Decision "fuzzy" Federal Court threatens to change the political map of the provinces
Baghdad / Range - Commission announced the election commitment to the decision of the Federal Court judge re-distribution of seats in the provincial councils present, although the parties politically led by the Wasit Provincial Council considered it "a political decision" aims to change the map of local governments, after months of authentication presidency on the results of the ballot that carried the dramatic changes and lost its allies Prime Minister large sites.
The first reactions came from the Council of Wasit province, where decided to stop its activity after the issuance of the decision to change four of its members, expressing surprise at the issuance of the Federal Court for such a decision three months after the local elections that took place last April.
A judicial source said that the Federal Court sent an official communiqué refers to the necessity of adopting the Electoral Commission of the amendments approved by the Court on the distribution of seats, noting that these amendments will change the map of some of the political blocs and eliminate some of the winners seats and adds other women.
In this context, announced كاطع Zobaie Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, the Electoral Commission's commitment to the Federal Court's decision to amend the allocation of seats for the election of the provincial non-performing province, 2013.
He Zobaie, in a press statement seen by the "long", "The Electoral Commission confirms made some adjustments to the system of distribution of seats to elect provincial councils irregular, which took place on the twentieth of April 2013", noting that "the changes will include some of the results of the winning candidates, according to Federal Court's decision to amend the distribution of seats. "
In the meantime, he stressed the Wasit Provincial Council, the Federal Court decided to "replace the four members of the council with others new," promised the decision as "politically motivated and intended to change the political map" in the province, while "suspended its activities for the purpose of access to the result to ensure the survival of four members in office . "
Mahdi said Younis Eyal, chairman of the Commission services in the provincial council in an interview (range Press), "The provincial council has received a notice to replace four members of the council others others based on a decision issued by the Federal Court regard to the distribution of seats in the provincial councils in a number of provinces" .
He said Eyal "This decision is one of the decisions politicized and aims to re-change the political map in the province, which seemed incompatible with the wishes of the other," he said, adding that "the Council was surprised by this decision at a time when I was looking forward to the issuance of important decisions relating to service the citizens of the province in various fields . "
He said Eyal that "the Council of Wasit suspended its activities and suspended the work of its committees until reaching the appropriate decision would ensure the survival of four members in office, especially as they voted on important decisions, including the election of the Speaker and his deputy, and the election of the province and his two deputies and other other decisions."
He pointed out a member of the Wasit Provincial Council that "move the decision of the Federal Court and the replacement of four members may lead to the cancellation of some of the previous resolutions of the Council and this Pedroh longer a factor coupled to disrupt the work of the Council," and wondered, "How can issue such a decision after the certification of the Electoral Commission on the names of the winners, as well as After their jobs to the council for about three months? ".
The Federal Court recently issued a decision to replace four members of the Wasit Provincial Council after the appeals filed by the candidates of the same blocks of winning, and four members who were replaced are Ayed Aidi for (state social justice) and Hussein salty stubbornness for (hands sincere) and Sawsan Sarhan Faddaalah for (State Fair stream) and Jinan Jassim Salman (Democratic Movement).
In a related context, revealed four political blocs "small" in Anbar Council, on Monday, its claim to the Federal Court to intervene to change the number of representatives on the council in accordance with the "maturity" electoral, attributed to "the desire to achieve balance within the Council."
She said the names of Osama, a member of the provincial council in an interview to (range Press), "The political blocs in the House of Anbar, which got a seat or two seats in the provincial elections years, applied to the Federal Court to change the counting of its members according to the elections for men and women , "likely to" take the Federal Court decision on these requests a month or more to achieve them. "
She said Osama, that "the mass of Ameron demanded the replacement of Bushra Nayef candidate Hudhaifah cream, also called mass popular will replace Ibrahim سرهيد Balmarchh faith Kurd, while expressed block Snaded Iraq, desire replace Hoda Abdel Wahed full candidate Taha Abdel Ghani," noting that " a coalition of national cooperation, Turkish replacement request Fahd Balmarchh Iman Mohammed in the elections to create a balance within the new provincial council. "
The Electoral Commission for elections, announced last July, for ratification of the election results provinces of Anbar and Nineveh, indicating that the Commission's judiciary, appeals filed all settled on the result of the elections in the two provinces.
30 thousand Iraqi military to enhance the security of the border with Syria
BAGHDAD - Jawdat Kazem - Reinforced Iraqi army positions along the border with Syria, with 30 thousand soldiers, after receiving information about the escalation of infiltrated by insurgents, while ordered Prime Minister General Commander of the Armed Forces Nuri al-Maliki to form a commission of inquiry into the events that took place yesterday, in the camp of the Organization «Mujahideen Khalq» Iran opposition.
A source in the leadership of the border guards told «life» that «been enhanced intelligence effort and human and logistical support to control the borders with Syria after the escalation of events in most regions, especially near the Iraqi side, and a steady drumbeat of information about the existence infiltration in some ports». The source added «استقدمنا more than 30 thousand soldiers, they were distributed on specific points in the cities for the necessities of the critical stage.
He added: «our forces were able to arrest dozens of gunmen who belong to some of the armed factions active in Iraq note that most of them tried to sneak across the border to the forged identity papers, while others deny dressed as women.
The «was published more than a car Sonar mobile as well as to provide border guards headlamp night to thwart any plan to cross the border or enter banned substances, has felt the past week the elements of one watchtowers infiltration of terrorist elements they intend to transfer containers filled with explosive materials».
And the reports about the infiltration of more than 1,000 armed to Iraq, he said: «There is no truth Vamuslhon who tried to infiltrate since the start of the events in Syria and until this moment did not exceed the 400, including 180 who have no connection with terrorism or any armed activity only escape from the deteriorating situation there, He was deported to parks and camps for refugees and others referred to the competent authorities.
