraq and does not wish to =
>hold a political position, he has proven to be vocal whenever Iraq's Shia h=
>ave been threatened. When Sistani felt that Shia representation was at risk=
> from Bremer's caucus plan, he demonstrated his political strength - with o=
>ne call, the Grand Ayatollah flooded Iraqi streets up and down the country =
>with protesters. And, remarkably, in one call for calm, he was able to with=
>draw them. If Lakhdar Brahimi announces a transitional government whose top=
> two jobs are not held by Shia, Ayatollah Sistani will not remain silent. F=
>eeling marginalized, the power of Iraq's large majority will be unleashed. =
>This will push Shia moderates into the hands of extremists.
>A poll conducted last month by the Iraqi Centre for Research and Strategic =
>Studies shows two-thirds of Shia still felt the war was one of liberation. =
>By contrast, the same poll shows two-thirds of Sunnis felt the war shamed t=
>hem. Furthermore, the poll shows that one-third of Sunnis support attacks a=
>gainst the Coalition. There is little sense in appointing a Sunni president=
> or prime minister whose own ethnic group are openly hostile to the Coaliti=
>on and will therefore oppose any Coalition decision regardless. There is ev=
>en less sense in such a move, when it will serve to alienate the Shia major=
>ity. Any multi-ethnic democracy should have provisions and safeguards for m=
>inority groups, and that is exactly why there are two vice-presidency posit=
>ions in the transitional Iraqi government.
>While many names are being considered by Brahimi and the CPA for the transi=
>tional government, there seems to be one certainty: Adnan Pachachi or one o=
>f his associates will take the position of president or prime minister. Pac=
>hachi, who opposed Iraq's liberation and Kuwait's right to exist, is a Sunn=
>i pan-Arabist. Bush's Iraq plan is set to fail.
>Sama Hadad is the Spokeswoman for the Iraqi Prospect Organization, a pro-de=
>mocracy group.

Dr Kamil Mahdi
University of Exeter

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