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Baghdadee بغدادي

Iraqi Opinions

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Public opinion is still favorable to reconstruction. There are certainly Iraqis who hate the United States and want us and our coalition allies out of their country as quickly as possible. There are others who are delighted to have the United States in Iraq. However, the vast majority of Iraqis tend to see us as a necessary evil. This may not be our preference, but it is perfectly adequate for our purposes. In numerous conversations, Iraqis expressed some variant of the following sentiment: "We really wish you weren't here occupying our country -- but please don't leave. If you leave, there will be civil war." Other American officials, military personnel, journalists, and aid workers in Iraq, as well as many other Iraqis, agreed that this was the majority attitude throughout the country. Indeed, the superb study of Iraqi public opinion by the National Democratic Institute found the same, reporting the view best expressed by a former secretary general of the Iraqi Communist Party that, "If the CPA were to withdraw from Iraq, there would be a civil war and democrats would have no chance."


Indeed, the fear that the withdrawal of U.S. troops would lead to a quick descent into civil war is palpable throughout the country. While I was in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld had just announced plans to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq by 30,000 troops. This caused a virtual panic among many Iraqis that the United States intended to withdraw altogether. The fear that a U.S. withdrawal would lead to civil war was a constant theme in Iraqi conversations about the occupation. Again, the NDI study found the same, quoting one Shiite woman as saying, "If the Americans are not here, everyone will kill one another."


These fears also have a disconcerting basis in truth. Just beneath the surface in Iraq, it is easy to discern the forces of chaos and internecine violence lurking. Many local militias fiercely guard their patches of territory, and other militias are forming. Muqtada as-Sadr has formed a particularly strong militia in Sadr City in Baghdad, and various other Shiite militias control different southern cities -- just as Sunni militias control certain towns in western Iraq and the Kurds maintain their control of the far north. Many Iraqis expressed to me growing anxiety because "their leaders" (who were generally unnamed) were beginning to talk about the need to take matters into their own hands, which they saw as being the start of a Lebanon-like process of disintegration.


Ironically, it is this negative fear of civil war that seems to be the greatest impetus to continued, if grudging, Iraqi popular support for the U.S. presence to date. In this context, the positive efforts of the U.S.-led Coalition to help Iraqis to build a new, better Iraq assume a secondary importance.


Most Iraqi leaders remain patient. At the top of the Iraqi political pyramid, most of the country's surviving leaders -- religious figures, tribal shaykhs, the Kurdish leaders, and a small number of others -- remain largely committed to the U.S. reconstruction process. Particularly among the leading Shiite clerics like Grand Ayatollah 'Ali Sistani, Hussein as-Sadr, 'Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, and other members of the Shiite Hawza (or al-Hawza al-'Ilmiyah, the Shiite religious establishment largely resident in the southern city of an-Najaf), there remains a strong conviction that if the American-led process can work, this is Iraq's best chance to avoid civil war and build a strong, independent new country in which its majority Shiite population will finally have political weight equivalent to their demographic presence. Similarly, the Kurdish leaders also remain committed to the U.S.-led process as the most likely to produce a democratic Iraq in which Kurds will not be oppressed and will enjoy considerable autonomy, even though the details of that status remain contentious.


Of course, not all of Iraq's leaders are committed to this process. Certainly many Sunni tribal shaykhs are deeply opposed to the U.S. occupation (see below). Similarly, a smaller number of religious figures, particularly Shiite religious figures such as Muqtada as-Sadr, continue to rail against the U.S. presence. The Sunni tribal leaders are influential with their followers, but these are only a tiny percentage of the total population. Likewise, Muqtada as-Sadr and his colleagues have largely been marginalized by the Hawza within the Shiite community. Probably as a result, as-Sadr has toned down his rhetoric, although he continues to actively recruit and expand areas under his control in expectation that at some point the U.S. will withdraw -- or lose control -- and he will then be able to reassert himself.


Overall, the pattern has been quite good: the majority of Iraq's leaders, those who managed to survive Saddam's brutal, decapitating reign, want to see the U.S.-led occupation succeed. Most have been willing to cooperate with the American CPA, if only surreptitiously. So far, these leaders -- indeed most Iraqis -- have demonstrated a remarkable degree of patience with the U.S. process of reconstruction, which has not delivered basic security or services anywhere near the pace that they and their followers desired. Of course, it is unlikely that their patience will endure forever, and there were hints of this already in Baghdad in November 2003.4 Several Iraqis told me that they were concerned because their leaders were beginning to question whether the Americans would ever be able to do what we had promised and were beginning to make plans to take matters into their own hands should the U.S.-led occupation fail at some point in the future. When asked when in the future, the universal response was simply "soon," but this may reflect the uncertainty of my interlocutors rather than the actual intentions of their leaders.


Most of the insurgents are neither very capable nor very committed. U.S. military officers in Iraq note that the foe they face is not a terribly formidable one -- at least not yet. By and large, the insurgency is not an obstacle to reconstruction. Insurgent attacks can be deadly, but at this stage they are mostly a form of harrassment.


