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Issue #1649      July 30, 2014

Calls for urgent National Conference

Statement Iraqi Communist Party

The Iraqi Communist Party has called for holding a national conference as soon as possible, and setting up a temporary consultative body that enjoys effective popular support to defeat terrorism.

The Iraqi Communist Party marching on May Day last year.

The editorial of Tareeq Al-Shaab (People’s Path), the newspaper issued by the Iraqi Communist Party, (June 2014), stated that the present government has now become a caretaker government, and the parliament’s term has come to an end, while the new parliament (after the elections on April 30, 2014) has not yet been formed and taken up its role.

The editorial says in part, “In order that all the challenges are confronted in an effective manner, mobilising all efforts, ensuring the unity of patriotic forces, co-ordinating their positions and working in a collective spirit of solidarity, there has to be urgent action towards holding a National Conference with a clearly defined agenda and timetable.

“Active political parties and forces that are keen to achieve peace, security and stability, and strengthen democracy and build its institutions, and ensure public and personal freedoms, should be invited to attend this conference. The present conditions in our country necessitate convening the National Conference as soon as possible, and for the conference to set up a temporary consultative body that would work with the government to consider the developments and tackle the situation, and would also enjoy effective popular support, backing the national effort to defeat terrorism and terrorists.”

The editorial dealt extensively with recent developments in Iraq. The following are extensive excerpts:

“Our country is witnessing grave developments as a result of the treacherous offensive by the criminals of ISIS on Mosul, the subsequent speedy and sudden military collapse, and the military-security, political, social and psychological impact on citizens, on society as a whole and on the prospects of resolving the deep crisis in the country.

“All responsible forces, parties and citizens are in agreement that our country has come to this catastrophic situation as a result of a host of interacting factors and reasons that are closely connected with the prevailing political, economic, social, cultural and psychological conditions and the deep crisis in the country.

“This is manifested in the state of deadlock, deep tensions, absence of confidence among political groups, the stale relations between the Kurdistan region and the central government, and also between the latter and several provinces. This is combined with the deepening of the destructive consequences of the policy of sectarian-ethnic power sharing, the increasing manifestations of autocratic rule, the monopolising of power, political exclusion, marginalisation and accusations, fighting over government posts, spoils and influence, rampant corruption, mismanagement, poor services, high levels of unemployment and poverty, in addition to external interference and the clash of interests of other states on our territory, against the interests of our country and people.

“All this, along with other factors, have impacted the military and security institution that has been built on the basis of sectarian power-sharing, to serve specific political objectives and be subservient to the policy of the ruling authority. This institution has thus been used outside its constitutional tasks and as a tool to tackle internal matters.

“As a result it lacked a well-established national doctrine, and its internal cohesion was undermined, making it highly vulnerable to political changes, and to contradictions and the environment of infighting. This has affected the competence, effectiveness and discipline of the military and security institution, and had a negative impact on the ability of the armed forces to hold out in the face of big and sudden pressures. In addition, we point to poor training, ineffective intelligence effort, and cases of corruption and bribes.

“What happened in Mosul, on the other hand, has highlighted the importance of the existence of a positive relationship between the military/security institution and the environment in which it is operating, including the local authorities and citizens, and this relationship was lacking and was replaced by a negative one characterised by distrust and exchanging accusations.

“While mentioning the reasons and consequences of what happened, we must point out and draw attention to the lack of coordination and cooperation between the forces of the federal government and the forces of the Kurdistan region. A lot of unjustified suspicions, concerns and fear prevented building a mutual friendly and close relationship; of cooperation and support. The recent events have demonstrated the need for such a relationship, especially given that the forces of Kurdistan region proved their ability to confront terrorism effectively.

“On the other hand, insufficient attention was paid to the ongoing developments in Syria and their negative impact on the situation in our country. The borders were open and were exploited by ISIS to regroup its supporters, at the expense of the ability of the armed forces to provide support to those in Mosul at the right moment in order to avert the state of collapse. The latter was compounded by the presence of “a fifth column” that works to spread a spirit of defeatism and undermine morale.

“We must also not forget for a moment the regional support for ISIS and other terrorist organisations, which include material, logistic and media support that it continues to enjoy.

“Our people recognise, on the other hand, what the events have revealed; that ISIS was only the more pronounced title in the offensive. What took place was, however, an organised action of a broad alliance that had been coordinating to pounce on the democratic political process, overthrow the existing situation and return Iraq to the era of oppression, tyranny and dictatorship, for which the people are still paying the price.

“Attention was previously drawn to indications of this plan and warnings were given, but the counter-measures were unfortunately not up to the level of the big challenge.

“All this, however, does not change the fact that there were in Mosul those who fought and martyred, among the military and civilians, who were not few. Their sacrifices should be praised and their families must be taken care of.

“Today, during these critical moments which our country is going through, it must be emphasised that securing the unity of the homeland and confronting terrorism and its forces requires mobilising the forces of the people and the armed forces, adopting a position that responds to the higher interests of the homeland and people; the interests of all Iraqis. The objectives must be clear; defeating terrorism and ridding our country of its evils, and opening up the prospect towards a better future that the Iraqis are aspiring to, and which they undoubtedly totally deserve.

“The broad masses of people have emphatically declared their position as demonstrated in the national rejection of ISIS and its crimes, the increased calls for confronting it on ideological and political levels, large-scale volunteering to join the armed forces, as well as political statements, positions and calls to unite the forces and overcome problems and differences.

“This enthusiasm and surge to confront ISIS and similar terrorist forces must be characterised with clarity, objectivity and realism, and should lead to drawing up a strategy that surpasses mistakes, shortcomings and all that has led to the current situation.

“This requires pursuing a policy that has nothing to do with sectarian-ethnic power-sharing and forming a government that is also free of it. In addition, an integrated plan should be drawn up that includes practical arrangements that connect the security action, which must be cleared from the factors of limpness, backwardness and corruption, to flexible political actions that bring forces together, remove the causes of tension in relations, resolve economic and social problems and improve services.

“This plan should ensure getting rid of all manifestations of discrimination and violations of rights and freedoms. Competence, professionalism, integrity and fidelity to the homeland should be the principal criteria in assigning administrative, military and security responsibilities.

“Now that the present government has become a caretaker government, and the constitutional period for the parliament has ended, while the new parliament has not yet been formed and taken up its role, and in order to confront all the challenges effectively and with united efforts, as well as securing the unity of patriotic forces, coordinating their positions and ensuring their serous participation in a collective and solidarity spirit, urgent action is needed to convene a National Conference with a clearly-defined agenda and timetable.

“Active political parties and forces, that are keen to achieve peace, security and stability, and strengthen democracy and build its institutions, ensure public and personal freedoms, and fulfil the aspirations of the Iraqi people for security, stability and dignified life, should be invited to attend this conference. The present conditions in our country necessitate convening the National Conference as soon as possible, and for the conference to set up a temporary consultative body that would work with the government to consider the developments and tackle the situation, and also enjoys effective popular support backing the national effort to defeat terrorism and terrorists.”

Next article – Culture & Life – Fascism is to blame

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