THE IRAQI ELECTION RESULTS: A PERFECT FORMULA FOR CIVIL WAR?

Unofficial results from the January 30 Iraqi Elections showed that the Shiite faction, under the United Islamic Alliance (UIA), have cornered a palpable plurality in the entire turnout of votes.
See CNN News Item Here...

Above results would only bring forth the assumption that most probably, the first President of Post-Enduring Freedom Iraq is a Shiite---one who is more attuned to the basic fundamentals of Islam than to the modern principles of democracy. Does it matter then if Iraq becomes under the hands of Shiite rulers? Well, consider this: Iran is the most prime example of a state governed by Shiite clerics and could you imagine democracy thriving in that country? Your guess might perhaps be as good as mine.

The election numbers showed that a little more than 50% of the voter went for Shiite-backed candidates with the Kurds and Sunni coalition slightly falling below the critical half-of-a-hundred percent pie. It goes to say that the next President, which will be chosen by the majority members of the soon-to-be-established Iraqi parliament, would be someone from the Shiite sector.

In my mind, this congregation of Shiite, Sunni and Kurds in the upcoming Iraqi parliament is like a convergence of lions and lambs; whichever are the lions or the lambs still remains to be seen. This is a very uncomfortable union, a fragile collaboration and perhaps a time bomb just waiting to explode. The outcome of the Iraqi election is like the perfect formula for a civil war. Not that I desire the tumults to come by but I greatly fear that more violence in Iraq will soon reign over this unlikely situation.

Historically, the space between the
Shiites and the Sunnis used to be so long ago merely anchored on the difference as to what members of the Caliphates was the true and anointed propagator of Islam, following in the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad, after he departed from this mortal world.

In theory and practice, the sea that divides the two Islamic sects mainly consists of the manner of prayers, the ceremonies celebrated and the rituals practiced.

But in actuality, the gap between the two factions is as wide as the Pacific Ocean.

The Shiites believes more strictly in observance of the fundamental tenets of Islam. Among others, they believe that religion and state should be treated as one and not as two separated and independent entities. On the other hand, members of the Sunni faction are more modern in point-of-view and highly adaptable to modern concepts of governance, most notably that of democracy. Approximately 90% of Muslims in the world, from Indonesia to Nigeria, including the Philippines, are of Sunni roots. Usually, one can easily tell if one is a Shiite or a Sunni by just looking at the wardrobe of the Muslim individual. The Shiite would be covered in heavy garment covering nearly the entire body while the Sunni wears the casual dress that ordinary western men put on.

You could say that the gap between the two may be at times likened to night and day.

I wonder how the U.S. Administration in Iraq could wisely maneuver the enactment of a constitution that has the characteristic of possibly reconciling the descent of democracy to Iraq and a government ruled by a Shiite majority. I am anxious that after the last U.S. soldier leave Iraq; there would be no more constitution to speak of, for the installed parliament may decide on its own the means and manners by which to run the government in Iraq. Shall we expect U.S. forces to stay in Iraq forever? Maybe not. Or maybe they can maintain a sufficient presence by putting up a huge military base in that country, just like what they did in Japan after World War 2.

Otherwise, the fragile convention of Shiites and Sunnis in the Iraqi parliament may explode into an ugly internal war. And as if this wasn’t enough, we must remember that the Kurds, who represents 20% of Iraq’s population, had separatist ambition in the past. If this is not the formula for civil war, then I do not know what it is.

We might ask: What should be done best?

This question is the hardest thing to answer, I must admit. As a practical measure, it can be suggested that the U.S. Administration in Iraq should stay there forever to prevent absolutely any violent power struggles. But this is exactly against sound wisdom and accepted norms in international law. This is modern-day colonialism that we all hate the more.

Or maybe, the Iraqi people should be let alone to decide for themselves what form of political path they really desire. If everything turns out ugly, then they only have themselves to blame and no one else.

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