It is hard to know precisely who is attacking U.S. forces, although American military officials believe that it is principally former members of Saddam's regime, including former Special Security Organization and Special Republican Guard personnel. Some, possibly many, of the insurgents are likely tribal Sunni Arabs who live in western Iraq who may or may not have been members of the regime. There is also believed to be a contingent of foreigners, mostly associated with al-Qa'eda and other Salafi Jihadist groups, although estimates of their numbers range from the hundreds to the low thousands. Regardless of their numbers, over the past six months, the foreigners appear to have been able to build a network of logistical bases, information gathering operations, communications and transportation links, and basic operating knowledge to allow them to conduct a number of devastating attacks. Finally, some of those attacking U.S. forces are undoubtedly independent Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists who have their own reasons for hating the Americans and wanting us out, although these seem to be the smallest contingent. In short, there is a wide range of people seeking to undermine the American presence through violence in Iraq.


U.S. intelligence can do little more than guess at the size of the insurgency. American military commanders have frequently cited an estimate of roughly 5,000 full-time insurgent fighters (with possibly as many as 50,000 part-time fighters and support personnel). That may be a reasonable estimate. Most of the attacks are conducted by very small numbers of people. For instance, U.S. intelligence personnel estimated in November that only 8-10 groups of no more than 10-20 insurgents each were operating in the Baghdad area.


What's more, the insurgency is principally located in western and northwestern Iraq -- the area commonly called the "Sunni triangle" running from Baghdad west to ar-Ramadi and ar-Rutbah, and then north to Mosul. While there are insurgent attacks from time to time elsewhere in the country, it is believed that in most cases, the attackers originated in the Sunni triangle and simply sprung their ambush or laid their improvised explosive device (IED) elsewhere in the country.

American military personnel stress that the threat posed by the insurgents is generally quite modest. Coalition forces continue to suffer about 20-30 attacks per day. The vast majority are IEDs detonated from roughly half-a-mile away; mortar attacks in which 2-4 personnel drive up in a pick-up truck with a mortar on the back and lob a handful of rounds at a major Coalition facility; or ambushes in which the attackers fire off a magazine or two from their Kalashnikovs and then flee. In short, they are not determined attacks by insurgents willing to die for their cause -- nor are they always very skillfully conducted. The attackers generally place a premium on their survival, not on killing Americans. As a result, most of the attacks do little damage, and the United States continues to suffer only an average of about 1-2 dead per day. As one sergeant who had fought in Vietnam put it to me, "if this were the Viet Cong, we'd have a hundred dead per day."


For this reason, there is a widespread sense that most of the insurgents are motivated primarily by money. While he was on the loose, Saddam reportedly paid $250 for killing an American. Consequently, his loyalists -- who never evinced much willingness to die for him while he ruled -- were willing to conduct large numbers of rather paltry attacks in the hope that they might get lucky and kill one or more Americans, rather than stand and fight (especially against U.S. firepower) and risk being killed, even though by doing so they would have a much greater likelihood of killing Americans.


The one exception to this rule is the al-Qa'eda terrorists and other foreign jihadists. They have demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice their lives (including in suicide attacks) and fight to the death in places like Afghanistan and elsewhere. In part for this reason, American military and intelligence personnel generally believe that al-Qa'eda has been responsible for most, if not all, of the various car bombings and other suicide attacks. These attacks also demonstrated a degree of sophistication in their choice of targets, reconnaissance, simultaneity, and attack parameters that were well in keeping with al-Qa'eda capabilities and practices, but beyond what the Iraqis had ever managed themselves. Some even suspect that the ambush at Samarra at the end of November, in which several dozen insurgents slugged it out with a heavily armored American task force for several hours, may actually have been conducted by al-Qa'eda or other foreign elements because the determination of these attackers to stand and fight and die was so unusual and incongruous for former regime loyalists (FRLs) or Sunni tribesman.


Thus, overall, U.S. military personnel contend that most of the insurgents are not very committed to their cause (certainly not enough to die for it), and not very competent at what they do. The small number that are willing to die for the cause appear to be mostly foreigners, who are often resented by the Iraqi population, and therefore could be neutralized by convincing the domestic population to inform on them. As a result, there is a strong sense that the insurgency itself does not represent an insurmountable challenge to the reconstruction effort -- if the United States is willing to take a number of important steps to deal with them. Possibly the greatest concern for many American military personnel confronting the insurgency is that the daily toll of American dead and wounded will erode domestic political support for the mission.




(Iraqi Comments please?)

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Iraq Reconstruction Update #4: Crossroads


While the occupation is generally unpopular, there is a segment of the population, especially among the Shia, that prefers these forces remain until a greater measure of stability can be cultivated. The tacit support of this group may be eroding as the perception that U.S. forces are incapable of bringing security grows. If the security situation continues to deteriorate, groups that have hitherto cooperated with the coalition may abandon it.


In an effort to stave off such a collapse of support and mollify international critics, on Nov. 15, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush adopted an accelerated timetable for the return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people by June 2004. The plan will unfold in a number of stages. In the first, a set of fundamental laws will be adopted for the protection of minority rights and to define a broad federal system. In the meantime, provincial caucuses will be chosen by a combination of local notables and the current Governing Council. In stage two, these caucuses will elect a transnational assembly in May 2004, which will act as a provisional government and assume sovereignty the following month. The idea is to ensconce a government in Iraq that will have the broad legitimacy lacking in the U.S.-appointed Governing Council. In the third stage, the CPA would be dissolved, though coalition forces would stay on to ensure the security, stability, and presumably the behavior of the provisional government. Under the auspices of the provisional government, a constitutional assembly will draft a permanent constitution. In the final stage following the drafting of a constitution, national elections will be held for a new, permanent, Iraqi government.