Moreover, al-Maliki announced the formation of a commission of inquiry into the events in Camp Ashraf which houses the Iranian opposition in Diyala province.
The statement quoted Maliki as saying «the need to help the government to deport the MKO elements, and affirms its commitment to the safety of the lives within its territory. Camp Ashraf was subjected to a mortar rocket attack, killing and wounding 47 people, the organization said.
The government completed the evacuation of Camp Ashraf last year and more than 3,000 quoted an item to Camp Liberty, west of Baghdad. 100 items remained in Camp Ashraf to complete the procedures for the sale of property. The camp, which is held at the beginning of the eighties of the last century, 55 km to the north of Baquba.
Indicators of corruption and administrative irregularities and continuous list!
(Voice of Iraq) Faris Al Shammari - Continue to mess appointments in most ministries and institutions of the state and the accompanying administrative violations and social disease of nepotism and clientelism and purchase of receivables for some people to considerations of a political, sectarian and ethnic and zonal.
Guide what is revealed to us supervisory reports announced by the Integrity Commission from time to time. And which in the past month of July .. A statement of the Commission that it referred the violations of the Investigation Department after scrutiny for a fraction of the regulations of the functional behavior of the employees of state departments has Sort adjust numerous irregularities illegal .. Including the presence of appointments without ministerial approval or administrative orders, forged documents and cases of duplication and functional ..!! Including 13 cases in the Ministry of Culture and files have been forwarded to issues related to combining the two functions including one between the Interior Ministry and Industry and the other between electricity, trade and Property Claims Commission of the Ministry of Industry on the other, and also between the Ministry of Science and the Municipality of Baghdad ..
The importance of the Federal Civil Service Board as an independent body organizing appointment Affairs and function according to scientific standards and the adoption of justice in the selection of the right person the right Active .. Despite the postponement of the application of the law which was released in 2009 as a result of the absence of the formation of his council in the midst of political conflicts within the parliament, which was confirmed by the statements deputies from different political blocs and the Legal Committee and the repeated postponement of the vote on the names of the cabinet .. While Congress indicates that he came choose according to the required balance. This means that the members of the Council were subject to quotas between the parties and the political perspective considered a state of legal uncertainty in the effectiveness of its decisions in matters of employment and filtration and advanced positions.
The absence of the leadership of the Civil Service Council - Corruption continues
About the role of the Federal service in organizing and providing jobs for members of the community explains human rights (Hisham Bahadli) says: is a basic need required by a society that lives in the furnace of corruption and social and financial exacerbated the ills including bribery, nepotism and polarizations sectarian and zonal and reflected on the progress of the entire country and has made political life like in isolation from the community's interest and the application of laws fair that individuals can rest assured on Mistoymaan of justice and ensure their rights and obtained without ركوعهم in the clutches of loyalties blind or pay spraying and other eruptions that are not worthy of the citizen and his goal to live a decent, upping and saying of his right to exercise his role building society .
According Albhadi Civil Service Act No. 24 of 1960, he organized a job recruitment, training and promotion and owners took him many amendments and synchronizing social development .. And used these amendments sometimes for the purposes and objectives contributed to coups that have taken place in the country to modify, delete and create materials, some of the interests of led those coups, such as a party political or sectarian or racist, causing deprivation does not belong to those trends that came Bahaa coup and the biggest proof represent cancel the Public Service Council, which was represents an entity may not be up to the perfect description or example in the selection of the appropriate person for the job بالالتفات to efficiency and educational attainment and the consistence of the other, and other features.
As a result of this cancellation says Bahadli: We noticed then that the level of functionality General and the staff who entered the frame under the means chosen by were mostly bad example for the employee and the continuation of this situation hold things and rooting underdevelopment and competition uneven and generates a disappointment for the majority of its members educated and who own specifications and certificates can be utilized in functionality.
This has become an urgent need to revive this Council and reveled into existence, especially since its law has been initiated from the parliament and stipulated in the Constitution, so it is really in the presence of the citizen and a duty of the executive power to find and work.
Human rights and asks Hashem .. So what obstacles invoked by the organizers in power .. It is justified .. We do not want that mismanage conjecture and say that those who object to revive the board is to keep the issue of nepotism, clientelism and bribery in the selection of applicants for the job and some of the reasons may be used for political mobilization and advocacy warring factions ..!!
The new law does not meet the ambitious!
We are trying here to stand on the views of professors from the Faculty of Law on the merits of the Law Council of public service the old and the new and problematic delayed lineup his council in political conditions between the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives and comparing experiences of developed countries in this field and how to deal with the performance of his role as an independent body according to the new laws.
* Says Prof. Dr. Hassan al-Ani was canceling the work of the General Service Board for the year 1960 for partisan considerations because the state is the concessionaire .. While the form of the Council and its role by providing jobs as significant and consistent with justice envisaged. To see what the experiences of some developed countries in the laws of jobs and its importance in America working with two systems for two nominations (booty) and (merit) and the spoils system coined by U.S. President Jackson in 1932 and launched his famous I am only aware of who Nasrona ..
They are prey to those who Nasser next president until 1883 and with every election fought Democratic and Republican parties are assigned a group of employees loyal to this party or that and stopped working with this system when the assassinated President (Garang in 1882) by one of the supporters of the non-employed Confetti reaction .. !! Then issued a new law from Congress called (merit system) and became an efficient job for someone after testing and although it became work بالنظامين .. Considerations are still important because the career ladder consists of 16 degrees to senior positions which is controlled by the president being is nominated for graduate degrees and in coordination with the Senate by the Constitution ..
I remember them (ministers ambassadors consuls members of the President of the Supreme Court as well as functions related to national security advisers and head of the White House, they are up to 2,000 jobs and an example of the role and status Arad, a number of journalists an interview with President George W. Bush .. refused their request only after consultation and opinion those they supported him in the elections and to be in his answer to reporters' questions clearly to be found on the various issues of the society and institutions either the experience of British governments in the civil service system .. side is the party has an impact not surprised to say that the ministry of labor may include ministers or more and the owners of certificates while the rest are the owners of trade unions and the Conservative Party .. but the administration does not run with these it is the responsibility of the MPs who do not change but the party is trying to influence the so-called ministry large. and after the government adopted three meanings of the ministry mini any ministry crises and includes (5 8) members and is headed by the Prime Minister Then the Government of the cabin a ministerial meeting in Down Street and with partisan trainees working with any ministers are agents in order to prepare them when forming under the Ministry upon receipt of power become the owners of the experience and not just testimony.
* And Ani illustrates this system that some of the functions of a political nature, but they already rely on agents to be either gradual or competencies certificate .. Here is a group of the party and therefore share is an independent body ..!!
* Queried of Dr. Hassan al-Ani, the Iraqi experience, the current circumstance of which Prime Minister interference in appointments of independent bodies .. And it is justified as a transitional phase as well as the absence of an internal system of the Council of Ministers and a loophole our Parliamentary system.
* Ani answers by saying .. We are our situation where legal gaps both at the level of the Constitution or the law, instructions, regulations and sometimes the law are stripped of its content through the orders of the Prime Minister or the Minister in order to apply this leads either to postpone it and justified.!!
* Then Prof. Abbas told us bonded from the Faculty of Law for his opinion of the importance and the role of the Federal service and the law recalled the beginning of a new experience appointed by the Civil Service Board Act .. After submitting Msthompskata and appointment request, and an interview with the appointments committee and exposed to general questions and my area and decide accepted .. While the ongoing appointments tainted by a lot of negatives, corruption and away from the controls also note that the appointment of nominations for sexual and other departments .. We note the rival parties to get the official sites for the management of appointments electoral propaganda and followed what is published in the media about the acquisition of the leadership of the Civil Service Council of the Dawa party .. So I think that the membership of the Council should be independent of the owners of experience and talent. The Adds Bonded need to review the concept of legal reform for all state departments in order to facilitate effectiveness and clarity .. The people became complaining of frequent complications in the application instructions and remember them issues of traffic circles and registering property, vehicles and the implementation of compulsory education law and tedious series of revisions and effort in order to prove an Iraqi child enrolled for the school. Frankly we need a revolution in the laws in force in the world became dependent electronic government and civil national figure .. And the survival things mean continued Asthval of the forms of corruption and to encroach upon the rights of the people and public money. Any more clearly the legal basis you are rigid strict certainly individuals Exron these do not respect the rule of law .. As says Faqih Cicero (overuse in overkill of injustice justice)!! .
The absence of the role of the service means that the survival of economic activity paralyzed
The board of the Federal service is a milestone in shaping the contours of the state and should be independent and away from any political conflicts.
* This was confirmed by our President of the Federation of Iraqi businessmen Mr. willing satisfaction Blibl and added The Council and his administration, which includes the owners of experience and competence and work according to scientific and professional standards in the administrative works jobs for all aspects of the state and its departments .. Unfortunately, what is happening now is busy ministries request appointment lists and associated cases of nepotism and clientelism in accordance with the contexts far from the real need for departments .. And describes Blibl this chaotic situation and the weakness of administrative experience in the distribution of posts .. Perhaps one of the reasons for the delay in the formation of the Federal Civil Service Council, which began since 2009 due to conflicts on the country's dominant powers and quotas that they causing the largest number of members of the council .. The continuation of the status of running such institutions will continue to corruption and ignoring the status of the person at the right place.
* Mean that the new council law and the application of his powers will pull the rug out from ministries and institutions that appointments ..?
Of course he was a professional, independent institution working to organize applications for appointment and grades and addresses in order to prevent the phenomenon of random and administrative slack in recruitment .. And organized labor here regularity of life in general and reverse the country remains stagnant in place ..
You know every year we have more than 100 thousand graduates of institutes and colleges and those representing the labor market and have no jobs and the reason that the political parties and blocs are trying to provide job opportunities for its members through its responsibilities in the state .. This is a disadvantage, no justice in giving jobs to the beneficiaries .. This is a problem and our country ten years ago, suffering from a decline in economic activity, a motor activity and product opportunities for productive work ..
* How do you see the specifications and qualifications of a member of the leadership of the Federal service and machined delayed for years?
Frankly, our view of the professional competencies and expertise regardless of their political affiliation or ethnic or sectarian or religious .. We need a competent person capable of scientific innovation, production and service of the country .. Someone loyal to Iraq only works .. And history testify in a national competencies of Jews, Christians and Kurds and Muslims Tboaoa the advanced administrative centers in the management of state institutions and have left us a legacy in the civilized traditions of honest work.
Lack of job stability For political reasons!
Within the problematic appointments that work by the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to install the positions of general managers in government departments and the continued absence of work and the powers of the Federal service and survival without the leadership of the management functions and the application of its new law and ratified since 2009 of the House of Representatives. To see what the problematic and try Secretariat of the Council of Ministers have installed more than 100 director of the State in circles, where he was a press statement of the secretary-general of the Council Ali Ismail Keywords for lack of authentication to the Committee on the balance of installing these positions they occupy now acting .. He expressed reservations about the selection mechanism and not including them in the process of balance or quotas because they are the backbone of the State Administration.
