Advocating a war in Iraq, and offering an apology for what came after – Agha Shaukat Jafri



Kanan Makiya, a foremost and formidable Arab intellectual of the contemporary times, and presently embedded in an American academic setting, has unleashed a blistering mea culpa in his recently released book, “The Rope”, while recalling his role prior to the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S. Armed forces. His fears about Iraq’s current state of affairs are well founded and he must be commended as the man of conscience and a soul sorrowful for his good deeds of securing freedom for his fellow countryman (Sunni/Shia Arabs & Kurds), whose lot was being slaughtered by Saddam and his Baath regime. Nonetheless, his opponents will cast him as a coward, an apologist and they will label him as a self-loathing Shia, who never ceased suffering with guilt and shame for the crimes neither he, nor his people ever committed.

Mr. Makiya’s Iraq, in the meanwhile, continues to burn as its political leadership of Sunni & Shia alike has successfully destroyed every bit of the moral and political fibber of its civil society. The ancient land of Mesopotamia has lost not only its status as the cradle of modern civilization, it has gained the title of a rogue and reprehensible State, eating itself down to its last bone. With both political and financial corruption on a resounding rise, Iraq is a nation no more of any substance and consequence. Neighboring vulture states, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in particular, are circling around as far more malicious enemies of Iraq than Al-Qaida and ISIS (DAESH).

Hoping against hope, the poor and persecuted populace of Iraq has no where to turn as their homeland has not stopped sinking into one quagmire after another. The Sunni belt comprised of Falluja, Mosul, Ramadi and Tikrit takes its ques from Riyadh and Ankara and is highly resentful of Shia dominated government in Baghdad. The Shia establishment of Iraq does neither trust the Sunnis nor the Kurds for the rationals of they own. The Kurd are eager to launch their movement for independence at any opportune moment. Even though the mix is complex and combustible, the on-site chief patrons, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran are determined to hold Iraq together for the foreseeable future, and in all likelihood, they will provide the needed muscle to a poorly equipped and ill-trained Iraqi army to retake the cities of Falluja and Mosul.

The long term solution for Iraq and its peaceful existence, though, lies right in the hands of its bold and brave citizenry, that must look beyond ethnic and sectarian lines and as an initial act, it must root out all the rascals from their comfortable confines of the so-called Green Zone.