It is a complicated and nuanced plan, but it has a number of advantages. The plan allows for a quick transfer of power to a government more representative of the Iraqi people. It also avoids the winner-takes-all aspect associated with early elections and consequently lessens the risk of social and political conflict. Perhaps most importantly, it defers the big decisions regarding the permanent constitution, the role of religion, and the form of government in order to allow time for consensus building and reconciliation.


Time is needed. The task of political reconstruction will involve not just the creation of a new political system, but the creation of a new cultural and political Iraqi identity on the ruins of decades of repression and violence.


For almost a century, the Sunni minority (20-25 percent of the population) have enjoyed a position of preeminence relative to the Shia majority (60-65 percent of population). This order was established under Ottoman rule even before the modern state of Iraq emerged. During the British Mandate of the 1920s and 1930s, Iraq’s colonial masters perpetuated Sunni administration of the country in the face of often-violent Shia resistance. The Sunni bureaucratic class came to dominate the state’s institutions, relying on coercion and patronage to govern their sectarian rivals until the fall of Saddam Hussein. It is a history that offers little foundation upon which to build a pluralist successor state.


Looking forward, whatever the outcome of efforts at political reconstruction, it is clear that the political landscape in Iraq has been altered permanently. Saddam will not return triumphant and the Sunni position atop the Iraqi food chain is not merely threatened, it is dead. Iraqi Shiites now appear content that history should rhyme rather than repeat. In contrast to the days of the British occupation, it is the Shiites who for the most part appear willing to tolerate the American-led occupation while U.S. forces and Sunni insurgents attempt to exhaust each other. Though the Shia community is deeply divided, parties within it are well organized, especially the Islamists, and imbued with a sense of destiny. Their power will continue to grow as Sunni influence wanes under the twin pressures of counterinsurgency and de-Baathification. Iraq’s Shia majority would like to dominate the political future of the country in one guise or another.


Oddly, it is the United States that now represents the Sunnis minority’s best hope for a peaceful and prosperous future in Iraq. America’s vision of Iraq as a unitary, functioning democracy may be far-fetched. But fashioning such a political system that is inclusive and respectful of minority rights is a goal that Iraq’s Sunni population would be wise to adopt. Codifying these ideals in a future Iraqi constitution and political process will require outside tutelage and guidance, even if a Western style democracy is not the result. It is an irony that appears to be lost on the Sunni insurgents. If the insurgents triumphed and coalition forces were forced to retreat from Iraq tomorrow, civil war would likely follow, perhaps with Shia Iran quietly supporting its coreligionists in Iraq. It is a conflict the Shiites would probably win, and the ensuing social and political environment would not favor the old Sunni elite or the greater Sunni minority.


The challenge for the CPA then is to entice the Sunni minority back into the fold of Iraqi politics without being perceived as betraying the Shiite community’s sense of liberation and political ascendancy. It is a balancing act made all the more difficult by the insistence of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the senior Shiite leader in Iraq and the figure with the largest following, that even the provisional government should be popularly elected. For Sistani, who has thus far supported the occupation, elections are a way of securing Shia prevalence in the new government. But acquiescing to the ayatollah’s demand would be a mistake on a number of levels.


A new political system that is disproportionately populated by the Shia would likely be heavily influenced by Shia religious parties. It would further alienate the Sunnis, whose participation will be needed in the future, if only to dilute such a system. And the secular middle class, whose skills will eventually be needed to run the country, wants to see some limits placed upon the dictates of Sistani and the senior Shia religious establishment (Hawza). However, without the support or at least the acquiescence of the Hawza, the position of the coalition in Iraq would become untenable. The contours of a compromise between Sistani and the CPA are difficult to see, but desperately needed.




(Iraqi Comments please?)


PS: those opinions are not necessarily mine, but are the authors of each topic furninsed at the links I provided for each ( the complete articles are much longer ).. my only intend is fpr useful dialog (and your opinions) from the various enities in Iraq, who hopefully, can find common ground establishing an Iraqi Government that is fair to all Iraqi's and brings peace with prosperity to all the peoples of Iraq.


That is the only wish of my Government (USA) in my opinion, with the additional goal of becoming your Good friends and allies in a New Iraq, of, by and for ALL Iraqi's.


Please forgive our eneptness, but at least we and our allies are trying to help you, while much of the world stands on the sidelines or actively obstructs this effort.

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Thus, overall, U.S. military personnel contend that most of the insurgents are not very committed to their cause (certainly not enough to die for it), and not very competent at what they do.


Fully agree!

Very interesting

As Iraqi I would say that this is one of the most accurate analysis..

As for the fear from US withdraw, there might be also the fear of Sadmees return back, not only the fear from civil war.

The first was mostely dimished by the capture of Saddam..

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Guest Tom Grey

Insofar as elections need voting rolls, a voting place, voting ballots, and candidates, I don't see any reason why more Iraqi cities don't already have votes on "temporary" mayors. I understand that steps towards such earlier were rebuffed by the US led forces.


It is important to get the gov't/ reconstruction budget on the table soon -- how much money, which has to be split on the top priorities. Local Iraqi mayors should be making more decisions; the transition should be that US led forces control some money, and Iraqi elected officials control some money.


Over time, the money/ power of the Iraqis will be greater than the CPA; and the locals will have more experience.

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Best political analysis of the American position in Iraq that I have read, Texas Gentleman. I could not agree more. I do hope Iraqis choose to continue down this path, and that Sistani backs off. I hate that these decisions are left so much to a wild card like the UN. They may side with Sistani just to get to watch us try and dodge all the landmines created by a premature popular election scenario. Clearly the UN is not squeamish about the sight of Iraqi blood, and many in that esteemed body would consider an Iraqi disaster quite a price worth paying just to be able to point their crooked finger toward an "American failure". Distressing. I wish we could at least trust the UN to try and do the right thing by the Iraqi people.