He Keywords that install general managers in the office was happening in the previous session of the government more smoothly because the prime minister was authorized to decide requests for appointment and install directors on a proposal brought to him by the Minister or the President of the Commission and the Prime Minister befriends him after the Secretariat to check the position of the legal terms and maturity and lack of comprehensiveness procedures issue, justice and address the Integrity Commission .. Keywords also revealed .. We As rapporteurs of the Commission on our reservation on the style and he will add complex in question installed DGs without a justification for real this action and withdraw the quotas titled balance to a level managers step is unfortunate and incorrect in the process of management of state departments and will cause an area to respond without conclusive results, fast and confirmed secretary that to be honest, clear vision to deal with this issue and we have proposed in the past and continue to confirm it and spends develop professional standards selection managers not subject to the processes of quotas and balance because the structure Altnzia state based on departments, companies and the management of these managers are thus represent important locations which is very nerve basic structure the regulatory state. And therefore should not be subject to this issue for political reasons, but for professional reasons. That also explains Keywords that honesty and placed controls, taking into account years of service and Ala_khastsas and other qualifications and then taking the principle of overall balance and not balance political party, because this does not arrive to the result of The parties and political entities are subject to changes continuously and locations changed from time to time, while these positions task and continue for many years ..!!
Iraqi Secular Trend Responds To Religious Extremism
Baghdad, when it fell in April 2003, was the first domino to tumble in the religious conflict that has spread throughout the entire Middle East. This was followed by the rise of a religious identity that is at odds with its counterparts on the one hand, and with other partial identities of other Middle Eastern communities on the other.
The fall of Baghdad set in motion the enormous momentum of fundamentalist projects that had gathered force over more than a century in the Middle East. These projects were critical of the liberal Western model, describing it as blasphemous from a religious perspective, imperialist from a leftist perspective or as both from the perspective of revolutionary Islam, which combines religious fundamentalism with a left-wing approach. The fronts of the conflict between those forces soon opened, and the destruction of the world came at the hands of the new gods, according to the Lebanese philosopher Ali Harb.
Iraq was and still is the most prominent model of religious conflict in the Middle East, predicating the expectation that it will be reproduced in other societies, especially in light of the circumstances witnessed in both Lebanon and Syria. After 2003, Iraqis suddenly discovered that they, as a people, do not form a single nation, but are rather composed of different identities. Religion plays a major role in these identities’ structure, self-awareness and perception of other identities in the country. This is what is happening in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt in very similar forms or with very insignificant differences.
This religious-identity conflict has led to the fragmentation of Iraqi society, which has been broken down into separate components. Individuals have resorted to their religious identities in order to protect themselves from the oppression of others. People are killed based on the information listed on their identity cards, which includes their sectarian affiliation. In this way, people have resorted to sectarian affiliation as a social identity that preserves and protects people, especially in the absence of a civil state or rule of law.
Emile Durkheim demonstrated in his approach to the sociology of religion that religion plays a major role in a human being’s self-awareness and distinction from other groups. According to him, religion provides people with a safeguard against threats made by others.
As a result, many military commanders, clan elders and secular figures have become sectarian, donning religious garb and adopting doctrinal rhetoric. Perhaps the most prominent example is former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who appeared during his trial with a long beard, a Quran in his hand and citing religious texts and doctrinal beliefs to defend himself.
This same conflict was recently exemplified by the altercation between Iraqi members of parliament regarding the posting of photos of religious figures in the streets of Baghdad.
The religious conflict has also led to the decline of the secular Iraqi movement, amid a rise in religious parties and militias that have gone viral. Secular parties are inherently unable to represent the new identities of the Iraqi components.
Regional powers are providing rival religious groups with substantial sources of support. Alternatively, there is a complete lack of regional and international support for secular trends, even from the United States, which entered Iraq with the aim of spreading a democracy that is conceptually and cognitively inseparable from the secular state model.
Secular movements have become an unprotected minority that are threatened by all other religious groups. Despite the sharp differences among these religious groups, they share hostility toward secular movements. This has led to three types of reactions among secularists. The first is an inclination toward irreligion and anti-religion. The second reaction is to resort to religion in a way that might contrive a humanitarian religious model that coexists with secularism, while the third reaction uses jokes and irony to criticize religious extremism.
The first reaction is evident through an increased demand in various parts of Iraq for books that deal with irreligion. When visiting Mutanabi Street, the historic center of Baghdad’s bookselling trade, one might notice that books on the various trends criticizing religions — such as communism, atheism, existentialism and others — see high sales figures, especially among the younger generation. This generation thirsts for an alternative to the tragic life they live, in a country with no discernable present or future. The strangest manifestation is the formation of youth groups keeping up with the latest books and trends criticizing religion in the various cities of Iraq, and even in conservative regions and sometimes radical regions, such as Anbar.
Anbar has seen the formation of an underground group that secretly trades books on atheism among its members for fear of oppression by their families and radical religious groups. There are also several Facebook pages criticizing religiosity and disseminating principles of atheism and irreligion. The most famous pages are Iraq's Atheists and The Concerned Reader. The latter publishes the philosophical work of leading atheists such as Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins.
The second reaction has included numerous attempts to revive and disseminate a rational and tolerant religious heritage by prominent Islamic figures such as Mohammad Mahdi Shamseddine, Mohammed Arkoun, AbdolKarim Soroush and Mostafa Malekian. Perhaps the most prominent figure who has exerted concentrated efforts in this field is Abdul Jabbar al-Rifai, who has published dozens of books and publications supporting his project to “save humanism in religion.”
Another example of the efforts being made is the Open University founded by the Dominican Fathers in Baghdad and headed by Joseph Thomas. This university studies religious problems and methods to remedy the country's crisis. However, these projects are still absent on the Iraqi street and among predominant political parties, both of which are preoccupied with religious identity conflicts.
As for the third reaction, Internet websites witnessed the emergence of satirical characters with religious titles, ironically wearing the outfits of religious preachers and sheikhs. These characters mock a certain type of religiousness or religion in general. The most famous one is the Abu al-Bara Facebook page, which has received tens of thousands of likes. This spurred many copycats.
Despite the secular reaction to the religious identity conflict, the Iraqi identity will likely — within the general context in the region — become further mired in its present crisis due to the presence of powerful influences fueling its flames.
Ali Mamouri is a researcher and writer who specializes in religion. He is a former teacher in Iranian universities and seminaries in Iran and Iraq. He has published several articles related to religious affairs in the two countries and societal transformations and sectarianism in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia Pushes US Toward Military Strike in Syria
By: Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor
After scoring a victory in Egypt, Saudi Arabia is hoping to achieve the same swift success in Syria, where the struggle between the regime and the rebels seems ever more complex and bloody. If it does, Saudi Arabia will emerge as the main arbiter of Arab regional politics for the foreseeable future. If it does not, its claim to regional leadership will be seriously undermined.
The human cost of the bloody Syrian conflict that was destined from the very beginning to become a regional and international concern is rising by the day. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal urged the Arab League to back a military strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime after the chemical attack on Ghouta in which hundreds of Syrians were killed. Faisal said Saudi Arabia would back a US strike on Syrian government targets, provided the military intervention was "the will of the Syrian people."
The Saudis' clear sanctioning of a US-led military strike comes after Arab efforts to back the rebels have not led to a clear victory. The conflict is still claiming lives and there are no signs that the Syrian regime is approaching its final days. A military strike, it is believed, would weaken the military capabilities of the regime, giving the rebels a better opportunity on the ground to erode Assad’s grip on power.
Away from humanitarian concerns over the Syrian victims of chemical attacks, the Saudi antagonism to Assad’s regime started in 2006, when it appeared that together with Iraq, Syria was beginning to drift even more toward the Iranian sphere of influence and away from the Saudi-led Arab position, causing discomfort in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia aims to return Syria to its fold after years of estrangement and even hostility.
Saudi preoccupation with Syria is a reflection of deep-rooted fear of Iran’s rising influence. After giving up on the United States dealing a blow to this influence in the form of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear installations, more than ever, Saudi Arabia feels encircled by Iran from all directions. The Saudi leadership imagines itself surrounded by hostile forces, among whom are the Yemeni Houthis in the south, and Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in the north, all dubbed agents of Iran. The Syrian uprising gave the Saudis an opportunity to undermine the most vital link in the Iranian influence that stretched from Baghdad to Beirut. Defeating Assad became a priority for the Saudi national interest, which so far has taken the form of direct military aid to the rebels and promotion of the Syrian cause in international and regional forums. Nothing would alleviate Saudi fears like a pro-Saudi Sunni government in Damascus, breaking the chain of Iranian influence.
From the Saudi perspective, Washington can redeem itself in Syria if it leads a limited military strike after appearing reluctant to continue its policy of supporting Arab dictators at their darkest moments. It failed to take action in 2011, when its closest ally, then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, faced the first round of revolution, thus reminding the Saudis of how powerless the United States can be when such dictators are under pressure from their own people. Saudis remember how the United States also failed to save the Shah of Iran in 1979 under the pressure of revolution.
Now Saudi Arabia wants the United States to act in order to demonstrate to the Arab public its military might. As the Saudis are still dependent on US military technology and training, the regime is embarrassed by how hesitant its patron in Washington has been over the last three years of Arab uprisings. It is possibly the first time when US national interests do not correspond with those of the Saudis — hence Washington’s tame interventions in recent years and its reluctance to respond to the Saudi desire to strike Iran. It seems that Saudi Arabia may have reached the conclusion that Washington cannot always fight Saudi wars. The Saudis may have to do it themselves, unless the United States moves quickly and launches its missiles on Assad, as wished by Faisal when addressing the emergency meeting of the Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.
The Arab revolutions have been unknown quantities from the first day with no promise that friendly forces seeking democracy will inevitably dominate local and national governments. The Saudis saw these revolutions as malicious and contagious moments that required serious counter-revolutionary measures to tame them or even bury them alive.
The Syrian uprising was the exception, as Saudis saw it as an opportunity rather than an epidemic. With Jordan acting as a buffer zone between Saudi Arabia and the festering Syrian wound, Saudi Arabia was assured that no flow of refugees or other undesirable outcomes would reach its own territory. It poured funds into the rebels’ hands and put in place humanitarian aid.
But from the very beginning, the Saudis wanted the overthrow of Assad. This was clearly reflected in their own obsession with rolling back Iranian influence rather than finding a feasible solution to the Syrian crisis. Assad’s stubbornness and bloody battles across the country raised Saudi hopes that the international community would reach a consensus to overthrow him. This has not happened and even those who are convinced of the merit of overthrowing him do not seem to be willing to act, thus prolonging Saudi frustration over a much hoped-for victory in Syria. Despite its conscientious effort to back the Syrian rebels, the Saudis may well have reached the conclusion that only the United States can do it.
Will the United States respond and make the Saudi dream to become the undisputed master of the Arab world’s destiny come true? Americans need to be convinced that striking Syria is in their own national interest. If this interest corresponds with that of the Saudis, all the better. But if it does not, then Washington may appear to have been dragged into a conflict whose outcome remains uncertain. The Saudi dream may turn into Washington’s nightmare.
Surely a quick military strike will weaken the Syrian regime, but will it lead to its total collapse? What are the forces that will replace it, among whom are several groups that may not be US-friendly, to say the least? Those unfriendly forces are now willing to support a US strike on Assad as they are moved by the logic of calling upon God to engage despots in a war against each other, mainly the United States and Assad, so that a window of opportunity may present itself to the pious and virtuous. Such logic may be lost in translation but it is based on an old political principle: There is nothing more satisfying than watching your enemies kill each other.
The Saudi regime’s insistence on total victory in Syria is misguided, as this conflict has proved to be one of the most devastating in the history of the region and is likely to remain so as long as Assad and his enemies do not tire of blood. If Saudi Arabia has issues with Iran, it should have the guts to deal with them close to home and respect that Washington cannot always fight its wars.
The Syrian people deserve to live rather than be used and abused in a regional conflict with international backing. If the objective is to respect the will of the Syrian people, as Faisal has said, then those people must be allowed to live first, rather than subject them to precision bombing that may not be so precise. A cease-fire under the auspices of the United Nations may be the first step toward halting the massacres rather than seeking an international umbrella for more killing.
Dr. Madawi Al-Rasheed is a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has written extensively about the Arabian Peninsula, Arab migration, globalization, religious transnationalism and gender. On Twitter: @MadawiDr
President Barack Obama learned the hard way that drawing lines isn’t a game. Had he not announced on Aug. 20 of last year that the use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian regime would constitute the crossing of a red line, the US president would not be now forced to choose between the loss of US credibility and the erosion of his personal prestige, and an additional military entanglement in the Middle East and a crisis in relations with Russia.
True, setting a red line promises a fat front-page headline next to a flattering photo of a courageous leader. On the other hand, the speaker must take into account that red lines are seared deeply into our collective conscious and enjoy a long life span. One can assume that we will not hear Obama talking again about red lines in the near future.
The Syrian case proves that yesterday’s red line can turn into tomorrow's gray area. What’s more, after Obama himself blurred Syria’s chemical red line, why should Israel rely on him regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons? What value is there to a red line drawn by Obama vis-à-vis a nuclear weapons development program — as long as he refrains from punishing a dictator who killed 1,500 people using such weapons?
A year ago to the day, on Sept. 2, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained that Tehran continues to develop its nuclear program because of the refusal of the “world,” meaning the United States, to draw “a clear red line” for Iran. Had he been speaking today, Netanyahu should have been asked: And if Obama had drawn “a clear red line” for Iran, would you have been reassured?
Two weeks later, Netanyahu drew a clear and forceful direct line between the Iranian bomb and the White House. On Sept. 9, Netanyahu reprimanded “those in the international community who refuse to draw a red line on Iran.” Hinting at a possible Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites, the prime minister noted that the dissidents who refuse to set a threshold for Iran have “no moral right to put a red light in front of Israel.”
Obama did not invent the clichéd term “red line” in the parlance of international relations. The expression has its roots in an operation named “Thin Red Line” during the 1854 Balaclava Battle of the Crimean War. The activity of red uniformed Scottish soldiers was described by a journalist (Times correspondent William H. Russell) as a "thin red streak tipped with a line of steel." In his poem “Tommy,” Rudyard Kipling described the Scottish troops as "the thin red line of heroes." The expression came up again in George Orwell’s 1935 novel “A Clergyman’s Daughter.” The book “The Thin Red Line” by James Jones (1962), which dealt with a World War II battle, rendered the expression more popular.
Netanyahu was not the first Israeli politician to append the term “red line” to Israel’s dialogue with the United States. In 1980, former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan called on the United States to announce a clear “red line” in the Middle East, the crossing of which would result in a forceful reaction. He expressed his certainty that if the Americans set a red line and increased their presence in the region, they would not have to use force.
The involvement of global jihad in the Syrian civil war, as well as the unstable situation in Iraq, the internal crisis in Egypt and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prove that reality in the Middle East is far more complex than the picture painted at the time by Dayan. Where Israel is concerned, red lines have a tendency to disappear. Israel is one of only five countries (in addition to India, Pakistan, North Korea and South Sudan) that have not joined the 189 signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Had Egypt, for example, built a mysterious nuclear reactor and prevented access to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, it would have been considered to have blatantly crossed a red line. On the other hand, Israel’s Dimona reactor is safely out of reach of the agency’s inspections. In 1982, then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced to the Knesset with great fanfare that Israel had decided to support the Chemical Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty and called on all the countries in the region to do the same. It was signed and ratified by 136 states. Israel signed, but to this day has refrained from ratification.
Israel is not one of the 143 states that have signed and ratified the convention banning the development, production and stockpiling of biological weapons. Israel’s name is also absent from the list of 108 states that signed in 2010 the international treaty prohibiting the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of cluster bombs. As far as Israel is concerned, dropping thousands of cluster bombs on southern Lebanon in the 2006 Second Lebanon War and selling them to dubious regimes does not constitute the crossing of a red line. Dropping phosphorus bombs on concentrations of civilians in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza is considered by Israel (in an army report regarding that operation) as “in keeping with Israel’s commitments according to the laws of armed conflict.”
In an interview granted a year ago to Foreign Policy, former US Defense Decretary Leon Panetta said, “Red lines are kind of political arguments that are used to try to put people in a corner.” Referring to criticism voiced by Netanyahu against the US refusal to draw a red line for Iran, Panetta said, “The fact is, presidents of the United States, prime ministers of Israel or any other country — leaders of these countries don’t have a bunch of little red lines that determine their decisions.”
In a somewhat snide tone toward Netanyahu, Panetta added, “What [leaders] have are facts that are presented to them about what a country is up to, and then they weigh what kind of action is needed to be taken in order to deal with that situation.”
When all sides in Syria and elsewhere cross all red lines of moral and human behavior, Obama would do well to make use of the time out that he took in order to read the words of the former secretary. Instead of painting red lines, he would do better to re-examine his policy in the region and the necessary steps to deal with the new situation that has evolved there.
And on the same occasion, Obama should examine the policy of his country concerning the murder of one hundred thousand people in Syria with ''ordinary'' conventional weapons. And what about war crimes taking place throughout Africa daily?
Akiva Eldar is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse. He was formerly a senior columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz and also served as the Hebrew daily’s US bureau chief and diplomatic correspondent. His most recent book (with Idith Zertal), Lords of the Land, on the Jewish settlements, was on the best-seller list in Israel and has been translated into English, French, German and Arabic.
US President Barack Obama has made a compelling case that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used nerve agents to kill hundreds of Syrians. A decision to use military force against the Assad regime is now rightly being debated in Congress. The United States wants to find some way to strike Assad that does not benefit the most dangerous elements of the Syrian opposition — the al-Qaeda franchises that have become increasingly important in the Syrian civil war. One way is to better use information warfare against the al-Qaeda menace.
The intelligence case presented by Obama demonstrates clearly that the Syrian regime used the nerve agent sarin in August. The Centre d’Etudies et des Recherches Scientifiques, the agency that created Syria's chemical warfare arsenal and reports to Assad, has been directly implicated in the attack.
Obama argues that the United States should use military force to respond to the chemical attack, but must avoid being sucked into the civil war that has raged since 2011. He makes a compelling case that a large-scale intervention in Syria would bog down the United States in another Middle Eastern quagmire, as happened in Iraq, and that Washington's ability to positively influence the violent sectarian struggle is severely limited. Therefore, he promises there will be no American boots on the ground in Syria.
Regardless, any military intervention that attacks Assad forces and degrades their capabilities will inevitably influence the balance of power in the civil war. The more the regime is weakened, the more the opposition gains. Indeed, critics of President Obama who want greater involvement in the civil war argue for a large-scale attack precisely to assist the opposition.
Since the opposition includes a strong and growing al-Qaeda component, such an approach could mean inadvertently helping that organization. A stronger al-Qaeda in Syria — especially one with the possibility of gaining control over some of that country's chemical arsenal should Assad be weakened — is clearly not an American interest. Whatever policy Congress endorses, it should include a robust effort to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Syria before it becomes an even greater threat to US interests.
Al-Qaeda actually has two major factions in Syria. The al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra, was formed in early 2012 with the assistance of al-Qaeda’s Iraqi franchise. The group initially played down its al-Qaeda connection, but now openly trumpets its loyalty to al-Qaeda's leader, the Egyptian Ayman Zawahiri, currently hiding out in Pakistan. Sunnis from across the Arab world have been streaming to al-Nusra, with scores already martyred in the Syrian conflict.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is likewise directly active in Syria. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu D’ua, masterminded the July attacks on two Iraqi prisons that sprung hundreds of al-Qaeda members and sympathizers. He had in April announced that AQI, branching out, would henceforth be known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams. (Al-Shams refers to what is today Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.)
Baghdadi also proclaimed his assumption of the leadership of al-Qaeda across the Fertile Crescent, pointing out that in 2004 Osama bin Laden had appointed his predecessor, AQI founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, commander of the area. In August, the State Department revealed that Baghdadi had transferred his base of operations to Syria, certainly making it harder for Iraqi security forces to pinpoint his whereabouts. The United States is offering a $10 million reward for information resulting in his capture or death.
Mohammad al-Golani, a Syrian who worked with Zarqawi in Iraq and now leads the al-Nusra Front , claims to be independent of Baghdadi, instead reporting directly to al-Zawahiri. Nonetheless, on the battlefield, the two al-Qaeda affiliates are cooperating in the fight to bring down Assad.
The United States and its allies have tried to strengthen the more moderate elements of the opposition, but with only limited success. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda has formidable assets, including its base in Iraq, foreign volunteers eager to conduct suicide missions and a ruthlessly simple ideology that depicts the Assad regime as nonbelievers and apostates because they are Alawites backed by Shiite Iran. Al-Qaeda thrives on sectarian animosity, so it seeks to turn the civil war into a sectarian conflict pitting Sunnis against Alawites and Christians.
One way to mitigate the danger of inadvertently helping al-Qaeda in Syria would be to deploy a more aggressive information campaign to expose it for what it is and what it wants. Al-Qaeda in Syria seeks to portray itself as a combination of freedom fighters and Islamic holy warriors. In fact, it is a bunch of thugs and murderers. Zarqawi, the figure from whom both factions draw inspiration, was a petty Jordanian criminal who turned to violent jihadism in jail and then embarked on a murderous campaign against Iraqi Shiites, killing thousands of Muslims.
The 2006 campaign in Iraq to bring Zarqawi to justice or kill him used information warfare to expose him as a murderer and to turn his supporters and sympathizers against his carnage. The intelligence community, for example, published intercepted messages between Zarqawi and Zawahiri that exposed serious internal differences within al-Qaeda and strong criticism of Zarqawi’s violent excesses by the top leadership of the group in Pakistan.
The United States and its partners should do more to expose al-Qaeda’s factions in Syria as the terrorists they are. A campaign providing more information about the groups, and especially their leaders, would damage their credibility. Who are al-Baghdadi and Golani really? What are their real names and backgrounds? What are their connections to Zawahiri and Zarqawi? Who is calling the shots in al-Qaeda’s war in Syria? The more information brought to light about these figures, the less they are likely to be seen as freedom fighters or holy warriors.
