Iraq: if you don't have a silver bullet either, why not try this? (15.04.04)

courtesy by:  Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers  cp 2580, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
url: ¦ .../invitation.htm ¦ .../recres.htm ¦ .../opinion.htm ¦ .../cherrypicking.htm
tks 4 notifying errors, comments & suggestions to:  +4122-7400362  - 

"The goal is to stabilize Iraq."
(US Senator Bill Nelson: CNN Late Edition, April 11, 2004)
How do we get there, in light of recent developments, e.g. in Fallujah and elsewhere in urban Iraq?
"... punitive military action is not the answer, or not necessarily the only answer"
(Rend Al-Rahim, Iraq's Representative to the US: CNN Late Edition, April 11, 2004).
Above all, the answer must be "political," based on an early and effective transfer of power to an
internally & externally recognizable, legitimate and thus generally supported interim Iraqi government
(Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein, Constitutional Monarchy Movement CMM:
CNN, Nic Robertson, "Hope and fear: Journeys in the new Iraq", April 5, 2004;
numerous lawmakers on both sides of the aisles and the Atlantic)

 Security, stability, reconciliation, etc. - all seems to hinge on the legitimacy of the next interim Iraqi government.  General elections might - one day - bring progress in that direction.  For the time being, another way must be found in order for power to be transferred later this year to an internally & externally recognized government which can and will provide the indispensable ingredients for a rebirth of Iraq, i.e. security, stability and reconciliation.  Absent these ingredients, and Iraq will almost certainly remain frontpage news and influence the next US presidential electionAnother iron claw regime may then loom as the only real alternative to a more or less spontaneous and generally tolerated - if not supported - liberation war, to regionally destabilizing chaos, and to civil war preceding a most probably uncontrolled break-up of Iraq ( ¦ .../britishgas.htm).  In the latter event, the Kurds seriously risk to be haunted for centuries to come, effectively standing accused as being collectively responsible for the break-up of Iraq - not unlike what their Jewish brethren have experienced in the last centuries for their ancesters' alleged role in the death of Jesus.

Ironically, the authors of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-political plans developed over the last 12 years for Iraq's North, i.e. for the religiously, historically & legally peculiar Mosul Vilayet (.../mvc.htm), find themselves obliged to temper the aspirations of the Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds and Turkomans living in this crossroad of civilization.  And even to join efforts to keep Iraq united - for the time being at least.  Sadly, they find their work plagiated and in danger of being hijacked by ill-informed or misguided citizens as well as by politically single-minded opportunists, cherry-pickers and flat earth apprentice-sorcerers (.../cherrypicking.htm).  Indeed, key documents which have served as the basis for the 1992-created political laboratory called Mosul Vilayet Council (.../a31.htm ¦ .../UNGA.htm) have inadvertently given rise to the dominant political parties' inclination towards a confederation with Turkey, and to the 1.73 mio signatures-strong March 2004 petition to the UN for a subito referendum on whether the Mosul Vilayet's conditional attachment to Iraq of 1926 should be made permanent or reversed (.../petition.htm).

Of course, hapless, careless and visionless pursuit of what, in the last 12 years, may have passed as Iraq policy by the powers that be, is seen to have encouraged and even legitimized Iraqi citizens to explore alternatives to the free flow of things.  Yet, in the current fundamentally changed situation, pursuit of either separation initiative seems to be not only unhelpful but incendiary, and needlessly at that.  Just like general elections and use - or abuse - of other institutions which, basically, are alien to the prevalent social and value structures would, under current cicumstances, most likely enhance inter-community and inter-/intra-religious tensions and anxieties to levels hindering harmonious social development, even causing constituent communities to stand against each other.  Notwithstanding the fact that, in the eyes of some short-sighted Western campaign managers and Western-leaning observers, corresponding soundbites might be considered politically correct, voter-effective and thus called for.

More visionary statemen with a long-term view and commitment to corresponding responsibilities may want to recognize and seek to accomodate all relevant facts on the ground.  They may seek inspiration from time-tested principles and genuine alternatives to flat earth, Wild West & bounty-hunting mind sets and fumblings.  In particular, they may thus want to look again at Iraqi society's still generally prevalent and society-permeating tribal mentality and structures.  And they may look out for opportunities to integrate as much as feasible modern Iraq's organically grown civil society.  Instead of turning Iraq's top-to-bottom-structured society on its head by organizing currently premature - for more unsettling and divisive than stabilizing - general elections. Indeed, all regularly elected or appointed leaders of tribes, religious communities, professional associations, educational institutions, towns and even political parties are already in place.  Each one of them is responsible for the matters traditionally falling under his/her sphere of influence and responsibility, i.e. territorial security within the traditional tribal area, free exercise of religious practices, tolerance and respect for members of other faiths in the corresponding circumscription, educational excellence at the institute of learning concerned, law and order in the mayor's town, etc.  And they readily avail themselves for being internally and externally recognized and supported as the genuine representatives of all constituent communities of Iraq.  In the Mosul Vilayet, all these some 350 leaders are ex officio members of the - so far in theory only - politically supreme Mosul Vilayet Council.

The above analysis reflects the political laboratory work made over the past 12 years with regard to the Mosul Vilayet.  With the regime change in Baghdad, the question has arisen as to whether and to what extend the ideas thus explored and the solutions thus developed might helpfully be adapted for other parts of Iraq as well.  The consultations conducted among political leaders, MVC Members and scholars on these questions in & outside of Iraq over the past 12 months have lead to the proposals embodied in the draft Reconciliation Resolution "We, the Iraqi People"  (.../recres.htm).  Eventually adopted by the traditionnally legitimized representatives of all ethnic, religious & other constituent communities of Iraq, this key resolution is designed to fully legitimize the current Iraqi Governing Council, both internally & externally.  As such it is intended to break ground for a nationally and regionally stabilizing comprehensive solution for all of Iraq.  The Resolution provides for a correspondingly qualified early effective transfer of powerSecurity is to be re-established through Iraq's re-strengthened tribal and other constituent communities And the full reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction potential of the UN Charter is thus to be brought to bear promptly by way of correspondingly designed Trusteeship Agreements (.../opinion.htm).  To these effects, the Mosul Vilayet Council is to take the lead by holding in May an Extraordinary General Assembly (.../invitation.htm), followed by similar assemblies of sister councils in the Baghdad and the Basra Vilayets.

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