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I think this NEW agreement and interim Iraq LAW shows great progress accomplished in less than a year by a coalition of willing countries that wish nothing more than a Free and Functioning Iraq that insures freedom & equality for ALL of Iraq's citizens... If the Iraqis stand together demanding equality for ALL and prejudice toward none.. they indeed will become a NEW beacon of freedom through their new found opportunity's of democracy that will spread throughout the now festering middle east. This is the only way that truely offers equal opportunity for prosperity and hope to all those people NOW still disadvantaged by some of the most dispicable regimes ever know to mankind in their region.


the following is from http://deeds.blogspot.com/


please read it and comment



Monday, March 08, 2004



(By John Galt) Iraq has a Constitution, unanimously signed after a slight false start. Iraq’s Construction has a Bill of Rights, federal structure and direct elections.


IMHO, Iraq’s Constitution is a Moral Beacon in a darkness that has covered the Middle East for several hundred years. Islam, one of the three great monotheistic religions, has been corrupted by secular and non-secular radicalisms.


IMHO, Iraq’s Constitution reflects humanity’s universal truth of freedom and equality.


IMHO, Iraq’s Constitution will have to be debated, defended and championed as long as people continue to live in the Fertile Crescent. Today’s signing is a successful event and the official first day of an ongoing challenge of freedom.


I hope the Iraqis celebrate their accomplishment today. And get back to work building their country and its democracy in spite of inevitable hardships.

# posted by John Galt @ 7:13 AM


Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Executive Summary (From CPA Intranet)


The Transitional Administrative Law will be the Supreme Law of Iraq, during the transitional period.

It will expire once a government is elected under a permanent constitution and take office. This will happen no later than December 31, 2005. The transitional period will consist of two phases:


Phase I: On 30 June 2004, an Iraqi Interim Government will be vested with full sovereignty, and the Coalition Provisional Authority will dissolve. This Iraqi government will be formed through a process of widespread consultation with the Iraqi people and will govern according to the Transitional Administrative Law and an annex to be issued before the beginning of the transitional period.

Phase II: The Iraqi Transitional Government will take office after elections for the National Assembly. These elections will take place as soon as possible, but no later than 31 January 2005.


The Fundamental Principles of the Law include the following:


The system of government in Iraq will be republican, federal, democratic, and pluralistic. Federalism will be based on geography, history, and the separation of powers and not on ethnicity or sect.

The Iraqi Armed Forces will fall under the control of Iraq’s civilian political leadership.

Islam will be the official religion of the State and will be considered a source of legislation. The Law will respect the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantee the freedom of religious belief and practice.

Arabic and Kurdish will be the official languages of Iraq.


The people of Iraq are sovereign and free. All Iraqis are equal in their rights and without regard to gender, nationality, religion, or ethnic origin and they are equal before the law. Those unjustly deprived of their citizenship by previous Iraqi regimes will have the right to reclaim their citizenship. The government will respect the rights of the people, including the rights:


· To freedom of thought, conscience, and expression;


· To assemble peaceably and to associate and organize freely;


· To justice; to a fair, speedy, and open trial and to the presumption of innocence;


· To vote, according to law, in free, fair, competitive and periodic elections;


· To file grievances against officials when these rights have been violated.


The Transitional Iraqi Government will contain checks, balances, and the separation of powers.

The federal government will have the exclusive right to exercise sovereign power in a number of critical areas, including the management and control of the following:


National security policy; independent militias shall be prohibited,

Foreign policy, diplomatic representation, and border control,

National fiscal, monetary and commercial policy,

National resources; revenues from which must be spent on the needs of all of Iraq’s regions in an equitable manner.

The Transitional Legislative Authority will be vested in a National Assembly, which will pass laws and help select and oversee the work of the executive authority. The National Assembly will be freely elected by the people of Iraq, under an electoral system designed to achieve representation of women of at least one-quarter of its members, as well as fair representation of all of Iraq’s communities.


The Transitional Executive Authority

will consist of the Presidency and the Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister.


· The Presidency Council will consist of the President and two Deputy Presidents, and will be elected by the National Assembly as a group. The Presidency Council will represent the sovereignty of Iraq, may veto laws, and make appointments. All decisions of the Presidency Council will be taken unanimously.


· The Presidency Council will nominate the Prime Minister and, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, will also nominate the Council of Ministers. All ministers will need to be confirmed in a vote of confidence by the National Assembly.


· The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers will oversee the day-to-day management of the government.


The Federal Judicial Authority will be independent.

A Federal Supreme Court will be created to hear judicial appeals and to ensure that all laws in Iraq are consistent with the Transitional Administrative Law. It will consist of nine members, who will be appointed by the Presidency Council upon the recommendation of an impartial Higher Juridical Council.


Federalism and local government

will ensure a unified Iraq and prevent the concentration of power in the central government that enabled decades of tyranny and oppression. This will encourage the exercise of local authority in which all citizens are able to participate actively in political life.


· The Kurdistan Regional Government will be recognized as an official regional government within a unified Iraq, and will continue to exercise many of the functions it currently exercises. Groups of governorates elsewhere in Iraq will be permitted to form regions, and take on additional authorities.


· The governorates will have Governors and Governorate Councils, in addition to municipal, local, and city councils as appropriate.


