Lack of Trust and Arab Role in Iraq

  • 1 April 2007

The criticism by some Iraqi movements of the recent Arab summit resolutions in Riyadh with respect to Iraq indicates the lack of confidence among some Iraqi parties toward Arabs, and their sensitivity toward any role they might play in the Iraqi file. This is an important hurdle in way of having real and effective Arab presence in Iraq. In its resolutions, the Arab summit has called for work toward expanding the political process to achieve wider participation of all segments and communities of the Iraqi population, and the speeding up of a constitutional revision of the disputed items, in a way that would achieve Iraqi national agreement according to the agreed upon mechanisms.” In addition, the resolutions called upon reviewing the law of de-Baathification so that it could be stopped from being used as a tool for political vendetta. These resolutions agree with the existing developments on the Iraqi scene—some of which have already started to be implemented, especially what is relates to the de-Baathification law—and were issued in the presence of the Iraqi president Jalal Talbani. Still, some of the legitimate representatives of the Shiite authority, such as Abdul Mahdi Al Karbal’ai, have expressed surprise that the Arab summit smacked of intervention in Iraqi affairs, and indicated that such methods would not help the problem, but would further complicate them.

There are many reasons for this lack of trust for the Arab role in Iraq, some of which relates to principal trait of some Iraqi parties to oppose any intervention by the Arabs, due to some Arab position and politics. Whatever the real reasons for the crises, the result is that Arab handling of the Iraq file is facing a big challenge, where Arabs cannot move effectively and seriously without an internal Iraqi consensus over their role. For engendering trust in this role, it is important to establish the belief that its aim is directed toward the benefit of all Iraqis, irrespective of their sect, group or race.

If the past has seared some misapprehensions and doubts in the psyche of some parties in Iraq, it is also important that Arabs endeavor to build trust among all Iraqis and convince the different Iraqi parties, both by actions and words, that they do not differentiate them on sectarian, religious, or racial lines. They should effectively communicate that they are working for a united Iraq, which includes all its parties and sections of the population in a big mission that must be accomplished quickly and efficiently through dialogue among all Iraqi movements under a unified and constant Arabic vision toward the Iraqi file.