الثلاثاء، نوفمبر 11، 2003

Alternatives to the Governing Council?

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I read today in the local papers, that an American National Security official has arrived in Baghdad to discuss the future of the GC with Ambassador Bremer and to meet representatives from the Council.

Funny thing is he might not find any of them. Iraqis have been joking among themselves lately about GC members, and how only a handful of them are actually in Iraq, while the rest are back in their London apartments or too busy following their own personal agendas and making deals with huge corporations on the expense of Iraqis. Yes, we hear many rumours about such 'under the table' transactions by some GC members, pressuring cabinet ministers to pass these deals especially on Electric power and water projects. I say the shit has hit the fan, this is becoming serious and not so much different from the 'Oil for Palaces' programs. And people ask why Iraqis distrust the council, well thats why.

I was very enthusiastic when the GC was first announced four months ago, yes I understand they were picked not elected, but the council was supposed to be open for expanding its members anyway. Other people were so and so. Most were indifferent (as usual). The cons were the sectarian basis on choosing members, not enough authority, most of the members were expatriates and had not suffered under from Saddam's regime, low women representation on the council, and the fact that members did not have a wide following inside Iraq. The pros were that members were all educated and carried higher degrees (unlike our previous 'leaders'), were from well known families in Iraq, and the political parties which they represented were all involved in a long history of opposition to Saddam's rule.

What most Iraqis truly disliked about the GC was the absence of any effective communication betweeen GC members and the Iraqi people. I have never heard any speech from a council member to the people over the last 4 months. None of them have ever visited a school, or a university, or a ministry. Only Ibrahim Al-Jaa'fari bothered to visit Najaf during his one month term. As soon as the next member gets his turn he immediately gets busy with diplomatic and business trips to neighbouring countries instead of grasping the oppurtunity to show Iraqis that he might be one day a good leader and prove his legitimacy. I think most of them blew any chance they had. They haven't even held one cabinet meeting with ministers who in my opinion are doing a much greater job. They don't have an official newspaper or even a website. There was such a big fuss about the GC representing Iraq in the Arab League and the Islamic conference, who gives a damn what they think of Iraq or who represents it? Why bother with them in the first place. I think the GC forgot the meaning of the word 'interim'. There actions certainly don't reflect that fact, they act as benificiary owners and future rulers which worries me greatly.

But I think that dissolving the whole council would be another huge mistake. Expanding it into a national conference with greater powers and authorities would be more realistic. We can add professional technocrats and non-partisans from different Iraqi provinces who would be more of service to us than party leaders and tribal sheikhs. Or even better two bodies, a council with two or three members preferably technocrats elected from each of the 18 provinces of Iraq, and another council consisting of the present GC members with other parties and renowned Iraqi characters, won't hurt to throw in some judges, moderate clerics and sheikhs with them as well. And a presidential council of say 4 members elected by these two bodies. This national conference would study drafts of our previous constitutions and present a transitional constitution until elections are held in the near future. I think this would be the most realistic alternative instead of appointing a new council and going through another phase of trial and error which could last for months.


هناك تعليقان (2):

غير معرف يقول...

.................... nice ^_^v ................

Broad Paul يقول...

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I read today in the local papers, that an American National Security official has arrived in Baghdad to discuss the future of the GC with Ambassador Bremer and to meet representatives from the Council. serviced apartments london