· All authorities not reserved to the Federal Government may be exercised as appropriate by the governorates and the Kurdistan Regional Government.


· Elections for Governorate Councils throughout Iraq, and also for the Kurdistan National Assembly will be held at the same time as elections for the National Assembly, no later than 31 January 2005.


Iraq’s security will be defended by Iraqi Armed Forces, working together with the Coalition.

Consistent with Iraq’s sovereign status, the Iraqi Armed Forces will play a leading role as a partner in the multinational force helping to bring security to Iraq in the transitional period. The Iraqi Transitional Government will also have the authority to negotiate a security agreement with Coalition forces.


The National Assembly will be responsible for drafting the permanent constitution.


After consulting with the Iraqi people and completing a draft, the proposed constitution will be submitted to the public in a referendum, which will occur no later than 15 October 2005. If the constitution is adopted, elections for a new government under the constitution will be held, and the new government will take office no later than 31 December 2005.


# posted by John Galt @ 4:33 AM


Thursday, March 11, 2004



Unprecedented document for Iraq and the region


The Transitional Administrative Law sets out the basic rights of all the people of Iraq. With the adoption of this Law, the Governing Council has taken an historic step forward toward a democratic Iraq.


Individual rights guaranteed in the Transitional Administrative Law:


“All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts.” (Chap 2, Article 12)


“Public and private freedoms shall be protected.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“The right of free expression shall be protected.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“Each Iraqi has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief and practice. Coercion in such matters shall be prohibited.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances, as shall cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment….” (Chap 2, Article 15)


“Each Iraqi has the right to demonstrate and strike peaceably in accordance with the law.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“The right of free peaceable assembly and the right to join associations freely, as well as the right to form and join unions and political parties freely, in accordance with the law, shall be guaranteed.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“Every Iraqi…has the right to stand for election and cast his ballot secretly in free, open, fair, competitive, and periodic elections. No Iraqi may be discriminated against for purposes of voting in elections on the basis of gender, religion, sect, race, belief, ethnic origin, language, wealth, or literacy.” (Chap 2, Article 20)


“Anyone who carries Iraqi nationality shall be deemed an Iraqi citizen. No Iraqi may have his Iraqi citizenship withdrawn or be exiled unless he is a naturalized citizen who, in his application for citizenship, as established in a court of law, made material falsifications on the basis of which citizenship was granted. Each Iraqi shall have the right to carry more than one citizenship. Any Iraqi whose Iraqi citizenship was withdrawn for political, religious, racial, or sectarian reasons has the right to reclaim his Iraqi citizenship.” (Chap 2, Article 11)


“The right to a fair, speedy and open trial shall be guaranteed.” (Chap 2, Article 15)


“All persons shall be guaranteed the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, regardless of whether the proceeding is civil or criminal….”(Chap 2, Article 15)


“The accused is innocent until proven guilty pursuant to law, and he likewise has the right to engage independent and competent counsel, to remain silent in response to questions addressed to him with no compulsion to testify for any reason, to participate in preparing his defense, and to summon and examine witnesses or to ask the judge to do so. At the time a person is arrested, he must be notified of these rights.” (Chap 2, Article 15)


“After being found innocent of a charge, an accused may not be tried once again on the same charge.” (Chap 2, Article 15)


“Slavery and the slave trade, forced labor, and involuntary servitude, with or without pay, shall be forbidden.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“The individual has the right to security, education, healthcare and social security.” (Chap 2, Article 14)


“Each Iraqi has the right to privacy.” (Chap 2, Article 13)


“Police, investigators, or other governmental authorities may not violate the sanctity of private residences, whether these authorities belong to the federal or regional governments, governorates, municipalities, or local administrations, unless a judge or investigating magistrate has issued a search warrant….” (Chap 2, Article 15)


“No one may be unlawfully arrested or detained, and no one may be detained by reason of political or religious beliefs.” (Chap 2, Article 15)


“The right to private property shall be protected…. No one shall be deprived of his property except by eminent domain, in circumstances and in the manner set forth in law, and on condition that he is paid just and timely compensation.” (Chap 2, Article 16)


“There shall be no taxation or fee except by law.” (Chap 2, Article 18)


“This Law is the Supreme Law of the land and shall be binding in all parts of Iraq without exception. No amendment to this Law may be made except by a three-fourths majority of the members of the National Assembly and the unanimous approval of the Presidency Council.” (Chap 1, Article 3)

# posted by John Galt @ 3:28 AM


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Friday, March 12, 2004 from;



They came. They did their job. They will leave.


-Since the formation of the GC, there has been a lot of criticism and accusation to this council. Some people said it didn’t represent the Iraqi people, others accused them of being puppets to the Americans, and others called them as corrupted selfish people who cared only of their interests and those of the ethnic or religious group each one of them is representing.

As the GC is about to finish it’s task and hand the authority to a temporary government, one would like to asses what has been accomplished and the way the GC handled different problems and the degree of success or failure the GC had achieved in all the missions that were lying on their back.

Regarding the question of how much the GC represent Iraqis, I’d like to say that in my opinion -and I think most agree on this- the GC represent about 30 to 40% of Iraqis. Now to start with this is more than any previous government, including the constitutional monarchy before 1958, had represented the Iraqis. Besides, the fact that the left 60 to 70% were mostly independent people who have no political stance makes one say with clear conscience that the GC is the best available representative of Iraqis.


Many people blame the American administration for having no plan for the period after the war. This includes Arab, Muslim, some Iraqis and Americans as well. I’d like to say that when the major operations came to an end, the American administration was left with NOTHING on the ground. Iraq was broke economically, politically and morally too. The difficulties were far from being easy to solve and as the Americans searched for the political parties that represent Iraqis, they found only those in the GC, they were not satisfied with most of them, but since there were no alternatives they had to deal with them in the hope that stability will allow the Iraqis with time to form new and more mature political visions and parties that would replace those at the present.


I’d say it’s unfair, especially on our part (Iraqis) to say that the American administration had no plan for the post-war period. I think they had “plans to make plans!” these are not my words, they are senator Kerry’s in response to the question of his plans regarding Iraq if he is to win the elections. I would like to say that I support this statement, but I rather prefer to deal with those who had plans to make plans rather than those who have, as the former have by now developed a plan and are carrying it effectively as I see it and I don’t like the idea of starting all over again, unless there is a grave mistake in the plan we already have. I haven’t detected such a grave mistake and would like to hear another opinion. All I say is I have seen a steady and great progress made from near zero in less than one year. Our difficulties are getting less as every day passes, shortage in power supply is decreasing fast, gasoline and kerosene supplies are no longer an issue, the income of teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen and different government officials has raise for about 15 times as what it used to be before the war for the majority and we are on our way to true democracy. The only remaining problem is security and this is getting better every day despite terrible occasional attacks- which I don’t see why should we blame the GC or the American administration for them as they are doing their best to prevent them and are making progress- but at least armed robbery and crimes have decreased considerably in a very short period. How can we attack GWB and his administration for not having a previously prepared plan for the post-war period when they had a WAR to win 1st, and accept his opponent’s statement for not having a full plan, where he doesn’t have a war to worry about winning it, not a major one at least!


What has been achieved in this period on the part of the GC? I think that they were successful in doing their gob in a way that no one expected. They worked hard with the CPA to find an acceptable way to run things in Iraq, they restored Iraq diplomatic relations in a way much better than Saddam did, they helped the ministries in coordinating their plans and never disagreed-despite their great differences- in a way that endangers the unity of Iraqis. They reached what seemed to most people, including Iraqis, far from being easy to make in such a short period; a temporary constitution and a law for running the country by a temporary government that will lead Iraq until a permanent constitution and an elected government is found and when they found an agreement of how to do this, they are now ready to step aside within less than 3 months and hand their places to the temporary government. Can anyone compare this attitude with that of ANY other government and still say that the GC is an illegitimate council!?


Were the GC members were puppets to the USA? I think that if we look back a little, we’ll see that Paul Bremer never used the Veto despite some unacceptable decision on the parts of the GC like announcement 137, and when the USA convinced turkey to take a role in Iraq which was a vital issue to the American administration, and when some members in the GC -supported by the rest- opposed strongly this step, the US government had to yield to this and dismissed the whole idea! Even in the temporary constitution you can find some points that we all know the US administration and even some Iraqis would oppose, like considering Islam an essential source of law giving (not the only one though). What a puppet this GC is! If being grateful for the USA, being her allies and coordinating efforts with her for the benefit of both sides makes one a puppet, then I’ll be the 1st.


Some people blaming the GC for doing nothing to unite Iraqis and say that if it wasn’t for the Americans, civil war would’ve been inevitable and that such an agreement as the one has been achieved would’ve been impossible, and the funny thing is that those are the same people who blame the Americans for not preserving security in Iraq and for “throwing the country into chaos”!!


Now it may seem that I’m saying I support the GC completely, but this is far from being true. The GC members as I see them are not exactly politicians and their parties are only representing the major ethnic and religious groups in Iraq. Their role should be a limited one and it’s now up to us, Iraqis to find the alternatives: political parties with no fanaticism and with plans to develop economy, education, industry…etc.


Some people are pessimistic about this and see that Arab and Muslim in general are incapable of forming democracies. Needless to say that this is again a fanatic vision and I think that in Iraq, the GC and similar parties have no future and it’s highly predictable that they will lose ground to the more democratic and liberal small parties. They had a task, to guide Iraq in this transitional period with the help of the coalition and to preserve the rights of the groups they represent, and it will be the same Kurds who supported the Kurdish parties who will lose interest in them as they fought hard for gaining a federal state and after achieving this, they’ll be left with nothing to present to their people. The same thing applies to the Islamic She’at parties, who did their best to ensure having the majority in any future government, which had never happened before, and after that, again they’ll be left with nothing to present to the She’at and these people themselves would start to look for other representatives.


The GC was a temporary council that is needed in those difficult times, but I see no future for its members on the long term unless they go beyond their religious and ethnic limits to look at Iraq as a whole and try to come up with new ideas for new Iraq. Once they fail, and it’s predictable, then it’s our turn and our duty to search for alternatives and some Iraqis have already started doing this a long time ago and the rest should start now, and with this we should work as hard as possible to make the new constitution works until we agree on a permanent one, when we should make sure that no one should have the authority to breach it, and no one should be allowed to make changes other than us, the Iraqi people.


By Ali.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Bumpy Road to Democracy in Iraq

From the April 5, 2004 issue: It's not easy recovering from generations of despotism. I




(some interesting comments from here)



Iraqis want help. Indeed, they demand it and are angry and frustrated when they don't get it instantly. But they appear to hate being helped. Their expectation was an America capable of supplanting Saddam in less than three weeks would improve everything overnight. When that didn't happen, they grew frustrated. Now they're conflicted between lashing out at the American occupation and trying to get the full benefit of it. For success to be achieved, they need to buy into the program fully--democracy, free markets, rule of law, property rights, political compromise, and patience. They need an attitude adjustment.


Americans I talked to in 10 days here agree Iraqis are difficult to deal with. They're sullen and suspicious and conspiracy-minded. Maybe it's not their fault. Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority administrator and America's chief asset here, says Saddam's oppression was worse than the Communists' in Eastern Europe and Russia. At least there was a period of transition in the Communist countries when the terror was lifted and the rules liberalized. Iraq went from a totalitarian tyranny to an open society in a single day. That's bound to be traumatic.


Faisal I, described Iraqis this way: "There is still--and I say this with a heart full of sorrow--no Iraqi people, but an unimaginable mass of human beings devoid of any patriotic ideas, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, prone to anarchy and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatsoever." Having been cowed by Saddam, many Iraqis seem to be making up for it by distrusting their American occupiers and hectoring them whenever the occasion arises.

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I would say this was one of the best articles that I found accurate. I have some comments thought. I wish I have time to make it later.



But perhaps the problem is more basic. Seventy years ago, Iraq's first king, Faisal I, described Iraqis this way: "There is still--and I say this with a heart full of sorrow--no Iraqi people, but an unimaginable mass of human beings devoid of any patriotic ideas, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, prone to anarchy and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatsoever." Having been cowed by Saddam, many Iraqis seem to be making up for it by distrusting their American occupiers and hectoring them whenever the occasion arises.



But an American official who's worked closely with Iraqis and whose views I respect differs. "Don't underestimate the sense of Iraqi national pride, despite the strong sectarian identification," he says. "Saddam's equal-opportunity repression has created a sense of community among very disparate factions. Kurds and Shia and even many Sunnis have mass grave and torture chamber victimhood in common....Attend something as seemingly superficial as an Iraqi sports event and you'll see what I mean about national pride."


Should national unity prevail, Iraq's chances of becoming a stable democracy will improve dramatically. I'd like to see one other thing in Iraq, an outbreak of gratitude for the greatest act of benevolence one country has ever done for another. A grateful Iraqi heart would be a sign of a new Iraqi attitude and a signal of sure success.


I like this.. It ie really the case , Don't underestimate the sense of Iraqi national pride.. last week there was a football "soccer" game between Iraq and Kuwait, took place in Jordan-Amman.. For first time in decades the chanting for the team was not ment to be for the regime. That is why there was no Jordianin fans , as they were used to be before!!

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Guest Guest_Mutergem

Translating Taexasman's

ترجمه عمود تكساسمان اعلاه

طريق الديمقراطيه الملغم في العراق

من عدد نيسان 5 2004

"مقتطفات مثيره من المقال"


هل يحتاج العراقييون لمراجعه النفس؟

انه ليس من السهوله الشفاء من تاثيرات عهود من الطغيان.


العراقييون بحاجه للمساعده. في الواقع هم يطلبونها وينزعجون عندما لاتاتي مباشره. ولكنهم يبدوا يكرهون ان يساعدوا. توقعاتهم ان الامريكان الذين استطاعوا استصال نضام صدام خلال ثلاثه اسابيع, يستطيعوا تحسين كل شئ خلال ليله واحده. وعندما لم يحصل ذلك , بدوا بالتذمر.الان هم منقسمون بين النديد بالاحتلال الامريكي وبين محاوله الحصوله على اكثر الفوائد منه.

لكي يحققوا النجاح عليهم , انهم بحاجه الى الذهاب بالبرنامج الى اخره.. الديمقراطيه, الاقتصاد الحر, دوله القانون, حمايه الحقوق, المصالحه السياسيه والصبر. انهم بحاجه لمراجعه ذات.

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Like the French, they may never forgive America for having liberated them.


I don't know about French, but that is for sure not true for Iraqis. It might be true for some Sunni Arab, who look to the liberation as a breaking for 14 centuries of basic historicall rulling system, since Amoaweed Maawea rulled Iraq and appointed some anti Alawees to opprese Iraqis ..

They're sullen and suspicious and conspiracy-minded. Maybe it's not their fault. Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority administrator and America's chief asset here, says Saddam's oppression was worse than the Communists' in Eastern Europe and Russia. At least there was a period of transition in the Communist countries when the terror was lifted and the rules liberalized. Iraq went from a totalitarian tyranny to an open society in a single day. That's bound to be traumatic.


While this is true , but we need to consider the bad American policy in Iraq over the last thirty years.. Supporting Saddam in killing Shia and Kurds, betreating Iraqis in 1991 after promise of support and finally the "libral " American media attitude against the liberation of Iraq and Shia in general..

We might need to understand that normal Iraqis are looking to this media as part of the American govermental policy.. I keep noticing the translations of the anti Iraqi articles in the main news papers.. The translator put in the heading, "The Americans says...". And then noticing some Iraqis take the opinion of the article writer as if it is the American government one.. They realy get confused as they are not used to have main stream media being not as part of the government propoganda.

But perhaps the problem is more basic. Seventy years ago, Iraq's first king, Faisal I, described Iraqis this way: "There is still--and I say this with a heart full of sorrow--no Iraqi people, but an unimaginable mass of human beings devoid of any patriotic ideas, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, prone to anarchy and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatsoever."


I would say the issue is worse than what King Faisl I had noticed when he got appointed by British to rule the new "artificially" made puzzle of what is called later "Iraq".

It is worse because over the last seventy years, this new goverment was not a reall representative of all Iraqis but to opperese them under the rule of the Sunni Arab minority.

What the Americans and free Iraqis are trying to do is much more than what British and Failed were supposed to do.


The press in Iraq feeds this mood. The two TV news channels that Iraqis watch, Al Jazeera and al-Arabia, are reflexively anti-American. So is the major news service, Reuters, and AP, staffed by Europeans, isn't much better.




One of the issues that is making Iraqis so suspicious is when they see most of the media "Arabic and others" are so anti Iraqis. The problem is intentsified when they see that after nine months , there is no way of getting their voice out to the world through an "real " Iraqi satellite TV station. For example there are tens of such stations that experess the old regime opinions "e.g. Aljazera, Alarabia" and there are two Kurds stations and there are one Christian station, but no Iraqi based one. It is just to have a way to relief the great pressure that most of Iraqis feel when they think that they are so isolated and srounded by all these anti Iraqi stations.

I would really like to hear from CPA about their opinion about this. I keep hearing from a lot of Iraqis inside Iraq that the Americans are prohibting such possibility. They don't want support for this but to help them make it reall. We need to hear a different voice than what all these anti freedom do.. Why not having the "Aliraqia" on the statellite broadcasting? Why NOT?

The liberation of Iraq has brought about a flowering of newspapers--nearly 200 of them--and that's a positive development. But the papers obsess on the subject of brutal treatment of innocent Iraqis by American soldiers. Terrorists who kill innocent Iraqis get softer treatmen


That is another issue that we might look to it from different angle.. Iraqis are so worried seeing such factionist papers have all the support from abroad and specially from some Gulf states. We need to know that most of the jounalists that are working for the good funded newspapers are just mercenaries.. Most of them were propagadists of the old regime and Arab media. We need to encourage younf generation by fifnatially supporting the new youth media creation.

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Thanks Salim for your opinions and insight above,


I have hope for a free and stable Iraq sooner rather than later and I have seen much progress in the 11- 12 months since Iraq was brought to war by the United States in ridding Iraq of Saddam’s brutal regime.


As an American I DO NOT want to see our efforts or yours wasted. I feel the same pain and impatience as Iraqis for even faster progress. I also see a significant minority in my country actually causing and obstructing this from happening through their mischievous political opposition to MY President in order to get their political candidate elected in November and that is dangerous for everyone.


I share your views about some of the previous US policy,. We did back Saddam against Iran and give aide to him, naively thinking we could by Iraqi proxy, upset the Iranians into releasing our American hostages held at the time. However we did NOT give Saddam weapons of WMD. We did aide him with intelligence on Iranian targets, and turned a blind eye to the use of WMD by both Iraq and Iran. Even after it was used by Saddam on the Kurds in 88.


Look around you and you will see the weapons are NOT from the USA in Iraqi and terrorist hands (then or now)...... they are/were from Russia, France, Germany and others that Sadams regime used and the terrorist are STILL using today, sold to them for PROFITS from Sadam's rule.


In 91 the US did incite the Shiite’s revolt against Saddam, and then unwisely, left them hanging out on their own when Saddam began his deadly revenge on them.


All of that sickens me to this day and I cringe every time I hear some US politicians of old make excuses that the USA had been authorized by the United Nations to remove Saddam only from Kuwait and nothing more in 91.


While that may be true, ...the bigger truth is the majority of American people would not stomach a longer drawn out war (something we are suffering from in todays tragedy-- its what GWB calls resolve, some Americans lack it) , It is what the terrorist depend on.


The UN and our European Allies were dead set against Occupying Iraq or deposing Saddam in 91 and the whole world has suffered from that ever since. Many Americans did then, and still do, think Iraqis should have been able to revolt on their own after Iraq’s Army was severely diminished during the 91 conflict. I personally think we should have finished the job then, but most Americans do not like war, in spite of being good at it. We Americans tend to want others to fight for us and if possible, pay for it, as the coalition partners of the 91 war did. so when they do, it always limits our sucess.


After the events of 9/11 2001, all that changed for a brief time and most Americans united seeking revenge for those atrocities with or without anyones help. Even most Americas on the left supported removing the Taliban and later Iraq’s Saddam Regime, but they are now back peddling from a united American view (for political purpose) with claims of being miss-led (or lied too) by Bush and Blair which is absolutly ridiculous. Never the less, a significant minority of Americans today are dangerously trying to defeat politically, those of us who would move faster and do more to help Iraq and who stay commited to the original goals.


The left NOW believes we should be spending the needed $87 billion here at HOME… not in Iraq. Consequently its taken a long time for money (18 billion$ of American Taxpayers money) to get appropriated through congress and help rebuild Iraq. Hardly any of that money has been spent as of this writing. But now most of that this money is becoming available.


With this money, I think in the next few months you will see a tremendous improvement in jobs for ALL Iraqis. This alone will make Iraq more stable than all the soldiers the US and coalition has kept there since toppling Saddam. When any man has a JOB paying enough to provide for his families needs, he is much less likely to have the time or the motive to be rebellious or even be angry.


I do wish there was a way for Iraq to take on more of the Security for themselves at a much quicker rate, in standing up the New Iraqi Army, the IP’s and all the other Iraqi Security Forces (vetted of criminals, terrorist and Saddamist). I applaud everyday the great job I see (small but growing ) Iraqi police and other Iraqi security forces, who are getting better at catching the common criminals and terrorist alike.



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