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Iraqi Violence Knot Tightened before Elections

Monday, August 2, 2010 - 17:52

On Sunday, October 15, 2009 two big explosions blew up in Bagdad. The time difference between them was one minute. According to the latest information, around 150 people were killed and over 700 were injured.
The explosion happened near the so-called “green area” in the center of the city beside the buildings of the Department of Justice and the headquarters of the local administration. US President Barack Obama expressed his negative attitude to the terroristic attacks and called them “outrageous” and targeted at the destabilization of the Iraqi development tendencies before the elections next year. Iraqi President Jalal Husam Ad-Din Talabani called this event as open challenge on the part of the opponents to the current administration. Talabani pointed out in his speech that the enemies’ objective now is the state system. They announce it openly and attempt to boycott the political process in the country and destroy everything that the democratic government has managed to achieve in the last six years.
A great number of people died in the result of the terroristic acts. Numerous ambulance and fire-fighting brigades participated in the salvation of survivors, in the debris clearance and rectification of the consequences of these explosions. The city’s hospitals were filled with hundreds of injured and wounded people. So far none of the terroristic organizations has claimed responsibility for these terroristic acts. In Iraqi society there is no unanimous opinion about those who organized and prepared these cruel operations.
Iraqi government representative Ali Dabbah expressed an opinion that Al-Qaeda might be responsible for the terroristic acts. According to Ali Dabbah certain connections between this organization and the explosions can be traced. Ali Dabbah adds that when the bombs exploded he was not very far.
He points out that these terroristic acts took place exactly before the meeting of Iraqi political leaders meant to solve disputable political issues. These issues are not solved and there is a great diversity of opinions among political leaders inside the country, and this might be a serious obstacle for the coming elections in January 2010. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said that if these elections do take place, the country will be split into opposing camps.
Right after the explosions the Prime Minister took a trip around the places there these tragic events happened. Maliki said that Al-Qaeda and the former members of the Iraqi socialist party Ba'ath were responsible for the explosions.
It should be noted that the Ba’ath militants are still active in the field of opposing American occupation.
Before we attempt to estimate the amount of Ba’ath involvement in the current political processes in the country, let us review the history of this party.
The pan-Arab political party was established on April 7, 1947 in Damask by Michel Aflaq, and Salah al-Bitar and was called the Arab Resurrection Party. In 1954 it united with Akram al-Hawrani’s Arab Socialist Party and changed the name for Ba’ath. The Russian abbreviation is ПАВС. The primary objective of Ba’ath are the establishment of socialism and unionization of Arabs. The party’s ideology is based upon the ideas of the pan-Arab movement. The party’s slogan is “Unity, Liberty, Socialism.”
In the early and mid 70 s the Ba’ath members from Syria and Iraq concluded a union with communist parties within the frames of “Progressive Fronts.” Both branches of Ba’ath established friendly relations with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In Iraq the cooperation with the communists was ruined after Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979: the communists were accused of organizing political activity among the military and were outlaw now. This led to a decrease in the level of political relations between Ba’ath and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In all the telegrams and speeches of the Soviet leaders, as well as at official receptions Saddam Hussein was never again called “comrade.”
In 1978–1979 the Ba’ath members from Syria and Iraq tried to normalize the relations. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr entered into negotiations targeted to unite both countries. Directly after al-Bakr dethronement in July 1979 the new administration announced that a Syrian conspiracy was revealed and that certain members of the regional Ba’ath administration were involved in it. They were convicted and executed soon after.
Ba’ath came to power in Iraq on February 8, 1963. Later it was estrange from authority and again came to power on July 17, 1968. The party existed till 2003 — the moment when the USA intruded into Iraq. After the occupation the party was estranged from authority and its leader Saddam Hussein was executed as a criminal.
