According to page two of the al-Wafd newspaper, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass wrote last Wednesday that the only solution to the crises in Iraq and Syria is sectarian division.
Haass, who has held important posts, notably as a director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, said that Iraq will be divided into three small states: Kurdish in the north, Shiite in the south “under the mercy of Iran” and Sunni in the west under the mercy of the extremists, specifically Daesh — also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
He also admits that the U.S. occupation failed and led to the current catastrophic situation.
The administration of George W. Bush along with his British subordinate Tony Blair committed an awful crime in Iraq when they invaded it on March 19, 2003. Until now, Washington D.C. has not wanted to admit the crime it committed despite the departure of the Republicans and the arrival of the Democrats in the government.
The U.S. is considering helping the horrible sectarian government of Nouri al-Maliki instead of looking at the core of the real problem; that is, the catastrophe of the Iraq invasion.
Obviously, before the invasion, Iraq was not heaven on earth. It was suffering under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, as well as from the American embargo dating from 1990, when Saddam made the unthinkable mistake of invading Kuwait in August of that same year.
Some Iraqis and Arabs thanked the United States because it saved them from Saddam’s regime. Instead of helping them create a fair state for all citizens, the first and most dangerous of the U.S. decisions was to dismantle the Iraqi army. That was a clear sign that the real U.S. goal was to destroy Iraq entirely and not reform what Saddam had corrupted.
Many say that Saddam was a hero and a nationalist, but he is the only one responsible for the invasion of Iraq. If he had not been reckless and invaded Kuwait, and if he had established justice and development and allowed freedoms in his country, the United States wouldn’t have dared to invade Iraq and conspire with many Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish political figures. Add to this the suspicious Iranian role, where by day they call the U.S. “The Great Satan” and by night they’re in bed with it in Iraq.
Neither the United States nor Iran could have destroyed Iraq if it were not infested internally in the first place. The Syrian crisis could have been avoided if Bashar al-Assad’s regime was not bloodthirsty. One side of the Syrian and Iraqi resistance is suspicious, infiltrated and funded by the outside. However, it is the government’s responsibility in both cases, due to its sectarian policy, injustice and violence.
The United States committed the crime and now it tells us openly or sometimes implicitly, that the only solution is to have sectarian division in the country. What do we do in this case? Unfortunately, all options look tough, bitter and obscure, unless a miracle comes to light and both governments in Syria and Iraq realize that using force, excluding the other or even imposing sectarianism will lead nowhere and will cause their governments to topple sooner or later.
Until that happens, we will have to keep warning everyone in the region that only the enemy will benefit from fueling the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.
This conflict has been going since the beginnings of Islam, so no faction can eliminate the other; thus, we need to learn how to coexist by finding ways of accepting each other.
If justice could be served, then Bush, Blair and the gangs of new conservatives in the U.S. and Israel would be locked in prison, charged with destroying Iraq and killing hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims.