Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Intelligence Estimate

An intelligence estimate issued by the National Intelligence Council says that Iraqi society’s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides’ ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism.

It is essential to make the Iraqi political leaders convinced that no use of violence. I keep on saying that the Iraqi society needs 'educational rehabilitation'. I wrote many posts about the Bedouin culture which dominates the Iraqi society. The society sharply retrograded during Saddam time toward tribal values. The village mentality ruled Iraq. Such conduct diminished the role of state institutions.

One outcome of village style government was the vanishing of political parties & NGOs in Iraq. For example, the communists once had had a significant 'cultural' influence on the society, but later they had been brutally hunted by the baathists causing them to disappear.

By the year 2003 the Iraqi political arena became a desolate one. Between the years 1979-2003 the Iraqis gradually, and unconsciously, changed there loyalty away from the state institutions. The homeland, the state and the government were integrated into one person; that is Saddam. Tribal traditions have been renewed. It is so weird to be asked by others 'Which tribe are you from?' One's tribe decides his/her social estimation. So someone like Hitler could be considered better than Einstein, if the latter has no tribe to attribute him to.

The roles of the tribe & religious sects are the most influential factors in Iraq because of
"the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general"
Acting as a 'politician' means the necessity to have a tribe or a sect to which the politician can resort for protection. Introducing oneself as an 'Iraqi' means that no one will protect you. The structure of modern state has been eroded by Saddam tribal hierarchical system. One of the stark features of the tribal traditions, nowadays, is taking vengeance on Iraqi security men by tribal leaders for doing their job of pursuing criminals & terrorists.

The tribe or sect offers protection by its members who are ready to use guns to kill. These are, in reality, groups of criminals. So we have a circle which begins with unqualified security forces, criminals who might partially protect their people, tribal leaders who offer protection to criminals just for being members of their tribes, and political leaders who feel that their safety can not guaranteed by the state so they should show gratitude to the militants (criminals). Moreover, some Iraqi politicians are mainly criminals, like this one

The majority of nowadays politicians have grown up under dictatorship. They are very narrow minded persons and do have no experience in state affairs. As a result of being ignorant about governance they resort to violence thinking that it is the way to impose their perspectives on opponents. The estimate says:
"The absence of unifying leaders among the Arab Sunni or Shia with the capacity to speak for or exert control over their confessional groups limits prospects for reconciliation."
To some extent this is true. But even those who tried to be unifying leaders were intimidated. An example is Dr. Ahmed Al-Kubaisee who founded The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq. The man started good work, but those who have different goals threatened him and he left Iraq to UAE, and a bunch of former baathists took over the association.

Iraqi leaders are much closer to tribal or religious Sheikh than contemporary politician. Even those who might be considered secular leaders can not do much because they have no tools to achieve something. The tools are law enforcement & security forces not infiltrated by tribal or sectarian values. The estimate says:
"Sectarian divisions erode the dependability of many units, many are hampered by personnel and equipment shortfalls, and a number of Iraqi units have refused to serve outside of the areas where they were recruited."

"…the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)—particularly the Iraqi police—will be hard pressed in the next 12-18 months to execute significantly increased security responsibilities, and particularly to operate independently against Shia militias with success."
Similar pressure should be on Iraqi leaders to make them understand that violence leads to nothing. Ordinary people are fed up with violence and 'politicians' must be driven to the same position.

Once again, the huge baathist intelligence services, acting underground, are working hard to maintain instability. Many former baathists have put on turbans & worn cleric's garments, making use of the power of religion to goad on the mob. It is crucial to sift out pseudo-politicians who infiltrate into the Iraqi political process.

The estimate rightly states:
"The Intelligence Community judges that the term “civil war” does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq"
Ordinary Iraqis have no inner bad feelings toward each other as an outcome of their diversity. A derelict political field made the ignorant 'neo-politicians' resort to sectarian & ethnic matters to put forth as a ground for their movements.

It is true that:
"Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources, and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq."