Saturday, April 09, 2011

Meditating on Iraq's Current Situation: Seeking Solution

During an interview that lasted for an our on  State TV last Saturday, al-Maliki "questioned if those who want him to go would prefer Iraq to return to the days of dictatorship"!
"Those who call for regime change are limited in number; they are weak and voices of discord,"
I want to enlighten Mr. Prime President and tell him that the numbers of people who participated in the protest were over a million in Iraq, just in case his men were not able to count, as I doubt they CAN count.
"What do they want?" he asked, giving a list of references to deposed ruler Saddam Hussein: "Do they want the return of a dictatorship? Or the Revolutionary Command Council? Or a regime that marginalizes groups?"
So! Now those who ask for change and for a better life, better public services are asking for the return of dictatorship? The only best next option is to go back to dictatorship? Is that the new Iraq?

Iraqi's voices were shouting all over Iraq for the last months:
"Liar, liar, Noori al-Maliki is a liar"
Since there is an increase in exported crude oil (as announced by Laibi) then there must be higher returns. By selling 2,202 barrel per day, Iraq achieved the highest sales return in January that reached 6,082 Billion US Dollars.
"It is said that oil constitutes 94 percent of the country's revenues."
Then if we do the math we arrive to the fact that Iraq is one of the richest countries but its citizens living a poor life.

Agriculture Situation in Iraq
Iraq is know as "Mesopotamia". What does that mean? It simply means "the land between the two rivers". Why is this term important for Iraq? Because the entire point of establishing the ancient civilizations in Iraq was to be built next to the river. Water is important for establishing these civilizations because it's an essential element for agriculture, as well as transportation.

After the war, there are many researches proves that the water has been polluted but that's not the one and only reason for the deterioration of agriculture in Iraq. It seems there's a big plan to restrict the development of agriculture and preventing it to provide Iraq with the needed products let alone the income generated by agriculture.

Farmers abandon their farms because of restrictions set by the Ministry of Agriculture. Knowing these restrictions make it impossible for small and medium farms to survive. Here's a link that would explain this part of the problem as stated by farmers.

Yet, we face a bigger problem than high expenses of irrigation, marketing and polluted lands and water. It's a serious issue that was imposed by Paul Bremer, the American governor assigned after the invasion of Iraq. Jermey Smith, a researcher, director and editor of the Ecologist wrote a lengthy research about agriculture in Iraq. I couldn't find the original text but here's a link to what I found regarding his research.

In this paper, it is clear that the invasion created a new market for the seeds mentions in the research which makes it impossible for farmers to use the previous year harvest. That in itself a serious issue for farmers who has been used to following their own techniques of farming.

Industrial Situation in Iraq
For decades, Iraq was able to provide certain products for the entire population of Iraq and even export the surplus. The industrial sector in Iraq had the basic needed structure to flourish. Oil? check. Water? check. Labor? check. Along with many other elements that set the floor for an industrial country.

Unfortunately, the invasion has its impact on this sector too. From the very first day of the invasion, smart missiles found their way to target Iraq's infrastructure and any essential facility to destroy Iraq. Reading the article Deterioration of the industry after the occupation and its impact on the working class and the Iraqi society made it even harder for me to put my hands on a simple solution for Iraq's situation.

Lack of Security
Lack of security continues to enchain Iraqi people. This led to a huge number of Iraqis to decide leaving the country, their neighborhoods or their cities; as well as taking the option of staying home. The government, hand in hand with the collation forces, created the fake image that because of the lack of security the government cannot achieve it's goals and that the troops are needed to "keep the safety of Iraqis".

The security issue is real, but not for the right reasons. It is unsafe because of the militias of certain political parties or figures. In addition to the thugs who came up to the surface serving certain agendas. As well as the empowerment of ill-willed and criminals as a result of the absent of a true security forces.

All the previous issues led to high percentage of unemployment among Iraq citizens. But the most essential point regarding this problem was created by the first decision made by the collation authority regarding resolving the army and the security forces and many of ministries and other governmental institutions. This act laid off hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of workers. Another reason was the new economic orientation of the occupation and the governments created under its umbrella which aims to privatize all governmental economic projects.

Results for my research about unemployment in Iraq were varying between 40-60 %. Whatever the right percentage is, it is such a shame to have qualified experts or new graduates unemployed and suffering from poverty.

Shortage of Experts and Qualified People
It was ether because of the security issue or the threats by thugs and the new empowered criminals, Experts and people of great brains opt to leave the country in order to keep their families safe. Since it's hard to find qualified people who deserve to be in the right place when needed at the right time, we are left in the hands of a gang that call itself "A government".

For all the facts above, this year, i'm not writing a poem. i'm not writing a post lamenting what we lost because of this invasion and what we suffer under occupation. Instead, I want to face the reality and think of ways to improve the current situation.

I've always believed that if we want to make a difference then we should start with ourselves. But regarding the issue of Iraq it's not just me. I do need to collaborate with other as one person cannot do all the needed changes. What makes it hard for me to make a change is a bigger picture. Every day this picture get even clearer. America did not invade Iraq aiming the disposition of Saddam or "the so-called WMD" only. It is crystal clear that their true purpose was to control oil as well as create a new marketplace to support their investments.

Therefore, we need everybody to take a serious action from their own place to end this occupation and find the right people to take our beloved Iraq to the safety shore.

That's all for now...
But we should follow words by action.

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