The United States' Arab allies, especially Jordan, which has an excellent intelligence service, could play a significant role in such a campaign. So too can Washington's European partners with expertise in the area. The Turks, Saudis and Qataris, who are arming the opposition, should be included in the effort.
There is, of course, a downside. The Russians will argue that the United States is just exposing the Syrian opposition for what it really is — an al-Qaeda-dominated movement. Since 2011 Moscow has been parroting the Assad regime’s line that the opposition has always just been a bunch of terrorists. In fact, however, the uprising against Assad began without any help from al-Qaeda, which was surprised by the start of the Arab Awakening and slow to get on the bandwagon against Assad. It was only when the regime resorted to brutal, massive violence that al-Qaeda became a player. In that sense, Assad — having created a self-fulfilling prophecy — is the real grandfather of al-Qaeda in Syria.
There are no good options in Syria for Washington and its allies. Any military intervention is certain to have unintended negative consequences. Americans are right to worry that the country will be dragged into another Iraq-like, expensive and ultimately futile quagmire.
There is no simple answer to the difficult challenges Syria’s civil war presents, and there is no way to hermetically separate attacking Assad for his criminal use of chemical weapons from the larger drama of the civil war. A more robust information campaign to undermine al-Qaeda in Syria would help to mitigate, but not eliminate, the dangers of the civil war. It should become part of the strategy Congress endorses, with or without military action.
Hamid Buffy: if government officials and military security and a sense of responsibility to resign
(Voice of Iraq) - He said the Kurdistan Alliance MP Hamid Buffy: "The lack of a sense of responsibility among many officials is the cause of the suffering of the Iraqis, even if government officials and military security and a sense of responsibility to resign."
He explained in a statement today: "The responsibility of a humanitarian mission and the social, moral and divine her big serious consequences should be alert always have, Valmklv responsibility is that the best work and led his duties faithfully and diligently will grow in the eyes of its citizens in the world and is estimated, and wins in the Hereafter when the Lord is pleased, though sloth The palace has not only what it will lose its value to the responsibilities of the citizen, and will be punished from the presence of the Creator, and this is the origin and al-Qaeda in this section. "
He added Buffy: "But it seems that the Iraqi official rarely feels responsible because of political corruption, administrative and financial, which is spread in most of the joints of the government and the Iraqi authorities different, so that the carefree first official Iraqi is to collect as much of the pleasures of this world and take advantage of personal office, without taking into consideration responsibility and reputation and the plight of his people. "
He continued: "Because of the lack of accountability in charge negligent and lack of fear of violating the Constitution and the law and order Pat does not feel its responsibilities and do not care duties, and became confused الحابل بالنابل, no services for citizens and no development in the country and no security on the street, nor dignified human Iraqi who sacrificed everything has in order to end the rule of tyranny and dictatorship and create a new system based foundations of democracy and social justice, human rights and Iraqi citizenship. "
He said: "Today we see Dmea Iraqi pure Zakia innocent being shed every day without feeling the Iraqi official in charge of the responsibility, even though it (the blood is above everything), Instead of taking to resign and step down we find them hear ears citizens words ugly via satellite channels that everything fine and they defeated terrorism and destroyed its mechanisms and arrested those who do and they control the situation and the street, they say this is modesty and remain in office sensitive and if nothing had happened, Glory to God Would calamity, the people of Iraq that has plagued these officials Allahaurien. "
He concluded Buffy the statement, saying: "If there was a low degree sense of responsibility to the oldest military officials and gung and government - of the highest scores and standings to the lowest - for they make to resign from their responsibilities and step down from office in order to preserve their popularity and fear of the Lord, but the lives of those who advocated no interest in inflatable ash. "
Sheikh Abbas Muhammadawi calls Russia, China, Iran and North Korea's refusal to do military strike America to Syria
(Voice of Iraq) - Secretary-General called for the coalition of the Sons of Iraq fervent Sheikh Abbas Muhammadawi Russia, Iran, China and North Korea do not agree to do under the guidance of any American military strike against Syria or any Asian country.
He said in a statement today: that America and Israel did not تحترما peoples of the Asian continent and Émhma but their interests and Ataatrddan in lying to the people and mislead public opinion to justify their crimes against the vulnerable peoples, like the lie of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which was the starting point for the spring Zionist crusader.
He added: better America that calls for Israel to give up its nuclear weapons that threaten the peoples of the world instead of fabricating a lie chemical weapons to be taken as a pretext for a military strike against Syria. And between Muhammadawi: that America was the cause lies in differentiation Islamic peoples and make them in conflict side-tracked by paying attention to attention to the Zionist conspiracies, and as a result we are the only loser.
Muhammadawi stressed the need to reject Russia, Iran, China and North Korea do under the guidance of any American military strike against Syria or any Asian country, calling on States Tlt to set up a joint military parade to show their strength and readiness in the face of the challenges of America.
Baghdad (AIN) – The Secretary General of the Building and Jihad, Hassan al-Sari, stated "Attacking Syria by the USA and the West is threatening the security of the region and the world in addition to strengthening the terrorism."
In a press statement received by AIN, he said "Attacking Syria by the USA under the justification of using the chemical weapons will strengthen al-Qaeda Terrorist Organization in the region and the world and will also result in big consequences on the security of Iraq."
"The beneficiaries of the attack will be the armed groups in Iraq and Syria where Israel will encourage the terrorism and extremism and threatens the international security," he concluded.
BGG - So an Iraqi building inspector is now a credible source to condemn a US attack on Syria?? Not that I agree with an attack - I just find it curious the "full court press" the GOI seems to have called on any US action.