On January 17, 2007 at www.albasrah.net — the site of Iraqi opposition — a decision of the local administration was published dated “middle of January” appointing Izzat Ibrahim General Secretary of the local administration (before that moment he was General Secretary Assistant). After the fall of Bagdad in April 2003 Izzat Ibrahim started to hide like most of his companions. He was 6th on the list of 55 Ba’ath leaders wanted by the American Command, and in the famous pack of cards produced for American soldiers he was king of clubs. In November 2003 the occupation forces command introduced a reward for the capture of Izzat Ibrahim that amounted to USD 10 million. Since that time the press has been abundant with reports about the assumed capture of Izzat Ibrahim or a man who looked like him, and about his death (last time Ibrahim allegedly died on November 11, 2005 of leukemia). These reports have never been confirmed. The coalition forces command believes that Ibrahim was in command of the Iraqi resistance and organized a number of military operations against the American forces in Iraq. Since the end of the 90 s Ibrahim underwent treatment for leukemia (during the course of treatment in Australia in 1999 he hardly avoided arrest) and was forced to completely renew blood every 6 months, therefore the coalition forces command consider it very doubtful that he was in condition to manage military operations against the occupants.
On March 27, 2006 the Al Jazira channel broadcast Izzat Ibrahim’s audio address to the participants of the League of Arab States Summit in Khartoum. The deposed vice president appealed to the Arab countries to render assistance to Iraqi resistance. On July 2 the Iraqi administration issued a list of the most wanted Iraqi criminals. Izzat Ibrahim was at the top of the list. The list was passed to the Interpol, but all the efforts to arrest the ex-vice president were vain. In the same month Ibrahim gave an interview to the Time magazine. In August next year the Iraqi authorities published a new list of the wanted criminals of the Saddam regime. At Izzat Ibrahim was at the top again. On January 17, 2007 at www.albasrah.net — the site of Iraqi opposition — a decision of the local Ba’ath administration was published dated “middle of January” appointing Izzat Ibrahim General Secretary of the local administration (before that moment he was General Secretary Assistant).
In October 2007 in Bagdad a meeting of leading Ba’ath members was held. At the meeting the creation of a joint from was announced that consisted of 22 military groups under the command of Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri. The front was called the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation. In July next year on the streets of Bagdad people saw ad-Douri’s leaflets addressing the local people and stating that 2008 would be the last year of the American occupation. The party is operating in Yemen (both branches, including the Syrian which is represented in the parliament), Lebanon, Palestine (pro-Syrian al-Saika and pro-Iraqi Arab Liberation Front) and in other countries.
Since the moment of American intrusion in Iraq the Supreme National Commission For Debaathification has been functioning whose rights are fixed in Article 145 of the Constitution accepted at the 2005 referendum.
Back to the explosions, the opinion of an Iraqi analyst Ahmed Rushdi is of special interest. He believes that the fact that Al-Qaeda, Ba’ath and terroristic acts are on TV all the time is not for nothing, but is an integral part of the electoral campaign. Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, current Prime Minister of the country who will participate in the coming elections represents the interests of the Iraqi Shiites. In his slogans he will definitely promise to provide security from Al-Qaeda and Ba’ath. According to Ahmed Rushdi, in all the cases similar to the Bagdad explosions mass media always speak about the responsibility of Al-Qaeda and Ba’ath, but the work of the law enforcement agencies in the country is never mentioned.
Mahmoud Othman — a member of the parliament representing the interests of Kurds — believes that the explosions in Iraq were first of all addressed to the political leaders of Iraq and foreign investors. Not long ago in Washington a conference took place where the issues of Iraq funding were discussed. According to Othman, the explosions in Bagdad were a kind of a message to the participants of the conference not to come to Iraq. Othman expresses an opinion that simultaneously the explosions are addressed to the participants of the National Security Council meeting that took place a day after the explosions and where the main point at issue was the upcoming elections.
Many of the political analysts agree that the explosions in Bagdad in October 2009 are targeted at the disruption of the Iraqi political leaders meeting that was meant to solve their contradictions that could complicate the upcoming elections in January 2010. After the occupation of Iraq, society represented by variety of political, national and religious groups was not prepared to build the political life according to the American pattern. International organizations and the US administration encountered in Iraq the same problems that the encounter in any other place where they want to “change the life for the better.” Americans “do not understand that they are not understood, and if they do understand it, it turns out to be very hard to realize the American vision of life in non-American society with non-American mentality and potential.”



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