Iraqis must unite to overcome terror threat

ABU DHABI, 13th May 2016 (WAM) - Iraqis ought to rise above sectarian prejudices and ignore the incitement of Daesh’s bombers, a United Arab Emirates newspaper has said.

The savage series of bombs in Iraq were designed by Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) to trigger a backlash from Iraq’s Shiite community.

"The terrorists want to ignite another round of sectarian violence to the great detriment of the country," the English language daily 'Gulf News' said in a commentary today.

"It is now incumbent on all Iraqis to try to rise above their sectarian group and remember that they are all Iraqis together, even if their government is not offering any effective leadership," it added.

Daesh has claimed responsibility for three attacks in which more than 93 people were killed in one day this week in three car bomb explosions in Baghdad. The deadliest killed 64 people and wounded 87 in Al Sadr City, while two more suicide bombers targeted police checkpoints in the north of the city, killing 29 people.

The fight against Daesh by the Iraqi government and its allies in the international coalition has been far too slow. Daesh has been allowed to hold far too much Iraqi territory in the north and west of the country for far too long. But this should not stop the various communities of Iraq to unite and condemn Daesh and support Iraq’s military forces as they fight to regain Iraq’s full sovereignty over its territory.

But even as all Iraqis come together to defeat Daesh, they can make a legitimate criticism of the failure of Prime Minister Haidar Al Abadi’s government to offer the country effective governance. It is a disaster that the scourge of corruption has been institutionalised in Iraq, as the prime minister hands out ministries to his political allies with no sense of seeking effective governance and far more awareness of the ministry’s ability to offer patronage and kickbacks.

After almost two years of Al Abadi’s administration, there has finally been some popular resistance to this failure, triggered by Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani’s criticism a few months ago of the entrenched corruption, which was used over the past two weeks by Moqtada Al Sadr to successfully rattle the government with massive protest marches.

"The best way to fight terror is to combine any security operation with effective governance, focused on bringing benefits to the people. This is where Al Abadi has been conspicuously lacking and has to make amends urgently. There is little point in securing a hard-fought military victory without a reasonable political offering that will re-engage the people back into the Iraqi state," the paper concluded.


WAM/bashir