George Bush’s recent comments – in which he congratulated those he calls “Iraq’s leaders” for an agreement they ratified amongst themselves WATCH – were hard to fit within the bounds of political understanding, unless one sees the event from the point of view of America’s failure in Iraq. This has became a theme for political headlines around the world, because the way political blocs are being formed in Iraq seems like the reheating of a certain dish with the same ingredients and amounts as before, but this time expressing pride [rather than embarrassment] and describing it with different words and terminology but without changing anything of substance.
If one fails to examine closely and takes only a brief glance, one would discover that the components that make up this [new ruling] block – the creation of which the American president has described as a “great victory” – are the same ingredients that have been at the head of the American-produced political process since the occupation began; that these are members of the same government that has led Iraq to destruction and ruin and which have achieved the highest-ever level of sectarian hostility; that these groups and factions have done the impossible in stirring up trouble between Iraqis so as to reap political benefit from the sectarian divisions among them; and that these are the same blocs and parties that have drawn up the plan which has resulted in the phenomena discussed below. We highlight these since Bush and the factions that he works with might be unaware of them, and just in case they hold an overly-rosy picture of the current situation in Iraq:
First: This government – which has continued in the tradition of three previous occupation governments – has come to occupy the top spot in terms of financial and administrative corruption; it has been ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International which ranks over 160 countries [160th out of 163 countries in 2006 ]; unparalleled in the world, billions of dollars looted from Iraq are flowing into the world’s banks without objection from the government or Iraq’s political class, since they are partners in everything and are dependent on mutual silence in regard to the frightening amount of Iraqi wealth that is being looted in broad daylight.
Secondly: The record low level of public services being provided by consecutive Iraqi administrations and even worse, the almost complete disappearance of the provision of basic humanitarian needs. Iraqis have begun the 21st century without electrical power, and everyone knows that this is the very backbone for the people’s survival; the price of oil and oil-based products have reached the highest levels in the world – and lest one forget – Iraq is a nation floating on a sea of oil; nor can most Iraqis obtain essential medicines. There are no medical services, hospitals conditions couldn’t be worse, and there is garbage in the streets and alleys because of the complete absence of municipal services.
Third: Iraq’s catastrophic decline in the field of education shows the magnitude of the threat that the people of this country face in the years to come. It is a decline that is picking up speed by the day, and there’s no sign that any effort to stop this deterioration is being made.
Fourth: One of the most important issues to appear since the recent elections and the rise of the present government is the phenomena of unidentified corpses of those who have been kidnapped in groups and then tortured, turning up in the streets and sewers. By and large, this happens during the hours of curfew when no one is on the streets but those who work for government organs.
This is a brief summary of the achievements accomplished by the Iraqi government and political process, and for which President Bush has congratulated Iraqis. But since this latest dish is not unlike the previous ones, it is sure to make the situation worse, which is a truth demonstrated by the days in which we live.