A Thought about Iraq

Let me get this straight.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lashed out at American senators for calling him to step down but he doesn’t have the balls to lash out at his own ineffective government where elected officials feel they don’t have to represent their people and boycott sessions?

Al-Maliki really needs to learn how to govern his own people before showing how thin skinned he can be. He should also have looked around his own region and taken a lesson from Hamas. Yes, the terrorist Palestinian organization. They won the election last year because they earned the respect of the people by doing the simple acts citizens expect from their government. They picked up the trash. They were out and about, helping people rebuild.

The Prime Minister had a chance to help guide how America spent $37 billion in US-provided reconstruction money and the country still can’t rely on electricity or clean water 24/7. Now, the Pentagon will tell you much of that $37 billion got diverted from actual construction to security for the construction and recent reports show much of the construction was crap. Still, where was the Prime Minister?

In fact, al-Maliki seems to have stayed in his office and done nothing to win the favor of his fellow elected officials or done anything to help the people of Iraq. That’s not how you govern and it is how you get people calling for your resignation.

If al-Maliki didn’t want to learn lessons from Hamas, what about FDR? He created one organization after enough to put people to work, to rebuild the country and deal with a crisis. What if the Prime Minister actually set up public works organizations, or had his artists paint murals, or sent people rakes to help clear the streets? If people retook the streets, had something to do with a purpose, chances are, a lot of the sectarian violence would have been prevented. Just as local areas are forcing the insurgents to go elsewhere and leave them alone, imagine the people reclaiming their towns one street at a time?

The Prime Minister needs to get the elected representatives back into their parliamentary chairs and present to them tangible, nondenominational measures that would benefit everyone. Once you did that, there’s a better chance the bigger issues could be handled.

Yesterday’s announcement that five Iraqis managed to agree to the US benchmarks is an encouraging sign. Now they need to set their own internal benchmarks and show the people there really is a government to be supported, a government that will put their welfare ahead of the religious/ethnic divisions that seem hell-bent on plunging Iraq into civil war, even if the water flows freely.

One comment

  • JosephW

    Bob, if you’re referring to the Palestinian Authority State (in the West Bank and Gaza), then I think you mean Hamas, instead of Hezbollah. (Hezbollah’s goals are also more focused on Lebanon than any Palestinian state, though there is some overlap as Hezbollah has been the primary agent against Israeli military forces in Lebanon.)